Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 101, 1903

Diary/“Temperate in All Things”


September 1, 1903 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 6MR 37.

In every important work there are times of crisis, times when there is great need that those connected with the work shall have clear minds. There must be men who realize, as did the apostle Paul, the importance of practicing temperance in all things. 18LtMs, Ms 101, 1903, par. 1

“Know ye not,” wrote Paul to the Corinthians, “that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” [1 Corinthians 9:24-27.] 18LtMs, Ms 101, 1903, par. 2

The apostle mentions the footraces with which the Corinthians were familiar. The contestants in these races were subjected to severe discipline in order to fit them for the trial of their strength. Their diet was simple. Their food was carefully selected, such as would produce no disturbance in their system. They studied to find what food would be the best to render them active and healthful, and to impart strength and endurance to the muscles, that they might put as heavy a tax as possible upon their strength. “Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” [Verse 25.] 18LtMs, Ms 101, 1903, par. 3

By this figure, Paul seeks to impress upon the Christian the necessity of doing his best to obtain a fitness for the work to which he is called. “So run that ye may obtain,” he says. [Verse 24.] Let all who believe the present truth seek to understand this figure and then act as wise men. What a vast difference between the contest for a corruptible crown, and the race of the Christian for a crown that is incorruptible. 18LtMs, Ms 101, 1903, par. 4

Ministers of the gospel are engaged in a most solemn work. They should be encouraged to deny themselves on the point of appetite, refusing to eat anything that will work an injury to their physical and mental powers. It is their privilege to have physical strength which they may use to the honor of God in carrying forward His work. The fact that a man preaches the gospel does not give him license to indulge in selfish practices that will imperil his health. The ministers should set an example of temperance before the church members. They should keep their physical and mental powers in the very best condition, that they may do the greatest amount of good. 18LtMs, Ms 101, 1903, par. 5

As we receive light, we are to make advance moves. No one can depend upon a past experience. Let all seek to walk in the light, cleansing themselves from every habit which would tend to cleanse the physical system. We are to govern our appetites and passions by the revealed will of God. 18LtMs, Ms 101, 1903, par. 6

Those who, by habits of intemperance, injure their mind and body, place themselves in a position where they are unable to discern spiritual things. Their mind is confused, and they yield readily to temptation, because they have not a clear discernment of the difference between right and wrong. The conscience becomes defiled, and the man passes into the power of Satan, to be led away from God by the specious temptations of the enemy. 18LtMs, Ms 101, 1903, par. 7