« FöregåendeFortsätt »
By means of a very wide correspondence and persistent labor, Dr. Rush succeeded in enlisting the leading spirits of many different branches of the church in this holy crusade, and to-day his ringing appeal comes to us from that first essay : “ Ministers of the Gospel of every denomination in the United States, aid me with all the weight and influence of your sacred office to save our fellow men from being destroyed by the great destroyer of their lives and souls.
It is cause for profound gratitude to Almighty God that the last few years have seen a great advance in public sentiment on this whole subject of temperance reform. This great national evil, the drink curse, has assumed such gigantic proportions as to alarm every Christian patriot. The snare which the drinking habits set for souls awakens the church more and more from her apathy; while the queens of society, the mothers and daughters of the church, quick to detect a peril of domestic purity, are becoming more and more sensitive to the hideous dishonor and ruin which the curse of drink surely brings upon the home and the family.
At such a time the great Presbyterian church not only cannot afford to be an indifferent spectator in this great struggle, but true to her historical position, and resting upon the clear teaching of God's Holy Word, she must heed the triumphant call of Providence : “ Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward.” The Presbyterian church has a goodly heritage and an honorable record on this subject of temper
Let us see to it that no man takes her crown. Previous Assemblies have decided for us the importance of this work, and have committed its oversight to judicious men, who though straightened by the lack of financial support, have yet accomplished a noble task in arousing the church to the needs of the hour, and in directing the Sabbath-school in its important function of training up the young in sound and scriptural ways of thinking as to the evil of strong drink. But it is a homely maxim that " whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.” The Permanent Committee should not be expected to make bricks without straw.” If the cause of intemperance is one of the greatest evils confronting the church to-day ; if it is pre-eminentiy a difficult and delicate task to guide the crusade of the church against this monstrous iniquity ; if confessedly, much yet remains to be done, the church undoubtedly owes it to her Permanent Committee on Temperance to furnish liberally the material means without which its efficiency will be greatly crippled.
The Assembly deeply regrets, therefore, that the churches did not more generally contribute to the funds of the Permanent Committee last year, so as to have enabled it to meet all of its obligations; and it expresses the hope that contributions will be sent in immediately from the churches, so as not only to meet the indebtedness of the Committee, but to enable this arm of the church to do its work without embarrassment.
Much other valuable information may be found in this Report evincing the diligence and fidelity of your Permanent Committee, but as the printed report is in the hands of the Assembly, and is a permanent document of the church, nothing further need now be added to this conspectus of the report, than the remark that the very modest “suggestions” of the Permanent Committee are mostly embodied in the recommendations, which your Standing Committee have now the honor to propose. We, therefore, recommend the following resolutions :
1. That the entire extinction of the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage is the goal to which the General Assembly looks forward, and for the accomplishment of which, it expects the earnest, united, determined and persistent labors of all its ministers and people in connection with the religious and sober citizens of our common country.
2. That under God the removal of intemperance must depend upon the forming of a wholesome public sentiment, the power of conscience, enlightened by the Word of God, and the strong arm of the civil law wisely enacted and faithfully enforced.
3. That this Assembly cordially approves the work of the Permanent Committee on Temperance during the last year, and commends its zeal, fidelity and success in the difficult and delicate task before it.
4. That the Assembly rejoices in the fact, that at least fourteen States in the Union have enacted laws requiring physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the influence of intoxicating drinks upon the human system, to be taught in the schools 15. That this Assembly re-affirms the action of former Assemblies, recommending the Permanent Committee to appeal to the churches for funds to defray its expenses, and that the churches be directed to put these collections in the miscellaneous cc of the statistical report.
supported by the State. And the Assembly recommends that the people under its care use all proper means to secure similar laws in all the States.
5. That the Permanent Committee is recommended to ascertain the nature of the efforts being made by temperance people, and especially by the church, to promote the cause of temperance in each of the States in the Union, and report the results of its inquiry to the next General Assembly.
6. That it is recommended to all the Church Courts to appoint a Standing Committee on Temperance to supervise the work within their bounds. That Presbyterial Standing Committees arrange for holding temperance institutes and conventions under their direction, and to prepare a distinct temperance narrative and send the same to the Permanent Committee on Temperance on or before the ist day of April, and that a report on the narratives shall be made to the Assembly by said Committee.
3. That this Assembly, in common with sister churches and other friends of the cause, recognizes the year 1885 as the centennial year of the temperance reform, and recommends that Synods, Presbyteries and Churches celebrate the centennial week, beginning Sabbath, September 20th, in some suitable way, and especially it urges ministers of the Gospel to preach on the subject of temperance on that Sabbath, and that the churches make a centennial offering for the use of the Permanent Committee at the same time, or at some other convenient day within the year, and that the Sabbath-school and Church Temperance Societies hold appropriate temperance meetings during the week.
8. That the church sessions are urged to give special supervision to this important department of benevolent work in the church and Sabbath-school ; and to remember the necessities of the Permanent Commiteee in the distribution of their benevolent funds, and the obligation of the church to sustain the Committee in the stupendous work committed to its care.
9. That this Assembly tenders to the Synods of Kansas and Iowa, and the Christian people in general in those States, its hearty sympathy in their heroic and successful endeavors to suppress
the saloon within their borders, and to promote righteousness, temperance and good-will among the people.
10. That all who are called to labor among the freedmen be urged to give special attention to the inculcation of sound temperance principles in their instruction of this
Naturally very sensitive on the subject of personal liberty, they need to be guarded against a slavery which binds soul and body in shackles worse than fetters of brass.
II. That while the Assembly approves of what the Board of Publication has done to inculcate temperance in the Lesson-papers," it would recommend that if possible, still more prominence should be given in their “Lesson Helps" and Sabbath-school papers, to instruction on the sin of drunkenness, its insidious approach, and its awful
12. That as the temperance reformation is God's work, we call upon the church for prayer to Almighty God that He would give the church wisdom in dealing with this great evil, that He would save the young from the snares of the tempter, that He would break the bands which now hold so many as willing captives in the thralldom of drink, and that He would give wisdom to our rulers in legislating for the protection of this great people against their worst enemy.
13. That this Assembly would give emphasis to all the injunctions of former Assemblies on this subject, and would especially enjoin upon all our ministers to be faithful in preaching the whole truth of God on this subject lest the blood of souls be found on their skirts. 14. That the Rev. John Hall, D.D.,
LL.D., Rev. Robert D. Harper, D.D., and Elders David M. Stiger and Daniel W. Fish, whose term of service expires with this Assembly be re-appointed for three years, and that the Rev. Henry J. Van Dyke, Jr., D.D., be appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Rev. Edward P. French, D.D., and that Theron G. Strong, Esq., be appointed for the term of three years instead of David B. Ivison, who declines re-election.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Action of General Assembly, 1885,
Summary of Deliverances of General Assembly, No. 6,
Drummond's Speech, No. 17,
Programmes, Specimens of,
Sabbath School, Plan of,
Reports Facts Without Expressing Opinions,