Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 4, 1905

The Prevention of Consumption


December 27, 1904 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MCP 327; 2MR 181; 3MR 319-320; 9MR 287.

I am afraid that sufficient instruction is not given regarding the necessity of avoiding the causes that produce consumption. Many suffer from pulmonary disease, not because they have inherited it, but because of some carelessness on their own part. If they would live much in the open air, taking full, deep inspirations of fresh air, and if they would dress and eat in accordance with the principles of health, they would soon improve. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 1

Fashionable dressing is one of the chief causes of coughs and diseased lungs. Those who are threatened with pulmonary diseases should take special care not to allow the extremities of the body to be chilled. The wrists should be covered with warm wristers; for if the hands and arms are chilled, the lungs are injuriously affected. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 2

During the cold winter months, soft woollen stockings or socks should be worn, and these should be changed often, perhaps two or three times a week. The feet should never be left damp. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 3

Many mothers show very little wisdom in the way in which they dress their children. They allow the dictates of fashion to rule them, to the great detriment of the health of their children. It would seem almost as if they did not have reasoning powers. They dress their little girls in such a way that the limbs are left unprotected, while those parts of the body nearest the heart, and therefore naturally warmest, are covered with several thicknesses of clothing. Thus the blood is driven from those parts of the body which need it most, because they are the most remote from the heart and they are chilled. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 4

Often children sit in the school room for hours with chilled arms and feet. The blood is driven from the chilled extremities to the internal organs, and the children become fretful and cross. They do not succeed in their studies as they should, because the brain is surcharged with blood. And the limbs, deprived of needed nourishment, do not develop properly. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 5

Consumptives are often made at home by improper food and clothing. Parents, if in the care of the children that God has entrusted to you, you do not act in harmony with the principles of health reform, how can you expect them to grow up well and strong, with active bodies and clear minds? Pulmonary disease, or disease of some other part of the body, is the sure result of improper eating and improper dressing. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 6

If the living machinery were properly cared for, there would not be today one-thousandth part of the suffering that there is. We are God’s children, and we are to be apt students in studying the philosophy of health. If we are well, we should learn how to keep well by studying to some purpose the principles of health reform. Seventh-day Adventists should not follow the health-destroying customs of the world because it is the fashion to follow these customs. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 7

The path of the just is as a shining light. Parents are to gather up the divine rays of light coming to them through the channel of health reform. The warning is given, “Be not envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.” [Proverbs 24:1.] To women as well as to men this warning is given, to lead them to avoid the evils of the fashionable world and of fashionable dress. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 111:10.] 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 8

I am instructed to say to parents, Do all in your power to help your children to have a pure, clean conscience. Teach them to feed on the Word of God. Teach them that they are the Lord’s little children. Do not forget that He has appointed you as their guardians. If you will give them proper food, and dress them healthfully, and if you will diligently teach them the Word of the Lord, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, with much prayer to our heavenly Father, your efforts will be richly rewarded. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 9

Parents, God is in earnest with you. Wake up, and work diligently to prepare your children for the heavenly home. Keep the eye of faith fixed steadfastly upon the Lord, and do not allow yourself to be turned aside from the path of duty. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 10

Take hold upon the Lord as your helper, and walk in the way of His choosing. Then He will be honored and glorified in your lives. Take up your neglected work, and separate from every sinful practice, and God will help you. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 11

There is a sacred, solemn work before us. Those who will make God their trust will be enabled to bring their children up in such a way that they will be saved from the disease that is brought on by intemperance in eating and drinking and by wrong habits of dressing. And their children will rise up and call them blessed, because they did not permit them to form wrong habits. 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 12

Many who are threatened with consumption will be healed through faith. Many others will be healed through proper eating and drinking and through living largely in the open air. To those who are suffering from this disease, I would say, Take regular exercise, and keep as cheerful as possible. Keep busy, and live as much as possible out of doors. Keep your heart free from all jealousy and evil surmising, and ask God to help you to improve as fast as possible. Some will overcome the disease; yes, many will, through faith in the mighty Healer. “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me,” the Lord says, “and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 20LtMs, Ms 4, 1905, par. 13