Nadab and Abihu were men in holy office; but by the use of wine their minds became so clouded that they could not distinguish between sacred and common things. By the offering of “strange fire” they disregarded God's command, and were slain by his judgments. 



     Alexander found it much easier to subdue kingdoms than to rule his own spirit. After conquering nations, this so-called great man fell through the indulgence of appetite,—a victim of intemperance.   

     Notwithstanding thousands of years of experience and progress, the same dark blot which stained the first pages of history remains to disfigure our modern civilization. Drunkenness, with all its woes, is found everywhere we go. In spite of the noble efforts of temperance workers, the evil has gained ground. License laws have been enacted, but legal regulation has not stayed its progress, except in comparatively limited territory. Efforts have been made to establish institutions where the victims of intemperance might receive help to overcome their terrible appetite. This is a noble work, but how much wiser, how much more effective, would have been the removal of the cause of all this woe! Considering only the financial aspect of this question, what folly it is to tolerate a business that is making paupers by the thousand! The laws of the land legalize the trade of making drunkards, and then at great expense provide institutions for converting them again into sober men! Can our legislators furnish no better solution of the liquor question?  

     So long as the sale of liquor is sanctioned by law, the victims of appetite can receive but little benefit through inebriate asylums. They cannot remain there always; they must again take their place in society. The appetite for intoxicating drinks, though it may be subdued, is not wholly destroyed; and when temptation assails them, as it must on every hand, they too often fall an easy prey.   

     What can be done to press back the inflowing tide of evil? Let laws be enacted and rigidly enforced prohibiting the sale and use of ardent spirits as a beverage. Let every effort be made to encourage the inebriate's return to temperance and virtue. But even more than this is needed to banish the curse of inebriety from our land.

Let the appetite for intoxicating liquors be removed, and the demand for them is at an end.   

     Only men of strict temperance and integrity should be admitted to our legislative halls, or chosen to preside in our courts of justice. Property, reputation, and even life itself, are insecure when left to the judgment of men who are intemperate and immoral. How many innocent persons have been condemned to death, how many more have been robbed of all their earthly possessions, by the injustice of drinking jurors, lawyers, witnesses, and even judges!   

     There is need now of men like Daniel to do and dare. A pure heart and a strong, fearless hand are wanted in the world today. God designed that man should be constantly improving,—daily reaching a higher point in the scale of excellence. He will help us, if we seek to help ourselves. It is the duty of every Christian to see that his example and influence are on the side of reform. Let ministers of the gospel lift up their voice like a trumpet, and show the people their transgression, and the house of Israel their sins. The youth need to be instructed. Our hope of happiness in two worlds depends upon our improvement of one. We should be guarded at every point against the first approach to intemperance. If we would preserve our children from evil, we must give them a right example, and then teach them to make God their fear, their wisdom, and their strength.   

     The use of intoxicating liquor dethrones reason, and hardens the heart against every pure and holy influence. The inanimate rocks will sooner listen to the appeals of truth and justice than will that man whose sensibilities are paralyzed by intemperance. Those who venture to enter the forbidden path are gradually and unconsciously led on, until they become demoralized, corrupted, and maddened. And while Christians are asleep, this evil is gaining more strength and making fresh victims. If the moral sensibilities of Christians were aroused upon the subject of temperance in all things, and they realized that the final destiny of every one depends upon the habits he forms, they could, by their example, help those who are weak in self-control, to resist the cravings of appetite.   

     We witness great struggles in our country to put down intemperance; but it is a hard matter to overcome and chain a full-grown lion. If half the efforts that have been put forth to stay this giant evil had been directed toward enlightening parents in regard to their responsibility in forming the habits and character of their children, a thousand-fold more good might have resulted. The unnatural appetite for spirituous liquors is often created at home, in many cases at the tables of the very ones who are most zealous to lead out in the temperance work. We bid all workers Godspeed; but we invite them to look more deeply into the cause of the evil they war against, and to be more thorough and consistent in reform. 

CTBH 28-31