Alcohol

by Ellen White

Tobacco and liquor stupefy and defile the user. But the evil does not stop here. He transmits irritable tempers, polluted blood, enfeebled intellects, and weak morals to his children, and renders himself accountable for all the evil results that his wrong and dissipated course of life brings upon his family and the community. The race is groaning under a weight of accumulated woe, because of the sins of former generations. And yet with scarcely a thought or care, men and women of the present generation indulge intemperance by surfeiting and drunkenness, and thereby leave, as a legacy for the next generation, disease, enfeebled intellects, and polluted morals. 4T 30

Intemperance commences at our tables in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them and continue their use. But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors. The more the appetite is indulged, the more frequent will be its demands and the more difficult of control. The more debilitated the system becomes and the less able to do without unnatural stimulus, the more the passion for these things increases, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving for these indulgences. 3T 487

The taste created for the disgusting, filthy poison, tobacco, leads to the desire for stronger stimulants; as liquor, which is taken on one plea or another for some imaginary infirmity or to prevent some possible disease. Thus an unnatural appetite is created for these hurtful and exciting stimulants; and this appetite has strengthened until the increase of intemperance in this generation is alarming. Beverage-loving, liquor-drinking men may be seen everywhere. Their intellect is enfeebled, their moral powers are weakened, their sensibilities are benumbed, and the claims of God and heaven are not realised, eternal things are not appreciated. The Bible declares that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God. 4T 30

I have often heard people say: "Oh! this is only sweet cider; it is perfectly harmless, and even healthful." Several quarts, perhaps gallons, are carried home. For a few days it is sweet; then fermentation begins. The sharp flavour makes it all the more acceptable to many palates, and the lover of sweet wine or cider is loath to admit that his favourite beverage ever becomes hard or sour. Persons may become just as really intoxicated on wine and cider as on stronger drinks, and the worst kind of inebriation is produced by these so-called milder drinks. The passions are more perverse; the transformation of character is greater, more determined and obstinate. A few quarts of cider or wine may awaken a taste for stronger drinks, and in many cases those who have become confirmed drunkards have thus laid the foundation of the drinking habit. For some persons it is by no means safe to have wine or cider in the house. They have inherited an appetite for stimulants, which Satan is continually soliciting them to indulge. If they yield to his temptations they do not stop; appetite clamours for indulgence and is gratified to their ruin. The brain is benumbed and clouded; reason no longer holds the reins, but they are laid on the neck of lust. Licentiousness, adultery, and vices of almost every type are committed as the result of indulging the appetite for wine and cider. A professor of religion who loves these stimulants, and accustoms himself to their use, never grows in grace. He becomes gross and sensual; the animal passions control the higher powers of the mind, and virtue is not cherished. 5T 356

As we face these things, and see the terrible consequences of liquor-drinking, shall we not do all in our power to rally to the help of God in fighting against this great evil? At the foundation of liquor-drinking lie wrong habits of eating. Those who believe present truth should refuse to drink tea or coffee; for these excite a desire for stronger stimulants. They should refuse to eat flesh-meat; for this, too excites a desire for strong drink. Wholesome food, prepared with taste and skill, should be our diet now. BTS JUL.01,1902

Condiments and spices used in the preparation of food for the table aid in digestion in the same way that tea, coffee, and liquor are supposed to help the labouring man perform his tasks. After the immediate effects are gone, they drop as correspondingly below par as they were elevated above par by these stimulating substances. The system is weakened. The blood is contaminated, and inflammation is the sure result. CD 339

In this fast age, the less exciting the food, the better. Condiments are injurious in their nature. Mustard, pepper, spices, pickles, and other things of a like character, irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure. The inflamed condition of the drunkard's stomach is often pictured as illustrating the effect of alcoholic liquors. A similarly inflamed condition is produced by the use of irritating condiments. Soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. The system feels a want, a craving, for something more stimulating. [ (1896) E. from U.T. 6 ] CD 339

Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or ice lemonade, drunk with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Hot drinks are debilitating; and besides, those who indulge in their use become slaves to the habit. Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. Eat slowly, and allow the saliva to mingle with the food. The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest; for the liquid must first be absorbed. Do not eat largely of salt; give up bottled pickles; keep fiery spiced food out of your stomach; eat fruit with your meals, and the irritation which calls for so much drink will cease to exist. But if anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water, drunk some little time before of after meal, is all that nature requires. Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues. CD 420

The effect of tea and coffee, as heretofore shown, tends in the same direction as that of wine and cider, liquor and tobacco. . . . CD 421

To use drugs while continuing evil habits is certainly inconsistent, and greatly dishonours God by dishonouring the body which he has made. Yet for all this, stimulants and drugs continue to be prescribed and freely used; while the hurtful indulgences that produce the disease are not discarded. The use of tea, coffee, tobacco, opium, wine, beer, and other stimulants gives nature a false support. Physicians should understand how to treat the sick through the use of nature's remedies. Pure air, pure water, and healthful exercise should be employed in the treatment of the sick.-- . HL 247

I have not tested the wine that you claim is not intoxicating. I have perhaps used half a pint in all, taking a spoonful with a raw egg, much as I hate the taste of wine. I would not care, even if I had not solemnly pledged myself not to use wine as a beverage, to make a daily practice of taking even one teaspoonful with a raw egg, for Satan is at work to encourage the use of tea, coffee, wine, and beer, that he may make us dependent upon these things, and encourage our resorting to them frequently, so that our appetite and taste will crave these stimulants. I tell you frankly that you would be much better in nerve and muscle if you made a decided change in your practice, not only in drinking stimulating drinks, but in eating so largely of meat. The animal powers are strengthened by indulgence in these things, and the moral and spiritual powers are overborne. I am not guilty of drinking any tea except red clover top tea, and if I loved wine, tea, and coffee, I would not use these health-destroying narcotics, for I prize health, and I prize a healthful example in all these things. I want to be a pattern of temperance and of good works to others. Will my brother practice as well as preach temperance in all things? If you do this, I do not believe you will be so changeable in your character. Your words will be more select and well chosen. You will not be careless in regard to your conversation. You will not be so depressed at one time and so hilarious at another, acting like a boy in place of an ambassador of Jesus Christ. I am seriously troubled for your soul. I know people are unwise in praising you and extolling you; should they read you as God sees you, they could not do this. I know that when you have apparent success you are elated, and you crave praise; and you get it from many, who, if their hearts were right with God, would not speak one word to flatter you. They would understand that it is not safe to pet and praise you, or any other poor, sinful mortal. The Lord is to be exalted by all his creatures. Finite man is not to attract admiration or praise, but do his work in humility. Ellen White. PH096 055

Those who are in the habit of using tea, coffee, tobacco, opium, or spirituous liquors, cannot worship God when they are deprived of the accustomed indulgence. Let them, while deprived of these stimulants, engage in the worship of God, and divine grace would be powerless to animate, enliven, or spiritualise their prayers or their testimonies. These professed Christians should consider the means of their enjoyment. Is it from above, or from beneath? RH JAN.25,1881

Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or iced lemonade, drank with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Hot drinks are debilitating; and besides, those who indulge in their use become slaves to the habit. Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. Eat slowly, and allow the saliva to mingle with the food. The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest; for the liquid must first be absorbed. Do not eat largely of salt, give up bottled pickles, keep fiery, spiced food out of your stomach, eat fruit with your meals, and the irritation that calls for so much drink will cease to exist. But if anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water drank some little time before or after the meal is all that nature requires. Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues. RH JUL.29,1884

Tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol we must present as sinful indulgences. We cannot place on the same ground, meat, eggs, butter, cheese and such articles placed upon the table. These are not to be borne in front, as the burden of our work. The former--tea, coffee, tobacco, beer, wine, and all spirituous liquors--are not to be taken moderately, but discarded. The poisonous narcotics are not to be treated in the same way as the subject of eggs, butter, and cheese. In the beginning animal food was not designed to be the diet of man. We have every evidence that the flesh of dead animals is dangerous because of disease that is fast becoming universal, because of the curse resting more heavily in consequence of the habits and crimes of man. We are to present the truth. We are to be guarded how to use reason and select those articles of food that will make the very best blood and keep the blood in an unfevered condition.--Manuscript 5, 1881. RH JUN.25,1859

The use of intoxicating liquor dethrones reason, and hardens the heart against every pure and holy influence. The inanimate rock will sooner listen to the appeals of truth and justice than will that man whose sensibilities are paralysed by intemperance. The finer feelings of the heart are not blunted all at once. A gradual change is wrought. Those who venture to enter the forbidden path are gradually demoralised and corrupted. And though in the cities liquor saloons abound, making indulgence easy, and though youth are surrounded by allurements to tempt the appetite, the evil does not often begin with the use of intoxicating liquors. Tea, coffee, and tobacco are artificial stimulants, and their use creates the demand for the stronger stimulus found in alcoholic beverages. And while Christians are asleep, this giant evil of intemperance is gaining strength and making fresh victims. ST FEB.11,1886

Above all things, we should not with our pens advocate positions that we do not put to a practical test in our own families, upon our own tables. This is dissimulation, a species of hypocrisy. In Michigan we can get along better without salt, sugar, and milk than can many who are situated in the Far West or in the far East, where there is a scarcity of fruit. But there are very few families in Battle Creek who do not use these articles upon their tables. We know that a free use of these things is positively injurious to health, and, in many cases, we think that if they were not used at all, a much better state of health would be enjoyed. But at present our burden is not upon these things. The people are so far behind that we see it is all they can bear to have us draw the line upon their injurious indulgences and stimulating narcotics. We bear positive testimony against tobacco, spirituous liquors, snuff, tea, coffee, flesh meats, butter, spices, rich cakes, mince pies, a large amount of salt, and all exciting substances used as articles of food. 3T 021

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