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Shall we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,
The lamp of life deny ?
The joyful sound proclaim,
Has learnt Messiah's name.
And you, ye waters, roll,
It spreads from pole to pole ;
The Lamb, for sinners slain,
In bliss returns to reign." Associations are formed for the promotion of all the great objects of moral concern, to the attainment of which individual exertions would be inadequate, and where common means and common efforts can be used. For the propagation of the Gospel, for the suppression of vice, for the education of youth, and generally for whatever can give knowledge to ignorance, stability to principle, or confidence to virtue. By this union, objects assume a greater magnitude. Efforts, upon an increased scale of usefulness, are planned and prosecuted for their attainment. The necessary funds are procured and expended. Emulation is excited, and pride and principle are brought to act in harmonious co-operation. Let no one contemn the means, and pronounce them insufficient for the end. Who shall limit the effect of human exertions, when directed to human improvement? In looking back upon the progress of society, how apparently slight do we find the causes, which have produced the most lasting impressions upon the family of man. I need not seek to illustrate the observation by examples. They abound in every page of history.
With similar views, societies have been instituted for the suppression of intemperance. Already their standards have been unfurled in the old and the new world, and able, zealous, and pious men have gathered
round them and girded themselves for the combat. Let us trust in God, that the victory will be theirs. But the triumph will belong to human nature. Such a victory as no warrior ever gained, and such a triumph as the imperial republic, in the brightest days of her splendor, never decree to the proudest of her victors. (pp. 3–5.)
After adducing a variety of arguments and facts to show the evils of intemperance, and the beneficial results to society which may be reasonably anticipated by the steady prosecution of this object, Mr. Cass concludes as follows:
· The experience of the civilized world, during the past year, furnishes another memorable lesson upon this deeply interesting subject. A lesson which, if properly appreciated, may well console us, for all the calamity with which it was accompanied. Who has forgotten that desolating pestilence, which, borne on the wings of the wind, traversed. the old continent from the frontiers of China to the western limits of Europe! Vainly we hoped the ocean, which separates the hemis
pheres, would present an impassable barrier to this mighty destroyer. But it came, and with it despair and death. But there came also the triumph of temperance. For though many a sacrifice was made among the virtuous and exemplary, still the stroke fell.chiefly upon those whose constitutions had been impaired by habitual indulgence, and who were thus prepared for the disease.
Too long have those, who are yielding to this propensity, deluded themselves and others with this pretence of the necessary use of ardent spirits. It is time the foundation were broken up
and the superstructure demolished. What was the state of the ancient world, where the process of distillation was unknown? The Arabian chemists were the first to introduce it, and not all the drugs of Arabia have been able to counteract its pernicious influence. There is nothing which leads to the belief that men were less able to endure fatigue, or that the average duration of human life was shorter. On the contrary, some of the most stupendous monuments of human power were erected in the early age of the world, and have come down to us unimpaired, surviving the memory of their founders and the objects of their construction. Extreme longevity was one of the characteristics of that period, and many of our most fatal disorders were unknown. A Roman soldier carried a weight of sixty pounds, beside his arms, and usually marched twenty miles a day. Every night he labored to enclose his encampment with a parapet and ditch. No fatigue nor exposure exempted an army from this duty, enjoined by the fundamental principles of their military service. Could an American soldier, with his daily allowance of spirits,
I may rather say, his daily temptation to drink, do more than this? Carry eighty pounds upon his back, march twenty miles a day, and then fortify his encampment! To the Roman soldier ardent spirits were unknown. To the American, they have been the bane of his life, and their destructive effects may be traced in every platoon of our army. It is to be hoped, that the recent regulations, which have been adopted upon this subject, will introduce a new era into our military history. Away then with this idle pretence of necessity. The necessity exists no where, but in the apologetic answers of those who, determined not to relinquish this darling habit, are yet desirous of presenting some excuse to themselves and others for its indulgence.
And why is it, that the vice of intemperance is almost wholly confined to men? True, we are sometimes appalled by the sight of a drunken woman, but such a spectacle is rare, and as shocking as it is unusual. Have they no fatigues to encounter, no sorrows to assuage, no maladies to heal ? Are they liable to none of the common accidents of life, which furnish the excuse for this self abasement ? They have all these, and more than these; for they have husbands, and sons, and fathers, whose neglect and cruelty, induced by intemperance, push the endurance of human nature to its utmost limit. And yet, under these trying circumstances, our females are patient and exemplary ; seldom resorting to that false solace, which, if it give pleasure to-day, brings wo to-morrow. Whence this difference between the sexes.? The habits of the lives of females are opposed to such a practice; their duties are faithfully performed at home. The domestic hearth is the altar where their human affections are offered, and round this arę ga
thered all that makes life desirable. In joy and sorrow, here they are found seeking consolation ; not in the bowl, but in the practice of those virtues which God has given them, and which man has not been able to take away. Let us learn from them, that vicious indulgences are destructive to our health, injurious to our morals, subversive of our usefulness and respectability, and creating a fearful balance, which, in the great day of account, will leave us without excuse and without hope.
But there is fortunately one plain and safe method, by which all danger may be avoided. And that is, by entire interdiction. Abstinence, and abstinence only, from ardent spirits, will shield us from their injurious consequences. And this, in fact, is the only effectual safeguard within our power. He who says to the tide of human passion, Thus far shalt thou come, but no farther, will find his prohibition as little heeded as did the English monarch, who, erecting his throne upon the brink of the ocean, commanded its tide to be still. All experience demonstrates, that we are led by degrees along the path of life. From the smallest indulgence, the most inveterate habits arise. And when entering upon an untried course, vainly should we attempt to predict the consequences. “ Lead us not into temptation,” is one of the petitions we are directed to prefer to the throne of grace. A petition founded in a perfect knowledge of human nature. Temptation is best avoided by sternly resisting its first advances. And after all, what is the sacrifice which principle and prudence demand ? Nothing that adds to our comfort, that extends our knowledge, that fortifies our principles, or that increases our rational enjoyment. If there be one individual, within these walls, who feels conscious he is yielding to the insidious approaches of this tempter, let me entreat him to pause, while yet he may ;-to resist the enemy, while victory is within his reach. Let him survey the misery around him which this vice has occasioned. Let him look behind him, and ask if there is satisfaction. Let him look before him, and ask if there is hope. He is travelling a road which leads to destruction, and he will soon find himself urged onward by an irresistible impulse, which is at once the evidence and the pun. ishment of his guilt. The apples he plucks are not from the garden of the Hesperides, fair and golden as they appear to him. But they are the fruit of Sodom and Gomorrah-clusters from the Dead Sea, filled with bitterness and sorrow. And let him not seek consolation in the belief that he can relinquish the practice at pleasure, and that he will restrict himself to such a quantity as will gratify without injuring him. He who finds himself in the current of Niagara must labor for life, while life is within his reach, to attain the shore and escape.
Once upon the brink of that fearful chasm, which no human being has passed and lived, swifter than his own fears he is hurried to destruction. And thus it is with those who commit themselves to this fatal current of oblivion. When they embark, the stream is gentle, and resistance easy. By and by the waters are out upon the earth, and they descend with a force and rapidity which mock their hopes and baffle their exertions. And after death—comes the judgment.' (pp. 12–14.)
Among the speakers was Dr. Edwards, who gave the following statement of facts, with a view to show the encouraging change which has been wrought in favor of temperance :
• More than 1,500,000 of our countrymen have ceased to use ardent spirit. Many of them, a few years ago, used it every day, and without a thought that it was improper ; who, by attention to the subject, in view of the facts which have been developed, have come to the fixed and settled conclusion, that it is morally wrong for them to use it, or to furnish it for the use of others ; because it is, in their view, injurious to the body and the soul, both for this life and the life to come. More than 1500 men have ceased to make it. They do not believe it right, even to accumulate property by such an employment. More than 4000 men have ceased to sell it. They will not for money continue to be accessary to the ruin of their fellow men. More than 600 vessels now float on the ocean, that do not carry it ; vessels which visit every clime, and some of which even circumnavigate the globe; and not only without injury, but with a manifest increase of the health, the comfort, and the safety of the men. Without a drop of what was lately thought to be essential to mariners, they can navigate polar seas and torrid zones ; can ride the mountain wave, and outride the storm and the tempest, which would shipwreck a vast portion of all the vessels where the men freely use it.' (p. 16.)
OUR NATIONAL AFFAIRS. The present has been a year of no little anxiety respecting the fate of our national affairs. And while we disclaim all intention of entering into the party politics of the day, which indeed are often carried to an excess that every honest mind and sincere Christian patriot must deprecate, we may be allowed to express our ardent desire for our nation's welfare, for the harmony and unity of its counsels, and for that elevation of character which can result only from rectitude of conduct, from the justice and purity of its laws, and their faithful and impartial administration.
We alluded to the anxiety of the public mind. This has been evinced for some time past. All seemed to feel that a crisis in our history had arrived which might evolve events of fearful consequence to our national prosperity, if not indeed destructive to our national existence. And under the deep and thrilling excitement which these fearful forebodings produced, many a fervent prayer was offered to God that wisdom might preside in our national council when it should assemble, that our executive tribunals might be guided aright in the execution of their high trust, and that our country might be extricated from the difficulties in which it seemed involved, and that the dangers with which we were threatened might be averted. The imprisonment of the missionaries—the decisions of the State and United States' courts on their case—the unsettled state of the Cherokce Indians—the great excitement in the state of South Carolina-all seemed to raise portentous clouds in our political horizon, which threatened us with a destructive storm. To the congress, therefore, which has just adjourned, all looked with trembling expectation ; and, as before stated, many a prayer went up to the God of nations, that He would inspire the hearts and heads of our rulers with wisdom in counsel and firminess of purpose sufficient to meet the crisis with such measures as should avert the threatened danger.
The danger, we humbly trust, is passed. The sun of peace, of union, and reciprocal sentiments of fraternal regard, seems again shining in our political hemisphere. The demon of discord has been defeated in his malevolent attempts against our national prosperity. The two important bills, called the tariff and enforcing bills,
which elicited so much interest and called forth such an array of talent, particularly in the senate of the United States, seem to have been as the olive branch of peace, and to be the means of checking the rising inundation of political strife, war, and bloodshed. We do not pretend to enter into the merits of these measures ; but if they shall be instrumental of hushing to silence the troubled elements, and of lengthening out our happy union, they should be considered as ominous of future contentment, peace, and prosperity ; and surely some little sacrifice of individual interest, and even of state privileges, should be made to secure an end of such high interest and general and lasting good.
To improve this apparent return of general harmony, as we ought, is the grand question. And who can doubt that it is the duty of every citizen to cultivate a general feeling of national concord, to put down, as far as in hint lies, every sentiment of disunion, and to do all in his power to pare off the rough edges of sectional prejudices and prepossessions ? Let the north consider the south, the east the west, and vice versa, as constituting a part of that whole in which every part is equally interested to preserve
inviolate; and that consequently when any part of this whole suffers we all suffer with it.' And in the mean time let us exert ourselves to spread abroad, through all ranks of society, the rulers and the ruled, that religion which breathes naught but 'peace on earth and good will to men ;' then shall God, even our God, dwell among us, and make His face to shine upon us, and bless us with the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth.'
THE PROGRESS OF LIBERAL PRINCIPLES.
With the revolution in England our readers are doubtless familiar. It is stated that in the recent election for members of parliament, four fifths or more are among the advocates of reform principles. This may be considered but the commencement of reform in that country. It is merely a reform in the mode of electing the representatives of the people. The parliament, which has just been chosen under the operation of the reform bill, will doubtless carry their principles into practical operation, and make an effort at effecting a reformation in many important particulars, both in Church and state. The ball of reformation, thus set in motion, may not cease to roll on, until the tithing system is done away, by which the numerous bodies of dissenters will be relieved from the undue pressure of the establishment, and those distinctions annihilated which now keep some orders of the clergy at such an awful distance from others and from th flocks; and perhaps the nobility themselves may yet find that their high privileges are in danger. We hope, however, that there will be sufficient prudence and moderation in the high counsel of the nation to prevent the stream of popular indignation, against civil and ecclesiastical oppression, from swelling into such a torrent as to inundate the country with the wild uproar of confusion and anarchy. The steady progress of religious light, civil liberty, learning, and science in that land of many of our forefathers, seems to be a guarantee for its safety from those sad convulsions to which some other portions of Europe have been doomed. And when we consider how high the tide of civil and religious liberty has risen in that and in our own country, it seems somewhat surprising that in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and in general the south of Europe should still retain the intolerant maxims of the middle ages, allowing popery to revel in all the pride of its haughty superiority over all other religions.
But while this spirit intolerance sports itself in so many parts of Christendom with inflicting pains and penalties upon Protestants and Jews, it is pleasing to behold, even in a Mohammedan country, the opposite spirit exemplifying itself in