תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

2. To increase the efficiency of the nation whether in war or peace. If the efficiency in war forces the nation to adopt prohibition, why is it not wise from an economic point of view to prohibit the traffic in peace time ?

One of the strangest things about this whole question is that the minds of all of us have been distinctly influenced by the far-reaching, steadily promoted propaganda of the liquor interests. We are warned that we must not invade personal liberty. The effects of liquor upon industry have been such that our great industrial enterprises to a very large extent have set aside personal liberty in this respect. The fact that alcohol is the most important and direct cause of nearly all those forms of demoralization which do the most damage to our community life has also greatly weakened this point of view. The authority of the community has at the same time been steadily growing. If the national government can deal effectively with food containing deleterious elements it certainly is justified in preventing us from having drink containing equally harmful and destructive ingredients.

“We have been told that if liquor were suddenly taken away from those who had been accustomed to it, the effect upon them would be such as to drive them to far worse things, if such worse things there be. As a matter of fact, the best medical practice to-day, with perhaps rare exceptions, cuts off all liquor at once in the treatment of cases of alcoholism. It is found that the best and surest recoveries are made by bringing the human system as quickly as possible out from under the power of the alcoholic drug. In fact, the complete elimination of alcohol comes consciously to large numbers of men addicted to it as being a distinct blessing, because they then realize that without its constant temptation they can with increasing freedom give their attention to the things of a decent and normal life.

“We have had held before us the threat that prohibition will produce a panic, that a great financial disaster would overwhelm the country if it were enforced. As a matter of fact there has been an eloquent succession of testimony showing that prohibition brings distinct improvement to all legitimate forms of business. In Seattle at the end of six months nine-tenths of the property that had been used for the liquor business had been taken up by other lines of trade, and the other one-tenth was mostly of a sort never sought after for other purposes than those of the saloon. The labor organizations in the

prohibition states are now coming forward and are saying, through their officers, that, though they opposed the enactment of prohibition, they find that their membership is growing, their treasuries are in better condition, the employment of their members is more regular, and their negotiations with their employers have become more satisfactory.". Robert A. Woods in The Christian Endeavor World.

3. For the sake of the young, and the weak. The drunkards of to-morrow must come from the children of to-day. Are we willing to give them up to such a fate ?

Seven Good Reasons. A lawyer was speaking at great length and with a great display of learning in opposition to a prohibitory law. An old farmer, who had been listening quietly, shut up his knife with a snap, and said, " I may not understand all the points of this question, but I have seven good reasons for voting for prohibition.” “ What are they?” asked the lawyer. The shrewd old farmer answered wisely, “ Four sons and three daughters." Young People's Weekly.

How Kipling Became a Prohibitionist. Rudyard Kipling, whose stories and poems are read by all the English-speaking world, tells how, in a concert-hall in the city of Buffalo, he saw two young men get two girls drunk and then lead them reeling down a dark street. Mr. Kipling has not been a total abstainer, nor have his writings commended temperance, but of that scene he writes :

“ « Then, recanting previous opinion, I became a prohibitionist. Better it is that a man should go without his beer in public places and content himself with swearing at the narrow-mindedness of the majority ; better it is to poison the inside with very vile temperance drinks, and to buy lager furtively at back doors, than to bring temptation to the lips of young fools such as the four I had seen. I understand now why the preachers rage against drink. I have said, “There is no harm in it, taken moderately!” and yet my own demand for beer helped directly to send these two girls reeling down the dark street to — God alone knows what end. If liquor is worth drinking, it is worth taking a little trouble to come at such as a man will undergo to compass his own desire. It is not good that we should let it lie before the eyes of children, and I have been a fool in writing to the contrary.'” - Anon.

Nail Up the Hole. “I took my little boy on my knee,' writes a father, 'and told him the story of the lost lamb. How it found a hole in the hedge and crawled

66

ܙܙ

one

through, how glad it was to get away, how it skipped and played in the sunshine, until it wandered so far that it could not find its way back. And then I told him how the wolf chased it, and how finally the Good Shepherd rescued it, and carried it back to the fold. The little fellow did not say a word until I got to that part of the story where the Shepherd had carried the lamb, wounded and bleeding, back to the fold, when he exclaimed, “ Say, papa, did He nail up the hole in the fence ?”.!

“Every saloon is a hole in the fence. While one crawls back hundreds are devoured by the wolves.” Record of Christian Work.

"Not because God's grapes are evil or unholy,

Not because He found not all things 'very good,'
Not because He has not said, within His Eden,

‘All things are given unto you for food,'
But because of them, His weak and tempted children,

Who cannot sip the cup and put it by,
Who cannot taste the wine and not be drunken,
Oh! for them let us forego it, you and I."

Quoted in Record of Christian Work. How MAY WE MAKE SURE THAT THE NATION WINS IN THIS FIGHT? By education. Rev. Ernest Bourner Allen said, at the World's Sixth Sunday School Convention, held in Washington, that the tidal wave of temperance sentiment that has swept over the nation during these last years is due in great part to the fact that" for forty, years there has been scientific temperance instruction in our Sunday Schools." There have been other factors. He called attention to this as last, but far from least.'

“ Those saloon keepers,” he exclaimed, “ who laughed and sneered a few years ago because the boys and girls carried banners in the parade, forgot to read one of them, which said, 'Tremble, King Alcohol ; we shall grow up. They have grown up !

By the promotion of everything that makes for a real heart religion. Not a formal church-going ; not a mere profession, like him who said “ Lord, Lord,” in the days of Christ ; but one which will produce the state of mind and heart which will make

do the will of the Father." The most and surest of the rescues of drunkards have come through their conversion, their taking the Lord Jesus Christ as their Master and the Ruler of their lives. Read Twice-born Men, by Harold Begbie ; and the reports of Rescue Missions, of the Salvation Army ; indeed of any true minister of Christ who has had long dealings with sinful men. Ít is almost impossible to entirely empty any container ; it can only be done by the use of an air-pump, and any lack of care in the process or any accident later will let in air, — and it is no longer empty. But fill the container with something to take the place of that which we took out of it, and the air will also be displaced.

Religion the Biggest Factor in Making Men ! “We have spent $1,250,000 on appliances in these cars to secure your safety,' reads a poster in every subway car in New York.

“And STILL they have accidents !
“No wonder that they have added the line :
“Won't you help us by being careful ? '

Same story with the doctors and sanitarians and chemists and all other experts who have been working to MAKE us healthy – chiefly to KEEP us from getting sick.

Won't you help us by being careful ? ' — they are beginning to say to us.

“ There's a point where these experts must stop where it's plainly up to us because when they've found out what is perilous for us and warned us to keep away from danger, THEIR responsibility, and principally their power, ceases.

“ They cannot keep us healthy and free from accidents if we do not fight in our own way to avoid the causes of sickness and accidents.

“ THE FIGHT ON DISEASE IS CHIEFLY A FIGHT FOR CHARACTER.

“It's in the development of one's mind and in getting a grip on one's self that the average man will be healthy and free from physical weaknesses. Because of this, religion plays a big part in downing disease and in building up mind and body.

* No man can long have a healthy BODY if his MIND is weak and diseased. And no man can have a healthy mind if his HEART is weak and diseased and impure.

“ Fundamentally, it's a man's heart that makes or destroys him. And the greatest motive power in heart development is religion and all that it stands for.

“THEREFORE, RELIGION IS THE BIGGEST SINGLE FACTOR IN MAKING MEN.”

[blocks in formation]

PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN LIVING. — Matt. 6:1-7: 12.

PRINT Matt. 6:19-34.

GOLDEN TEXT. Seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. MATT. 6:33.

Devotional Reading : Rom. 12 : 9-21.
Additional Material for Teachers : Mark 10 : 23–31 ; Luke II : 2-4; 12 : 22–32.
Primary Topic : OUR HEAVENLY FATHER'S CARE.

Lesson Material : Matt. 6 : 25-30 ; Ex. 16 : 4, 5, 14–18.
Memory Verse : He careth for you.

1 Pet. 5:7. Junior Topic : JESUS TEACHES How to PRAY.

Lesson Material : Matt. 6 : 5-15.

Memory Verses : Matt. 6:9-13.
Intermediate and Senior Topic : GOLDEN RULES FOR LIVING.

Lesson Material : Matt. 6:1-4; 7:1-12.
Topic for Young People and Adults : COUNSELS FOR DAILY LIVING.

FOR

THE TEACHER AND HIS CLASS. THE LESSON IN ITS SETTING.

The same as the last two lessons. An eminently practical lesson, differing little in the different grades; what

PLAN OF THE LESSON. is practical for one is practical for the others, only differing in degree and some- SUBJECT : Principles of Christian what in application.

Living In the Primary grade the emphasis in I. RULES CHRISTIAN GIVING, to-day's lesson is laid on the care our

Matt. 6:1-4. Heavenly Father has for all his children. II. JESUS TEACHES HOW TO PRAY, The Juniors should learn what belongs

Matt. 6:5-15. to true prayer, that praise and worship III. TRUST IN OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, are a needful part of it, and can illustrate

Matt. 6:16-34. their conclusions by a study of the Lord's IV. SOME GOLDEN RULES FOR LIVING, Prayer.

Matt. 7:1-12. In the older classes we study the character of our daily lives if we were

THE TEACHER'S LIBRARY. conformed to the ideal Christ sets for Commentaries on Matthew, and on

Does Jesus give us rules to fol- Luke, and books on the Sermon on the low, or principles which guide us to Mount, mentioned in previous lessons. make our own rules ? Why is Christ's Works on the Lord's Prayer, such as method better than precise rules ? those by Farrar, Gladden, Boardman What would be the result in the world (The Model Prayer), Murray (With if all lived up to the “Golden Rule, Christ in the School of Prayer). J. R. in private life, in society, in business, in Miller's The Golden Gate of Prayer. politics ?

Professor Phelps, The Still Hour.

[ocr errors]

I. RULES FOR CHRISTIAN GIVING, Matt. 6:1-4. I. NEGATIVE. Do not your alms before men for the purpose of being seen of them. The Greek word for

to be seen is the one which gives us our word “theatre." The rule tells us not to be theatrical in our giving, making a parade and spectacle of it. “ We may be seen to do good, but not do good to be seen. Bishop Wordsworth. “ Alms" is rendered in the revisions“ righteousness.” It means more than giving of money or other help to the poor, or to the church. :“ If we notice that the word 'righteousness ’ is the equivalent of our word “religion ’ the commandment runs : Take heed that ye do not your religion before men to be seen of them.R. F. Horton.

Do not sound a trumpet before thee, that is, do not give for effect, in a boastful way. The figure is common, as we might say, “ Don't hire a brass band when you give.”. Do not give because it is to be published in the local paper, and people will talk about how good and generous you are.

Why did our Lord give this command to his disciples ? 1. Because it was hypocritical. Many a man gave largely because people would know, and applaud him, who would give nothing simply for the cause. And many a man has ground down his employees, and stinted his family, and neglected his religion, who yet puts his name for large sums at the head of those subscription papers which will bring his name before the public.

Because such boastful givers have their reward ; they have already received the reward they sought, and no further reward will come to them. They have it all at once ; there is nothing left for the years of eternity. It is not the reward which the wise man would seek ; but it is the reward they wanted. It is not the reward from your Father in heaven; that reward is not given to such givers. Yet that is the reward that all Christ's disciples should most earnestly seek.

2. POSITIVE. Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. Be so secret that even you yourself do not know what you give. We are to give so naturally that it is done, as it were, unconsciously. Give because it is needed, for love's sake, for mercy's sake, to help on God's kingdom, and to give help to the poor, without any selfish motive of applause, or reputation. In this case thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee. The hypocrite's reward was wages,

pay” as to a servant. God's reward is quite a different thing ; likeness to God, sympathy with him, a nobler character, a more generous disposition, larger means of doing good, and a larger part in the making of the world happier and better, a share in the final victory of good.

Note. We have here a principle rather than a rule. In many.cases it is impossible that others shall not know of a part of our gifts. But one should never give for the purpose of appearing generous. Some give more to causes where the people will know, and little to the rest. And it is mean and unchristian to judge others from their gifts, either to consider them ungenerous because their gift is small, or hypocrites because it is large. You don't know. Only the Father which seeth in secret has the right to judge of the motive.

II. JESUS TEACHES HOW TO PRAY, Matt. 6:5-15 Here also Jesus gives us both negative and positive commands. Thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, who do not really commune with God in their prayers, but pray for display, and who have therefore already received their reward, not the answer to their prayer, for they did not pray ; but the reputation for piety, and the consequent offices and emoluments for which they were working.

But thou, in contrast with these, shalt enter into thy closet, “ thy inner chamber” (Rev.), and .. shut thy door. Shut all thy doors ; keep out other. people, other members of the family, that is shutting the material door. But also shut the door of your mind, — shut out thoughts that may interfere with your worship, that may make you less earnest and absorbed in your communion with the Father.

Note that this precept does not forbid praying in the presence of others, as in the church, or prayer A Muezzin Chanting the Call to Prayer, meeting, or family, where the prayer is sincere and from a Minaret Gallery in Damascus. in no degree for show. For Jesus and his disciples prayed with others. It would forbid formal prayer in public ; prayer where the others could not unite. The phrase "Let us unite in prayer "should have a real meaning.

Neither does the precept forbid the lifting of the heart to God in the crowded streets or the midst of a busy office or factory ; but we are far more likely to do this if we have regular meetings with God in some quiet, retired spot.

Jesus gave another negative precept, use not vain repetitions, do not make mere formal prayers without any real praying. Do not repeat over and over again set forms, as if there were some virtue in the mere act of repeating a set of words, and each repetition were an addition to the virtue of the charm. So some people “ say their prayers ” at night as a talisman with some magic power against harm; as useless as the prayer-wheels of the heathen. But a repetition is not vain so long as it is the true expression of a longing heart.

[graphic]

Why are such prayers wrong? Because God is our Father, and prayer should be the simple talking of the child with his father. Because our Father knoweth what we have need of, before we ask him. He does not need, therefore, to be reminded over and over again; as a fretful child teases for something. But if this is so why pray at all ? Because as an earthly father wants his child to tell him his desires, even though they may be foolish, or are sure to be anticipated by the father, so our heavenly Father wants us to turn to him with our longings and with our troubles or our thanksgiving, because that is our best way of maintaining the real communion between God and man which is the soul of religion.

THE MODEL PRAYER, vs. 9-13. According to Luke this prayer was given at the request of the disciples for some form of prayer, such as was given by John the Baptist to his disciples. Since the form is somewhat different in the two Gospels ; and since Jesus said, not“ in these words pray ye,” but after this manner pray ye ; we see that Jesus did not give this prayer to his followers as a set form of words which they were to repeat, in order to be heard. He gave it rather as a model upon which all true prayer should be based. We have instances of prayer by the disciples, but none of their using exactly this form of words. But so long as we fill it with the true spirit of prayer there is in many cases a distinct advantage in its use in the form we have it. It is known to practically all worshippers, and can be used as a means of united oral prayer by congregations of all creeds and of all ages. In no other prayer can all possible denominations, all possible races, join together in oral repetition.

This prayer may be divided into three distinct portions : Worship, petition, praise.

Our Father,“ a conscious person, a living, loving Father.” This binds together in one family, in one brotherhood, all that dwell upon the earth. Which is in heaven. Where it is I know not; no man fully knows; but it is where Our Father is.

Hallowed be thy name. The name stands for the person ; it includes all the names, all the revelations, of God. The name of our Father is hallowed not only by treating Him with reverence, but also by adding to the respect and honor in which His name is held among men. It is hallowed by the fidelity, nobility, and beauty of our conduct.

Thy kingdom come, which " is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." “Wherever morality and purity are gaining, wherever the vile are becoming less vile, the cruel less cruel, the covetous less covetous, there the kingdom is advancing."

What can we do to advance the kingdom? Wherever we help one another to the living of better lives, to be more truthíul or upright or honorable, or kind, or faithful in our duties to God and man, there we are helping to answer our prayer for the coming of the kingdom of God.

Do you want it to come? come to your store, your business, your shop, your study, your table, your heart?

How near to you do you desire that the kingdom of God should come ?

Thy will be done. This does not only mean that we yield ourselves to his discipline, the suffering he imposes, as it is so often used. We may settle beforehand that God's will is a good will. It is only in a secondary sense that suffering can ever be said to be the will of God. His will is expressed in his laws. Obedience to his laws brings health and happiness and peace ; disobedience brings suffering. God's will is that men should obey his laws. The suffering is a warning against disobedience, and a dissuasive from it.

On earth as it is in heaven. This clause is regarded by many as belonging to the last three, may thy name be hallowed as it is in heaven, perfectly, from the heart, without exception ; thy kingdom come as in heaven, completely, without reservation ; thy will be done as in heaven, cheerfully, entirely, lovingly.

Give us this day our daily bread, the first of the petitions. It is for the absolute necessities of life that we first ask. Without life we cannot worship, cannot praise. But it does not only mean bread for our bodies, it means the deepest needs of our minds, of our souls.

Give, yet we must earn it by honest work ; us, not me, it takes in all mankind and identifies us with all humanity. Our, not others'; this teaches us a lesson of self-support, a lesson of frugality, a lesson of charity. Bread that we beg is not ours ; bread that we steal, that we get by fraud, is not ours ; bread that is gained by the oppression of others is not ours.

Daily, that we may learn to trust thee for the morrow. We must in the case of bread for our bodies plan the sowing, the cultivating, the harvesting, and the storing

« הקודםהמשך »