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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 36

Expulsion of the Enemy

Expulsion of the Enemy.

I would venture now for a few minutes to pass from narrative of fact to invite attention to the question of the means that are before us for expelling from our homes, from our nation, from the world, an enemy that is so subtile and destructive. The time has come when that expulsion is the duty of every man who is bold enough to feel that he is his brother's keeper, not less than the keeper of his own selfish interests and desires. The period of silence on this subject has passed; the period of ridicule has passed; the period of fear has passed. The period for united common work amongst all classes of society against the common foe has come.

As I touch this question, I ask myself—What has influenced mo to take part in this cause? I answer—The facts I have observed in regard to the action of alcohol on the animal body; the facts of its utter use- lessness; the facts of its deadly evil. I argue thereupon that if I, who had no bias against this agent, who was taught indeed in schools of science and from lips I reverenced, that the thing was a necessity of life; if I, thus trained, can be brought by new light to see the actual truth and to be moved by it, so can all, except those who are so page 14 enslaved that their fetters have become an inseparable part of their existence.

I argue further on this, that the primary duty of all who would join in the war of expulsion of the common enemy is to teach, proclaim, demonstrate, the same facts as I have to-day, with other such persuasions as may be adapted to the mind, and, I may say, to the heart, of him who is being taught. Specially would I urge that the young should be thus impressed. That in every Board school of England there should be a class beyond the three It's—a class where the claims of temperance should be impressed on the scholar with all the force of scientific instruction. If from the present Conference this one suggestion could find its way into practical working, we shall not have met to-day in this great seat of learning in vain.