Bishop McIlvaine Decries the Curse of Intemperance, 1830
. . . total abstinence is the only plan on which reformation can be hoped for. We are shut up to this. We have tried the consequences of encouraging people to venture but moderately into the atmosphere of infection; and we are now convinced that it was the very plan to feed its strength and extend its ravages. We are forced to the conclusion that to arrest the pestilence we must starve it. All the healthy must abstain from its neighborhood. All those who are now temperate must give up the use of the means of intemperance. The deliverance of this land from its present degradation and from the increasing woes attendant on this vice depends altogether upon the extent to which the principle of total abstinence shall be adopted by our citizens. . . .
In order to exert ourselves with the best effect in the promotion of the several objects in this great cause to which young men should apply themselves, let us associate ourselves into temperance societies. We know the importance of associated exertions. We have often seen how a few instruments, severally weak, have become mighty when united. Every work, whether for evil or benevolent purposes, has felt the life, and spur, and power of cooperation. The whole progress of the temperance reformation, thus far, is owing to the influence of societies; to the coming together of the temperate and the union of their resolutions, examples, and exertions under the articles of temperance societies. . . .