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
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
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.
Inherited Tendencies Aroused by Wine and Cider .--For persons who have inherited an appetite for stimulants, it is by no means safe to have wine or cider in the house; for Satan is continually soliciting them to indulge. If they yield to his temptations, they do not know where to stop; appetite clamors for indulgence, and is gratified to their ruin. The brain is clouded; reason no longer holds the reins, but lays them on the neck of lust. Licentiousness abounds, and vices of almost every type are practiced as the result of indulging the appetite
for wine and cider.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pages 32, 33.
Cannot Grow in Grace .--It is impossible for one who loves these stimulants, and accustoms himself to their use, to grow in grace. He becomes gross and sensual; the animal passions control the higher powers of the mind, and virtue is not cherished.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, page 33.
Perversion of Mind Through Mild Intoxicants .--So gradually does Satan lead away from the strongholds of temperance, so insidiously do wine and cider exert their influence upon the taste, that the highway to drunkenness is entered upon all unsuspectingly. The taste for stimulants is cultivated; the nervous system is disordered; Satan keeps the mind in a fever of unrest; and the poor victim, imagining himself perfectly secure, goes on and on, until every barrier is broken down, every principle sacrificed. The strongest resolutions are undermined, and eternal interests are too weak to keep the debased appetite under the control of reason. Some are never really drunk, but are always under the influence of mild intoxicants. They are feverish, unstable in mind, not really delirious, but as truly unbalanced; for the nobler powers of the mind are perverted.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, page 33.
Unfermented Wine and Cider .--The pure juice of the grape, free from fermentation, is a wholesome drink.--Manuscript 126, 1903.
Cider and wine may be canned when fresh, and kept sweet a long time, and if used in an unfermented state, they will not dethrone reason.-- Review and Herald, March 25, 1884.
Sweet Cider .--Do we know of what this palatable sweet cider is made? Those who manufacture apples into cider for the market are not very careful as to the condition of the fruit used, and in many cases the juice of decayed apples is
expressed. Those who would not think of taking the poison of rotten apples into their system, will drink the cider made from them, and call it a luxury; but the microscope would reveal the fact that this pleasant beverage is often unfit for the human stomach, even when fresh from the press. If it is boiled, and care is taken to remove the impurities, it is less objectionable.
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 flavor makes it all the more acceptable to many palates, and the lover of sweet wine or cider is loath to admit that his favorite beverage ever becomes hard and sour.-- Review and Herald, March 25, 1884.
The Only Safe Course .--Persons who have inherited an appetite for unnatural stimulants should by no means have wine, beer, or cider in their sight, or within their reach; for this keeps the temptation constantly before them.-- The Ministry of Healing, page 331.
If men would become temperate in all things, if they would touch not, taste not, handle not, tea, coffee, tobacco, wines, opium, and alcoholic drinks, reason would take the reins of government in her own hands, and hold the appetites and passions under control.
Through appetite, Satan controls the mind and the whole being. Thousands who might have lived, have passed into the grave, physical, mental, and moral wrecks, because they sacrificed all their powers to the indulgence of appetite.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, page 37.
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 sweet wine may awaken a taste for stronger drinks, and many who have become confirmed drunkards have thus laid the foundation of the drinking habit.-- Review and Herald, March 25, 1884.
A Possible Precursor to Habitual Drunkenness .--A single glass of wine may open the door of temptation which will lead to habits of drunkenness.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 578.
Diseased Condition Resulting From Use of Cider .--A tendency to disease of various kinds, as dropsy, liver complaint, trembling nerves, and a determination of blood to the head, results from the habitual use of sour cider. By its use, many bring upon themselves permanent diseases. Some die of consumption or fall under the power of apoplexy from this cause alone. Some suffer from dyspepsia. Every vital function refuses to act, and the physicians tell them that they have liver complaint, when if they would break in the head of the cider barrel, and never give way to the temptation to replace it, their abused life forces would recover their vigor.-- Review and Herald, March 25, 1884.
Effects of Wine After the Flood .--The world had become so corrupt through indulgence of appetite and debased passion in the days of Noah that God destroyed its inhabitants by the waters of the Flood. And as men again multiplied upon the earth, the indulgence in wine to intoxication, perverted the senses, and prepared the way for excessive meat eating and the strengthening of the animal passions. Men lifted themselves up against the God of Heaven; and their faculties and opportunities were devoted to glorifying themselves rather than honoring their Creator.-- Redemption; or the Temptation of Christ, pages 21, 22.
Leads to Use of Stronger Drinks .--Cider drinking leads to the use of stronger drinks. The stomach loses its natural vigor, and something stronger is needed to arouse it to action. On
one occasion when my husband and myself were traveling, we were obliged to spend several hours waiting for the train. While we were in the depot, a red-faced, bloated farmer came into the restaurant connected with it, and in a loud, rough voice asked, "Have you first-class brandy?" He was answered in the affirmative, and ordered half a tumbler. "Have you pepper sauce?" "Yes," was the answer. "Well, put in two large spoonfuls." He next ordered two spoonfuls of alcohol added, and concluded by calling for "a good dose of black pepper." The man who was preparing it asked, "What will you do with such a mixture?" He replied, "I guess that will take hold," and placing the full glass to his lips, drank the whole of this fiery compound. Said my husband, "That man has used stimulants until he has destroyed the tender coats of the stomach. I should suppose that they must be as insensible as a burnt boot."
Many, as they read this, will laugh at the warning of danger. They will say, "Surely the little wine or cider that I use cannot hurt me." Satan has marked such as his prey; he leads them on step by step, and they perceive it not until the chains of habit and appetite are too strong to be broken. We see the power that appetite for strong drink has over men; we see how many of all professions and of heavy responsibilities, men of exalted station, of eminent talents, of great attainments, of fine feelings, of strong nerves, and of high reasoning powers, sacrifice everything for the indulgence of appetite until they are reduced to the level of the brutes; and in very many cases their downward course commenced with the use of wine or cider. Knowing this, I take my stand decidedly in opposition to the manufacture of wine or cider to be used as a beverage. . . . If all would be vigilant and faithful in guarding the little openings made by the moderate use of the so-called harmless wine and cider, the highway to drunkenness would be closed up.-- Review and Herald, March 25, 1884.
The Wine at Cana Not Fermented .--The Bible nowhere sanctions the use of intoxicating wine. The wine that Christ made from water at the marriage feast of Cana was the pure juice of the grape. This is the "new wine . . . found in the cluster," of which the Scripture says, "Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it." Isaiah 65:8.
It was Christ who, in the Old Testament, gave the warning to Israel, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Proverbs 20:1. He Himself provided no such beverage. Satan tempts men to indulgence that will becloud reason and benumb the spiritual perceptions, but Christ teaches us to bring the lower nature into subjection. He never places before men that which would be a temptation. His whole life was an example of self-denial. It was to break the power of appetite that in the forty days' fast in the wilderness He suffered in our behalf the severest test that humanity could endure. It was Christ who directed that John the Baptist should drink neither wine nor strong drink. It was He who enjoined similar abstinence upon the wife of Manoah. Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine that He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. This is the wine that was used by our Saviour and His disciples in the first Communion. It is the wine that should always be used on the Communion table as a symbol of the Saviour's blood. The sacramental service is designed to be soul-refreshing and life-giving. There is to be connected with it nothing that could minister to evil.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 333, 334.
Wine Recommended in Bible Not Intoxicating .--The Bible nowhere teaches the use of intoxicating wine, either as a beverage or as a symbol of the blood of Christ. We appeal to the natural reason whether the blood of Christ is better represented by the pure juice of the grape in its natural state, or
after it has been converted into a fermented and intoxicating wine. . . . We urge that the latter should never be placed upon the Lord's table. . . . We protest that Christ never made intoxicating wine; such an act would have been contrary to all the teachings and example of His life. . . . The wine which Christ manufactured from water by a miracle of His power, was the pure juice of the grape.-- Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1878.
Many who would hesitate to place liquor to a neighbor's lips, will engage in the raising of hops, and thus lend their influence against the temperance cause. I cannot see how, in the light of the law of God, Christians can conscientiously engage in the raising of hops or in the manufacture of wine and cider for the market.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, page 32.
Abstain From the Appearance of Evil .--When intelligent men and women who are professedly Christians plead that there is no harm in making wine or cider for the market because when unfermented it will not intoxicate, I feel sad at heart. I know there is another side to this subject that they refuse to look upon; for selfishness has closed their eyes to the terrible evils that may result from the use of these stimulants. I do not see how our brethren can abstain from all appearance of evil and engage largely in the business of hop raising, knowing to what use the hops are put.
Those who help to produce these beverages that encourage and educate the appetite for stronger stimulants will be rewarded as their works have been. They are transgressors of the law of God, and they will be punished for the sins which they commit and for those which they have influenced others to commit through the temptations which they have placed in their way.
Let all who profess to believe the truth for this time, and to be reformers, act in accordance with their faith. If one whose name is on the church book manufactures wine or cider for the market, he should be faithfully labored with, and, if he continues the practice, he should be placed under censure of the church. Those who will not be dissuaded from doing this work are unworthy of a place and a name among the people of God.
We are to be followers of Christ, to set our hearts and our influence against every evil practice. How should we feel in the day when God's judgments are poured out, to meet men who have become drunkards through our influence? We are living in the antitypical day of atonement, and our cases must soon come in review before God. How shall we stand in the courts of heaven, if our course of action has encouraged the use of stimulants that pervert reason and are destructive of virtue, purity, and the love of God?-- Testimonies, vol. 5, pages 358, 359.
The Love of Money Not to Mislead .--I have a few acres of land that, when I purchased it, was set out to wine grapes; but I will not sell one pound of these grapes to any winery. The money I should get for them would increase my income; but rather than aid the cause of intemperance by allowing them to be converted into wine, I would let them decay upon the vines. . . .
The love of money will lead men to violate conscience. Perhaps that very money may be brought to the Lord's treasury; but He will not accept any such offering, it is an offense to Him. It was obtained by transgressing His law, which requires that a man love his neighbor as himself. It is no excuse for the transgressor to say that if he had not made wine or cider, somebody else would, and his neighbor might have become a drunkard just the same. Because some will place the bottle to their neighbor's lips, will Christians venture to
stain their garments with the blood of souls,--to incur the curse pronounced upon those who place this temptation in the way of erring men? Jesus calls upon His followers to stand under His banner and aid in destroying the works of the devil.
The world's Redeemer, who knows well the state of society in the last days, represents eating and drinking as the sins that condemn this age. He tells us that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of man is revealed. "They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away." Just such a state of things will exist in the last days, and those who believe these warnings will use the utmost caution not to take a course that will bring them under condemnation.-- Review and Herald, March 25, 1884.
In the Light of Scripture, Nature, and Reason .--In the light of what the Scriptures, nature, and reason teach concerning the use of intoxicants, how can Christians engage in the raising of hops for beermaking, or in the manufacture of wine or cider for the market? If they love their neighbor as themselves, how can they help to place in his way that which will be a snare to him?-- The Ministry of Healing, page 334.
Brethren, let us look at this matter in the light of the Scriptures, and exert a decided influence on the side of temperance in all things. Apples and grapes are God's gifts; they may be put to excellent use as healthful articles of food, or they may be abused by being put to a wrong use. Already God is blighting the grapevine and the apple crop because of men's sinful practices. We stand before the world as reformers; let us give no occasion for infidels or unbelievers to reproach our faith. Said Christ: "Ye are the salt of the earth," "the light of the world." Let us show that our hearts and consciences are under the transforming influence of divine grace, and that our lives
are governed by the pure principles of the law of God, even though these principles may require the sacrifice of temporal interests.-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 361.
If anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water drunk 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. -- Review and Herald, July 29, 1884.
The lesson here presented [of Daniel and his companions] is one which we would do well to ponder. Our danger is not from scarcity, but from abundance. We are constantly tempted to excess. Those who would preserve their powers unimpaired for the service of God, must observe strict temperance in the use of His bounties, as well as total abstinence from every injurious or debasing indulgence.
The rising generation are surrounded with allurements calculated to tempt the appetite. Especially in our large cities, every form of indulgence is made easy and inviting. Those who, like Daniel, refuse to defile themselves, will reap the reward of their temperate habits. With their greater physical stamina and increased power of endurance, they have a bank of deposit upon which to draw in case of emergency.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pages 27, 28.
It is often urged that in order to win the youth from sensational or worthless literature, we should supply them with a better class of fiction. This is like trying to cure the drunkard by giving him, in the place of whisky or brandy, the milder intoxicants, such as wine, beer, or cider. The use of these would continually foster the appetite for stronger stimulants. The only safety for the inebriate, and the only safeguard for the temperate man, is total abstinence.-- The Ministry of Healing, page 446.