Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 123, 1901

Injurious Effects of Wrong Habits


November 28, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in Te 68-69. +Note

Though formed in the image of God, men contract habits that destroy their appreciation of what God designed them to be. These human beings manifest their inferiority by persisting in the use of tobacco and liquor, thus benumbing the sensibilities of the soul. <They cannot discern sacred things.> 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 1

Those who are enveloped in the fumes of tobacco cannot feel the influence of the truths of God’s Word. They cannot appreciate God or heavenly things. They cannot discern the smiles of God revealed by nature in the opening buds and in the flowers in full bloom. The created works of God are an expression of His love to man. Yet, even while in beautiful parks, this class of men must have with them the idol that they worship, else they would forgo all the pleasure they might otherwise have. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 2

By unmistakable signs, many members of the human family show to the world that they are practicing habits that place them in an order of life inferior to the brutes. They debase themselves below the animals, which have no power to become acquainted with God, to acquire religious knowledge or to intelligently understand and appreciate social life. Bringing upon themselves inferiority of morals, they become a nuisance in the world. <Men are wedded to tobacco and liquor.> What a sad condition for the heavenly intelligences to behold! 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 3

Covetous self-indulgence serves to bind many to the practice of a vile habit that has no foundation in nature. So powerful is the habit when once formed, that the use of tobacco becomes popular. An example of sin is set before youth, whose minds should be disabused of all thought that the use of the narcotic is not harmful. They are not told of its injurious effects on the physical, mental, and moral powers. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 4

If a follower of Christ allows himself to be led astray by the influence of others, and conforms to the fashionable dissipation of the world, he is under Satan’s sway, and his sin is even greater than is the sin of avowed unbelievers—the ungodly—because he is standing under false colors. His life is inconsistent: professedly a Christian, in practice he is yielding to unnatural, sinful propensities <that war against the purification and elevation necessary for spiritual superiority>. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 5

Sunday school teachers, who should be examples in Christian life, are worshiping at the shrine of self-indulgence, wasting on themselves God’s money, which might be expended in missionary work to advance the knowledge of truth. They are not sufficiently converted to practice self-denial and to reveal a love for perishing souls. They continue their darling indulgence in using a nerve-destroying, debasing narcotic. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 6

How does God look upon the men claiming to be Christians, missionaries, stewards of His property, yet who are wasting His money upon themselves? What entreaties are made to give up the self-destroying habit and expend the amount that has been spent each week for tobacco in benefiting the cause of God, in relieving the necessities of the hungry, and in clothing the naked? Could they see that they are a blot on the Lord’s creation, they might change. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 7

God has arranged that there should be a tree of knowledge, the fruit of which no man can safely pluck and eat. Let none covet such knowledge. All who to their own injury break God’s law by indulging in foolish lust, may be urged, entreated, and prayed for ever so faithfully, to give up a practice that is defiling to body, soul, and spirit; yet, although they may claim to be Christians, in the blindness of passion they are so desirous of holding to their injurious indulgence that they are unwilling to make an effort to overcome on the point of appetite. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 8

Becoming conformed to the habit, in practice they are in fellowship with the world. All such who claim to be Christians have no right to assume this name, for a Christian is one who is Christlike. When the judgment sits, and all are judged according to the deeds done in the body, they will learn that they have misrepresented Christ in practical life and have not made themselves a savor of life unto life, but a savor of death unto death. In fellowship with them will be a numerous company who have conformed to lustful practices, but numbers will neither excuse their iniquity nor lessen their condemnation for destroying the brain nerve power and the physical health. <All will be judged personally. They will stand before God to hear their sentence.> 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 9


The subject of how to preserve health is one of great importance. When this subject is taken up in the fear of God, human beings living in this degenerate age will prove by actual experience that it is best for physical health and for spiritual advancement to observe simplicity in diet. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 10

Daniel’s history is of the highest value. By a ten-day trial Daniel and his fellows demonstrated the advantages of temperance in eating and of strict abstinence from fermented wines. The results of his adherence to the principles of health reform were most telling. In his experience, while gaining an education, he proved the advantage of an abstemious diet over the rich food and the wines he would have had at the king’s table. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 11

Too great a variety of foods should not be taken into the stomach at one meal; for fermentation is set up, and injurious results are felt. Subsisting on a diet of fruits and grains properly prepared in the most simple, natural form is the very best way to preserve the health of the digestive organs, which do the work required for the nourishment of the human organism. 16LtMs, Ms 123, 1901, par. 12