Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 45, 1874

Abbey, Brother; Doctors

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 18, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 347.

Dear Brother Abbey and the Doctors:

I have been shown in regard to the Health Institute that there was a lack in having the premises in every respect neat, tasteful and perfectly healthful. This is a matter that in no case should be neglected. I have been shown that fevers and ague were the result more from the water drank and the air breathed—not the most healthful—than from any other cause. 2LtMs, Lt 45, 1874, par. 1

I was shown that no pains or expense were to be begrudged that were necessary to keep the premises around that Health Institute in a perfectly sweet and healthful condition. Every drain should be arranged to carry off waste water and not leave it to filter into the sandy soil to be tainting and poisoning the atmosphere. It should empty at a great distance from the Institute. 2LtMs, Lt 45, 1874, par. 2

When in California I dreamed that I was at the Health Institute and a young man who has frequently appeared, in my dreams, to be present, was talking with the persons in the Health Institute, both helpers and doctors, in reference to the state of things. Said he, There is a lax, loose, depraved state of things existing in the Health Institute. The example that is given the patients in eating and in exercise and in general matters is not in accordance with the laws of life and health and the principles of a Health Institute. The boarders you have taken in should either strictly comply with the rules of the Health Institute in regard to their eating at regular meals and eating only two meals and nothing between their meals or they should be discharged to find other boarding places. 2LtMs, Lt 45, 1874, par. 3

The helpers who have had light in regard to the health reform should not make a god of their stomachs. If they cannot forego the third meal—which is only an injury, a tax to the system—to take care of it, discharge them whoever they may be and have strict conscientious health reformers take their place. None should be employed about the Institute unless their habits shall be such as to help forward the work for which a health institute was found essential. 2LtMs, Lt 45, 1874, par. 4

It will be very easy to slide back into the indulgence of appetite and give influence to those who have lived to gratify the taste all their lives. God will not be pleased with the state of things which now exists. There is a general backsliding; meat-eating is indulged to a great extent and the influence is going out to other places. Those who have eaten to gratify taste have ruined health and, as their last resort, came to the Institute for relief. It is the duty of the doctors to prescribe for these invalids an abstemious diet if they [are] ever [to] recover. 2LtMs, Lt 45, 1874, par. 5

If meat-eating at the Institute is essential for their strength and health, why did they not improve upon it before coming to the Institute? They had all their appetite craved and for this reason they are sick. They can never have healthy conditions while their diet is depraved. They eat too much and live on flesh meats and dead animals, and their habits [are] all wrong in many respects. If they know what is best for them and then wish to prescribe for themselves and not be willing to submit to the counsel and prescription of the physicians, it is an abuse to the Institute to have them remain. Let them go where they can continue. [Remainder missing.] 2LtMs, Lt 45, 1874, par. 6