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Experiences of a Backwoods Preacher
Chapter XII. Fighting the Dragon

IN the lonely Isle of Patmos the aged servant of God saw a great wonder, as, by prophetic vision, he scanned the future of the cause of Christ. Looking through the vista of the coming ages he saw a great red dragon work its way into heaven, or into the ecclesiastical organization called the Church.

The dragon was a fabulous monster of antiquity. He was the symbol of heathen superstition and idolatry. He was the embodiment of cunning, craft and cruelty. His existence was fabulous, so was the good that he was supposed to give to his deluded votaries; but the harm that he did was fact. So that in connection with the old-time dragon we have two fables and one fact.

But the old seer looked on down the declivities of time until he saw the dragon cast out of the ecclesiastical world, and thrown among the politicians to be dealt with as his deserts demanded.- Before taking his leave, he transferred his power to a seven-headed and ten-horned beast, and left it to work mischief and disaster to the Church, while he transformed himself into another shape and went into the world to work out the destruction of millions by a new process.

Of this modern dragon it may be said that his existence is a fact, and the harm that he does is another fact; but the good that he promises is only a fable. So that in his case we find two very ugly facts and one very delusive fable.

With the old-time dragon we have, at present, nothing more to do ; but of his modern prototype much more could be said than our space will allow at present. But though our remarks must be limited, we will say a few things about it.

No sooner had the dragon found himself floating down the stream of time than, like 'Milton’s devil on the burning sea, he began to look around for allies and agencies. At last he managed to get among the politicians of the time of Queen Elizabeth, and obtained a monopoly of the liquor traffic, in the shape of a license granted to the Duke of Essex, giving him the exclusive right to sell wines to the thirsty thousands of Old England. Since then we can trace his slimy trail through thirty decades of British legislation.

In some respects the liquor traffic and the slave trade are alike. They are alike in this—they bring men into bondage. The slave of drink is as really a bondman as any Southern negro ever was. The difference in this case is, the one is in involuntary servitude, the other is a consenting party to his own captivity. The one is enslaved by force, the other is captivated by fascination. The one is held by the strong grip of a lion, the other is charmed by the wily influence of the serpent. Now. if you break the lion’s jaw you liberate the one, and if you kill the serpent you save the other.

Slavery and the liquor traffic are alike in that they subordinate the interest of the many to the gratification of the few.

A hundred slaves had to suffer the lash, and toil and sweat, and live like pigs, and die like dogs, in order that one man might live in ease and idleness. A hundred families must suffer want and abuse, and starvation and disgrace, in order that the liquor-seller may drive fast horses and sport himself in every way he likes, and that his wife and children may get themselves into the boots and shoes, and hats and bonnets, and dresses and shawls that ought to be on the wives and children of his dupes. The slave trade pressed most heavily on those who had nothing to do in upholding it. The negro and his family were the sufferers. But they had no share in the profits of the trade.

The wife and children of the drunkard are the greatest sufferers from the liquor traffic. But the makers and sellers of the poisonous compounds get the money, while these get for their share the rags, the hunger, the cold, the kicks, the bruises, the disgrace, and death that are the inevitable outcome of a business that has resting on it the condemnations of heaven and the maledictions of all right-thinking men and women, both young and old.

There is nothing in my past life that gives me greater pleasure than the fact that many years ago, when I was a young man I commenced war with the dragon, and for forty-five years I have been in the conflict, with voice and pen, and by practice and precept have been a total abstainer and Prohibitionist.

When I got married I was president of a temperance organization. I have been associated with every kind of temperance society that has existed in this country. I am among the oldest temperance workers, and in the neighbourhood where I lived at the time I was among the first to take a decided stand on the side of total abstinence.

Jacob Kerr, John Sidy, Robert Miller and myself entered into a compact that we would not tolerate the use of liquor by going to a bee where it was. Soon others joined with us. In about two years from this the use of strong drink at bees was discontinued in that locality.

My work as a temperance speaker has mostly been in the back country. Four out of six counties with which I have been connected with the cause, either in its incipient or advanced stages, have now the Canada Temperance Act in force, viz., Bruce, Huron, Wellington and Dufferin, and I hope that Perth and Grey will soon fall into line. Then all the field of my efforts as a temperance lecturer will be under prohibition. And it must be remembered that it used to cost more in every way to be an advocate of total abstinence and prohibition than it does now. Then the cause was unpopular, and the question new as compared with the present. A man required considerable nerve to stand up in an audience and advocate an unpopular subject, when nine-tenths of his hearers were in sympathy with the opposite side of the question.

I can easily remember when it was very difficult to get a minister of the Gospel to stand on the platform and advocate the claims of temperance. They were either not in favour of the movement, or they were afraid to speak out on the subject. The charge of political interference was a bugbear to many, and the fear of the loss of influence was a terror to others.

There were two classes of men that could and did stand by the cause. These were the obscure men, who had but little reputation to forfeit, and the men of means of their own, who could get along without the people’s money if they had to do it. But this latter class was very small.

Of the former class there were more. And they did the best they could, and success has crowned their efforts. But many of the popular men gave the cause of temperance “a good letting alone” until the cause itself became popular. And another difficulty was that the question was a new one, so that there had not been much light thrown on it by the great luminaries of the world of thought.

To find argument that could stand the adverse criticisms to which every word and sentence of our utterances were subjected was no easy matter. Now, since the greatest minds of the world have fully canvassed the subject in all its aspects and given us their conclusions and the reasons for them, it is an easy matter to find something to say on temperance. Almost anyone can be a lecturer at the present time. But it was not so forty or fifty years ago.

I will now give an account of some of my experiences in fighting the dragon.

Fearful School Trustees.

In the county of Perth, on the line between Wallace and Elma, and some few miles north of Listowel, is a little village called Molesworth. I am thus particular in pointing out the place because there used to be a very careful and cautious Board of School Trustees living and having authority there.

When I went to Listowel as a missionary, twenty-eight years ago, the country was new, having been very recently settled. But it was not too new to have a good, live lodge of Good Templars in Listowel. I at once joined them and became one of the active workers in the cause.

A .young man by the name of Winters, who lived near Molesworth, asked me to go and give a lecture on temperance, in the schoolhouse. To this I consented, and the arrangements were made for a meeting on a certain night.

At the appointed time I and four or five others from Listowel rode out to the place on horseback. When we came to the spot, we found a lot of men sitting on logs around the schoolhouse, which was in the bush. We tied our horses to some saplings, and joined the company, but the door was locked.

On enquiry being made as to why the door had not been opened, it came out that the leading trustee, who held the key, had some very strong objections to allowing a temperance meeting to be held in the school-house. Another trustee was among the men present. He demurred a little at what he called the doggedness of his brother in office.

He asked what kind of a meeting we intended to hold. I explained in a few words what was the routine of a temperance meeting. While we were talking, the man who held the key came up. On being told who I was, he turned to me and said: “Sir, you are a stranger here. We don’t know anything about you. You may be a good man or you may not. We can’t tell. But before I open the door, I want a guarantee from you that no injury will be done to the house.”

I said to him: “Sir, I am a stranger, as you say. I don’t know anything about the people around here. They may be all right and they may not. I shall give no guarantee for them. But for myself and those who came with me I will promise that we will not harm the house while we are in it, nor carry anything away from it when we leave it. That is as far as I can go.”

By this time between thirty and forty men were there. The door was opened, and we held the first temperance meeting ever held at Molesworth. An effort was soon after made to organize a Good Templars’ Lodge. But in canvassing for names the committee met at one house a minister who was visiting among the people. On learning what it was they were trying to do, he advised them to give it up, giving as his reason that the whole thing was only a

“Yankee humbug.” One remarkable thing about the meeting at Molesworth was the fact that not a single woman or girl was present. On my mentioning it, the chairman said they did not know that it was a suitable place for women.

An Ex-Reeve in Trouble.

When I went to Meaford the first time, I had only been there a week when I was called on by a Presbyterian elder, who asked me which side I was on in the temperance question.

I told him that I was a practical total abstainer and a thorough Prohibitionist.

“Well,” said he, “you are a man after my own heart. I want you to go with me to-morrow to a convention of the temperance men of this township. We are just now on the eve of voting on the Dunkin Bill in St. Vincent, and we shall be pleased to have your help.”

We went to the convention, which was held in a grove on the ninth line of St. Vincent. There were four or five ministers there, and a large number of people. The contest was exciting a good deal of attention.

There was a man there who had been the reeve of the township for a number of years, but he had been run out that year. He was at the meeting, and after the ministers had spoken and most of them had left the ground, he came forward to represent the “antis.” He was a good speaker and a shrewd, sharp man. He made a very severe attack upon all ministers who took an active part in the contest against the traffic. He accused them of meddling with politics, and compared them to incendiaries going about with torches in their hands to destroy their neighbours’ property, and other things that he said was not at all complimentary to the clergy.

When he got through with his speech he left the stand, picked up his hat and was about to leave the ground. I called to him and said: “See here, Mr. —, I have something to say about you, and I would be pleased if you would stop and hear it.”

“All right,” he said. “Now, I suppose we will have some more torchlight.”

“Yes, sir,” I answered. “And sparks, too. If you don’t want the sparks to get into your eyes, you must put your goggles on. Then everything will look as verdant to you as your arguments do to me.”

I took up his statements item by item, as we used to say at Conference. He stood it for awhile. Then he and his chums got up and left the ground. I did not call after them, but I felt like it. If I had done so I should have said something like this:

How the .sparks fly here and yonder,
Lighting where the dust lies thickest,
Making rummies stop and wonder,
Then, try who can “git” the quickest.

The chairman was a good honest Quaker, Hiram Bond.

A blind girl, Lizzie Stephenson, did good service by singing a number of pieces. She was the daughter of a hotelkeeper and the sister of another.

As we were sroincc home. William Carnahan, the man that I went with, said: “I am glad that Greer found his match. He is a hard man to cope with, and most people are afraid of him.”

“Well,” I said, “I am not a very good hand to be afraid of men. But, after all, there is something about that man I like. He is no sneak. I like a man that has the courage of his convictions, whether he agrees with me or not.”

The Same Man Again.

Some years after the convention above mentioned, there was one held in the town of Meaford. This time the condition of things was wonderfully changed from what they were at the meeting on the ninth line.

The representative of the “antis” at that gathering was the chairman at this. Now, it would not be fair to Mr. Greer to leave the impression that he had become an advocate of prohibition. This he had not done, and, so far as I know, he has never come to that; but he had become so far reconciled to temperance men and their work that he would consent to preside at one of their meetings—and no better chairman of a public meeting was to be found in that community.

There were people there from all directions and of every class of persons. Hotel men and shopkeepers were there, as well as farmers, merchants, mechanics and professionals. At that meeting I ventured to hint at the plan of compensation, as the safest and surest means of abolishing the traffic. When I spoke of that, one of the hotel men in the crowd called out and said,

“If you temperance men will start on that line, you will at once have three-fourths of hotelkeepers with you, and the other fourth would only be the scum of the trade, and would not be worth any consideration in the matter.”

Nothing that I heard since then has changed my mind in regard to the inherent justice of compensation, yet what I have seen has convinced me of its impracticability. From the actions of many of the men in the traffic, I have come to the conclusion that if the trade was bought out to-morrow, on a promise not to engage in selling liquor any more, not one in five would keep that promise. I am sorry that the course of action, adopted by the opposers of prohibition, has driven me and others to the decision that nothing but force will successfully cope with this abomination of the nineteenth century, as we have it in this country.

They Wanted Only Logic.

There was a time in this Province, before Confederation, when the municipal council might refuse to license any place to sell liquor of any kind. Then, if people wanted prohibition, they could only get it by electing men to the council board who were in favour of it. The township of Wallace was the scene of a contest of this sort when I was in Listowel. The temperance party resolved to test the matter, and try to elect a majority of good, reliable men who would close up the sale of liquor in the township.

I was invited to lecture on temperance in a school-house, where a large majority of the people were adherents of the Church of England, and nearly all opposed to the temperance movement. When I went to the place I found a house full of very respeetable-looking people, who were waiting for me. We opened the meeting in the usual way, and then a chairman was called for. After considerable delay we got one. In a few opening remarks he said: “I don’t know much about temperance, but I believe this man is hero to tell why we ought to work for old James Bolton and other temperance men.” Then he turned to me and said: “Now, mister, we will listen to what you have to say. We want no cant or sentimentalism; we want logic.”

On rising up I said: “I am glad, sir, that you want logic. Yourself and your audience look as though you could appreciate sound reasoning, and I hope you and they have sullieient candour to receive an argument even though it does come from a stranger. I shall not appeal to you as Christians, for that might be construed into the cant that you deprecate; neither will I address you in the name of Methodism, for that to many of you would only be another word for fanaticism, but on the broad ground of patriotism I shall base my remarks. Now, I want you to agree or disagree with my first proposition, which is this: ‘ That which tends to the production of pauperism, crime and misery should be discountenanced by every good citizen. "Will you endorse that?” I said.

After a moment he said: “Yes, that is a true statement of fact, whatever conclusion it may lead to.”

“I am glad,” said I, “that we have common ground to stand on at the start, for if we agree at first I think we shall not differ at the last. Now my next statement is this: The drinking usages of society tend to the production of pauperism, crime and misery. They tend to pauperism by wasting our resources; by misdirecting the course of trade; by enervating labouring men; by wasting time in tippling and drunkenness; by using the means of satisfying hunger to make whiskey; and by needless destruction of property in many ways. They tend to crime by exciting the bad passions, under the influence of which crime is committed; and by weakening the moral sensibilities by which crime is prevented. Thus they strengthen the downward tendency, and at the same time they break down the barriers of resistance, so that by a double process they send men to the penitentiary, to the gallows and perdition. "Will you endorse that statement"  I asked him.

“Well, I don’t see how to do anything else, unless I am to deny or ignore facts, and I am not disposed to do either,” was his answer to my question.

“I am very much pleased,” said I, “that I have to do with an honest, intelligent chairman, and a logical audience. Now that we are agreed on the two main propositions, the conclusion follows as a matter of course—so that as good citizens we are bound to discountenance the drinking usages of society.”

“Well,” said the chairman, “I never thought that temperance men had such good ground to stand on in their opposition to the traffic.”

“That is because you have never investigated the subject,” I said.

“I wish that you would give that address in every school section in the township,” said he.

“Well, so far as that is concerned,” I said, “you need have no fears. The Rev. Mr. Luke is looking after a part of the township. I am doing what I can. A minister of your own Church will visit some of the sections; and Mr. J. J. Linton, of Stratford, has sent an armful of his papers, called the ‘Prohibitionist,’ into the township. We intend to prevent the sale of ‘dragon juice’ in Wallace next year, if it is possible to do so.”

I shall close this chapter by giving some extracts from a report of a mass meeting, in the town of Kincardine, the first year of my residence there. It is taken from the Bruce Reporter, of Feb. 8th, 1877.

“Mass Meeting!

“Temperance men to the front. Facts and figures in favour of prohibition. The pulpit on the attack.

“A mass meeting of the Congregational Alliance, on Monday evening, was largely attended. The meeting was opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Anderson. The chair was occupied by Mr. Ira J. Fisher, who, after stating the object sought by the Congregational Temperance Alliance, called upon the Rev. J. H. Hilts to move the first resolution—which reads as follows :—

“Resolved,—‘That the liquor traffic, as hitherto carried on in this and in other countries, has been extensively a source of misery, crime, and every form of degradation, calling aloud for all that can be done by the voice of a strong public opinion, and by wise legislation to regulate and restrain it.’

“Mr. Hilts said that he was coming down from his usual platform to-night. If it had been to prohibit or blot out, instead of regulate and restrain, it would have been better. But as it was, he was proud to defend the temperance cause even on the low level on which it was put.

He was the unrelenting enemy of the liquor traffic —not of the men who deal in it—on account of the number he had seen ruined by it. Sound philosophy would require the abolition of everything that does more harm than good. The best State policy would enjoin the discontinuance of any and every institution that impoverishes and demoralizes the subject. True philanthrophy would lay a firm, though kindly hand, on every class of actions that can result in nothing else than human misery.

“Genuine religion, speaking in the name of God and humanity, would utter its solemn protest against everything that tends to nothing better than to make man more wicked.

“We are persuaded that the liquor traffic is the enemy of sound philosophy, of true State policy, of individual happiness and of religion. The whiskey traffic involves a waste of means, and hence it tends to poverty. The amount of grain made use of in 1873 was 1,733,164 bushels. The excise duties and customs in 1873 were 84,762,278. This only indicates the manufacture and importation, not touching the cost of license ‘to sell.’ This waste is on the increase, for in 1873, eighteen distilleries made 5,547,002 gallons of spirits. But, in 1875, twelve distilleries made 08,002 gallons more than that amount. Thus, it seems, that while temperance men congratulate the country on the reduction of distilleries, the traffic is really strengthening its position by reducing the number of salient points; while it is throwing all its influence and concentrating all its forces into a few mammoth corporations. Hence, while the necessity for defensive stratagem is made less, the power for agressive warfare is increased.....

“The amount of spirituous liquors made in 1875, was 5,015,740 gallons, and the malt liquors made in the same year was 11,584,220. Now, if we allow that one quart of this whiskey or one gallon of this beer would keep a man drunk for a day, then the whole amount would keep 120,000 hors de combat for a whole twelve months.....These men at $1.00 per day would be worth $30,811,200.

“In 1874 a committee was appointed by the Senate of the Dominion, to enquire into the propriety of a prohibitory liquor law which was asked for by some 500,000 of the people of the Dominion. I shall give some extracts from the report of that committee. ‘Your committee regard the vast and increasing number of petitions, and the unanimity in the statements and prayer of the several petitions, as indicating the immense and pressing importance of the subject to which they call the attention of the Senate; and the profound and widespread feeling of the need of such legislation as shall at once check and eventually extirpate from our land the vice of intemperance which has so long been and still is a prolific source of crime, misery, disease and death, and a blight upon the fair prospects of our young Dominion.’

“The petitioners further state that ‘the traffic in intoxicating liquors is shown by the most careful inquiries to be the cause of probably not less than three-fourths of the pauperism, immorality and crime found in this country.’ The evidence gathered by a committee of the House of Commons last year is strongly in corroboration of this assertion. It will be observed here that the committee seems to sanction the statement of the petitioners.

“Men in official positions agree that intemperance increases crime. The recorder of Montreal says that, speaking for himself and associates, ‘All are of opinion with me that, apart from the violations of statutory law and the by-law of the city, every case tried before the court, with a very few, if indeed, any exceptions, arises out of intemperance. The clerk of the court is of opinion that the proportion of the cases which owe their origin to intemperance is at least three-fourths. His first assistant sets the same proportion at seven-eights, and his second assistant at nine-tenths. My own opinion corresponds with the latter.’

“He continues: ‘The records of criminal courts in all countries, and the dying declarations of the great majority of criminals who have suffered the extreme penalty of the law, all clearly establish the fact that nearly all the crimes committed, especially those of greater magnitude, would never have been conceived in the first place, or afterwards have been carried out to perpetration by the offenders but for the baneful effects of intoxicating drinks. Licensing the sale of intoxicating drinks as beverage cannot, therefore, be regarded otherwise than as productive of crime.’

“T. W. Penton, in 1873 the Chief of Police in Montreal, says: ‘Mostly all offences are due, either directly or indirectly, to intemperance.’

“Mr. Prince, the Chief of the Toronto Police Force, gives the number of arrests in 1873 for drunkenness and disorderly conduct at 2,952.

“The Chief of Police at Ottawa, Thomas Sangrell, says: ‘ The number of persons confined in the Police Station in 1871 was 722; of these 591 were intemperate. In 1872 the number was 724; of these 631 were intemperate. In 1873 the number was 93(5; of these 621 were intemperate.’

“L. A. Yoyce, Mayor of Quebec, says ‘that in 1871 the number of arrests for drunkenness was 1,217, and in 1872 it was 889, and in 1873 it was 976.’

“James Cahill, the Police Magistrate of Hamilton, says: ‘The number of arrests in that city for crimes connected with the liquor traffic in 1871, was 659; in 1872, 868; in 1873, 881.’

“Nor is the bad effects of the use of intoxicating drinks in any way confined, but in all communities it is the same. Lord Hamilton, in the British House of Commons, speaking on the Permissive Liquor Bill, says: ‘We have the testimony of the Home Secretary, who acknowledges the evils, and admits that our judges, magistrates, governors of gaols, inspectors of police and every one acquainted with administration of law, concur in the opinion that the greater part of the crime in the land is to be attributed to the curse of intemperance.

“Lord Shaftesbury says: ‘Is there any one in the least degree conversant with the state of your alleys, dwellings and various localities, who will deny this great truth which all experience confirms; for if you go into these fearful places, you see there the causes of moral mischief, and I do verily believe that seven-tenths of it are attributable to that which is the greatest curse of the country—habits of drinking and systems of intoxication.’

“The Inspector of Prisons in Belgium says: ‘My experience extends over a quarter of a century, and I can emphatically declare that four-fifths of the crime and misery with which in my public and private capacity I have come in contact, has been the result of drink.’

“Mr. Quitelet says: ‘Of 1,129 murders in France, during the space of four years, 440 have been in consequence of quarrels and contentions in taverns, which would tend to show the fatal influence of the use of strong drink.’

“Mr. Hill says: ‘Every one acquainted with our criminal courts must see the truth of what our judges state day by day and year by year, that by far the greatest number of all offences have their origin in the love of drink.’

“On this head I give the following declarations from the most intelligent and able judges of the English courts:

“Judge Coleridge: ‘There is scarcely a crime that comes before me that is not directly or indirectly caused by strong drink.’

“Judge Gurney says: ‘Every crime has its origin more or less in drunkenness.’

“Judge Patterson: ‘If it were not for the drinking, the jury and I would have nothing to do.’

“Judge Alderson says: ‘Drunkenness is the most fertile source of crime, and if it could be removed the assizes of the country would be rendered mere nullities.’

“Judge Wight man says: ‘I find in the calendar that conies before me one unfailing source, directly or indirectly, of the most of the crimes that are committed —intemperance.’

“Mr. Charles Paxton, M.P., a celebrated English brewer, says: ‘It would not be too much to say, that if all drinking of fermented liquors could be done away with, crime of every kind would fall to a fourth of its present amount, and the whole tone of moral feeling in the lower orders might be indefinitely raised. Not only does this vice produce all kinds of wanton mischief, but it has a negative effect of great importance. It is the mightiest of all the forces that clog the progress of good. It is in vain that every engine is set to work that philanthropy can devise, when those whom we seek to benefit are habitually tampering with their faculties of reason and will—soaking their brains with beer or influencing them with ardent spirits.’

"This is remarkable language to be used by a manufacturer of the very drink that he complains of. His testimony is all the better from this fact, that he is speaking against his own interest in making those statements.’

“I now have done with these extracts from reports of Parliamentary Committees. But do they not most strongly proclaim the startling truth embodied in the resolution before the meeting ? Can any one be found in the audience, or in the town, who is so blind as not to see the propriety—nay, the positive necessity, of regulating and restraining the traffic in intoxicating drinks.

“What is to become of the noble youth and blooming maidens of our town, if on every corner and in every street they are brought face to face with this deadly foe, whose slimy trail is to be found along the centuries, and whose inky character has blotted the history of our civilization for more than three hundred years. Shall we, my friends, quietly sit down and endorse the doings of this traffic ? Let a person of doubtful reputation come within the circle of your home, and see how soon, and wisely, you would seek to secure your sons and daughters from the danger of being contaminated by contact with such persons.

“But here is a traffic whose reputation is worse than doubtful, whose vile character is well known, and it is asking you to sanction the removal of the very reasonable restrictions which your council in its wisdom imposed upon it last year. Will you consent to this? Methinks I hear a strong and determined NO from all parts of this hall to-night.

“This traffic comes down to us from ancestral times and it is laden with startling memories, and it unfolds to us many dark and tragic scenes, enacted in princely mansions and lonely dwellings.

“True, it comes to us endorsed by our forefathers, but it is an endorsation obtained by false pretences. It comes to us sparkling with the jewels of wealth, but it glistens with teardrops also. It comes to us sanctioned by the voice of legislation and law-makers, but it is condemned by the cry of countless sufferers. It comes to us singing the songs of gladness, but beneath them are heard the undertones of woe.

“It comes to us in the garb of a friend, but it conceals the pointed dagger of a murderous assassin. It assumes the harmless aspect of the dove, but it glares upon us with the fierce demoniac glitter of the serpents eye.

“There is not a man or woman here to-night who is not interested in this matter. No one here wishes to feel the crushing and withering influence of the demon traffic.

“There is not a home in Canada but is worthy of a better fate than that of being desecrated by so vile a presence as the evil spirit of the whiskey traffic. Chain up the rum-demon, friends, and support the first resolution.”

I may here say that as this was my first appearance on the temperance platform in that town, I made the best preparation that I could. The address was written out at length and given to the meeting in the form of a reading.

After a few words by Mr. Thompson, who seconded the resolution, it was passed almost, if not quite, unanimously. And it has been so far carried out that at the present time Kincardine and the county of Bruce are under the Scott Act.

In looking back over the past there is nothing that gives me more real pleasure, so far as my own doings are concerned, than the stand that I have taken for forty-five years on the liquor question. I have done a large amount of talking and writing, walking and singing, and some praying, to help along the good and philanthropic work of saving men from drunkenness. I am glad in my heart that I have done a little toward rolling on the car of temperance, and drying up the foul channels through which this dragon of our times sends out his stinking saliva to besot and poison the slaves of their appetites.

My prayer is, that the time may soon come when from Newfoundland to Vancouver there will not be found one single man-trap in the form of a whiskey den—when the banner of temperance shall float over all the land over which the flag of our Dominion now is waving. Nay, more, when the banner of temperance, interwoven with the banner of the cross, shall wave in triumph over all the world.

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