While Strong Drink Makes "Poverty and Rags," the Pure Life Brings Earthly Prosperity.
THE LESSON—That intemperance is the chief cause of the world's poverty and misery.
This talk deals especially with the point that the use of strong drink consumes the income of the wage earner, unfits him for his work, an
"It is a common belief that slavery was wiped out of America by the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln, sustained by the victory of the union armies in the war of the rebellion. And so it was as far as the negro is concerned; but there is in America today another form of slavery which no clash of arms can eradicate, and this is the picture of the slaveholder: [Draw Fig. 47 complete.] The 'little brown jug,' which we use as a type of the saloon power, holds millions of men and boys in its grasp, consuming their brains, their bodies, and their money, and bringing misery and hopelessness to them and to those who love them. From Europe comes many a cry of anguish, showing that the same powerful slaveholder holds sway across the ocean. Listen to the words of the great English statesman, Joseph Chamberlain:
"'If there is in this whole liquor business any single encouraging feature,' he says, 'it is to be found in the gathering impatience of the people at the burden which they are bound to bear, and their growing indignation and sense of shame and disgrace which this imposes upon them. The fiery serpent of drink is destroying our people, and now they are waiting with longing eyes the uplifting of the remedy.'
"Again, from the island of Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa, we hear the queen of that island declaring herself in bitterness of spirit, in these words:
"'I cannot consent, as your queen, to take revenue from the sale of liquor, which destroys the souls and bodies of my people.'
"The Hon. Carroll D. Wright, while United States commissioner of labor, tells, from observation, of the slavery of strong drink in his own country and in Europe. He says: 'I have looked into a thousand homes of the working people of Europe; I do not know how many in this country. In every case, so far as my observation goes, drunkenness was at the bottom of the misery, and not the industrial system or the industrial surroundings of the men and their families.'
"And so the testimony goes on. It is the same everywhere. There is no need of more proof that strong drink is the world's greatest curse. To every one of you boys, I am going to say that success in life cannot come to you in its fulness if you ever allow yourselves to get this deadly habit. Let it not break into the abode of your soul—and by this I mean your own bodies—and make you depraved captives for life. The first taste of strong drink, even though it may seem to be a very little thing, may mean that you will become banished from God forever. Remember, boys, that Satan is deceitful. He never tells you the truth. He is always trying to juggle you with his jug and to make you believe that black is white and wrong is right, and even that sorrow is joy and 'a good time.' It is against those who would tempt you that Jesus said, 'And fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him that is able to destroy both soul and body.' Such a destroyer is strong drink.
"As the years go by, you will find that you need all your energy, your brains, and your physical strength to enable you to meet the problems of life. You will find that your later years will be filled with battles; the defeats will be bitter; the victories sweet. One of the necessary victories is the successful earning of a living. Money is a splendid thing. It is the love of it and the wrong use of it that is 'the root of all evil.' In the later years, if you are a slave to strong drink, you may recall with bitterness the warning of the Psalmist who declares that 'the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.' But true prosperity comes most surely when the life is pure. I know you are resolved that yours shall be such lives, so we shall change the drawing to indicate something more acceptable to the life that well deserves a reward for right living. [Add lines to complete Fig. 48.]
"Paul pictures to us the successful man when he uses these words, 'Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.'"