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5. Then said all the trees onto the bramble, Come thon and male'
And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me kin; over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble and destroy the cedars of Lebanon.”—JUDGES, ix. 14, 15.
Kind Reader, are you in favor of temperance societies, so called, formed on the principle of total abstinence? If so, read, pause and consider. Are you opposed to those societies? Examine with care and attention the arguments that shall be presented and 'Ronder unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's.'
To those who cannot see the propriety of the measures adopted to suppress intemperance, and are content with the bible doctrine of temperance in all things, we would say, the cause in which you are engaged is a good one. It is one of benevolence, of religion, of philanthrophy and good will to men. Persevere in your labors, renew your zeal, and strive both by precept and example to make all men temperate.
To you who are employed in promoting abstinence measures, we would respectfully bow, and with all de. ference to your superior wisdom, acknowledge the fearful odds we have to encounter in the approaching confict. Our heart would be dismayed were it not that we remember David killed Goliath, with a smooth stone, and the wise man Solomon saith, 'the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,' we therefore shall enter the field as a combatant against ynu, en. deavor to disprove your measures, raze your citadel to the ground, plant the standard of eternal truth upon your Ruins, and call all creation to the universal triumph! Be not surprised then, if you should see yourselves reflected in the 'bramble,' who desired powor that he might rule over the mild and peaceful olive.
Should there be sentiments in this little pamphlet which you could not approve, do not call fire out of the "bramble' to consume us, but in mercy spare us yet a little longer. We believe your measures are corrupt, your policy bad, and your zeal without knowledge.--We shall use great plainness of speech, for we sincerely believe the subject requires it. Many a valuable life has been saved by the amputation of a limb, and many a soul delivered from bondage by the effulgent rays of eternal truth.
We will not say the motives of all engaged in abstinence measures are bad, for we believe many of them are honest and sincere in the course they have taken, but we do impeach the motives of the leaders in this speculation. Many of them do it for office, for self-ag.
grandizement, and not for the public good. Acting the part of hypocrites they go on Dr. Ely's principle of disinterested benevolence.' Affecting much sympathy for their fellow mortals in distress, they would fain make mankind believe that they are the only phila:thropists in the world, the only ones who feel for the sufferings of humanity! I might name instances where individuals have seized upon the temperance hobby to ride into power; but they were disappointed. The anticipated elevation of their little souls into office proved a failure. They now reap the fruits of their doings in shame and contempt. May this be the end of all office seekers, who for the sake of popularity would barter away their dear-bought privileges, and sell their country for thirty pieces of silver.'
There is much in the passage of scripture placed at the head of this Expose, that renders it appropriate in our day and generation. A bramble' is a rough thorny shrub, and is introduced in this instance to represent Abimelech, who by his artful and cunning insinuations gained the confidence of the men of Shechem, and was anointed their king. He was cruel in the extreine. Flis career (though short) was one of war and blood-shed. Thus, in the cimmencement of his reign, he hired a number of light and vain persons,' went into his father's house at Ophrah and slew his brethren, the sons of Jerubbaal, being three score, upon one stone.
Look around you, kind reader, and inquire if there ve any 'brambles' in our land engaged in the abstin
ence enterprise, who are seeking for power, and whs, like Abimelech, have already exerted their influence against the house of Jerubbaal. Are there no lords of the earth who are endeavoring to wrest from us the boon of liberty and plant
"Where now waves the star spangled banner,' The black flag of the oppressor? If not, then rejoice ve in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you.'-But I declare unto you that I discover a spirit of intolerance and usurpation among certain individuals that would bind the soul of man with wreaths of scorpions, down to degradation and shame. I discover a spirit of aristocracy among these exclusives, that once caused i he blood of our fathers, mothers and children to flow over this fair land of science and liberty; a spirit that once hurled the icy arrows of death into the warm bosom of society, and rioted over the inisery of God's intellectual children! Shall we tamely submit to their inachinations, and allow them to rivet upon our hands the galling manacles of slavery? No! Let every lover of liberty, of justice, of religion say in the tones of thunder, No! We will spurn your base at:empts to chain the free-born mind, or warp it into submission to your nefarious schemes.
Do you say these remarks are uncalled for, that the abstinence men are endeavoring to benefit, instead of injuring community. Benedict Arnold might have made the same plea; ho doubtless thought it no harm to sell his country for money, and who can tell but
mbat the movers in this wonderful enterprise have not the same object in view. Take away office and money, and you would hear no more of abstinence, I will warrant you.
We have long since learned not to 'cry, peace, peace, then there is no peace.' Our liberties are as dear to ug
as they were lo our fathers, in the days of revolution and blood. And he who dare not sound the locsin of alarm when danger approacheth, is a traitor to his God and his country!
We love temperance as well as those who call themselves 'abstinence men,' but we love liberty equally as well, and shall never consent to annoint a bramble' king over us; neither shall we put our trust in their shadow, for peradventure it might be the shadow of a dungeon's walls !!
The abstinence leaders have increased their exer. tions of late. Many lectures have been delivered, and new measures put into operation; but still the humiliaring fact remains that there is more drunkenness in our land now than there was seventy years ago, more intemperance than before the abstinence speculation was started. There may not be as much ardent spirits drank, but I am confident there are more of that class whom the prophet saith were drunk, not with wine, but. stagger not with strong drink.'
It matters not with these people how iniemperate they are in their measures; no matter how many they abuse and insult, but believieg the 'end justifies the