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Minutes of the Union Temperance Convention of the Colored Citizens : of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

1843 Regional Convention in Salem 14.pdf

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15

nature who dictates and prompts us to efforts of a moral character. When we contemplate the immortal destiny of the soul, and the manner it will be effected through all eternity by its moral state in in this world, we see the absolute necessity of putting forth some efforts to relieve ourselves from the influence of an evil which imbitters the well springs of human existence, and which will darken the pathway of the soul through the deep vistas of eternity.

Look where we may, among our people, and we behold elements at work among them of the most demoralizing nature and influences. Tendencies sway and govern with an almost omnipotent power over large masses, which while of no power to bless, are filled with evil. Among these evils, INTEMPERANCE stands out among the chief. Its influence and power is wide spread destructive and malignant. Its deleterious effects may be seen, as they are felt in almost every quarter, and in all relations.

We enter the domestic circle and of'times meet there the tearful eye, the subdued countenance, and the bruised heart. And these are the effects of Intemperance.

We look at our Literary wants, and find our people held back from mental improvement by devotion to gratification, and the intense thirst of an unnatural and depraved appetite.

We seek solace and enjoyment in all the offerings and charities of social life, and these of'times the curse of intemperance is present; and peace, enjoyment, and delight, are banished thence by the destructive irrepressible energy of Alcohol. With intense yearnings and desires, we flee to the sanctuary and court the associations which cluster around religious rites and institutions. Even there the blighting influence of Intemperance introduces itself, and the power of religious examples is neutralized by the evil of intoxicating drinks.

Its ravages may be seen in the emaciated forms, and the deep impurities of numbers whom it has directed to the scenes of vice, infamy, and polution. Go forth in the grave-yard, and behold its desolation in the premature decay, and the early death of the crowds whose mouldering remains make green the grass that springs up in the grave-yard.

Brethern, this is a brief transcript of the moral abasement in which too many of our people exits under the blighting power of Alcohol. Intemperance is one of the grand causes of the evils which we suffer. It is one of the great afflictions which have tended to destroy our happiness, and eat out our hearts.

And in this, is there not enough to call forth sensibility, and lead to action? Is not this sufficient to awaken the whole people to a sense of religious responsibility, and the performance of duty? Shall the suffering and dying ones around us our own brethern, be left to continue in evil practices, spread the miasma of their influence abroad, and corrupt society?

Brethern, this great evil can be effectually removed, its power neutralized, and its influence stayed? By unity of purpose, and moral exertion we can send out an earnest voice and in decisive tones,—"Thus far shalt thou come, but no farther; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed !"

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