The Aeroplane Illustrates the Necessity of Going Forward Constantly.
THE LESSON—That a life, if it is to progress, must not falter at difficulties, but push steadily forward.
This illustration is especially appropriate for occasions which interest the juniors and their elders, for the reason that anything which teaches perseverance and steadfastness in the right can be heard with profit at any time.
[Because of the details in the drawing of the aeroplane, it may be well to finish Fig. 110, complete, before beginning the talk. In opening, refer to the aeroplane in such a manner as will fit your locality. For instance, if the aeroplane is a common sight, say, "We have all been interested in seeing the aeroplane glide through the air," etc., while, if it has not yet made its appearance in your locality, you may refer to the fact that all have seen pictures of the modern invention. The talk assumes that the aeroplane has not yet visited your neighborhood.]
"Every one of us is interested in flying. Ever since God created man, man has been trying to learn how to fly, but always, until of recent years, he has suffered the sad fate of 'Darius Green and His Flying Machine.' For many centuries man has been impatient because he has had to stay down on earth or else go up in a clumsy balloon, which is not a flying machine at all! But, at last, he has made for himself a machine which he calls the aeroplane and the tedious problem has been solved quite satisfactorily, so that we now hear a great deal about monoplanes and biplanes, all of which are classed under the general heading of aeroplanes. I will draw the outlines of one of these flying machines.
(Complete Fig. 110 with chalk before beginning talk.)
[If you have drawn the picture, Fig. 110, in advance, merely indicate the parts as you proceed; otherwise, point them out as you finish each part of the machine.]
"This style of machine is known as the biplane, or two-plane. This upper part is one of the planes, and this lower part is the other. This part out in front is that portion of the steering apparatus which enables the aviator to guide the machine up or down, and this part at the back is to govern the side-to-side movements. When the machine stands on the ground it rests on these three little wheels, which are like bicycle wheels. Here sits the aviator, and directly back of him is the powerful little engine which sets the propeller whirling at the rear. The machine makes a noise like a swift-running motor boat or a motorcycle. It starts off on its wheels and rapidly increases its speed until it rises from the ground and sails away gracefully into the upper air. [Your drawing of Fig. 110 should now be complete.]
"As you look at this machine, remember that it is not at all like a balloon. The bag of a balloon, filled with gas, is lighter than the air; hence, it stays up without any trouble, unless the bag breaks and lets the gas out. But the aeroplane has no gas bag; it is heavier than the air and it must 'keep a-goin'' in order to stay up at all. Remember this: Just as soon as the aeroplane stops, it comes crashing to the earth, like so many have done, bringing death and destruction.
[Quickly detach your drawing paper from your board, turn it one-fourth around and re-attach it with thumb tacks. With broad strokes of black crayon indicate the foreground. Add lines of mountains, completing Fig. 111.]
"You boys know how it is when you are riding a bicycle. Your wheel will stay upright as long as you are pushing ahead, but as soon as you stop the wheel topples over.
"Sometimes the aeroplane engine fails to work, sometimes a wire or rod breaks, sometimes the aviator attempts to do some fancy flying which throws the machine out of balance, sometimes the wind prevents the machine from going on in its course. Any of these things may cause the machine to stop going forward and come dashing downward.
"You, boys—and you, girls—and we older men and women, are just like the aeroplane in one great particular. In the Christian life, in our work, in our study, in our efforts to do good, we can never hope to succeed and progress if we let anything stop us in the way. How truly does all this apply to the Sunday School. The stand-still boy and the stand-still girl never get anywhere. The stand-still Sunday School is 'a dead one.' Life in Sunday School means movement, forward and upward. If the flying machine stops, it comes crashing to the earth. If the Sunday School stops, you will also 'hear something drop.' And the same thing is true of us as Christians. Praying and psalm singing are not enough. Backsliding begins when Christians stop working—stop going forward. If we would grow, we must go! And 'keep a-goin'!"
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