Temperance

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Examples From Old and New Testament.--When the Lord would raise up Samson as a deliverer of His people, He enjoined upon the mother correct habits of life before the birth of her child. And the same prohibition was to be imposed, from the first, upon the child; for he was to be consecrated to God as a Nazarite from his birth.

The angel of God appeared to the wife of Manoah, and informed her that she should have a son; and in view of this He gave her the important directions: "Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing." Judges 13:4, 14.

God had important work for the promised child of Manoah to do, and it was to secure for him the qualifications necessary for this work, that the habits of both the mother and the child were to be so carefully regulated. "Neither let her drink wine or strong drink," was the angel's instruction for the wife of Manoah, "nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe." The child will be affected for good or evil by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle, and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child.

In the New Testament we find a no less impressive example of the importance of temperate habits.

John the Baptist was a reformer. To him was committed a great work for the people of his time. And in preparation

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for that work, all his habits were carefully regulated, even from his birth. The angel Gabriel was sent from heaven to instruct the parents of John in the principles of health reform. He "shall drink neither wine nor strong drink," said the heavenly messenger; "and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost." Luke 1:15.

John separated himself from his friends, and from the luxuries of life, dwelling alone in the wilderness, and subsisting upon a purely vegetable diet. The simplicity of his dress-- a garment woven of camel's hair--was a rebuke to the extravagance and display of the people of his generation, especially of the Jewish priests. His diet also, of locusts and wild honey, was a rebuke to the gluttony that everywhere prevailed.

The work of John was foretold by the prophet Malachi: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." Malachi 4:5, 6. John the Baptist went forth in the spirit and power of Elijah, to prepare the way of the Lord, and to turn the people to the wisdom of the just. He was a representative of those living in the last days, to whom God has entrusted sacred truths to present before the people, to prepare the way for the second appearing of Christ. And the same principles of temperance which John practiced should be observed by those who in our day are to warn the world of the coming of the Son of man.

God has made man in His own image, and He expects man to preserve unimpaired the powers that have been imparted to him for the Creator's service. Then should we not heed His admonitions, and seek to preserve every power in the best condition to serve Him? The very best we can give to God is feeble enough.

Why is there so much misery in the world today? Is it because God loves to see His creatures suffer?--Oh, no! It

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is because men have become weakened by immoral practices. We mourn over Adam's transgression, and seem to think that our first parents showed great weakness in yielding to temptation; but if Adam's transgression were the only evil we had to meet, the condition of the world would be much better than it is. There has been a succession of falls since Adam's day.--Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pages 37-39.

A Warning Regarding the Effect of Wine.--The history of Nadab and Abihu is also given as a warning to man, showing that the effect of wine upon the intellect is to confuse. And it will ever have this influence upon the minds of those who use it. Therefore God explicitly forbids the use of wine and strong drink.--Signs of the Times, July 8, 1880.

Nadab and Abihu would never have committed that fatal sin, had they not first become partially intoxicated by the free use of wine. They understood that the most careful and solemn preparation was necessary before presenting themselves in the sanctuary where the divine presence was manifested; but by intemperance they were disqualified for their holy office. Their minds became confused, and their moral perceptions dulled, so that they could not discern the difference between the sacred and the common.--Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 361, 362.