Now We Rejoice
October 31, 1883 — Tenth Annual Meeting, National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, Detroit MI
DEARLY BELOVED FRIENDS,
In contemplation of this Assembly, its purpose and relationships, any words save those of prayer or hymn, or from God’s Holy Word, seem unworthy [of] the occasion. You who are here gathered from every quarter of this vast republic, are not self-constituted, but elected delegates, with a great constituency behind you, and chosen leaders of the chief army that battles for the mightiest reform of any age, in the country where that reform has achieved its most splendid victories. This is your character to-day in the eyes of intelligent Christendom. Your purpose would confederate all sections, untie all parties and unify all creeds for the destruction of humanity’s most ancient and most accursed foe. Your relationships are to Christ’s church, that of defender; to the home, that of protector; to the nation, that of purifier. You represent a mysterious movement known as the “Crusade,” divinest manifestation of God’s Spirit since tongues of fire sat on the saints at Pentecost. . .
In less than two months we shall celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Crusade. In less than three weeks (November 18) we shall have completed nine years since our National Union was organized at Cleveland. Then the light of the gospel temperance movement was nebulous; now it shines in the steady blaze of stars and constellations. . .
Then we were raw recruits, now we are soldiers drilled and disciplined; then we crusaded saloons but now in halls of legislation; then we thought only of cure, now we are occupied with prevention; then we wept, now we rejoice. Then we said, “God be pitiful,” now we say “God, be praised!” Then we called ourselves a National Union, now we are National in very deed. Then we were friends, now we are sisters.
Source: Minutes of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, at the Tenth Annual Meeting, in Detroit, Michigan 31 October — 3 November, 1883 (Cleveland: Home Publishing Co.) 1883, pp. 46-47.