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with sorrow to learn, upon what which is but the continuation of appears conclusive testimony, that one that has been maintained for the present high wages and lessened years past; and what does this toils of the working-classes are not, increase in the Excise Revenue on the whole, tending to promote mean? It means a constantly their sobriety or self-improvement, growing consumption of beer and but the very opposite. One of the spirits. Beer and gin, whisky and daily newspapers, puts the subject British brandy—these are the forcibly before its readers. The commodities which pour a stream produce for 1872-3 of the Excise of wealth into the Exchequer. An Duties will probably reach, we are increase in the Excise Revenue told, twenty-five million eight proves an increase in the consumphundred thousand pounds sterling, tion. The rates of duty are fixed, indicating an increase of twenty- and a growth of ten per cent. in a five per cent. in the last four years. year means ten per cent. more This prosperity in this particular malt consumed, ten per cent. more branch of the National Revenue gallons of gin and other spirits * suggests some weighty considera- drunk. An increase of twenty or tions:
twenty-five per cent. in four years “We do not discover in the other tells a similar tale. In each case items of the Revenue for the we see an increase of consumption current year anything like this far exceeding any advance in the amazing growth. There is a rise population. It need not be added in almost every division, but it is that these years have been chamoderate. There is an increase racterized by a large addition to the in the Post-Office Revenue, but it wages of the working-classes; and is less than six per cent. The we, perhaps, ought not to be surTelegraph Service shows a some prised that a large increase in their what greater proportional increase, wages has been accompanied by but this was to be expected from a large increase in the consumpthe development of the system tion of the drinks which are under the conditions of cheapness especially their own. Whether and unity of management intro we ought to be surprised or not, duced by the use of the Post we must express our regret that Office agency. Stamps are at a it should be so. It will not be standstill. The Customs' receipts contested by any one that there is show an improvement, but it is a point beyond which an increase very little more than one and a in the consumption of spirits and half per cent. on last year's beer is to be deprecated. Men revenue. It is true that there was may differ about the limits at a reduction in the coffee duties which an allowance that is permislast year, but, after making the sible passes into an allowance that amplest allowance for this, the is excessive-one man will reduce growth of the Customs' Revenue the permissible quantity to zero, cannot be put higher than three another will give it an elastic interper cent. What is this compared pretation—but all agree that some with the ten per cent. increase point exists that should not be shown in the Excise, an increase passed. Will any one pretend
* "The Times,” December 18th, 1872.
that this point had not been With this deplorable account of the reached four years ago ? ...... tendencies of a large portion of the Ampler wages have been made population couple the prevalence of the means of greater indulgence; “strikes;” the growing aversion, and the complaint of coal-owners, in almost all classes, to such steady that an increase in the wages of work as our fathers found their their miners had been followed by strength in; the stagnation, so a reduction in the hours of work far as regards the attainment of and an increase in the hours of the one object without which all drinking, appears to be confirmed else is useless, of which not one but by the Revenue Returns issued many sections of the Christian from the Exchequer....... It is more Church are complaining; and we than a century since Hogarth por- need not add another word to trayed the horrors of Beer Street show that in the midst of our and Gin Lane; it is more than acknowledgment of national merhalf a century since James Smith cies, confessedly neither few nor called upon Chancellor Van'- small, there is pressing occasion Lord Bexley-to‘tax gin a guinea for self-abasement before God, for & quart, and hew down the Upas repentance, and for doing the “ first treein Marybone Lane;'but, though works." When people who make we have made much progress, no profession of religion gather and have hewed down other Upas from what they see around them trees in the interval, an improve. the probability, or the possibility, ment in the wages of the working. of “a national catastrophe or a social classes is now, as before, followed cataclyem," it is the Christian at once by an increase in the con- Church that should be quickest sumption of intoxicating drinks. to catch the warning voice, the first But we do not look to fiscal adjust to spring to the rescue. ments for a cure of the evil. We To what is sombre and dis. do not expect it from Licensing couraging there is of course a Acts, though a recognition of the bright set-off to be made, fact that better wages have resulted and it is not just or safe to take in the consumption of more beer, one without the other in forming an more gin, and more whisky may estimate of what, so far as we can induce members of Parliament and judge, our national prospects, in the candidates for vacant seats to stand moral and religious sense of the by one another in upholding what word, are. But at present it seems has been done by increased strin- imperative that our evangelical gency in regulating and supervising Churches, Methodism included, public houses. The amendment must should again measure the work come, whenever it comes, from an that lies before them, afresh taking improvement in the education, the to themselves in humble faith the tastes, and the amusements of promises which assure them of the the mass of the people, so that aid of the Divine Head of the they may find some better occupa Church whenever they earnestly tion for their idle hours, and some seek it. better means of employing their London, December 19th, 1872. spare cash, than in soaking them. selves in liquor."
OUR ARMY AND NAVY WORK.
1. CHATHAM.–From the Rev. R. through drunkenness. He had served Hardy.-November 28th, 1872.-I did through the Crimea, many years in not find, on coming to this station, the India, then in Abyssinia ; but came to facilities and appliances of Aldershot the camp a private, with no distinc. for daily and direct influences for good tion, saving the medals on his breast. upon the soldiery. A small and under. I induced him to become a total abground vestry is used by the soldiers, stainer. Shortly afterwards he was ebiefly as a night-school ; and two most blessedly converted to God. He nights in the week we meet in an in- at once recovered the esteem of his convenient day-school. To remedy this, officers, and, in less than two years, I applied to the commanding officers was made a staff-sergeant. His infor the use of their lecture-theatres, fluence upon his comrades has been and met with a prompt and hearty signally for good.-R. H. response. The lecture-rooms were placed at my disposal, and the attend. From Staff-Sergeant H.-November ance of the men, both of the Royal 21st, 1872.-Reverend Sir,-Pardon Engineers and the Royal Marines, far my remissness in acknowledging your surpassed my expectations. Chatham donation of pamphlets, etc. ; they were has a noble Soldiers' Institute. I met most welcome; and, if possible, en. in it Major Buckley, the honorary deared you still more strongly to us. secretary, who told me that the new You will remember my coming to you, lecture-hall would be completed in two years ago, troubled in mindDecember, and that any evenings I conscience aroused, and no peace. I chose would be placed at my disposal was a teetotaller, but that did not for lectures, meetings, or tea-meetings. suffice. You will remember giving I thankfully accepted the offer, and at me the Memoirs of William Caryosso, once appropriated certain nights. and, at the same time, inviting me to
The parade-services are very satis. class, and leading me to Him who died factory; but my evening work, being to atone for my sins; showing me that spread oyer the Circuit, separates me my sins were laid on Jesus, and that I from the soldier-work of Sunday night, had only to rest upon His death and so much blessed in Aldershot. We merit, and live. Sleep was out of the have a few faithful and devoted question for three nights, until, at four men here, and at least one conversion one morning, I realized by faith in has gladdened us. In the hospital I re- Christ a sense of forgiveness, and a joice over some who have found Christ; joy I had been an utter stranger to and I trust something like a soldiers' before. Here I am, & living witness Home may be established for direct of God's willingness to save even the spiritual work.
“ chief of sinners." Since that time,
I have more than ever been impressed 2. Extracts from soldiers' letters :- with the words of our Saviour, who
The first is from a staff.sergeant, said, “I am the Good Shepherd.”...... the son of Wesleyan parents. He I realize that with such & Saviour, entered the army about nineteen years who has so far given me the power to since, and was rapidly promoted ; but overcome sin, I shall, by the same about three years ago he came to grace, go on conquering and to con. Aldershot, having lost everything quer......
VOL. XIX,-FIFTH SERIES.
Then I look how God's goodness and leader and secretary to a temperance mercy have followed me. Two years society. and a half ago I was a likely candidate for the military prison, and a likelier From a Gunner, Royal Artillery, to one to become an occupant of a drunk- Rev. Richard Hardy.- October 20th, ard's grave, and an inheritor of a 1872.-0 ! how much have I to thank drunkard's punishment. I believe, God for; I shall never be able to had you not appealed to my better thank and praise Him enough, nature, and called up old associations “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forand memories, and recollections of get not all His benefits!" I have often Sunday-school, entreating me by.words thought of you, and often I have pic. of kind sympathy, I should long ago tured that dear " Home" where I have have sacrificed myself to this debasing passed many happy hours in meeting appetite...... I recovered the esteem of with those who love their blessed my officers, and was again promoted. Saviour, and in singing those sweet I am now finishing my term of ser. melodies....... Do not forget me in your vice, with a thankful heart for the pro- prayers. I hope you are having very vision made for 'temporal necessities, good meetings among the soldiers; and ample time for doing good accord. but above all that souls are being ing to my ability. I am now a prayer- saved.
HOME-MISSIONARY CORRESPONDENCE. 1. JUVENILE ASSOCIATIONS.—The ad portion of the money raised, and paid mirable plan suggested by the late Mr. to the home-mission fund, exceeds the Blake, of Harrow, is making progress in amount of the yearly collection in the public favour. Ten years since, namely, classes and of the congregational col. in 1861-62, there were but twenty-seven lections combined. of these associations, which raised for This admirable plan will not, how. home-missions, £231. 158. Last year, ever, continue to be effective without 1871-72, there were three hundred and exertions at once earnest, systematic, eight, which collectively paid to the and persevering; and it is hoped that home-mission fund, £2,892. 28. 9d. everywhere such exertions will be Thus, as in every instance a similar made. Regular meetings, each month, or a larger sum was paid to the foreign or more frequently, should be held, missionary fund, our young people to which the ministers—who would and children collected by this simple be glad to encourage the young people organization at least £5,784 in the in their work-should be invited, and at year. All fear of this movement which missionary information should injuring the foreign missionary fund be given. As to our home-missions, has been dissipated; for, in most ample details will be found in this cases, where this plan bas been adopted, Magazine, and in the "Home-Missionsums have been raised exceeding, and ary Record.” in some instances greatly exceeding, It is much to be desired, that Juvethe amounts previously produced by nile Associations should be established the circulation of Christmas-cards. in all our Circuits, as the Conference This result cannot but be viewed with has repeatedly recommended. If pleasure by those who are alike inter- vigorously and perseveringly susested in the work of missions and in tained, they would prove a great blessthe welfare of our young people. It is ing to our families and to our schools. noteworthy that, in some Circuits, the T he home-missionary committee,
though it gratefully acknowledges & beautiful house, “ This and that man gradual increase in its resources, were born there." earnestly solicits co-operation in the I am glad to report, that notwith. extension of this plan; so that it standing an unusual number of remomay not have the pain of being unable, vals, we found ourselves at the close for want of funds, to meet the urgent of last quarter numerically on the and distressing appeals for missionary right side of the total of the previous help from spiritually-destitute locale quarter. Since then we have com
C. P. menced three new classes. These bid
fair to be successful, each having 2. New Cross.-From the Rev. already received several new members. Joseph Diron.-November 28th, 1872.- We have now six classes meeting I am glad to be able still to report pro. weekly. I also avail myself of the gress at this mission. We have now opportunity, once a month, of address. been five months in our new chapel,
ing the Society, after the regular which affords us every convenience Sabbath evening service; and I am for carrying on the work of God. Since now trying to establish a Tract Society. the opening services were held, the One part of New Cross affords a fine congregation has steadily increased; field for the tract-distributor to labour in the evening it generally numbers in. Hundreds are there who will from six hundred to seven hundred gladly welcome a tract, and listen to persons. The morning congregation anything that a sensible and godly is also proportionably good. The in person has to say in delivering it. come from pew-rents for the first Several members of our Society have quarter is £37. 108.; and we have rea. offered themselves for this work, and son to hope that twice this amount per I doubt not that when we have got quarter will ere long be realized. this (to us) new machinery in motion,
It is not a listless and indifferent it will be productive of good. audience with which we have to deal. We have just held our SundayWe often see signs of deep feeling school anniversary. Sermons were during the service, and conversation preached, on Sunday last, by the Rev. with the people, when visiting them Frederic Greeves, and on the following also assu res os that good impressions evening, John Macgregor, Esq., (Rob are made. The great want is decision, Roy,) presided at the public meeting. and to this we are aiming to bring them. There are three hundred and seventy
The week-evening services afford us children on the school-books, being an encouragement. There has of late increase of seventy on the year. It is been a more regular attendance of the also gratifying to find that, with one members at their respective classes. or two exceptions, the teachers of these At the Thursday evening service, we children are members of our Society. commonly number one hundred per. The proceeds of the anniversary Bons. Acting upon the Scriptural amount to £20. 158., in addition to principle, that men must be won which Mr. Macgregor has promised us for Christ, and caught in the Gospel five pounds' worth of books towards net, I am endeavouring to make these the formation of a school-library. Our Thursday evening services as attractive large school-room is now let to the as possible, by preaching a course of London School Board, at a rental of sermons having a direct bearing on £70. per annum. This arrangement business and daily life.
will, in some measure, aid our funds; I wish I could write of frequent con- but it is not likely to continue more versions to God. A case now and then than a year or two. A minister's is not sufficient fully to answer the house has recently been taken and end of this mission. We -re anxious furnished. We have commenced a that it shall be said of our new and series of lectures, which are proving