Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 101

Chapter 7—Learning A New Lifestyle

Many factors common to New Englanders in the mid-nineteenth century determined their lifestyle:

1. Eating habits. There was very little store-bought food except meat, potatoes, salt, and sugar. Winters were long and cold. The people made up for the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables with rich breads and pastries. Cakes, pies, and doughnuts were common as breakfast foods. There were no vegetable oils or shortenings. Meat was expensive, and pork the most available.

2. Clothing. There was very little store-bought clothing. Cold winters necessitated heavy clothing and bedding.

3. No indoor plumbing. No electricity. No washing machines.

4. Heat. Homes were heated by wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. Windows were tightly closed at night. Night air was considered injurious.

5. Use of tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and cider. These were just as habit-forming then as now. In lives with little recreation or change, they offered a solace of sorts!

6. Life expectancy. In 1900 in the United States the average was 47.3 years.

7. Proneness to disease. Caused by appalling ignorance of hygiene, sanitation, and the cause of sickness. The relation of diet and the care of the body to health and the causes of disease was not realized.

Quite early in the years following the Disappointment, as the believers met together there was recognition of the evils of liquor and tobacco. In 1851 one man wrote to Ellen White asking if she had seen in vision that it was wrong to use tobacco. She replied on December 14:

I have seen in vision that tobacco was a filthy weed, and that it must be laid aside or given up. Said my accompanying angel, “If it is an idol, it is high time it was given up, and unless it is given up, the frown of God will be upon the one that uses it....

I saw that Christ will have a church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing to present to His Father, ... as He leads us through the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem.... After Jesus has done so much for us, will anyone be undecided whether to deny himself of the filthy weed for His sake?

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