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A Solemn Appeal

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    ABSTAIN TOTALLY

    “The least indulgence weakens hope, and is like paddling the canoe down the Niagara rapids, instead of toward its banks. Gradual emancipation, like leaving off drinking by degrees, will certainly increase both indulgence and suffering. This is true of all bad habits - is a law of things, and especially applicable here. ‘Now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.’ Some of my contemporaries advise occasional indulgence.SOAP 250.2

    From this I dissent, and totally and unequivocally condemn all indulgence, every instance of which both augments passion and weakens resistance, by subjecting intellect and moral sentiment to propensity. If you cannot conquer now, you never can. Make one desperate stand and struggle. Summon every energy! Not once more! STOP SHORT!! ‘Touch not, taste not, handle not,’ lest you ‘perish with the using.’ Flee at once to perfect continence - your only city of refuge. Look not back towards Sodom, lest you die! Why will you go on to commit suicide? O son or daughter of sensuality! are you of no value? Are you not GODLIKE, and God endowed, born in your Maker’s image, and most exalted both by nature and in your capabilities for enjoyment? Oh! will you, for a low-lived animal gratification, sell the birthright of your nature - all your intellectual powers, all your moral endowments, all your capabilities of enjoyment, and crowd every avenue and corner of both body and soul with untold agony? Behold the priceless gem of your nature! Oh! snatch it from impending destruction. TOTAL ABSTINENCE IS LIFE; animal, intellectual, moral. INDULGENCE IS TRIPLE DEATH! RESOLUTION - DETERMINATION TO STOP NOW AND FOREVER - is your starting point; without which no other remedial agents will avail anything. ABSTINENCE OR DEATH is your only alternative. STOP NOW AND FOREVER, or abandon all hope. Will you ‘long debate which of the two to choose, slavery’ and ‘death’ - and such a death - or abstinence and life? Do you ‘return to your wallowing’, and give up to die?SOAP 251.1

    “No! Behold and shout the kindling resolve! See the intoxicating, poisoned cup of passion dashed aside. Hear the life-boat Resolution: ‘I wash away the stain of the past in the reformation of the future! Born with capabilities thus exalted, I will yet be the man; no longer the groveling sensualist! Forgetting the past, I once more put on the garments of hope, and press forward in pursuit of those noble ends to which I once aspired, but from which this Delilah allured me. I will rise yet! On the bended knees of contrition and supplication, I bow before Jehovah’s mercy-seat. On the altar of this hour, I lay my vow of abstinence and purity! No more will I sacrilegiously prostitute those glorious gifts with which thou hast graciously crowned me! I abjure forever this loathsome sin, and take the oath of allegiance to duty and to thee! Oh, “deliver me from temptation!” Of myself I am weak, but in thy strength I am strong! Do thou work in me to “WILL and to DO” only what is pure and holy. I have served “the lusts of the flesh,“ but oh! forgive and restore a repentant prodigal, and accept that entire consecration of my every power and faculty to thee! O gracious God, forgive, and save, and accept, for Jesus’ sake; and thine shall be the glory forever. Amen.’SOAP 252.1

    “‘I rise a renewed man! My vow is recorded before God! I will keep it inviolate. I will banish all unclean thoughts and feelings, and indulge only in holy wedlock. I will again “press forward” in the road of intellectual attainment and moral progression; and the more eagerly because of this hinderance. I drop but this one tear over the past, and then bury both my sin and shame in future efforts of self-improvement and labors of love. As mourning over my fall does not restore, but unnerves resolution and cripples effort, I cast the mantle of forgetfulness over the past. I have now to do only with the future. Nor must I remain a moment passive and idle. I have a great work before me, first, to repair my shattered constitution, which is the work, not of a day, but of my life; and also to recover my mental stamina and moral standing, and, if possible, soar higher still. What shall I do first?SOAP 253.1

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