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True holiness has its influence on every part of our nature. It affects for good every member of the body, and every faculty of the mind. It produces symmetry of character.

Holiness gives to its possessor control over all his bodily appetites. He has appetites. The Saviour, who was holiness itself in bodily form, had them. He was hungry and thirsty. The natural appetites were given us for a good purpose. They are not in themselves sinful. But they are to be kept within proper bounds. They were not intended to be our masters. They must be regulated and controlled. They are to be brought into subjection to reason, to conscience and the word of God. No holy person can be under the dominion of appetite. He is delivered from this bondage.

One who is holy never indulges his appetites in an unlawful manner. He will starve before he will steal.

I know,” says the Apostle, “both how to be abased, and I know how to abound, every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry; both to abound and to suffer need.”—Phil. 4:12.

The Saviour, when he was hungry after having fasted forty days, would not obtain bread in the manner suggested by the devil. We should follow this example. No matter how strong may be the cravings of appetite, or to what straits we may be reduced, we should remember that there is something more to be considered than simply whether what is presented will assuage hunger, or satisfy thirst. Have I the right to it? Can I obtain the right on conditions with which I may lawfully comply? Esau did not steal, but he sold his birthright to obtain means to gratify his hunger. Many do the same today. The bodily appetites clamor for indulgence. Satan offers to gratify them on condition of some service rendered to him,—as breaking the Sabbath, catering to the vices of others, preaching the Gospel in such a manner as to throw out of sight the cross and the self-denial. A holy person will suffer the pangs of hunger before he will obtain his bread by any of these methods. If he will not resort to these means to keep from starving, of course he will not for any other purpose.

True holiness will give one such control over his appetites that he will not indulge them in an inordinate degree. He eats to live, but does not live to eat. His tastes are simple and natural. His wants are easily satisfied. He who spends large sums of money to gratify his own pampered tastes, while so many are perishing of want, may be orthodox and polite, but he is not holy. No matter though he can afford to be “clothed in purple and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day,” yet he sees representatives of Christ in the destitute around him, and he denies himself of luxuries that he may minister to their necessities. Church festivals, to raise money, are open to this, among other objections. They educate the people to make self-gratification a stronger motive to action than duty to God, and to our fellow men. They assume that Christians will do more for their stomachs’ sake than they will for conscience’ sake. They take it for granted that they care more for their own sensual enjoyment, than they do for the claims of God, or the sufferings of their fellow men.

True holiness saves those who enjoy it from all unnatural, depraved appetites which have been formed by a course of sinful indulgence. Such is man’s depravity that he forms appetites at which his physical nature at first revolts. After a time the indulgence of these appetites is attended with momentary enjoyment. Such is the use of opium, tobacco and ardent spirits. No one likes them at first. They frequently make beginners sick. But they stimulate the nervous system, and create an excitement which affords a certain degree of pleasure. When this excitement passes off, it is followed by a corresponding degree of languor and depression. This soon becomes so insupportable that the stimulant must be had at any cost. An appetite is formed that the victims will gratify at the expense of every thing which men hold dear. Property, friends, reputation, standing, health, and even life itself are sacrificed to gratify an appetite which brutalizes and enslaves. The only safe course is to avoid the beginning. But for those who sincerely repent of their wickedness in forming and feeding such an appetite, God provides a remedy. The promise,

If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,”—I John 1:9

covers this ground. The appetite for either of the stimulants named, cannot be godly—this no one contends. It cannot be indifferent,—it is of too positive a character. It is an unrighteousness,—both its nature and its effects proclaim this. That it is true of the appetite for opium and the appetite for ardent spirits is generally conceded. No one will maintain that a drunkard is holy.

This ye know, that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God.”—I Cor. 10:6

But an habitual tobacco user is as clearly condemned by the Scriptures, as is the one who habitually uses ardent spirits as a beverage. His habit involves, of necessity, personal filthiness. But we are commanded to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh, and of the Spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. We readily admit that the works of holiness may be begun in the heart of a person who uses tobacco. But it cannot go on and this habit continue. One or the other will cease. He will cease to advance in holiness, or he will abandon his unholy habits. No person can perfect holiness without cleansing himself from all filthiness of the flesh, as well as of the Spirit.

Again, we are commanded to eat and drink to the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31). We do this when we eat temperately, and such things as do not injure us or others. But it is a fact, as clearly established as any fact can be, that the habitual use of tobacco breaks down the nervous system, and brings on many diseases. No man,. immoderately addicted to the use of tobacco, can retain his mental vigor, and his bodily soundness, as he could without it. No one, seeing a professed Christian smoking or chewing, will think any more highly of the Christian religion on that account. It is an act, to say the least, in which God is not glorified.

No man has the right to spend the Lord’s money in this way. It is God who gives the power to get wealth. It should be used to advance His cause,—to make men better,—to relieve their wants and instruct them in the way of life. A Christian man cannot spend his money as he wills, but must use it as the Lord wills.

But there is little use in multiplying words on this subject. Those who are really in earnest to gain Heaven, and who are willing to meet the conditions of salvation, cannot fail to see the necessity of denying themselves of the gratification of an appetite formed in sin, the indulgence of which can do no good, but must eventually result in much harm. Those who make religion a mere matter of convenience, or fashion, would not be convinced any way, and it would do no good if they were. It is useless to talk against idols, to men who are joined to their idols. But to those who have formed this appetite, and wish to be delivered from it, we say holiness will do it. Seek earnestly to be delivered from bondage to your animal nature, and you shall be delivered. You will become spiritual by becoming holy.

As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”—Rom. 8:14.

But if you are a slave to your appetites, do not profess holiness. If you do, you have no reason to expect that your profession will be received. Holiness is a radical work. It changes us in our appetites. The things that we once loved we now hate. Old things are passed away and behold all things are become new.

Give yourself no rest until this thorough work is wrought in you. Seek to have the blood of cleansing applied to every part of your nature. Look to be sanctified wholly, and believe that

Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it.”—I Thess. 5:24.

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