Strong Drink Opens the Gate to Destruction and Bars the Way to Success.
THE LESSON—That strong drink robs its victims of the ability to solve the problems of life.
This temperance lesson deals with the curse of strong drink in especial reference to its connection with the material success of the individual. Specif
"Nearly every man carries in his pocket a bunch of keys. [Write the word 'Key,' completing Fig. 11.] When a professional man, for instance, reaches his office in the morning, he may unlock his office door with one key; with another key he may unlock his desk; with another he may unlock a drawer in the desk; and then, having opened his safe, he may use still another key to unlock his strong box. At night he may look carefully to see that each of these things is again carefully locked before he goes home. And so, we see, keys are for two purposes—to unlock and to lock.
"Most keys are made of metal and are in our own keeping and subject to our own will, but there is another key of which I shall speak, which goes before many a man, working entirely independent of him. And as it goes, it locks the doors which he wishes to enter, and it unlocks many another door which he does not want to enter and forces him to go through it. I will draw the picture of this key. [Starting at the final stroke of the letter Y, continue the line, and ending with the letters W-H-I-S. Then add the lines to complete Fig. 12.]
"Let us see for a moment what this key does. It locks the door to health and opens the door to disease. Sir Andrew Clark, one of England's greatest physicians, says: 'I am speaking solemnly and carefully in the presence of truth, and I will tell you that I am considerably within the mark when I say to you that, going the round of my hospital wards today, seven out of every ten owed their ill-health to strong drink.'
"And again: This key bars and locks the way to good positions, where men may earn the money needed to keep themselves and their families provided with the necessities of life. Many of the great corporations are refusing to hire men who drink. Whiskey has locked the door to opportunity for them. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, operating one of the greatest systems in the world, has issued a statement to the men who run the trains on its lines which includes these words: 'Taking one drink of intoxicating liquor is like running passed the red light. It is unsafe. The possible line between safety and danger in the use of alcoholic drink is dangerously unstable. Safety lies back of total abstinence. The normal man has no legitimate use for alcohol as a beverage, and he has no right to render himself abnormal by its use when lives are dependent upon his efficiency. None but normal men should run railway trains. The traveling public has unqualified right to demand and expect none less safe.' This statement deals, not with the moral side, but with the fact that a man who drinks unfits himself for any position of responsibility, especially if entrusted with human life.
"This key also locks and bars the way to a life of purity and honor. Says the chaplain of the Ohio penitentiary, Dr. Starr: "The records show that 1,250 persons have been received into this institution during eighteen months; of these, 930 acknowledged themselves to have been intemperate.' And the Massachusetts Bureau of Labor adds the statement that of 27,000 crimes committed in that state, eight out of every ten were due to intemperate habits, or occurred while the criminal was under the influence of liquor.
"We need not go further to show that this key is truly the key to failure—failure in the attempt to attain to anything pure, right and honorable.
"No one knows this better than the manufacturer of strong drink. 'The handwriting is on the wall,' says T. M. Gilmore, president of the Model License League. 'Our trade today is on trial before the bar of public sentiment, and unless it can be successfully defended before that bar, I want to see it go down forever.'
"In no better way can we help to bring this victorious end than by lending our every influence to cause the world to turn to the true Christian life, for then follows 'love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned.' Paul does not say, 'Shun that which is evil;' he says abhor it. May this ever be our attitude toward this giant evil."