The best method of prohibition is what is known as “local option,” where the question is submitted to each community, whether the liquor traffic shall be legalized or suppressed by public authority. Of late years friends of our cause have fallen into the sad mistake of directing their main assaults upon liquor selling instead of keeping up also their fire upon the use of intoxicants. Legal enactments are right; but to attempt to dam up a torrent and neglect the fountain-head is surely insanity. The fountain-head of drunkenness is the drinking usages which create and sustain the saloons, which are often the doorways to hell. In theory I always have been, and am to-day, a legal suppressionist; but the most vital remedy of all is to break up the demand for intoxicants, and to persuade people from wishing to buy and drink them. That goes to the root of the evil. In endeavoring to remove the saloon, it is the duty of all philanthropists to do their utmost to provide safe places of resort—as the Holly-Tree Inns and other temperance coffee houses—for the working people. And another beneficent plan is for corporations and employers to make abstinence from drink an essential to employment. My generous friend, Mr. Andrew Carnegie, when he recently gave a liberal donation to our National Temperance Society, said to me: “The best temperance lecture I have delivered was when I agreed to pay ten per cent premium to all the employees on my Scottish estates who would practice entire abstinence from intoxicants.” The experience of three-score years has taught me the inestimable value of total abstinence; the benefit of the righteous law when it is well enforced, and also that the church of Christ has no more right to ignore the drink evil than it has to ignore theft, or Sabbath desecration, or murder. Let me add also my grateful acknowledgment of the very effective and Heaven-blessed work wrought by that noble organization, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. As woman has been the sorest sufferer from the drink-curse, it is her province and her duty to do her utmost for its removal.
MY WORK IN THE PULPIT
During the first eighteen months after I graduated from Princeton College I was balancing between the law and the ministry. Many of my relatives urged me to become a lawyer, as my father and grandfather had been, but my godly mother had dedicated me to the ministry from infancy, and her influence all went in the same line with her prayers. With the exception of my venerated and beloved kinsman, Dr. Cornelius C. Cuyler, Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, who died in 1850, no other man of my name has stood in an American pulpit. During the winter of my return from Europe to my home on the Cayuga Lake, one of my uncles invited me to go down and attend an afternoon prayer service in the neighboring village of Ludlowville. There was a spiritual