Temperance

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They Have Sold Their Will Power.--There is in the world a multitude of degraded human beings, who have, by yielding in their youth to the temptation to use tobacco and alcohol, poisoned the tissues of the human structure, and perverted their reasoning powers, until the result is just as Satan meant it to be. The faculties of thought are clouded. The victims yield to the temptation for alcohol, and they sell what reason they have for a glass of liquor.

See that man bereft of reason. What is he? He is a slave to the will of Satan. The arch apostate imbues him with his own attributes. He is a slave to licentiousness and violence. There is no crime that he will not commit; for he has put into his mouth that which has intoxicated him, and made him, while under its influence, a demon.

Look at our young men. And I write now what causes my heart to ache. They have lost their will power. Their nerves are enfeebled, because their power is exhausted. The ruddy glow of health is not upon their countenances. The healthy sparkle of the eye is gone. Its lustre is lost. The wine they have drunk has enfeebled the memory. They are like persons aged in years. The brain is no longer able to produce its rich treasures when required.--Manuscript 17, 1898.

A Moral Sin and a Physical Disease.--Among the victims

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of intemperance are men of all classes and all professions. Men of high station, of eminent talents, of great attainments, have yielded to the indulgence of appetite, until they are helpless to resist temptation. Some of them who were once in the possession of wealth are without home, without friends, in suffering, misery, disease, and degradation. They have lost their self-control. Unless a helping hand is held out to them, they will sink lower and lower. With these self-indulgence is not only a moral sin, but a physical disease.--The Ministry of Healing, page 172.

In a Desperate Situation.--The man who has formed the habit of using intoxicants is in a desperate situation. His brain is diseased, his will power is weakened. So far as any power in himself is concerned, his appetite is uncontrollable. He cannot be reasoned with or persuaded to deny himself.--The Ministry of Healing, page 344.

Body and Soul in Slavery.--Drinking houses are scattered all over the cities and towns. . . . The traveller enters the public house with his reason, with ability to walk in an upright manner; but look at him as he leaves. The lustre is gone from his eye. The power to walk uprightly is gone; he reels to and fro like a ship at sea. His reasoning power is paralyzed, the image of God is destroyed. The poisoning, maddening draft has left a brand upon him. . . . Body and soul he is in slavery, and he cannot distinguish between right and wrong. The liquor dealer has put his bottle to his neighbour’s lips, and under its influence he is full of cruelty and murder, and in his madness actually commits murder.

He is brought before an earthly tribunal, and those who legalized the traffic are forced to deal with the results of their own work. They authorized by law the giving to this man a draft that would turn him from a sane man into a madman, and yet now it is necessary for them to send him to prison and to the gallows for his crime. His wife and children are left

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in destitution and poverty, to become the charge of the community in which they live. Soul and body the man is lost,-- cut off from earth, and with no hope of heaven. . . .

No Strength to Resist Temptation.--The victims of the drink habit become so maddened under the influence of liquor that they are willing to sell their reason for a glass of whisky. They do not keep the commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." Their moral power is so weakened that they have no strength to resist temptation, and their desire for drink is so strong that it eclipses all other desires, and they have no realization of the fact that God requires them to love Him with all their hearts. They are practical idolaters; for whatever alienates the affections from the Creator, whatever weakens and deadens moral power, usurps His throne, and receives the service that is due to Him alone. In all these vile idolatries Satan is worshiped.

He who tarries at the wine is playing the game of life with Satan. He it is who made evil men his agents, so that those who begin the drink habit may be made into drunkards. He has his plans laid that when the brain is confused with liquor, he will drive the drunkard to desperation, and cause him to commit some atrocious crime. In the idol he has set up for the man to worship is all pollution and crime, and the worship of the idol will ruin both soul and body, and extend its evil influence to the wife and children of the drunkard. The drunkard's corrupt tendencies are transmitted to his posterity, and through them to the coming generations.

A Demon Power at Work.--But are not the rulers of the land largely responsible for the aggravated crimes, the current of deadly evil, that is the result of the liquor traffic? Is it not their duty and in their power to remove this deadly evil? Satan has formed his plans, and he counsels with legislators, and they receive his advice, and thus keep in activity, through legislative enactments, a multiplicity of evil, which results in

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much misery and crime of so terrible a character that human pen cannot portray it. A demon power is at work through human instruments, and men are tempted to indulge appetite until they lose all control of themselves. The sight of a drunken man, were the sight not so common, would arouse public indignation, and cause the drink traffic to be swept away; but the power of Satan has so hardened human hearts, so perverted human judgment, that men can look upon the woe, the crime, the poverty, which floods the world through the drink traffic, and remain indifferent. . . .

Day after day, month after month, year after year, Satan's death traps are set in our communities, at our doors, at the street corners, wherever it is possible to catch souls, that their moral power may be destroyed, and the image of God obliterated, and they be sunken in degradation far below the level of the brute. Souls are imperilled and perishing, and where is the active energy, the determined effort on the part of Christians, to raise a warning signal, to enlighten their fellow men, to save their perishing brothers? We are not to talk of devising methods to save those who are dead and lost, but to move upon those who are not yet beyond the reach of sympathy and help. . . .

By legalizing the liquor traffic, the law gives its sanction to the downfall of the soul, and refuses to stop the traffic that floods the world with evil. Let lawmakers consider whether or not all this imperilling of human life, of physical power and mental vision, is unavoidable. Is all this destruction of human life necessary?--Review and Herald, May 29, 1894.

The Responsibility of the Liquor Dealer.--Those who sell intoxicating liquor to their fellow men . . . receive the earnings of the drunkard, and give him no equivalent for his money. Instead of this, they give him that which maddens him, which makes him act the fool, and turns him into a demon of evil and cruelty. . . .

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But angels of God have witnessed every step in the downward path, and have traced every consequence that resulted from a man's placing the bottle to his neighbour’s lips. The liquor dealer is written in the records among those whose hands are full of blood. He is condemned for keeping on hand the poisonous draft by which his neighbour is tempted to ruin, and by which homes are filled with wretchedness and degradation. The Lord holds the liquor dealer responsible for every penny that comes to his till out of the earnings of the poor drunkard, who has lost all moral power, who has sunk his manhood in drink.--Review and Herald, May 8, 1894.

He Must Answer to God.--No matter what may be the wealth, power, or position of a man in the sight of the world, no matter whether or not he has been permitted by the law of the land to sell poisonous drinks to his neighbour, he will be held accountable in the sight of heaven for degrading the soul that has been redeemed by Christ, and will be arraigned before the judgment for lowering a character that ought to have reflected the image of God, to reflect the image of that which is below the brute creation.

In enticing men to educate themselves in the liquor habit, the rum seller is effectually taking away the righteousness of the soul, and leading men to become the abject slaves of Satan. The Lord Jesus, the Prince of Life, is in controversy with Satan, the prince of darkness. Christ declares that His mission is to lift men up. . . .

Jesus left the royal courts of heaven, and laid aside His own glory, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might come into close connection with humanity, and by precept and example uplift and ennoble humanity, and restore in the human soul the lost image of God. This is the work of Christ; but what is the influence of those who legalize the liquor traffic? What is the influence of those who put the bottle to their neighbour’s lips? Contrast the work of the rum seller

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with the work of Jesus Christ, and you will be forced to admit that those who deal in liquor, and those who sustain the traffic, are working in co-partnership with Satan. Through this business they are doing a greater work to perpetuate human woe than are men through any other business in the world. . . .

The rum seller takes the same position as did Cain, and says, "Am I my brother's keeper?" and God says to him as He said to Cain, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground." Rum sellers will be held accountable for the wretchedness that has been brought into the homes of those who were weak in moral power, and who fall through temptation to drink. They will be charged with the misery, the suffering, the hopelessness, brought into the world through the liquor traffic. They will have to answer for the woe and want of the mothers and children who have suffered for food and clothing and shelter, who have buried all hope and joy. He that has a care for the sparrow, and notes its fall to the ground, who clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, will not pass by those who have been formed in His own image, purchased with His own blood, and pay no heed to their suffering cries. God cares for all this wickedness that perpetuates misery and crime. He charges it all up to those whose influence helps to open the door of temptation to the soul.--Undated Manuscript 54.

God's Sentence on the Liquor Seller.--He knows not, nor cares, that the Lord has an account to settle with him. And when his victim is dead, his heart of stone is unmoved.

He has not heeded the instruction, "Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless".-- Review and Herald, May 15, 1894.

There will be no excuse for the liquor dealers in that day

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when every man shall receive according to his works. Those who have destroyed life, will by their own life have to pay the penalty. God's law is holy and just and good.--Letter 90, 1908.

Encourage Not the Desire for Stimulants.--Let every soul remember that he is under sacred obligations to God to do his best for his fellow creatures. How careful should everyone be not to create a desire for stimulants. By advising friends and neighbours to take brandy for the sake of their health, they are in danger of becoming agents for the destruction of their friends. Many incidents have come to my attention in which through some simple advice, men and women have become the slaves of the drink habit.

Physicians are responsible for making many drunkards. Knowing what drink will do for its lovers, they have taken upon themselves the responsibility of prescribing it for their patients. Did they reason from cause to effect, they would know that stimulants would have the same effect on every organ of the body as they have on the whole man. What excuse can doctors render for the influence they have exerted in making fathers and mothers drunkards?--Review and Herald, May 29, 1894.

Warned That They May Escape the Evil Results.--With the awful results of indulgence in intoxicating drink before us, how is it that any man or woman who claims to believe in the word of God, can venture to touch, taste, or handle wine or strong drink? Such a practice is certainly out of harmony with their professed faith. . . .

The Lord has given special directions in His word in reference to the use of wine and strong drink. He has forbidden their use, and enforced His prohibitions with strong warnings and threatenings. But His warning against the use of intoxicating beverages is not the result of the exercise of arbitrary authority. He has warned men, in order that they may escape from the evil that results from indulgence in wine and strong drink. . . .

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The liquor traffic is a terrible scourge to our land, and is sustained and legalized by those who profess to be Christians. In thus doing, the churches make themselves responsible for all the results of this death-dealing traffic. The liquor traffic has its root in hell itself, and it leads to perdition. These are solemn considerations.--Review and Herald, May 1, 1894.