Appendix A Ellen G. White a Temperance Worker

Commissioned to Speak on Temperance—I was also to speak on the subject of temperance, as the Lord's appointed messenger. I have been called to many places to speak on temperance before large assemblies. For many years I was known as a speaker on temperance.—Manuscript 140, 1905. Te 259.1

I rejoice that it has been my privilege to bear my testimony on this subject before crowded assemblies in many countries. Many times I have spoken on this subject to large congregations at our camp meetings.—Letter 78, 1911. Te 259.2

The Plan of Presentation—We left the beaten track of the popular lecturer, and traced the origin of the prevailing intemperance to the home, the family board, and the indulgence of appetite in the child. Stimulating food creates a desire for still stronger stimulants. The boy whose taste is thus vitiated, and who is not taught self-control, is the drunkard, or tobacco slave of later years. The subject was taken up upon this wide basis; and the duty of parents was pointed out in training their children to right views of life and its responsibilities, and in laying the foundation for their upright Christian characters. The great work of temperance reform, to be thoroughly successful, must begin in the home.—The Review and Herald, August 23, 1877. Te 259.3

A Large Temperance Meeting at Kokomo, Indiana—The editor of the Kokomo Dispatch was on the ground upon the Sabbath. He afterward issued notices to the effect that we were to address the people on the subject of Christian temperance, at the camp ground on Sunday afternoon.... Three excursion trains poured their living freight upon the grounds. The people here are very enthusiastic on the temperance question. At 2:30 p.m. We spoke to about eight thousand people on the subject of temperance, taken from a moral and Christian standpoint. We were blessed with remarkable clearness and liberty, and were heard with the best attention from the large audience present.—Review and Herald, August 23, 1877. Te 259.4

Presenting Temperance at Salem, Oregon—On Sunday, June 23 [1873], I spoke in the Methodist Church of Salem [Oregon], on the subject of temperance. The attendance was unusually good, and I had freedom in treating this, my favorite subject. I was requested to speak again in the same place on the Sunday following the camp meeting, but was prevented by hoarseness. On the next Tuesday evening, however, I again spoke in this church. Many invitations were tendered me to speak on temperance in various cities and towns of Oregon, but the state of my health forbade my complying with these requests. Te 260.1

[Early in August, 1878,] we stopped in Boulder City [Colorado], and beheld with joy our canvas meetinghouse, where Elder Cornell was holding a series of meetings.... The tent had been lent to hold temperance meetings in, and, by special invitation, I spoke to a tent full of attentive hearers. Though wearied by my journey, the Lord helped me to successfully present before the people the necessity of practicing strict temperance in all things.—Testimonies for the Church 4:290-297. Te 260.2

Only eternity will reveal what has been accomplished by this kind of ministry—how many souls, sick with doubt, and tired of worldliness and unrest, have been brought to the great physician, who longs to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. Christ is a risen Saviour, and there is healing in His wings.—Testimonies for the Church 6:111. Te 260.3

Uniting With Others to Aid Fellow Men—The evening after the Sabbath I spoke in Washingtonian Hall. [Note: A hall controlled by the ladies of the Martha Washington Home in Chicago, a society devoted to the reformation of intemperate women.] ... Sunday afternoon I spoke in the same hall on the subject of temperance to a good congregation, who listened with deepest interest. I had freedom and power in presenting Jesus, who took upon Himself the infirmities and bore the griefs and sorrows of humanity, and conquered in our behalf.... Te 261.1

At the close of the meeting, I was favored with an introduction to the president of the Washingtonian Home. He thanked me in behalf of the family and friends for the pleasure of listening to the remarks made. I was cordially invited to visit them when I should again pass through Chicago, and I assured them I should consider it a privilege to do so. I was gratified that I had this opportunity of presenting temperance from the Christian standpoint before the inmates of this home for inebriates, where they are assisted in overcoming the strong habit which is binding so many in almost hopeless slavery. I was informed that among those who are obliged to seek its friendly aid are lawyers, doctors, and even ministers.—The Review and Herald, February 10, 1885. Te 261.2

Encouraging Responses—I speak most decidedly on this subject [temperance], and it has a telling influence upon other minds. Often the testimony is borne, “I have not used any tobacco, wine, or any stimulant or narcotic since that discourse you gave upon temperance.” Now, they say, “I must furnish myself with enlightened principles for action; for I want others to know the benefits I have received. This reformation involves great consequences to me and all with whom I come in contact. I will choose the better part, to work with Christ with settled principles and aims, to win a crown of life as an overcomer.”—Letter 96, 1899. Te 261.3

In our public meetings in Australia we took special pains to present clearly the fundamental principles of temperance reform. Generally, when I spoke to the people on Sunday, my theme was health and temperance. During some of the camp meetings, daily instruction was given on this subject. In several places the interest aroused over our position on the use of stimulants and narcotics led the friends of temperance to attend our meetings and learn more of the various doctrines of our faith.—Manuscript 79, 1907. Te 262.1

Contacts With W.C.T.U. Workers at Melbourne—Dr. M. G. Kellogg came to my tent to see if I would have an interview with the president and secretary of the W.C.T.U. We invited them to our tent, and we had a very pleasant visit. The president is a strict vegetarian, not having tasted meat for four years. She bears a clear countenance, which does credit to her abstemious habits. The secretary is a young woman. Both are ladies of intelligence. They manifest deep interest in all they have heard. They have made a request that I speak in the beautiful hall in which they hold their meetings, and they asked Brother Starr to write for their temperance paper. Te 262.2

The president expressed an earnest desire that we should harmonize in the temperance work. “Be assured,” they said, “we shall enter every door open to us that we may let our light shine to others.” They seemed highly gratified in seeing and hearing and being convinced that the fruits of the Spirit are possessed and revealed by this people. I gave each of them a copy of Christian Temperance, to one The Great Controversy, to the other Patriarchs and Prophets.—Manuscript 2, 1894. Te 262.3

Following Up With Health Education—Captain Press and his wife, the president of the W.C.T.U. of Victoria, were present. Mrs. Press had visited me at my tent on the campground, and she was urgent that I should speak to their society. After the discourse on Sunday she came to me and, grasping my hand, said, “I thank you for that discourse. I see many new points which have made a lasting impression upon my mind. I shall never lose their force.” Te 262.4

I was introduced to her husband, a most noble-looking man. He is a pilot, and fills a very important position. Brother and Sister Starr took dinner with them, and formed a very pleasant acquaintance. Mrs. Press, in behalf of the W.C.T.U., has made a very earnest request for instruction in hygienic cooking. We have arranged to have a cooking school, to be held in Melbourne in the room adjoining the hall of the W.C.T.U. Four lessons are to be given, one each week, beginning next Thursday. The cooking of eight different dishes is to be taught at each lesson. Great enthusiasm has been created on the subject. Mrs. Press is a vegetarian, not having tasted meat for four years. Te 263.1

Well, the very first class of people attend our meetings in Williamstown. Mr. Press and his wife attended some of the meetings on the campground, and they say that the Bible is now a new book to them. They see that it is full of precious truth, which is a feast to the soul.—Manuscript 6, 1894. Te 263.2

Maintaining the Acquaintance—Mrs. Press, president of the Victorian W.C.T.U., and Mrs. Kirk the secretary, her sister and two elder ladies, with the niece of Mrs. Press, have taken dinner with us. We became acquainted with Mrs. Press and Mrs. Kirk in Melbourne; they have just now been attending a temperance convention in Sydney. We have had a pleasant interview, and now they have gone out in our carriage to see the country, while I resume my writing. I hope that these sisters will be brought to a knowledge of the truth. We long to see those who are intelligent converted, and standing in vindication of the truth.—Manuscript 30, 1893. Te 263.3

Open-Air Temperance Meetings in New Zealand—Some of the hearers were very enthusiastic over the matter. The mayor, the policeman, and several others, said it was by far the best gospel temperance discourse that they had ever heard. We pronounced it a success and decided that we would have a similar meeting the next Sunday afternoon. Although the sky was cloudy and threatened rain, we were favored, and I had more listeners than the Sunday previous. There were a large number of young men who listened as if spellbound. Some of them were as solemn as the grave. This was a special time. There had been a two days’ horse race and a cattle show. This had excited the people to such an intensity that I feared we would not have so good a hearing. The agricultural and cattle show had been talked of for weeks, and preparations made for the same. Well, this was my opportunity to speak to those whom I would not have had a chance to speak to had it not been a special occasion. Te 264.1

One youth, about seventeen years of age, wept like a child as I read an article of how a youth of seventeen was enticed into a liquor saloon, and drank his first glass of liquor, and it did what it always will do, maddened the brain. After taking this liquor the youth remembered nothing about what had transpired. A quarrel had taken place in this saloon, and in the youth's hand was found a knife that had taken the life of a human being, and he was charged with the murder, and five years’ imprisonment was his sentence. It was a touching article and brought tears to many eyes of both old and young.—Letter 68, 1893. Te 264.2

Attention Held by Unique Approach—My subject was temperance, treated from the Christian standpoint, the fall of Adam, the promise of Eden, the coming of Christ to our world, His baptism, His temptation in the wilderness, and His victory. And all this to give man another trial, making it possible for man to overcome in his own behalf, on his own account, through the merits of Jesus Christ. Christ came to bring to man moral power that he may be victorious in overcoming temptations on the point of appetite, and break the chain of the slavery of habit and indulgence of perverted appetite and stand forth in moral power as a man, and the record of heaven accredits him in its books as a man in the sight of God. Te 264.3

It was so different from anything that they had ever heard on temperance, they were held as if spellbound.—Manuscript 55, 1893. Te 265.1

Effective Use of Scripture and Song—I spoke in the afternoon on the subject of temperance, taking the first chapter of Daniel as my text. All listened attentively, seeming surprised to hear temperance presented from the Bible. After dwelling on the integrity and firmness of the Hebrew captives, I asked the choir to sing, “Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!” The inspiring notes of this song rang out from the singers on the stand, who were joined by the congregation. I then resumed my talk, and I know that before I had finished, many present had a better understanding of the meaning of Christian temperance. The Lord gave me freedom and His blessing, and a most solemn impression was left upon many minds.—Letter 42, 1900. Te 265.2

Filling a W.C.T.U. Appointment—During a series of meetings held late in the year 1899, at Maitland, New South Wales, I was requested by the president of the Maitland branch of the W.C.T.U. to speak to them one evening. She said that they would be very glad to hear me, even if I should speak for only ten minutes. I asked her if the ten minutes that she proposed for me to speak was all the time that was allowed, because sometimes the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I had more than a ten minutes’ talk to give. “Oh,” she said, “your people told me that you did not speak in the evening, and I specified ten minutes as the time, thinking that I would not get you at all if I made it longer. The longer you can speak to us, the more thankful we shall be.” Te 265.3

I asked Mrs. Winter, the president, if it was her custom to read a portion of Scripture at the opening of the meeting. She said that it was. I then asked for the privilege of praying, which was gladly granted. I spoke with freedom to them for an hour. Some of the women present that night afterward attended the meetings in the tent.—Manuscript 79, 1907. Te 266.1