Excerpt from The Methodist Review, 1899, Vol. 81: Bimonthly
But, while we who are followers of John Wesley may be inspired to greater zeal for the overthrow of intemperance by his words and works, there are many upon whom no words of his or any other religious reformer would make the slightest impression. There is, however, one name which will always command the respect of every American, even of the saloon keeper and those politicians who fear the political power of the saloon keeper more than they fear the wrath of God - the name of Abraham Lincoln. This great leader was always, by word and act, a temperance man. He never used liquor in any form, and be frequently sought to persuade others not to use it. He often preached what he called a sermon to his boys. It was: Don't drink, don't smoke, don't chew, don't swear, don't gamble, don't lie, don't cheat. Love your fellow men and love God. Love truth, love virtue, and be happy. He frequently spoke to young men whom he saw were in danger from the use of liquor, and not a few, no doubt, owe their moral and perhaps spiritual salvation to his kindly words of warning. A certain well-known class leader in one of our prominent Western churches relates that after Mr. Lincoln's speech at Leavenworth, Kan., in the winter of 1859, Mr. Lin coln and friends - among whom was the narrator of the inci dent, then a young man - were invited to the home of Judge Delahay, where Mr. Lincoln was entertained. The refresh ments included wine, of which nearly everyone except Mr. Lincoln partook. The witness adds: The next day we escorted him back to the train, and to my dying day I shall never forget our parting. I was only twenty-two years old. Mr. Lincoln bade each one good-bye, and gave each a hearty grasp of the hand. He bade me good-bye last, and, as he took my hand in both of his and stood there towering above me, he looked down into my eyes with that sad, kindly look of his, and said, My young friend, do not put an enemy in your mouth to steal away your brains.
Mr. Lincoln was a temperance man not from an impulse due to the enthusiasm aroused by some temperance orator.
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