Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)


The Use of Tobacco

In 1856 there were a number of Sabbathkeeping Adventists still plagued with the use of tobacco in one form or another. An article in the Review in the issue of February 7, taken from the Vermont Chronicle, was a compilation of statements by physicians and clergymen, including Dr. Rush, Dr. Mussey, Dr. Harris, Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Alcott, and Dr. Warren, with words added from John Quincy Adams, Governor Sullivan, and the Reverend Mr. Fowler. Then on April 10, an article written by one of the corresponding editors, J. N. Andrews, drove the matter home in an article he titled “The Use of Tobacco a Sin Against God.” But it was James White who in an indirect way indicted a good many of his fellow church members in a short editorial he titled “How This Looks!” This was inspired by the incoming mail: 1BIO 340.6

“I want to stop my paper, for I am not able to pay. I like the paper, but am too poor to pay for it.” 1BIO 341.1

Let me inquire, “Do you use tea, coffee, and tobacco?” 1BIO 341.2

“Yes, we have used these things a long time, and the habit has become strong; and I don't think it is a sin to use these daily comforts that taste so well.” 1BIO 341.3

But how do you get them? You are poor, too poor to pay $2 for fifty-two visits from the Review. 1BIO 341.4

“Well, we think we must have tobacco, tea, and coffee, so we try to raise the money some way.” 1BIO 341.5

This is the condition of many professed children of our long-suffering God, in whom is the perfection of greatness and purity.— Ibid., June 12, 1856 1BIO 341.6

It took time to lead people to recognize the importance of following sound health principles. 1BIO 341.7