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With regard to the saving of children. Up to four years ago we had considered that the matter of parental authority was something too sacred to be touched. We still believe that the home is the essential unit of our Christian civilization. I would not like to say a word toward undermining parental authority; and yet we have come to the conclusion that vice and crime forfeit the claim of parental authority, and that it is the duty of the State to look after the children. that are brought up in hot-beds of vice and crime, and place them in better surroundings.
I have no time to refer to the work of our children's aid societies, and to the work of our provincial superintendent of dependent and neglected children. We have one of the best officers on the continent in Mr. Kelso, who has made the work a great success.
Our factory and shop laws are fairly advanced; and we have wholesome regulations as to the employment of children, both as to sanitary arrangements and as to hours. I might refer to an act of our last session, in which we have gone farther toward regulating the admission from abroad of children who are unhealthy or criminal. At the same time we have gone into another form of legislation regarding child-saving; and that is regarding baby farming, by which some judicious regulations are made.
With regard to minors we have gone farther than many of your States would go, in enacting a law that makes it an offence for any person to sell or give any tobacco to any person under the age of eighteen except with the consent of the parent or guardian.
To refer to what is certainly a prolific source of crime, the liquor traffic, we have fairly advanced legislation. We have local option, both provincial and federal. The federal local option refers only to counties and cities, and is not now in force in this Province. We have a provincial local option, which refers to the local municipalities, that is, the cities, towns, villages, and townships; and a large number of the municipalities have no license whatever. No new license can be obtained without a majority of the electors of the polling district demanding it. The maximum number of licensed houses is 3 for the first 1,000 and 1 for every 600 after, and that may be still farther reduced. This law would allow over 300 in Toronto, but by municipal law we have cut it down to 150. The sale is, farther restricted by the limitation of the hours. In towns and cities no sales can take place between II P.M. and 6 A.M,
in villages none between 6 P.M. and 6 A.M. Throughout the whole province all bars and liquor-shops must be closed from 7 P.M. Saturday until 6 a.m. Monday. The number of licenses has been reduced largely. Twenty years ago there were 6,000; to-day there are 3,000. Education has not been neglected. During the past year there were over two hundred thousand scholars in our public schools who not only were taught during school hours the effects of alcohol on the system, but were examined on the subject.
The sale of liquor is prohibited to all persons of either sex under the age of twenty-one. Previously the age was eighteen. As onehalf of our population is under twenty-one, one-half of our people are thus placed under prohibition directly.
The question may be asked, What has been the result of all this restriction? I say this without fear of contradiction,-- that, so far as Anglo-Saxon people are concerned, we have in Canada a population that consumes less liquor than any equal number of Anglo-Saxon people. In Great Britain the consumption of liquor per capita per annum is thirty-one or thirty-two gallons. In the United States, according to the best statistics, it is fifteen or sixteen gallons. In the Dominion of Canada it is four and a half gallons. That is not quite as favorable as it might appear, because in England and the United States they consume more beer than we do; but the quantity, if reduced to an alcoholic basis, would show that we consume less than half what is used in the United States and less than a quarter of what is used in Great Britain.
The result is apparent in a good many ways. Our consumption of liquor has been going down steadily for twenty-five years. In the whole country we are using only two-thirds of what was used twentyfive years ago.
Take the arrests in this Province. Two years ago 3,800 were for drunkenness, last year not quite 1,900; and the law and practice are stronger now than then.
ABSTRACT, OF SERMON BY REV. C. R. HENDERSON.
"The greatest of these is charity."— I COR. xiii. 13.
The text is old and familiar, and that is a good reason for choosing it. The old homestead has hallowed associations with every tree and curve of meadow; and these holy words go in company with the tunes "Rock of Ages," "Seymour," and "Old Hundred,' which bear upon their wings memories of sweetness, pathos, and regenerating power. This hour we ascend from the foot-hills of our professional specialties to the commanding peak of the whole mountain range of beneficence: "The greatest is charity." We dare not attempt to compass this divine element in a phrase or enclose it in a formula. Yet we are sure it includes a positive and active disposition to promote the highest good of all beings capable of virtue or sensitive to pain. That master spirit of New England, Edwards, said, "The primary object of virtuous love is Being, the highest good of Being in general." The definition rises to God in the highest and reaches down to the beast of burden, to whom the Decalogue gives a share in the Sabbath rest. Pity to the feeble, broken, and criminal, is only one aspect of this energy of benevolence.
Charity, as thus defined, is an element in industrial order and economic progress. Wealth conditions higher life. Eating goes before culture. The natural comes before the spiritual. Achille Loria declared: "The cause of the most diverse phenomena of contemporary social life is the economic factor. This is the key to the immense mystery of the social universe." But, before his book is done, he is compelled to ask how industrial order and productivity may be secured; and logic compels him to appeal to justice and pity, to social sympathy. What gravity is to planets, that charity is
to all social relations. Wealth may be the root of life; but a tree lives by foliage and blossoms, as well as by roots. All higher wants are a spur to industry, a motive to creation of values. Sympathy, as justice, protects exposed lines of railroad and every form of property.
Charity, rationally conceived, is one
with the creative spiritual The nature of man is one.
forces which produce science and art. Esthetic impulses are one aspect of that unified manifold which has hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness. We never can do our best for the poor until we set a high standard for ourselves.
Charity is the active and positive disposition to universalize growing good, truth, beauty. Mrs. Browning compares the personal discovery of a truth to participation in the Eucharist :
"How sure it is
That, if we speak a true word, instantly
We dared set up any claim to such."
When Columbus knelt on the sandy beach of newly discovered America, he claimed the whole unexplored world for king and cross. So charity asks all good for all men. Philanthropy lavishes wealth on expeditions, laboratories, experiments, bureaus of statistics, explorations, because it has an instinct that benevolence can ultimately make use of all truth.
Charity is the way to union of man with the Divine. Certainty in moral and religious truth never came by the path of speculation. In the lonely cell of selfishness the sun of truth never shines. Jesus revealed the vital principle of highest discoveries: "If any man is willing to do his will, he shall know." Robertson paraphrased this saying in his famous proposition: "Obedience is the organ of spiritual knowledge." We learn to love God, whom we have not seen, by loving the brother who is made in his image.
"A noble deed is a step toward God,
Lifting the soul from the common clod
From the argument we may answer objections to philanthropy, as when it is asserted that it has to do with a small and useless fraction of humanity, and is therefore a pursuit unworthy of an edu
cated person. We reply that charity is the moral bond of mankind. No worm shrivels in a useless fire. No human being can be neglected without universal loss. Physicians reverence life itself. They dare not admit euthanasia on any pretext, lest life in general become insecure. A rent in the dyke no wider than a hair will let in the sea. It is the idea of humanity, bare and simple, which protects the millionaire, and makes his treasures and his person safe. With the growth of democracy the man who needs protection most will be the wealthy. In infancy, sickness, and old age the captain of industry is as dependent as a pauper. Universal security rests on universal good will.
To the objection that philanthropy is a fitful, unreliable, and exceptional force, we can reply that it is a pioneer, and leads to regular and systematic action, and that the higher motives are gradually becoming more significant in history.
To the objection that philanthropy supports the continuance of the feeble and unfit, we can reply by a confession and a resolution. There is only too much truth in the accusation. But scientific rational philanthropy is supplanting instinctive, short-sighted amiability, and is aiming at sanitation, education, segregation, and elimination. This is a distinguishing feature of the "new charity." It could not be more tender or self-sacrificing than medieval charity. The world will never know more heroic acts of self-immolation than are recorded in the history of the charitable orders. But modern charity thrives in the environment of science. It knows more than the old charity. It is more social and organic, less atomistic and clerical.
Charity thus seems to give meaning and dignity to all life. Luther, in his memorable tract "On the Liberty of a Christian Man," said: "A Christian man is the freest lord of all, and subject to none. A Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one." The paradox needs for the initiated no explanation. Greatness lies in service.
"Thy humble and patient life
Hath been a strife
And battle for the truth.
Nor hast thou paused or halted,
Therefore art thou exalted."