While a friend of mine was conducting a meeting one morning, a tramp came in and said, "My father and mother used to sit in this pew. It is the first church I ever attended. My father was an officer in this Church. Seven boys used to sit in this pew in the Sunday School Class. We had a great love and respect for our Sunday School teacher. Saturday afternoon she invited us to her home, entertaining with music, eatables and a look over the lesson. After a while she was anxious to please us and hold us, and she taught us the names of cards. None had ever used cards. We became enthusiastic over it, learning different games. After a while we would not give so much time to the lesson, but she let us have more time for playing cards, and would show us some more tricks. After a while we were off in the cotton gins playing cards and not going to her home. Later we failed to go to Sunday School. Cards, cigarettes, after a while drink and gambling. We all at different times left our homes. Two of those boys have been hung, three are in state's prison for life, one a vagabond like myself. No one knows where he is and if the authorities knew I was here I would be arrested and put behind the bars. All I wish is that that teacher had never taught us how to play cards."
As he stood there broken-hearted, a lady at the right and near the pulpit, dressed in mourning, arose, went to where the man was, fell on the floor with a scream, and said, "My God! I am the Sunday School teacher that did it." She fainted and we did not know but that she was dead. She revived. The woman was not seen any more in the meeting and the man never seen since.—The late J. Wilbur Chapman, D.D., in Florida Baptist Witness.
During the twenty years I was in the game I found that about all the men and women who filled my houses and bet themselves into ruin were the product of the homes where card playing was encouraged. It is across the friendly poker table or in the bridge game that Satan puts his fiery brand on the young men and women of America. It is in so-called Christian homes that the gambling fever begins. The underworld is not trying to drag innocents down. It does not have to. The homes are turning out more recruits than they can possibly handle. They cannot be chased with an ax. They have secured their worldly wisdom at the dances, card parties, and other social diversions which feature modern social life. There is nothing in the underworld that can furnish them any surprises, and they are more likely to start a redder one of their own.—Courtesy Moody Monthly.
On the front lawn of a certain Philadelphia church, as this article is being written, there are two new automobiles, backed by a huge sign urging the passers-by to take a chance on one of the cars. Each afternoon and evening a young man sits at the street curb at a table accepting the money of hundreds of passers-by who are eager to win an automobile for only ten cents. When an organization that calls itself Christian, and claims to honor and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, sponsors such schemes for raising money, is it any wonder that the man on the street or the rank and file of young people fail to see any harm in taking a chance? And lest any of us should unduly condemn the automobile raffle it is well for us to remember the suit clubs, the bridge clubs, the bingo games, and the bank nights that are all about us. Is it possible that the one who called our country a "nation of gamblers" was not exaggerating?—John W. Lane, Jr., in Sunday School Times.
A letter from the American Medical Association prods us to call attention to the public's apathy toward preventive measures which could save many lives and prevent more disabling diseases. The AMA points out that while there are vaccines against many dangerous communicable diseases, far too many people fail to take advantage of them and neglect to have their children vaccinated. People still die of diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, and even smallpox.
After years of strenuous effort on the part of health authorities, newspapers and other means of communication, more than half of all Americans still have not had polio shots. It's a good guess that fewer still are fully immunized against the worst of the other communicable diseases.
Whatever the reason—the AMA suggests complacency and procrastination—those who fail to protect themselves and their children with preventive vaccinations are gambling with lives as the stakes.
But more serious is the number of people who put off the matter of the soul's salvation. Millions forget that Jesus asked: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). Just here remember these words: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).