Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Temperance Movement Part 2

To continue with some additional information from yesterday's post. You'll find below is the preface for The temperance movement: or, The conflict between man and alcohol By Henry William Blair ©1888

The conflict between man and alcohol is as old as civilization, more destructive than any other form of warfare, and as fierce to-day as at any time since the beginning.

It is not an exaggeration to say that no other evil known in human history has been of such vast proportions and lamentable consequences as that of alcoholic intemperance. As the whole past of the race has been cursed by it, so its whole future is threatened with increasing calamity, unless there be a period put to its ravages.
It is a peculiarity of this curse that it is developed by civilization, and then, like the parricide, it destroys the source of its own life.

But although alcohol is his special foe, it by no means confines its dagger and chalice to civilized man.
Combining with the spirit of" a mercenary commerce, this active essence of evil is hunting and extirpating the weaker races and indigenous populations of uncivilized countries from the face of the earth.
The object of this book is, if possible, to arrest the attention of the American, if of no other people; to place before them the leading facts which enter into the great debate now pending on our own and the European continents, and to assist man, however feebly, in this great struggle with alcohol for his life.

The plan attempted has Lsen to place clearly before the mind the nature of alcohol as u poison to the healthy human system; its destructive effects upon the body and soul of its victim ; to portray its tremendous proportions and malignant influence upon society, nations and races of men; to discuss the remedies of this great evil by the exercise of moral suasion and educative forces, both spiritual and physical, and by the action of society in the enactment and enforcement of law. This is followed by some account of the organizations and agencies, religious, secular and political, which are and must be engaged in the effort to remove the gigantic evil and crime of alcoholic intemperance from the world.

The plan has failed in execution unless it be found that this book contains a systematic and comprehensive discussion of the evil and of its appropriate remedy ; but it cannot be hoped that so vast and important a subject is treated in a single volume with that completeness which will be desired by many.

If I shall have been able to induce others with greater powers and opportunities to perform the work more satisfactorily, I shall rejoice in even that degree of success.

The views of the author upon this great problem are not of recent formation, and their former expression is repeated in parts of some of the chapters which treat of remedial measures; but it is believed that the public will not regret the restatement of facts and arguments which have never been refuted, which are vital to the subject, and new to the great mass of the people.
The truth is that the alcoholic evil is now the subject of a crucial investigation, such as the public mind has never before given to it, and I believe that as a result, although the end may be long delayed, the miserable and pernicious traffic will perish forever, execrated by man and consumed in the fiercest flames of God's wrath.

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