« PreviousContinue »
TEETOTALISM, AND DR. LEES.
NARRATIVE, AND LECTURE:
RECONSIDERATION OF THE ENQUIRY:
IS TEETOTALISM THE PLAIN TEACHING OF THE
OF GREAT HARWOOD.
270. a. 79.
The Author of the following pages regrets that there should have been any necessity for publishing them. He is aware that a higher order of literature is needed to advance the intelligence and morality of the present age: and he would not have troubled the public with such observations as are here thrown together, except for the purpose of repelling an influence, which might threaten to interfere with the spread of religious principle, in a particular locality. Doubtless, it is very pleasant with some natures to cherish a feeling of vindictiveness, when any trivial opposition is apparent, or even suspected : but to the faithful expounder of God's Word, there remains no alternative, but honestly to declare what he believes to be the plain teaching of that Word. The flame of resentment may burn lurid, as it glowed when freedom of thought and private judgment were trampled out amid the fires of the sixteenth century; but whether we or our opponents speak the truth, it is a consolation to know that that truth shall be finally victorious. The writer pleads no exemption from the infirmities which are too common with mankind, nor does he boast of any authority in virtue of office. If any should suspect a want of charitable feeling, or a deficiency of argument in what is here given to the world, he must at least crave the indulgence of those who may reflect upon the arguments and epithets to which a reply is ventured.
The lecture which is embodied, pp. 20—39, was not intended at the time of its delivery for the eyes of the public. But when the lecturer found that it was to be publicly opposed, he deemed it advisable to publish, as nearly as possible, according to the form in which it had been spoken; and he has felt it needful now to adhere to an exact copy of the first impression. A judgment may thus be more accurately formed as to the value of certain criticisms which have been bestowed upon it. Although the writer could have wished to rewrite some parts, where there are manifest imperfections in arrangement and style, there is nothing in the lecture, so far as he is aware, which is untrue in fact, or wrong in argument.
May genuine Religion, including the principles of true Temperance, soon gladden our world with the utterance of all that is charitable, holy, and true! “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man but a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. ...........Let not then your good be evil spoken of: for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”