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Counsels on Diet and Foods

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    Part 4—Cider

    755. We are living in an age of intemperance, and catering to the appetite of the cider-bibber is an offense against God. With others, you have engaged in this work because you have not followed the light. Had you stood in the light, you would not, you could not, have done this. Every one of you who has acted a part in this work will come under the condemnation of God, unless you make an entire change in your business. You need to be in earnest. You need to commence the work at once to clear your souls from condemnation....CD 432.3

    After you had taken a decided stand in opposition to active participation in the work of the temperance societies, you might still have retained an influence over others for good, had you acted conscientiously in accordance with the holy faith which you profess, but by engaging in the manufacture of cider, you have hurt your influence very much; and what is worse, you have brought reproach upon the truth, and your own souls have been injured. You have been building up a barrier between yourselves and the temperance cause. Your course led unbelievers to question your principles. You are not making straight paths for your feet; and the lame are halting and stumbling over you to perdition.CD 432.4

    I cannot see how, in the light of the law of God, Christians can conscientiously engage in the raising of hops or in the manufacture of wine or cider for the market. All these articles may be put to a good use, and prove a blessing; or they may be put to a wrong use, and prove a temptation and a curse. Cider and wine may be canned when fresh, and kept sweet a long time; and if used in an unfermented state, they will not dethrone reason....—Testimonies for the Church 5:354-361, 1885CD 432.5

    Moderate Drinking the Highway to Drunkenness

    Persons may become just as really intoxicated on wine and cider as on stronger drinks, and the worst kind of inebriation is produced by these so-called milder drinks. The passions are more perverse; the transformation of character is greater, more determined and obstinate. A few quarts of cider or wine may awaken a taste for stronger drinks, and in many cases those who have become confirmed drunkards have thus laid the foundation of the drinking habit. For some persons it is by no means safe to have wine or cider in the house. They have inherited an appetite for stimulants, which Satan is continually soliciting them to indulge. If they yield to his temptations, they do not stop; appetite clamors for indulgence, and is gratified to their ruin. The brain is benumbed and clouded; reason no longer holds the reins, but they are laid on the neck of lust. Licentiousness, adultery, and vices of almost every type, are committed as the result of indulging the appetite for wine and cider. A professor of religion who loves these stimulants, and accustoms himself to their use, never grows in grace. He becomes gross and sensual; the animal passions control the higher powers of the mind, and virtue is not cherished.CD 433.1

    Moderate drinking is the school in which men are receiving an education for the drunkard's career. So gradually does Satan lead away from the strongholds of temperance, so insidiously do the harmless wine and cider exert their influence upon the taste, that the highway to drunkenness is entered upon all unsuspectingly. The taste for stimulants is cultivated; the nervous system is disordered; Satan keeps the mind in a fever of unrest, and the poor victim, imagining himself perfectly secure, goes on and on, until every barrier is broken down, every principle sacrificed. The strongest resolutions are undermined; and eternal interests are not strong enough to keep the debased appetite under the control of reason.CD 433.2

    Some are never really drunk, but are always under the influence of cider or fermented wine. They are feverish, unbalanced in mind, not really delirious, but in fully as bad a condition; for all the noble powers of the mind are perverted. A tendency to disease of various kinds, as dropsy, liver complaint, trembling nerves, and a determination of blood to the head, results from the habitual use of sour cider. By its use many bring upon themselves permanent disease. Some die of consumption or fall under the power of apoplexy from this cause alone. Some suffer from dyspepsia. Every vital function is deadened and the physicians tell them that they have liver complaint, when if they would break open the cider barrel, and never replace it, their abused life forces would recover their vigor.CD 434.1

    Cider drinking leads to the use of stronger drinks. The stomach loses its natural vigor, and something stronger is needed to arouse it to action.... We see the power that appetite for strong drink has over men; we see how many of all professions and of heavy responsibilities—men of exalted station, of eminent talents, of great attainments, of fine feelings, of strong nerves, and of good reasoning powers—sacrifice everything for the indulgence of appetite, until they are reduced to the level of the brutes; and in very many cases their downward course commenced with the use of wine or cider.CD 434.2

    Our Example to be on the Side of Reform

    When intelligent men and women who are professedly Christians, plead that there is no harm in making wine or cider for the market, because when unfermented it will not intoxicate, I feel sad at heart. I know there is another side to this subject that they refuse to look upon; for selfishness has closed their eyes to the terrible evils that may result from the use of these stimulants....CD 434.3

    As a people, we profess to be reformers, to be light bearers in the world, to be faithful sentinels for God, guarding every avenue whereby Satan could come in with his temptations to pervert the appetite. Our example and influence must be a power on the side of reform. We must abstain from any practice which will blunt the conscience or encourage temptation. We must open no door that will give Satan access to the mind of one human being formed in the image of God. If all would be vigilant and faithful in guarding the little openings made by the moderate use of the so-called harmless wine and cider, the highway to drunkenness would be closed up. What is needed in every community is firm purpose, and a will to touch not, taste not, handle not; then the temperance reformation will be strong, permanent, and thorough....CD 435.1

    The world's Redeemer, who knows well the state of society in the last days, represents eating and drinking as the sins that condemn this age. He tells us that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of man is revealed. “They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until that day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.” Just such a state of things will exist in the last days, and those who believe these warnings will use the utmost caution not to take a course that will bring them under condemnation.CD 435.2

    Brethren, let us look at this matter in the light of the Scriptures, and exert a decided influence on the side of temperance in all things. Apples and grapes are God's gifts; they may be put to excellent use as healthful articles of food, or they may be abused by being put to a wrong use. Already God is blighting the grapevine and the apple crop because of men's sinful practices. We stand before the world as reformers; let us give no occasion for infidels or unbelievers to reproach our faith. Said Christ, “Ye are the salt of the earth,” “the light of the world.” Let us show that our hearts and consciences are under the transforming influence of divine grace, and that our lives are governed by the pure principles of the law of God, even though these principles may require the sacrifice of temporal interests.CD 435.3

    Under the Microscope

    756. Persons who have inherited an appetite for unnatural stimulants should by no means have wine, beer, or cider in their sight or within their reach; for this keeps the temptation constantly before them. Regarding sweet cider as harmless, many have no scruples in purchasing it freely. But it remains sweet for a short time only; then fermentation begins. The sharp taste which it then acquires makes it all the more acceptable to many palates, and the user is loath to admit that it has become hard, or fermented.CD 436.1

    There is danger to health in the use of even sweet cider as ordinarily produced. If people could see what the microscope reveals in regard to the cider they buy, few would be willing to drink it. Often those who manufacture cider for the market are not careful as to the condition of the fruit used, and the juice of wormy and decayed apples is expressed. Those who would not think of using the poisonous, rotten apples in any other way, will drink the cider made from them, and call it a luxury; but the microscope shows that even when fresh from the press, this pleasant beverage is wholly unfit for use.CD 436.2

    Intoxication is just as really produced by wine, beer, and cider, as by stronger drinks. The use of these drinks awakens the taste for those that are stronger, and thus the liquor habit is established. Moderate drinking is the school in which men are educated for the drunkard's career. Yet so insidious is the work of these milder stimulants, that the highway to drunkenness is entered before the victim suspects his danger.—The Ministry of Healing, 332, 333, 1905CD 436.3

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