Ellen G. White Writings

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Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, Page 25

Chapter 3—Effects of Stimulants

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” [1 Corinthians 9:24, 25.]

Here the good results of self-control and temperate habits are set forth. The various games instituted among the ancient Greeks in honor of their gods, are presented before us by the apostle Paul to illustrate the spiritual warfare and its reward. Those who were to participate in these games were trained by the most severe discipline. Every indulgence that would tend to weaken the physical powers was forbidden. Luxurious food and wine were prohibited, in order to promote physical vigor, fortitude, and firmness.

To win the prize for which they strove,—a chaplet of perishable flowers, bestowed amid the applause of the multitude,—was considered the highest honor. If so much could be endured, so much self-denial practiced, in the hope of gaining so worthless a prize, which only one at best could obtain, how much greater should be the sacrifice, how much more willing the self-denial, for an incorruptible crown, and for everlasting life!

There is work for us to do—stern, earnest work. All our habits, tastes, and inclinations must be educated in harmony with the laws of life and health. By this means we may secure the very best physical conditions, and have mental clearness to discern between the evil and the good.

In order rightly to understand the subject of temperance, we must consider it from a Bible standpoint; and nowhere can we find a more comprehensive and forcible illustration of true temperance and its attendant blessings,

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