Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 90, 1894

Sustainers of the Liquor Traffic Responsible for its Results



Formerly Undated Ms 54. This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 05/22/1894.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Calvary is the estimate that heaven has placed upon the human soul. God gave Jesus, the richest gift of heaven, to pay the ransom price for the human family. If the veil could be drawn aside, and we could look into eternity, we should see that which would change our opinions and our actions. We should see the glory of Jesus Christ, who is in the high and holy place, surrounded by seraphim and cherubim, with angels and principalities waiting to do his bidding. We should see that there is no heavenly being indifferent to the joys and woes of any one of the human family. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 1

The angels of God are commissioned to go through the length and breadth of the earth to witness the struggle of every suffering mortal against evil, and to lend to him divine aid. But with what astonishment and horror do the angels look upon those who wear religion as a mask, and who would not put themselves to the trouble of contemplating the character of God or of understanding or obeying His will. They look with wonder upon those who will do as they please, following the imaginations of their own evil hearts; and it is registered that they lived and died, and had no regard for their human brotherhood, but supposed that God was like unto themselves, and would honor the rich, and esteem those who held high positions of trust; and they had little regard for those who were poor, ignorant, and afflicted. They did not wish to retain God in their knowledge, and they placed little restraint upon themselves in their unrighteous business and social relations. They gave no special encouragement to virtue, no particular sanction to methods and institutions by which the poor might receive consolation and substantial help. Thus it is that many live and die. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 2

But how different is the action of the heavenly intelligences. The angels of God are sent to be in active communication with every part of the universe. They visit every part of the vast dominions of God, and work through a variety of channels for the blessing of every creature. He who gave His life for man is stooping down from His throne to catch every sound coming up from the human race, His purchased possession; and He approves or condemns every action according to its good or evil nature. He sends His angels to raise up the fallen and oppressed children of earth. They even visit those who aid the evil one in bringing degradation upon their fellow creatures, who act as if there were no God, no heaven, no hell. If these do not repent and reform, they will receive according to their evil works. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 3

Should the Lord Jesus anoint the eyes of fallen mortals, and lay open to their inspection the mysteries of His providence, they would see that not for a moment has any transaction of any human being been unknown to the Lord. Although men have practiced injustice and cruelty, and have stirred up in their fellow men the worst passions of the human heart, although they have rejected and scoffed at the mercy of heaven, yet not for a moment has the divine benevolence ceased to flow earthward. In every age, under every circumstance, divine goodness has worked to press back from the hearts of men the misery and evil with which Satan has sought to overwhelm the world. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 4

I call upon the church and the world to say how God could have done more for the world than He has done. He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [Verse 16.] He has poured forth upon the world a flood of heavenly grace. The Lord gave the best gift of heaven, in which all heaven was contained. God so loved the world that he would not suffer it to be possible that the infinite One could do more than has been done. He bestowed a gift that was past all computation, a gift that aroused in Satan the demon spirit of jealousy, and settled him in his determination to make that gift of God of no avail to man through his misrepresentation of the divine character. The reception of this gift will eradicate from the heart all selfishness, and transform its possessor into the image of Him who abides in the heart by faith. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 5

In view of what God has done for the world in giving His beloved Son, and commissioning all the heavenly intelligences to minister to the human race, how does heaven look upon the work of injustice and cruelty that has been perpetrated by man against his fellow man in originating and preserving the liquor traffic? Do those who are acting a leading part in making men drunkards realize that they will be held accountable for their deeds, and for not having the mind that was in Christ Jesus? 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 6

The world’s Redeemer estimates the value of the human soul by the price which He has paid for it on Calvary’s cross. And no matter what may be the wealth, power, or position of a man in the sight of the world, no matter whether or not he has been permitted by the law of the land to sell poisonous drinks to his neighbor, he will be held accountable in the sight of heaven for degrading the soul that has been redeemed by Christ, and will be arraigned before the judgment for lowering a character that ought to have reflected the image of God, to reflect the image of that which is below the brute creation. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 7

In enticing men to educate themselves in the liquor habit, the rumseller is effectually taking away the righteousness of the soul, and leading men to become the abject slaves of Satan. The Lord Jesus, the Prince of Life, is in controversy with Satan, the prince of darkness. Christ declares that His mission is to lift men up. He says, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Matthew 9:13.] He healed the sick, and cleansed the leper, and cast out demons, “And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.” [Luke 6:19.] 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 8

Jesus left the royal courts of heaven, and laid aside His own glory, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might come into close connection with humanity, and by precept and example uplift and ennoble humanity, and restore in the human soul the lost image of God. This is the work of Christ; but what is the influence of those who legalize the liquor traffic? What is the influence of those who put the bottle to their neighbor’s lips? Contrast the work of the rumseller with the work of Jesus Christ, and you will be forced to admit that those who deal in liquor, and those who sustain the traffic, are working in copartnership with Satan. Through this business they are doing a greater work to perpetuate human woe than are men through any other business in the world. But Christians cannot use intoxicating liquors, nor connect themselves in the least degree with any business that leads to the degradation and downfall of humanity. They will realize that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] They will realize that the Son of God submitted to a life of shame, contempt, and poverty, and for our sake became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich, might possess eternal riches; and knowing this, they will regard themselves as their brothers’ keepers. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 9

The rumseller takes the same position as did Cain, and says, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and God says to him, as He said to Cain, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” [Genesis 4:9, 10.] Rumsellers will be held accountable for the wretchedness that has been brought into the homes of those who were weak in moral power, and who fall through temptation to drink. They will be charged with the misery, the suffering, the hopelessness, brought into the world through the liquor traffic. They will have to answer for the woe and want of the mothers and children who have suffered for food and clothing and shelter, who have buried all hope and joy. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 10

He who has a care for the sparrow and notes it fall to the ground, who clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, will not pass by those who have been formed in His own image, purchased with His own blood, and pay no heed to their suffering cries. God cares for all this wickedness that perpetuates misery and crime. He charges it all up to those whose influence helps to open the door of temptation to the soul. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 11

The drunkard is capable of better things. God has intrusted 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. O, how many pleasure-lovers there are who spend their thousands of dollars to please and amuse themselves, and to gratify their fancies, while the world is full of distress and poverty. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 12

The prophet describes these co-laborers with Satan, who are degrading those whom God is seeking to uplift. He says, “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; therefore are they become great and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof.” [Jeremiah 5:25-31.] 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 13

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets. To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the world of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord: I am weary of holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of the young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.” [Jeremiah 6:9-13.] 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 14

The warnings and reproofs of the Word of God are fearfully applicable to the people of these last days, and every one will be judged by the light and privileges of the gospel. The advantages of this age are far greater than were the advantages of peoples that for ages have been an astonishment and a reproach before all heaven. Yet had these nations been privileged to have the light that shines upon us, they would have remained unto this day. 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 15

“Woe unto thee Chorazin! woe unto thee Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained unto this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” [Matthew 11:21-24.] 9LtMs, Ms 90, 1894, par. 16