Ellen G. White Writings

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Ministry to the Cities, Page 35

of God are distributed and diversified throughout the earth; and if man would be obedient to nature's laws there would not be a tithe of the misery which now exists. Health and life are imperiled by the indulgence of appetite. Our woes more frequently spring from the improvident use of the abundance than from scarcity. Young men in our cities and towns are surrounded with temptations to indulge in perverted appetite. Vice is gilded over; like apples of Sodom, it appears beautiful without, but is ashes within.—Forest Park Reporter, March 30, 1879.

Plight of Poor Requires Urgent Assistance.—In the great cities are multitudes who receive less care and consideration than are given to dumb animals. Think of the families herded together in miserable tenements, many of them dark basements, reeking with dampness and filth. In these wretched places children are born and grow up and die. They see nothing of the beauty of natural things that God has created to delight the senses and uplift the soul. Ragged and half-starved, they live amid vice and depravity, molded in character by the wretchedness and sin that surround them. Children hear the name of God only in profanity. Foul speech, imprecations, and revilings fill their ears. The fumes of liquor and tobacco, sickening stenches, moral degradation, pervert their senses. Thus multitudes are trained to become criminals, foes to society that has abandoned them to misery and degradation.

Not all the poor in the city slums are of this class. God-fearing men and women have been brought to the depths of poverty by illness or misfortune, often through the dishonest scheming of those who live by preying upon their fellows. Many who are upright and well-meaning become poor through lack of industrial training. Through ignorance they are unfitted to wrestle with the difficulties of life. Drifting into the cities, they are often unable to find employment. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of vice, they are subjected to terrible temptation. Herded and often classed with the vicious and degraded, it is only by a superhuman struggle,

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