Chapter 2—An Economic Problem

Liquor Traffic Breeds Dishonesty and Violence—In every phase of the liquor-selling business, there is dishonesty and violence. The houses of liquor dealers are built with the wages of unrighteousness, and upheld by violence and oppression.—The Review and Herald, May 1, 1894. Te 27.3

Millions Spent to Buy Wretchedness and Death—“Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; ... that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? ... Thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.” Te 27.4

This Scripture pictures the work of those who manufacture and who sell intoxicating liquor. Their business means robbery. For the money they receive no useful equivalent is returned. Every dollar they add to their gains has brought a curse to the spender. Te 28.1

Every year millions upon millions of gallons of intoxicating liquors are consumed. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent in buying wretchedness, poverty, disease, degradation, lust, crime, and death. For the sake of gain, the liquor dealer deals out to his victims that which corrupts and destroys mind and body. He entails on the drunkard's family poverty and wretchedness.—Drunkenness and Crime, pages 7, 8. Te 28.2

A Contrasting Economic Status—The drunkard is capable of better things. God has entrusted to him talents with which to glorify God; but his fellow men have laid a snare for his soul, and built themselves up out of his property. They have lived in luxury while their poor brethren whom they have robbed, lived in poverty and degradation. But God will require for all this at the hand of him who has helped to speed the drunkard on the way to ruin.—Manuscript 90, 1894. Te 28.3

Lawmakers and Liquor Dealers Held Financially Responsible—Lawmakers and liquor dealers may wash their hands as did Pilate, but they will not be clean from the blood of souls. The ceremony of washing their hands will not cleanse them when by their influence or agency, they have helped to make men drunkards. They will be held accountable for the millions of dollars that have been wasted in consuming the consumers. No one can blind himself to the terrible results of the drink traffic. The daily papers show that the wretchedness, the poverty, the crime, that result from this traffic, are not cunningly devised fables, and that hundreds of men are growing rich off the pittances of the men they are sending to perdition by their dreadful drink business. O that a public sentiment might be created that would put an end to the drink traffic, close the saloons, and give these maddened men a chance to think on eternal realities!—The Review and Herald, May 29, 1894. Te 28.4

Schools Could Have Been Established—Think of the money wasted in saloons, where men sell their reason for that which places them wholly under Satan's control. What a change there would be in society if this money were used to establish schools where children and youth would be given instruction in Bible lines, taught how to help their fellow beings, how to seek and save the lost! Te 29.1

There is a work to be done for all classes of society.... We are not to forget the ministers, lawyers, senators, judges, many of whom use strong drink and tobacco.... Ask them to give the money they would otherwise spend for the harmful indulgences of liquor and tobacco, to the establishment of institutions where children and youth can be prepared to fill positions of usefulness in the world.—Letter 25, 1902. Te 29.2

The Starving Might Be Fed—The cries of the starving millions in our world would soon be hushed if the money put into the tills of the liquor sellers were spent in alleviating the sufferings of humanity. But the evil is constantly increasing. The youth are being educated to love the vile stuff, and this is ruining them, soul and body. The work they might do in God's vineyard they refuse to do.—Manuscript 139, 1899. Te 29.3

Missions Might Have Been Established—Think of the thousands and millions of dollars that are invested in drink that will make a man like a brute, and destroy his reason.... All this money could accomplish untold good if it were used in the support of missions in the dark places of our world. God is being robbed of that which is rightfully His.—Manuscript 38a, 1905. Te 29.4

Publications Could Have Been Increased—When we obey the injunction of the apostle, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God,” thousands of dollars which are now sacrificed upon the altar of hurtful lust will flow into the Lord's treasury, multiplying publications in different languages to be scattered like the leaves of autumn. Missions will be established in other nations, and then will the followers of Christ be indeed the light of the world.—The Signs of the Times, August 13, 1874. Te 29.5

Intemperance Increased by Holidays—Drunkenness, rioting, violence, crime, murder, come as the result of man selling his reason. The numerous holidays increase the evils of intemperance. These holidays are no help to morality or to religion. On them men spend in drink the money that should be used to supply the necessities of their families; and the liquor sellers reap their harvest. Te 30.1

When drink is in, reason is out. This is the hour and power of darkness, when all crime becomes possible, and the whole human machinery is controlled by a power from beneath, when soul and body are brought under the control of passion. And what can stay this passion? What can hinder it? These souls have no certain anchorage. Holidays are leading them on to temptation; for on a holiday many think that it is their privilege, because it is a holiday, to do as they please.—Manuscript 17, 1898. Te 30.2

Millions for the Devil's Treasury—Look at those that drink wine and beer and strong drink. Let them reckon up how much money they spend in this. How many thousands and millions of dollars have gone into the devil's treasury to perpetuate wickedness, and to carry on dissolution, corruption, and crime.—Manuscript 20, 1894. Te 30.3