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- Why and how: a hand-book for the use of the W.C.T. unions in Canada - 1/12 -


WHY AND HOW:

A HAND-BOOK FOR THE USE OF

THE W. C. T. UNIONS IN CANADA.

By MRS. ADDIE CHISHOLM,

PRESIDENT ONTARIO W. C. T. U.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

SUFFERING

CHAPTER II.

AWAKENING

CHAPTER III.

ORGANIZATION AND WORK

CHAPTER IV.

OUR CANADIAN W. C. T. U.

CHAPTER V.

WHY WOMEN SHOULD WORK

CHAPTER VI.

HOW WOMEN MAY WORK

CHAPTER VII.

HOW TO FORM A W. C. T. U.

CHAPTER VIII.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

CHAPTER IX.

YOUNG WOMEN'S WORK

CHAPTER X.

A DREAM

CHAPTER XI.

CONCLUSION

CONSTITUTION

BY-LAWS

ORDER OF BUSINESS

THE TEMPERANCE HAND-BOOK

FOR THE USE OF

THE W. C. T. UNIONS

OF CANADA.

CHAPTER I.

SUFFERING.

It has been said "Woman has a capacity for suffering," and during all the years of the past, in all countries and among all nations, woman has been proving this true. Since the dark day when "there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother," and there came to that mother's heart the agony of bereavement, the human disappointment and pangs, whose torture only the Father God could understand,--from that day till the present, disappointment, trial and sorrow have entered largely into the life and experience of women. But of all clouds that have darkened their lives and among all sharp swords that have pierced their hearts, the cloud of the liquor traffic has been the darkest, and its blade the keenest. Myriads of women have looked with anguish on sacrifices offered and loved ones slain, not to save humanity or to draw men nearer to God, but destroyed at the hands of a tyrant as relentless as death, and as pitiless.

In heathen countries, children have been left to float out of existence, an offering to the gods, while the mother has turned sadly and sorrowfully away; in Christian countries, children have drifted with the tide of social customs, or inherited appetites for strong drink, out of the boundless sea of evil and wretchedness, while women have wept and wondered, have pondered and prayed.

Mothers have seen their sons, strong and brave in their young manhood, venture on this stream of rapid currents, have watched them with sad eyes, and called to them in pleading and terrified tones, as they were carried on and on by the rushing waters. At last, it was too late even for mother's love to save, and they were drawn into that terrible vortex, from which there is so seldom escape, despairing hands have reached out for help, the cry of the soul has been an appeal for mercy, and another loved one has gone down a victim to the nation's greed and a sacrifice to the nation's sin.

Out from a sheltered, sunshiny home has gone the tender, trusting daughter, in her glad girlhood, her heart all aglow with true hallowed love for him, by whose side she has chosen to spend the coming years. The future has looked so bright, as together they have thought, and planned, and built their airy castles; but the clouds have come and passed, and come again and more frequently, till, at length, the young wife has sat continually in their shadow, the brightness and the sunshine all gone out of her life, as her husband has yielded to the influence of strong drink. She has realized that she was a drunkard's wife, her place by a drunkard's side, and, with white lips and breaking heart, she has moaned out her prayer to God for deliverance. And who will say that the fond mother, sitting in the old bright home, has not felt every pang, every blow that reached the daughter's heart as she saw all that the dear one in loyalty to her husband would fain have concealed. This experience comes home to most of us, and we easily recall not one case but many in which wives and daughters have suffered at the hands of this cruel destroyer.

Homes have been invaded, not with noise of drums and clash of arms, but silently as by the stealthy step of death. Their purity and peace have been destroyed, their idols laid in the dust, and the place that was designed to be a sanctuary for humanity, a rest from the weariness of life and a refuge from its storms, has become, instead, a dreary abode of waiting and watching, of enduring and weeping, often a very Gethsemane to patient loving souls. In time the domestic life of families is destroyed by this enemy, so strong, cruel and determined; in many cases, the elegant abode gives place to a poorer one; the comfortable dwelling is exchanged for all that is comfortless and forbidding, and there is no longer a home. Cardinal Manning, in his address at the temperance congress recently held in England, says: "As the foundation they laid deep in the earth was the solid basis of social and political peace, so the domestic life of millions of our people is the foundation of the whole order of our commonwealth. I charge upon this great traffic nine-tenths of the misery and the destroyed and wrecked homes of our joyless people." What is true in England is also true in our young country. The "Boys' Homes" and "Girls' Homes" in our large cities furnish evidence of our destroyed homes. It is safe to say that nine-tenths of the inmates of these institutions are there provided with a home at the expense of the public, because strong drink has robbed them of the love and care of father and mother, or both, and taken from their innocent childhood all the delights and happiness of home life. As women, age after age, beheld their loved ones thus taken from them, and saw their homes in the hands of this destroyer, it was not strange that at last there arose from their hearts a cry almost of despair. It was a cry that entered into the ear of God and brought a dim sense of coming help, a consciousness that God knew and cared and had something better in reserve. The plough of pain had torn up the fallow soil of woman's heart; the harrow of suffering had mellowed, and tears of agony, wept for ages, had moistened it; now the seed of thoughtful and determined purpose was ready to be sown, out of which was to spring the plentiful harvest of action.

Behind were the long dreary wastes of agony, marked with the myriad grave mounds of lost loved ones, over which woman's face had bowed low, while the heart within was breaking; before stretched the wide unknown, full of possibilities. Should it unfold the same sad story of patient, passive' suffering, or grow bright with the burnished armor and glad with the hopeful songs of women gathering to the battle, filed against the fell destroyer of their hopes? As the Spirit of God brooded over the primeval void and brought therefrom order, light, beauty and life, so the spirit of suffering brooded above the torn and saddened heart of womanhood, till at last the angel of awakening appeared, and the heart that had dumbly, patiently endured, stirred to the impulse of defence, and opened to the thought of freedom. The hour had struck, the call had come. The "arrow had been hidden in God's quiver," waiting His time. When His ringers guide to the mark, what can the arrow do but fulfil its mission?

CHAPTER II.

AWAKENING.


Why and how: a hand-book for the use of the W.C.T. unions in Canada - 1/12

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