The Heart Of The Trouble
A Temperance Talk in Acrostic—One Great Evil Power—Beware!
THE LESSON—That the deadly drink evil appears to its victims in the most alluring and deceptive form.
The following talk necessitates the use of lettering only, but it affords an opportunity for the audience to take a part, especially if the company of hearers is made up largely of children. The climax is not to be anticipated, and the effect cannot be other than lasting. The talk may be varied to suit local conditions; specific incidents make the best impressions. It is suggested that you watch your newspapers for a period preceding the talk and make clippings of incidents to fit the points of the first seven paragraphs. It is well to ask the children to repeat each word as it is placed on the drawing paper.
"The thing I am going to speak about today is not a pleasant one. The fact is that nothing good can be said about it, for it deals with sorrow and death. You may wonder, then, why we do not speak of something bright and happy; and I answer that if you learn the lesson about this thing of sorrow and death, your lives will escape its influence and you will be many more times likely to be happy; and if you do not learn the lesson, you may suffer distress and anguish all the years of your later life. This thing is known as a great evil power. Sometimes we hear of it coming into the home and making a brute out of a loving husband. Where there was happiness and joy there is now sorrow and despair. [Place the word Sorrow on the drawing paper. When adding the succeeding words, be sure to place them exactly as indicated in Fig. 43.]
"Again, this evil power creeps into a home and fastens itself upon a young man who had before him every promise of a bright, successful life. So relentless is it that the young man, in despair, takes his own life. [Add the word Death.]
"Again, we see a man, successful in business, with no seeming obstacle in the way of greater achievement, when, one day, we find his doors are closed. This evil power has come upon him and he is a bankrupt and a failure. [Add the word Failure.]
"Again, we hear of a man who has been a leader among men—a brilliant lawyer, a keen thinker—taken from his place and confined in a hospital for the insane. The same evil power has done this. [Add the word Insanity.]
"Again, we know of a young man who was strong and robust, a splendid specimen of physical manhood; now he has lost his health and strength. The same evil power has come upon him and has placed him on a bed of sickness from which he cannot rise. [Add the word Sickness.]
"Again, how often do we hear that a man, respected and honored, has in a moment of passion, taken the life of another man, just because this evil power came in and caused him to do it. [Add the word Murder.]
"But more common than all the other terrible things which this great evil power does is the bringing of wretchedness and want to the wives and the children of the men who are its victims. These innocent ones suffer for the common comforts of life, food and clothing. This we call poverty. [Add the word Poverty. This completes Fig. 43.]
"Many more words could be added to this list, representing the misfortunes which come to the victims of this great evil power. In every instance it deceived its victims into believing it was harmless—that in accepting it there was no danger or risk.
"What is this great evil power? [With red chalk draw the heavy line, completing Fig. 44, to bring out the word Whiskey.]
"Now, boys and girls, consider this not as a puzzle drawing. It represents a truth almost as old as the world. Concerning strong drink, the Bible cries out, 'Beware!' Remember that every drunkard believed he could taste liquor and then leave it alone if he wished. You, in your happy homes, may think you are safe from it. Beware! Some day, the temptation will come to you; someone will test you. Beware! 'Whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.' 'Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine.' Beware! Be not one of these.
"No, let us keep our minds on the pure, the upright, looking ever to Jesus, who is our strength and who will keep us from the power of this evil thing. 'Then shalt thou walk in thy way securely, and thy foot shall not stumble.'"
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