Page:Guide to health.djvu/47

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35
FOOD

Wine, bhang and opium have been condemned by all the religions of the world, although the number of total abstainers is so limited. Drink has brought about the ruin of whole families. The drunkard forfeits his sanity; he has even been known to forget the distinction between mother, wife and daughter. His life becomes a mere burden to him. Even men of sound sense become helpless automatons when they take to drink; even when not actually under its influence, their minds are too impotent to do any work. Some people say that wine is harmless when used as medicine, but even European doctors have begun to give up this view in many cases. Some partisans of drink argue that, if wine can be used as medicine with impunity, it can also be used as drink. But many poisons are employed as medicines; do we ever dream of employing them as food? It is quite possible that, in some diseases, wine may do some good, but even then, no sensible, or thoughtful man should consent to use it even as medicine, under any circumstances. As for opium, it is no less injurious than wine, and is to be equally eschewed. Have we not seen a mighty nation like the Chinese falling under the deadly spell of opium, and rendering itself incapable of maintaining its independence? Have we not seen the jagirdars of our own land forfeiting their jagirs under the same fatal influence?