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    APPETITE CONTROLLABLE

    THE power of perverted appetite has been dwelt upon quite fully in the preceding chapter. Now it remains to be shown how the tyrant may be conquered. For it is possible for the appetite to be brought fully under the control of reason and conscience. The reclaimed drunkard, and those who have been emancipated from the slavery of tobacco, tea, and coffee, may shout greater victories than can the general who leads his troops through the most successful battles. An inspired proverb reads, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.” 1Proverbs 16:32. It may be said with equal truth and force, He that conquers perverted appetite is truly greater than he that conquers armies.BHY 197.1

    Difficult as the task may be, a morbid appetite can be restored to a normal condition. As it is by indulgence that appetite gains the mastery, so it is only by rigid abstinence that it can be conquered and made man’s servant. As in the one case indulgence is the cause, and the debasing rule of appetite the result; so in the other case abstinence is the redeeming cause, and natural appetite (controlled by reason and conscience), health, and happiness are the glorious result. But the man of strong habits, who undertakes to grapple with and conquer his appetite for fashionable indulgence, may as well understand at the very start that he has a hard battle to fight; and he should count the cost, lay well his plans, and nerve himself for the contest.BHY 197.2

    And there is a very important fact which we wish here to state for the encouragement of those who feel the need of reforming in habits of life, and who at the same time dread the difficulties in the way, and the suffering they may have to endure. It is this: Proper abstinence will soon give them complete victory; and when this is gained, when simple and natural habits have been established, the delights of taste and the pleasures of existence will far exceed the so-called enjoyments found in a gross and unnatural life of hurtful indulgence.BHY 197.3

    When the drunkard leaves his cup, he suffers inexpressible physical and mental agony until by continued abstinence and proper habits the fire dies out of his blood and brain, and nature restores order. This accomplished, the reformed inebriate has lost his love for liquor, and feels that he is a man again. It is not to be questioned that the man who satisfies his depraved cravings for whisky, feels a momentary pleasure in indulgence; but the enjoyments of existence, with him whose habits are natural and healthful, are almost infinitely greater than with him who is ruled by morbid appetite, and who surrenders to the momentary pleasure found in its gratification.BHY 198.1

    Here are facts of the greatest importance; and they are not only in harmony with natural law, but are sustained by the happy experience of many a reclaimed drunkard. It is difficult to make the drunkard, even in his soberest hours, see and feel the force of these facts. His friends may wish to help him; but he alone must fight the battle with appetite, or he can never enjoy the victory. The higher powers of his mind are benumbed and enfeebled, having been surrendered to the rule of appetite. He, however, decides to make the effort to reform, and abstains from liquor for a few days. He is in agony; and feeling no assurance that, if he perseveres, the period of his suffering will be brief, he is in danger of yielding to the erroneous idea that abstinence dooms him to a life-long period of mental and physical agony. Oh to get across this, to him, impassable gulf! The fields of delight which lie beyond, he cannot now see; but when fairly across, he may shout victory in the midst of the natural and healthful pleasures of an almost new existence. This is one of the greatest triumphs that mortal man can achieve, and one long step toward heaven. Yet such a victory can be won.BHY 198.2

    What has been said in the case of drunkenness is equally true of tobacco inebriety. The appetite for tobacco will continue so long as the tobacco poison remains in the system. When the system has been freed from tobacco by abstinence and hygienic treatment, the appetite will cease. Boys have a natural dislike for tobacco, but this they overcome by its use. When their blood becomes thoroughly poisoned, the collision between nature and tobacco ceases. Completely eradicate tobacco from the human system, restore the taste to a natural and healthful condition, and tobacco will be as offensive to its emancipated slave as to the youth before he took the poison into his blood.BHY 199.1

    Let no one try to overcome the appetite for tobacco by the long, tedious, murderous process of “leaving off by degrees.” Victory is seldom, if ever, gained in this way. Total abstinence is the only sure course. Hygienic treatment is of great benefit to those who find this a difficult task. In order to obtain a speedy and certain victory, the poison should be taken from the blood as soon as possible. Water treatment will do this at a rapid rate. We have left tobacco invalids packed in the wet sheet forty minutes, and when they were taken out the scent of tobacco so pervaded the room as to be sensible to the taste, and the sheet itself was discolored.BHY 199.2

    What has been said about the liquor and the tobacco habit is true, in the main, in the case of those addicted to the use of tea and coffee. Total abstinence is the only remedy. When these habits are overcome, and restoration, so far as possible, to natural conditions takes place, whisky, tobacco, and tea and coffee sicknesses, in their many forms, will cease. For example, there are thousands of women in our country who once drank strong tea to cure the headache, and it did give them temporary relief; but at the same time it laid the foundation for more severe headache. Now they use neither tea nor coffee, and can bear the joyful testimony that when they had by abstinence overcome their desire for tea, their headache also disappeared.BHY 199.3

    Those on our side of the question, who have passed through the struggle against the clamors of morbid appetite, and have gained the victory, can appreciate this view of the subject. Those on the other side must pass over to us, and work out their own experience before they can fully understand the matter.BHY 200.1

    And right here is where the subject of hygienic reform meets one of its greatest obstacles. It is difficult for those under the control of appetite to see anything in the reform but privation and starvation. They sit down to a hygienic dinner, — without flesh-meats and highly seasoned gravies, — where all the food is, so far as possible, in its natural state, and are disgusted with its tastelessness. They pity us who live upon this diet, and, judging by their own condition of taste, are grieved that we are starving ourselves. But the very dinner they despise, we enjoy with the keenest relish, and do it liberal justice.BHY 200.2

    To us who have become accustomed to a simple, unstimulating diet, it would be painful to sit down to a fashionable dinner and partake of highly seasoned flesh-meats. The very spices, salt, vinegar, pepper, mustard, and pickles that would delight a fashionable taste, would be very unwelcome to ours. The great difficulty in this subject is, that those who differ with us cannot understand the matter fully until they have, through their own experience, come all the way over to our side of the question.BHY 200.3

    To all hygienic reformers I would say, Live up strictly to the convictions of your own enlightened mind. Be not led into indulgence by the entreaties of friends. Live the reform at home; and when you go abroad, carry it with you. Live it, and at proper times, in proper places, and in a proper manner, talk its principles. Never let the opposition or the kind entreaties of friends, gain ground on you. Ever hold on your way, and by all proper means labor to impress those around you with the importance of the subject.BHY 200.4

    A few words to those who are making changes: If you make them all at once, be sure to make a corresponding change in your mental or physical labor. If your circumstances are such that you cannot greatly lessen your labor for a while, or spend a few months at a sanitarium, you should, in matters of diet, make the changes gradually. But do not forget to change. As you prize health and the favor of God here, and a happy existence in his presence in the next world, turn from the violation of natural law. Let it be your study and constant effort to bring your habits of life more and still more into harmony with the laws instituted by the beneficent Author of your being.BHY 201.1

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