A Mesmerism that Is Waning

A caustic humorist depicts a life tragedy by showing a woman with a bruised face receiving the sympathy of a neighbor, who remarks that evidently her man is "home from the trenches." The husband by whom she had been beaten was the man who before some priest and altar, or with a promise sanctioned by the law of the land, agreed to "love, honor, and cherish" the woman. She would probably say he was a fine man "except for the drink." There is described the evil influence which as a mesmerism has enrapt and degraded multitudes. Those who trace all effects to physical causes believe that most of the human derelicts who are insane or feeble-minded, who are epileptics and idiots, are imperfect because of the degradation through drunkenness and allied conditions of one or both of the parents,—and then there are sad little cripples whom no society for the prevention of cruelty to children saved from the mad brutality of a father, in a city where men were licensed to sell madness to him. The liquor traffic branches out from that love of money which is the root of every kind of evil. It is an evil appetite which leads men into temptation, but it is cupidity which prepares the temptation for their entanglement.

The mesmerism of drink begins as a gentle seduction. The boy wants to ape manhood and to boast of such vices as he hears reprehended. The youth wants to be prominent in the society of those who banquet and carouse. The man wants to use the mesmerism of drink to make his customer complaisant that he may be an easy purchaser. Business houses used to entertain buyers from out-of-town firms by whatever debauchery they desired, and this they called seeing life, though the path was among the ways of death. Like Gulliver tied down by a million threads fastened by the labor of the Lilliputians, so humanity, the giant, has been bound by ten thousand influences of mesmerism affecting stomach, nerves, and brain through drink. These degrading influences serve the devil, that is, the adversary, who will cease to exist so soon as a man comes to himself, and rising above the animal becomes a thinker obedient to Principle. Mrs. Eddy defines the situation quite clearly in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 288) where she says: "Whatever intoxicates a man, stultifies and causes him to degenerate physically and morally. Strong drink is unquestionably an evil, and evil cannot be used temperately: its slightest use is abuse; hence the only temperance is total abstinence."

February 1, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.