THE BLUE RIBBON ARMY IN MARYPORT
 
On Monday evening last the Maryport branch of the Blue Ribbon Army  continued
their campaign by holding their fourth public meeting in the  Athenaeum.  The
president, Mr. A. HINE, presided, and the other gentlemen  on the platform
were the Rev. J.M. BONNAR, Harrington;  The Rev. D.  EADES,  Mr. T. THOMPSON,
and Mr. L. ADAIR, Maryport.  Mr. W. LEIGHTON  presided at the American organ.  
After the singing of a hymn the Rev. D.  EADES read a portion of Scripture,
after which the Rev. J.M. BONNAR engaged in  prayer.
 
The CHAIRMAN, in opening the proceedings, said he did not expect to have  
occupied the position of chairman that evening, as it was thought that the Rev.  
J. BUNTING would be able to take the chair at the meeting, but on account of a
 previous engagement to attend a meeting at Flimby, Mr. BUNTING had been
unable  to attend, and therefore he (Mr. HINE) supposed that, as president of the  
movement, presiding was one of the penalties he must expect to have to pay
for  holding such a position.  When he was over in Paris he visited the Cemetery
 of Pere la Chase, and when walking about with his wife and other friends,
and  examining the various objects of interest, they saw a tall man dodging
their  footsteps.  He seemed to be a veritable Yankee, and such he afterwards  
proved to be; for at last he came up to them in a very abrupt manner, and said,  
"My dear friends, if I don't speak I will burst" (laughter).  That seemed  
very strange, and he told the man to speak rather than burst (laughter); and  
speak he did.  He spoke well, and talked with effect.  It transpired  that he had
been two days in Paris, and had never met an American or any person  speaking
the English language.  It was quite a windfall for the American to  find
someone who could speak English whom he could hold a conversation  with.  However,
on this occasion he (the chairman) did not feel like the  Yankee:  he did not
feel as if he were bursting for want of speaking  (laughter).  He was very
glad that on that occasion they had two able  speakers, who would address the
meeting, in the persons of Mr. BONNAR and Mr.  THOMPSON.  They had quite
sufficient speaking power without anything he  could say he was sure.  But he must
congratulate the committee on the  success which had so far attended this
movement (applause).  The success of  a movement like this became very apparent, for
they soon saw the result.   Now in the other orders of temperance, - the old
Temperance Societies, the  Rechabites, and Good Templars - well, as Good
Templars they had to be initiated  into the meaning of certain mysteries and signs,
and those who were initiated  could tell who were and who were not Good
Templars by a grip of the hand - but  here the success became more apparent by a
certain sign or the wearing of a  certain object, and that certain sign was no
other than a little bit of blue  ribbon.  They saw at once what progress the
movement was making by the  numbers who put on the blue ribbon, and therefore
the success of a movement like  this became apparent at once.  The number of
members now in the Army in  Maryport was something over 300 (applause).  When
they considered that that  was only their fourth meeting he thought they might
congratulate themsleves -  well, perhaps not congratulate themselves so much,
but at any rate, they had no  reason to feel dissatisfied with their efforts
during the past week or so (hear,  hear).  God had in a singular manner blessed
their labours, and to Him and  Him alone they ascribed all the praise, and to
Him they gave all the glory  (cheers).  If the members prayed for God's
blessing, and for Him to give  success to the movement, they had faith to believe
that He would answer the  prayer; and he (the chairman) trusted that all members
who had taken the blue  ribbon and had the success of the movement at heart
would labour for it, and  that each one would remember they had an influence
which no one else could  exert.  Therefore, there was a great responsibility
resting upon every  person who joined a movement of this kind.  It was not for the
speakers  alone to work:  they wanted everyone to be a real soldier, to face
the  enemy, and to do battle against the great evil, and in the strength of
the Lord  they would overcome (applause).  They always liked to hear of pledges
being  taken, and he trusted the result of that night's efforts would be that
a good  many would come forward and give their names and join the Army
(cheers).
 
The Rev. J.M. BONNAR said he might say in coming there, what he said to the  
friends at Harrington a week ago, "I am here with all my heart."  He did  not
appear upon a temperance platform to apologise for not going the whole  length
with respect to temperance principles.  His sympathies were with the  Gospel
Temperance movement.  He was there to convey the good wishes of the  Blue
Ribbon Army soldiers of Harrington to those at Maryport (applause).   They had had
over 100 people coming forward at Harrington and putting on the  blue ribbon.
 He was glad to hear that they had done such good work at  Maryport, and
delighted to hear that they had had such a good evening when his  friend Mr. BOYD,
of Carlisle, was speaking.  Well, to proceed to  business.  He felt in the
position of a very worthy minister of  scotland.  he was deputed to go from one
end of Scotland to the other and  beg money for the building of manses or
ministers' houses.  But others had  been begging before him, and he said, when he
appeared before the General  Assembly, that he was like the Irishman who was
in front of a very poor field,  and who asked another Irishman, "Did you ever
see a field like that?  A  stalk here and a stalk there."  "Yes," was the
reply, "I have seen a far  worse field than that; one with a talk here and no stalk
there at all"  (laughter).  Well he (Mr. BONNAR) had got a field with
scarcely any stalks  at all.  There had been so many speakers before him that they
had almost  taken all the ideas that could suggest themselves to his mind; but
he thought he  could find a stalk here and a stalk there.  The temperance
question was one  for preachers, patriots, and politicians.  He would try to say a
word on  each of these points.  First of all, it was a question for  
preachers.  He was a teetotaler and a soldier of the Blue Ribbon Army from  conviction.
 He believed with all his heart that the most potent agency in  the world for
the elevation of humanity was the Gospel of Christ.  At the  same time he
believed there were auxiliary agencies, and he welcomed them all,  and wished
them all success;  for he was sure of this - the more converts  they made from
intemperance the easier would it be for preachers to bring them  to Christ,
therefore, the temperance question was one for preachers.  They  had had for over
50 years Total Abstinence Societies in England, and yet there  was a great
field that had not been cultivated.  But the Gospel Temperance  Union was working
successfully in this field.  They heard of thousands  putting on the blue
ribbon, and it seemed as if the vision of the prophet was  about to be realised -
A thousand born in a day.  There had been a  diminution of crime, and a great
diminution of misery and vice that would  gladden the heart of any Christian,
not to speak of any Christian  minister.  He thought that in the drinking
customs of the people they had a  great obstacle to their work as Christian
ministers.  Why were their  churches not filled to the doors on Sundays?  It was
because public-houses  were opened and they were a counter attraction.  They
hoped by-and-by to  shut the public-houses up on Sundays (applause).  The State
was to blame  for this condition of things, and what the State had very
wantonly and very  foolishly done it ought to be made to undo.  When England had made
up her  mind the State would not be long in acting.  Let all the counties of  
England join in demanding from our Legislature the closing of public-houses
on  Sundays.  Let them see to it that they did all they could to have  
public-houses shut up on the Lord's day.  Alcohol was the enemy of  man:  it
deteriorated his nature in every respect;  therefore, as a  minister of the Gospel, he
upheld temperance principles.  And then this was  a question for patriots.  
They were all patriots in a sense:  that  was, they were all lovers of their
country.  He would not give a farthing  for the man who would not say that his
own country was the best in the  world.  If they really loved their country let
them try to stem this awful  tide of intemperance which was sweeping over the
land.  Then this was a  question for politicians.  There were places in
America where public-houses  were not known.  Why should they not be able to point
in West Cumberland to  a place that was not disgraced by a single house of that
description.  Now  the State could help them in this respect.  Let them give
the State no rest  until it was done (applause).  Mr. BONNAR, after touching
upon Sir WILFRID  LAWSON's Local Option Bill and other phases of the political
aspect of the  temperance question, concluded by expressing a hope that the
Blue Ribbon Army  would go forward in Maryport and prove a great success, and
sat down amid loud  applause.
 
Mr. THOMPSON, who was warmly received on rising, said he had attended many  
temperance meetings in his time, and had taken rather a prominent part in the  
temperance movement, and he always listened with a considerable amount of  
pleasure to any address delivered on the subject.  But there was one fact  in
connection with intemperance which often struck him, and it was this:   he was
afraid that many people; failed to realise what a terrible evil  intemperance
really is.  They met its victims so frequently and under so  many circumstances
that they sometimes passed them by with a look of pity, and  frequently with a
look of disdain.  He had recently been reading the  autobiography of Mr. John
GOUGH, who was probably the most eloquent temperance  advocate that ever
appeared upon a platform.  Now if total abstinence could  save John GOUGH it could
save any man however degraded and however vile he might  be.  John GOUGH, in
early life, was one of the greatest drunkards that  could possible be found.  
At the time when his wife and child were lying  dead in the corner of a dark
room, he was lying in another corner with a bottle  of rum beside him.  He
crept across the floor in the darkness and passed  his hand over the cold dead
faces of both wife and child, and then crept back  again and drank himself into a
state of insensibility.  It was stated in  the same book that a printer, who
was a reformed drunkard, was working in an  office opposite to a public-house.
 from the place where he was working he  could see the people going in and
out of the public-house.  This produced  such an effect upon the man that one
day he threw down the composing-s*ck and  ran home, and said to his wife, "For
God's sake lock me up and don't speak to  me."  The woman complied with the
request, and for thirty hours the poor  fellow as alone fighting what Joaquim
MILLER calls the "silent battle" with  temptation, and came off victorious
(applause).  If there was one thin in  connection with intemperance more than
another which shocked him (the speaker),  it was the fact that women and children
were the greatest sufferers by it.   He had a good opinion of a man who had an
affection for children, because it  proved that he had a noble heart.  The
speaker concluded with an earnest  appeal to all present to join the Blue Ribbon
Army, and sat down amid general  applause.
 
Votes of thanks to the chairman and speakers concluded the  proceedings.
 
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