the great, heavy machine of government must be built, --with these yawning gulfs on each side our national progress, there are men who set their faces against the Temperance agitation, and bid us beware of taking up too much time with the narrow and petty interest which we assume to champion!
A drunken people were never the safe depositaries of the power of self-government.
Hurried on, the mere victims of demagogues, uncontrollable passion their temptation and their guide, who can safely trust his future and the institutions secured by such toil and such blood, to a race making or groping its way amid such evils and such weakness?
I contend that every man who desires the security of democratic institutions is to see to it, first of all, that every possible means be exhausted to secure, so far as human means can, a sober people.
To my mind, that is the significance of the Temperance enterprise.
I know its other phases, alluded to by my friend, Rev. A. A. Miner
, who has just stood here,--the domestic desolation, the individual ruin, the spiritual wreck, the pecuniary loss, the family destruction.
I know all that; and to the right mind, there lies the real strength of the Temperance agitation.
But if any man is of too low a level, too sordid a logic to appreciate or acknowledge that argument, at least citizenship and patriotism, at least selfishness may be brought, for one moment, to reflect, when the very ground around him rests secure only so long as the statute-book is upborne, and the rights of life and property secured by a sober people.
The. question which we meet to discuss to-night is one of this nature,--whether this great principle is to have a fair trial?
That is my text,--Whether this great principle is to have in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a fair trial
? That is all we ask. Boston
is a part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts