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previous case, but they leave a far more permanent impression. And why? Principally because the erection of a work of art, like St. Peter's or St. Paul's, has cost an incalculable amount of labour to human creatures like ourselves; we view it as a triumph of the genius, devotedness, and industry of our race; and while we admire the glory and the beauty that hovers round its every part, still our more pervading feeling is, wonder at the fertile and persevering energy that produced it. But such a feeling mingles only feebly with our contemplation of God's starred and gorgeous heaven. The habitual knowledge and persuasion of his infinitude and omnipotence, from the very astonishment that they excite to. wards those attributes, diminish the astonishment at what those attributes may evolve into material tangibilities. These hasty hints will show you why art and Artists have had such a prodigious influence on literary effort and developement.
All, or nearly all, of what has just been said on the literary influence of art, is applicable to its popular influence. On the popular mind, as on the literary mind, the Artist operates, by contributing his sum of action to the general sum of social activities; by diffusing and elevating the ideal, in its moral, its mental, and its material possibilities; by invigorating and inspiring thought, through furnishing fresh and varied objects to the sense and the mind. His power to gladden, to refine, to bless, since he became free, individual, and independent, is seen in the history of every modern people; and it will be still more clearly seen, when history is written, not to do homage to the prejudices, or to second the interests of sects and parties in their miserable prides and miserable contentions, but written to glorify the victories of freedom, to treasure up immortal truths, and to aid the culture of mankind.
The taste for art, and the reverence for Artists, in England, is evidently increasing, but increasing too slowly to satisfy the desire of the philanthropist. One of the unhappiest effects of the Reformation, was the pharisaical dislike which it encouraged towards the ornamental in connection with religion. This disastrous effect fell more crushingly on our own country than on any other; and
it will be long, long indeed, before its traces are effaced. Not till some system of National Education is adopted, will art be truly felt, and Artists truly honoured amongst
When drawing is regularly and scientifically taught to the young in all instructional institutions, painting, sculpture, and architecture, instead of being, as now, the exclusive possession of the wealthy few, will be the pleasure of the unwealthy many. Is not this an additional inducement to all those which I am incessantly pressing on your attention, why you should labour by all means in your power for the supply of that great national want, which can be much farther trifled with only at the peril of national peace?
POPULAR OBJECTIONS TO TOTAL ABSTINENCE.
No. III. TOTAL ABSTINENCE is easily defined. Moderation cannot be defined; its line is varying and uncertain: it has been justly remarked, that it lies somewhere betwixt a glass and a barrel, but no one can say exactly where. The rule of moderation is vague; it is left for every man to interpret the rule for himself, and that very often at a time when, in consequence of excitement from liquor previously taken, he is scarcely in a state to form a wise judgment: the rule is vague, varying, undefinable, and most liable to abuse. But Abstinence is its own definition, it is easily understood, a child can comprehend it, and it never varies. It is simple, clear, and always consistent with itself.
In the next place, Abstinence is more practicable than Moderation. Many persons who have tried both plans, give it as their testimony, that while they have failed in their attempts at Moderation, they have succeeded in Total Abstinence. Whilst tampering with intoxicating liquor, they were constantly incurring and inciting the temptation to excess; whilst they entirely refrained, the desire for drink was less urgent, and the self-command was perfect. Dr. Johnson being once asked, why be refused taking wine, replied to Mrs. H. Moore, that he found Abstinence easier than Moderation; and what was his experience is the experience of thousands. It is
acknowledged, I believe, on all hands, that Abstinence is the only plan of reformation for a confirmed drunkard; it is his best—his only cure. We have, we trust, already shown that it is the most safe and practicable path for the sober man.
It seems, then, to be at once the best preventive of drunkenness, as well as its best cure. And it is on these grounds that we advocate the principles of Total Abstinence.
Some have objected, that the signing the pledge of Abstinence, deprives a man of his liberty; that he is not free like other men, who may either take or refrain as they choose; that, in one word, a Total Abstainer is a slave to his pledge.
According to this reasoning, every man who makes a good resolution and will not break it, is a slave. The man who resolves to pay his debts, a slave to bonesty; and he who will not tell a falsehood, is a slave to truth. But if to feel bound by moral principle, is slavery, then I would the sooner all men become slaves the better. But, it is easy to see on which side the slavery is. The prevailing drinking customs of our country, are most enslaving; and the only chance of emancipation, is a decided and uncompromising opposition, in precept and in practice, to those customs, by carrying out the principle of Total Abstinence in the ordinary intercourse of life. Custom enforces intoxicating drinks at christenings, bargainings, payments, footings, friendly calls, at marriages and funerals—indeed, we may say, on every occasion of business or of pleasure, of joy or of sorrow.
Now, I ask, have not thousands been led to drink on such occasions, against their inclinations, for custom's sake, who have afterwards died the victims of intemperance? Have these enjoyed freedom? Have they not lived in bondage, and have they not visited that bondage on others, and perished in it? Yes, they boasted their freedom, and said “ we will never be the slaves of a pledge, we will please ourselves, we will have freedom.” These very individuals are the slaves of custom, and are thence led (alas! how often) to become slaves to the bottle, slaves to the landlord, slaves to the shopkeeper, slaves to the pawnbroker, slaves to the lawyer, slaves to the bailiff, slaves to the jailer, slaves to Van Diemen's Land, or slaves to the public executioner. But, in Total Abstinence there is freedom from all this degrading bondage. You who abstain, are not the slaves of custom. You are free, you will not yield to the tyranny of fashion. You are urged to drink, you are told you must drink, and there must be no denial. But no sooner do you proclaim yourself a Total Abstainer, than the charter of your freedom is at once acknowledged, and the contest with your liberty is honourably given up. You have, of your free will, formed a resolution, that for your own good, and by way of example for the good of others, you will no longer submit to the tyranny of drinking customs; you proclaim your determination of freedom from the use of all intoxicating liquors as a beverage; and where can there, justly speaking, be any slavery in your thus forming a deliberate resolution, and carrying it into practice?
But some object, “ You begin at the wrong end; why not labour for the attainment of political or of religious reform, instead of advocating the principle and practice of Total Abstinence?” We acknowledge there are many other serious evils in society that require rectifying, besides intemperance, but it is most clear to our minds, that those other evils never can be effectually cured with a drunken population. If you would have a righteous and good government, you must have a sober people. If you would have a corrupt government, corrupt the people; if you would corrupt the people, appeal to their appetites, gratify their desire for strong drink, and your end is se
And the same means that make them corrupt in the first instance, will keep them so; and while they are in this state, it is vain to talk of rendering them any permanent service by any legislation whatever. In the present day, the means of political and social improvement, is an enlightened public sentiment, it is the moral power of the people; but, I ask, what enlightened public sentiment, what moral power can a people have, who are the slaves of a degrading, demoralising appetite? How many are kept in ignorance and crime by strong drink? And how many will act against principle, to gratify this debasing lust for drink? For it, they will sell their rights, and the rights of their country. It has power to destroy the good effects of benevolent and philanthropic institutions. How many youths, as they have issued from our Sunday and day-schools, have by it, before they have entered on the period of manhood, been morally ruined, and thus unfitted for the virtuous discharge of the duties of citizenship? Amongst such, every social evil is likely to flourish unrestrained; the soil and atmosphere are congenial to whatever is noxious. On the other hand, sobriety is unfavourable to corruption. Social evils, whatever their magnitude and strength, would not be able long to withstand the resistance of the English people, in the calm and resolute exercise of all their moral power. Let them become a perfectly sober people, they will be a clearheaded, reflecting people; make them reflecting, and they will feel and act upon the solemn claims of virtue and religion. And were they thus elevated in morals, what is the social grievance, what the selfish legislation, that could withstand their virtuous and enlightened condemnation? Thus, then, the foundation of our national improvement, must be the virtue of our people; but their virtue cannot be established, except on the basis of sobriety; and the true and safe ground of sobriety, is entire abstinence from that which produces intoxication; so that we trust it is evident to all, that as the benefactors of their country, the Teetotalers are commencing the great work of national improvement, where alone it can be wisely and effectually begun.
A DISCOURSE ON OCCASION OF THE EXISTING
“ Be patient, therefore, brethren.” The sentiments of this address are intended to be appropriate to the present times.
And, alas, what times they are! when so many men are ruined by no fault of their own; when so many old men are losing that property which it has taken their lives to accumulate, and on which they have trusted, perhaps, to live in peace still their end should come;" when such numbers of our fellow-men are reluctant beggars, instead of being the happy workmen they once were; and when there is scarcely an individual amongst