These three methods should go together. Full success cannot be Obtained without their united action. But, unquestionably, the first is the most important, not only as the rightful beginning, but in the progress of all our endeavors.
I speak with absolute confidence, when I say that total abstinence is the only assured course of safety for ourselves and our families. I do not care how strong we may be, or how confirmed in habits of moder ation, or how fixed in religious or moral principle, we are not perfectly safe while the use of intoxicants as a beverage continues.
I have seen all safeguards and barriers and resolutions and bonds give way, time and time again. I can show you graves which neither religion, nor morality, nor self-interest, nor self-respect, nor love of kindred, could prevent from being the drunkard's resting place. I can Show you, this day, men of intelligence, of good sense, of extended inﬂuence, of wealth, living in homes of refinement, surrounded by lov ing and faithful friends, in positions of trust and honor - ou the bench, at the bar, in the command of armies, in the council chamber, at the merchant's desk, in the mechanic's work-shop, in the office of the editor, in the pulpit itself where righteousness, temperance and judg ment to come are preached, in the halls of Congress, in the National Cabinet and in the Presidential Mansion - in all places of honor and usefulness have I seen men walking with unsteady steps, speaking with ill-considered words, and with all the marks of unmanliness that dis grace the foolish ones who put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains.
And yet, not one of them all but could remember the time when he was perfectly safe, quite able to control himself, able to use his liberty without abusing it.
Alas, there is in the intoxicating cup a mysterious power, which overcomes all resolutions, and with which no wise man will triﬂe. Flee from it as from the face of a serpent, for if thou comest too near it, it will bite thee; the teeth thereof are as the teeth of a lion, slaying the souls Of men.
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