Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 173

Stand for Principle, June 15

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8.

Daniel was but a youth when carried away captive into Babylon. He was about fifteen or sixteen years old, for he is called a child, which means that he was in his youth. Why did Daniel refuse to eat at the king's luxurious table? Why did he refuse the use of wine as his beverage, when it was at the king's command that it was placed before him? He knew that, by use, wine would become to him a pleasant thing, and would be preferred before water.

Daniel could have argued that at the royal table and at the king's command, there was no other course for him to pursue. But he and his fellows had a council together.... The wine of itself, they decided, was a snare. They were acquainted with the history of Nadab and Abihu that had come to them in parchments. In these men the use of wine had encouraged their love for it. They drank wine before their sacred services in the sanctuary. Their senses were confused. They could not distinguish the difference between the sacred and the common fire. In their brain-benumbed state they did that which the Lord had charged all who served in holy office not to do....

The instruction given to the people was carefully treasured up, and often composed into song and taught to their children, that through song they might become familiar with the truths....

A second consideration of these youthful captives was that the king always asked a blessing before his meals, and addressed his idols as deity.... This act, according to their religious instruction, consecrated the whole to the heathen god. To sit at the table where such idolatry was practiced, Daniel and his three brethren deemed, would be a dishonor to the God of heaven....

There was much involved in this decision. They were regarded as slaves, but were particularly favored because of their apparent intelligence and comeliness of person. But they decided that any pretense, even to sit at the table of the king and eat of the food or accept of the wine, even if they did not drink it, would be a denial of their religious faith.... They did not choose to be singular but they must be, else they would corrupt their ways in the courts of Babylon and be exposed to every kind of temptation in eating and drinking. The corrupting influences would remove their safeguard, and they would dishonor God and ruin their own characters.—Manuscript 122, 1897.

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