MISS FRANCES E. WILLARD.
of Chicago, is a devoted and eloquent speaker and worker in the gospel harvest-field. Her transparent spirituality of mind and lifa, untiring zeal, and continual study of God's Word are combined with all the modest graces and tender sympathies of Christian ladyhood. One of her associates writes: "Her temperate, simple manner, clear, melodious voice, and rare command of language, her deep Christian experience, wide culture, vigor of thought and versatile genius, make her a most attractive speaker for the thoughtful. Though still young, Miss Willard has been for years a close student of literature and art, has occupied prominent positions East and West as an educator, has seen much of what is worth seeing in her own and other lands, and has now devoted all her time for some years to the work of Christian beneficence. She belongs to a family of New England origin, who number among their ancestors many eminent names, some of whom have been well known in Boston." In the ''Garden City," where she lives in a little cottage home with her aged mother, who is now past threescore and ten, her name is honored of the brethren, for her consistent and persistent toils in behalf of all Christian efforts.
For several years, Miss Willard has given her energies, voice and pen to the organization of Woman's Temperance Unions throughout the nation. These associations are a logical outgrowth of the Woman's Temperance Crusade, "which began in 1873, continued about six months, extended over a half-dozen of our most populous States, and enlisted hundreds of thousands of Christian women." In an essay read by appointment before the International Temperanoe Conference, which met in Philadelphia in June, 1876, Miss Willard read an outline "History of the Woman's National Christian Temperance Union." From that we make the following quotation:
"The women who went forth by an impulse, sudden, irresistible, divine, to pray in the saloons, became convinced, as weeks and months passed by, that there was to be no easily won victory. The enemy was rich beyond their power to comprehend. He had upon bis side the majesty of law, the trickery of politics, and the leagued strength of that almost invincible pair—appetite, avarice. He was persistent too, as fate; determined to fight it out on that line, to the I«t dollar of his enormous treasury-house, and the last ounce of his power. But these women of the crusade believed in God, and in themselves as among his appointed instruments to destroy the run)
power in America. They loved Christ's cause; they loved their native land that had been so mindful of them; they loved their sweet and sacred homes; and so it came about that, though they had gone forth only as skirmishers, they soon fell into line of battle; though they had ignorantly hoped to take the enemy by sudden assault, they buckled on the armor for a long campaign. The Woman's Praying Bands, earnest, impetuous, inspired, became the Woman's Temperance Unions, firm, patient, persevering. The Praying Bands were without leadership, save that which inevitably results from the survival of the fittest; the Woman's Unions are regularly officered, in the usual way. Enthusiasm—' a God in us '—enabled the Praying Bands to accomplish prodigies; the steady purpose, and the same faith which inspired the crusade, is conducting the Unions to victory, distant but sure."
When the national organization was effected in August, 1874, at Chautauqua Lake, N. Y., Mrs. Annie Wittenmeyer, of Philadelphia, was elected President, and Miss Willard Corresponding Secretary. The latter office was no sinecure, for five thousand written communications were sent out from the Western office alone within a twelvemonth, to women in every State in the Union. Its faithful Secretary, who was also at the head of the Chicago Union, was engaged besides for four months in traveling in behalf of the National Union.
When Mr. Moody, while at Boston, bethought himself, as he said, of gaining "the great magazine power there is in the hearts and consciences of the New England women," he called Miss Willard to his aid; and she at once complied, delaying merely to receive the permission of her aged mother. She labored assiduously as a leader in the spiritual meetings for women in that city. Her thorough, practical expositions of Scriptural truth were heard with wrapt attention by many crowded audiences, and were fruitful of much good.