Nail it to the Counter

Worker's Own, . (1914) Nail it to the Counter. [Image]

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Workers in the Band of Hope were well provided with teaching material and ideas; this example from Workers’ Own magazine in 1914 uses the device of counterfeit coins to introduce some ‘exposing fallacies’ arguments which had been used for the previous eighty years.

Outlines of Addresses.

No. 1.
Nail it to the Counter.

Some years ago there were many false coins in circulation, and tradesmen were often defrauded because of them. It was the custom, whenever a shopkeeper detected one of these bad coins, he immediately nailed it to the counter so that neither he nor anyone else would be cheated again by it.

A little examination will detect the false from the true. If they do not give the right ring, there is something wrong with them. There’s a fearful lot of the false coin element about Strong Drink. Like false coins, it is made to look like a true food and drink, but a little careful examination will show what kind of stuff it is made of.

Here’s a coin marked – Strong Drink. God’s Good Gift.
This is not true. The grain and fruit from which Strong Drink is sometimes made, is, of course, God’s Good Gift. But the Drink is not. We can abuse a good thing by making a bad article. For instance corn is good, it can be made into best bread or bad beer. To turn corn into the former is using God’s gift, and blessing will follow, but to turn it into the latter is abusing God’s good gift, and sorrow will follow. A man may be clever, and use his gifts to benefit his fellow-men and himself, or he may use his talents to cheat, defraud and curse his fellows and himself. We are responsible for the use we make of those gifts given to us.
Strong Drink is made by the
Barley is destroyed to make Beer
Grapes are “ “ Wine
Apples “ “ “ Cider
Pears “ “ “ Perry
All of these good gifts are spoiled and made unfit for food. Good fruits which are sent to nourish and strengthen the body, are by the brewer, winemaker and distiller turned into drinks which poison and destroy the body.

“I thought Strong Drink was a good creature of God,” said an old man, “but when my eldest son died a drunkard, then my eyes were opened and I knew it was a creature of the devil.” “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
[Name some of the consequences of drinking. These show clearly enough that Strong Drink cannot be classed amongst God’s good gifts.]

Another false coin – Alcohol a Food.
A food is that which builds up the body, forming muscle, bone, blood, brain, nerves, or giving heat.
All the alcohol in the world cannot form a drop of blood ; there is nothing in alcohol to form muscle, bones, blood, or to give heat. Even in the drinks made form God’s good gifts there is no nourishment worth the name. Sir Michael Foster, the eminent scientist, stated there was only as much nourishment in a gallon of beer as was found in a single lump of sugar, or a tiny piece of bread. “Nourishing Stout,” “Strengthening Port” are false coins. A drunken man is not a strong man, but a weak one, and he has been made weak by the alcohol he has taken. Just in the proportion to the amount taken, his strength has diminished.
“Alcohol is not a food in any sense of the term,” says Professor Miller, therefore not being a food it cannot strengthen in the truest sense of the word. To build up the body on such poor materials as are found in Strong Drink is like building a house on the sands, and foolish is the man who does this.
Alcohol is not a food, but a poison. Over 4,000 people died in one year through alcoholic poisoning, 2 ½ times as many as lost their lives by the Titanic Disaster, and nearly 10 times as many as were killed at the Senghenydd Explosion.

A third false coin is – Strong Drink gives Strength.
In order to give strength there must be strengthening properties in Strong Drink. These are entirely absent.
A pint of milk is 17 times more nourishing than a bottle of Sherry and 29 times more nourishing than a bottle of Claret.
That is, a pint of milk costing 2d. is equal to 17 bottles of Sherry, costing say 3/- per bottle.

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