Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4


Chapter 54—Health and Religion

The fear of the Lord will do more for the patrons of the sanitarium than any other means that can be employed for the restoration of health. Religion should in no case be kept in the background, as though detrimental to those who come to be treated. On the contrary, the fact should ever be made prominent that the laws of God, both in nature and revelation, are “life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” 4T 552.1

Pride and fashion hold men and women in the veriest slavery to customs which are fatal to health and even to life itself. The appetites and passions, clamoring for indulgence, trample reason and conscience underfoot. This is the cruel work of Satan, and he is constantly putting forth the most determined efforts to strengthen the chains by which he has bound his victims. Those who have been all their lives indulging wrong habits do not always realize the necessity of a change. And many will persist in gratifying their desire for sinful pleasure at any cost. Let the conscience be aroused and much is gained. Nothing but the grace of God can convict and convert the heart; here alone can the slaves of custom obtain power to break the shackles which bind them. The self-indulgent must be led to see and feel that a great moral renovation is necessary if they would meet the claims of the divine law; the soul-temple has been defiled, and God calls upon them to arouse and strive with all their might to win back the God-given manhood which has been sacrificed through sinful indulgence. 4T 552.2

Divine truth can make little impression upon the intellect while the customs and habits are opposed to its principles. Those who are willing to inform themselves concerning the effect of sinful indulgence upon the health, and who commence the work of reform, even if it be from selfish motives, in so doing place themselves where the truth of God may find access to their hearts. And, on the other hand, those who are reached by the presentation of Scripture truth are then in a position where their consciences will be aroused upon the subject of health. They see and feel the necessity of breaking away from the tyrannizing habits and appetites which have ruled them so long. There are many who would receive the truths of God's word, their judgment having been convinced by the clearest evidence; but the carnal desires, clamoring for gratification, control the intellect, and they reject truth as falsehood, because it comes in collision with their lustful affections. 4T 553.1

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” When men of wrong habits and sinful practices yield to the power of divine truth, the entrance of God's word gives light and understanding to the simple. There is an application of truth to the heart; and moral power, which seemed to have been paralyzed, revives. The receiver is possessed of stronger, clearer understanding than before. He has riveted his soul to the eternal Rock. Health improves in the very sense of his security in Christ. Thus religion and the laws of health go hand in hand. 4T 553.2