​Christian Temperance General Principles

Man came from the hand of his Creator perfect in organization and beautiful in form. The fact that he has for six thousand years withstood the ever – increasing weight of disease and crime is conclusive proof of the power of endurance with which he was first endowed. And although the antediluvians generally gave themselves up to sin without restraint, it was more than two thousand years before the violation of natural law was sensibly felt. Had Adam originally possessed no greater physical power than men now have, the race would ere this have become extinct. CTBH 7.1

Through the successive generations since the fall, the tendency has been continually downward. Disease has been transmitted from parents to children, generation after generation. Even infants in the cradle suffer from afflictions caused by the sins of their parents. CTBH 7.2

Moses, the first historian, gives quite a definite account of social and individual life in the early days of the world’s history, but we find no record that an infant was born blind, deaf, crippled, or imbecile. Not an instance is recorded of a natural death in infancy, childhood, or early manhood. Obituary notices in the book of Genesis run thus: “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” “And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.” Concerning others the record states, “He died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years.” It was so rare for a son to die before his father, that such an occurrence was considered worthy of record: “Haran died before his father Terah.” [Genesis 5:5, 8; 25:8; 11:28.] The patriarchs from Adam to Noah, with few exceptions, lived nearly a thousand years. Since then the average length of life has been decreasing. CTBH 7.3

At the time of Christ’s first advent, the race had already so degenerated that not only the old, but the middle – aged and the young, were brought from every city to the Saviour, to be healed of their diseases. Many labored under a weight of misery inexpressible. CTBH 8.1

The violation of physical law, with its consequent suffering and premature death, has so long prevailed that these results are regarded as the appointed lot of humanity; but God did not create the race in such a feeble condition. This state of things is not the work of Providence, but of man. It has been brought about by wrong habits, – by violating the laws that God has made to govern man’s existence. A continual transgression of nature’s laws is a continual transgression of the law of God. Had men always been obedient to the law of the ten commandments, carrying out in their lives the principles of those precepts, the curse of disease now flooding the world would not exist. CTBH 8.2

“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19.] When men take any course which needlessly expends their vitality or beclouds their intellect, they sin against God; they do not glorify him in their body and spirit, which are his. CTBH 8.3

Yet despite the insult which man has offered him, God’s love is still extended to the race; and he permits light to shine, enabling man to see that in order to live a perfect life he must obey the natural laws which govern his being. How important, then, that man should walk in this light, exercising all his powers, both of body and mind, to the glory of God! CTBH 8.4

We are in a world that is opposed to righteousness, or purity of character, and especially to growth in grace. Wherever we look, we see defilement and corruption, deformity and sin. How opposed is all this to the work that must be accomplished in us just previous to receiving the gift of immortality! God’s elect must stand untainted amid the corruptions teeming around them in these last days. Their bodies must be made holy, their spirits pure. If this work is to be accomplished, it must be undertaken at once, earnestly and understandingly. The Spirit of God should have perfect control, influencing every action. CTBH 8.5

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