To the PRESIDENT of the World's Temperance Convention
"Dear Sir:--Circumstances beyond my control will probably prevent my attending the World's Temperance Convention. The
[p. 47]Committee of Arrangements, through their CHAIRMAN, have requested me to prepare a paper, to be read at the Convention, which, from the pressure of other engagements, I find impracticable, and have ventured to transmit the above resolution for the consideration of the meeting. It seems to me to require but little explanation. The first branch of it covers the field upon which the friends of the cause have hitherto been laboring. These labors have so exhibited the truth as to demonstrate that the use and traffic in intoxicating drinks as a beverage, are so fraught with danger and ruin to the temporal and eternal interests of mankind, as to be wholly indefensible upon moral grounds. Up to this point, it seems to me that a vast preponderance of public sentiment in every enlightened community, certainly in several of the States of this Union, has already been brought. The second branch of the resolution embodies a proposition, which to my mind is equally clear. Although having been more recently urged and less considered, it is not as generally admitted. But it seems to me that it ought to be assumed by the Convention. If the moral evils of intoxicating drinks should be visited by moral and social influences, then upon like grounds the public wrongs and mischiefs of the traffic should be arrested by the strong arm of the law. The sole question appears to be, are the propositions contained in the resolution true? If they are, and if their establishment is essential to the final and complete triumph of the cause, they should be clearly laid down by the World's Temperance Convention, and fearlessly maintained by the friends of Temperance everywhere. Any lower standard, although it might be less disagreeable to our opponents (whom we should never offend unnecessarily,) would embarrass the friends of the cause, and retard its final triumph. And no man has a right to be offended by the truth, seasonably uttered in charity and kindness.
"If it is in my power to be with you for a single day, I shall not fail to do so, and I earnestly hope that your deliberations may be attended with abundant success for the advancement of the cause throughout the world.
"Yours, with great respect,
"EDWARD C. DELAVAN,
"President New York State Tem. Soc'ty."