GOSPEL TEMPERANCE UNION.
MRS LEAVITT AT DURHAM STREET WESLEYAN CHURCH.
The Wesleyan Church, Durham street, was crowded yesterday evening on the occasion of Mrs Leavitt’s address. The chair was occupied by the Eev J. J. Lewis, and the proceedings were opened in the usual manner with singing, the reading of a portion of Scripture,-and prayer. The Chairman, to show the opinions of John Wesley on the temperance question, quoted his terrible denunciation of the makers and sellers of strong drink: — “ They murder His Majesty’s subjects by wholesale, neither does their eye pity nor spare. They drive them to hell like sheep, and what is their gain ? Is it not the blood of these men ? Who then would envy their large estates, their sumptuous palaces ? A curse is in the midst of them. The curse of God cleaves to the stones, the timber, the furniture of them! The curse of God is in their gardens, their walks, their groves! The fire that burns to the nethermost hell, blood, blood, is there. The -foundation, the floor, the walls, the roof are stained with blood ! And can’st thou hope, oh thou man of blood, though thou art ‘ clothed in silk and fine linen, and farest sumptuously every day,’ can’st thou hope to deliver down thy pools of blood to the third generation? Not so, for there is a God in Heaven, therefore, thy name shall soon be rooted out. Like as those whom thou hast destroyed, body and soul, ‘ thy memorial shall perish with thee!’ ” Mrs Leavitt, in opening her address, said that she had accomplished the object of her mission, by forming a branch of the Women’s Temperance Union in Christchurch. (Applause.) The Union had lost no time in getting to work, for a petition had been prepared, asking the Legislature to abolish the institution of barmaids. She besought those men who were labouring in the temperance cause not to quarrel with the Union on account of its uniform or arms, but to consider it as a reserve force, and she reminded them a reserve very frequently turned the tide of battle. Her subject that evening would be total abstinence versus moderationj and, in dealing with it she wished it to be understood that she had not been aware that it had been discussed by two clergymen in this city. She did not intend, however, to travel over their ground. Every one, even publicans, would admit that drunkenness was an evil thing, even a shameful thing. Publicans would be glad if a man could drink all day without getting drunk, as it would take away a great reproach from their business. Nothing but alcohol would bring on drunkenness, with all its attendant evils, therefore the best thing to do was to keep away from alcohol altogether. Moderate drinking, she cautioned her hearers, had led many a mun to a drunkard’s grave. Considering how the powerful effects of intemperance were passed down from parents to children for generations, who could say that it was quite safe for him to drink even moderately ? Who was there who could say that all his ancestors for two or three generations back had always been strictly temperate ? Therefore, total abstinence was the only course that was safe for all. Even for those who were feeble and in the decline of life total abstinence had been proved to be the best. The clergy of America, very few of whom drank intoxicants, had proved that these were not necessary to support men under stress of brain work, and their influence in fighting the evils of intemperance was immensely greater in consequence of their personal abstinence. The harm done by alcohol to the human system might be very gradual, but it was certain, so it was safer to abstain for the sake of health. Abstinence had never done anyone any harm, though some persons said that it had. What these persons mistook for permanent injury was the exhaustion consequent on leaving off a delusive stimulant. The laws of health imperatively demanded that these stimulants should be avoided, and that a simple diet should be followed—that prescribed' to the Israelites by Moses had been proved even by modern science to be the best. The speaker earnestly exhorted all mothers present to take the pledge for the sake of influencing their children, and to thus effectually protect them from all danger of becoming drunkards. The bit of blue ribbon would be a mark that their influence was on the right side, and no one could tell the amount of influence he or she was exerting. Mrs Leavitt then exhorted her hearers to take the pledge, to join the Union, and to sign the petition against the employment of barmaids. She concluded by thanking, on behalf of the Women’s Temperance Union of America, as well as herself, the authorities of the various churches in which her meetings had been held, the Temperance Committee, the ladies, and other workers, and the choir, whom she complimented highly on their efficiency. After the conclusion of the address, over 30 persons came forward and took the pledge, making a total of 148 who have signed it since the commencement of the mission. The petition against the employment of barmaids was very numerously signed by persons of both sexes. Particulars as to future meetings, &c., appear in an advertisement.
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GOSPEL TEMPERANCE UNION., Lyttelton Times, Volume LXIII, Issue 7552, 16 May 1885
GOSPEL TEMPERANCE UNION. Lyttelton Times, Volume LXIII, Issue 7552, 16 May 1885
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