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for the Home Circle
- 1914 edition




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Bible Readings for the Home Circle - 1914 edition

Section 17

Health and Temperance

Chapter 188.

Evils of Intemperance

1. WHAT do the Scriptures say of wine?
"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Prov. 20:1.

NOTE.-All intoxicating drinks are deceptive. They seem to give strength, but in reality cause weakness; they seem to create heat, but in fact lower the general temperature; they seem to impart vitality, but really destroy life; they seem to promote happiness, but cause the greatest unhappiness and misery. To intemperance may be attributed much of the world's sorrow.

2. What is one of the evil results of intemperance?
"Be not among wine-bibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty." Prov. 23:20,21.

3. What are other evil effects of intemperance? "Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart." Hosea 4:11. "They also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; . . . they err in vision, they stumble in judgment." Isa. 28:7.

NOTE.-"One of the subtlest effects of this many-sided drug is to produce a craving for itself, while weakening the will that could resist that craving."- "Alcohol," by Dr. Williams, page 48.

4. With what sins is drunkenness classed?
"Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like." Gal. 5:19-21.

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5. What are common accompaniments of intemperance?
"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine." Prov. 23:29,30.

6. How do intoxicants serve one in the end?
"Look not thou upon the wine when it is red; when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." Verses 31,32.

NOTES.-The effects of alcoholic liquors are thus described in the American Prohibition Year Book for 1912, pages 26,27:-
"On the Individual. Alcoholic liquors, whether fermented brewed, or distilled, are poisonous, increasing greatly the liability to fatal termination of diseases, weakening and deranging the intellect, polluting the affections, hardening the heart, and corrupting the morals, 'bequeathing to posterity' a degeneration of physical and moral character.
"On the Family. A disturber and destroyer of its peace, prosperity, and happiness, and thus removing the sure foundation for good government, national prosperity and welfare.
"On the Community. Producing demoralization, vice, and wickedness, counteracting the efficacy of religious efforts and of all means for the intellectual elevation, moral purity, social happiness. and eternal good of mankind."
"On the State. Promoting crime and pauperism, paralyzing thrift and industry, corrupting politics, legislation. and the execution of laws."
Alcohol tends to destroy the higher forms of cells, those directly concerned with the vital processes, particularly the delicate brain-cells, and to replace them with useless and harmful connective tissue, or what is commonly known as scar tissue. Reliable statistics demonstrate that the total abstainer has an advantage of at least twenty-one per cent over the moderate drinker.
"The offspring of alcoholics show impaired vitality of the most deep-seated character, such as deformities, neuroses, which may take the severe forms of chorea, infantile convulsions, epilepsy, or idiocy."- "Alcohol," page 44.

7. To what extent is intemperance the cause of crime?
A lord chief justice of England declared, "If sifted, nine tenths of the crime of England and Wales could be traced to drink."
- "Alcohol."

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8. What may be said of the use of tobacco?
Being a rank poison, its use is highly injurious.

NOTES.-"Tobacco is the most subtle poison known to chemists, except the deadly prussic acid."- M. Orfila, president Medical Academy, Paris.
"Tobacco is ruinous in our schools and colleges, dwarfing body and mind."- Dr. Willard Parker.
"I shall not hesitate to pronounce tobacco in young men to be evil, and only evil, physically, mentally, and morally."- Edward Hitchcock, of Amherst College.
"The use of intoxicating liquor by men, and the use of cigarettes by boys, is creating a race of feeble-minded, unhealthy, and valueless citizens."- John Wanamaker.
"We might as well go to the insane asylum for our men as to employ cigarette smokers."- The late E. H. Harriman, railroad magnate.
"Cigarettes are ruining our children, endangering their lives, dwarfing their intellects, and making them criminals, fast. The boys who use them seem to lose all sense of right, decency, and righteousness."- Judge Crane, of New York City.
"Cigarette smoking in the case of boys partly paralyzes the nerve cells at the base of the brain, and this interferes with the breathing and heart action. The end organs of the motor nerves lose their excitability, next the trunks of the nerves, and then the spinal cord. . . . The power of fine coordination is decidedly lost."- Prof. Sims Woodhead, of Cambridge University.
"The use of cigarettes affects the nervous system, weakens the willpower, and destroys the ability of the boy to resist temptation; and because of this he easily falls a victim of those habits which not only destroy the mind and soul, but irresistibly lead him into a violation of the laws of the state."- George Torrance, superintendent Illinois State Reformatory.
Tobacco using is demoralizing in its general effects, and tends to create an appetite for strong drink. It originated with the natives of North America, the Indians. In November, 1492, when Columbus discovered the island of Cuba, he sent two sailors to explore it, who, when they returned, reported, among many other strange and curious discoveries, that the natives carried with them lighted firebrands, and puffed smoke from their mouths and noses, which they supposed to be the way the savages had of perfuming themselves. They afterward declared that they "saw the naked savages twist large leaves together, and smoke like devils." Originating with the wild barbarians of America, the smoking habit, after some years, was introduced into Europe, and was rapidly adopted, not only by the lower classes, but by those in high authority, even princes and nobles participating in the new intoxication. It has since become well-nigh universal.

9. Where does intemperance often begin?
Intemperance often begins in the home. Many who would not think of placing on their tables wine or liquor of any kind will load them with food that creates a thirst for strong drink,
- with strong tea and coffee, injurious condiments, rich pastry, highly seasoned foods, and the like.

10. What will drunkards, with other workers of iniquity, never inherit?
"Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, . . . nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:9,10.

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