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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
“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
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
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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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.