Intemperance a Sin
[R. & H., Jan. 25, 1881] C.H. 67
47. Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin, and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature.
(1905) M.H. 129
48. With our first parents, intemperate desire resulted in the loss of Eden. Temperance in all things has more to do with our restoration to Eden than men realise.
MS 49, 1897
49. The transgression of physical law is the transgression of God's law. Our Creator is Jesus Christ. He is the author of our being. He has created the human structure. He is the author of physical laws, as He is the author of the moral law. And the human being who is careless and reckless of the habits and practices that concern his physical life and health, sins against God. Many who profess to love Jesus Christ do not show proper reverence and respect for Him who gave His life to save them from eternal death. He is not reverenced, or respected, or recognised. This is shown by the injury done to their own bodies in violation of the laws of their being.
(1876) 4T 30
50. A continual transgression of nature's laws is a continual transgression of the law of God. The present weight of suffering and anguish which we see everywhere, the present deformity, decrepitude, disease, and imbecility now flooding the world, make it, in comparison to what it might be and what God designed it should be, a lazar house; and the present generation are feeble in mental, moral, and physical power. All this misery has accumulated from generation to generation because fallen man will break the
law of God. Sins of the greatest magnitude are committed through the indulgence of perverted appetite.
(1880) 4T 417
51. Excessive indulgence in eating, drinking, sleeping, or seeing, is sin. The harmonious healthy action of all the powers of body and mind results in happiness; and the more elevated and refined the powers, the more pure and unalloyed the happiness. [GOD MARKS THE SIN OF INDULGENCE--246]
When Sanctification Is Impossible
Health Reformer, March, 1878 52. A large proportion of all the infirmities that afflict the human family, are the results of their own wrong habits, because of their willing ignorance, or of their disregard of the light which God has given in relation to the laws of their being. It is not possible for us to glorify God while living in violation of the laws of life. The heart cannot possibly maintain consecration to God while lustful appetite is indulged. A diseased body and disordered intellect, because of continual indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body and spirit impossible. The apostle understood the importance of the healthful conditions of the body for the successful perfection of Christian character. He says, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." He mentions the fruit of the Spirit, among which is temperance. "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." [IMPOSSIBILITY OF ATTAINING CHRISTIAN PERFECTION WHILE GIVING REINS TO APPETITE--356]
Willing Ignorance Increases Sin
(1868) 2T 70, 71
53. It is a duty to know how to preserve the body in the very best condition of health, and it is a sacred duty to live up to the light which God has graciously given. If we close our eyes to the light for fear we shall see our wrongs, which we are unwilling to forsake, our sins are not lessened, but 45 increased. If light is turned from in one case, it will be disregarded in another. It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the ten commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God's law. We cannot love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength while we are loving our appetites, our tastes, a great deal better than we love the Lord. We are daily lessening our strength to glorify God, when He requires all our strength, all our mind. By our wrong habits we are lessening our hold on life, and yet professing to be Christ's followers, preparing for the finishing touch of immortality.
My brother and sister, you have a work to do which no one can do for you. Awake from your lethargy, and Christ shall give you life. Change your course of living, your eating, your drinking, and your working. While you pursue the course you have been following for years, you cannot clearly discern sacred and eternal things. Your sensibilities are blunted, and your intellect beclouded. You have not been growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth as was your privilege. You have not been increasing in spirituality, but growing more and more darkened.
R. & H., June 18, 1895
54. Man was the crowning act of the creation of God, made in the image of God, and designed to be a counterpart of God. . . . Man is very dear to God, because he was formed in His own image. This fact should impress us with the importance of teaching by precept and example the sin of defiling, by the indulgence of appetite or by any other sinful practice, the body which is designed to represent God to the world. [NATURAL LAW PROCLAIMED DISTINCTLY--97]
Mental Effects of Disobedience to Physical Law
(1909) 9T 156
55. God requires of His people continual advancement. We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. With all our profession of health reform, many of us eat improperly.
(1905) M.H. 307
56. We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this, the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. A clogged stomach means a clogged brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many do more than they think, to unfit themselves for receiving the benefit of its sacred opportunities.
(1882) 5T 162-164
57. I have been shown that some of our camp meetings are far from being what the Lord designed they should be. The people come unprepared for the visitation of God's Holy Spirit. Generally the sisters devote considerable time before the meeting to the preparation of garments for the outward adorning, while they entirely forget the inward adorning, which is in the sight of God of great price. There is also much time spent in needless cooking, in the preparation of rich pies and cakes and other articles of food that do positive injury to those who partake of them. Should our sisters provide good bread and some other healthful kinds of food, both they and their families would be better prepared to appreciate the words of life, and far more susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Often the stomach is overburdened with food which is seldom as plain and simple as that eaten at home, where the amount of exercise taken is double or treble. This causes the mind to be in such a lethargy that it is difficult to appreciate eternal things, and the meeting closes, and they are disappointed in not having enjoyed more of the Spirit of God. . . . Let the preparation for eating and dressing be a secondary matter, but let deep heart searching commence at home.
[INDULGED APPETITE PREVENTS ONE FROM UNDERSTANDING PRESENT TRUTH--72] [INDULGED APPETITE PARALYSES THE SENSES--227] [INDULGED APPETITE CAUSES DULLNESS IN BRAIN--209, 226] [INDULGED APPETITE DISQUALIFIES ONE IN LAYING PLANS AND COUNSELLING--71]
[INDULGED APPETITE WEAKENS SPIRITUAL, MENTAL, AND PHYSICAL POWERS OF CHILDREN--346] [SLEEPING UNDER BURNING TRUTHS OF THE WORD--222] [MENTAL AND MORAL VIGOUR INCREASED BY ABSTEMIOUS DIET--85, 117,206] [EFFECT OF FLESH DIET ON MENTAL VIGOUR--678, 680, 682, 686] [MORE ABOUT CAMP MEETING DIETARY--124]
Effect on Appreciation of Truth
(1868) 2T 66
58. You need clear, energetic minds, in order to appreciate the exalted character of the truth, to value the atonement, and to place the right estimate upon eternal things. If you pursue a wrong course, and indulge in wrong habits of eating, and thereby weaken the intellectual powers, you will not place that high estimate upon salvation and eternal life which will inspire you to conform your life to the life of Christ; you will not make those earnest, self-sacrificing efforts for entire conformity to the will of God, which His word requires and which are necessary to give you a moral fitness for the finishing touch of immortality.
(1870) 2T 364
59. Even if you are strict in the quality of your food, do you glorify God in your bodies and spirits which are His, by partaking of such a quantity of food? Those who place so much food upon the stomach, and thus load down nature, could not appreciate the truth should they hear it dwelt upon. They could not arouse the benumbed sensibilities of the brain to realise the value of the atonement, and the great sacrifice that has been made for fallen man. It is impossible for such to appreciate the great, the precious, and the exceedingly rich reward that is in reserve for the faithful overcomers. The animal part of our nature should never be left to govern the moral and intellectual.
(1867) 1T 548, 549
60. Some are indulging lustful appetite, which wars against the soul, and is a constant hindrance to their spiritual advancement. They constantly bear an accusing conscience, and if straight truths are talked, they are prepared to be offended. They are self-condemned, and feel that subjects
have been purposely selected to touch their case. They feel grieved and injured, and withdraw themselves from the assemblies of the saints. They forsake the assembling of themselves together, for then their consciences are not so disturbed. They soon lose their interest in the meetings and their love for the truth, and, unless they entirely reform, will go back and take their position with the rebel host, who stand under the black banner of Satan. If these will crucify fleshly lusts which war against the soul, they will get out of the way, where the arrows of truth will pass harmlessly by them. But while they indulge lustful appetite, and thus cherish their idols, they make themselves a mark for the arrows of truth to hit, and if truth is spoken at all, they must be wounded. . . .
The use of unnatural stimulants is destructive to health and has a benumbing influence upon the brain, making it impossible to appreciate eternal things. Those who cherish these idols cannot rightly value the salvation which Christ has wrought out for them by a life of self-denial, continual suffering and reproach, and by finally yielding His own sinless life to save perishing man from death.
(1870) 2T 486
61. Butter and meat stimulate. These have injured the stomach and perverted the taste. The sensitive nerves of the brain have been benumbed, and the animal appetite strengthened at the expense of the moral and intellectual faculties. These higher powers, which should control, have been growing weaker, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Paralysis has benumbed the spiritual and devotional. Satan has triumphed to see how easily he can come in through the appetite and control men and women of intelligence, calculated by the Creator to do a good and great work. [IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE INTEMPERATE TO VALUE THE ATONEMENT--119] [THE INTEMPERATE CANNOT BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO SANCTIFYING INFLUENCE OF THE TRUTH--780]
Effect Upon Discernment and Decision
(1900) C.O.L. 346
62. Anything that lessens physical strength enfeebles the mind, and makes it less capable of discriminating between
right and wrong. We become less capable of choosing the good, and have less strength of will to do that which we know to be right.
The misuse of our physical powers shortens the period of time in which our lives can be used for the glory of God. And it unfits us to accomplish the work God has given us to do.
(1890) C.T.B.H. 159
63. Those who, having had the light upon the subject of eating and dressing with simplicity, in obedience to moral and physical laws, still turn from the light which points out their duty, will shun duty in other things. By shunning the cross which they would have to take up in order to be in harmony with natural law, they blunt the conscience; and they will, to avoid reproach, violate the ten commandments. There is with some a decided unwillingness to endure the cross and despise the shame.
(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 148, 149
64. Those who bring disease upon themselves, by self-gratification, have not healthy bodies and minds. They cannot weigh the evidences of truth, and comprehend the requirements of God. Our Saviour will not reach His arm low enough to raise such from their degraded state, while they persist in pursuing a course to sink themselves still lower.
All are required to do what they can to preserve healthy bodies and sound minds. If they will gratify a gross appetite, and by so doing blunt their sensibilities, and becloud their perceptive faculties so that they cannot appreciate the exalted character of God, or delight in the study of His word, they may be assured that God will not accept their unworthy offering any sooner than that of Cain. God requires them to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. After man has done all in his power to ensure health, by the denying of appetite and gross passions, that he may possess a healthy mind, and a sanctified imagination, that he may render to God an offering in righteousness, then he is saved alone by a miracle of God's mercy, as was the ark upon the stormy billows. Noah had done all that God required of him in making the ark secure; then God performed that which
man could not do, and preserved the ark by His miraculous power.
(1867) 1T 618, 619
65. The abuses of the stomach by the gratification of appetite, are the fruitful source of most church trials. Those who eat and work intemperately and irrationally, talk and act irrationally. An intemperate man cannot be a patient man. It is not necessary to drink alcoholic liquors in order to be intemperate. The sin of intemperate eating, eating too frequently, too much, and of rich, unwholesome food, destroys the healthy action of the digestive organs, affects the brain, and perverts the judgement, preventing rational, calm, healthy thinking and acting. And this is a fruitful source of church trials. Therefore, in order for the people of God to be in an acceptable state with Him, where they can glorify Him in their bodies and spirits, which are His, they must with interest and zeal deny the gratification of their appetites, and exercise temperance in all things. Then may they comprehend the truth in its beauty and clearness, and carry it out in their lives, and by a judicious, wise, straightforward course, give the enemies of our faith no occasion to reproach the cause of truth.
(1870) 2T 404
66. Brother and Sister G, arouse yourselves, I beg of you. You have not received the light of health reform and acted upon it. If you had restricted your appetites, you would have been saved much extra labour and expense; and what is of vastly more consequence, you would have preserved to yourselves a better condition of physical health, and a greater degree of intellectual strength to appreciate eternal truths; you would have a clearer brain to weigh the evidences of truth, and would be better prepared to give to others a reason of the hope that is in you.
(1867) 1T 487-489
67. Some have sneered at this work of reform, and have said it was all unnecessary; that it was an excitement to divert minds from present truth. They have said that matters were being carried to extremes. Such do not know what
they are talking about. While men and women professing godliness are diseased from the crown of their head to the soles of their feet, while their physical, mental, and moral energies are enfeebled through gratification of depraved appetite and excessive labour, how can they weigh the evidences of truth, and comprehend the requirements of God? If their moral and intellectual faculties are beclouded, they cannot appreciate the value of the atonement or the exalted character of the work of God, nor delight in the study of His word. How can a nervous dyspeptic be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh him a reason of the hope that is in him, with meekness and fear? How soon would such a one become confused and agitated, and by his diseased imagination be led to view matters in altogether a wrong light, and by a lack of that meekness and calmness which characterized the life of Christ, be caused to dishonour his profession while contending with unreasonable men? Viewing matters from high religious standpoint, we must be thorough reformers in order to be Christlike.
I saw that our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us the great blessing of light upon the health reform, that we may obey the claims which He has upon us, and glorify Him in our bodies and spirits, which are His, and finally stand without fault before the throne of God. Our faith requires us to elevate the standard, and take advance steps. While many question the course pursued by other health reformers, they, as reasonable men, should do something themselves. Our race is in a deplorable condition, suffering from disease of every description. Many have inherited disease, and are great sufferers because of the wrong habits of their parents; and yet they pursue the same wrong course in regard to themselves and their children which was pursued toward them. They are ignorant in regard to themselves. They are sick and do not know that their own wrong habits are causing them immense suffering.
There are but few as yet who are aroused sufficiently to understand how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their characters, their usefulness in this world,
and their eternal destiny. I saw that it is the duty of those who have received the light from heaven, and have realized the benefit of walking in it, to manifest a greater interest for those who are still suffering for want of knowledge. Sabbathkeepers who are looking for the soon appearing of their Saviour should be the last to manifest a lack of interest in this great work of reform. Men and women must be instructed, and ministers and people should feel that the burden of the work rests upon them to agitate the subject, and urge it home upon others.
Letter 93, 1898
68. Physical habits have a great deal to do with the success of every individual. The more careful you are in your diet, the more simple and unstimulating the food that sustains the body in its harmonious action, the more clear will be your conception of duty. There needs to be a careful review of every habit, every practice, lest a morbid condition of the body shall cast a cloud upon everything.
MS 129, 1901
69. Our physical health is maintained by that which we eat; if our appetites are not under the control of a sanctified mind, if we are not temperate in all our eating and drinking, we shall not be in a state of mental and physical soundness to study the word with a purpose to learn what saith the Scripture --what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Any unhealthful habit will produce an unhealthful condition in the system, and the delicate, living machinery of the stomach will be injured, and will not be able to do its work properly. The diet has much to do with the disposition to enter into temptation and commit sin.
(1869) 2T 202, 203
70. If the Saviour of men, with His divine strength, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of prayer--fervent, constant prayer! When Christ was the most fiercely beset by temptation, He ate nothing. He committed Himself to God, and through earnest prayer, and perfect submission to the will of His Father, came off conqueror. Those who profess the
truth for these last days, above every other class of professed Christians, should imitate the great Exemplar in prayer.
"It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord." Our tables are frequently spread with luxuries neither healthful nor necessary, because we love these things more than we love self-denial, freedom from disease, and soundness of mind. Jesus sought earnestly for strength from His Father. This the divine Son of God considered of more value, even for Himself, than to sit at the most luxurious table. He has given us evidence that prayer is essential in order to receive strength to contend with the powers of darkness, and to do the work allotted us. Our own strength is weakness, but that which God gives is mighty, and will make every one who obtains it more than conqueror. [INDULGED APPETITE UNBALANCES THE MIND--237] [INDULGED APPETITE BLUNTS THE CONSCIENCE-72]
Effect Upon Influence and Usefulness
MS 93, 1901
71. What a pity it is that often, when the greatest self-denial should be exercised, the stomach is crowded with a mass of unhealthful food, which lies there to decompose. The affliction of the stomach affects the brain. The imprudent eater does not realise that he is disqualifying himself for giving wise counsel, disqualifying himself for laying plans for the best advancement of the work of God. But this is so. He cannot discern spiritual things, and in council meetings, when he should say Yea and Amen, he says Nay. He makes propositions that are wide of the mark. The food he has eaten has benumbed his brain power.
Self-indulgence debars the human agent from witnessing for the truth. The gratitude we offer to God for His blessings is greatly affected by the food placed in the stomach. Indulgence of appetite is the cause of dissension, strife, discord, and many other evils. Impatient words are spoken and unkind deeds are done, dishonest practices are followed and passion is manifested, and all because the nerves of the brain are diseased by the abuse heaped upon the stomach.
(1870) 2T 368
72. Some cannot be impressed with the necessity of eating and drinking to the glory of God. The indulgence of appetite affects them in all the relations of life. It is seen in their family, in their church, in the prayer meeting, and in the conduct of their children. It has been the curse of their lives. You cannot make them understand the truths for these last days. God has bountifully provided for the sustenance and happiness of all His creatures; and if His laws were never violated, and all acted in harmony with the divine will, health, peace, and happiness, instead of misery and continual evil, would be experienced.
(1875) 3T 486, 487
73. The Redeemer of the world knew that the indulgence of appetite would bring physical debility, and so deaden the perceptive organs that sacred and eternal things would not be discerned. Christ knew that the world was given up to gluttony, and that this indulgence would pervert the moral powers. If the indulgence of appetite was so strong upon the race that, in order to break its power, the divine Son of God, in behalf of man, was required to fast nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian in order that he may overcome even as Christ overcame! The strength of the temptation to indulge perverted appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of Christ in that long fast in the wilderness.
Christ knew that in order to successfully carry forward the plan of salvation He must commence the work of redeeming man just where the ruin began. Adam fell by the indulgence of appetite. In order to impress upon man his obligations to obey the law of God, Christ began His work of redemption by reforming the physical habits of man. The declension in virtue and the degeneracy of the race are chiefly attributable to the indulgence of perverted appetite.
Special Responsibilities and Temptations of Ministers There is a solemn responsibility upon all, especially upon ministers who teach the truth, to overcome upon the point
of appetite. Their usefulness would be much greater if they had control of their appetites and passions; and their mental and moral powers would be stronger if they combined physical labour with mental exertion. With strictly temperate habits, and with mental and physical labour combined, they could accomplish a far greater amount of labour and preserve clearness of mind. If they would pursue such a course, their thoughts and words would flow more freely, their religious exercises would be more energized, and the impressions made upon their hearers would be more marked.
Intemperance in eating, even of food of the right quality, will have a prostrating influence upon the system, and will blunt the keener and holier emotions.
Undated MS 88
74. Some persons bring upon the campground food that is entirely unsuitable to such occasions, rich cakes and pies, and a variety of dishes that would derange the digestion of a healthy labouring man. Of course, the best is thought none too good for the minister. The people send these things to his table, and invite him to their tables. In this way ministers are tempted to eat too much, and food that is injurious. Not only is their efficiency at the camp meeting lessened; but many become dyspeptics.
The minister should decline this well-meant but unwise hospitality, even at the risk of seeming discourteous. And the people should have too much true kindness to press such an alternative upon him. They err when they tempt the minister with unhealthful food. Precious talent has thus been lost to the cause of God; and many, while they do live, are deprived of half the vigour and strength of their faculties. Ministers, above all others, should economize the strength of brain and nerve. They should avoid all food or drink that has a tendency to irritate or excite the nerves. Excitement will be followed by depression; overindulgence will cloud the mind, and render thought difficult and confused. No man can become a successful workman in spiritual things until he observes strict temperance in his dietetic habits. God cannot let His Holy Spirit rest upon those who, while they know
how they should eat for health, persist in a course that will enfeeble mind and body.
"Do All to the Glory of God"
(1896) Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 9, p. 58
75. By the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Paul the apostle writes that "whatsoever ye do," even the natural act of eating or drinking, should be done, not to gratify a perverted appetite, but under a sense of responsibility,--"do all to the glory of God." Every part of the man is to be guarded; we are to beware lest that which is taken into the stomach shall banish from the mind high and holy thoughts. May I not do as I please with myself? ask some, as if we were seeking to deprive them of a great good, when we present before them the necessity of eating intelligently, and conforming all their habits to the laws God has established.
There are rights which belong to every individual. We have an individuality and an identity that is our own. No one can submerge his identity in that of any other. All must act for themselves, according to the dictates of their own conscience. As regards our responsibility and influence, we are amenable to God as deriving our life from Him. This we do not obtain from humanity, but from God only. We are His by creation and by redemption. Our very bodies are not our own, to treat as we please, to cripple by habits that lead to decay, making it impossible to render to God perfect service. Our lives and all our faculties belong to Him. He is caring for us every moment; He keeps the living machinery in action; if we were left to run it for one moment, we should die. We are absolutely dependent upon God.
A great lesson is learned when we understand our relation to God, and His relation to us. The words, "Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price," should be hung in memory's hall, that we may ever recognise God's rights to our talents, our property, our influence, our individual selves. We are to learn how to treat this gift of God, in mind, in soul, in body, that as Christ's purchased possession, we may do Him healthful, savoury service.
(1868) 2T 60
76. The light has been shining upon your pathway in regard to health reform, and the duty resting upon God's people in these last days to exercise temperance in all things. You, I saw, were among the number who would be backward to see the light, and correct your manner of eating, and drinking, and working. As the light of truth is received and followed out, it will work an entire reformation in the life and character of all those who are sanctified through it.
Relation to the Victorious Life
Y.I., May 31, 1894
77. Eating, drinking, and dressing all have a direct bearing upon our spiritual advancement.
(1905) M.H. 280
78. Many articles of food eaten freely by the heathen about them were forbidden to the Israelites. It was no arbitrary distinction that was made. The things prohibited were unwholesome. And the fact that they were pronounced unclean taught the lesson that the use of injurious foods is defiling. That which corrupts the body tends to corrupt the soul. It unfits the user for communion with God, unfits him for high and holy service.
Health Reformer, September, 1871
79. The Spirit of God cannot come to our help, and assist us in perfecting Christian characters, while we are indulging our appetites to the injury of health, and while the pride of life controls.
(1870) 2T 400
80. All who are partakers of the divine nature will escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.
R. & H., Jan 25, 1881 81. This is true sanctification. It is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life. It requires that our habits of eating, drinking, and dressing be such as to secure the preservation of physical, mental, and moral health, that we may
present to the Lord our bodies,--not an offering corrupted by wrong habits, but "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." [FOR CONTEXT SEE 254]
(1900) 6T 372
82. Our habits of eating and drinking show whether we are of the world or among the number whom the Lord by His mighty cleaver of truth has separated from the world.
Letter 135, 1902
83. It is intemperance in eating that causes so much invalidism, and robs the Lord of the glory due Him. Because of a failure to deny self, many of God's people are unable to reach the high standard of spirituality He has set for them, and though they repent and are converted, all eternity will testify to the loss they have sustained by yielding to selfishness.
(1909) 9T 165, 166
84. O how many lose the richest blessings that God has in store for them in health and spiritual endowments! There are many souls who wrestle for special victories and special blessings that they may do some great thing. To this end they are always feeling that they must make an agonizing struggle in prayer and tears. When these persons search the Scripture with prayer to know the expressed will of God, and then do His will from the heart without one reservation or self-indulgence, they will find rest. All the agonizing, all the tears and struggles, will not bring them the blessing they long for. Self must be entirely surrendered. They must do the work that presents itself, appropriating the abundance of the grace of God which is promised to all who ask in faith.
"If any man will come after Me," said Jesus, "let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23. Let us follow the Saviour in His simplicity and self-denial. Let us lift up the Man of Calvary by word and by holy living. The Saviour comes very near to those who consecrate themselves to God. If ever there was a time when we needed the working of the Spirit of God upon our hearts and lives, it is now. Let us lay hold of this divine power for strength to live a life of holiness and self-surrender. 59
(1875) 3T 491, 492
85. As our first parents lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, our only hope of regaining Eden is through the firm denial of appetite and passion. Abstemiousness in diet, and control of all the passions, will preserve the intellect and give mental and moral vigour, enabling men to bring all their propensities under the control of the higher powers, and to discern between right and wrong, the sacred and the common. All who have a true sense of the sacrifice made by Christ in leaving His home in heaven to come to this world that He might by His own life show man how to resist temptation, will cheerfully deny itself and choose to be partakers with Christ of his sufferings.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Those who overcome as Christ overcame will need to constantly guard themselves against the temptations of Satan. The appetite and passions should be restricted and under the control of enlightened conscience, that the intellect may be unimpaired, the perceptive powers clear, so that the workings of Satan and his snares may not be interpreted to be the providence of God. Many desire the final reward and victory which are to be given to overcomers, but are not willing to endure toil, privation, and denial of self, as did their Redeemer. It is only through obedience and continual effort that we shall overcome as Christ overcame.
The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan. But those who are slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character. The continual transgression of man for six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruits. And as we near the close of time, Satan's temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.
[C.T.B.H. 10] (1890) C.H. 22
86. He who cherishes the light which God has given him upon health reform has an important aid in the work of
becoming sanctified through the truth, and fitted for immortality. [RELATION OF SIMPLE DIET TO SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT--119] [FAILURE TO CONTROL APPETITE WEAKENS RESISTANCE TO TEMPTATION --237] [WALLS OF SELF-CONTROL NOT TO BE BROKEN DOWN--260] [FLESH DIET A HINDRANCE TO SPIRITUAL ADVANCEMENT--655, 656, 657, 660, 682, 683, 684, 688] [POWER FOR VICTORY OVER OTHER TEMPTATIONS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO OVERCOME ON APPETITE--253] [CHARACTER FORMATION HINDERED BY IMPROPER CARE OF STOMACH --719]
The Relation of Diet to Morals
Moral Pollution in Early Times
(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 121
87. The people who lived before the flood ate animal food, and gratified their lusts until their cup of iniquity was full, and God cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood. . . .
Sin has prevailed since the fall. While a few have remained faithful to God, the great majority have corrupted their ways before Him. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was on account of their great wickedness. They gave loose rein to their intemperate appetites, then to their corrupt passions, until they were so debased, and their sins were so abominable, that their cup of iniquity was full, and they were consumed with fire from heaven.
(1873) 3T 163, 164
88. The same sins exist in our day which brought the wrath of God upon the world in the days of Noah. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking to gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to general corruption, until their violence and crimes reached to heaven, and God washed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood.
The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crimes seemed to be the delight of the men and women of
that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world: "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."
Christ has here left us a most important lesson. He does not in His teaching encourage indolence. His example was the opposite of this. Christ was an earnest worker. His life was one of self-denial, diligence, perseverance, industry, and economy. He would lay before us the danger of making eating and drinking paramount. He reveals the result of giving up to indulgence of appetite. The moral powers are enfeebled, so that sin does not appear sinful. Crimes are winked at, and base passions control the mind, until general corruption roots out good principles and impulses, and God is blasphemed. All this is the result of eating and drinking to excess. This is the very condition of things which He declares will exist at His second coming.
Will men and women be warned? Will they cherish the light, or will they become slaves to appetite and base passions? Christ presents to us something higher to toil for than merely what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed. Eating, drinking, and dressing are carried to such excess that they become crimes, and are among the marked sins of the last days, and constitute a sign of Christ's soon coming. Time, money, and strength, which are the Lord's, but which He has entrusted to us, are wasted in needless superfluities of dress, and luxuries for the perverted appetite, which lessen vitality and bring suffering and decay. It is impossible to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God, when they are filled with corruption and disease by our own sinful indulgence.
Prevailing Corruptions Due to Unrestrained Appetite
(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 124
89. Many marvel that the human race have so degenerated, physically, mentally, and morally. They do not understand
that it is the violation of God's constitution and laws, and the violation of the laws of health, that has produced this sad degeneracy. The transgression of God's commandments has caused His prospering hand to be removed.
Intemperance in eating and in drinking, and the indulgence of base passions, have benumbed the fine sensibilities, so that sacred things have been placed upon a level with common things.
(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 131
90. Those who permit themselves to become slaves to a gluttonous appetite, often go still farther, and debase themselves by indulging their corrupt passions, which have become excited by intemperance in eating and in drinking. They give loose rein to their debasing passions, until health and intellect greatly suffer. The reasoning faculties are, in a great measure, destroyed by evil habits.
Health Reformer, October, 1871 91. Irregularity in eating and drinking, and improper dressing, deprave the mind and corrupt the heart, and bring the noble attributes of the soul in slavery to the animal passions.
R. & H., Jan. 25, 1881
92. Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin, and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits. Excessive eating of the best of food will produce a morbid condition of the moral feelings. And if the food is not the most healthful, the effects will be still more injurious. Any habit which does not promote healthful action in the human system, degrades the higher and nobler faculties. Wrong habits of eating and drinking lead to errors in thought and action. Indulgence of appetite strengthens the animal propensities, giving them the ascendancy over the mental and spiritual powers.
"Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul," is the language of the apostle Peter. Many regard this warning 63 as applicable only to the licentious; but it has a broader meaning. It guards against every injurious gratification of appetite or passion. It is a most forcible warning against the use of such stimulants and narcotics as tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and morphine. These indulgences may well be classed among the lusts that exert a pernicious influence upon moral character. The earlier these hurtful habits are formed, the more firmly will they hold their victim in slavery to lust, and the more certainly will they lower the standard of spirituality.
(1870) 2T 413, 414
93. You need to exercise temperance in all things. Cultivate the higher powers of the mind, and there will be less strength of growth of the animal. It is impossible for you to increase in spiritual strength while your appetite and passions are not under perfect control. Says the inspired apostle, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
My brother, arouse yourself, I pray you, and let the work of the Spirit of God reach deeper than the external; let it reach down to the deep springs of every action. It is principle that is wanted, firm principle, and vigour of action in spiritual as well as temporal things. Your efforts lack earnestness. Oh, how many are low in the scale of spirituality, because they will not deny their appetite! The brain nerve energy is benumbed and almost paralysed by overeating. When such go to the house of God upon the Sabbath, they cannot hold their eyes open. The most earnest appeals fail to arouse their leaden, insensible intellects. The truth may be presented with deep feeling; but it does not awaken the moral sensibilities, or enlighten the understanding. Have such studied to glorify God in all things?
Influence of a Simple Diet
(1869) 2T 352 94. If all who profess to obey the law of God were free from iniquity, my soul would be relieved; but they are not. Even some who profess to keep all the commandments of
God are guilty of the sin of adultery. What can I say to arouse their benumbed sensibilities? Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul. If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health.
Indulgence of the baser passions will lead very many to shut their eyes to the light; for they fear that they will see sins which they are unwilling to forsake. All may see if they will. If they choose darkness rather than light, their criminality will be none the less. Why do not men and women read, and become intelligent upon these things, which so decidedly affect their physical, intellectual, and moral strength? God has given you a habitation to care for, and preserve in the best condition for His service and glory.
Temperance an Aid to Moral Control
(1870) 2T 404, 405
95. Your food is not of that simple, healthful quality which will make the best kind of blood. Foul blood will surely becloud the moral and intellectual powers, and arouse and strengthen the baser passions of your nature. Neither of you can afford a feverish diet; for it is at the expense of the health of the body, and the prosperity of your own souls and the souls of your children.
You place upon your table food which taxes the digestive organs, excites the animal passions, and weakens the moral and intellectual faculties. Rich food and flesh meats are no benefit to you. . . .
I entreat you, for Christ's sake, to set your house and hearts in order. Let the truth of heavenly origin elevate and sanctify you, soul, body, and spirit. 'Abstain from
fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." Brother G, your eating has a tendency to strengthen the baser passions. You do not control your body as it is your duty to do in order to perfect holiness in the fear of God. Temperance in eating must be practised before you can be a patient man.
(1876) 4T 35, 36
96. The world should be no criterion for us. It is fashionable to indulge the appetite in luxurious food and unnatural stimulus, thus strengthening the animal propensities, and crippling the growth and development of the moral faculties. There is no encouragement given to any of the sons or daughters of Adam that they may become victorious overcomers in the Christian warfare unless they decide to practice temperance in all things. If they do this, they will not fight as one that beateth the air.
If Christians will keep the body in subjection, and bring all their appetites and passions under the control of enlightened conscience, feeling it a duty that they owe to God and to their neighbours to obey the laws which govern health and life, they will have the blessing of physical and mental vigour. They will have moral power to engage in the warfare against Satan; and in the name of Him who conquered appetite in their behalf, they may be more than conquerors on their own account. This warfare is open to all who will engage in it. [EFFECT OF FLESH DIET ON MORAL POWER--658, 683, 684, 685, 686, 687] [THE COUNTRY HOME--ITS RELATION TO DIET AND MORALS--711] [LACK OF MORAL POWER DUE TO INDULGENCE OF CHILDREN IN EATING AND DRINKING--347] [FOODS THAT CAUSE IRRITABILITY AND NERVOUSNESS--556, 558, 562, 574] [INDULGED APPETITE ENFEEBLES MORAL POWERS--231]