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THE CHURCH VS. THE SALOON.

BY BISHOP J. N. FITZGERALD,
Of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

THE saloon is the chief and most audacious law-breaker of the age. It is the arch-destroyer of all that is dear to man. It is sleepless, relentless, insatiable, mighty. There is but one power in the land that is stronger, and that is the Church. If the saloon is to be overthrown the Church must overthrow it. Will she? The question is one of purpose, not of ability. She can do whatever she will in this all-important work. The service which the Church has already rendered in antagonism to the saloon is not, by any means, to be disparaged. On the contrary, it is to be acknowledged as well-nigh invaluable. More than all other agents she has rescued perishing inebriates and softened the hearts of those who were forcing their brothers down to drunkards' graves. She, more than anything or any body else, has created the sentiment which rules dram-sellers out of respectable society and places drunkard-making in the list of crimes. Nearly all of her denominations have cried aloud against the drink traffic, and have denounced it in unmeasured terms; and some of those denominations have so legislated that none of their members can lawfully buy, sell, or use as a beverage the deadly liquid.

All honour to the Church for her warfare against the saloon! We give to her great credit and thankful praise. Unquestionably she has been and still is in the van. Nevertheless, we are persuaded that before she can fully accomplish the great mission to which we believe God has called her, she must take a much longer step in advance and strike far heavier blows. Her forces must be thoroughly and permanently organized, and, combined with kindred forces, must constitute the opposition. The foes of the saloon must unite against its friends. ssue must be squarely joined.

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saloon has long carried the black flag. Henceforth the Church and her allies in this particular warfare must carry it too. The battle must be desperately fought, and the field of battle must be the field of politics. This opposition must enter that field, just as did the opposition to the extension of slavery, and it must remain therein until Prohibition, like freedom, shall become an accepted doctrine against which no party shall dare to speak. From every organization that sympathizes or compromises with the rum-traffic Christian men must separate themselves and unite in an organization, every member of which shall at all times, including election days; and in all places, including the polls; and with all powers, including the ballot, stand against this giant evil of the day. The voting clergymen and laymen of the Church must become a unit on this great subject at the ballot-box-the point at which they have been divided in the past and are divided now.

Here is the difficult problem. But it could be solved, and it would be solved, were it not for the strength of old political party ties, than which nothing on earth seems to be stronger. In 1860-65 many a man who thought himself to be loyal to the nation to the last degree became a sympathizer with rebellion solely because of his love for a political party. And so to-day many a man who thinks himself to be a true friend of Prohibition becomes an apologist for the license system simply because he fears that the political party of his love may be harmed if Prohibition be insisted upon.

Bishop Forster forcibly and truthfully says:

"The Church of to-day, much more the Church of the future, must take to its heart the duty of combining and

massing its forces against that gigantic atrocity, that diabolical conspiracy, that nameless monstrum horrendum of Christian civilization, that mothers nine-tenths of the woes and sorrows which blight and curse our modern age-the traffic in intoxicants, which hides its deformity under forms of law. How long shall the face of our Christian age blister with this worse than pagan shame? Has the virtue of our time degenerated so low that we do not even blush at the legislative traffic in the souls of our own children? That by the very doors of our own homes and our temples an army of miscreants should, by authorization of laws made by Christian law-givers, prosecute a work of murder and death? How can we go to the heathen with this cancer of worse than heathen infamy festering in our bosom !"

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What an arraignment is this! Can the "Christian law-givers enter any plea except that of guilty, and can Christian voters fail to see that they are particeps criminis? They unite, it is true, in demanding a prohibitory law, but they do not agree in support of men to enforce it, or even to enact it. They readily declare in favour of total abstinence for the individual, and legal Prohibition for the State, but after so declaring, a large proportion of them go to the polls and vote the ticket of a party that insists that the saloon shall be licensed. They petition earnestly for prohibitory legislation, and in most cases perhaps vote Local-Option and for Constitutional Prohibitory Amendments, but when urged to support a man or a ticket that declares for Prohibition and its strict enforcement, large numbers of them find some reason for declining. They adhere to the "old party and straight ticket" and the "regular candidate," and then they go forth saying, Prohibition is, without doubt, the best thing but if we cannot prohibit, we must try to restrict."

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The sad experiences of the past

ought to teach all Churchmen the lesson which saloonists have learned so perfectly, namely, that men are necessary as well as measures. Prohibition measures are good, but alone They need they are not sufficient. to be enforced; they cannot enforce themselves. As well might we, at the very outset, ask that they enact themselves, as to ask, later on, that they carry themselves into effect. The strongest cannon may be heavily loaded and accurately aimed, but it will never harm the enemy unless there be some friendly hand to apply the spark. Of what avail is a Maine law if rummies are to be

elected to enforce it? What benefit

can result from even constitutional Prohibition, so long as Christian men vote for candidates who are out of sympathy therewith, and who will, if elected, wink at the violation thereof?

Saloonists will defeat, if possible, all Prohibitory measures, but if, in spite of them, Prohibition be enacted, they will redouble their energy and open wider their purses for the election of their "friends." They know full well that though their business be forbidden by law they will be able to prosecute it just the same if they can only place in office men who will violate their oaths and neglect to enforce the law.

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Oh for the coming of the time when the power of the saloon to elect whomsoever it will shall be challenged by the Church, and when the Church in the greatness of her strength shall march forth and trample this boastful, this wicked Goliath beneath her feet! When once the Christian voters of America form and execute the determination to vote only for pronounced and proved Prohibitionists who stand upon unequivocal Prohibition platforms, the end will be at handand the saloon will go. May God speed the day !—Christian Advocate.

"A LITTLE Sanctuary ;”—gracious Lord,
Make true for me the treasures of this word;
Thyself hast brought me whither I am come,
And may no more go out until Thou call me home.

THE WITNESS TO IMMORTALITY.*

WHOEVER attempts to deal adequately with the subject of immortality must, so to speak, drain the entire upland of human thought; for faith in, or the hope of, another life has been a part of every philosophy worthy the name, of all great poetry, and of the very tissue of the habitual, although often unexpressed, life of civilized men. The belief in the reality of another world, and that men stand in vital and indissoluble relations with it, has overhung the entire intellectual history of humanity as the heavens overhang the earth. This faith has been held not only as a dogma, but as a philosophical conclusion, a poetic perception, and a motive of immense and immediate influence on the character and daily life of vast multitudes of men. No other idea, save that of the existence and nature of Deity, has been so widely held, so deeply interwoven in the history of the world, and so constantly, directly or by suggestion, represented and interpreted in art. The arguments for immortality are set in impressive and telling order, and the demonstration gathers volume and force as it moves on to its end; but in the mind of the writer and in the heart of his discussion, intmortality is not an open question; it is the divinest of all realities next after the being of God. It is not immortality proven or demonstrated which Dr. Gordon discusses, but immortality witnessed by the thought, the heart, and the history of men.

A purely philosophic discussion of the question of immortality would add little to the knowledge of the subject or to its force of motivity, for the reason that immortality, like all the great primary truths by which men live, is in no sense the creation or the product of merely intellectual activity. It has far greater depth of root than those ideas which have been consciously

worked out along philosophic lines, and it has far greater authority. It is a necessity of man's life; an inevitable inference of his intellectual and moral being; and it comes to light as soon as he begins to live in free and intelligent relations with the universe. Philosophy has cleared up the idea and given it logical statement, and poetry has grasped it as one of the great realities upon which the imagination instinctively fastens itself; but the idea is part of the constitution of man, and has its roots in a soil deeper and richer than that of the intellect. Whoever would adequately trace its development and determine its validity must look for its origin neither in the intellect nor in the imagination, but in the essential nature of man; for it is neither a speculation nor an aspiration; it is a reality; a thing to be discovered, not created, by the intellect; to be realized, not fashioned, by the imagination.

One of the most impressive and able chapters in this volume is that which deals with the Hebrew prophets and points out the inevitable sequence of immortality from their sublime conception of the rule of righteousness. More than this, the prophetic element in all high and noble moral living is brought out with great force and beauty, and becomes a fresh and conclusive demonstration. What more convincing argument can be advanced than the fact that when the moral consciousness becomes sensitive and complete, and the moral nature invigorated and dominant, the mind is driven on to the idea of immortality by a vital logical process which it cannot resist?

The authority of Paul, as the master of all those who have dealt with this great theme, is shown to rest on the securest foundations of personal faith, philosophic power and definiteness, and beauty of

*The Witness to Immortality in Literature, Philosophy and Life. By GEORGE A. GORDON. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston. $1.50.

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notices the single flower, the individual blossom, and its delicate and exquisite tint and tone, so the Hebrew prophets regarded life. The general outline was the first to impress them, the gathered greatness and collective dignity of men, the multitudes of people as they melted into one mass of royal possibility, with the beauty of the Lord their God resting upon them; then came the recognition of the smaller groups and wholes, the sense of the loveliness and lofty import of home; and finally the prophet's eyes fell upon the individual heart and discerned its wonderful structure, its sacred office, its priceless worth. The moral government of God, first discovered as concerned with the nation, is next beheld as extending to the family, and lastly is seen searching the heart of the individual human being, and clothing his life with a dignity altogether unspeakable. -The Outlook.

A CHRISTMAS SONG.

BY R. WALTER WRIGHT, B. D.

I KNOW not the day that the Lord came down,
With an emptied glory and a vanished crown,
As a babe in a manger in Bethlehem's town,

But I know in my heart that the Lord came down.

I saw not the star gleaming far in the west,
Guiding Persian magi in wandering quest,

Till they found in His worship their soul's truest rest,
But I see in my heart that the star shineth on.

I saw not the blaze in the dark midnight sky,
Nor the white-winged messengers earthward hie,
Nor heard I their glory-song echo and die,

But I hear in my heart their sweet Gloria now.
I know not how man may the great God embrace,
How the Infinite finds in the finite a space,
How the attributes, human, divine, interlace,

But I feel in my heart that the Christ findeth room.
I know not how men from their sins are beguiled,
How the past is forgiven, and the savage grows mild,
How the world is redeemed by the touch of a Child,
But I know in my heart that the Child saveth me.

I ask not how rulers sore troubled may be,
How scribes may interpret the sure prophecy,

How the world's blinded eyes nought of beauty may see,
'Tis enough for my heart He is Jesus to me.
PLATTSVILLE, Ont.

Current Readings.

METHODISM.

THIS is not bigotry; it is not offensive sectarianism; it is "an organized Christian fraternity,' seeking alliance offensive and defensive with all forces of righteousness in array against all forces of sin. Acquaint yourself with the history, polity and doctrines of our own denomination. Make much of the peculiarities of our system. Our victories have been won by minding, and not by mending, our Rules. To enforce, and not to improve, our Discipline is our greatest need, and

would be fruitful of the best results within the range of possible realization. Be loyal Methodists. Guard the old-time sacred fires which, from the first, burned and glowed on our altars. Keep aflame in your own hearts the warm love and the consuming zeal which marked your godly fathers and saintly mothers, drew down upon them persecutions, and branded them "enthusiasts" and "fanatics." As a church we need frequently to replenish our selves with the oil and the fuel of divine grace, lest the light that is in us grow dim, and the fire enkindled by the Holy Ghost among us die down in smouldering embers, and we become cheerless and chill. must keep in "the old paths, where is the good way," into which we were called at the beginning, and in which our forefathers have walked triumphantly for a hundred and a half-hundred years.

We

We have been a radical Church against sin and in favour of holiness; we have been a witnessing Church, making known the power of grace unto full salvation; we have been a revival Church; Pentecosts have crowned our altars and glorified our sanctuaries; we have been a triumphant Church, filled with the joy of Christian experience; our fathers used to shout, like conquerors; they were mighty men of God, whose tread was like the tramp of thunder, and whose voices

in prayer and testimony were like bugle-blasts blown from trumpets of tall archangels. Our mothers used to be victorious heroines of the Cross, angels of light and love in dark places and to desolate hearts. Ye are the seed royal of this godly race; perpetuate the purity and power of their holy lives and deeds. Let their deep, personal piety dwell in you; let their rich experiences of full salvation and their clear, ringing testimonies in the power of divine grace, which made and marked them the "elect sons and daughters of God"--find place and utterance in you; then the Church shall be filled with devout worshippers, and the message of the Gospel resounding through its aisles shall reverberate in the ears of the outlying multitudes. -Christ Church Monthly.

AN INSPIRATIONAL CHURCH.

WE have heard a great deal about the Institutional Church. It has kindergartens, and working-girls' clubs, and young men's clubs, and boys' clubs, and parlours, and a gymnasium, and a reading-room, and perhaps a bowling-alley and a billiard-room, to say nothing of a kitchen and a monthly party called a "sociable.' It has something on hand every night in the week. It educates, it entertains, it instructs. We believe in the Institutional Church.

But there is some danger lest the Institutional Church shall fail to be also an Inspirational Church; in which case it ceases to a be a Church at all. A Church is not an Academy, it is not a Club, and it certainly is not a Variety Show. Its object is not to teach, nor to entertain. Its chief object is to inspire. There are clubs and societies and orders to entertain; there are schools to teach; there is only the Church to inspire. Other institutions minister to the body, to the social instincts, to the mind; the Church alone ministers to the spirit. If the Church, in its

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