The Youth’s Instructor


July 9, 1903

Lessons from the Life of Daniel—6

The Reward of Temperance


During their three years of training, Daniel and his associates maintained their abstemious habits, their allegiance to God, and their constant dependence upon his power. When the time came for their abilities and acquirements to be tested by the king, they were examined with other candidates for the service of the kingdom. But “among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.” Their keen apprehension, their choice and exact language, their extensive knowledge, testified to the unimpaired strength and vigor of their mental power. Therefore they stood before the king. “And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” YI July 9, 1903, par. 1

God always honors the right. The most promising youths from all the lands subdued by the great conqueror had been gathered at Babylon, yet amid them all, the Hebrew captives were without a rival. The erect form, the firm, elastic step, the fair countenance, the undimmed senses, the untainted breadth,—all these were insignia of the nobility with which nature honors those who are obedient to her laws. YI July 9, 1903, par. 2

The lesson here presented is one that we would do well to ponder. A strict compliance with the Bible requirements will be a blessing both to body and soul. The fruit of the Spirit is not only love, joy, and peace, but temperance also. We are enjoined not to defile our bodies; for they are the temples of the Holy Spirit. YI July 9, 1903, par. 3

The Hebrew captives were men of like passions with ourselves. Amid the seductive influences of the luxurious courts of Babylon, they stood firm. The youth of today are surrounded with allurements to self-indulgence. Especially in our large cities, every form of sensual gratification is made easy and inviting. Those who, like Daniel, refuse to defile themselves, will reap the reward of temperate habits. With their greater physical stamina and increased power of endurance, they have a bank of deposit upon which to draw in case of emergency. YI July 9, 1903, par. 4

Right physical habits promote mental superiority. Intellectual power, physical stamina, and length of life depend upon immutable laws. Nature's God will not interfere to preserve men from the consequences of violating nature's requirements. He who strives for the mastery must be temperate in all things. Daniel's clearness of mind and firmness of purpose, his power in acquiring knowledge and in resisting temptation, were due in a great degree to the plainness of his diet, in connection with his life of prayer. YI July 9, 1903, par. 5

There is much sterling truth in the adage, “Every man is the architect of his own fortune.” While parents are responsible for the stamp of character, as well as for the education and training, of their sons and daughters, it is still true that our position and usefulness in the world depend, to a great degree, upon our own course of action. Daniel and his companions enjoyed the benefits of correct training and education in early life, but these advantages alone would not have made them what they were. The time came when they must act for themselves,—when their future depended upon their own course. Then they decided to be true to the lessons given them in childhood. The fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, was the foundation of their greatness. YI July 9, 1903, par. 6

The history of Daniel and his youthful companions has been recorded on the pages of the inspired word, for the benefit of the youth of all succeeding ages. Through the record of their fidelity to the principles of temperance, God is speaking today to young men and young women, bidding them gather up the precious rays of light he has given on the subject of Christian temperance, and place themselves in right relation to the laws of health. YI July 9, 1903, par. 7

There is now need of men who, like Daniel, will do and dare. A pure heart and a strong, fearless hand, are wanted in the world today. God designed that man should be constantly improving, daily reaching a higher point in the scale of excellence. He will help us, if we seek to help ourselves. Our hope of happiness in two worlds depends upon our improvement in one. At every point we should be guarded against the first approach to intemperance. YI July 9, 1903, par. 8

Dear youth, God calls upon you to do a work which through his grace you can do. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Stand forth in your God-given manhood and womanhood. Show a purity of tastes, appetite and habits that bears comparison with Daniel's. God will reward you with calm nerves, a clear brain, an unimpaired judgment, keen perceptions. The youth of today whose principles are firm and unwavering, will be blessed with health of body, mind, and soul. YI July 9, 1903, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White