Scientific Temperance

The Christian Advocate

THE agitation for total abstinence and stringent restriction of the liquor traffic has ceased to be the special work of temperance fanatics." Men of Science (who spell the word with a large S) are giving attention to it; and the evils of alcoholism and the means of dealing with them have a conspicuous place in the discussions and transactions of learned societies and among the subjects of articles in scientific journals. The French government is puzzled over the prevalence and growth of the malady. The German government has made the means of repressing the drinking habit a matter of serious consideration for a long time. In fact. the nations abroad are at last beginning to go through an experience like that we have endured; only there the matter is taken up by statesmen and philosophers whose minds are admitted to be broad, instead of by such as are called cranks here. Strong liquors do not alone come in for reprehension. The mischief of wine and beer drinking is recognized as being quite as important under the prevailing drinking as being quite as important more attention than that of the consumption of spirits. We have observed this trend for several years in our journalistic reading of foreign scientific papers, in articles which we have not now at hand, and have contrasted the interest shown in them with the apathy which, till Sheriff Pearson and Mrs. Nation arose, seemed to be coming over our own land. A few recent articles that have come under notice will help show what is going on, and how.

In a recent discussion in the New York Academy of Medicine, by medical men pure and simple, the topics of "Beer Drinking and Kidney Disease, the effects of alcohol on the nerve centres, the care and treatment of inebriates, alcohol and tuberculosis, and ignorance as a cause of alcoholism were dwelt upon. All the doctors seemed to agree that alcohol was bad and only bad, and it had been a mistake ever to regard it otherwise. and all paid very little attention to the supposed distinction as to degrees of badness between the light drinks and the strong ones. Dr. M. Allen Starr expressed the opinion that the most potent influence to be relied upon as a preventive and remedy for alcoholism was the religious one.

Mrs. M. G. Stuckenburg has recently published a pamphlet containing numerous quotations from Germans in various callings—government officers. university professors, physicians, authors, pastors, and bishops—testifying to the evil effects in private and public life of German indulgence in drink; and some of them are particularly strong against beer.

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A Novel Steam Engine
August 15, 1901

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