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The New Zealand Evangelist

The Licensing Day.—

The Licensing Day.—

The licenses for the sale of intoxicating drinks were granted on the 17th ult. With mere secular politics, general or party, we never intermeddle, but on every act magisterial or not, that affects the public morals, we consider ourselves at liberty to express our opinion. We have been congratulating the inhabitants of Thorndon Flat on the re-opening among them of a house where God is to be worshipped, and general instruction communicated. Some time ago, we congratulated the page 264 inhabitants of Te Aro on the opening of a new Church there. We have now to lament that under the sanction of the law, and the paternal care of the Government, a house is to be opened among them for a very different purpose. An old divine has said, “Wherever God has a Church, Satan will there have a Synagogue,” and an old poet has rendered the sentiment in verse thus:-

“Wherever God erects a House of prayer,
The Devil always builds a Chapel there;
And ‘twill be found upon examination,
The latter has the largest congregation.”

Sacrificing the good of the many to the interests of the few,— acceding to the importunity of self-interest and private gain, but indifferent to the publicly expressed protest of some two-thirds of those residing or holding property in the neighbourhood,—a majority of our worshipful Justices, in the exercise of their collective wisdom, have given their solemn sanction, that for the next twelve months, that House in Abel Smith-street, formerly occupied by the Rev. S. Ironside, and latterly by Mr. James Smith, may not only be occasionally haunted, but constantly occupied by “evil Spirits,” and be employed Sabbath and Saturday as a manufactory of drunkards (we speak plain English, and call things by their proper names,)—that as many of the Queen's troops on Mount Cook, and the simple, unsuspecting lieges on Te Aro, as can be legally caught by the improved patent man-traps, may be subjected to the process of intoxication, (which literally means poisoning, but being clothed in high sounding Greek, the idea is stripped of its vulgarity and becomes classical,*) that when thoroughly metamorphosed into drunkards, they may be turned loose at all hours of the day, and as many of the night as can be done conveniently, to annoy the peaceable and well-doing of her Majesty's subjects; so that—if history teaches any lessons, if the same causes, under the same circumstances, will always produce the same effects—from being a quiet and respectable neighbourhood, it will become low, noisy, and disreputable; the better class of tenants will be driven away, property will be depreciated, the moral atmosphere will become tainted, crime will be fostered, ignorance and ungodliness will be encouraged, and the blessings of religion and education will, to a great extent, be neutralized. Paul tells us that we are not to be afraid of the Power, that he is the Minister of God for good, “Do that which is good,” he says, “and thou shalt have praise of the same.” “They are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” But, our Guardians of the Peace seem, in the present instance, to have acted as if it had been their bounden duly to prove themselves to be a “Praise to evil-doers, and a terror 10 them that do well.”

Printed at the Office of the "Wellington Independent," corner of Willis Street and Lambton-quay.