The Open Saloon Door
The Young Man Who Enters Therein Endangers His Whole After Life.
THE LESSON—That both the soul and the body are threatened with destruction by indulgence in strong drink.
This temperance lesson possesses one of the "surprise" features which are permissible only when they lose themselves in the greatness of the truth they present. In preparing for the talk, be sure that your guide lines are properly placed. You must be provided with a sharp penknife to use in cutting the "doors" in the picture. The dotted lines for enlarging the picture are omitted for fear of confusion, but these may be drawn over Fig. 62, with a hard pencil, and the desired purpose be accomplished.
"To us who realize the terrible results of the use of strong drink, and who are trying to do our part in protecting the boys and young men from the blighting influence of the saloon, there is something most discordant in the way in which these places parade their false attractiveness; for many there are who do not realize that they are a trap which, to enter, may prove fatal to life and hope.
"The great question is, why can they not see the danger? That is the mystery, for down through the ages has come the thunder of warning against this great enemy of mankind. 'Look not thou upon the wine when it is red,' cries out King Solomon. 'At the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder.' 'Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine.'
"One look at the saloon door should cause the young man to recoil in horror, for he may see there, if he but heed, the very warning of death. Let him look upon it. Let us see what he may behold. [Draw the outline of the windows, the sign and the lower horizontal line of Fig. 62, omitting, for the present, the lettering.] This, let us suppose, is the front of the saloon which invites him to enter its doors. [Draw very lightly the lines indicated by the dotted lines A.] Prominently displayed are the evidences that intoxicating liquors are sold there. [Draw with red chalk the words, "Dealers in Wine, Porter, Whiskeys, Bourbon, Etc.," completing Fig. 62. There is no more drawing to do; the remaining step is taken by the aid of the penknife.] Here we have the front of the saloon.
(Dotted lines, for enlarging, are omitted as they would confuse the speaker.)
"There is one thing about the drink habit that we can easily understand, and there is one thing about it that I suppose we shall never understand. We can realize why the man who is bound by this awful curse does not break his bonds; how willingly would he do it if he believed he could. But, as we have observed, it is a mystery why a boy or a young man, with numberless powerful and convincing proofs before him, will deliberately enter the doorway of a saloon. But once within, all may seem bright and happy and joyous—perhaps the victim is led to believe that father and mother are misinformed, since there seems to be nothing but gaiety there. But he finds, all too soon, that the liquor which seemed at first to make little difference in his life, is becoming his master, and never does he realize it so well as when he tries to free himself. Why and how has the saloon changed his life? The story is a simple one, and he should have seen the reason before he entered, because there it is, written plainly upon the outside of the place which has meant his ruin.
[With your penknife cut the paper along the lines A. Do not cut on the lines B. Fold back the two "doors," at B, as if they were hinged. It may be necessary to hold them back with thumb tacks or pins. To heighten the effect it is well to have placed a blackened sheet of paper beneath the top sheet, so as to produce the effect illustrated. Add "And Poison Kills!" This completes Fig. 63.]
"The saloon may try to hide its real self, but every time it opens its doors to allow one of its victims to come out, it proclaims to the world that it traffics in poison—poison fatal to happiness, fatal to hope, fatal to health, fatal to all the higher and nobler aspirations of life. Everywhere is this truth proclaimed. From the insane asylums come the testimony. The jails cry out that it is true. The poor houses tell of its blight. Poverty-burdened homes and broken hearts everywhere proclaim the awful truth.
"And yet, the land is cursed with these dram shops whose owners care only for the money which comes to them and which should go to the advancement of the happiness and the uplift of him who is their victim. Boys, may we plead with you today never to allow this thing to enter your life to keep you from being all that God wants you to be?"
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