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Other quotations are given to the same purpose. “The Holy Church throughout all the world” does not believe drink wrong Dr. Wasson holds. "The Church believes it right: it uses it in its holiest worship: it sanctions it as a beverage. Total abstinence, as a principle, is only a modern rigorist eccentricity; at outs with the Scriptures; at outs with the example and solemn precept of Jesus; at outs with antiquity and history; at outs with the Church of God today. It is provincial, as against ecumenical; sectarian, as against catholic; novel, as against ancient. Total abstinence, as a religious obligation, is a rigorist product.”
Dr. Wasson, in reviewing the history of Prohibition in this country, calls it a sectarian and rural affair. The cities, with their great populations, and immense power and prestige, are gaining influence throughout the country; and the cities are against teetotalism by force. In fact, they are against teetotalism of any sort. The author finds that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is increasing, while alleged prohibition territory is also increasing, and this he holds to be a more vital fact than the increasing prohibition territory.
"The clear and striking fact for the United States is this: the more prohibition, the more drink. I am not saying that there is any relation between the two facts. I am not saying that with less prohibition there would not be still more drink. I am simply saying that prohibition has gone on increasing, and drink has gone on increasing. Prohibition aims to stop drink, and drink has not stopped; it has increased.”
It is pointed out that in Europe, where there is no prohibition to speak of, drink is decreasing. He cites the Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts, one of the ablest of the prohibition advocates, as saying that it is "the riddle of reformers the world over that countries with little or no prohibition are decisively reducing the national per capita consumption of liquors, while the United States, with more prohibition than any other country, has never succeeded in accomplishing such reduction in the nation as a whole, except temporarily in years of financial depression."
In the chapter on “Intemperance” still another paradox is brought to our attention, namely, that although there is more drinking, there is less drunkenness. The Church has always insisted that sobriety was consistent with drinking; and experience seems to confirm this ancient wisdom. Passages from literary writings of the early eighteenth century are quoted to show the change in public opinion as to the man “in his cups.” A hundred years ago it was no great sin to get drunk. A man did not lose caste by it. But today he does; and, if he offend often, he is banned, both in society and business.
The author mentions six reasons for intemperance on the part of the individual; but abnormality of one kind or another is at the root of all six, and the cure for these abnormalities lies deep under the social surface, in many cases. The church can do much to remedy these evils, but not everything. “The church is out of its element when it sets up as political economist, and presumes to decide among conflicting policies; for, in these things, it knoweth ‘not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good' (Ecc. 11, 6), or alike bad. On the other hand, in degree as the church attends to its spiritual task successfully, will the spirit of justice and charity permeate and shape legislation and industry, as a living and potent principle.” But even more potent than religion, for temperance, are the natural forces in modern society. The greatest of these forces is business; organized labor has powerfully promoted temperance.
Part Three of the book is entitled “The Truth of the Gospel." The Old Testament, Jesus, the New Testament, and the Universal Church all concur in blessing drink as “a good gift of God.” Can there be any higher sanction of right than this? If these four witnesses of righteousness were wrong in this, then every moral certitude goes. "If these do not know, how can you or I?” asks the author. In the concluding chapters a powerful argument for personal liberty is made. Laws which have not their foundation in the desires and will of the people are useless. The aim should be to educate society for its greatest usefulness and development, physically, mentally and morally; the non-fundamental issues will then adjust themselves.
SMUGGLING IN THE HIGHLANDS, a book published in England, deals with the legends and stories of mystery which have grown up around the custom of illicit distilling and the followers of this mode of livelihood. The book is written by Ian MacDonald, "late of the Inland Revenue," and deals with the matter from a picturesque point of view. It is really a collection of papers read before the Gaelic Society some years ago, and put into book form in 1914. The Scotch Highlander and the native of our own Appalachian Mountains both have the same contempt for a government which would tax spirits distilled from the produce of their own lands. The book is interesting chiefly for its quaint presentation of the subject. In the chapter on "The Moral Aspect of Smuggling" the author regrets that "the Highland clergy, with one exception, are guilty of the grossest neglect and indifference in the matter of wiping out the practice. Smugglers are formally debarred from the Communion Table in only one Highland Parish.” (The book can be obtained through P. S. King & Son, London, England.)
CAUSES AND CURES OF CRIME, by THOMAS SPEED MOSBY (C. V. Mosby Co., St. Louis, Mo.), is a book which recent circumstances have made of particular interest. Some time ago the newspapers published broadcast the announcement that out of 1,478 prisoners in the Eastern Penitentiary (Pennsylvania), 1,008 had signed a petition asking the next legislature to put the saloon out of business. This "human document," as it was fondly called by prohibition advocates, would not have been seized upon so eagerly had its would-be sponsors been more familiar with the literature of criminology.
In the chapter entitled “Individual Factors of Crime" the author treats of this very matter. The relation of alcoholism and crime have been made the subject of exhaustive research.
"Investigators are frequently misled by the convicts themselves. It is well known that criminals who are victims of the opium habit will never let the fact be known if they can possibly conceal it, but most convicts who have been addicted to the use of alcoholic drinks in any degree do not hesitate to proclaim themselves the victims of intemperance. Most criminals who have used liquor at all will attribute their whole misfortune to drink, thinking thus to evade moral responsibility for the crime. Thus, one prisoner told me that he held up a street car and robbed the conductor, 'because I had been drinking. As to precisely what quantity of intoxicating liquor must be consumed in order to induce the robbery of a street car, let savants judge. I afterwards discovered epilepsy and insanity in the family history of this man."
SHALL I DRINK? In this book the Rev. JOSEPH H. CROOKER has collected all of the arguments and material published in recent years on the negative side of this question and purports to give a scientific presentation of his point of view. He quotes copiously from the publications of the Scientific Temperance Federation and uses its "valuable copyrighted" charts. The book is a hodgepodge and is written from a most biased viewpoint. Its only value lies in the fact that it is a sort of anthology of prohibition arguments.
The author seeks to prove, in the chapter "The Drink Superstition," that origin of the habit of drinking is found in the superstition that by intoxication men become filled with the spirit of God. As it was regarded as the divine life-giver, men used liquor in their sacrificial feasts. It created friendship between men and the gods.
The Rochester Herald in its issue of August 10, 1914, remarks editorially, that the Rev. Mr. Crooker is putting the cart before the horse, and says: “We do not believe that men began to drink out of
any such notion as that. Men began to drink for the same reason that men drink now—because it satisfied their thirst. The real reason why men have always drunk, and why they doubtless always will, is found in the fact that a drink makes them feel better than they feel without it.” (The book can be obtained from Pilgrim Press, New York City.)
THE PREVALENCE OF OCCUPATIONAL FACTORS IN DISEASE
Under this title, E. R. Heyhurst, Director of the Division of Occupational Disease in the Ohio State Board of Health, has written a valuable paper printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association of December 14, 1914. He accompanies his carefully presented statistical material, obtained from a study conducted under the Occupational Disease Fellowship of the Otho S. A. Sprague Institute for Infectious Diseases, with suggestions for the elimination of occupational factors.
Only the summary of his findings is herewith reproduced. The study is of very great interest and should serve to dispel many current erroneous notions about the causes of disease in industries, particularly that in regard to the importance attached to alcoholism as a factor.
As a result of considerable study of hospital and dispensary cases and records, of vital statistics, and of field investigations, we reach the following .conclusions: 1. Occupied persons, other than agriculturists, suffer an
, enormous mortality (figures show 74 per cent.) from well-recognized preventable and prematurely degenerative diseases.
2. Occupational diseases exist because industrial health-hazards exist. Responsible employers do not realize the existence of either, while treating agencies take little cognizance of employments.
3. From one-fourth to one-third of the medical afflictions of tradespersons are due in whole, or in great part, to industrial healthhazards.
4. In institutions, the vast majority of industrial diseases are lost sight of through failure to recognize properly the industrial relations of the patients, to make etiologic diagnoses, and to classify properly in subsequent filing.
5. Specific occupational diseases, such as lead poisoning, are not recognized in more than one out of three or four instances, more especially the chronic cases.
6. Present-day institutional records are of value only in showing the enormous numbers of representatives of groups of indus