M R R. COAD’S TEMPERANCE MISSION.
Ihc second meeting of the mission WBfi held on Saturday evening in the (Jity Hall. Mr Glover in tho chair, and with him On the platform were the Rev. Mr dorjf, Ron. Thomas Dick, Messrs A. C. Begg, F. Gr/'.hanS, A, S. Adams, Low, and King. In addressing the meeting, which was not large, Mr Glover said that a large gather* ing could not very well be expected on Saturday evening, as there were many things to occupy the attention of mothers and those who had tho management of the homes. It Was arranged that on Monday Mr Uruntbn’s choir had promised to attend and sing some selections. It was perhaps a mistake to have commenced the mission on Friday, but all would comp right and the work would be in good order to begin the week. On Wednesday afterhoon there would be a woman's meeting in connection with the Women’s C. T. Union, and on Thursday afternoon Mr Goad would conduct a “ holi ness meeting ” in connection with the Salvation Army. The special purpose of the mission was to make people acquainted with tho objects of tho Now Zealand Alliance, which Was to obtain tho enactment of a law to prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquor by the will of the people. Tho Alliance was not a total abstinence society. They did not ask that those who joined it should take a pledge of abstinence from drink. Any person of any profession of any creed or calling might join the Alliance, and never be asked a question as to political or religious opinions. It was difficult to get people to understand that. He, of course, would prefer that all who joined the Alliance were abstainers, for he found that teetotallers were the backbone of the movement; but ho would be glad for any person who approved of the object of the organisation to become one of its members. Thereworemany “drop-drinkers” who were in full sympathy with the movement, but they did not come to the front in the conflict. The support of tho cause came really from those who were thorough-going abstainers. The non-drinkers were always ready to act and vote faithfully; dropdrinkers kept back because they feared that if the vote of the people should secure Prohibition for some districts it would give rise to sly grog-selling, which they thought a worse evil than open sale. That excuse was a fallacy. If the vote of the people were strong enough to destroy the power of the open trade the force of public opinion would be effective in preventing sly grog-selling. What was wanted was proper officers, well supported by public opinion ; that* given, all forma of the traffic would be suppressed. Mr Goad said that if God’s people and the friends of temperance were as earnest in their efforts to drive an enemy out of the country as the Volunteers were in preparing themselves to prevent the arrival of an army which might never come, they would show more interest in the work of the mission. He had seen how devoted the volunteers had that day shown themselves to be in the cause they had in hand ; but here were tho temperance folk, who were engaged in preparation for expelling an enemy already in active operation, and only a few presented themselves. That foe was making at least 200 widows each year, yet how was it attacked ? If the Maoris were killing 200 married men every year would not the volunteers be called out to he up and at them ? Much want of activity arose from tho fact that so many people had such tender hearts but such hard heads. It was a great mistake to cultivate tender hearts and hard heads. Men could not be got to understand the reason of the thing. A mistake had been made in not waiting until Sunday to commence his mission. He onco Commenced a mission at the first meeting of which he learned there was neither sinner nor fuddler; so he told them that none of them should be allowed in the next evening unless they were each accompanied) by a fuddler. He had not come to talk with teetotallers, but to reason with and convert drunkards and dropdrinkers, and to knock down public-houses. He advised teetotallers to get red-hot in tho work, and bring in those who were the victims of drink. He was anxious to speak of a few of the foundation facts of the temperance movement, and ho would quote the words of Paul: “ Take heed to the doctrine.” His first proposition would be : “ That all people, everywhere, at all times, and under all circumstances were better without drink,” He wished that fact to be committed to memory by all, so that when asked why they were abstainers they might give a satisfactory answer. It was the fundamental fact of total abstinence ; men are better without alcoholic drink than with it. He could prove it by thousands of instances. He then told how Christmas Evans, a Welsh preacher, being anxious to do all the good he was able for the people, resolved to take the pledge of total abstinence, and when ho did so thought he had sacrificed a calf; but after four weeks’ experience he discovered and confessed he had only sacrificed a rat. He had got rid of a pest, and was much the better for it. Some held a little drop of brandy in superstitious awe. One good old lady had told him she could not go to sleep if she had not a little drop of brandy in the house in case something should happen. Well, his father and mother had managed to sleep well for many years, and rear eleven children without a drop of brandy, and ho was the better for it. He would bo much more afraid that something would happen because of tho brandy being in tho house. Some people would not risk a sea voyage without a supply of brandy, for fear something should happen ; but it was almost invariably tiie cause of something happening. Dr Guthrie, whom he called one of the best men ever God converted, was at first a drop-drinker. While he and a friend were visiting Ireland, they engaged a man to drive them in bis car to a place they wished to see. It was in a drenching rain, and on coming to a hotel they drew up, and the doctor and his friend went in to “refresh themselves” with something, and on coming out asked the car man what he would have ; and for answer received reply that he had signed the pledge of Father Matthew, and meant to keep it. That set the good doctor thinking, and when pursuing his philanthropic work in the slums of Glasgow be determined, for the good of his work, to give up his little drop, under the impression that he was making a sacrifice, but a few years after he said he was the better for it, for he found himself better in health, he had more joy in his life, more prosperity in his work, and more cash in his pocket. Those were four nice little blessings to follow giving up the little drop of brandy. Most people at least would appreciate the last. All desired to have more cash, but it took a wise person to spend it well. It was the secret of keeping the cash when once earned that was worth knowing, and no drunkard had that secret. His second point was; “ Drunkenness is not produced by the use of any good creature of God, but by the abuse of a bad article manufactured by man.” If none got drunk but the careless and the ignorant, then some might argue that he was wrong. But Noah got drunk ; was he careless or ignorant? He was the honored prophet of God, who was wise enough and strong-minded enough to build tho ark. Was it the wine or the man it made drunk that was God’s good creature ? The priests who served in the sanctuary were neither careless nor ignorant, yet they strayed through wine and strong drink. They were deceived by the drink. Were they, therefore, deceived by a good creature of God ? There were people who keep on saying “ Every creature of God is good, and to be received with thanks.” He remembered a story related of a woman in a heathen temple who was found holding one candle to God and another to the Devil, and when asked why she did that said that she was not sure which she might go to, and so she wished to propitiate both. That was a picture of many who were not heathen. He had once lectured for an hour to prove that drink was a bad thing, and men would be far bettor without it, and when ho sat down the chairman rose and said : “ Well, my friends, after all every creature of God is good and to be received with thanks.” He (Mr Goad) rose and remarked that was a dangerous doctrine. The newspapers that day had informed them that on a certain island the Natives had killed and roasted the Christian missionary, and had eaten him for dinner. He was a good creature of God, and if the chairman would go
and takfl his place ho might be received in the same manner. Indeed, that doctrine might teach a man to eat his grandmother, for some of those dear old creatures are among, the best creatures oi God, Aldoholj no Contended, was no eteature of God. The Creator never made and never will make as much alcohol as would blind a spider’s eye. It was a bad product of bad men, and put to a bad service. In his part of the world they called places where drink was sold “ drink shops ” or “ drunkard factories.’’ He did not think that was miscalling them. Factories were called by the name of tho articles they produced—as boot factories, jam factories, hat factories, etc. Why not call drink shops drunkard factories, for it was in them that drunkards were made? But here they were called refreshment rooms. Oh, the sham 1 They were all excitement about the opening of the Exhibition, and yet it Was going to be turned into a drunkard factory, as if there were not enough of those places already in the City, Shakespeare had soliloquised alcohol in these words: — 0, thou invisible spirit of wine— If I have no other name to call thee by, I will call thee Devil I And they were going to open the Exhibition to sell the Devil. And when the people begin to visit the place the bishops and the parsons will pray “ God bless our visitors”; and then, when they enter the great object of attraction, they will be asked to buy what Dr Richardson called the Devil in solution ! His third proposition was: “It is unwise and wicked for the Government to encourage or license any trade, profession, or calling that curses the people more than it blesses them.” If a brewer had a dog that bit more boys than the number of rats it killed, he would kill the dog because it did not serve the end for which he kept it. Hence, as tho drink trade does more evil than good, they wanted a local option law to enable the people to destroy it. Tho brewers’ trade cursed the people more than it blessed them; therefore it should be killed. He hoped it would not be said he advocated killing the brewers. Oh, no ; their day of reckoning was coming. That might be left in more righteous hands. He only advocated shutting up their business. Hotelkeepers were called licensed victuallers. It reminded him of the spider when he caught a fly. He was a victualler, and enjoyed his victuals, but the poor fly paid for it with his life. The whole business was surrounded by sham. Hotels should in his opinion be called licensed poison shops, but that was vulgar, and they must be polite, and call them refreshment rooms, and their keepers licensed victuallers ; but the liquor traffic was not necessary to the legitimate business of public houses. Some of the best public houses in the Southern Hemisphere wfere hot connected with the drink trade. In dealing with the objection that the suppression of the liquor trade was an interference with the liberty of the subject, the lecturer became very caustic in his style, and treated Lord Salisbury to some severe remarks for having said that the “ principles of the local option movement were contrary to the elementary principles of liberty.” If a man were on an island alone, he would be at liberty to do as he pleased, but the moment another man landed on the island his liberty was circumscribed. In the one case there was the full liberty of nature, in the other there was the less full liberty of social conditions. So long as men were associated with each other they must be subject to the claims, comforts, and peace of their neighbors. Local option was the very essence of social liberty; it gave the larger number power to prevent the smaller infringing their liberty. The licensing of the drink traffic was a tyranny of a few over the many, and a direct interference with liberty. To establish a hotel next to a man’s home was to plant a trap for his life, and to place a ban on his peace, which he had a right to oppose. In delivering his address Mr Goad frequently produced some fine specimens of unpolished eloquence, related thrilling and pure anecdotes, and without effort kept his audience not only in continual interest, but fascinated with his utterances.
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MR R. COAD’S TEMPERANCE MISSION., Evening Star, Issue 8049, 28 October 1889
MR R. COAD’S TEMPERANCE MISSION. Evening Star, Issue 8049, 28 October 1889
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