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The following articles are provided below:

  • Testimonies, Vol. 2, 1868-1871, pp. 354-376 (Delivered in Battle Creek, March 6, 1869, and reported by Uriah Smith)
  • Testimonies, Vol. 2, pp. 390-410 (To Brother and Sister E.)
  • Manuscript 5, 1881
  • Letter 14, 1901, p. 3, To Dr. S. Rand, January 22, 1901, Manuscript Releases Vol. 8, p. 384
  • Letter 37, 1901, pp. 1-13. (To Dr. and Mrs. Kress, May 29, 1901, Manuscript Releases Vol. 12, pp. 168-178)
  • Letter 177, 1901, p. 8, To "The Brethren and Sisters that Compose the Iowa Conference," May 7, 1901, Manuscript Releases Vol. 8, p. 384
  • Testimonies, Vol. 7, 1902, pp. 132-137 (St. Helena, California, August 20, 1902)
  • Letter 135, 1902
  • Letter 37, 1904, (To Doctors Kress, January 18, 1904, written from Elmshaven, Manuscript Releases Vol. 21, pp. 103-104)
  • Letter 127, 1904
  • Ministry of Healing, 1905, pp. 318-324 (Extremes in Diet)
  • Testimonies, Vol. 9, 1909, p. 153-166 ("Faithfulness in Health Reform", Manuscript read before the delegates at the General Conference, Washington D. C., May 31, 1909.)

Article:

[DELIVERED IN BATTLE CREEK, MARCH 6, 1869, AND REPORTED BY U. SMITH]

"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, 20.

We are not our own. We have been purchased with a dear price, even the sufferings and death of the Son of God. If we could understand this, and fully realize it, we would feel a great responsibility resting upon us to keep ourselves in the very best condition of health, that we might render to God perfect service. But when we take any course which expends our vitality, decreases our strength, or beclouds the intellect we sin against God. In pursuing this course we are not glorifying Him in our bodies and spirits which are His, but are committing a great wrong in His sight.

Has Jesus given Himself for us? Has a dear price been paid to redeem us? And is it so, that we are not our own? Is it true that all the powers of our being, our bodies, our spirits, all that we have, and all we are, belong to God? It certainly is. And when we realize this, what obligation does it lay us under to God to preserve ourselves in that condition that we may honor Him upon the earth in our bodies and in our spirits which are His.

We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us; it is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are nearing the judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who, escorted by a retinue of holy angels, is to appear in the clouds of heaven to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. Those who have preserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us.

We embrace the truth of God with our different faculties, and as we come under the influence of that truth, it will accomplish the work for us which is necessary to give us a moral fitness for the kingdom of glory and for the society of the heavenly angels. We are now in God's workshop. Many of us are rough stones from the quarry. But as we lay hold upon the truth of God, its influence affects us. It elevates us and removes from us every imperfection and sin, of what ever nature. Thus we are prepared to see the King in His beauty and finally to unite with the pure and heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. It is here that this work is to be accomplished for us, here that our bodies and spirits are to be fitted for immortality.

We are in a world that is opposed to righteousness and purity of character, and to a growth in grace. Wherever we look we see corruption and defilement, deformity and sin. And what is the work that we are to undertake here just previous to receiving immortality? It is to preserve our bodies holy, our spirits pure, that we may stand forth unstained amid the corruptions teeming around us in these last days. And if this work is accomplished we need to engage in it at once, heartily and understandingly. Selfishness should not come in here to influence us. The Spirit of God should have perfect control of us, influencing us in all our actions. If we have a right hold on Heaven, a right hold of the power that is from above, we shall feel the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God upon our hearts.

When we have tried to present the health reform to our brethren and sisters, and have spoken to them of the importance of eating and drinking and doing all that they do to the glory of God, many by their actions have said: "It is nobody's business whether I eat this or that. Whatever we do we are to bear the consequences ourselves." Dear friends, you are greatly mistaken. You are not the only sufferers from a wrong course. The society you are in bears the consequences of your wrongs, in a great degree, as well as yourselves. If you suffer from your intemperance in eating or drinking, we that are around you or associated with you are also affected by your infirmities. We have to suffer on account of your wrong course. If it has an influence to lessen your powers of mind or body, we feel it when in your society, and are affected by it. If, instead of having a buoyancy of spirit, you are gloomy, you cast a shadow upon the spirits of all around you. If we are sad and depressed, and in trouble, you could, if in a right condition of health, have a clear brain to show us the way out and speak a comforting word to us. But if your brain is so benumbed by your wrong course of living that you cannot give us the right counsel, do we not meet with a loss? Does not your influence seriously affect us? We may have a good degree of confidence in our own judgment, yet we want to have counselors; for "in the multitude of counselors there is safety." We desire that our course should look consistent to those we love, and we wish to seek their counsel and have them able to give it with a clear brain. But what care we for your judgment, if your brain nerve power has been taxed to the utmost, and the vitality withdrawn from the brain to take care of the improper food placed in your stomachs, or of an enormous quantity of even healthful food? What care we for the judgment of such persons? They see through a mass of undigested food. Therefore your course of living affects us. It is impossible for you to pursue any wrong course without causing others to suffer.

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." Those who engaged in running the race to obtain that laurel which was considered a special honor were temperate in all things so that their muscles, their brains, and every part of them might be in the very best condition to run. If they were not temperate in all things they would not have that elasticity that they would have if they were. If temperate, they could run that race more successfully; they were more sure of receiving the crown.

But notwithstanding all their temperance,--all their efforts to subject themselves to a careful diet in order to be in the best condition,--those who ran the earthly race only ran at a venture. They might do the very best they could, and yet after all not receive the token of honor; for another might be a little in advance of them, and take the prize. Only one received the prize. But in the heavenly race we can all run and all receive the prize. There is no uncertainty, no risk, in the matter. We must put on the heavenly graces, and, with the eye directed upward to the crown of immortality, keep the Pattern ever before us. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The humble, self-denying life of our divine Lord we are to keep constantly in view. And then as we seek to imitate Him, keeping our eye upon the mark of the prize, we can run this race with certainty, knowing that if we do the very best we can, we shall certainly secure the prize.

Men would subject themselves to self-denial and discipline in order to run and obtain a corruptible crown, one that would perish in a day, and which was only a token of honor from mortals here. But we are to run the race, at the end of which is a crown of immortality and everlasting life. Yes, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will be awarded to us as the prize when the race is run. "We," says the apostle, "an incorruptible." And if those who engaged in this race here upon the earth for a temporal crown could be temperate in all things, cannot we, who have in view an incorruptible crown, an eternal weight of glory, and a life which measures with the life of God? When we have this great inducement before us, cannot we "run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith"? He has pointed out the way for us, and marked it all along by His own footsteps. It is the path that He traveled, and we may, with Him, experience the self-denial and the suffering, and walk in this pathway imprinted by His own blood.

"I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection." There is work here for every man, woman, and child to do. Satan is constantly seeking to gain control of your bodies and spirits. But Christ has bought you, and you are His property. And now it is for you to work in union with Christ, in union with the holy angels that minister unto you. It is for you to keep the body under and bring it into subjection. Unless you do this you will certainly lose everlasting life and the crown of immortality. And yet some will say: "What business is it to anybody what I eat or what I drink?" I have shown you what relation your course has to others. You have seen that it has much to do with the influence you exert in your families. It has much to do with molding the characters of your children.

As I said before, we live in a corrupt age. It is a time when Satan seems to have almost perfect control over minds that are not fully consecrated to God. Therefore there is a very great responsibility resting upon parents and guardians who have children to bring up. Parents have taken the responsibility of bringing these children into existence; and now what is their duty? Is it to let them come up just as they may, and just as they will? Let me tell you, a weighty responsibility rests upon these parents. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Do you do this when you prepare food for your tables and call your family to partake of it? Are you placing before your children only the food that you know will make the very best blood? Is it that food that will preserve their systems in the least feverish condition? Is it that which will place them in the very best relation to life and health? Is this the food that you are studying to place before your children? Or do you, regardless of their future good, provide for them unhealthful, stimulating, irritating food?

Let me tell you that children are born to evil. Satan seems to have control of them. He takes possession of their young minds, and they are corrupted. Why do fathers and mothers act as though a lethargy were upon them? They do not mistrust that Satan is sowing evil seed in their families. They are as blind and careless and reckless in regard to these things as it is possible for them to be. Why do they not awake, and read and study upon these subjects? Says the apostle: "Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience," etc. Here is a work which rests upon every one who professes to follow Christ; it is to live upon the plan of addition.

Chapter after chapter has been opened to me. I can select family after family of children in this house, every one of whom is as corrupt as hell itself. Some of them profess to be followers of Christ, and you, their parents, are as indifferent as though you had had a shock of paralysis.

I have said that some of you are selfish. You have not understood what I have meant. You have studied what food would taste best. Taste and pleasure, instead of the glory of God, and a desire to advance in the divine life, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God, have ruled. You have consulted your own pleasure, your own appetite; and while you have been doing this, Satan has been gaining a march upon you and, as is generally the case, has frustrated your efforts every time.

Some of you fathers have taken your children to the physician to see what was the matter with them. I could have told you in two minutes what was the trouble. Your children are corrupt. Satan has obtained control of them. He has come right in past you, while you, who are as God to them, to guard them, were at ease, stupefied, and asleep. God has commanded you to bring them up in the fear and nurture of the Lord. But Satan has passed right in before you and has woven strong bands around them. And yet you sleep on. May Heaven pity you and your children, for every one of you needs His pity.

Had you taken your position upon the health reform; had you added to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, things might have been different. But you have been only partially aroused by the iniquity and corruption that is in your houses. You have opened your eyes a little and then composed yourself to sleep again. Do you think angels can come into your dwellings? Do you think your children are susceptible of holy influences with these things among you? I can count family after family that are almost entirely under the control of Satan. I know these things are true, and I want the people to arouse before it shall be eternally too late, and the blood of souls, even the blood of the souls of their own children, be found upon their garments.

The minds of some of these children are so weakened that they have but one half or one third of the brilliancy of intellect that they might have had had they been virtuous and pure. They have thrown it away in self-abuse. Right here in this church, corruption is teeming on every hand. Now and then there is a sing, or some gathering for pleasure. Every time I hear of these, I feel like clothing myself in sackcloth. "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears!" "Spare Thy people, O Lord." I feel distressed. I have an agony of soul that is beyond anything that I can describe to you. You are asleep. Would the lightning and thunder of Sinai arouse this church? Would they arouse you, fathers and mothers, to commence the work of reformation in your own houses? You should be teaching your children. You should be instructing them how to shun the vices and corruptions of this age. Instead of this, many are studying how to get something good to eat. You place upon your tables butter, eggs, and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go? You have a work to do first. When you have done all for your children which God has left for you to do then you can with confidence claim the special help that God has promised to give you.

You should study temperance in all things. You must study it in what you eat and in what you drink. And yet you say: "It is nobody's business what I eat, or what I drink, or what I place upon my table." It is somebody's business, unless you take your children and shut them up, or go into the wilderness where you will not be a burden upon others, and where your unruly, vicious children will not corrupt the society in which they mingle.

Many who have adopted the health reform have left off everything hurtful, but does it follow that because they have left off these things they can eat just as much as they please? They sit down to the table, and instead of considering how much they should eat, they give themselves up to appetite and eat to great excess. And the stomach has all it can do, or all it should do, the rest of that day, to worry away with the burden imposed upon it. All the food that is put into the stomach, from which the system cannot derive benefit, is a burden to nature in her work. It hinders the living machine. The system is clogged and cannot successfully carry on its work. The vital organs are unnecessarily taxed, and the brain nerve power is called to the stomach to help the digestive organs carry on their work of disposing of an amount of food which does the system no good.

Thus the power of the brain is lessened by drawing so heavily upon it to help the stomach get along with its heavy burden. And after it has accomplished the task, what are the sensations experienced as the result of this unnecessary expenditure of vital force? A feeling of goneness, a faintness, as though you must eat more. Perhaps this feeling comes just before mealtime. What is the cause of this? Nature has worried along with her work and is so thoroughly exhausted in consequence that you have this sensation of goneness. And you think that the stomach says, "More food," when, in its faintness, it is distinctly saying, "Give me rest."

The stomach needs rest to gather up its exhausted energies for another work. But, instead of allowing it any period of rest, you think it needs more food, and so heap another load upon nature, and refuse it the needed rest. It is like a man laboring in the field all through the early part of the day until he is weary. He comes in at noon and says that he is weary and exhausted, but you tell him to go to work again and he will obtain relief. This is the way you treat the stomach. It is thoroughly exhausted. But instead of letting it rest, you give it more food, and then call the vitality from other parts of the system to the stomach to assist in the work of digestion.

Many of you have at times felt a numbness around the brain. You have felt disinclined to take hold of any labor which required either mental or physical exertion, until you have rested from the sense of this burden imposed upon your system. Then, again, there is this sense of goneness. But you say it is more food that is wanted, and place a double load upon the stomach for it to care for. Even if you are strict in the quality of your food, do you glorify God in your bodies and spirits, which are His, by partaking of such a quantity of food? Those who place so much food upon the stomach, and thus load down nature, could not appreciate the truth should they hear it dwelt upon. They could not arouse the benumbed sensibilities of the brain to realize the value of the atonement and the great sacrifice that has been made for fallen man. It is impossible for such to appreciate the great, the precious, and the exceedingly rich reward that is in reserve for the faithful overcomers. The animal part of our nature should never be left to govern the moral and intellectual.

And what influence does overeating have upon the stomach? It becomes debilitated, the digestive organs are weakened, and disease, with all its train of evils, is brought on as the result. If persons were diseased before, they thus increase the difficulties upon them and lessen their vitality every day they live. They call their vital powers into unnecessary action to take care of the food that they place in their stomachs. What a terrible condition is this to be in! We know something of dyspepsia by experience. We have had it in our family, and we feel that it is a disease much to be dreaded. When a person becomes a thorough dyspeptic, he is a great sufferer, mentally and physically; and his friends must also suffer, unless they are as unfeeling as brutes. And yet will you say: "It is none of your business what I eat or what course I pursue"? Does anybody around dyspeptics suffer? Just take a course that will irritate them in any way. How natural to be fretful! They feel bad, and it appears to them that their children are very bad. They cannot speak calmly to them, nor, without especial grace, act calmly in their families. All around them are affected by the disease upon them; all have to suffer the consequences of their infirmity. They cast a dark shadow. Then, do not your habits of eating and drinking affect others? They certainly do. And you should be very careful to preserve yourself in the best condition of health that you may render to God perfect service and do your duty in society and to your family.

But even health reformers can err in the quantity of food. They can eat immoderately of a healthy quality of food. Some in this house err in the quality. They have never taken their position upon health reform. They have chosen to eat and drink what they pleased and when they pleased. They are injuring their systems in this way. Not only this, but they are injuring their families by placing upon their tables a feverish diet which will increase the animal passions of their children and lead them to care but little for heavenly things. The parents are thus strengthening the animal, and lessening the spiritual, powers of their children. What a heavy penalty will they have to pay in the end! And then they wonder that their children are so weak morally!

Parents have not given their children the right education. Frequently they manifest the same imperfections which are seen in the children. They eat improperly, and this calls their nervous energies to the stomach, and they have no vitality to expend in other directions. They cannot properly control their children because of their own impatience, neither can they teach them the right way. Perhaps they take hold of them roughly and give them an impatient blow. I have said that to shake a child would shake two evil spirits in, while it would shake one out. If a child is wrong, to shake it only makes it worse. It will not subdue it. When the system is not in a right condition, when the circulation is broken up, and the nervous power has all that it can do to take care of a bad quality of food, or too great a quantity even of that which is good, parents have not self-command. They cannot reason from cause to effect. Here is the reason why--in every move they make in their families they create more trouble than they cure. They do not seem to understand and reason from cause to effect, and they go to work like blind men. They seem to act as though it would especially glorify God for them to move like wild men, and if anything wrong should occur in their families, to put it down with roughness and violence.

Who are our children? They are only our younger brothers and sisters in the family that God acknowledges as His. We are dealing with the members of the Lord's family. And while the care of them is committed to us, how careful should we be that we bring them up for the Lord, so that when the Master comes we can say: "Here, Lord, are we, and the children that Thou hast given us." Shall we then be able to say: We have tried to do our work, and we have tried to do it well"?

I have seen mothers of large families, who could not see the work that lay right in their pathway, just before them in their own families. They wanted to be missionaries and do some great work. They were looking out for themselves some high position, but neglecting to take care of the very work at home which the Lord had left for them to do. How important that the brain be clear! How important that the body be as free as possible from disease, in order that we may do the work which Heaven has left for us to do, and perform it in such a manner that the Master can say: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." My sisters, do not despise the few things which the Lord has left for you to do. Let each day's actions be such that in the day of final settlement of accounts you will not be ashamed to meet the record made by the recording angel.

But what about an impoverished diet? I have spoken of the importance of the quantity and quality of food being in strict accordance with the laws of health. But we would not recommend an impoverished diet. I have been shown that many take a wrong view of the health reform and adopt too poor a diet. They subsist upon a cheap, poor quality of food, prepared without care or reference to the nourishment of the system. It is important that the food should be prepared with care, that the appetite, when not perverted, can relish it. Because we from principle discard the use of meat, butter, mince pies, spices, lard, and that which irritates the stomach and destroys health, the idea should never be given that it is of but little consequence what we eat.

There are some who go to extremes. They must eat just such an amount and just such a quality, and confine themselves to two or three things. They allow only a few things to be placed before them or their families to eat. In eating a small amount of food, and that not of the best quality, they do not take into the stomach that which will suitably nourish the system. Poor food cannot be converted into good blood. An impoverished diet will impoverish the blood. I will mention the case of Sister A. That case was presented to me to show an extreme. Two classes were presented before me: First, those who were not living up to the light which God had given them. They started in the reform because somebody else did. They did not understand the system for themselves. There are many of you who profess the truth, who have received it because somebody else did, and for your life you could not give the reason. This is why you are as weak as water. Instead of weighing your motives in the light of eternity, instead of having a practical knowledge of the principles underlying all your actions, instead of having dug down to the bottom and built upon a right foundation for yourself, you are walking in the sparks kindled by somebody else. And you will fail in this, as you have failed in the health reform. Now, if you had moved from principle you would not have done this.

Some cannot be impressed with the necessity of eating and drinking to the glory of God. The indulgence of appetite affects them in all the relations of life. It is seen in their family, in their church, in the prayer meeting, and in the conduct of their children. It has been the curse of their lives. You cannot make them understand the truths for these last days. God has bountifully provided for the sustenance and happiness of all His creatures; and if His laws were never violated, and all acted in harmony with the divine will, health, peace, and happiness, instead of misery and continual evil, would be experienced.

Another class who have taken hold of the health reform are very severe. They take a position, and stand stubbornly in that position, and carry nearly everything over the mark. Sister A was one of these. She was not sympathizing, loving, and affectionate like our divine Lord. Justice was nearly all she could see. She carried matters further than Dr. Trall. Her patients had to even leave her because they could not get enough to eat. Her impoverished diet gave her impoverished blood.

Flesh meats will depreciate the blood. Cook meat with spices, and eat it with rich cakes and pies, and you have a bad quality of blood. The system is too heavily taxed in disposing of this kind of food. The mince pies and the pickles, which should never find a place in any human stomach, will give a miserable quality of blood. And a poor quality of food, cooked in an improper manner, and insufficient in quantity, cannot make good blood. Flesh meats and rich food, and an impoverished diet, will produce the same results.

Now in regard to milk and sugar: I know of persons who have become frightened at the health reform, and said they would have nothing to do with it, because it has spoken against a free use of these things. Changes should be made with great care, and we should move cautiously and wisely. We want to take that course which will recommend itself to the intelligent men and women of the land. Large quantities of milk and sugar eaten together are injurious. They impart impurities to the system. Animals from which milk is obtained are not always healthy. They may be diseased. A cow may be apparently well in the morning, and die before night. Then she was diseased in the morning, and her milk was diseased; but you did not know it. The animal creation is diseased. Flesh meats are diseased. Could we know that animals were in perfect health, I would recommend that people eat flesh meats sooner than large quantities of milk and sugar. It would not do the injury that milk and sugar do. Sugar clogs the system. It hinders the working of the living machine.

There was one case in Montcalm County, Michigan, to which I will refer. The individual was a noble man. He stood six feet and was of fine appearance. I was called to visit him in his sickness. I had previously conversed with him in regard to his manner of living. "I do not like the looks of your eyes," said I. He was eating large quantities of sugar. I asked him why he did this. He said that he had left off meat, and did not know what would supply its place as well as sugar. His food did not satisfy him, simply because his wife did not know how to cook. Some of you send your daughters, who have nearly grown to womanhood, to school to learn the sciences before they know how to cook, when this should be made of the first importance. Here was a woman who did not know how to cook; she had not learned how to prepare healthful food. The wife and mother was deficient in this important branch of education; and as the result, poorly cooked food not being sufficient to sustain the demands of the system, sugar was eaten immoderately, which brought on a diseased condition of the entire system. This man's life was sacrificed unnecessarily to bad cooking. When I went to see the sick man I tried to tell them as well as I could how to manage, and soon he began slowly to improve. But he imprudently exercised his strength when not able, ate a small amount not of the right quality, and was taken down again. This time there was no help for him. His system appeared to be a living mass of corruption. He died a victim to poor cooking. He tried to make sugar supply the place of good cooking, and it only made matters worse.

I frequently sit down to the tables of the brethren and sisters, and see that they use a great amount of milk and sugar. These clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery affects the brain very directly. And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat. These changes should be made cautiously, and the subject should be treated in a manner not calculated to disgust and prejudice those whom we would teach and help.

Our sisters often do not know how to cook. To such I would say: I would go to the very best cook that could be found in the country, and remain there if necessary for weeks, until I had become mistress of the art, an intelligent, skillful cook. I would pursue this course if I were forty years old. It is your duty to know how to cook, and it is your duty to teach your daughters to cook. When you are teaching them the art of cookery you are building around them a barrier that will preserve them from the folly and vice which they may otherwise be tempted to engage in. I prize my seamstress, I value my copyist; but my cook, who knows well how to prepare the food to sustain life and nourish brain, bone, and muscle, fills the most important place among the helpers in my family.

Mothers, there is nothing that leads to such evils as to lift the burdens from your daughters, and give them nothing special to do, and let them choose their own employment, perhaps a little crochet or some other fancywork to busy themselves. Let them have exercise of the limbs and muscles. If it wearies them, what then? Are you not wearied in your work? Will weariness hurt your children, unless overworked, more than it hurts you? No, indeed. They can recover from their weariness in a good night's rest and be prepared to engage in labor the next day. It is a sin to let them grow up in idleness. The sin and ruin of Sodom was abundance of bread and idleness.

We want to work from the right standpoint. We want to act like men and women that are to be brought into judgment. And when we adopt the health reform we should adopt it from a sense of duty, not because somebody else has adopted it. I have not changed my course a particle since I adopted the health reform. I have not taken one step back since the light from heaven upon this subject first shone upon my pathway. I broke away from everything at once,--from meat and butter, and from three meals,--and that while engaged in exhaustive brain labor, writing from early morning till sundown. I came down to two meals a day without changing my labor. I have been a great sufferer from disease, having had five shocks of paralysis. I have been with my left arm bound to my side for months because the pain in my heart was so great. When making these changes in my diet, I refused to yield to taste and let that govern me. Shall that stand in the way of my securing greater strength, that I may therewith glorify my Lord? Shall that stand in my way for a moment? Never! I suffered keen hunger. I was a great meat eater. But when faint, I placed my arms across my stomach and said: "I will not taste a morsel. I will eat simple food, or I will not eat at all." Bread was distasteful to me. I could seldom eat a piece as large as a dollar. Some things in the reform I could get along with very well, but when I came to the bread I was especially set against it. When I made these changes I had a special battle to fight. The first two or three meals, I could not eat. I said to my stomach: "You may wait until you can eat bread." In a little while I could eat bread, and graham bread, too. This I could not eat before; but now it tastes good, and I have had no loss of appetite.

When writing Spiritual Gifts, volumes three and four, I would become exhausted by excessive labor. I then saw that I must change my course of life, and by resting a few days I came out all right again. I left off these things from principle. I took my stand on health reform from principle. And since that time, brethren, you have not heard me advance an extreme view of health reform that I have had to take back. I have advanced nothing but what I stand to today. I recommend to you a healthful, nourishing diet.

I do not regard it a great privation to discontinue the use of those things which leave a bad smell in the breath and a bad taste in the mouth. Is it self-denial to leave these things and get into a condition where everything is as sweet as honey; where no bad taste is left in the mouth and no feeling of goneness in the stomach? These I used to have much of the time. I have fainted away with my child in my arms again and again. I have none of this now, and shall I call this a privation when I can stand before you as I do this day? There is not one woman in a hundred that could endure the amount of labor that I do. I moved out from principle, not from impulse. I moved because I believed Heaven would approve of the course I was taking to bring myself into the very best condition of health, that I might glorify God in my body and spirit, which are His.

We can have a variety of good, wholesome food, cooked in a healthful manner, so that it can be made palatable to all. And if you, my sisters, do not know how to cook, I advise you to learn. It is of vital importance to you to know how to cook. There are more souls lost from poor cooking than you have any idea of. It produces sickness, disease, and bad tempers; the system becomes deranged, and heavenly things cannot be discerned. There is more religion in a loaf of good bread than many of you think. There is more religion in good cooking than you have any idea of. We want you to learn what good religion is, and to carry it out in your families. When I have been from home sometimes, I have known that the bread upon the table, and the food generally, would hurt me; but I would be obliged to eat a little to sustain life. It is a sin in the sight of Heaven to have such food. I have suffered for want of proper food. For a dyspeptic stomach, you may place upon your tables fruits of different kinds, but not too many at one meal. In this way you may have a variety, and it will taste good, and after you have eaten your meals you will feel well.

I am astonished to learn that, after all the light that has been given in this place, many of you eat between meals! You should never let a morsel pass your lips between your regular meals. Eat what you ought, but eat it at one meal, and then wait until the next. I eat enough to satisfy the wants of nature; but when I get up from the table, my appetite is just as good as when I sat down. And when the next meal comes, I am ready to take my portion, and no more. Should I eat a double amount now and then, because it tastes good, how could I bow down and ask God to help me in my work of writing, when I could not get an idea on account of my gluttony? Could I ask God to take care of that unreasonable load upon my stomach? That would be dishonoring Him. That would be asking to consume upon my lust. Now I eat just what I think is right, and then I can ask Him to give me strength to perform the work that He has given me to do. And I have known that Heaven has heard and answered my prayer when I have offered this petition.

Again, when we eat immoderately, we sin against our own bodies. Upon the Sabbath, in the house of God, gluttons will sit and sleep under the burning truths of God's word. They can neither keep their eyes open, nor comprehend the solemn discourses given. Do you think that such are glorifying God in their bodies and spirits, which are His? No; they dishonor Him. And the dyspeptic--what has made him dyspeptic is taking this course. Instead of observing regularity, he has let appetite control him, and has eaten between meals. Perhaps, if his habits are sedentary, he has not had the vitalizing air of heaven to help in the work of digestion; he may not have had sufficient exercise for his health.

Some of you feel as though you would like to have somebody tell you how much to eat. This is not the way it should be. We are to act from a moral and religious standpoint. We are to be temperate in all things, because an incorruptible crown, a heavenly treasure, is before us. And now I wish to say to my brethren and sisters, I would have moral courage to take my position and to govern myself. I would not want to put that on someone else. You eat too much, and then you are sorry, and so you keep thinking upon what you eat and drink. Just eat that which is for the best, and go right away, feeling clear in the sight of Heaven, and not having remorse of conscience. We do not believe in removing temptations entirely away from either children or grown persons. We all have a warfare before us and must stand in a position to resist the temptations of Satan, and we want to know that we possess the power in ourselves to do this.

And while we would caution you not to overeat, even of the best quality of food, we would also caution those that are extremists not to raise a false standard and then endeavor to bring everybody to it. There are some who are starting out as health reformers who are not fit to engage in any other enterprise, and who have not sense enough to take care of their own families, or keep their proper place in the church. And what do they do? Why, they fall back as health reform physicians, as though they could make that a success. They assume the responsibilities of their practice, and take the lives of men and women into their hands, when they really know nothing about the business.

My voice shall be raised against novices undertaking to treat disease professedly according to the principles of health reform. God forbid that we should be the subjects for them to experiment upon! We are too few. It is altogether too inglorious a warfare for us to die in. God deliver us from such danger! We do not need such teachers and physicians. Let those try to treat disease who know something about the human system. The heavenly Physician was full of compassion. This spirit is needed by those who deal with the sick. Some who undertake to become physicians are bigoted, selfish, and mulish. You cannot teach them anything. It may be they have never done anything worth doing. They may not have made life a success. They know nothing really worth knowing, and yet they have started up to practice the health reform. We cannot afford to let such persons kill off this one and that one. No; we cannot afford it!

We want to be just right every time. We want to bring our people up to the right position on the health reform. "Let us," says the apostle, "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." We must be right in order to stand in the last days. We need clear brains and sound minds in sound bodies. We should begin to work in earnest for our children, for every member of our families. Shall we take hold and work from the right standpoint? Jesus is coming; and if we pursue a course to blind ourselves to the soul-elevating truths of these last days, how can we be sanctified through the truth? How can we be prepared for immortality? May the Lord help us that we may commence to work here as never before.

We have spoken of having a series of meetings in this place, and of taking hold to labor for the people. But we dare not put our arms under to lift you. We want you to commence this work of reformation in your own houses. We want those that have been in the background to come up. You must begin to work. And when we see that you have commenced to labor for yourselves, we will come in and lift. We hope to reform your children, that they may be converted to Christ, and that the spirit of reformation may spread all through your midst. But when you appear twice dead, and ready to be plucked up by the roots, we dare not undertake the work. We would rather go to an unbelieving congregation where there are hearts to receive the truth. The burden of the truth is upon us. There are enough to hear the truth; and we long to be where we can speak it to them. Will you help us by going to work for yourselves?

May the Lord help you to feel as you never felt before. May He help you to die to self, and get the spirit of reformation in your homes, that the angels of God may come into your midst to minister unto you, and that you may be fitted for translation to heaven. (Testimonies, Vol. 2, 1868-1871, pp. 354-376)


Article:

Dear Brother and Sister E:

It has been some time since I have taken my pen to write anything except urgent letters which could not be delayed. I have had a discouraging weight upon my spirits for months, which has nearly crushed me. That which discourages me the most is the fear that all I may write will do no more good than has our earnest, anxious, wearing labor in ----- the past winter and spring. The hopeless view I have taken of matters and things at that place has kept my pen nearly still and my voice nearly silent. My hands have been weakened and my heart depressed, to see nothing gained by the protracted effort there. I am nearly hopeless in regard to our efforts' being successful to awaken the sensibilities of our Sabbathkeeping people to see the elevated position which God requires them to occupy. They do not view religious things from an elevated standpoint. This is just your condition.

The Lord has given me a view of some of the corruptions everywhere existing. Wickedness, crime, and sensuality exist even in high places. Even in the churches professing to keep God's commandments there are sinners and hypocrites. It is sin, not trial and suffering, which separates God from His people and renders the soul incapable of enjoying and glorifying Him. It is sin that is destroying souls. Sin and vice exist in Sabbathkeeping families. Moral pollution has done more than every other evil to cause the race to degenerate. It is practiced to an alarming extent and brings on disease of almost every description. Even very small children, infants, being born with natural irritability of the sexual organs, find momentary relief in handling them, which only increases the irritation, and leads to a repetition of the act, until a habit is established which increases with their growth. These children, generally puny and dwarfed, are prescribed for by physicians and drugged; but the evil is not removed. The cause still exists.

Parents do not generally suspect that their children understand anything about this vice. In very many cases the parents are the real sinners. They have abused their marriage privileges, and by indulgence have strengthened their animal passions. And as these have strengthened, the moral and intellectual faculties have become weak. The spiritual has been overborne by the brutish. Children are born with the animal propensities largely developed, the parents' own stamp of character having been given to them. The unnatural action of the sensitive organs produces irritation. They are easily excited, and momentary relief is experienced in exercising them. But the evil constantly increases. The drain upon the system is sensibly felt. The brain force is weakened, and memory becomes deficient. Children born to these parents will almost invariably take naturally to the disgusting habits of secret vice. The marriage covenant is sacred, but what an amount of lust and crime it covers! Those who feel at liberty, because married, to degrade their bodies by beastly indulgence of the animal passions, will have their degraded course perpetuated in their children. The sins of the parents will be visited upon their children because the parents have given them the stamp of their own lustful propensities.

Those who have become fully established in this soul-and-body-destroying vice can seldom rest until their burden of secret evil is imparted to those with whom they associate. Curiosity is at once aroused, and the knowledge of vice is passed from youth to youth, from child to child, until there is scarcely one to be found ignorant of the practice of this degrading sin.

Your children have practiced self-abuse until the draft upon the brain has been so great, especially in the case of your eldest son, that their minds have been seriously injured. The brilliancy of youthful intellect is dimmed. The moral and intellectual powers have become weakened, while the baser part of their nature has been gaining the ascendancy. For this reason your son turns with loathing from religious things. He has been losing his power of self-restraint, and has less and less reverence for sacred things, and less respect for anything of a spiritual character. You have charged this to your surroundings, but you have not known the real cause. Your son can be said to bear the impress of the satanic instead of the divine. He loves sin and evil rather than true goodness, purity, and righteousness. It is a deplorable picture.

The effect of such debasing habits is not the same upon all minds. There are some children who have the moral powers largely developed, who, by associating with children that practice self-abuse, become initiated into this vice. The effect upon such will be too frequently to make them melancholy, irritable, and jealous; yet such may not lose their respect for religious worship, and may not show special infidelity in regard to spiritual things. They will at times suffer keenly from feelings of remorse, and will feel degraded in their own eyes, and lose their self-respect.

Brother and sister, you are not clear before God. You have failed to do your duty at home, in your own family. You have not controlled your children. You have greatly failed to know and do the will of God, and His blessing has not rested upon your family. Brother E, you have been selfish. You have had large self-esteem. You have thought that you possessed a good degree of humility, but you have not understood yourself. Your ways are not right before God. Your influence and example have not been in accordance with your profession. You have much fault to find with others; you see deviations from the right in them, but you are blind to the same in yourself.

Sister E has been far from God. Her heart has not been subdued by grace. Her love of the world, and of the things that are in the world, has closed her heart to the love of God. The love of dress and appearance has kept her from good, and led her to place her mind and affections upon these frivolous things. Unbelief has been strengthening in her heart, and she has had less and less love for the truth, and could see but little attraction in the simplicity of true godliness. She has not encouraged a growth of Christian graces. She has not loved humility or devotion. She has taken the errors of those who professed to be devoted to the truth, and made their lack of spirituality, their errors, and their sins an excuse for her world-loving disposition. She has watched the course of those who were connected with the -----, and who were forward to take upon them the burdens of the church, and has offset her failures to their wrongs, saying that she was no worse than they. Such and such individuals in good standing did this or that, and she had as good a right as they. Such and such ones did not live the health reform any better than she; they purchased and ate meat, and they were in high standing in the church, and she was excusable, of course, with such an example, if she did the same.

This is not the only case where neglect to follow the light which the Lord has given has been shielded behind the faults of others. It is to the shame of men and women of intelligence that they have no higher standard than that of imperfect human beings. The course of those around them, however imperfect, is considered by some a sufficient excuse for them to follow in the same path. Many will be swayed by the influence of some leading brother. If he departs from the counsel of God his example is at once gladly seized by the unconsecrated, who now feel that they are free from restraint. They now have an excuse; and their unconsecrated hearts glory in the opportunity of indulging their desires and taking a step nearer the fellowship with the spirit of the world, where they can enjoy its pleasures and gratify their appetite. They therefore place upon their tables those things which are not the most healthful, and from which they have been taught to abstain, that they may preserve to themselves a better condition of health.

There has been a war in the hearts of some ever since the health reform was first introduced. They have felt the same rebellion as did the children of Israel when their appetites were restricted on their journey from Egypt to Canaan. Professed followers of Christ, who have all their lives consulted their own pleasure and their own interests, their own ease and their own appetites, are not prepared to change their course of action and live for the glory of God, imitating the self-sacrificing life of their unerring Pattern. A perfect example has been given for Christians to imitate. The words and works of Christ's followers are the channel through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. His followers are the salt of the earth, the light of the world.

Sister E, you cannot realize the many blessings you have lost by making the failings of others a balm to soothe your conscience for a neglect of your duty. You have been measuring yourself by others. Their crooked paths, their failings, have been your textbook. But their errors, their follies and sins, do not make your disobedience to God less sinful. We regret that those who should be a strength to you in your efforts to overcome your love of self, your pride of heart, your vanity and love of the approbation of worldlings, have been only a hindrance by their own lack of spirituality and true godliness. We cannot tell you how much we regret that those who should be self-denying Christians are so far from coming up to the standard. Those who should be steadfast, abounding in the work of God, are weakened by Satan because they remain at such a distance from God. They fail to obtain the power of His grace, through which they might overcome the infirmities of their nature, and, by obtaining signal victories in God, show those of weaker faith the way, the truth, and the life.

That which has caused us the greatest discouragement has been to see those in ----- who have had years of experience in the cause and work of God, shorn of their strength by their own unfaithfulness. They are outgeneraled by the enemy in nearly every attack. God would have made these persons strong, like faithful sentinels at their post, to guard the fort, had they walked in the light He had given them and remained steadfast to duty, seeking to know and do the whole will of God. Satan will, no doubt, through his delusions deceive these delinquent souls, and make them believe that they are about right after all. They have committed no grievous, outbreaking sins, and they must, after all, be on the true foundation, and God will accept their works. They see no special sins to repent of, no sins which call for special humiliation, humble confession, and rending of heart. The delusion upon such is strong indeed when they mistake the form of godliness for the power thereof, and flatter themselves that they are rich and have need of nothing. The curse of Meroz rests upon them: "Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty."

My sister, excuse not your defects because others are wrong. In the day of God you will not dare to plead as an excuse for your neglect to form a character for heaven, that others did not manifest devotion and spirituality. The same lack which you discovered in others was in yourself. And the fact that others were sinners makes your sins nonetheless grievous. Both they and you, if you continue in your present state of unfitness, will be separated from Christ, and will with Satan and his angels be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.

The Lord made ample provision for you, that if you would seek Him, and follow the light He would give you, you should not fall by the way. The word of God was given to you as a lamp to your feet, a light to your path. If you stumble, it will be because you have not consulted your guide, the word of God, and made that precious word the rule of your life. God has not given you as a pattern the life of any human being, however good and apparently blameless his life may be. If you do as others do, and act as others act, you will at last be left outside the Holy City, with a vast multitude who have done just as you have done, followed a pattern the Lord did not leave them, and who are lost just as you will be lost.

That which others have done, or may do in the future, will not lessen your responsibility or guilt. A pattern has been given you, a faultless life characterized by self-denial and disinterested benevolence. If you turn from this correct, this perfect pattern, and take an incorrect one, which has been clearly represented in the word of God as one that you should shun, your course of action will receive its merited reward; your life will be a failure.

One of the greatest reasons for the declension of the church at ----- is their measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves. There are but few who have the living principle in the soul and who serve God with an eye single to His glory. Many at ----- will not consent to be saved in God's appointed way. They will not take the trouble to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. The latter they do not experience; and, rather than be at the trouble of obtaining an experience through individual effort, they will run the risk of leaning upon others and trusting in their experience. They cannot consent to watch and pray, to live for God and Him only. It is more pleasant to live in obedience to self.

The church at ----- are filled with their own backslidings, and they need not dream of prosperity until those who name the name of Christ are careful to depart from all iniquity, until they learn to refuse the evil and choose the good. We are required to watch and pray without ceasing; for a snare is set in our path, and we shall find some device of Satan when and where we least expect it. If at that particular time we are not watching unto prayer we shall be taken by the enemy and meet with decided loss.

What a responsibility has rested upon you as parents! How little have you felt the weight of this burden! Pride of heart, love of show, and the indulgence of appetite have occupied your minds. These things have been first with you, and the incoming of the foe has not been perceived. He has planted his standard in your house and stamped his detestable image upon the characters of your children. But you were so blinded by the god of this world, so deadened to spiritual and divine things, that you could not discern the advantage which Satan had gained nor his workings right in your family.

You have brought children into the world who have had no voice in regard to their existence. You have made yourselves responsible in a great measure for their future happiness, their eternal well-being. The burden is upon you, whether you are sensible of it or not, to train these children for God, to watch with jealous care the first approach of the wily foe and be prepared to raise a standard against him. Build a fortification of prayer and faith about your children, and exercise diligent watching thereunto. You are not secure a moment against the attacks of Satan. You have no time to rest from watchful, earnest labor. You should not sleep a moment at your post. This is a most important warfare. Eternal consequences are involved. It is life or death with you and your family. Your only safety is to break your hearts before God and seek the kingdom of heaven as little children. You cannot be victors in this warfare if you continue to pursue the course you have pursued. You are not very near the kingdom of heaven.

Some who have not professed Christ are nearer the kingdom of God than are very many professed Sabbathkeepers in -----. You have not kept yourselves in the love of God and taught your children the fear of the Lord. You have not taught them the truth diligently, when you rose up, and when you sat down, when you went out, and when you came in. You have not restrained them. You look to other children and solace yourselves by saying: "My children are no worse than they." This may be true, but does the neglect of others to do their duty lessen the force of the requirements which God has especially enjoined upon you as parents? He has placed upon you the responsibility to bring these children up for Him, and their salvation depends in a great degree upon the education they receive in their childhood. This responsibility others cannot take; it is yours, solely yours, as parents. You may bring to your aid all the helps you can to assist in the solemn and important work; but after you have done this, there is a power above every human agency, that will work with you through the means which it is your privilege to use. God will come to your aid, and upon His power you can rely. This power is infinite. Human agencies may not prove successful, but God can make them fruitful by working in and through them.

You have a work to do to set your house in order. Pure, sinless angels cannot delight to come into a dwelling where so much iniquity is practiced. You are asleep at your post. Things of minor importance have occupied your minds to the exclusion of more weighty matters. It should be the first business of your life to seek the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness; then you have the promise that all things shall be added. Here is where you have failed in your family. Had you been agonizing that you and yours might enter in at the strait gate, you would have earnestly gathered every ray of light that the Lord has permitted to shine upon your pathway, and would have cherished and walked in it.

You have not regarded the light that the Lord has graciously given you upon the health reform. You have felt to rise up against it. You have seen no importance in it, no reason why you should receive it. You have not felt willing to restrict your appetite. You could not see the wisdom of God in giving light in regard to the restriction of appetite. All that you could discern was the inconvenience attending the denial of the taste. The Lord has let His light shine upon us in these last days, that the gloom and darkness which have been gathering in past generations because of sinful indulgences might in some degree be dispelled, and that the train of evils which have resulted because of intemperate eating and drinking might be lessened.

The Lord in wisdom designed to bring His people into a position where they would be separate from the world in spirit and practice, that their children might not so readily be led into idolatry and become tainted with the prevailing corruptions of this age. It is God's design that believing parents and their children should stand forth as living representatives of Christ, candidates for everlasting life. All who are partakers of the divine nature will escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection. You cannot arouse the moral sensibilities of your children while you are not careful in the selection of their food. The tables that parents usually prepare for their children are a snare to them. Their diet is not simple, and is not prepared in a healthful manner. The food is frequently rich and fever-producing, having a tendency to irritate and excite the tender coats of the stomach. The animal propensities are strengthened and bear sway, while the moral and intellectual powers are weakened and become servants to the baser passions. You should study to prepare a simple yet nutritious diet. Flesh meats, and rich cakes and pies prepared with spices of any kind, are not the most healthful and nourishing diet. Eggs should not be placed upon your table. [SEE APPENDIX.] They are an injury to your children. Fruits and grains, prepared in the most simple form, are the most healthful, and will impart the greatest amount of nourishment to the body, and, at the same time, not impair the intellect.

Regularity in eating is very important for health of body and serenity of mind. Your children should eat only at the regular mealtime. They should not be allowed to digress from this established rule. When you, Sister E, absent yourself from home, you cannot control these important matters. Already your eldest son has enervated his entire system and laid the foundation for permanent disease. Your second child is fast following in his steps, and not one of your children is safe from this evil.

You may be unable to obtain the truth from your children in regard to their habits. Those who practice secret vice will lie and deceive. Your children may deceive you, for you are not in a condition where you can know if they attempt to lead you astray. You have so long been blinded by the enemy that you have scarcely a ray of light to discern darkness. There is a great, a solemn, and an important work for you to do at once, to set your own hearts and house in order. Your only safe course is to take right hold of this work. Do not deceive yourselves into the belief that, after all, this matter is placed before you in an exaggerated light. I have not colored the picture. I have stated facts which will bear the test of the judgment. Awake! awake! I beseech you, before it shall be too late for wrongs to be righted, and you and your children perish in the general ruin. Take hold of the solemn work, and bring to your aid every ray of light you can gather that has shone upon your pathway and that you have not cherished, and, together with the aid of the light now shining, commence an investigation of your life and character as if you were before the tribunal of God. "Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul," is the exhortation of the apostle. Vice and corruption abound on every hand, and unless you have more than human strength to rely upon to stand against so powerful a current of evil, you will be overcome and borne down with the current to perdition. Without holiness no man shall see God.

The Lord is proving and testing His people. Angels of God are watching the development of character and weighing moral worth. Probation is almost ended, and you are unready. Oh, that the word of warning might burn into your souls! Get ready! get ready! Work while the day lasts, for the night cometh when no man can work. The mandate will go forth: He that is holy, let him be holy still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still. The destiny of all will be decided. A few, yes, only a few, of the vast number who people the earth will be saved unto life eternal, while the masses who have not perfected their souls in obeying the truth will be appointed to the second death. O Saviour, save the purchase of Thy blood! is the cry of my anguished heart.

I greatly fear for you and for many who profess to believe the truth in -----. Oh, search, search diligently your own hearts, and make thorough work for the judgment! I am pained at heart when I call to mind how many children of Sabbathkeeping parents are ruining soul and body with secret vice. Near you is a family who reveal their evil habits in their bodies as well as their minds. These children are on the direct road to perdition. They are debased themselves, and have instructed many others in this vice. The eldest boy is dwarfed, physically and mentally, by indulging in its practice. What little intellect he has left is of a low order. If he continues in this vicious practice he will eventually become idiotic. Every indulgence of children who have attained their growth is a terrible evil and will produce terrible results, enervating the system and weakening the intellect. But in those who indulge this corrupting vice before attaining their growth, the evil effects are more plainly marked, and recovery from its effects is more nearly hopeless. The frame is weak and stunted; the muscles are flabby; the eyes become small, and appear at times swollen; the memory is treacherous, and becomes sievelike; and inability to concentrate the thoughts upon study increases.

To the parents of these children I would say: You have brought children into the world to be only a curse to society. They are unruly, passionate, quarrelsome, and vicious. Their influence upon others is corrupting. They bear the stamp of the father's character, of his base passions. His hasty, violent temper is reflected in them. These parents should long ago have removed to the country, thus separating themselves and children from the society of those whom they could not benefit, but would only harm. Steady industry upon a farm would have proved a blessing to these children, and constant employment, as their strength could bear, would have given them less opportunity to corrupt their own bodies by self-abuse, and would have prevented them from instructing a large number in this hellish practice. Labor is a great blessing to all children, especially to that class whose minds are naturally inclined to vice and depravity.

These children have communicated more knowledge of vice in-----than all the united efforts of ministers and people professing godliness can counteract. Many who have learned of your children will go to perdition rather than control their passions and cease the indulgence of this sin. One corrupt mind can sow more evil seed in a short period of time than many can root out in a whole lifetime. Your children are a byword in the mouths of blasphemers of the truth. These are the children of Sabbathkeepers, but they are worse than the children of worldlings in general. They possess less refinement, less self-respect. Brother F has been no honor to the cause of God. His impetuous temper and general influence have not had a tendency to elevate, but to bring down to a low level. The cause of God has been brought into disrepute by his lack of judgment and refinement. It would have been far better for the cause of truth had this family removed long ago to a less important post, where they would have been more secluded and their influence less felt. Their children have lived in the light of truth and have had privileges that but few children have had; yet all this time they have not been benefited, but have been growing more and more hardened in depravity. Their removal would be a blessing to the church and to society, and to the entire family. Steady employment upon land would be a blessing to father and children if they would profit by the advantages of farm life.

I saw that the family of Brother G need a great work done for them. H and I have gone to great lengths in this crime of self-abuse; especially is this true of H, who has gone so far in the practice of this sin that his intellect is affected, his eye-sight is weakened, and disease is fastening itself upon him. Satan has almost full control of this poor boy's mind, but his parents are not awake to see the evil and its results. His mind is debased, his conscience hardened, his moral sensibilities benumbed, and he will be a ready victim for evil associates to lead into sin and crime. Brother and Sister G, arouse yourselves, I beg of you. You have not received the light of health reform and acted upon it. If you had restricted your appetites you would have been saved much extra labor and expense; and, what is of vastly more consequence, you would have preserved to yourselves a better condition of physical health and a greater degree of intellectual strength to appreciate eternal truths; you would have a clearer brain to weigh the evidences of truth and would be better prepared to give to others a reason of the hope that is in you. Your food is not of that simple, healthful quality which will make the best kind of blood. Foul blood will surely becloud the moral and intellectual powers, and arouse and strengthen the baser passions of your nature. Neither of you can afford a feverish diet, for it is at the expense of the health of the body and the prosperity of your own souls and the souls of your children.

You place upon your table food which taxes the digestive organs, excites the animal passions, and weakens the moral and intellectual faculties. Rich food and flesh meats are no benefit to you. Could you know just the nature of the meat you eat, could you see the animals when living from which the flesh is taken when dead, you would turn with loathing from your flesh meats. The very animals whose flesh you eat are frequently so diseased that, if left alone, they would die of themselves; but while the breath of life is in them, they are killed and brought to market. You take directly into your system humors and poison of the worst kind, and yet you realize it not. You love to indulge appetite. You have this lesson to learn: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

I entreat you, for Christ's sake, to set your house and hearts in order. Let the truth of heavenly origin elevate and sanctify you, soul, body, and spirit. "Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." Brother G, your eating has a tendency to strengthen the baser passions. You do not control your body as it is your duty to do in order to perfect holiness in the fear of God. Temperance in eating must be practiced before you can be a patient man. Remember that you have given to your children, in a great degree, the stamp of your own character. You should guard yourself, and not be harsh, severe, or impatient. Deal with them decidedly, yet patiently, lovingly, pityingly, as Jesus has dealt with you. Be careful how you censure. Bear with your children, yet restrain them. This you have neglected too much. You have not corrected them in the right manner, not having perfect control of your own spirit. A great work must be done for you both.

Brother G, if you had gone on from strength to strength, following in the light the Lord has given, He would now have chosen you as an instrument of righteousness. You have talents; you have ability; you can work for God's glory; but you have not made an entire surrender of yourself to God. Oh, that you would even now seek meekness, seek the righteousness of Christ, that you might be hid in the day of the Lord's fierce anger!

My dear brother and sister, you should take hold unitedly and perseveringly to right your mismanagement of your children. Sister G has been too indulgent; yet unitedly and in love you can do much, even now, to bind your children to your hearts and instruct them in the good and right way. You have a work to do in setting your own hearts and house in order. You should cultivate harmonious action. The transforming influence of the Spirit of God can do a great work for you both, and will unite your hearts and efforts in the work of reform in your own family. All repining, murmuring, and hasty irritability should cease. Its effects are to weaken you both and to destroy the influence you must exert if you succeed in training your children for heaven.

Satan now has the field. Your poor children are his captives; he has control of their minds and causes them to take a low turn. Their moral sensibilities seem paralyzed. They have practiced self-abuse and gloried in their iniquities. Such boys are capable of poisoning an entire neighborhood or community, and their pernicious influence will endanger all who are brought in contact with them in school capacity. Your children are corrupt in body and in mind. Vice has placed its marks upon your elder children. They are tainted, deeply tainted, with sin. The animal propensities predominate, while the moral and intellectual faculties are very weak. The baser passions have gained strength by exercise, while conscience has become hardened and seared. This is the influence which vice will have upon the mental powers. Those who give themselves up to work the ruin of their own bodies and minds do not stop here. Eventually they will be found ready for crime in almost any form, for their consciences are seared. Parents have not been half aroused to realize their responsibility in becoming parents. They are remiss in their duty. They do not teach their children the sinfulness of these dangerous, virtue-destroying habits. Until parents arouse, there is no hope for their children.

I might mention the cases of many others, but will forbear, except in a few instances. J is a dangerous associate. He is a subject of this vice. His influence is bad. The grace of God has no influence upon his heart. He has a good intellect, and his father has trusted much to this to balance him; but mental power alone is not a guarantee of virtuous superiority. The absence of religious principle makes him corrupt at heart and sly in his wrongdoing. His influence is pernicious everywhere. He is infidel in his principles and glories in his skepticism. When with those of his own age, or those younger than himself, he talks knowingly of religious things and jests and sneers at truth and the Bible. This pretended knowledge has an influence to corrupt minds and lead young men to feel ashamed of the truth. Such companions should be wholly avoided, for this is the only sure course of safety. Young girls are enamored with the society of this young man; even some who profess to be Christians prefer such society.

K is a boy who can be molded if surrounded by correct influences. He needs a right example. If the young who profess Christ would honor Him in their lives, they could exert an influence which would counteract the pernicious influence of such youth as J. But the young generally have no more religion than those who have never named the name of Christ. They do not depart from iniquity. A smart, intelligent boy, like J, can have a powerful influence for evil. If this intelligence were controlled by virtue and rectitude, it would be powerful for good; but if it is swayed by depravity, its evil influence upon his associates cannot be estimated, and it will assuredly sink him in perdition. A good intellect corrupted makes a very bad heart. A brilliant intellect sanctified by the Spirit of God exerts a hidden power and diffuses light and purity upon all with whom the happy possessor associates.

If a boy of such mental abilities as J would surrender his heart to Christ, it would be his salvation. By means of pure religion his intellect would be brought into a healthy channel; his mental and moral powers would become vigorous and harmonious; the conscience, illuminated by divine grace, would be quick and pure, controlling the will and desires, and leading to frankness and uprightness in every act of life. Without the principles of religion, this boy will be cunning, artful, sly, in an evil course, and will poison all with whom he associates. I warn all the youth to beware of this young man if he continues to slight religion and the Bible. You cannot be too guarded in his society.

By associating with those boys who do not exert a right influence, L is also being corrupted. J and K are not profitable associates for him, for he is easily influenced in the wrong direction. ----- is not the best place for him. His habits are not pure; self-abuse is practiced by him. Because of this and his love for the company of evil associates, those desires which help to form a virtuous character and to secure heaven at last will be weakened. The young who desire immortality must stop where they are and not allow an impure thought or act. Impure thoughts lead to impure actions. If Christ be the theme of contemplation, the thoughts will be widely separated from every subject which will lead to impure acts. The mind will strengthen by dwelling upon elevating subjects. If trained to run in the channel of purity and holiness, it will become healthy and vigorous. If trained to dwell upon spiritual themes, it will naturally take that turn. But this attraction of the thoughts to heavenly things cannot be gained without the exercise of faith in God and an earnest, humble reliance upon Him for that strength and grace which will be sufficient for every emergency.

Purity of life and a character molded after the divine Pattern are not obtained without earnest effort and fixed principles. A vacillating person will not succeed in attaining Christian perfection. Such will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. Like a roaring lion, Satan is seeking for his prey. He tries his wiles upon every unsuspecting youth; there is safety only in Christ. It is through His grace alone that Satan can be successfully repulsed. Satan tells the young that there is time enough yet, that they may indulge in sin and vice this once and never again; but that one indulgence will poison their whole life. Do not once venture on forbidden ground. In this perilous day of evil, when allurements to vice and corruption are on every hand, let the earnest, heartfelt cry of the young be raised to heaven: "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?" And may his ears be open and his heart inclined to obey the instruction given in the answer: "By taking heed thereto according to Thy word." The only safety for the youth in this age of pollution is to make God their trust. Without divine help they will be unable to control human passions and appetites. In Christ is the very help needed, but how few will come to Him for that help. Said Jesus when upon the earth: "Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." In Christ all can conquer. You can say with the apostle: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Again: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection."

I have written out quite fully the case of Brother E and family because this one illustrates the true state of many families, and God would have these families take this as though written specially for their benefit. There are many more cases I might designate, but I have named enough already. Young girls are not as a general thing clear of the crime of self-abuse. They practice it, and, as the result, their constitutions are being ruined. Some who are just entering womanhood are in danger of paralysis of the brain. Already the moral and intellectual powers are weakened and benumbed, while the animal passions are gaining the ascendancy and corrupting body and soul. The youth, whether male or female, cannot be Christians unless they entirely cease to practice this hellish, soul-and-body-destroying vice.

Many of the young are eager for books. They read everything they can obtain. Exciting love stories and impure pictures have a corrupting influence. Novels are eagerly perused by many, and, as the result, their imagination becomes defiled. In the cars, photographs of females in a state of nudity are frequently circulated for sale. These disgusting pictures are also found in daguerrean saloons, and are hung upon the walls of those who deal in engravings. This is an age when corruption is teeming everywhere. The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are aroused by beholding and by reading. The heart is corrupted through the imagination. The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions. These vile images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings to give loose rein to lustful passions. Then follow sins and crimes which drag beings formed in the image of God down to a level with the beasts, sinking them at last in perdition. Avoid reading and seeing things which will suggest impure thoughts. Cultivate the moral and intellectual powers. Let not these noble powers become enfeebled and perverted by much reading of even storybooks. I know of strong minds that have been unbalanced and partially benumbed, or paralyzed, by intemperance in reading.

I appeal to parents to control the reading of their children. Much reading does them only harm. Especially do not permit upon your tables the magazines and newspapers wherein are found love stories. It is impossible for the youth to possess a healthy tone of mind and correct religious principles unless they enjoy the perusal of the word of God. This book contains the most interesting history, points out the way of salvation through Christ, and is their guide to a higher and better life. They would all pronounce it the most interesting book they ever perused, if their imagination had not become perverted by exciting stories of a fictitious character. You who are looking for your Lord to come the second time to change your mortal bodies, and to fashion them like unto His most glorious body, must come up upon a higher plane of action. You must work from a higher standpoint than you have hitherto done, or you will not be of that number who will receive the finishing touch of immortality. (Testimonies, Vol. 2, pp. 390-410 (To Brother and Sister E.)


Article:

I fully believe that the end of all things is at hand, and every power that God has given us should be employed in the very wisest and highest service to God. The Lord has brought out a people from the world to fit them not only for a pure and holy heaven but to prepare them through the wisdom He shall give them to be colaborers with God in preparing a people to stand in the day of God.

Great light has been given upon health reform, but it is essential for all to treat this subject with candor and to advocate it with wisdom. In our experience we have seen many who have not presented health reform in a manner to make the best impression upon those whom they wish would receive their views. The Bible is full of wise counsel, and even the eating and drinking receive proper attention. The highest privilege that man can enjoy is to be a partaker of the divine nature, and faith that binds us in strong relationship to God will so fashion and mold mind and conduct that we become one with Christ. No one should through intemperate appetite so indulge his taste as to weaken any of the fine works of the human machinery and thus impair the mind or the body. Man is the Lord's purchased possession.

If we are partakers of the divine nature, we will live in communion with our Creator and value all of God's work which led David to exclaim, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14. We will not consider the organs of the body our own property, as if we had created them. All the faculties God has given to the human body are to be appreciated. "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 Cor. 6:19, 20.

We are not to treat unwisely one faculty of mind, soul, or body. We cannot abuse any of the delicate organs of the human body without having to pay the penalty because of transgression of nature's laws. Bible religion brought into practical life insures the highest culture of the intellect.

Temperance is exalted to a high level in the Word of God. Obeying His Word, we can rise higher and still higher. The danger of intemperance is specified. The advantage to be gained by temperance is laid open before us all through the Scriptures. The voice of God is addressing us, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48.

The example of Daniel is presented for us to study carefully and learn the lessons that God has for us to learn in this example given us in sacred history.

We wish to present temperance and health reform from a Bible standpoint, and to be very cautious not to go to extremes in abruptly advocating health reform. Let us be careful not to graft into health reform one false shoot according to our own peculiar overstrained ideas and weave into it our own strong traits of character making these as the voice of God, and passing judgment on all who do not see as we do. It takes time to educate away from wrong habits.

Questions are coming in from brethren and sisters making inquiries in regard to health reform. Statements are made that some are taking the light in the testimonies upon health reform and making it a test. They select statements made in regard to some articles of diet that are presented as objectionable--statements written in warning and instruction to certain individuals who were entering or had entered on an evil path. They dwell on these things and make them as strong as possible, weaving their own peculiar, objectionable traits of character in with these statements, and carry them with great force, thus making them a test and driving them where they do only harm.

The meekness and lowliness of Christ is wanting. Moderation and caution are greatly needed, but they have not these desirable traits of character. They need the mold of God upon them. And such persons may take health reform and do great harm with it in prejudicing minds so that ears will be closed to the truth.

Health reform, wisely treated, will prove an entering wedge where the truth may follow with marked success. But to present health reform unwisely, making that subject the burden of the message, has served to create prejudice with unbelievers and to bar the way to the truth, leaving the impression that we are extremists. Now the Lord would have us wise and understanding as to what is His will. We must not give occasion for us to be regarded as extremists. This will place us and the truth God has given us to bear to the people at a great disadvantage. Through weaving in unconsecrated self, that which we are ever to present as a blessing becomes a stumbling block.

We see those who will select from the testimonies the strongest expressions and, without bringing in or making any account of the circumstances under which the cautions and warnings are given, make them of force in every case. Thus they produce unhealthy impressions upon the minds of the people. There are always those who are ready to grasp anything of a character which they can use to rein up people to a close, severe test, and who will work elements of their own characters into the reforms. This, at the very outset, raises the combativeness of the very ones they might help if they dealt carefully, bearing a healthful influence which would carry the people with them. They will go at the work, making a raid upon the people. Picking out some things in the testimonies, they drive them upon every one, and disgust rather than win souls. They make divisions when they might and should make peace.

I have been shown the danger of families that are of an excitable temperament, the animal predominating. Their children should not be allowed to make eggs their diet, for this kind of food--eggs and animal flesh--feeds and inflames the animal passions. This makes it very difficult for them to overcome the temptation to indulge in the sinful practice of self-abuse which in this age is almost universally practiced. This practice weakens the physical, mental, and moral powers and bars the way to everlasting life.

Some families were shown me as in a deplorable condition. Because of this debasing sin, they are where the truth of God can not find access to heart or mind. This practice leads to deception, to falsehood, to licentious practices, and to the corrupting and polluting of other minds, even of very young children. The habit once formed is more difficult to overcome than the appetite for liquor or for tobacco.

These evils, so prevalent, led me to make the statements that I have made. The special reproofs were presented in warning to others; thus they come before other families than the very individuals corrected and reproved. But let the testimonies speak for themselves. Let not individuals gather up the very strongest statements, given for individuals and families, and drive these things because they want to use the whip and to have something to drive. Let these active, determined temperaments take the Word of God and the testimonies, which present the necessity of forbearance and love and perfect unity, and labor zealously and perseveringly. With their own hearts softened and subdued by the grace of Christ, with their own spirits humble and full of the milk of human kindness, they will not create prejudice, neither will they cause dissension and weaken the churches.

The question whether we shall eat butter, meat, or cheese is not to be presented to any one as a test, but we are to educate and to show the evils of the things that are objectionable. Those who gather up these things and drive them upon others do not know what work they are doing. The Word of God has given tests to His people. The keeping of God's holy law, the Sabbath, is a test, a sign between God and His people throughout their generations forever. Forever this is the burden of the third angel's message--the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol we must present as sinful indulgences. We cannot place on the same ground, meat, eggs, butter, cheese and such articles placed upon the table. These are not to be borne in front, as the burden of our work. The former--tea, coffee, tobacco, beer, wine, and all spirituous liquors--are not to be taken moderately, but discarded. The poisonous narcotics are not to be treated in the same way as the subject of eggs, butter, and cheese. In the beginning animal food was not designed to be the diet of man. We have every evidence that the flesh of dead animals is dangerous because of disease that is fast becoming universal, because of the curse resting more heavily in consequence of the habits and crimes of man. We are to present the truth. We are to be guarded how to use reason and select those articles of food that will make the very best blood and keep the blood in an unfevered condition. (Manuscript 5, 1881)


Article:

Soon butter will never be recommended, and after a time milk will be entirely discarded; for disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time will come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter. (Letter 14, 1901, p. 3, To Dr. S. Rand, January 22, 1901, Manuscript Releases Vol. 8, p. 384)


Article:

St. Helena, Calif.
May 29, 1901

Dear Brother and Sister Kress:

I am deeply pained to learn that Brother Kress is ill. We have not yet heard the particulars.

I have some things I wish to send you, if I can get them off in this mail. Several cases have been presented to me, which I will speak of in time; meanwhile, do not put yourself through [such an extreme regimen] as you have done, and do not go to extremes in regard to the health reform. Some of our people are very careless in regard to health reform. But because some are far behind, you must not, in order to be an example to them, be an extremist. You must not deprive yourself of that class of food which makes good blood. Your devotion to true principles is leading you to submit yourself to a diet which is giving you an experience that will not recommend health reform. This is your danger. When you see that you are becoming weak physically, it is essential for you to makes changes, and at once. Put into your diet something you have left out. It is your duty to do this. Get eggs of healthy fowls. Use these eggs cooked or raw. Drop them uncooked into the best unfermented wine you can find.[DR. KRESS ACCEPTED THIS COUNSEL. HE FOLLOWED THE RAW-EGG AND GRAPE-JUICE REGIMEN REGULARLY UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1956 AT THE AGE OF 94.] This will supply that which is necessary to your system. Do not for a moment suppose that it will not be right to do this. There is one thing that has saved life--an infusion of blood from one person to another; but this would be difficult and perhaps impossible for you to do. I merely suggest it

The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and I beseech you to call for the elders of the church without delay. May the Lord help you, is my most sincere prayer. We appreciate your experience as a physician, and yet I say that milk and eggs should be included in your diet. These things cannot at present be dispensed with, and the doctrine of dispensing with them should not be taught.

You are in danger of taking too radical a view of health reform, and of prescribing for yourself a diet that will not sustain you.

Again, let nothing come up before you to worry you. Come apart and rest awhile. This you must do. Draw from the great Physician leaves from the tree of life. Plead in your own behalf, and let others also plead for you. "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me" (Isa. 27:5).

I do hope that you will heed the words I have spoken to you. It has been presented to me that you will not be able to exert the most successful influence in health reform unless in some things you become more liberal to yourself and to others. The time will come when milk cannot be used as freely as it is now used; but the present is not the time to discard it. And eggs contain properties which are remedial agencies in counteracting poisons. And while warnings have been given against the use of these articles of diet in families where the children were addicted to, yes, steeped in, habits of self abuse, yet we should not consider it a denial of principle to use eggs of hens which are well cared for and suitably fed.

On one occasion a brother was taken sick with erysipelas of the head. His head was very much swollen. A message was sent for Dr. Lay to come at once. Meanwhile, a messenger was sent for me. At that time my husband and I had a most serious case on hand, a case in which the least wrong movement would prove fatal. A man had become dizzy while crossing a stream of water. He fell from his carriage, and was trampled under the feet of two high-spirited horses. He was brought to our house in a partially unconscious condition. His head and face were badly bruised and his skull was broken. A physician was sent for. He came and said that the man would have some chance for his life if he remained at our house. If he were taken to his own home, he would die; for his wife would indulge him in eating. The physician said that he could trust Elder White and his wife to carry out his orders strictly. For ten days he was to be kept at the point of starvation.

Just at this point his wife appeared, and concluded that her husband needed nourishing food. Without saying a word to me, she prepared something good, as she thought, and when we had left him to rest and sleep, stole in and gave it to him. In a short time he was in a raging fever, as crazy as a man need to be. All hope for his life seemed to have gone. We found out what was the matter, sent his wife home at once, and for two days worked unremittingly to save the life so heedlessly jeopardized. We watched, and we worked, and we prayed; and the Lord mercifully carried him again in His arms.

Thus we were working when the call came for us to attend Brother Wilson, the man who had come down with the erysipelas. But we dared not leave our patient. The night before I dreamed that I was caring for a child whose life was despaired of. Its head was swollen, and the whole body inflamed. A skillful physician gave orders to take woolen sheets, dip them in hot water, and wrap them round the child. Up to this time the child had been without sense of feeling. But as we worked over him with persevering diligence, wrapping him in hot blankets, we saw that he began to cringe. This process was kept up until the child's life was saved.

It was the brother of the sick man who came to me with the message, and when I told him my dream about the child, he said that I had described his brother's case exactly. He said he would follow the directions given, for the dream was of the Lord. He said, "My brother has no sense of feeling. His body is apparently dead, just as you described the body of the child to be."

He went home and carried out the treatment as given in my dream. Two or three times they wrapped the sick man in hot blankets, until he began to wince and finally asked them what they were doing. In a short time the swelling left his head, and he was fully conscious. When the physician arrived, he said that it was nothing less than a miracle.

After this Dr. Lay came to me and said, "I have gone as far as I can go, but Brother Wilson is sinking. I cannot arouse him." I said, "Last night I dreamed that my sick child was sinking. I asked the skillful Physician, who has never lost a case, what I should do. The answer came, "Break an egg into a glass of unfermented wine, and give him such a drink two or three times a day, until the exhaustion is gone and there is a revival of the life forces." Snatching up his hat, Dr. Lay said, "This is of the Lord. We shall save Brother Wilson yet." And off he went. For three days he gave him egg and wine, and he was soon fully recovered.

This Brother Wilson was the father of our beloved Brother Wilson who died in Queensland, Australia.

I write you this that you may see that the very simplest things may be used as remedial agents in placing one in great danger in a favorable condition.

I have something to say in reference to extreme views of health reform. Health reform becomes health deform, a health destroyer, when it is carried to extremes. You will not be successful in sanitariums where the sick are treated if you prescribe for the patients the same diet you have prescribed for yourself and your wife. I assure you that your ideas in regard to diet for the sick are not advisable. The change is too great. While I would discard flesh meat as injurious, something less objectionable may be used, and this is found in eggs. Do not remove milk from the table or forbid its being used in the cooking of food. The milk used should be procured from healthy cows, and should be sterilized.

Those who take an extreme view of health reform are in danger of preparing tasteless dishes. This has been done over and over again. The food has become so insipid as to be refused by the stomach. The food given the sick should be varied. They should not be given the same dishes over and over again.

There should be in our sanitarium a cook who thoroughly understands the work, one who has good judgment, who can experiment, who will not introduce into the food those things which should be avoided. It is well to leave sugar out of the crackers that are made. Some enjoy best the sweetest crackers, but these are an injury to the digestive organs. Butter should not be placed on the table, for if it is some will use it too freely, and it will obstruct digestion. But for yourself, you should occasionally use a little butter on cold bread, if this will make the food more appetizing. This would do you far less harm than to confine yourself to preparations of food that are not palatable.

Dr. Kellogg has prepared a potato flour, and this food I have used during my journey. It is made as a gruel, and some good cream is added to it. It is palatable, and does not produce any ill effects. I use some salt, and always have, because from the light given me by God, this article, in the place of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. The whys and wherefores of this I know not, but I give you the instruction as it is given me.

I have told you what I have because I have received light that you are injuring your body by a poverty-stricken diet. I must say to you that it will not be best for you to instruct the students as you have done in regard to the diet question, because your ideas in regard to discarding certain things will not be for the help of those who need help.

Brother and Sister Kress, I have all confidence in you, and I greatly desire that you may have physical health, in order that you may have perfect soundness spiritually. It is the lack of suitable food that has caused you to suffer so keenly. You have not taken the food essential to nourish your frail physical strength. You must not deny yourself of good wholesome food.

At one time Dr. Merritt Kellogg tried to teach our family to cook according to health reform, as he viewed it, without salt or anything else to season the food. Well, I determined to try it, but I became so reduced in strength that I had to make a change and a different policy was entered upon with great success. I tell you this because I know that you are in positive danger. Food should be prepared in such a way that it will be nourishing. It should not be robbed of that which the system needs.

The Lord calls upon Brother and Sister Kress to reform, to take periods of rest. It is not right for you to take burdens as you have done in the past. Unless you take heed, you will sacrifice that life which is so precious in the sight of the Lord. "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 Cor. 6:19, 20).

You love to obey the commandments of God. I would that your conscientious adherence to principle could be seen in Brother _____ and Dr. _____. Then they would work on altogether different lines. They would be a strength and a necessity to the sanitarium. These brethren need converting. Then the correct principles will be followed in the development of character.

Self is the hardest master to serve. And no one can serve self and Christ. The responsibility of Christian profession is often shunned as a yoke of bondage. Men shake it off as an intolerable burden, supposing that they will be disgraced unless they assert their dignity and their authority. Unless they wish to stand condemned before the heavenly universe, they must view in an altogether different light the wearing of the yoke of Christ. Unless they change, they will be humbled instead of exalted.

The religion of Christ is not what many have supposed it to be. Many have lost the holy principles of genuine Christlikeness. They make a pretense to follow Jesus, but self, dear self, is the mainspring of every action. They are not Christians, for Christ is dishonored by their misrepresentation of His example. They carry not with them the reviving hopes and helps of the gospel. These are kept in the outer court. They do not think it essential to blend the principles of Christ with their philosophy. They do not allow the Sun of Righteousness to give decided influence to their life-practice. Bible religion, reverence for God, homage to Christ, unswerving obedience to principle, are kept in the outer court. Christ has no personal contact with their lives. Their practice is far from the reality and sacredness of true religion.

God calls for whole-souled, upright, high-principled men. These are the men needed in our institutions. Those who are satisfied with half-and-half service can well be spared.

I arose very early this morning and wrote the foregoing before breakfast. I have more written on this subject, which the next mail may bring to you.

God calls upon those for whom Christ died to take proper care of themselves and set a right example to others. My brother, you are not to make a test for the people of God upon the question of diet, for they will lose confidence in teachings that are strained to the farthest point of extension. The Lord desires His people to be sound on every point in health reform, but we must not go to extremes. I have matter written on these points, but I shall not be able to get it copied for this mail. This that I now send you was opened distinctly before me last night. The reason for Dr. Kress's poor health is his overdrawing on his bank stock of health and then failing to replace the amount drawn out by wholesome, nutritious, palatable food. My brother, devote your whole life to Him who was crucified for you, but do not tie yourself down to a meager diet, for thus you misrepresent health reform.

While working against gluttony and intemperance, we are to remember the means and appliances of gospel truth, which commend themselves to sound judgment. I order to do our work in straight, simple lines, we must recognize the conditions to which the human family are subjected. God has made provisions for those who live in the different countries of the world. Those who desire to be co-workers with God must consider carefully how they teach health reform in God's great vineyard. They must move carefully in specifying just what food should and should not be eaten. The human messenger must unite with the divine Helper in presenting the message of mercy to the multitudes God would save.

We are to be brought into connection with the masses. Should health reform be taught them in its most extreme form, harm would be done. We ask them to leave off eating meat and drinking tea and coffee. That is well. But some say that milk also should be given up. This is a subject that needs to be carefully handled. There are poor families whose diet consists of bread and milk, and, if they can get it, a little fruit. All flesh food should be discarded, but vegetables should be made palatable with a little milk or cream or something equivalent. The poor say, when health reform is presented to them, "What shall we eat? We cannot afford to buy the nut foods." As I preach the gospel to the poor, I am instructed to tell them to eat that food which is most nourishing. I cannot say to them, "You must not eat eggs or milk or cream. You must use no butter in the preparation of food." The gospel must be preached to the poor, and the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet. {12MR 176.2}

The time will come when we may have to discard some of the articles of diet we now use, such as milk and cream and eggs, but my message is that you must not bring yourself to a time of trouble beforehand, and thus afflict yourself with death. Wait till the Lord prepares the way before you.

The reforms that are strained to the highest tension might accommodate a certain class who can obtain all they need to take the place of the things discarded, but this class forms a very small minority of the people, to whom these tests seem unnecessary. There are those who try to abstain from what is declared to be harmful. They fail to supply the system with proper nourishment, and as a consequence become weak and unable to work. Thus health reform is brought into disrepute. The work we have tried to build up solidly is confused with strange things that God has not required. The energies of the church are crippled.

But God will interfere to prevent the results of these too-strenuous ideas. The gospel is to harmonize the sinful race. It is to bring the rich and the poor together at the feet of Jesus.

This is all I can write today, for the mail must go soon. But I wish to say that when the time comes that it is no longer safe to use milk, cream, butter, and eggs, God will reveal this. No extremes in health reform are to be advocated. The question of using milk and butter and eggs will work out its own problem. At present we have no burden on this line. Let your moderation be known unto all men.--Letter 37, 1901, pp. 1-13. (To Dr. and Mrs. Kress, May 29, 1901, Manuscript Releases Vol. 12, pp. 168-178)


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Concerning flesh meat we can all say, Let it alone. And all should bear a clear testimony against tea and coffee, never using them. They are narcotics, and are injurious to the brain and they clog the whole human machinery. It is also well to discard desserts. But we have not come to the time when I can say that the use of milk and eggs should be wholly discontinued. Milk and eggs should not be classed with flesh meat. In some ailments the use of eggs is necessary. (Letter 177, 1901, p. 8, To "The Brethren and Sisters that Compose the Iowa Conference," May 7, 1901, Manuscript Releases Vol. 8, p. 384)


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St. Helena, California, August 20, 1902.

Wherever the truth is proclaimed, instruction should be given in the preparation of healthful foods. God desires that in every place the people shall be taught to use wisely the products that can be easily obtained. Skillful teachers should show the people how to utilize to the very best advantage the products that they can raise or secure in their section of the country. Thus the poor, as well as those in better circumstances, can learn to live healthfully.

From the beginning of the health reform work, we have found it necessary to educate, educate, educate. God desires us to continue this work of educating the people. We are not to neglect it because of the effect we may fear it will have on the sales of the health foods prepared in our factories. That is not the most important matter. Our work is to show the people how they can obtain and prepare the most wholesome food, how they can co-operate with God in restoring His moral image in themselves.

Our workers should exercise their ingenuity in the preparation of healthful foods. None are to pry into Dr. Kellogg's secrets, but all should understand that the Lord is teaching many minds in many places to make healthful foods. There are many products which, if properly prepared and combined, can be made into foods that will be a blessing to those who cannot afford to purchase the more expensive, specially prepared health foods. He who in the building of the tabernacle gave skill and understanding in all manner of cunning work, will give skill and understanding to His people in the combining of natural food products, thus showing them how to secure a healthful diet.

Knowledge in regard to the preparation of healthful foods is God's property and has been communicated to man in order that he may communicate it to his fellow men. In saying this I do not refer to the special preparations that it has taken Dr. Kellogg and others long study and much expense to perfect. I refer especially to the simple preparations that all can make for themselves, instruction in regard to which should be given freely to those who desire to live healthfully, and especially to the poor.

It is the Lord's design that in every place men and women shall be encouraged to develop their talents by preparing healthful foods from the natural products of their own section of the country. If they look to God, exercising their skill and ingenuity under the guidance of His Spirit, they will learn how to prepare natural products into healthful foods. Thus they will be able to teach the poor how to provide themselves with foods that will take the place of flesh meat. Those thus helped can in turn instruct others. Such a work will yet be done with consecrated zeal and energy. If it had been done before, there would today be many more people in the truth and many more who could give instruction. Let us learn what our duty is, and then do it. We are not to be dependent and helpless, waiting for others to do the work that God has committed to us.

In the use of foods we should exercise good, sound common sense. When we find that a certain food does not agree with us, we need not write letters of inquiry to learn the cause of the disturbance. Change the diet; use less of some foods; try other preparations. Soon we shall know the effect that certain combinations have on us. As intelligent human beings let us individually study the principles and use our experience and judgment in deciding what foods are best for us.

The foods used should be suited to the occupation in which we are engaged and the climate in which we live. Some foods that are suitable in one country will not do in another.

There are some who would be benefited more by abstinence from food for a day or two every week than by any amount of treatment or medical advice. To fast one day a week would be of incalculable benefit to them.

I have been instructed that the nut foods are often used unwisely, that too large a proportion of nuts is used, that some nuts are not as wholesome as others. Almonds are preferable to peanuts; but peanuts, in limited quantities, may be used in connection with grains to make nourishing and digestible food.

Olives may be so prepared as to be eaten with good results at every meal. The advantages sought by the use of butter may be obtained by the eating of properly prepared olives. The oil in the olives relieves constipation; and for consumptives, and for those who have inflamed, irritated stomachs, it is better than any drug. As a food it is better than any oil coming secondhand from animals.

It would be well for us to do less cooking and to eat more fruit in its natural state. Let us teach the people to eat freely of the fresh grapes, apples, peaches, pears, berries, and all other kinds of fruit that can be obtained. Let these be prepared for winter use by canning, using glass, as far as possible, instead of tin.

Concerning flesh meat, we should educate the people to let it alone. Its use is contrary to the best development of the physical, mental, and moral powers. And we should bear a clear testimony against the use of tea and coffee. It is also well to discard rich desserts. Milk, eggs, and butter should not be classed with flesh meat. In some cases the use of eggs is beneficial. The time has not come to say that the use of milk and eggs should be wholly discarded. There are poor families whose diet consists largely of bread and milk. They have little fruit and cannot afford to purchase the nut foods. In teaching health reform, as in all other gospel work, we are to meet the people where they are. Until we can teach them how to prepare health reform foods that are palatable, nourishing, and yet inexpensive, we are not at liberty to present the most advanced propositions regarding health reform diet.

Let the diet reform be progressive. Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter, because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time is near when, because of the iniquity of the fallen race, the whole animal creation will groan under the diseases that curse our earth.

God will give His people ability and tact to prepare wholesome food without these things. Let our people discard all unwholesome recipes. Let them learn how to live healthfully, teaching to others what they have learned. Let them impart this knowledge as they would Bible instruction. Let them teach the people to preserve the health and increase the strength by avoiding the large amount of cooking that has filled the world with chronic invalids. By precept and example make it plain that the food which God gave Adam in his sinless state is the best for man's use as he seeks to regain that sinless state.

Those who teach the principles of health reform should be intelligent in regard to disease and its causes, understanding that every action of the human agent should be in perfect harmony with the laws of life. The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. Men and women should be informed in regard to the human habitation, fitted up by our Creator as His dwelling place, and over which He desires us to be faithful stewards. "For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." 2 Corinthians 6:16.

Hold up the principles of health reform, and let the Lord lead the honest in heart. Present the principles of temperance in their most attractive form. Circulate the books that give instruction in regard to healthful living.

The people are in sad need of the light shining from the pages of our health books and journals. God desires to use these books and journals as mediums through which flashes of light shall arrest the attention of the people and cause them to heed the warning of the message of the third angel. Our health journals are instrumentalities in the field to do a special work in disseminating the light that the inhabitants of the world must have in this day of God's preparation. They wield an untold influence in the interests of health and temperance and social purity reform, and will accomplish great good in presenting these subjects in a proper manner and in their true light to the people.

The Lord has been sending us line upon line, and if we reject these principles we are not rejecting the messenger who teaches them, but the One who has given us the principles.

Reform, continual reform, must be kept before the people, and by our example we must enforce our teaching. True religion and the laws of health go hand in hand. It is impossible to work for the salvation of men and women without presenting to them the need of breaking away from sinful gratifications, which destroy the health, debase the soul, and prevent divine truth from impressing the mind. Men and women must be taught to take a careful view of every habit and every practice, and at once put away those things that cause an unhealthy condition of the body and thus cast a dark shadow over the mind. God desires His light bearers ever to keep a high standard before them. By precept and example they must hold their perfect standard high above Satan's false standard, which, if followed, will lead to misery, degradation, disease, and death for both body and soul. Let those who have obtained a knowledge of how to eat and drink and dress so as to preserve health impart this knowledge to others. Let the poor have the gospel of health preached unto them from a practical point of view, that they may know how to care properly for the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (Testimonies, Vol. 7, 1902, pp. 132-137, St. Helena, California, August 20, 1902)


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The time has not yet come when I can say that the use of milk and of eggs should be wholly discontinued. Milk and eggs should not be classed with flesh meat. In some ailments the use of eggs is very beneficial. (Letter 135, 1902)


Article:

(Written January 18, 1904, from "Elmshaven," Sanitarium, California, to the Doctors Kress. Most of this letter appears in Counsels on Diet and Foods. )

I have received instructions in regard to the use of flesh meat in our sanitariums. Flesh meat should be excluded from the diet, and its place should be supplied by wholesome, palatable food, prepared in such a way as to be appetizing.

Those who come to our sanitariums for treatment should be provided with a liberal supply of well-cooked food. The food placed before them must necessarily be more varied in kind than would be necessary in a home family. Let the diet be such that a good impression will be made on the guests. This is a matter of great importance. The patronage of a sanitarium will be larger if a liberal supply of appetizing food is provided.

Again and again I have left the tables of our sanitarium hungry and unsatisfied. I have talked with those in charge of the institutions, and have told them that their diet needed to be more liberal and the food more appetizing. I told them to put their ingenuity to work to make the necessary change in the best way. I told them to remember that what would perhaps suit the taste of health reformers would not answer at all for those who have always eaten luxuries, as they are termed. Much may be learned from the meals prepared and served in a successfully conducted hygienic restaurant.

Brother and Sister Kress, unless you give much attention to this matter, your patronage will decrease instead of increasing. There is danger of going to extremes in diet reform.

When a letter came to me from Cooranbong, saying that Dr. Kress was dying, I was that night instructed that he must have a change of diet. A raw egg, taken two or three times a day, would give the nourishment that he greatly needed.

I feared that Dr. Kress would not live till my prescription reached him, but the Lord graciously spared his life.

Last night I was in my sleep talking with Dr. Kress. I said to him, You must still exercise care in regard to extremes in diet. You must not go to extremes either in your own case or in regard to the food provided for the helpers and the patients at the sanitarium. The patients pay a good price for their board, and they should have liberal fare. Some may come to the sanitarium in a condition demanding stern denial of appetite and the simplest fare, but as their health improves, they should be liberally supplied with nourishing food.

You may be surprised at my writing this, but last night I was instructed that a change in the diet would make a great difference in your patronage. A more liberal diet is needed.

Will you not give heed to this instruction? It will be good for you as well as for the patients.

I will not write more on this subject now. I have a deep interest in the family at the Wahroonga Sanitarium. I have their special good in view, and this is why I have written as I have. I woke at half past eleven, and rose at half past one to write this letter. (Letter 37, 1904, To Doctors Kress, January 18, 1904, written from Elmshaven, Manuscript Releases Vol. 21, pp. 103-104)


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The danger of going to extremes in diet must be guarded against in the sanitarium. We cannot expect worldlings to accept at once that which our people have been years in learning. Even now there are many of our ministers who do not practice health reform, notwithstanding the light they have had. We cannot expect those who do not realize the need of abstemiousness in diet, who have had no practical experiences on this subject, to take at once the wide step between self-indulgence in eating and the most strenuous diet in health reform.

Those who come to the sanitarium must be provided with wholesome food, prepared in the most palatable way consistent with right principles. We cannot expect them to live just as we live. The change would be too great. And there are very few throughout our ranks who live so abstemiously as Doctor ----- has thought it wise to live. Changes must not be made abruptly, when the patients are not prepared for them.

The food placed before the patients should be such as to make a favorable impression on them. Eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways. Lemon pie should not be forbidden.

Too little thought and painstaking effort has been given to making the food tasty and nourishing. We do not want that the sanitarium shall be destitute of patients. We cannot convert men and women from the error of their ways unless we treat them wisely.

Get the best cook possible, and do not limit the food to that which would suit the taste of some who are rigid health reformers. Were the patients given this food only, they would become disgusted, because it would taste so insipid. It is not thus that souls are to be won to the truth in our sanitariums. Let the cautions that the Lord has given Brother and Sister ----- in regard to extremes in diet, be heeded. I was instructed that Doctor ----- must change his diet, and eat more nourishing food. It is possible to avoid rich cooking, and yet make the food palatable. I know that every extreme in diet that is brought into the sanitarium will hurt the reputation of the institution. . . .

There is a way of combining and preparing food that will make it both wholesome and nourishing. Those in charge of the cooking in our sanitariums should understand how to do this. The matter should be treated from a Bible standpoint. There is such a thing as robbing the body of nutrition. The preparation of the food in the best manner possible is to become a science. (Letter 127, 1904)


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Not all who profess to believe in dietetic reform are really reformers. With many persons the reform consists merely in discarding certain unwholesome foods. They do not understand clearly the principles of health, and their tables, still loaded with harmful dainties, are far from being an example of Christian temperance and moderation.

Another class, in their desire to set a right example, go to the opposite extreme. Some are unable to obtain the most desirable foods, and, instead of using such things as would best supply the lack, they adopt an impoverished diet. Their food does not supply the elements needed to make good blood. Their health suffers, their usefulness is impaired, and their example tells against, rather than in favor of, reform in diet.

Others think that since health requires a simple diet, there need be little care in the selection or the preparation of food. Some restrict themselves to a very meager diet, not having sufficient variety to supply the needs of the system, and they suffer in consequence.

Those who have but a partial understanding of the principles of reform are often the most rigid, not only in carrying out their views themselves, but in urging them on their families and their neighbors. The effect of their mistaken reforms, as seen in their own ill-health, and their efforts to force their views upon others, give many a false idea of dietetic reform, and lead them to reject it altogether.

Those who understand the laws of health and who are governed by principle, will shun the extremes, both of indulgence and of restriction. Their diet is chosen, not for the mere gratification of appetite, but for the upbuilding of the body. They seek to preserve every power in the best condition for highest service to God and man. The appetite is under the control of reason and conscience, and they are rewarded with health of body and mind. While they do not urge their views offensively upon others, their example is a testimony in favor of right principles. These persons have a wide influence for good.

There is real common sense in dietetic reform. The subject should be studied broadly and deeply, and no one should criticize others because their practice is not, in all things, in harmony with his own. It is impossible to make an unvarying rule to regulate everyone's habits, and no one should think himself a criterion for all. Not all can eat the same things. Foods that are palatable and wholesome to one person may be distasteful, and even harmful, to another. Some cannot use milk, while others thrive on it. Some persons cannot digest peas and beans; others find them wholesome. For some the coarser grain preparations are good food, while others cannot use them.

Those who live in new countries or in poverty-stricken districts, where fruits and nuts are scarce, should not be urged to exclude milk and eggs from their dietary. It is true that persons in full flesh and in whom the animal passions are strong need to avoid the use of stimulating foods. Especially in families of children who are given to sensual habits, eggs should not be used. But in the case of persons whose blood-making organs are feeble,--especially if other foods to supply the needed elements cannot be obtained,--milk and eggs should not be wholly discarded. Great care should be taken, however, to obtain milk from healthy cows, and eggs from healthy fowls, that are well fed and well cared for; and the eggs should be so cooked as to be most easily digested.

The diet reform should be progressive. As disease in animals increases, the use of milk and eggs will become more and more unsafe. An effort should be made to supply their place with other things that are healthful and inexpensive. The people everywhere should be taught how to cook without milk and eggs, so far as possible, and yet have their food wholesome and palatable.

The practice of eating but two meals a day is generally found a benefit to health; yet under some circumstances persons may require a third meal. This should, however, if taken at all, be very light, and of food most easily digested. "Crackers"--the English biscuit--or zwieback, and fruit, or cereal coffee, are the foods best suited for the evening meal.

Some are continually anxious lest their food, however simple and healthful, may hurt them. To these let me say, Do not think that your food will injure you; do not think about it at all. Eat according to your best judgment; and when you have asked the Lord to bless the food for the strengthening of your body, believe that He hears your prayer, and be at rest.

Because principle requires us to discard those things that irritate the stomach and impair health, we should remember that an impoverished diet produces poverty of the blood. Cases of disease most difficult to cure result from this cause. The system is not sufficiently nourished, and dyspepsia and general debility are the result. Those who use such a diet are not always compelled by poverty to do so, but they choose it through ignorance or negligence, or to carry out their erroneous ideas of reform.

God is not honored when the body is neglected or abused and is thus unfitted for His service. To care for the body by providing for it food that is relishable and strengthening is one of the first duties of the householder. It is far better to have less expensive clothing and furniture than to stint the supply of food.

Some householders stint the family table in order to provide expensive entertainment for visitors. This is unwise. In the entertainment of guests there should be greater simplicity. Let the needs of the family have first attention.

Unwise economy and artificial customs often prevent the exercise of hospitality where it is needed and would be a blessing. The regular supply of food for our tables should be such that the unexpected guest can be made welcome without burdening the housewife to make extra preparation.

All should learn what to eat and how to cook it. Men, as well as women, need to understand the simple, healthful preparation of food. Their business often calls them where they cannot obtain wholesome food; then, if they have a knowledge of cookery, they can use it to good purpose.

Carefully consider your diet. Study from cause to effect. Cultivate self-control. Keep appetite under the control of reason. Never abuse the stomach by overeating, but do not deprive yourself of the wholesome, palatable food that health demands.

The narrow ideas of some would-be health reformers have been a great injury to the cause of hygiene. Hygienists should remember that dietetic reform will be judged, to a great degree, by the provision they make for their tables; and instead of taking a course that will bring discredit upon it, they should so exemplify its principles as to commend them to candid minds. There is a large class who will oppose any reform movement, however reasonable, if it places a restriction on the appetite. They consult taste instead of reason or the laws of health. By this class, all who leave the beaten track of custom and advocate reform will be accounted radical, no matter how consistent their course. That these persons may have no ground for criticism, hygienists should not try to see how different they can be from others, but should come as near to them as possible without the sacrifice of principle.

When those who advocate hygienic reform go to extremes, it is no wonder that many who regard these persons as representing health principles reject the reform altogether. These extremes frequently do more harm in a short time than could be undone by a lifetime of consistent living.

Hygienic reform is based upon principles that are broad and far-reaching, and we should not belittle it by narrow views and practices. But no one should permit opposition or ridicule, or a desire to please or influence others, to turn him from true principles, or cause him lightly to regard them. Those who are governed by principle will be firm and decided in standing for the right; yet in all their associations they will manifest a generous, Christlike spirit and true moderation. (Ministry of Healing, 1905, pp. 318-324, "Extremes in Diet")


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Faithfulness in Health Reform [MANUSCRIPT READ BEFORE THE DELEGATES AT THE GENERAL CONFERENCE, WASHINGTON D. C., MAY 31, 1909.]

I am instructed to bear a message to all our people on the subject of health reform, for many have backslidden from their former loyalty to health reform principles.

God's purpose for His children is that they shall grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. In order to do this, they must use aright every power of mind, soul, and body. They cannot afford to waste any mental or physical strength.

The question of how to preserve the health is one of primary importance. When we study this question in the fear of God we shall learn that it is best, for both our physical and our spiritual advancement, to observe simplicity in diet. Let us patiently study this question. We need knowledge and judgment in order to move wisely in this matter. Nature's laws are not to be resisted, but obeyed.

Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and that self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.

Personal Responsibility

The remnant people of God must be a converted people. The presentation of this message is to result in the conversion and sanctification of souls. We are to feel the power of the Spirit of God in this movement. This is a wonderful, definite message; it means everything to the receiver, and it is to be proclaimed with a loud cry. We must have a true, abiding faith that this message will go forth with increasing importance till the close of time.

There are some professed believers who accept certain portions of the Testimonies as the message of God, while they reject those portions that condemn their favorite indulgences. Such persons are working contrary to their own welfare and the welfare of the church. It is essential that we walk in the light while we have the light. Those who claim to believe in health reform, and yet work counter to its principles in the daily life practice, are hurting their own souls and are leaving wrong impressions upon the minds of believers and unbelievers.

Strength Through Obedience

A solemn responsibility rests upon those who know the truth, that all their works shall correspond with their faith, and that their lives shall be refined and sanctified, and they be prepared for the work that must rapidly be done in these closing days of the message. They have no time or strength to spend in the indulgence of appetite. The words should come to us now with impelling earnestness: "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19. There are many among us who are deficient in spirituality and who, unless they are wholly converted, will certainly be lost. Can you afford to run the risk?

Pride and weakness of faith are depriving many of the rich blessings of God. There are many who, unless they humble their hearts before the Lord, will be surprised and disappointed when the cry is heard: "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh." Matthew 25:6. They have the theory of the truth, but they have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. Our faith at this time must not stop with an assent to, or belief in, the theory of the third angel's message. We must have the oil of the grace of Christ that will feed the lamp and cause the light of life to shine forth, showing the way to those who are in darkness.

If we would escape having a sickly experience, we must begin in earnest without delay to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. There are many who give no decided evidence that they are true to their baptismal vows. Their zeal is chilled by formality, worldly ambition, pride, and love of self. Occasionally their feelings are stirred, but they do not fall on the Rock, Christ Jesus. They do not come to God with hearts that are broken in repentance and confession. Those who experience the work of true conversion in their hearts will reveal the fruits of the Spirit in their lives. Oh, that those who have so little spiritual life would realize that eternal life can be granted only to those who become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust!

The power of Christ alone can work the transformation in heart and mind that all must experience who would partake with Him of the new life in the kingdom of heaven. "Except a man be born again," the Saviour has said, "he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that can lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will lead to watchfulness. It will purify the heart and renew the mind, and give us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship.

God requires of His people continual advancement. We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. With all our profession of health reform, many of us eat improperly. Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies largely at the foundation of feebleness and premature death. Let the individual who is seeking to possess purity of spirit bear in mind that in Christ there is power to control the appetite.

Flesh Foods

If we could be benefited by indulging the desire for flesh foods, I would not make this appeal to you; but I know we cannot. Flesh foods are injurious to the physical well-being, and we should learn to do without them. Those who are in a position where it is possible to secure a vegetarian diet, but who choose to follow their own preferences in this matter, eating and drinking as they please, will gradually grow careless of the instruction the Lord has given regarding other phases of the present truth and will lose their perception of what is truth; they will surely reap as they have sown.

I have been instructed that the students in our schools are not to be served with flesh foods or with food preparations that are known to be unhealthful. Nothing that will serve to encourage a desire for stimulants should be placed on the tables. I appeal to old and young and to middle-aged. Deny your appetite of those things that are doing you injury. Serve the Lord by sacrifice.

Let the children have an intelligent part in this work. We are all members of the Lord's family, and the Lord would have His children, young and old, determine to deny appetite and to save the means needed for the building of meetinghouses and the support of missionaries.

I am instructed to say to parents: Place yourselves, soul and spirit, on the Lord's side of this question. We need ever to bear in mind that in these days of probation we are on trial before the Lord of the universe. Will you not give up indulgences that are doing you injury? Words of profession are cheap; let your acts of self-denial testify that you will be obedient to the demands that God makes of His peculiar people. Then put into the treasury a portion of the means you save by your acts of self-denial, and there will be that with which to carry on the work of God.

There are many who feel that they cannot get along without flesh food; but if these would place themselves on the Lord's side, resolutely resolved to walk in the way of His guidance, they would receive strength and wisdom as did Daniel and his fellows. They would find that the Lord would give them sound judgment. Many would be surprised to see how much could be saved for the cause of God by acts of self-denial. The small sums saved by deeds of sacrifice will do more for the upbuilding of the cause of God than larger gifts will accomplish that have not called for denial of self.

Seventh-day Adventists are handling momentous truths. More than forty years ago the Lord gave us special light on health reform, but how are we walking in that light? How many have refused to live in harmony with the counsels of God! As a people, we should make advancement proportionate to the light received. It is our duty to understand and respect the principles of health reform. On the subject of temperance we should be in advance of all other people; and yet there are among us well-instructed members of the church, and even ministers of the gospel, who have little respect for the light that God has given upon this subject. They eat as they please and work as they please.

Let those who are teachers and leaders in our cause take their stand firmly on Bible ground in regard to health reform, and give a straight testimony to those who believe we are living in the last days of this earth's history. A line of distinction must be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve themselves.

I have been shown that the principles that were given us in the early days of the message are as important and should be regarded just as conscientiously today as they were then. There are some who have never followed the light given on the question of diet. It is now time to take the light from under the bushel and let it shine forth in clear, bright rays.

The principles of healthful living mean a great deal to us individually and as a people. When the message of health reform first came to me, I was weak and feeble, subject to frequent fainting spells. I was pleading with God for help, and He opened before me the great subject of health reform. He instructed me that those who are keeping His commandments must be brought into sacred relation to Himself, and that by temperance in eating and drinking they must keep mind and body in the most favorable condition for service. This light has been a great blessing to me. I took my stand as a health reformer, knowing that the Lord would strengthen me. I have better health today, notwithstanding my age, than I had in my younger days.

It is reported by some that I have not followed the principles of health reform as I have advocated them with my pen; but I can say that I have been a faithful health reformer. Those who have been members of my family know that this is true.

"To the Glory of God"

We do not mark out any precise line to be followed in diet; but we do say that in countries where there are fruits, grains, and nuts in abundance, flesh food is not the right food for God's people. I have been instructed that flesh food has a tendency to animalize the nature, to rob men and women of that love and sympathy which they should feel for everyone, and to give the lower passions control over the higher powers of the being. If meat eating was ever healthful, it is not safe now. Cancers, tumors, and pulmonary diseases are largely caused by meat eating.

We are not to make the use of flesh food a test of fellowship, but we should consider the influence that professed believers who use flesh foods have over others. As God's messengers, shall we not say to the people: "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God"? 1 Corinthians 10:31. Shall we not bear a decided testimony against the indulgence of perverted appetite? Will any who are ministers of the gospel, proclaiming the most solemn truth ever given to mortals, set an example in returning to the fleshpots of Egypt? Will those who are supported by the tithe from God's storehouse permit themselves by self-indulgence to poison the life-giving current flowing through their veins? Will they disregard the light and warnings that God has given them? The health of the body is to be regarded as essential for growth in grace and the acquirement of an even temper. If the stomach is not properly cared for, the formation of an upright, moral character will be hindered. The brain and nerves are in sympathy with the stomach. Erroneous eating and drinking result in erroneous thinking and acting.

All are now being tested and proved. We have been baptized into Christ, and if we will act our part by separating from everything that would drag us down and make us what we ought not to be, there will be given us strength to grow up into Christ, who is our living head, and we shall see the salvation of God.

Only when we are intelligent in regard to the principles of healthful living can we be fully aroused to see the evils resulting from improper diet. Those who, after seeing their mistakes, have courage to change their habits, will find that the reformatory process requires a struggle and much perseverance; but when correct tastes are once formed, they will realize that the use of the food which they formerly regarded as harmless was slowly but surely laying the foundation for dyspepsia and other diseases.

Fathers and mothers, watch unto prayer. Guard strictly against intemperance in every form. Teach your children the principles of true health reform. Teach them what things to avoid in order to preserve health. Already the wrath of God has begun to be visited upon the children of disobedience. What crimes, what sins, what iniquitous practices, are being revealed on every hand! As a people we are to exercise great care in guarding our children against depraved associates.

Teaching Health Principles

Greater efforts should be put forth to educate the people in the principles of health reform. Cooking schools should be established, and house-to-house instruction should be given in the art of cooking wholesome food. Old and young should learn how to cook more simply. Wherever the truth is presented, the people are to be taught how to prepare food in a simple, yet appetizing way. They are to be shown that a nourishing diet can be provided without the use of flesh foods.

Teach the people that it is better to know how to keep well than how to cure disease. Our physicians should be wise educators, warning all against self-indulgence and showing that abstinence from the things that God has prohibited is the only way to prevent ruin of body and mind.

Much tact and discretion should be employed in preparing nourishing food to take the place of that which has formerly constituted the diet of those who are learning to be health reformers. Faith in God, earnestness of purpose, and a willingness to help one another will be required. A diet lacking in the proper elements of nutrition brings reproach upon the cause of health reform. We are mortal and must supply ourselves with food that will give proper nourishment to the body.

Extremes in Diet

Some of our people, while conscientiously abstaining from eating improper foods, neglect to supply themselves with the elements necessary for the sustenance of the body. Those who take an extreme view of health reform are in danger of preparing tasteless dishes, making them so insipid that they are not satisfying. Food should be prepared in such a way that it will be appetizing as well as nourishing. It should not be robbed of that which the system needs. I use some salt, and always have, because salt, instead of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. Vegetables should be made palatable with a little milk or cream, or something equivalent.

While warnings have been given regarding the dangers of disease through butter, and the evil of the free use of eggs by small children, yet we should not consider it a violation of principle to use eggs from hens that are well cared for and suitably fed. Eggs contain properties that are remedial agencies in counteracting certain poisons.

Some, in abstaining from milk, eggs, and butter, have failed to supply the system with proper nourishment, and as a consequence have become weak and unable to work. Thus health reform is brought into disrepute. The work that we have tried to build up solidly is confused with strange things that God has not required, and the energies of the church are crippled. But God will interfere to prevent the results of these too strenuous ideas. The gospel is to harmonize the sinful race. It is to bring the rich and poor together at the feet of Jesus.

The time will come when we may have to discard some of the articles of diet we now use, such as milk and cream and eggs; but it is not necessary to bring upon ourselves perplexity by premature and extreme restrictions. Wait until the circumstances demand it and the Lord prepares the way for it.

Those who would be successful in proclaiming the principles of health reform must make the word of God their guide and counselor. Only as the teachers of health reform principles do this can they stand on vantage ground. Let us never bear a testimony against health reform by failing to use wholesome, palatable food in place of the harmful articles of diet that we have discarded. Do not in any way encourage an appetite for stimulants. Eat only plain, simple, wholesome food, and thank God constantly for the principles of health reform. In all things be true and upright, and you will gain precious victories.

Diet in Different Countries

While working against gluttony and intemperance, we must recognize the condition to which the human family is subjected. God has made provision for those who live in the different countries of the world. Those who desire to be co-workers with God must consider carefully before they specify just what foods should and should not be eaten. We are to be brought into connection with the masses. Should health reform in its most extreme form be taught to those whose circumstances forbid its adoption, more harm than good would be done. As I preach the gospel to the poor, I am instructed to tell them to eat that food which is most nourishing. I cannot say to them: "You must not eat eggs, or milk, or cream. You must use no butter in the preparation of food." The gospel must be preached to the poor, but the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet.

A Word to the Wavering

Those ministers who feel at liberty to indulge the appetite are falling far short of the mark. God wants them to be health reformers. He wants them to live up to the light that has been given on this subject. I feel sad when I see those who ought to be zealous for our health principles, not yet converted to the right way of living. I pray that the Lord may impress their minds that they are meeting with great loss. If things were as they should be in the households that make up our churches, we might do double work for the Lord.

Conditions of Answered Prayer

In order to be purified and to remain pure, Seventh-day Adventists must have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and in their homes. The Lord has given me light that when the Israel of today humble themselves before Him, and cleanse the soul-temple from all defilement, He will hear their prayers in behalf of the sick and will bless in the use of His remedies for disease. When in faith the human agent does all he can to combat disease, using the simple methods of treatment that God has provided, his efforts will be blessed of God.

If, after so much light has been given, God's people will cherish wrong habits, indulging self and refusing to reform, they will suffer the sure consequences of transgression. If they are determined to gratify perverted appetite at any cost, God will not miraculously save them from the consequences of their indulgence. They "shall lie down in sorrow." Isaiah 50:11.

Those who choose to be presumptuous, saying, "The Lord has healed me, and I need not restrict my diet; I can eat and drink as I please," will erelong need, in body and soul, the restoring power of God. Because the Lord has graciously healed you, you must not think you can link yourselves up with the self-indulgent practices of the world. Do as Christ commanded after His work of healing--"go, and sin no more." John 8:11. Appetite must not be your god.

The Lord gave His word to ancient Israel, that if they would cleave strictly to Him and do all His requirements, He would keep them from all the diseases such as He had brought upon the Egyptians; but this promise was given on the condition of obedience. Had the Israelites obeyed the instruction they received, and profited by their advantages, they would have been the world's object lesson of health and prosperity. The Israelites failed of fulfilling God's purpose, and thus failed of receiving the blessings that might have been theirs. But in Joseph and Daniel, in Moses and Elijah, and many others, we have noble examples of the results of the true plan of living. Like faithfulness today will produce like results. To us it is written: "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9.

Self-Surrender and Rest

Oh, how many lose the richest blessings that God has in store for them in health and spiritual endowments! There are many souls who wrestle for special victories and special blessings that they may do some great thing. To this end they are always feeling that they must make an agonizing struggle in prayer and tears. When these persons search the Scriptures with prayer to know the expressed will of God, and then do His will from the heart without one reservation or self-indulgence, they will find rest. All the agonizing, all the tears and struggles, will not bring them the blessing they long for. Self must be entirely surrendered. They must do the work that presents itself, appropriating the abundance of the grace of God which is promised to all who ask in faith.

"If any man will come after Me," said Jesus, "let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23. Let us follow the Saviour in His simplicity and self-denial. Let us lift up the Man of Calvary by word and by holy living. The Saviour comes very near to those who consecrate themselves to God. If ever there was a time when we needed the working of the Spirit of God upon our hearts and lives, it is now. Let us lay hold of this divine power for strength to live a life of holiness and self-surrender.

The word of God is to be our lessonbook. The Lord is our helper and our God. Let us look to Him to open the way for the carrying out of our plans. (Testimonies, Vol. 9, 1909, p. 153-166, "Faithfulness in Health Reform", Manuscript read before the delegates at the General Conference, Washington D. C., May 31, 1909.)

 

 
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Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.