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The New Zealand Evangelist

Wellington.—Lecture on Temperance

Wellington.—Lecture on Temperance.

On the evening of Monday the 15th Jan., the Rev. Frederick Miller, President of the Hobart Town Total Abstinence Society page 191 delivered a lecture on this subject in the Scotch Church. The church was filled with a highly respectable audience, who listened with marked attention throughout the whole of the lecture, which occupied about an hour and a half. Mr. Miller introduced his subject by shewing the necessity of union for gaining important objects; adverted to the origin and progress of the temperance reform; and shewed that abstinence from intoxicating drinks is to all persons in health, not only safe, but decidedly advantageous and beneficial to health, intellect, and morals. He answered the objection that total abstinence is contrary to the Bible, the use of wine being allowed and approved of in scripture. The use of wine, he said, is permitted, but not enjoined in scripture, except as a medicine, and in the Lord's Supper. The scripture wines were all very different in quality from those in common use, so that little can be said in favour of strong brandied wines from what is said respecting the weak wines of Judea. He met at some length the objection that total abstinence is at variance with the spirit of the Gospel. He regarded total abstinence as the practical application of the great gospel principles of self-denial and brotherly love. It is the cutting off of a right hand, and the plucking out of a right eye, because these are offending or ensnaring. The use of intoxicating drinks is insensibly leading multitudes into a state of perilous temptation. Paul says, “It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended or is made weak.” Love to our neighbour, he said, should lead us to deny ourselves the use of liquors which do so little good at the best, can be dispensed with so safely and so advantageously, and whose regular use is followed every where and among all classes with such fearful consequences to health and morals,—to body and soul. Total Abstinence is not religion, but it is intimately connected with the success of religion, and he eagerly longed to see every total abstainer a Christian, and every Christian a total abstainer. He illustrated his arguments by many striking cases.

It was a clear, calm, eloquent, and effective address, and highly calculated to promote the cause of temperance.

Mr. Miller, who was here on a visit for the benefit of his health, preached with much acceptance, on the Sabbath before, to the Presbyterian, Independent, and Wesleyan congregations. Our prayer is, that he may be restored to his family and his flock, with his health confirmed, his mind invigorated, and his spirit refreshed.