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Alcohol the Enemy!

If you put a little alcohol into your eye, your eye would become very red. When men take alcoholic drinks into their stomachs, the delicate membrane lining the stomach becomes red in the same way.

How do we know that alcohol has such an effect upon the stomach? Many years ago there lived in Michigan a man named Alexis St. Martin. One day he was, by accident, shot in such a way that a large opening was made right through the skin and flesh and into the stomach. The good doctor who attended him took such excellent care of him that he got well. But when he recovered, the hole in his stom­ach remained, so that the doctor could look in and see just what was going on. St. Martin sometimes drank whiskey, and when he did, the doctor often looked into his stomach to see what the effect was, and he noticed that the inside of his stomach looked very red and inflamed.

If St. Martin continued to drink whiskey for several days, the lining of the stomach became very red and raw like a sore eye. A sore stomach cannot digest food well, and so the whole body becomes sick and weak.

What would you think of a man who would keep putting pepper or alcohol or some other irritating substance into his eyes every day, keeping them sore until he destroyed his eyesight? It is equally foolish and wrong to injure the stomach and destroy one's digestion by the use of alcoholic drinks! 

Alcohol, even when it is not very strong, not only hurts the lining of the stomach, but injures the gastric juice, so that it cannot digest the food well. The liver, as well as the stomach, is greatly damaged by the use of alcohol. You will recollect that nearly all the food digested and absorbed is filtered through the liver before it goes to the heart to be distributed to the rest of the body.

In trying to save the rest of the body from the bad effects of alcohol, the liver is badly burned by the fiery liquid, and sometimes becomes so shriveled up that it can no longer produce bile and perform its other duties. Even beer, ale, and wine, which do not contain as much alcohol as do rum, gin, and whiskey, have enough poison in them to do the liver a great deal of harm, and to injure many other organs of the body as well.

But alcohol does more than hurt your body; it also makes a fool and a slave out of those who use it! A man, who holds a very important office in the largest prison in the United States, told some interesting stories.

His special work is to interview prisoners as they come in. He asks them about their homes, their families, their work, their education, and particularly what it was that led them to commit the crime that brought them into prison.

Do you know what most of these poor prisoners tell him? Can you guess?

You should know. Everybody should know. They say, "It was drink, sir."

You know what that means? It means that before they broke the law they had been taking alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine, or whisky. These things are known as “drink”.

Here comes a boy of fifteen—there are scores of them here as young as this. He has stolen somebody's car, and has been arrested and sent to prison.

"Well, son," says this kind friend of the prisoners, "why are you here?"

"We started drinking, sir, and—"The same old story.

Here comes a lad of eighteen. He has murdered an old woman, mistakenly expecting to find money in her house. "Why did you do it?"

"Drink, sir. Had a drop too much, I suppose, and didn't realize what I was doing."

Oh, the sad tragedy of it all! In his particular prison there were more than two thousand five hundred young men—their average age only twenty-four—who blame drink for their fall. Sometimes the prisoners are released on their promise to be good and lead a better life. All too many come back, and have to face their kindly interviewer again.

"Why are you here again," he asks, "after having been given your liberty?"

"Oh, sir," is the reply, "I went into a saloon. I couldn't help it. And then—"

Another slave! Just one of thousands upon thousands, in bondage to drink. None of us can take a wiser step than to promise before God, that with His help, we will never, never, NEVER taste a drop of the evil stuff. It is the only way to keep ourselves free from its clutches. Let's make the promise now and keep it! =^..^=

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