Representatives of the secular and religious press! I thank you, in the name of Christianity and civilization, for the enlightenment of ignorance, the overthrow of iniquity, and the words you have uttered in the cause of God and your country. But I charge you in the name of God, before whom you must account for the tremendous influence you hold in this country, to consecrate yourselves to higher endeavors. You are the men to fight back this invasion of corrupt literature. Lift up your right hand and swear new allegiance to the cause of philanthropy and religion. And when, at last, standing on the plains of judgment, you look out upon the unnumbered throngs over whom you have had influence, may it be found that you were among the mightiest energies that lifted men upon the exalted pathway that leads to the renown of heaven. Better than to have sat in editorial chair, from which, with the finger of type, you decided the destinies of empires, but decided them wrong, that you had been some dungeoned exile, who, by the light of window iron-grated, on scraps of a New Testament leaf, picked up from the hearth, spelled out the story of Him who taketh away the sins of the world.
IN ETERNITY, DIVES IS THE BEGGAR!
While among my readers are those who have passed on into the afternoon of life, and the shadows are lengthening, and the sky crimsons with the glow of the setting sun, a large number of them are in early life, and the morning is coming down out of the clear sky upon them, and the bright air is redolent with spring blossoms, and the stream of life, gleaming and glancing, rushes on between flowery banks, making music as it goes. Some of you are engaged in mercantile establishments, as clerks and book-keepers; and your whole life is to be passed in the exciting world of traffic. The sound of busy life stirs you as the drum stirs the fiery war-horse. Others are in the mechanical arts, to hammer and chisel your way through life; and success awaits you. Some are preparing for professional life, and grand opportunities are before you; nay, some of you already have buckled on the armor.
But, whatever your age or calling, the subject of gambling, about which I speak in this chapter, is pertinent.
Some years ago, when an association for the suppression of gambling was organized, an agent of the association came to a prominent citizen and asked him to patronize the society. He said, “No, I can have no interest in such an organization. I am in no wise affected by that evil.”
At that very time his son, who was his partner in business, was one of the heaviest players in “Herne’s” famous gaming establishment. Another refused his patronage on the same ground, not knowing that his first book-keeper, though receiving a salary of only a thousand dollars, was losing from fifty to one hundred dollars per night. The president of a railroad company refused to patronize the institution, saying—“That society is good for the defence of merchants, but we railroad people are not injured by this evil;” not knowing that, at that very time, two of his conductors were spending three nights of each week at faro tables in New York. Directly or indirectly, this evil strikes at the whole world.