Seite 96 - Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene (1890)

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Chapter 12—False Impressions Concerning
Experience is said to be the best teacher. Genuine experience
is indeed superior to mere theoretical knowledge, but many have an
erroneous idea as to what constitutes experience. Real experience is
gained by a variety of careful experiments, made with the mind free
from prejudice, uncontrolled by previously established opinions and
habits. The results are marked with careful solicitude, and an anxious
desire to learn, to improve, and to reform on every point that is not in
harmony with physical and moral laws.
That which many term experience is not experience at all; it has
resulted from mere habit, or from a course of indulgence, thoughtlessly
and often ignorantly followed. There has not been a fair trial by
actual experiment and thorough investigation, with a knowledge of
the principles involved in the action. Experience which is opposed to
natural law,—which is in conflict with the unchangeable principles of
nature,—is not to be relied upon. Superstition arising from a diseased
imagination is often arrayed in opposition to reason and to scientific
principles. To many a person, the idea that others may gainsay what
he has learned by experience, seems folly, and even cruelty itself.
But there are more errors received and held through false ideas of
experience than from any other cause. There are many invalids today
who will ever remain such because they cannot be convinced that their
experience is not to be relied upon.
Erroneous habits and customs gird men and women as with iron
bands, and they too often justify themselves in these customs by
what they term experience. Many of the grossest habits are cherished
under this plea. Many fail to reach that physical, mental, and moral
development to which they might attain, because they cling to an
experience that is opposed to the plainest revealed facts. Men and
women whose wrong habits have destroyed their health, and broken
down their constitution, will be found recommending their experience
as safe for others to follow, when it is this very experience that has