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Blessed art thou, O land, when ... thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! Ecclesiastes 10:17.

The lesson from the experience of these [Hebrew] youth is one which we would all do well to ponder. Our danger is not from scarcity, but from abundance. We are constantly tempted to excess. But those who would preserve their powers unimpaired for the service of God must observe strict temperance in the use of all His bounties, as well as total abstinence from every injurious or debasing indulgence.

Right physical habits promote mental superiority. Intellectual power, physical strength, and longevity depend upon immutable laws. There is no happen-so, no chance, about this matter. Heaven will not interfere to preserve men from the consequences of the violation of nature's laws. There is much of truth in the adage that every man is the architect of his own fortune. While parents are responsible for the stamp of character, as well as for the education and training which they give their sons and daughters, it is still true that our position and usefulness in the world depend, to a great degree, upon our own course of action.

Let old and young remember that for every violation of the laws of life, nature will utter her protest. The penalty will fall upon the mental as well as the physical powers. And it does not end with the guilty trifler. The effects of his misdemeanors are seen in his offspring, and thus hereditary evils are passed down, even to the third or fourth generation....

We are suffering for the wrong habits of our fathers, and yet how many take a course every way worse than theirs! Every year millions of gallons of intoxicating liquors are drunk, and millions of dollars are spent for tobacco. Opium, tea, coffee, tobacco, and intoxicating liquors are rapidly extinguishing the spark of vitality still left in the race....

The use of intoxicating liquor dethrones reason, and hardens the heart against every pure and holy influence....

There is need now of men like Daniel—men who have the self-denial and the courage to be radical temperance reformers. Let every Christian see that his example and his influence are on the side of reform. Let ministers of the gospel be faithful in instructing and warning the people. And let all remember that our happiness in two worlds depends upon the right improvement of one.—The Signs of the Times, February 11, 1886.

From Reflecting Christ - Page 142


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Reflecting Christ