Playing cards

           Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                p l a y i n g     c a r d s            (  4  RELATED  PHRASES )                     

                       The  phrase  'Playing cards'  appears  14  times in the published writings of EGW                See page on Original site                                                                    Related Phrase:  Play cards ( 7 )   - -   Card playing  ( 13 )

The angel of God said, "Follow me." I seemed to be in a room in a rude building, and there were several young men playing cards. They seemed to be very intent upon the amusement in which they were engaged and were so engrossed that they did not seem to notice that anyone had entered the room. There were young girls present observing the players, and words were spoken not of the most refined order. There was a spirit and influence that were sensibly felt in that room that was not of a character calculated to purify and uplift the mind and ennoble the character. . . .  {3SM 41.2}   {TA 256.2}  {1MR 25.1}  Read context below

 

 
Such mental exercise as playing cards, chess, and checkers, excites and wearies the brain and hinders recovery: while light and pleasant physical labor will occupy the time, improve the circulation, relieve and restore the brain, and prove a decided benefit to the health. But take from the invalid all such employment, and he becomes restless, and, with a diseased imagination, views his case as much worse than it really is, which tends to imbecility.  {PH145 49.2}

 

 
Those who are not compelled to labor, frequently do not have sufficient active exercise for physical health. Young men, for want of having their minds and hands employed in active labor, acquire habits of indolence and frequently obtain what is most to be dreaded, a street education, lounging about stores, smoking, drinking, and playing cards ....  {CH 186.3}  {FE 35.3}  { HR April 1, 1873, par. 3 }
Those who are not compelled to labor, frequently do not have sufficient active exercise for physical health. Young men, for want of having their minds and hands employed in active labor, acquire habits of indolence and frequently obtain what is most to be dreaded, a street education -- lounging about stores, smoking, drinking, and playing cards.  {3T 150.4}  {ST, September 6, 1877 par. 2}
 
I was shown that the position of Dr. E in regard to amusements was wrong, and that his views of physical exercise were not all correct. The amusements which he recommends hinder the recovery of health in many cases to one that is helped by them. He has to a great degree condemned physical labor for the sick, and his teaching in many cases has proved a great injury to them. Such mental exercise as playing cards, chess, and checkers excites and wearies the brain and hinders recovery, while light and pleasant physical labor will occupy the time, improve the circulation, relieve and restore the brain, and prove a decided benefit to the health. But take from the invalid all such employment, and he becomes restless, and, with a diseased imagination, views his case as much worse than it really is, which tends to imbecility.  {1T 554.3}
 
Those who are not compelled to labor, frequently do not have active exercise sufficient for physical health. Young men, for want of having their minds and hands employed in active labor, will acquire habits of indolence, and will frequently be obtaining, what is to be most dreaded, a street education, lounging about stores, smoking, drinking, and playing cards.  {HR, April 1, 1873 par. 3}
 
We parted with that family feeling under the renewed obligation to honor and glorify God. We felt our interest identified with these precious souls. Three of the children, all unmarried, are [away] from home on a farm rented to them by their mother. In the night season I was shown that little company and the course which they were pursuing. The young men were playing cards and drinking intoxicating drink. I arose about two o'clock a.m. and wrote out the scene and as soon as I can will have it copied for them to receive the warning from God to them.  {12MR 74.1}
 
Nearing Cheyenne, Wyoming, August 1, 1880—Dear Children Willie and Mary: We are nearing Cheyenne. We have had not one moment’s regret coming this route on emigrant ticket. I have had nervous headache nearly all the way since leaving Oakland. We have had a full car all the way. Every seat was full and upper berths taken and was rather of a comical sight to see men sitting on edge of upper berths with feet dangling over the heads of ladies in under berth, eating their lunch and some playing cards. { 11MR 66.6 } 

 

                       In  August 1893  Ellen  White  wrote  a  letter   ( MR No. 1434 )                                                    
(Written to Sister Brown and her family, August 4, 1893, from Long Point, Paremata, N. Z.) 

 

I have had during the past night some things represented before me, and I have risen early at four o'clock to trace out in writing for the benefit of your family. The angel of God said, "Follow me." I seemed to be in a room in a rude building, and there were several young men playing cards. They seemed to be very intent upon the amusement in which they were engaged and were so engrossed that they did not seem to notice that anyone had entered the room.  {20MR 51.1}

 

There were young girls present observing the players, and words were spoken not of the most refined order. There was a spirit and influence that was sensibly felt in that room, that was not of a character calculated to purify and uplift the mind and ennoble the character.  {20MR 51.2}
 
There is a peculiar atmosphere surrounding every man's soul, and those with whom they are associated are affected with this exhalation. There is a breathing in unconsciously this atmosphere which is often charged with poisonous miasma of habits and practices which are demoralizing. The greatest danger is when this poisonous atmosphere is not sensed and is unconsciously inhaled. The ideas that are expressed are deleterious to the mind and to the morals. These influences are in the world and abound. I inquired, "Who are these and what does this scene represent?" The word was spoken, "Wait."  {20MR 51.3}
 
I had another representation. There was the imbibing of the liquid poison, and the words and actions under its influence were anything but favorable for serious thoughts, pure morals, and the uplifting of the participants or those who were associated with them. Everything that was connected with the scene represented was of a character that young people should decidedly shun. I asked again, "Who are these?" The answer came, [THE FILE COPY OF THIS LETTER DOES NOT ALWAYS MAKE CLEAR WHERE QUOTATIONS FROM THE ANGEL BEGIN AND END.] "A portion of the family where you are visiting. The adversary of souls, the great enemy of God and man, the head of principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world, is presiding here tonight. Satan and his angels are leading on with his temptations these poor souls to their own ruin. He transforms himself into an angel of light, and deludes and bewilders the minds with ideas of pleasure, of liberty and freedom to follow inclination, as the only path for happiness, and worldly visions for profit and success seems to be the height of their thoughts."  {20MR 51.4}
 
But the wages of sin is death. All is a delusive snare. Satan is a deceiver; he deceives the whole world, and those who yield themselves up to his will to follow the prince of darkness become the agents of the wily tempter to solicit others to sin; the tempted to enter into unsafe paths becomes a tempter and leads others to forbidden paths to the transgression of the law of God.  {20MR 52.1}
 
"The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." He secures as his allies youth who are inexperienced, and he leads them away from pure and divine influences into pleasure loving, pleasure seeking, and they are easily led to corrupt their God-given powers to the service of Satan.  {20MR 52.2}
 
Solicitations will meet every soul, and vices will betray the souls for whom Christ has died, away from safe paths, from holiness, and from God. Merriment and songs and hilarity and glee ascend to the god whom they serve and whom they worship, to the forgetting and dishonoring of the God of heaven, who "so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The spell of temptations is holding these souls with a fascinating, bewitching power.  {20MR 52.3}
 
Satan will lead them on from step to step, as it were blindfolded, and with his suggestions will, as they advance, stir up the human passions to depravity which will prove their eternal ruin. There is already developing a strong inclination to that which is evil and destructive in its manifestation. Appetites and passions are clamoring for indulgence and gratification. Reason and conscience remonstrated at every step for a time, but the voice of Satan is heard presenting worldly lusts in attractive garments, and sin becomes attractive. They depart farther from the counsel of God and the authoritative voice speaking from His Word. These youth need to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."  {20MR 52.4}

--  --  --

There is great danger of the young man, whom he called A, of becoming that which you do not now dream of. But your course which you have entered upon is one of temptation at every step. Yielding to follow the temptations of Satan you are engaging in foolish and hurtful lusts. This is beneath the dignity of a soul bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, capable through the provisions Christ has made in his behalf of becoming a child of God, an heir to an immortal inheritance, an eternal substance in the kingdom of God. Your course is now toward perdition. You are sacrificing health and happiness, and if you follow on, you will reap that which you have sown and it is a terrible, forbidding harvest.  {20MR 52.5}
 
Actions are the following of desires and purposes, and have a moral character for good or for evil. The thoughts and feelings and inclinations of the heart are discerned only by the eye of God. He is a witness to every action however secret. You cannot lead your brothers or sisters into safe paths. Your sister needed the watchcare of your mother, and should not have been separated from her. She has been unaware of the greatness of the peril to the character of her daughter through associations of a kind which will not have an uplifting, refining tendency upon her present and eternal interest.  {20MR 53.1}
 
[The angel of God said,] "Warn the mother to be careful in regard to the association of her children. It is not safe to open a door whereby they are invited to enter where temptations of a dangerous nature will meet them. Satan is very earnest and wily in spreading his net wherewith he may entangle souls.  {20MR 53.2}
 
"The Lord is looking with pitying tenderness upon the entire family. The appetite and hereditary tendencies of the father had been transmitted to the children. That God who marks the fall of the little sparrows knows every member of the family by name. He loves and pities them. He will save every member of the family from disgrace and sin if they will accept of Christ their Redeemer by living faith. Then they will leave their course of sin, cease to do evil, and learn to do well.  {20MR 53.3}

 

"Warn the mother to guard her children from doubtful associations. It is not safe to bring children in contact with the influences here manifested, for it may prove their lasting injury. Card playing is dangerous to the soul, dangerous to the morals. This disposition to play cards will grow by practice into intensity of habit which leads to gambling. The appetite is aroused for wine and liquor-drinking.  {20MR 53.4}

 

"This family of young men and women need to be garrisoned against the first indulgence of the wine cup, or the first handling of cards. Those indulgences lead step by step to the downward road to immorality, and have a bewitching power difficult to overcome, which presses souls deeper and deeper into the slavery of sin. All who associate with those who practice these indulgences will have corrupt morals. The children have inherited an appetite for wine and stimulating drinks and, if there is a yielding to the tempter, moral power is gone."  {20MR 53.5}
 
The demon is at your side, encouraging you to indulge your desire for wine and strong drinks. The mother has known its terrible effects upon the father and husband. How much she has had to endure and suffer will never be known by her children. Let her not be compelled to live over the past in any sense by having its history repeated. She must warn and command her household after her, and she needs all the help her elder children can give her.  {20MR 53.6}
 
The only question for them to decide is under which banner will they fight. Will they stand under the blood-stained banner of Christ Jesus? Will they fight, arraying nature against God, or will they accept Jesus Christ and cooperate with God in bringing under control appetites and passions, and stand in their God-given manhood and womanhood as conquerors? Self-control can be complete only in the strength which comes from Jesus Christ, ever true to the rightful dominion of the higher powers and attributes having dominion over the lower.  {20MR 54.1}
 
The power of self-restraint grows by exercise. That which at first seems difficult, by constant repetition becomes habitual and easy until right principles, right actions enter into and become a part of ourselves, and through the grace of Christ mold the sinner into a new character. He becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus.  {20MR 54.2}
 
There is now a necessity for you, young man, to have your practices changed, your powers exercised to flow in altogether another channel. This will not be possible unless you by faith shall place yourself on Christ's side of the question, giving your life to Him whose property you are. Then your thoughts, your motives, your practices, [will] find a new channel, even the channel of grace, and they will flow in their course more deeply, more fully, and more joyously than they have ever done before.  {20MR 54.3}
 
"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." Evil spirits are continually on your track to lead you into difficulties through your love for exciting pleasure and amusements and your indulgence of appetite. The slumbering inherited passions are irritated and awakened into activity. Every bad passion and subtle temptation is meeting you at every step.  {20MR 54.4}
 
You may stand forth as conqueror over yourself, conqueror over your inclinations, conqueror over principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places. For this spiritual warfare human power is as nothing. The self-conqueror triumphs through no aptitude, no smartness or genius of his own will, but he conquers through God.  {20MR 54.5}
 
The uncontrolled will hurts none so much as the one who indulges his will. He who will not choose to take the trouble to exercise control over himself, his appetites, his passions, will fall an easy prey to satanic snares. Jesus calls for you to be restored to yourself and to God.  {20MR 54.6}

--   --   --

The youth were pointed to the mother who had led a terrible life through the father's habits of strong drink. The children, when solicited by temptation, have less moral power than had the father. For this reason, their only safety is entire, total abstinence. The words were spoken, "Warn the mother to stand in firm independence to warn and command her children." She needs the help of her elder children. She has reason to thank the Lord that so many are not [living], that they did not live to testify by physical and mental degeneracy the sins of the father.  {20MR 55.1}
 
The deficiencies of intellect must have been felt, as is seen in John, and still another young man that is not [living]. The jewel of the mind was dimmed. God has mercifully spared the greatest sorrows and the traits of character developed in the children, and the safety of every one is to place themselves soul, body, and spirit under control of Jesus Christ. He is the Restorer. The Lord has mercifully spared the mother the greater sorrow, which would have been a living sorrow had her little ones lived.  {20MR 55.2}
 
The mother must educate herself to look with reconciliation upon her present sorrows. It is well with these that are not [living]. She will if faithful meet them again in the morning of the resurrection. The Lord has mercifully softened the affliction ever before her eyes, of the birthright given to her son who is deficient of reason, through the besotted father. God has mercifully shielded the one that is not [living], and the one that still lives, from violence and insane madness that was exhibited in the father under the influence of liquor.  {20MR 55.3}
 
John and Mary will always be children, and will be restored by the power of the great Restorer when mortals shall have put on immortality. All their sad marks are obliterated. These marks are now a beacon of warning, repeating the history of what intemperance will do.  {20MR 55.4}
 
He [the angel of God] turned to the eldest and said, "Upon you rests a weighty responsibility to cooperate with heavenly intelligences and your mother to counteract, as far as in your power, the traces left upon the family. God has given you precious intellect. You have advantage in every respect over John, but if you practice a life of disobedience and transgression you will lose the future immortal life which will be given to John and Mary.  {20MR 55.5}
 
"Your light will go out in darkness unless you are loyal and true to serve the Lord Jesus. Why are you not as is John -- never able to increase in knowledge, never able to expand the intellect? It was no sin of his own that left him a child in reason, always a child. This should be contemplated by you, and you should make every effort to reach a higher standard than you have yet done. You have endowments that, if cultivated, will make you a laborer together with God. You may increase in knowledge. Cease to do evil, but do not stop here. Learn to do well, ever learning and growing up into Christ your living Head.  {20MR 55.6}
 
"You have no time to lose. Heaven is within your reach. If you continue to work in your own way, if you continue to walk in the path you are now pursuing, and if you continue to indulge your appetite, it will prove your ruin in this life, and you will not have the future immortal life. You will not be able to bear the abuse of your powers as did your father, for you have less physical and moral power than he had.  {20MR 56.1}

 

  "Heaven is worth a life-long, persevering, untiring effort.  If you lose heaven you lose everything.  If you gain heaven you win everything. You have capabilities, you have intellect. Will you improve these for the glory of God? What more could the Lord do to save the sinner than He has done? Everything has been done to bring salvation within the reach of perishing souls.  {20MR 56.2}

 

"In regard to the case of John, you see him as he now is and deplore his simplicity. He is without the consciousness of sin. The grace of God will remove all this hereditary transmitted imbecility, and he will have an inheritance among the saints in light. To you the Lord has given reason. John is a child as far as the capacity of reason is concerned, but he has the submission and obedience of a child.  {20MR 56.3}
 
"You are a responsible member of the family. You have been redeemed by the blood of the only begotten Son of God. He gave His life for you. He bore the penalty of sin and transgression for every son and daughter of Adam, that they should not perish if they believe in Him but have everlasting life. The voice of God speaks to you from His holy Word. It is to be believed, studied, and obeyed. Truth and righteousness are brought to you for your acceptance. 'Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?' Ignorant of your sinfulness you cannot consider your responsibilities to God."  {20MR 56.4}
 
All that I am writing to you is truth; but it may all be strange to you. You do not see that day by day you are manifesting before the world your disloyalty to the God of heaven and are choosing the way of the transgressor, which is sure to secure to you the wages of sin, which is death. And the kindness and longsuffering of God are prolonged, and you are spared by His mercy and His patience.  {20MR 56.5}
 
Your mother has loved and has indulged you in many ways; she has not dared to build up barriers against Satan's temptations. She has made a mistake in connecting her children with you who have not the grace of 

Christ or the experience to lead them or influence them to correct habits and right practices. She does not see that your influence cannot but be detrimental to them and be the means of introducing them to temptations and surrounding them with influences which will lead them to sinful practices and development of character that will not refine, purify, and ennoble, but cheapen and disqualify them for the work of usefulness in this life which is uplifting and for the future immortal life.  {20MR 56.6}

 
The members of the family all need to see their spiritual necessities, that they may not be led and controlled by pride, worldliness, ungodliness which will not elevate them in the scale of moral worth in this life, and will not secure to them the future immortal life. Every one of this family need to carefully consider the change that must take place in the character and in their relation to God and the claims He has upon them. God has claims upon them, which if they respond to these claims, they will be true to all their responsibility in persevering integrity towards their fellow men. God alone can open your eyes to see your danger and to call a halt now where you are and to turn square about.  {20MR 57.1}
 
Let these young men consider what course they are pursuing, what influence they are exercising over one another. Are they uplifting? Are they building their characters with the chaff, or are they sowing the pure seed in the soil of the heart? Are they leading to purity and are their associations with others of a character to lead them to recognize and obey the law of God which He has given them? Here is the standard of character which will be approved of God. This holy law will be the standard to judge you in the last great day of reckoning. The mother has placed too great confidence in the moral nature of her children. You, her children, are taking a course which if you do not make a decided change at once will bring sorrow and anguish upon a heart already wounded and sore, and would be crushed were it not for the comfort and grace she receives of God.  {20MR 57.2}

--   --   --

I beseech of you, Let every card be burned. Let not one drop of wine or liquor pass your lips, for in its rise is madness and evil. Pledge yourself to entire abstinence, for it is your only safety.  {20MR 57.3}
 

   While you follow in the course of action you are now pursuing, you suppose yourself sharp; in deal you may be scheming. You may and will, if you follow on in wrong doing, increase in dishonest practices in business deal, but bear in mind "that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." His Word says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself."  {20MR 57.4}

Will the Lord favor you in the least dishonest practices and indulgence of intemperance that will rob you of calm reason to transact business or to be an agent in business? You will think yourself sharp and cunning, but your reason is sold for liquor. Satan has control of your powers, and the power of self-control will be overcome by the clamors of appetite. Under Satan's training your life will be wasted, and you will become in character that which you did not suppose you would be.  {20MR 58.1}
 
You may say, as did Hazael, when the prophet prophesied of the course of action that he would in cruelty pursue, "Is thy servant a dog that he should do this great thing?" He thought himself secure, but he had formed habits of character which led him on and developed into exhibitions of deeds and actions satanic in cruelty that he never supposed he could be guilty of doing.  {20MR 58.2}
 
It is not safe for one of your family to tamper with temptation on the wine cup. They are only safe in seeking that help which God alone can give. Let not one son by his words and his example become Satan's agent to tempt one of the family to lead to indulge and awaken the demon appetite, which spoiled the life of the father and sent him prematurely to the grave. The children have had these traits transmitted to them from the father. Satan exercises his utmost powers to surround the youth with every temptation which leads to evil ways.-- Letter 1, 1893.  {20MR 58.3}

 

Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D.C. January 22, 1989.   Entire Letter. 

 

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