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Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes.
J. M. Judy
Introduction by George H. Trever, Ph.D., D.D. The manuscript of This book was not submitted to any publisher, but was put in its present form by JENNINGS & PYE, for a friend of the author. Address. Chicago: Western Methodist Book Concern, 1904.
BY GEORGE H. TREVER, PH.D., D.D. Author of Comparative Theology, etc.
A BOOK on "Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes" is timely to-day. Such a grouping of subject matter is in itself a commendation. Possibly we have been saying "Don't" quite enough without offering the positive substitute. The "expulsive power of a new affection" is, after all, the mightiest agency in reform. "Thou shalt not" is quite easy to say; but though the house be emptied, swept, and garnished, unless pure angels hasten to occupy the vacated chambers, other spirits worse than the first will soon rush in to befoul them again.
The author of these papers, the Rev. J.M. Judy, writes out of a full, warm heart. We know him to be a correct, able preacher of the gospel, and an efficient fisher of men. Having thoroughly prepared himself for his work by courses in Northwestern University and Garrett Biblical Institute, by travel in the South and West of our own country, and by a visitation of the Old World, he has served on the rugged frontier of his Conference, and among foreign populations grappling successfully with some of the most difficult problems in modern Church work.
The following articles aroused much interest when delivered to his own people, and must do good wherever read. In style they are clear and vivid; in logical arrangement excellent; glow with sacred fervor, and pulse with honest, eager conviction. We bespeak for them a wide reading, and would especially commend them to the young people of our Epworth Leagues.
WHITEWATER, WIS., March 2, 1904.
"QUESTIONABLE Amusements and Worthy Substitutes" is a consideration of the "so-called questionable amusements," and an outlook for those forms of social, domestic, and personal practices which charm the life, secure the present, and build for the future. To take away the bad is good; to give the good is better; but to take away the bad and to give the good in its stead is best of all. This we have tried to do, not in our own strength, but with the conscious presence of the Spirit of God.
The spiritual indifference of Christendom to-day as one meets with it in all forms of Christian work has led us to send out this message. "Questionable Amusements," form both a cause and a result of this widespread indifference. An underlying cause of this indifference among those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ, is lack of conviction for sin, want of positive faith in the fundamental truths of the Scriptures, too little and superficial prayer, and lack of personal, soul-saving work. Is the class-meeting becoming extinct? Is the prayer-meeting lifeless? Is the revival spirit decaying? Is family worship formal, or has it ceased? However some may answer these questions, still we believe that the Church has a warm heart, and that signs of her vigorous life are expressed in her tenacious hold for high moral standards, and in her generous GIVING of money and of men.
Our point of view has been that of the person, old or young, regardless of sect, race, party, occupation, or circumstances, who has a life to live, and who wants to make the most out of it for himself and for his fellow- men, and who believes that he will find this life disclosed in nature, in history, and in the Word of God. J.M.J.
ORFORDVILLE, WIS., March, 1904.
PART I. QUESTIONABLE AMUSEMENTS
CHAPTER PAGE I. TOBACCO,.................13 II. DRUNKENNESS,................26 III. GAMBLING, CARDS,...............53 IV. DANCING,...................70 V. THEATER-GOING,..............84
PART II WORTHY SUBSTITUTES
VI. BOOKS AND READING,.............99 VII. SOCIAL RECREATION,............118 VIII. FRIENDSHIP,.................130 IX. TRAVEL,...................147 X. HOME AND THE HOME-MAKER,.........170
PART I. QUESTIONABLE AMUSEMENTS.
"The excesses of our youth are drafts on our old age, payable about one hundred years after date without interest."--JOHN RUSKIN.
Tobacco wastes the body. It is used for the nicotine that is in it. This peculiar ingredient is a poisonous, oily, colorless liquid, and gives to tobacco its odor. This odor and the flavor of tobacco are developed by fermentation in the process of preparation for use. "Poison" is commonly defined as "any substance that when taken into the system acts in an injurious manner, tending to cause death or serious detriment to health." And different poisons are defined as those which act differently upon the human organism. For example, one class, such as nicotine in tobacco, is defined as that which acts as a stimulant or an irritant; while another class, such as opium, acts with a quieting, soothing influence. But the fact is that poison does not act at all upon the human system, but the human system acts upon the poison. In one class of poisons, such as opium, the reason why the system does not arouse itself and try to cast off the poison, is that the nerves become paralyzed so that it can not. And in the case of nicotine in tobacco the nerves are not thus paralyzed, so that they try in every way to cast off the poison. Let the human body represent the house, and the sensitive nerves and the delicate blood vessels the sleeping inmates of that house. Let the Foe Opium come to invade that house and to destroy the inmates, for every poison is a deadly Foe. At the first appearance of this subtle Foe terror is struck into the heart of the inmates, so that they fall back helpless, paralyzed with fear. When the Intruder Tobacco comes, he comes boisterously, rattling the windows and jostling the furniture, so that the inmates of the house set up a life-and-death conflict against him.
This is just what happens when tobacco is taken into the human system. Every nerve cries out against it, and every effort is made to resist it. You ask, Will one's body be healthier and live longer without tobacco than with it? We answer, by asking, Will one's home be happier and more prosperous without some deadly Foe continually invading it, or with such a Foe? When the membranes and tissues of the body, with their host of nerves and blood vessels, have to be fighting against some deadly poison in connection with their ordinary work, will they not wear out sooner than if they could be left to do their ordinary work quietly? To illustrate: A particle of tobacco dust no sooner comes into contact with the lining membrane of the nose, than violent sneezing is produced. This is the effort of the besieged nerves and blood vessels to protect themselves. A bit of tobacco taken into the mouth causes salivation because the salivary glands recognize the enemy and yield an increased flow of their precious fluid to wash him away. Taken into the stomach unaccustomed to its presence, and it produces violent vomiting. The whole lining membrane of that much- abused organ rebels against such an Intruder, and tries to eject him. Tobacco dust and smoke taken into the lungs at once excretes a mucous- like fluid in the mouth, throat, windpipe, bronchial tubes, and in the lungs themselves. Excretions such as this mean a violent wasting away of vitality and power. Taken in large quantities into the stomach, tobacco not only causes an excretion of mucus from the mouth, throat, and breathing organs, but it produces an overtaxing of the liver; that is, this organ overworks in order to counteract the presence of the poison. But one asks, If tobacco is so injurious, why is it used with such apparent pleasure? A small quantity of tobacco received into the system by smoking, chewing, or snuffing is carried through the circulation to the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, and to all the organs of the body, by which it is moderately resisted. The result is a gentle excitement of all these organs. They are in a state of morbid activity. And as sensibility depends upon vital action of the bodily organisms, there is necessarily produced a degree of sense gratification or pleasure. The reason why these sensations are pleasurable instead of painful is, in this state of moderate excitement the circulation is materially increased without being materially unbalanced. But as with every sense indulgence, when the craving for increased doses becomes satisfied, when larger doses are taken the circulation becomes unbalanced, vital resistance centers in one point, congestion occurs, then the sensation becomes one of pain instead of one of pleasure. This disturbance or excitement caused by tobacco is nothing more nor less than disease. For it is abnormal action, and abnormal action is fever, and fever is disease. It is state on good authority, "that no one who smokes tobacco before the bodily powers are developed ever makes a strong, vigorous man." Dr. H. Gibbons says: "Tobacco impairs digestion, poisons the blood, depresses the vital powers, causes the limbs to tremble, and weakens and otherwise disorders the heart." It is conceded by the medical profession that tobacco causes cancer of the tongue and lips, dimness of vision, deafness, dyspepsia, bronchitis, consumption, heart palpitation, spinal weakness, chronic tonsilitis, paralysis, impotency, apoplexy, and insanity. It is held by some men that tobacco aids digestion. Dr. McAllister, of Utica, New York, says that it "weakens the organs of Digestion and assimilation, and at length plunges one into all the horrors of dyspepsia."
*Tobacco dulls the mind.* It does this not only by wasting the body, the physical basis of the mind, but it does it through habits of intellectual
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