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the work of such a one, and the details are entered into in promiscuous assemblies without he least reservation.
The author before mentioned says :—
“ The common feeling on the subject has been declared false delicacy; and, in order to break ground against its sway, females have been forced into the van of this enterprize; and persuaded to act as agents, not only among their own sex, but in circumstances where they must necessarily agitate the subject with men,— not wives with husbands, which would be bad enough, but young and single women with young and single men! And we have been credibly informed, that attempts have been made to form associations among wives to regulate the privileges, and to attain the end of temperance, in the conjugal relation. The next step, of course, will be tee-totalism in this particular; and, as a consequence, the extinction of the human race, unless peradventure the failure of the main enterprize of the Moral Reform So
ciety should keep it up by a progeny not to be honoured.” *
Let it be remembered, that this is not a statement of my own; but it is an American who makes the assertion, which I could prove to be true, might I publish what I must not.
From the infirmity of our natures, and our proneness to evil, there is nothing so corrupting as the statistics of vice. Can young females remain pure in their ideas, who read with indifference details of the grossest nature P Can the youth of a nation remain uncontaminated who are continually poring over pages describing sensuality, and will they not, in their desire of “ something new,” as the prophet says, run into the very vices of the existence of which they were before unconscious? It is this dangerous running into extremes which has occasioned so many of these societies to have been productive of much evil. A Boston editor re
moral and benevolent reforms of the day to run into fanaticism, threatens to destroy the really beneficial effects of all associations for these objects. The spirit of propagandism, when it becomes over zealous, is next of kin to the Spirit of persecution. The benevolent associations of the day are on the brink of a danger that will be fatal to their further usefulness if not checked.”
Of the Abolition Society and its tendency, I have already spoken in the chapter on slavery. I must not, however, pass over another which at present is rapidly extending its sway over the whole Union, and it is difiicult to say whether it does most harm or most good—I refer to the Temperance Society.
The Rev. Mr. Reid says—
“ In the short space of its existence upwards of seven thousand Temperance Societies have been formed, embracing more than one million two hundred and fifty thousand members. More
than three thousand distilleries have been stop
ped, and more than seven thousand persons who dealt in spirits have declined the trade. Upwards of one thousand vessels have abandoned their use. And, most marvellous of all! it is said that above ten thousand drunkards have been reclaimed from intoxication ;” and he adds, “ I really know of no one circumstance in the history of this people, or of any people, so exhilirating as this. It discovers that power of selfgovernment, which is the leading element of all national greatness, in an unexampled degree.” Now here is a remarkable instance of a traveller taking for granted that-what is reported to him is the truth. The worthy clergyman, himself evidently without guile, fully believed a statement which was absurd, from the simple fact that only one side of the balance sheet had been presented.
That 7,000 Temperance Societies have been formed is true. That 3,000 distilleries have stopped from principle may also be true; but
the Temperance Society Reports take no notice of the many which have been set up in their stead by those who felt no compunction at selling spirits. Equally true it may be that 7,000 dealers in spirits have ceased to sell them; but, if they have declined the trade, others have taken it up. That the crews of many vessels have abandoned the use of spirituous liquors is also the fact, and that is the greatest benefit which has resulted from the efforts of the Temperance Society; but I believe the number to be greatly magnified. That 10,000 drunkards have been reclaimed—that is, that they have signed papers and taken the oath—may be true; but how many have fallen away from their good resolutions, and become more intemperate than before, is not recorded; nor how many who, previously careless of liquor, have, out of pure opposition, and in defiance of the Society, actually become drunkards, is also unknown. In this Society, as in the Abolition. Society, they have canvassed for legislative enactments, and