“Since a healthy state of mind depends upon the normal condition of the vital forces, what care should be exercised that neither stimulants nor narcotics be used! Yet we see that a large number of those who profess to be Christians are using tobacco. They deplore the evils of intemperance; yet while speaking against the use of liquors, these very men will eject the juice of tobacco. There must be a change of sentiment with reference to tobacco-using before the root of the evil will be reached. We press the subject still closer. Tea and coffee are fostering the appetite for stronger stimulants. And then we come still closer home, to the preparation of food, and ask, Is temperance practiced in all things? are the reforms which are essential to health and happiness carried out here?
“Every true Christian will have control of his appetites and passions. Unless he is free from the bondage of appetite, he cannot be a true, obedient servant of Christ. The indulgence of appetite and passion blunts the effect of truth upon the heart. It is impossible for the spirit and power of the truth to sanctify a man, soul, body, and spirit, when he is controlled by sensual desires” (Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene pp. 75-80).
“It is not an easy matter to overcome the appetite for narcotics and stimulants. But in the name of Christ this great victory can be gained. His love for the fallen race was so great that he made an infinite sacrifice to reach them in their degradation, and through his divine power finally elevate them to his throne. But it rests with man whether Christ shall accomplish for him that which he is fully able to do. God cannot work against man’s will to save him from Satan’s artifices. Man must put forth his human power to resist and conquer at any cost; he must be a co-worker with Christ. Then, through the victory that it is his privilege to gain by the all-powerful name of Jesus, he may become an heir of God, and a partaker with Christ of his glory. No drunkard can inherit the kingdom of God; but ‘to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne'”(Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene p. 40).
“I was shown that the innocent, modest-looking, white poppy yields a dangerous drug. Opium is a slow poison, when taken in small quantities. In large doses it produces lethargy and death. Its effects upon the nervous system are ruinous. When patients use this drug until it becomes habit, it is almost impossible to discontinue it, because they feel so prostrated and nervous without it. They are in a worse condition when deprived of it than the rum-drinker without his rum, or the tobacco-user deprived of his tobacco. The opium slave is in a pitiful condition. Unless his nervous system is continually intoxicated with the poisonous drug, he is miserable. It benumbs the sensibilities, stupefies the brain, and unfits the mind for the service of God. True Christians cannot persist in the use of this slow poison, when they know its influence upon them” (4aSG 138.3).
“Those who use opium cannot render to God any more acceptable service than can the drunkard, or the tobacco-user. Those who break off the use of this nerve and brain-destroying practice will have to possess fortitude, and suffer, as will the drunkard, and the tobacco slave, when deprived of their body and mind-destroying indulgences. God is displeased that his followers should become slaves to habits which ruin body and mind. Nux vomica, or strychnine, and opium have killed their millions, and have left thousands upon the earth to linger out a wretched, suffering existence, a burden to themselves, and those around them” (4aSG 139.1).
“Peter’s admonition to abstain from fleshly lusts is a most direct and forcible warning against the use of all 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.
“Bible teaching will make but a feeble impression upon those whose faculties are benumbed by self-gratification. Thousands will sacrifice not only health and life but their hope of heaven before they will wage war against their own perverted appetites. One lady who for many years claimed to be sanctified, made the statement that if she must give up her pipe or heaven she would say, ‘Farewell, heaven; I cannot overcome my love for my pipe.’ This idol had been enshrined in the soul, leaving to Jesus a subordinate place. Yet this woman claimed to be wholly the Lord’s.
“Wherever they may be, those who are truly sanctified will elevate the moral standard by preserving correct physical habits, and, like Daniel, presenting to others an example of temperance and self-denial. Every depraved appetite becomes a warring lust. Everything that conflicts with natural law creates a diseased condition of the soul. The indulgence of appetite produces a dyspeptic stomach, a torpid liver, a clouded brain, and thus perverts the temper and spirit of the man. And these enfeebled powers are offered to God, who refused to accept the victims for sacrifice unless they were without a blemish! It is our duty to bring our appetites and our habits of life into conformity to natural law. If the bodies offered upon Christ’s altar were examined with the close scrutiny to which the Jewish sacrifices were subjected, who would be accepted?
“With what care should Christians regulate their habits, that they may preserve the full vigor of every faculty to give to the service of Christ. If we would be sanctified, in soul, body, and spirit, we must live in conformity to the divine law. The heart cannot preserve consecration to God while the appetites and passions are indulged at the expense of health and life. Those who violate the laws upon which health depends, must suffer the penalty. They have so limited their abilities in every sense that they cannot properly discharge their duties to their fellow men, and they utterly fail to answer the claims of God.
“When Lord Palmerston, premier of England, was petitioned by the Scotch clergy to appoint a day of fasting and prayer to avert the cholera, he replied, in effect, ‘Cleanse and disinfect your streets and houses, promote cleanliness and health among the poor, and see that they are plentifully supplied with good food and raiment, and employ right sanitary measures generally, and you will have no occasion to fast and pray. Nor will the Lord hear your prayers while these, His preventives, remain unheeded.’
“Says Paul, ‘Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God’ (2 Corinthians 7:1). He presents for our encouragement the freedom enjoyed by the truly sanctified: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’ (Romans 8:1). He charges the Galatians, ‘Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh’ (Galatians 5:16). He names some of the forms of fleshly lust –‘idolatry, . . . drunkenness, . . . and such like’ (verses 20, 21). And after mentioning the fruits of the Spirit, among which is temperance, he adds, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts’ (verse 24).
“James says that the wisdom which is from above is “first pure” (James 3:17). If he had seen his brethren using tobacco, would he not have denounced the practice as “earthly, sensual, devilish” (verse 15)? In this age of Christian light, how often the lips that take the precious name of Christ are defiled by tobacco spittle and the breath is polluted with the stench. Surely, the soul that can enjoy such uncleanness must also be defiled. As I have seen men who claimed to enjoy the blessing of entire sanctification, while they were slaves to tobacco, polluting everything around them, I have thought, How would heaven appear with tobacco users in it? God’s word has plainly declared that “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth” (Revelation 21:27). How, then, can those who indulge this filthy habit hope to find admittance there?
“Men professing godliness offer their bodies upon Satan’s altar and burn the incense of tobacco to his satanic majesty. Does this statement seem severe? Certainly, the offering is presented to some deity. As God is pure and holy, and will accept nothing defiling in its character, He must refuse this expensive, filthy, and unholy sacrifice; therefore we conclude that Satan is the one who claims the honor.
“Jesus died to rescue man from the grasp of Satan. He came to set us free by the blood of His atoning sacrifice. The man who has become the property of Jesus Christ, and whose body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, will not be enslaved by the pernicious habit of tobacco using. His powers belong to Christ, who has bought him with the price of blood. His property is the Lord’s. How, then, can he be guiltless in expending every day the Lord’s entrusted capital to gratify an appetite which has no foundation in nature?
“An enormous sum is yearly squandered for this indulgence, while souls are perishing for the word of life. Professed Christians rob God in tithes and offerings, while they offer on the altar of destroying lust, in the use of tobacco, more than they give to relieve the poor or to supply the wants of God’s cause. Those who are truly sanctified will overcome every hurtful lust. Then all these channels of needless expense will be turned to the Lord’s treasury, and Christians will take the lead in self-denial, in self-sacrifice, and in temperance. Then they will be the light of the world.
Tea and Coffee
“Tea and coffee, as well as tobacco, have an injurious effect upon the system. Tea is intoxicating. Though less in degree, its effect is the same in character as that of spirituous liquors. Coffee has a greater tendency to becloud the intellect and benumb the energies. It is not so powerful as tobacco, but is similar in its effect. The arguments brought against tobacco may also be urged against the use of tea and coffee.
“When those who are in the habit of using tea, coffee, tobacco, opium, or spirituous liquors are deprived of the accustomed indulgence, they find it impossible to engage with interest and zeal in the worship of God. Divine grace seems powerless to enliven or spiritualize their prayers or their testimonies. These professed Christians should consider the source of their enjoyment. Is it from above, or from beneath?
“To a user of stimulants, everything seems insipid without the darling indulgence. This deadens the natural sensibilities of both body and mind and renders him less susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of the usual stimulant he has a hungering of body and soul, not for righteousness, not for holiness, not for God’s presence, but for his cherished idol. In the indulgence of hurtful lusts, professed Christians are daily enfeebling their powers, making it impossible to glorify God” (Sanctified Life 28-32).