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Selected Messages Book 2

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    Chapter 1

    Since the fall in Eden, the race has been degenerating. Deformity, imbecility, disease, and human suffering have been pressing heavier and heavier upon each successive generation since the fall, and yet the masses are asleep as to the real causes. They do not consider that they themselves are guilty, in a great measure, for this deplorable state of things. They generally charge their sufferings upon Providence, and regard God as the author of their woes. But it is intemperance, to a greater or less degree, that lies at the foundation of all this suffering.2SM 411.1

    Eve was intemperate in her desires when she put forth the hand to take of the fruit-forbidden tree. Self-gratification has reigned almost supreme in the hearts of men and women since the fall. Especially has the appetite been indulged, and they have been controlled by it, instead of reason. For the sake of gratifying the taste, Eve transgressed the command of God. He had given her everything her wants required, yet she was not satisfied. Ever since, her fallen sons and daughters have followed the desires of their eyes, and of their taste. They have, like Eve, disregarded the prohibitions God has made, and have followed in a course of disobedience, and, like Eve, have flattered themselves that the consequence would not be as fearful as had been apprehended.2SM 411.2

    Man has disregarded the laws of his being, and disease has been steadily increasing. The cause has been followed by the effect. He has not been satisfied with food which was the most healthful; but has gratified the taste even at the expense of health.2SM 411.3

    God has established the laws of our being. If we violate these laws, we must, sooner or later, pay the penalty. The laws of our being cannot be more successfully violated than by crowding upon the stomach unhealthy food, because craved by a morbid appetite. To eat to excess, of even simple food, will eventually break down the digestive organs; but add to this the eating in too great an amount of food, and that unwholesome, and the evil is greatly increased. The constitution must become impaired.2SM 411.4

    The human family have been growing more and more self-indulgent, until health has been most successfully sacrificed upon the altar of lustful appetite. The inhabitants of the Old World were intemperate in eating and drinking. They would have flesh meats, although God had given them no permission to eat animal food. They ate and drank to excess, and their depraved appetites knew no bounds. They gave themselves up to abominable idolatry. They became violent, and ferocious, and so corrupt that God could bear with them no longer. Their cup of iniquity was full, and God cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood. As men multiplied upon the face of the earth after the flood, they forgot God, and corrupted their ways before him. Intemperance in every form increased to a great extent.2SM 412.1

    The Lord brought his people out of Egypt in a victorious manner. He led them through the wilderness to prove them, and try them. He repeatedly manifested his miraculous power in their deliverances from their enemies. He promised to take them to himself, as his peculiar treasure, if they would obey his voice, and keep his commandments. He did not forbid them to eat the flesh of animals, but withheld it from them in a great measure. He provided them food which was the most healthful. He rained their bread from heaven, and gave them purest water from the flinty rock. He made a covenant with them, if they would obey him in all things, he would preserve them from disease.2SM 412.2

    But the Hebrews were not satisfied. They despised the food given them from heaven, and wished themselves back in Egypt where they could sit by the flesh-pots. They preferred slavery, and even death, rather than to be deprived of meat. God, in his anger, gave them flesh to gratify their lustful appetites, and great numbers of them died while eating the meat for which they had lusted.2SM 412.3

    Nadab and Abihu were slain by the fire of God's wrath for their intemperance in the use of wine. God would have his people understand that they will be visited according to their obedience or transgressions. Crime and disease have increased with every successive generation. Intemperance in eating and drinking, and the indulgence of the baser passions, have benumbed the nobler faculties. Appetite, to an alarming extent, has controlled reason.2SM 412.4

    The human family have indulged an increasing desire for rich food, until it has become a fashion to crowd all the delicacies possible into the stomach. Especially at parties of pleasure is the appetite indulged with but little restraint. Rich dinners and late suppers are partaken of, consisting of highly-seasoned meats with rich gravies, rich cakes, pies, ice cream, etc.2SM 413.1

    Professed Christians generally take the lead in these fashionable gatherings. Large sums of money are sacrificed to the Gods of fashion and appetite, in preparing feasts of health-destroying dainties to tempt the appetite, that through this channel something may be raised for religious purposes. Thus, ministers, and professed Christians, have acted their part and exerted their influence, by precept and example, in indulging in intemperance in eating, and in leading the people to health-destroying gluttony. Instead of appealing to man's reason, to his benevolence, his humanity, his nobler faculties, the most successful appeal that can be made is to the appetite.2SM 413.2

    The gratification of the appetite will induce men to give means when otherwise they would do nothing. What a sad picture for Christians! With such sacrifice is God well pleased? How much more acceptable to him was the widow's mite. Such as follow her example from the heart, will have well done. To have the blessing of Heaven attend the sacrifice thus made, can make the simplest offering of the highest value.2SM 413.3

    Men and women who profess to be followers of Christ, are often slaves to fashion, and to a gluttonous appetite. Preparatory to fashionable gatherings, time and strength, which should be devoted to higher and nobler purposes, are expended in cooking a variety of unwholesome dishes. Because it is fashion, many who are poor and dependent upon their daily labor, will be to the expense of preparing different kinds of rich cakes, preserves, pies, and a variety of fashionable food for visitors, which only injure those who partake of them; when, at the same time they need the amount thus expended, to purchase clothing for themselves and children. This time occupied in cooking food to gratify the taste to the expense of the stomach, should be devoted to the moral and religious instruction of their children.2SM 413.4

    Fashionable visiting is made an occasion of gluttony. Hurtful food and drinks are partaken of in such a measure as to greatly tax the organs of digestion. The vital forces are called into unnecessary action in the disposal of it, which produces exhaustion, and greatly disturbs the circulation of the blood, and, as a result, want of vital energy is felt throughout the system. The blessings which might result from social visiting, are often lost, for the reason that your entertainer, instead of being profited by your conversation, is toiling over the cook-stove, preparing a variety of dishes for you to feast upon. Christian men and women should never permit their influence to countenance such a course by eating of the dainties thus prepared. Let them understand that your object in visiting them is not to indulge the appetite, but that your associating together, and interchange of thoughts and feelings, might be a mutual blessing. The conversation should be of that elevated, ennobling character which could afterward be called to remembrance with feelings of the highest pleasure.2SM 414.1

    Those who entertain visitors, should have wholesome, nutritious food, from fruits, grains, and vegetables, prepared in a simple, tasteful manner. Such cooking will require but little extra labor or expense, and, partaken of in moderate quantities, will not injure any one. If worldlings choose to sacrifice time, money, and health, to gratify the appetite, let them do so, and pay the penalty of the violation of the laws of health; but Christians should take their position in regard to these things, and exert their influence in the right direction. They can do much in reforming these fashionable, health and soul-destroying customs.2SM 414.2

    Many indulge in the pernicious habit of eating just before sleeping hours. They may have taken three regular meals; yet because they feel a sense of faintness, as though hungry, will eat a lunch, or fourth meal. By indulging this wrong practice, it has become a habit, and they feel as though they could not sleep without taking a lunch before retiring. In many cases, the cause of this faintness is because the digestive organs have been already too severely taxed through the day in disposing of unwholesome food forced upon the stomach too frequently, and in too great quantities. The digestive organs thus taxed become weary, and need a period of entire rest from labor to recover their exhausted energies. A second meal should never be eaten until the stomach has had time to rest from the labor of digesting the preceding meal. If a third meal be eaten at all, it should be light, and several hours before going to bed.2SM 414.3

    But with many, the poor tired stomach may complain of weariness in vain. More food is forced upon it, which sets the digestive organs in motion, again to perform the same round of labor through the sleeping hours. The sleep of such is generally disturbed with unpleasant dreams, and in the morning they awake unrefreshed. There is a sense of languor and loss of appetite. A lack of energy is felt through the entire system. In a short time the digestive organs are worn out, for they have had no time to rest. These become miserable dyspeptics, and wonder what has made them so. The cause has brought the sure result. If this practice be indulged in a great length of time, the health will become seriously impaired. The blood becomes impure, the complexion sallow, and eruptions will frequently appear. You will often hear complaints from such, of frequent pains and soreness in the region of the stomach, and while performing labor, the stomach becomes so tired that they are obliged to desist from work, and rest. They seem to be at loss to account for this state of things; for, setting this aside, they are apparently healthy.2SM 415.1

    Those who are changing from three meals a day, to two, will at first be troubled more or less with faintness, especially about the time they have been in the habit of eating their third meal. But if they persevere for a short time, this faintness will disappear.2SM 415.2

    The stomach, when we lie down to rest, should have its work all done, that it may enjoy rest, as well as other portions of the body. The work of digestion should not be carried on through any period of the sleeping hours. After the stomach, which has been overtaxed, has performed its task, it becomes exhausted, which causes faintness. Here many are deceived, and think that it is the want of food which produces such feelings, and without giving the stomach time to rest, they take more food, which for the time removes the faintness. And the more the appetite is indulged, the more will be its clamors for gratification. This faintness is generally the result of meat-eating, and eating frequently, and too much. The stomach becomes weary by being kept constantly at work, disposing of food not the most healthful. Having no time for rest, the digestive organs become enfeebled, hence the sense of “goneness,” and desire for frequent eating. The remedy such require, is to eat less frequently and less liberally, and be satisfied with plain, simple food, eating twice, or, at most, three times a day. The stomach must have its regular periods for labor and rest, hence eating irregularly and between meals, is a most pernicious violation of the laws of health. With regular habits, and proper food, the stomach will gradually recover.2SM 415.3

    Because it is the fashion, in harmony with morbid appetite, rich cake, pies, and puddings, and every hurtful thing, are crowded into the stomach. The table must be loaded down with a variety, or the depraved appetite cannot be satisfied. In the morning, these slaves to appetite often have impure breath, and a furred tongue. They do not enjoy health, and wonder why they suffer with pains, headaches, and various ills. The cause has brought the sure result.2SM 416.1

    In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary. Temperance in labor, temperance in eating and drinking.2SM 416.2

    Many are so devoted to intemperance that they will not change their course of indulging in gluttony under any considerations. They would sooner sacrifice health, and die prematurely, than to restrain the intemperate appetite. And there are many who are ignorant of the relation their eating and drinking has to health. Could such be enlightened, they might have moral courage to deny the appetite, and eat more sparingly, and of that food alone which was healthful, and by their own course of action save themselves a great amount of suffering.2SM 416.3

    Efforts should be made to preserve carefully the remaining strength of the vital forces, by lifting off every overtasking burden. The stomach may never fully recover health, but a proper course of diet will save further debility, and many will recover more or less, unless they have gone very far in gluttonous self-murder.2SM 416.4

    Those who permit themselves to become slaves to a morbid appetite, often go still further, and debase themselves by indulging their corrupt passions, which have become excited by intemperance in eating and in drinking. They give loose rein to their debasing passions, until health and intellect greatly suffer. The reasoning faculties are, in a great measure, destroyed by evil habits.2SM 416.5

    I have wondered that the inhabitants of the earth were not destroyed, like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. I have seen reason enough for the present state of degeneracy and mortality in the world. Blind passion controls reason, and every high consideration with many is sacrificed to lust.2SM 417.1

    The first great evil was intemperance in eating and drinking. Men and women have made themselves slaves to appetite.2SM 417.2

    Pork although one of the most common articles of diet, is one of the most injurious. God did not prohibit the Hebrews from eating swine's flesh merely to show his authority, but because it was not a proper article of food for man. It would fill the system with scrofula, and especially in that warm climate produced leprosy, and disease of various kinds. Its influence upon the system in that climate was far more injurious than in a colder climate. But God never designed the swine to be eaten under any circumstances. The heathen used pork as an article of food, and American people have used pork freely as an important article of diet. Swine's flesh would not be palatable to the taste in its natural state. It is made agreeable to the appetite by highly seasoning, which makes a very bad thing worse. Swine's flesh above all other flesh-meats, produces a bad state of the blood. Those who eat freely of pork can but be diseased. Those who have much out-door exercise do not realize the bad effects of pork eating as those do whose life is mostly in-doors, and whose habits are sedentary, and whose labor is mental.2SM 417.3

    But it is not the physical health alone which is injured by pork-eating. The mind is affected, and the finer sensibilities are blunted by the use of this gross article of food. It is impossible for the flesh of any living creature to be healthy when filth is their natural element, and when they will feed upon every detestable thing. The flesh of swine is composed of what they eat. If human beings eat their flesh, their blood and their flesh will be corrupted by impurities conveyed to them through the swine.2SM 417.4

    The eating of pork has produced scrofula, leprosy, and cancerous humors. Pork-eating is still causing the most intense suffering to the human race. Depraved appetites crave those things which are the most injurious to health. The curse, which has rested heavily upon the earth, and has been felt by the whole race of mankind, has also been felt by the animals. The beasts have degenerated in size, and length of years. They have been made to suffer more than they otherwise would, by the wrong habits of man.2SM 417.5

    There are but few animals that are free from disease. Many have been made to suffer greatly for the want of light, pure air, and wholesome food. When they are fattened, they are often confined in close stables, and are not permitted to exercise, and to enjoy free circulation of air. Many poor animals are left to breathe the poison of filth which is left in barns and stables. Their lungs will not long remain healthy while inhaling such impurities. Disease is conveyed to the liver, and the entire system of the animal is diseased. They are killed, and prepared for the market, and people eat freely of this poisonous animal food. Much disease is caused in this manner. But people cannot be made to believe that it is the meat they have eaten, which has poisoned their blood, and caused their sufferings. Many die of disease caused wholly by meat-eating, yet the world does not seem to be the wiser.2SM 418.1

    Because those who partake of animal food do not immediately feel its effects, is no evidence it does not injure them. It may be doing its work surely upon the system, and yet the persons for the time being realize nothing of it.2SM 418.2

    Animals are crowded into close cars, and are almost wholly deprived of air and light, food and water, and are carried thus thousands of miles, breathing the foul air arising from accumulated filth, and when they arrive at their place of destination, and are taken from the cars, many are in a half starved, smothered, dying condition, and if left alone, would die of themselves. But the butcher finishes the work, and prepares the flesh for market.2SM 418.3

    Animals are frequently killed that have been driven quite a distance for the slaughter. Their blood has become heated. They are full of flesh, and have been deprived of healthy exercise, and when they have to travel far, they become surfeited, and exhausted, and in that condition are killed for market. Their blood is highly inflamed, and those who eat of their meat, eat poison. Some are not immediately affected, while others are attacked with severe pain, and die from fever, cholera, or some unknown disease. Very many animals are sold for the city market, known to be diseased by those who have sold them, and those who buy them for the market are not always ignorant of the matter. Especially in larger cities this is practiced to a great extent, and meat-eaters know not that they are eating diseased animals.2SM 418.4

    Some animals that are brought to the slaughter seem to realize what is to take place, and they become furious, and literally mad. They are killed while in that state; and their flesh prepared for market. Their meat is poison, and has produced, in those who have eaten it, cramp, convulsions, apoplexy, and sudden death. Yet the cause of all this suffering is not attributed to meat. Some animals are inhumanly treated while being brought to the slaughter. They are literally tortured, and after they have endured many hours of extreme suffering, are butchered. Swine have been prepared for market even while the plague was upon them, and their poisonous flesh has spread contagious diseases, and great mortality has followed.—How to Live, No. 1, 51-60.2SM 419.1

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