Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 3, 1897

Health Reform

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 11, 1897

This manuscript is published in entirety in PC 160-168.

I was awakened at 11:30 last night, and commenced writing. We were in a meeting where important instruction in many lines was being given. Among those assembled were physicians, editors, publishers, ministers, and a large number of other persons. We were considering many things in regard to health reform. The matters of exercise and reformatory methods in regard to the foods we eat were under discussion. Some were advocating a flesh meat diet. Speaking in support of this diet they said that without it they were weak in physical strength. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 1

But the words of our Teacher to us were, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” [Proverbs 23:7.] The flesh of dead animals was not the original food for man. Man was permitted to eat it after the flood because all vegetation had been destroyed. But the curse pronounced upon man and the earth and every living thing has made strange and wonderful changes. Since the flood the human race has been shortening its period of existence. Physical, mental and moral degeneracy is rapidly increasing in these latter days. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 2

The educational work in the medical missionary line is a great advance step toward awakening man to his moral responsibilities. Had the ministers taken hold of this work in accordance with the light that God has given them in various lines, there would have been a most decided reformation in eating, in drinking, and in dressing. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 3

But there are those who have stood directly in the way of the advance of health reform. They have held the people back by their indifferent or depreciatory remarks, and their supposed pleasantries and jokes. They themselves and a large number of others have been sufferers, even unto death, but all have not yet learned wisdom. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 4

What Might Have Been

The Lord would vindicate the Word He has given to His servants. Had all united to walk in the light, from the time the light was first given on this subject, there would have been an army of sensible arguments employed to vindicate the work of God. But it has been by most aggressive warfare that any advancement has been made. The souls and bodies of the people have been fast becoming corrupted, a mass of disease. This would not have been the case if those who claimed to believe the truth had lived out its sacred principles in their lives. But these were unwilling to deny self, unwilling to yield their mind and will to the will of God; they were determined to have their own way, and they have realized in their own sufferings the sure results of such a course. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 5

God has claims upon all who are engaged in His service. He desires that every power and endowment shall be under the divine control, and that they shall be as healthy as careful, strictly temperate habits can make them. We are under obligation to God to make an unreserved consecration of ourselves to Him, body and soul, with all the faculties appreciated as God’s entrusted gifts, to be employed in His service. All our energies and capabilities are to be constantly strengthened and improved during this period of probationary time. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 6

But those who have occupied positions of influence have not appreciated the work which has been so long neglected. They have not become interested and diligent students of the building which God has made for His habitation. They consider it far more important to become learners upon subjects of less consequence to the human agent. Thousands upon thousands know nothing of the body, and how to care for it. David declared, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” [Psalm 139:14.] And when God has given us such a habitation, why should not every apartment be critically examined. The chambers of the mind, and the heart apartment, are the most important. Why should men and women continue in ignorance, and live in the basement of the house, enjoying sensual and debasing pleasures? 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 7

Care in Changing the Diet

Great care should be taken when the change is made from a flesh meat to a vegetarian diet to supply the table with wisely prepared, well-cooked articles of food. So much porridge eating is a mistake. The dry food, that requires mastication is far preferable. The health food preparations are a blessing in this respect. Good brown bread and rolls, prepared in a simple manner yet with painstaking effort will be healthful. Bread should never have the slightest taint of sourness. It should be cooked until it is most thoroughly done. Thus all softness and stickiness will be avoided. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 8

For those who can use them, good vegetables, prepared in a healthful manner, are better than soft mushes or porridge. Fruits used with thoroughly cooked bread two or three days old will be more healthful than with fresh bread. This, with slow and thorough mastication, will furnish all that the system requires. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 9

“As a man thinketh so is he.” [Proverbs 23:7.] If the appetite is allowed to rule, then the mind will be brought under its control. When the stomach is educated to discard that which will prove only an injury to it, the simplest kinds of food will satisfy its hunger. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 10

It is not well to take a great variety of foods at one meal. When fruit and bread, together with a variety of other foods that do not agree, are crowded into the stomach at one meal, what can we expect but that a disturbance will be created? 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 11

The mixing largely of white or brown flour bread with milk in the place of water is not a healthful preparation. If the bread thus cooked is allowed to stand over, and is then broken open, there will frequently be seen long strings like cobwebs, and this, in warm weather, soon causes fermentation to take place in the stomach. Milk should not be used in place of water in breadmaking. All this is extra expense, and is not wholesome. The taste may be educated so that it will prefer bread prepared in this way; but the more simply it is made, the better it will satisfy hunger, and the more natural will be the appetite to enjoy the plainest diet. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 12

We had a large family to cook for, and the ten quarts of milk which our cow gave each day was not sufficient for our family use. At times three extra quarts had to be purchased to give us enough to mix the bread with milk. This was a most extravagant business, and wholly unnecessary. I had this order of things changed, and the testimony of nearly all was that the bread was more appetizing than when mixed with milk. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 13

Every housekeeper should feel it her duty to educate herself to make good, sweet bread, and in the most inexpensive manner; and the family should refuse to have upon the table bread that is heavy and sour, for it is injurious. There are a large number of poor families who buy the common baker’s bread which is often sour, and is not healthful for the stomach. In every line of cooking the question that should be considered is, “How shall the food be prepared in the most natural and inexpensive manner?” And there should be careful study that the fragments of food left over from the table be not wasted. Study how, that in some way these fragments of food shall not be lost. This skill, economy, and tact is a fortune. In the warmer part of the season, prepare less food. Use more dry substance. There are many poor families, who, although they have scarcely enough to eat, can often be enlightened as to why <they are poor—there are> so many jots and tittles wasted. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 14

Let the Watchmen Arouse

The meat diet is the serious question. Shall human beings live on the flesh of dead animals? The answer, from the light that God has given is, No; decidedly no. Health reform institutions should educate on this question. Physicians who claim to understand the human organism ought not to encourage their patients to subsist on the flesh of dead animals. They should point out the increase of disease in the animal kingdom. The testimony of examiners is that very few animals are free from disease, and that the practice of eating largely of meat is contracting diseases of all kinds—cancers, tumors, scrofula, tuberculosis, and numbers of other like affections. If man will subsist on the food that God has so abundantly provided, without having it first pass into the animal organism and become sinew and muscle, and then take it second hand by eating of the corpse, his health would be much better insured. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 15

The ministers in our land should become intelligent upon health reform. They need to become acquainted with the science of physiology. Then they will be intelligent in regard to the laws that govern physical life, and their bearings upon the health of mind and soul. Then they will be able to speak correctly upon this subject. In their obedience to physical laws they are to hold forth the Word of life to the people, and lead up higher and still higher in the work of reform. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 16

“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” [Romans 12:1.] “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” [1 Peter 2:11, 12.] All who claim to be teachers should urge, both by precept and example, the necessity of abstaining from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 17

What shall arouse those who claim to be walking in the light that is shining upon the people of God in these last days? A lethargy of unconscious sensualism through indulgence of perverted appetite, a constant submitting of soul and body and spirit to moral defilement is upon the people. Under the marriage vow, which our Creator has instituted, appetite has been perverted and indulged. And these lustful appetites, with their destroying power, have been transmitted from parents to children, and so intensified that their names are recorded in the books of heaven as transgressors of God’s law. Upon their very countenances is imprinted the sin of Sodom. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 18

The Final Judgment

Continuance in these sins will bring the sure and terrible results. They will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. They will receive the sentence, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whore-mongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” [Revelation 22:11-15.] 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 19

This is the final judgment. Let the senses of all be aroused; for many whose names now appear on the church books are not the children of God. In the books of heaven it is recorded of them, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.] Let every church in our land arouse to the importance of studying the Word of God, and with much earnest prayer, not stand afar off, but “draw nigh unto God.” The promise is, “He will draw nigh unto you.” [James 4:8.] Then you may keep life in your souls, and obtain a sound experience. Then you will not be of that class of whom it is written, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” [Matthew 24:12.] 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 20

Let the Lord Jesus come into your houses and into your hearts. Every talent entrusted to us is to be used and improved in accordance with the will of the Giver. Days, months, and years are added to our existence that we may improve our opportunities and advantages for working out our own individual salvation, and promoting the well-being of others by our unselfish life. Thus may we build up the kingdom of Christ, and make manifest the glory of God. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 21

Human exertion, physical and intellectual ability, will be taxed to the utmost to keep the feet of the youth in the path where we can trace the foot prints of Jesus. The young men have not had all the attention that they should have had in order to develop their talents. The arrangements made in the missionary line of work are far in the rear. Councils have been corrupted, and board meetings been conducted by inefficient members who felt not the necessity of having the constraining power of the Holy Spirit upon the youth, to help them to choose the illumination from above. The youth need sanctified example, an acknowledgment of Omnipotence, in the grand work of becoming home and foreign missionaries. They need to behold in the cross of Christ the only true power to sustain the human agent in his continuous struggle against temptations, amid disappointments and reverses. How many of the General Conference have said to the workers “Go,” but have left many to make brick without straw, have given them no facilities or help. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 22

Dead in Trespasses and Sins

The malarious, poisonous atmosphere, which surrounds the souls of those who are dead in trespasses and sins, is causing them to become like the inhabitants of the Noachic world, who, because they chose to follow the imaginations of their own corrupt minds, and dishonor God by their wicked inventions, became corrupt in body and soul, and hated the God who made them. God sent them a message that they should not live, but should be destroyed because of their wicked works. And whole families today are in need of being terribly alarmed. They have been, and still are, corrupting their way before God. They are so steeped in licentiousness that they do not discern the difference between the pure affections given them of God, the attributes of human nature, and the destructive lusts which by indulgence and wicked inventions make them as sinful as were those before the flood and the inhabitants of Sodom. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 23

The Father and Mother

In assuming human nature that He might reach to the very depths of human woe and misery and lift man up, Christ has shown what estimate He places upon the human race. In this work everything was at stake. Satan claimed to be the lawful owner of the fallen race; and with what persistent efforts did he seek to overthrow Christ through his subtlety! It was only by most desperate conflict with the powers of Satan that Christ could accomplish His purpose of restoring the almost obliterated image of God in man, and place His own signature upon his forehead. It was a desperate battle, for Satan had so long worked in league with human intelligences as to almost completely intercept every ray of light shining from the throne of God upon the human mind. The cross of Calvary alone could destroy the works of the devil. In that wondrous sacrifice all eyes were called to “behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] The love of Christ kindles in the heart of all who continue to behold Him. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 24

Satan’s ear caught the words spoken by John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world” [Verse 29], and he determined to unite all the power of his army, and of human beings, with himself to accomplish the ruin of the race. He would commence with the appetite. He could bring his temptations to bear upon this point, and by a perverted appetite destroy the mental and physical force, and make men appear a revolting, polluted being before his Maker. And Satan has carried out his purpose. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 25

Working Counter to Nature

All nature makes manifest the work of God. Man is fearfully and wonderfully made, and if man had obeyed the laws of Jehovah in His natural law, the image of God would have been revealed in him. But by sinning against his own body, by indulging his unnatural appetite and disturbing the action of the human machinery; by the use of alcoholic drinks, narcotics, and the flesh of diseased animals, man has disordered and crippled the Lord’s divine arrangements. Nature does her best to expel the poisonous drug tobacco, but frequently she is overborne. She gives up her struggles to expel the intruder, and the life is sacrificed in the conflict. Every pernicious drug placed in the human stomach, whether by prescription of physicians, or by man himself doing violence to the human organism, injures the whole machinery. Every intemperate indulgence of lustful appetite is at war with natural instinct and the healthful condition of every nerve and muscle and organ of the wonderful human machinery which through the Creator’s power possesses organic life. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 26

Nature would do her work wisely and well if the human agent would, in his treatment of the body, co-operate with the divine purpose. But how Satan and his whole confederacy rejoice to see how easily his powers of deception and art can persuade man to form an appetite for most unpleasant stimulants and narcotics. And then when nature has been overborne, enfeebled in all her working force, there is the drug medication to come from the physicians, to kill the remaining vital force—and leave men miserable wrecks of suffering, of imbecility, of insanity, and of loathsome disease. God is hidden from the human observation by the hellish shadow of Satan. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 27

In (Luke 4:16-19), Christ announces His mission and work for the world: “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 28

Jesus Himself became man’s ransom, his liberator from the oppressive power of Satan. “Ye are not your own,” He says, “for ye are bought with a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] We are bought from a power whose slaves we were. And the price our ransom costs was the only begotten Son of God. His blood alone could ransom guilty man. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 29

Indifference Regarding Character Building

O, if every one could discern these matters as they have been presented to me, those who are now so careless, so indifferent in regard to their character building; those who plead for indulgence in a flesh meat diet, would never open their lips in justification of an appetite for the flesh of dead animals. Such a diet contaminates the blood in their veins, and stimulates the lower animal passions. It enfeebles keen perception and vigor of thought to the understanding of God and the truth, and a knowledge of themselves. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 30

Christ gave His life a ransom for many. Christ was to come under the cruel power of Satan. Satan hoped if he could once gain the supremacy, he would overcome Christ. He had obtained mastery over the human family, and through disobedience to God’s holy law, had brought them under his jurisdiction. He unjustly claimed them as his own subjects. But Christ takes the prey from the enemy. Satan was to be overcome by the Son of man. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 31

Christ removed every obstruction, that man might return to his allegiance to God. Christ became subject to suffering in behalf of man. And yet man, by his selfish indulgence, his willing to place himself in slippery places, and through unnatural appetite obliterate the image of God. Man, who has been endowed with physical, mental, and moral power, has placed himself where he is a weakling. Satan knows that he cannot overcome man unless he can control his will. He can do this by deceiving man so that he will co-operate with him in transgressing the laws of nature in eating and drinking, which is transgression of the law of God. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 32

Here is where the subject of intemperance grows into importance. Here is where Satan works to so confuse minds by a perverted appetite that man cannot discern sacred things from common. Cheap things are placed on a level with the sacred. Animalism is strengthened, the higher powers weakened. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 33

The Law of Heredity

The physical and mental condition of the parents is perpetuated in their offspring. This is a matter that is not duly considered. Wherever the habits of the parents are contrary to physical law, the injury done to themselves will be repeated in the future generations. Satan knows this very well, and he is perpetuating his work through transmission. Let the husband and wife in their married life prove a help and a blessing to one another. Let them consider the cost of every indulgence in intemperance and sensualism. These indulgences do not increase love, nor ennoble and elevate. Those who will indulge the animal passions and gratify lust will surely stamp upon their offspring the debasing practices, the grossness of their own physical and moral defilement. By physical, mental, and moral culture all may become co-workers with Christ. Very much depends upon the parents. It lies with them whether they shall bring into the world children who will prove a blessing or a curse. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 34

A Higher Standard to be Reached

There is a much higher standard to be reached in every family. All can rise. By drawing nigh to God, they may receive power to resist the devil, for the Spirit of God lifts up a standard for them against the enemy. The father and the mother who know no higher rule of life than selfish indulgence of lustful passions are not Christians. They are lowering the standard of intellectual and moral character, and are descending down toward the brute creation, rather than upward to work in harmony with Jesus Christ to restore the moral image of God in man. Appetites are cherished that are low and debasing, and entirely unnatural. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 35

God calls for reform in our churches. Satan is playing the game of life for every soul. He is seeking to brutify humanity whom God values. But when the appetite is held under the control of an intelligent, God-fearing mind, there will be a cultivation of pure, spiritual attributes. There will be a refusal to be led into a slavery that kills physical, mental, and moral worth, and leaves the human agent, for whom Christ has paid so high a price, crippled, worthless, and tossed about with temptation. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 36

Benumb not the faculties that God has given for wise improvement by intemperate habits. Touch not, taste not, handle not, spirituous liquors in any form. But intemperance does not stop here. There are manufactured appetites which the Author of our being has never created, and every departure from the simple natural laws, which He has established in our being, is a departure from the law of God. This law embraces the treatment of the entire being. Every nerve and fiber and muscle of the body has been constructed by God, and so arranged as to minister happiness to the human agent. But man has sought out many inventions. He has treated his body as if its laws had no such thing as penalty, and in this sin against his body, he has dishonored his Maker. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 37

Satan has carried out his plans in this respect. Man’s appetite has become perverted, his organs and powers enfeebled, crippled, and diseased. And these results, which he has through his specious temptations brought about, he uses to taunt God with. He presents before God the appearance of the human being whom Christ has purchased as His property. And what an unsightly representation he is of his Maker. God is dishonored, because man has corrupted his ways before the Lord. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 38

The Wisdom of the Creator

The Creator of man has arranged the living machinery of our bodies. Every function is wonderfully and wisely made. And God has pledged Himself to keep this human machinery in healthful action if the human agent will obey His laws and co-operate with God. Every law governing the human machinery is to be considered just as truly divine in origin, in character, and in importance as the Word of God. Every careless, inattentive action, any abuse put upon the Lord’s wonderful mechanism, by disregarding His specified laws in the human habitation, is a violation of God’s law. We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 39

From the first dawn of reason, the human mind should become intelligent in regard to the physical structure. Here Jehovah has given a specimen of Himself, for man was made in the image of God. It is Satan’s determined work to destroy the moral image of God in man. He would make the intelligence of man, his highest, noblest gift, the most destructive agent, to pollute with sin everything he touches. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 40

Satan’s Determined Purpose

Not only the human, but the brute creation are made to suffer through Satan’s attributes wrought out through the human agent. One human being becomes Satan’s co-partner to tempt, allure, and deceive his fellow men to vicious practices. And the sure result is diseased bodies, because of the violation of moral law. “Because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold.” [Matthew 24:12.] It is Satan’s determined purpose to deceive the human family to such an extent that he can bring them as a mass on his side to work with him in making man believe that the law of God is no longer obligatory upon the human race. Then he will find agencies which will multiply his efficiency in leading men to ignore the law of God. When they do this, then he rules them with a rod of iron. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 41

The only definition of sin given in God’s Word is transgression of the law. It is not excusable, and has no defence or justification. It will be the final and eternal condemnation of the originator of sin and all the angels who united with him in the heavenly courts, who joined the confederacy of evil, identifying themselves with the great apostate. When the question comes, “Why have ye done thus?” every tongue will be silent; the rebellious world will stand speechless before God. Of Satan God had said, “Thou wast perfect in all thy ways from the day that thou wast created, until iniquity was found in thee.” [Ezekiel 28:15.] 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 42

Sin entered the world by the defection of one who stood at the head of the holy angels. What was it that wrought so great a change, transforming a royal, honored subject into an apostate? The answer is given, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” [Verse 17.] Had not the Lord made the covering cherub so beautiful, so closely resembling His own image; had not God awarded him special honor; had anything been left undone in the gifts of beauty and power and honor, then Satan might have had some excuse. But God declares: “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. ... Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou was perfect in all thy ways from the day that thou was created until iniquity was found in thee. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 43

“By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned; therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness; I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuary by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shall thou be any more.” [Verses 12-19.] 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 44

Why, O why cannot the world see where they are drifting, and the sure result. The Lord has wrought in sending the living preacher with the Word of life. It is the Word of God to a people who, through Satan’s devices, know him not. When the Lord’s minister in sincerity holds forth the Word of life, there should be those connected with him to help him in the work. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Before one book of the New Testament was written, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying apostles, and the testimony of their enemies was, “Ye have filled all Jerusalem with your doctrine.” [Acts 5:28.] 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 45

The teacher himself must be the living embodiment of truth. His self denial and charity is his witness that he bears the message of heaven. He has himself eaten of the flesh and drank of the blood of the Son of God, and this is eternal life. Taught by the Spirit, he will not be satisfied with less than the salvation of souls. 12LtMs, Ms 3, 1897, par. 46