Differing in some essential particulars from inebriate asylums or hospitals for the cure of drunkenness as a disease, are the institutions called "Homes." Their name indicates their character. It is now about twenty years since the first of these was established. It is located at 41 Waltham Street, Boston, in an elegant and commodious building recently erected, and is called the "Washingtonian Home." The superintendent is Dr. Albert Day. In 1863, another institution of this character came into existence in the city of Chicago. This is also called the "Washingtonian Home." It is situated in West Madison Street, opposite Union Park. The building is large and handsomely fitted up, and has accommodations for over one hundred inmates. Prof. D. Wilkins is the superintendent. In 1872 "The Franklin Reformatory Home," of Philadelphia, was established. It is located at Nos. 911, 913 and 915 Locust Street, in a well-arranged and thoroughly-furnished building, in which all the comforts of a home may be found, and can accommodate over seventy persons. Mr. John Graff is the superintendent.
As we have said, the name of these institutions indicates their character. They are not so much hospitals for the cure of a disease, as homes of refuge and safety, into which the poor inebriate, who has lost or destroyed his own home, with all its good and saving influences, may come and make a new effort, under the most favoring influences, to recover himself.
The success which, has attended the work of the three institutions named above, has been of the most gratifying character. In the
WASHINGTONIAN HOME AT BOSTON,
drunkenness has been regarded as a malady, which may be cured through the application of remedial agencies that can be successfully employed only under certain conditions; and these are sought to be secured for the patient. The home and the hospital are, in a certain sense, united. "While we are treating inebriety as a disease, or a pathological condition," says the superintendent, in his last report, "there are those who regard it as a species of wickedness or diabolism, to be removed only by moral agencies. Both of these propositions are true in a certain sense. There is a difference between sin and evil, but the line of demarkation is, as yet, obscure, as much so as the line between the responsibility and irresponsibility of the inebriate."
Doubtless, the good work done in this excellent institution is due, in a large measure, to the moral and religious influences under which the inmates are brought. Nature is quick to repair physical waste and deterioration, when the exciting causes of disease are removed. The diseased body of the drunkard, as soon as it is relieved from the poisoning influence of alcohol, is restored, in a measure, to health. The brain is clear once more, and the moral faculties again able to act with reason and conscience. And here comes in the true work of the Home, which is the restoration of the man to a state of rational self-control; the quickening in his heart of old affections, and the revival of old and better desires and principles.
"Among the beneficial results of our labor," says Dr. Day, "we see our patients developing a higher principle of respect for themselves and their friends. This, to us, is of great interest. We see indications convincing us that the mind, under our treatment, awakens to a consciousness of what it is, and what it is made for. We see man becoming to himself a higher object, and attaining to the conviction of the equal and indestructible of every being. In them, we see the dawning of the great principle advocated by us continually, viz., That the individual is not made to be the instrument of others, but to govern himself by an inward law, and to advance towards his proper perfections; that he belongs to himself and to God, and to no human superior. In all our teachings we aim to purify and ennoble the character of our patients by promoting in them true virtue, strong temperance proclivities and a true piety; and to accomplish these ends we endeavor to stimulate their own exertions for a better knowledge of God, and for a determined self-control."
And again he says: "Almost every day we hear from some one who has been with us under treatment, who has been cured. Their struggles had been fierce, and the battle sometimes would seem to be against them; but, at last, they have claimed the victory. In my experience, I have found that so long as the victim of strong drink has the will, feeble as it may be, to put forth his efforts for a better life, an 4 his constant struggle is in the right direction, he is almost sure to regain his will power, and succeed in overcoming the habit. By exercise, the will gains strength. The thorns in the flesh of our spiritual nature will be plucked out, the spiritual life will be developed, and our peace shall flow as the river. This condition we constantly invoke, and by all the means within our reach we try to stimulate the desire for a better life. I am pleased to say our efforts in this direction have not been in vain. For nearly twenty years we have been engaged in this work, and we have now more confidence in the means employed than at any other period. Situated, as we are, in the midst of a great city, with a Christian sympathy constantly active and co-operating with us, no one can remain in the institution without being the recipient of beneficial influences, the effect of which is salutary in the extreme. I am fully satisfied that the 'Washingtonian Home' is greatly indebted to these moral agencies for its success."
The following letter, received by us, from Otis Clapp, who has been for sixteen years president of the "Washingtonian Home," will give the reader a still clearer impression of the workings of that institution. It is in answer to one we wrote, asking for information about the institution in which he had been interested for so many years:
"BOSTON, August 9th, 1877.
"DEAR SIR:--Your letter is received, and I am glad to learn that your mind is directed to the subject of the curse and cure of drunkenness. This is one of the largest of human fields to work in. The 'Washingtonian Home' was commenced in a very humble way, in November, 1857. An act of incorporation was obtained from the State, March 26th, 1859.
"The institution has, therefore, been in existence nearly twenty years. My connection with it has been for eighteen years--sixteen years as president. During the period of its existence the whole number of patients has been five thousand three hundred and forty-eight. Of this number, the superintendent, Dr. Day, estimates the cured at one-half. Of the remainder, it is estimated that one-half, making one-quarter of the whole, are greatly improved.
"You say, 'I take the general ground, and urge it strongly upon the reader that, without spiritual help--regeneration, in a, word--there is, for the confirmed inebriate, but little hope, and no true safety.'
"In this I fully concur. I believe in using all the agencies--medical, social, moral and religious--to bear upon the patient, and to encourage him to follow the 'straight and narrow way.' With this view, a morning service is held each day; a Sunday evening service at six o'clock, and every Friday evening a meeting, where patients relate their experience, and encourage each other in gaining power over the enemy. I have had much experience and abundant evidence that these meetings are of great value, for the reason that the patients are the principal speakers, and can do more to encourage each other than those outside of their own ranks. These meetings are usually attended by about equal numbers of both sexes, and, with fine music, can be kept up with interest indefinitely.
"It would be, in my judgment, a matter of wide economy for the intelligent citizens of every city, with twenty thousand or more inhabitants, to establish a home, or asylum for inebriates. Let those who favor sobriety in the community, take a part in it, and they will soon learn how to reach the class who needs assistance. A large, old-fashioned house can be leased at small expense, and the means raised by contributions of money and other necessary articles to start. The act of doing this will soon enable those engaged in the work to learn what the wants are, and how to meet them. It is only obeying the command, 'Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.' This is the Master's work, and those who hear this invitation, as well as those who accept it, will share in its blessings.
"Those who cultivate the spirit of 'love to God, and good-will to their fellow-men,' will be surprised to see how much easier it is to do these things when they try, than when they only think about them.
"Much, of course, depends upon the superintendent, who needs to possess those genial qualities which readily win the confidence and good-will of patients, and which he readily turns to account, by encouraging them to use the means which the Creator has given them to co-operate in curing themselves. The means of cure are in the patient's own hands, and it is quite a gift to be able to make him see it."
THE WASHINGTONIAN HOME AT CHICAGO
is on the same plan, in all essential respects, with that of Boston; and the reports show about the same average of cures and beneficial results. How the patient is treated in this Home may be inferred from the following extract from an article on "The Cause, Effect and Cure of Inebriety," from the pen of Prof. D. Wilkins, the superintendent, which appeared in a late number of The Quarterly Journal of Inebriety. In answer to the question, How can we best save the poor drunkard, and restore him to his manhood, his family and society, he says:
"Money, friends, relatives and all have forsaken him, his hope blasted, his ambition gone, and he feels that no one has confidence in him, no one cares for him. In this condition he wends his way to an institution of reform, a penniless, homeless, degraded, lost and hopeless drunkard. Here is our subject, how shall we save him? He has come from the squalid dens, and lanes of filth, of misery, of want, of debauchery and death; no home, no sympathy and no kind words have greeted him, perhaps, for years. He is taken to the hospital. A few days pass, and he awakes from the stupidity of drink, and as he opens his eyes, what a change! He looks around, kind and gentle voices welcome him, his bed is clean and soft, the room beautiful, tasteful and pleasant in its arrangements, the superintendent, the physician, the steward and the inmates meet him with a smile and treat him as a brother. He is silent, lost in meditation. Thoughts of other days, of other years, pass through his mind in quick succession as the tears steal gently down his cheeks. He talks thus to himself: 'I am mistaken. Somebody does care for the drunkard. And if somebody cares for me, I ought to care for myself.' Here reform first commences. In a few days, when free, to some extent, from alcohol, he is admitted to the freedom of the institution. As he enters the reading-room, the library, the amusement, the gymnasium, dining-room and spacious halls, the conviction becomes stronger and stronger that somebody is interested in the inebriate, and he should be interested in himself. Then comes the lessons of the superintendent. He is taught that he cannot be reformed, but that he can reform himself. That God helps those only who help themselves. That he must ignore all boon companions of the cup as associates, all places where liquor is kept and sold, that, in order to reform himself, he must become a reformer, labor for the good of his brother; in short, he must shun every rivulet that leads him into the stream of intemperance, and as a cap-stone which completes the arch, that he must look to Him from whence cometh all grace and power to help in time of need.
"As he converses with those that are strong in experience, listens to the reading of the Holy Scriptures in the morning devotions, joins in the sweet songs of Zion and unites in unison with his brother inmates in saying the Lord's Prayer, as he hears the strong experiences in the public meetings and secret associations of those who have remained firm for one, two, three, and up to ten or fifteen years, little by little his confidence is strengthened, and almost before he is aware, the firm determination is formed and the resolve made, I will drink no more. As week after week, and month after month, glides pleasantly away, these resolutions become stronger and stronger, and by thus educating his intellect and strengthening his moral power, the once hopeless, disheartened and helpless one regains his former manhood and lost confidence, and becomes a, moral, independent, reformed man. Perhaps the most difficult thing in this work of reform, is to convince our inmates that resolving to stop drinking, or even stopping drinking for the time being, is not reforming. Those admitted, generally, in about two weeks, under the direction of a skillful physician, and the nursing of a faithful steward, recover so as to sleep well and eat heartily, and their wills, seemingly, are as strong as ever. Feeling thus, they often leave the institution, sobered up, not reformed, and when the periodical time arrives, or temptation comes, they have no moral power to resist, and they rush back to habits of intoxication. They forget that the will is like a door on its hinges, with the animal desires, appetites, evil inclinations and passions attached to one side, leading them into trouble and making them unhappy, unless they are held by the strong power of the sense of moral right attached to the other side, and that for years they have been stifling and weakening this power, until its strength is almost, if not entirely, gone, and that the only way they can possibly strengthen it, independent of the grace of God, is by education, moral light and testing it under circumstances so favorable that it will not yield. It took years of disobedience to destroy the moral power, and it will take years of obedience to restore it again. The inebriate must be taught that he can refrain from drink only as he strengthens this moral power, and this requires time and trial. Here is just where we, as superintendents, or reformers, assume great responsibility. To understand just when to test, and how much temptation can be resisted by those under our charge, requires much wisdom and great experience."
From this extract the reader will learn something of the influences which are brought to bear upon the inmates of a home for the reformation of inebriates; and he will see how much reliance is placed on moral and religious agencies.
TESTIMONY OF THE REFORMED.
From the Chicago Home is issued a monthly paper called The Washingtonian, devoted to the interest of the institution and to temperance. In this appear many communications from those who are, or have been, inmates. We make a few selections from some of these, which will be read with interest:
"When I came into the Home, mind, memory, hope and energy were shattered. The only animating thought remaining to me was a misty speculation as to where the next drink was to come from. I had a kind of feeble perception that a few days more of the life I was leading must end my earthly career, but I didn't care. As to the 'hereafter'--that might take care of itself; I had no energy to make any provision for it.
"To-day, how different! A new man, utterly defiant of the devil and all 'his works and pomps,' I am ready and eager to take my place once more in the battle of life; atone for the miserable time gone by; to take again the place in the world I had forfeited, bearing ever in my breast the beautiful maxims of the German poet and philosopher, Schiller: 'Look not sorrowfully into the past; it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present; it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear, and with a manly heart.'"
Another writes: "I have been true and faithful to my promise, and have not touched or tampered with the curse since the first morning I entered the Home, ten months ago to-day, and, Mr. Superintendent, I shall never drink again as long as I live. My whole trust and hope is in God, who made me live, move and have my being; and as long as I trust in Him--and which I am thoroughly satisfied I always shall--I will be crowned with success in each and every good effort I make. * * * The day I reached here, my little ones were out of town, but were telegraphed for at once. They came in the next morning, and, oh! how my heart rejoiced to see they knew and loved me. They came to my arms and threw their little arms around my neck, and hugged and kissed me until I wept with joy. They begged of me never to leave them again, and I never shall. My dear father, mother and all now wish me to stay with them, for they feel I can now be as great a comfort as I once, I might say, was a terror to them. Thank God, I can prove a comfort to them, and my daily life shall be such that they never can do without me. Praises be to God for His goodness and mercy to me, and for showing and guiding me in the straight path, that which leadeth, at last, to an everlasting life with. Him and His redeemed in that great and glorious kingdom above."
Another writes, two years after leaving the Home: "In different places where I lived, I was generally a moving spirit in everything of a literary character, and, from a naturally social, convivial disposition, enjoyed the conversation and society of literary men over a glass of beer more than any other attraction that could have been presented. For years, this continued, I, all the time, an active spirit in whatever church I was a member of, and an active worker in whatever I engaged in, thereby always commanding a prominent position wherever I was. Thus matters progressed till I was about twenty-seven, and then I began to realize my position; but, alas, when it was too late. The kindly admonition of friends and my own intelligence began to tell me the story, and then how I struggled for months and months--a naturally sensitive nature only making me worse--till, at last, the conviction forced itself upon me that, for me there was no redemption, that I was bound, hand and foot, perfectly powerless, and then I was forced to accept the fact. My only desire then was to save those dear to me from any knowledge of the truth; for this reason I chose Chicago for my home. Not wishing to take my own life in my hands, I was simply waiting for the moment when, having gone lower and lower, it would, at last, please God to relieve me of my earthly sufferings. Oh! the mental agonies I endured! Too true is it that the drunkard carries his hell around with him. At any moment I was perfectly willing to die, perfectly willing to trust whatever might be before me in the other world, feeling it could be no worse. At last, by God's grace, I was directed to the 'Washingtonian Home,' and there, for the first time, I learned that I could be free; and in this knowledge lies the power of the Home. The Home took hold of me and bade me be a man, and directed me to God for help; and, at the same time, told me to work out my own salvation. Its teachings were not in vain; and to-day I can look up and ask God's blessing on you all for your kind labors. But for that Home, I should, to-day, have been filling a dishonored grave."
And another says: "It is now over five years since I applied to Mr. Drake for admission to the Home. I was then prostrated, both physically and mentally, to that degree that I had scarcely strength to drag myself along, or moral courage enough to look any decent man in the face. I was often assured that to quit whisky would kill me. I thought there was a probability of that; but, on the other hand, there was a certainty that to continue it would kill me. I resolved to make one more effort and die sober, for I never expected to live; had no hope of that. From the day I entered the Home I have been a changed man. The encouragement and counsel I received there, gave me strength, to keep the resolution I had formed, and which I have kept to the present moment, viz: TO DRINK NO MORE! Ever since I left Chicago, I have held a respectable position; and now hold the principal position in a house of business, the doors of which I was forbidden to enter six years ago. I do not write this in any spirit of self-laudation, but simply to lay the honor where it belongs--at the door of the 'Washingtonian Home.'"
The following from the "experience" of one of the inmates of the Chicago "Home," will give the reader an idea of the true character of this and similar institutions, and of the way in which those who become inmates are treated. A lady who took an interest in the writer, had said to him, "You had better go to the Washingtonian Home." What followed is thus related:
HOW I WAS TREATED IN THE HOME.
"I looked at her in surprise. Send me to a reformatory? I told her that I did not think that I was sunk so low, or bound so fast in the coils of the 'worm of the still,' that it was necessary for me, a young man not yet entered into the prime of manhood, to be confined in a place designed for the cure of habitual drunkards. I had heard vague stories, but nothing definite concerning the Home, and thought that the question was an insult, but I did not reply to the question. All that night my thoughts would revert to the above question. My life past since I had become a devotee of the 'demon of strong drink,' passed in review before my mind. What had I gained? How improved? What had I obtained by it? And the answer was nothing. Then I asked myself, What had I lost by it? And the answer came to me with crushing force, everything that maketh life desirable. Starting out young in years into the busy highways of the world, with a good fortune, bright prospects and a host of friends to aid and cheer me on, I had lost ALL in my love for strong drink, and at times I thought and felt that I was a modern Ishmael.
"The lady, the next morning, again returned to the attack, and then, not thinking it an insult, but a benefit, to be conferred on me, I yielded a willing acquiescence. That same evening, with a slow step and aching head, I walked up Madison Street towards the Washingtonian Home, with thoughts that I would be considered by the officers of the institution as a sort of a felon, or, if not that, at least something very near akin to the brute, and it was with a sinking heart that I pushed open the main door and ascended the broad, easy stairs to the office. I asked if the superintendent was in, and the gentlemanly clerk at the desk told me that he was, and would be down immediately, meanwhile telling me to be seated. After the lapse of a few minutes, the superintendent, Mr. Wilkins, came into the office, his countenance beaming with benevolence. He took the card that I had brought with me, read it, and, turning round to where I sat, with a genial smile lighting up his countenance, with outstretched hand, greeted me most kindly and introduced me to the gentlemen present. I was dumbfounded, and it was with great difficulty that I restrained myself from shedding tears. It was the very opposite of the reception that I had pictured that I would receive, and I found that I was to be treated as a human being and not as a brute. With a smile, the superintendent addressed me again, and told me to follow him; and it was with a lighter heart and spirits that I ascended the second flight of stairs than the first, I can assure you. I was brought to the steward, who also greeted me most kindly, conversed with me a short time, fixed up some medicine for me and then took me into the hospital. By the word 'hospital,' dear reader, you must not take the usual definition of all that word implies, but in this case, take it as a moderate-sized room with eight or nine beds, covered with snow-white sheets and coverlids, and filled with air of the purest; no sickly smells or suffering pain to offend the most delicate.
"After a most refreshing night's rest--the first that I had had in three or four long, weary months--I arose, and for a few moments could not realize where I was, but memory came back, and I fell on my knees and gave thanks to God that I had fallen into the hands of the 'Good Samaritans.' After breakfast, I went with great diffidence into the common sitting-room, where there was about ten of the inmates sitting smoking, playing checkers, etc. I did not know how I would be received here, but as soon as I entered I was greeted most kindly and told to make myself at home. It seemed as if my cup was full and running over, and for a few moments I could scarcely speak, and I thought that the institution's motto must be founded on the Saviour's command to 'Love one another.'
"The first day I was not allowed to go down to the dining-room, I still being under the care of the hospital steward. The second day I was discharged from the hospital, assigned a most comfortable and cheerful furnished bed-room, and allowed the liberty of the whole building, and the day passed pleasantly. The next morning, at about six, I was awakened by the clangor of a bell shaken by a vigorous arm. Hurriedly dressing, I descended to the wash-room and performed my ablutions, and then waited for the next step. Half an hour having elapsed, the bell was rung a second time, and we all entered what is called the service-room. Shortly after Mr. Wilkins and his family entered; the superintendent read a chapter of the Bible, the inmates sung a hymn, accompanied on the organ by Miss Clara Wilkins; after a short prayer, the inmates marched in single file to the head of the room, where Mr. Wilkins stood, his kind face actually beaming, and with extended hand greeted every individual inmate. After leaving him we marched to the other side of the room, where we also received a cheery 'good morning,' and cordial grasp of the hand from the estimable and motherly wife of the superintendent. To describe one day is sufficient to picture the manner in which the inmates of the Home (and I sincerely believe that 'home' is the right designation for it) pass their time. I have never felt happier or more contented even in my most prosperous days than I have in these few short days that I have been an inmate of the Washingtonian Home."
In this institution, according to the last annual report, two thousand two hundred and fifty-two persons have been treated since it was opened. Of these, one thousand one hundred and eighteen, or over sixty per cent., are said to have remained sober, or nearly so, up to this time. During the last year two hundred and fifty-eight patients were under treatment (one-third free patients). Of these only thirty had relapsed, the others giving great promise of recovery.
The Philadelphia institution, known as the "FRANKLIN REFORMATORY HOME FOR INEBRIATES," has been in existence over five years. It was organized in April, 1872. In this institution intemperance is not regarded as a disease, which may be cured through hygienic or medical treatment, but as a sin, which must be repented of, resisted and overcome through the help of God. In order to place the inebriate, who honestly desires to reform and lead a better life, under conditions most favorable to this work of inner reformation and true recovery, all the external associations and comforts of a pleasant home are provided, as with the two institutions whose record of good results has just been made. Its administrative work and home-life vary but little from that of the Homes in Boston and Chicago. But it is differenced from them and other institutions which have for their aim the cure of inebriety, in its rejection of the disease theory, and sole reliance on moral and spiritual agencies in the work of saving men from the curse of drink. It says to its inmates, this appetite for drink is not a disease that medicine can cure, or change, or eradicate. New sanitary conditions, removal from temptations, more favorable surroundings, congenial occupation, improved health, a higher self-respect, a sense of honor and responsibility, and the tenderness and strength of love for wife and children, may be powerful enough as motives to hold you always in the future above its enticements. But, trusting in these alone, you can never dwell in complete safety. You need a deeper work of cure than it is possible for you to obtain from any earthly physician. Only God can heal you of this infirmity.
A RELIGIOUS HOME.
While never undervaluing external influences, and always using the best means in their power to make their institution a home in all that the word implies, the managers have sought to make it distinctively something more--a religious home. They rely for restoration chiefly on the reforming and regenerating power of Divine grace. Until a man is brought under spiritual influences, they do not regard him as in safety; and the result of their work so far only confirms them in this view. They say, that in almost every case where an inmate has shown himself indifferent, or opposed to the religious influences of the Home, he has, on leaving it, relapsed, after a short period, into intemperance, while the men who have stood firm are those who have sought help from God, and given their lives to His service.
Under this view, which has never been lost sight of from the beginning, in the work of the "Franklin Home," and which is always urged upon those who seek its aid in their efforts to reform their lives, there has come to be in the institution a pervading sentiment favorable to a religious life as the only safe life, and all who are brought within, the sphere of its influence soon become impressed with the fact. And it is regarded as one of the most hopeful of signs when the new inmate is drawn into accord with this sentiment, and as a most discouraging one if he sets himself in opposition thereto.
WHO ARE RECEIVED INTO "THE FRANKLIN HOME."
As in other institutions, the managers of this one have had to gain wisdom from experience. They have learned that there is a class of drinking men for whom efforts at recovery are almost useless; and from this class they rarely now take any one into the Home. Men of known vicious or criminal lives are not received. Nor are the friends of such as indulge in an occasional drunken debauch permitted to send them there for temporary seclusion. None are admitted but men of good character, in all but intemperance; and these must be sincere and earnest in their purpose to reform. The capacity of an institution in which the care, and service, and protection of a home can be given, is too small for mere experiment or waste of effort. There are too many who are anxious, through the means offered in a place like this, to break the chains of a debasing habit, and get back their lost manhood once more, to waste effort on the evil-minded and morally depraved, who only seek a temporary asylum and the opportunity for partial recovery, but with no purpose of becoming better men and better citizens. Apart from the fruitlessness of all attempts to permanently restore such men to sobriety, it has been found that their presence in the Home has had an injurious effect; some having been retarded in recovery through their influence, and others led away into vicious courses.
There is a chapel in the building, capable of holding over two hundred persons. In this, Divine worship is held every Sunday afternoon. A minister from some one of the churches is usually in attendance to preach and conduct the services. It rarely happens that the chapel is not well filled with present and former inmates of the Home, their wives, children and friends. Every evening, at half-past nine o'clock, there is family prayer in the chapel, and every Sunday afternoon the president, Mr. S.P. Godwin, has a class for Bible study and instruction in the same place. On Tuesday evenings there is a conversational temperance meeting; and on Thursday evening of each week the Godwin Association, organized for mutual help and encouragement, holds a meeting in the chapel.
USE OF TOBACCO DISCOURAGED.
The attending physician, Dr. Robert P. Harris, having given much thought and observation to the effects of tobacco on the physical system, and its connection with inebriety, discourages its use among the inmates, doing all in his power, by advice and admonition, to lead them to abandon a habit that not only disturbs and weakens the nervous forces, but too often produces that very condition of nervous exhaustion which leads the sufferer to resort to stimulation. In many cases where men, after leaving the "Home," have stood firm for a longer or shorter period of time, and then, relapsing into intemperance, have again sought its help in a new effort at reformation, he has been able to find the cause of their fall in an excessive use of tobacco.
Dr. Harris is well assured, from a long study of the connection between the use of tobacco and alcohol, that, in a very large number of cases tobacco has produced the nervous condition which led to inebriety. And he is satisfied that, if men who are seeking to break away from the slavery of drink, will give up their tobacco and their whisky at the same time, they will find the work easier, and their ability to stand by their good resolutions, far greater. See the next chapter for a clear and concise statement, from the pen of Dr. Harris, of the effects of tobacco, and the obstacles its use throws in the way of men who are trying to reform.
WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED.
The results of the work done in this "Home" are of the most satisfactory kind. From the fifth annual report, we learn that there have been received into the Home, since its commencement, seven hundred and forty-one persons. Of these, the report gives three hundred and fifty-four as reformed, and one hundred and three as benefited. Two hundred and ninety-seven were free patients.
WOMAN'S WORK IN THE HOME.
In the management of this Home there is, beside the board of directors, an auxiliary board of twenty-six lady managers, who supervise the work of the Home, and see to its orderly condition and the comfort of the inmates. Through visiting and relief committees the families of such of the inmates as need temporary care and assistance are seen, and such help and counsel given as may be required. An extract or two from the reports of this auxiliary board will not only give an idea of the religious influences of the institution, but of what is being done by the woman's branch of the work. Says the secretary, Mrs. E.M. Gregory, in her last annual report:
"The religious influence exerted by this institution by means of its Sunday evening services, its Bible class and its frequent temperance meetings, which are cordially open to all, is silently, but, we think, surely making itself felt among those brought within its reach, and establishing the highest and strongest bond among those whose natural ties are often unhappily severed by intemperance. We find whole families, long unused to any religious observance, now regularly, for years, accompanying the husband and father to this place of worship, and joining devoutly in the exercises.
"Especial emphasis is laid upon the doctrine that the only foundation for a thorough, enduring reformation is found in a radical change of heart, a preparation for the future life by a conscientious, persistent effort to lead a Christ-like life here.
"One result of this teaching is found in the fact that several of the inmates, not in the first pleasant excitement of their rescue from the immediate horrors of their condition, but after long and faithful observance of their pledge and constant attendance upon the religious instruction of the Home, have voluntarily and with solemn resolve united themselves to some Christian church, and are devoting a large share of their time and means to the work of bringing in their old companions to share this great salvation. When, in our visits among their families, we hear of those who formerly spent all their earnings at the saloon, bringing nothing but distress and terror into their homes, now walking the streets all day in search of work, without dinner themselves, because the 'wife and children need what little there is in the house;' and another, not only denying himself a reasonable share of the scanty food, but nursing a sick wife and taking entire care of the children and house, hastening out, when relieved awhile by a kindly neighbor, to do 'anything to bring in a little money'--when we see changes like these, accompanied by patience and cheerfulness, and a growing sense of personal responsibility, we thankfully accept them as proofs of the genuineness of the work and hopefully look for its continuance."
In a previous report, speaking of the visits made to the families of inmates, she says: "In no case has a visit ever been received without expression of absolute pleasure, and especially gratitude, for 'what the Home has done for me and mine.'
"Although, unhappily, there are instances of men having, through stress of temptation, violated their pledges, it is believed that not one case has occurred of a family, once brought together through the influence of the Home, again being separated by the return to intemperance of the husband and father, and the results of their faithfulness are to be seen in the growing comfort and happiness of those dependent on them.
"An aged mother, not only bowed down with the weight of seventy years, but heart-sick with the 'hope deferred' of ever finding her intemperate son, heard of him at last, as rescued by the Home; and, being brought to the Sunday and evening services, met him there, 'clothed and in his right mind.' The tears streamed down her face, as she said: 'That man is forty years old, and I've been a widow ever since he was a baby, and I've wept over him often and often, and to-day I've shed tears enough to bathe him from head to foot, but, oh! thank the Lord! these are such happy tears!'
"Said one wife: 'Some days, these hard times, we have enough to eat, and some days we don't; but all the time I'm just as happy as I can be!
"'I wish you could see my children run, laughing, to the door when their father comes home. Oh! he is another man from what he was a year ago; he is so happy at home with us now, and always so patient and kind!
"'Do tell us if there isn't something;--if it is ever so little--that we women can do for the Home; we never can forget what it has done for us!'
"Such words, heard again and again with every variety of expression, attests the sincerity of those who, in widely differing circumstances, perhaps, have yet this common bond, that through this instrumentality, they are rejoicing over a husband, a father, a son, 'which was dead, and is alive--was lost, and is found.'
"Surely, such proof of the intrinsic worth of a work like this, is beyond all expression--full of comfort and encouragement to persevere."
Again: "Through their instrumentality families long alienated and separated have been happily brought together. This branch of the ladies' work has been peculiarly blest; and their reward is rich in witnessing not only homes made happier through their labors, but hearts so melted by their personal kindness, and by the Gospel message which they carry, that husbands and wives, convicted of the sinfulness of their neglect of the great salvation, come forward to declare themselves soldiers of the cross, and unite with the Christian church."
THE TESTIMONY OF INMATES.
As the value of this and similar institutions is best seen in what they have done and are doing, we give two extracts from letters received from men who have been reformed through the agency of the "Home" in Philadelphia. In the first, the writer says:
"It has now been nearly two years since I left the Franklin Home. I had been a drinking man ten years, and it got such a hold on me that I could not resist taking it. I had tried a number of times to reform, and at one time, was in the Dashaway's Home, in California, where they steep everything in liquor, but when I came out I still had the desire to drink, and only kept from it for nine months. I again commenced, and kept sinking lower and lower, till I lost my friends, and felt there was no hope for me. On the 31st day of May, 1873, I came to the Franklin Home, and have never tasted intoxicating liquor since, which is the longest time I was ever without it since I commenced to drink. I feel now that I will never drink again, as I do not associate with drinking men, or go to places where liquor is sold. It was so different at the Home from anything I had ever met or heard of, that I went away with more strength to resist than ever before. When I came to the Home I could not get a position in Philadelphia, nobody having confidence in me. Since then I have been engaged as foreman in a manufacturing establishment, by the very man that had discharged me several times for drinking, and have been with him a year. I feel more happy and contented now than any time in ten years past, and if I had a friend who I found this was taking hold of, I would bring him to the Home, for I believe any one that is sincere can be reformed, and I would recommend any man that needs and desires to reform to go to the Home, as I did."
AFTER FIVE YEARS.
Writing to Mr. Samuel P. Godwin, President of the Franklin Home, an old inmate, five years after his reformation, says: "I received your kind letter and recognized in it the challenge of the ever-watchful sentinel, 'How goes the night, brother?' I answer back, 'All is well.' I am delighted to hear of the continued success of 'my second mother,' the Home, and the Association, my brothers; and I thank God, who is encouraging you all in your efforts for fallen men, by showing you the ripening fruits of your labor--efforts and labors that are inspired by a love of God that enables you to see in every fallen man the soul made like unto His own image. The Home and all its workers, its principles, the endless and untiring efforts made, challenge the wonder and admiration of every Christian heart. Its grand results will admit of but one explanation, that 'It is God's work.' We, the reclaimed, can never give expression to the grateful emotions of our hearts. We can only let our lives be its best eulogy. We hope to vindicate in the future, as we have in the past, (by adhering to its principles) the great Christian truth, the grace of God is all-powerful, all-saving. Oh! what has not the Home done for us all! It sought us amid temptations, misery and sorrow, and took us into its warm and fond embrace, clearing away the debris that intemperance and misfortune had piled up, tearing down all false theories of disease and seizing our convictions. It reached down into our hearts by its admirable practical mode of imparting its principles, impressing all its lessons with the examples of living, active men, who, through its aid, accepting its teachings and practicing them, have become reformed men--in a word, conquerors of self. By its love, fostering care and ever-watchful solicitude for us, it has awakened the lessons of love and faith learned at a dear mother's knee in childhood, which, if forgotten for a time, were never entirely dead, and required but just such an influence to warm them into life. It enables me to say to you now, at the end of five years, I have been a total abstinence man for that time, and by and with the help of God, I will die that."
But enough has been educed to show the importance of this and other "Homes" for the recovery of inebriates, and to direct public attention to their great value. Those already established should be liberally sustained by the communities in which they are located, and similar institutions should be organised and put in operation in all the larger cities of the Union. Thousands of outcast, helpless, perishing men, who, but for the fatal habits they have acquired, would be good and useful citizens, might, if this were done, be every year restored to themselves, their families and to society. If we cannot, as yet, stay the curse that is upon our land, let us do all in our power to heal what has been hurt, and to restore what has been lost.
In every truly reformed man, the temperance cause gains a new and valuable recruit. The great army that is to do successful battle with the destroying enemy that is abroad in the land, will come chiefly from the ranks of those who have felt the crush of his iron heel. So we gain strength with every prisoner that is rescued from the enemy; for every such rescued man will hate this enemy with an undying hatred, and so long as he maintains his integrity, stand fronting him in the field.
Dr. Harris, the attending physician of the "Franklin Reformatory Home," whose long experience and careful observation enable him to speak intelligently as to the causes which lead to relapses among reformed men, has kindly furnished us with the following suggestions as to the dangers that beset their way. The doctor has done a good service in this. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. We are also indebted to him for the chapter on "Tobacco as an Incitant to the Use of Alcoholic Stimulant," which immediately follows this one, and which was especially prepared by him for the present volume.
DANGERS THAT BESET THE REFORMED INEBRIATE.
BY DR. R.P. HARRIS.
"Come, take a drink."--How pernicious is this treating generosity of the inebriate, and how important to the reformed to be firm in declining his invitation. To hesitate, is, in most cases, to yield.
Old companions.--These should be avoided, and made to understand that their company is not congenial; and new and safe ones should be selected.
Attacks of sickness.--A quondam inebriate should never employ a physician who drinks, and should always tell his medical attendant that he cannot take any medicine containing alcohol. It is very unsafe to resort to essence of ginger, paregoric, spirits of lavender or burnt brandy, and friends very injudiciously, sometimes, recommend remedies that are dangerous in the extreme. We saw one man driven into insanity by his employer recommending him a preparation of rhubarb, in Jamaica spirits, which he took with many misgivings, because, six years before he had been a drunkard. The old appetite was revived in full force at once. Diarrhoea can be much better treated without tinctures and essences than with them, as proved by the large experience of the Franklin Home, where they are never prescribed.
Bad company of either sex.--Remember what is said of the strange woman in Proverbs v., 3-12; and the advice given in the first Psalm. Lust has driven to drunkenness and death many a promising case of reform.
Entering a tavern.--It is never safe to buy a cigar, take a glass of lemonade, eat a plate of oysters or even drink water at a bar where liquors are sold. The temptation, and revival of old associations, are too much for weak human nature to withstand.
Politics, military organizations, etc.--Many a man has been made a drunkard by the war, or by becoming an active politician. Associations of men leading to excitement of any kind stimulate them to invite each other to drink as a social custom. Former inebriates should avoid all forms of excitement. Said a former politician, who has not drank for five years: "If I was to go back to politics, and allow matters to take their natural course, I should soon drift again into drunkenness."
"Idleness," says the French proverb, "is the mother of all vices;" hence the advantage and importance of being actively employed.
Working in communities.--There are no men more inclined to drunkenness than shoemakers, hatters and those in machine shops. Shoemakers are especially difficult to reform, as they incite each other to drink, and club together and send out for beer or whisky.
Use of excessive quantities of pepper, mustard and horse-radish.--No person can use biting condiments to the same degree as drunkards; and reformed men must largely moderate their allowance, if they expect to keep their appetite under for something stronger. Tavern-keepers understand that salt and peppery articles, furnished gratis for lunch, will pay back principal and profit in the amount they induce men to drink.
Loss of money or death in the family.--These are among the most severe of all the trials to be encountered by the reformed drunkard. Hazardous ventures in stocks or business are dangerous in the extreme. Without the grace of God in the heart, and the strength that it gives in times of depression of spirits under severe trial, there are few reformed men who can bear, with any safety, the loss of a wife or very dear child. Thousands who have, for the time, abandoned the habit have returned to it to drown, in unconsciousness, their feeling of loss; hence the great and vital importance of an entire change of heart to enable a man to go to his faith for consolation, and to look to God for help in times of trial and temptation.