General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1
HEALTH TOPICS — VEGETARIANISM AS TAUGHT BY HEATHEN
J. H. KELLOGG
DR. KELLOGG occupied the principal part of the 11 o’clock hour Friday, Feb. 8, in reading quotations from heathen writers and philosophers upon flesh eating. Ovid’s vivid picture of the views of the great Pythagoras was given, from which the following lines were taken:— GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.3
Oh, impious use! to nature’s laws opposed,
Where bowels are in other bowels closed;
Where, fattened by their fellows’ fat, they thrive;
Maintained by murder and by death, they live.
‘Tis then for naught that mother earth provides
The stores of all she shows, and all she hides,
If men with fleshly morsels must be fed,
And chaw with bloody teeth the breathing breed;
What else is this but to devour our guests,
And barb’rously renew Cyclopean feasts?
We, by destroying life, our life sustain,
And gorge the ungodly maw with meats obscene.
Not so the golden age, who fed on fruit,
Nor durst with bloody meals their mouths pollute. GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.4
Socrates, four hundred years before Christ, described his ideal community as peopled with those who would live “on barley and wheat, baking cakes of the meal, and kneading loaves of the flour.” GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.5
Seneca, who was doubtless in Rome when Paul was there, said:— GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.6
In simpler times there was no need of so large a supernumerary force of medical men, nor of so many surgical instruments, or of so many boxes of drugs. Health was simple for a simple reason. Many dishes have induced many diseases. Not how vast a quantity of lives one stomach absorbs — devastator of land and sea. GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.7
Numerous other ancient authorities were cited, showing that vegetarianism is no new thing; and certainly many of the ideas set forth by these heathen writers seemed really more humane than the ideas now advanced in favor of flesh-eating. GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.8
More modern heathen authorities upon this subject were quoted. A young Hindu wrote of a Christian missionary as follows:— GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.9
Father Fa-Tutto, polished as he is, has himself cut the throats of two little chickens; he has caused them to be boiled in a cauldron, and has devoured them without pity. This barbarous action has drawn upon him the hatred of all the neighborhood, whose anger we have appeased only with much difficulty. May God pardon me! I believe that this stranger would have eaten our sacred Cows, who give us milk, if he had been allowed to do so. A promise has been extorted from him that he will commit no more murders of Hens, and that he will content himself with fresh eggs, milk, rice, and our excellent fruits and vegetables. GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.10
In a paper called The Harbinger, published by heathen Hindus at Lahore, India, the following “Principles of Health” were given:— GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.11
“1. Bathe with fresh water every morning before breakfast.
“2. Do not put on dyed under-clothes.
“3. Abstain from fish, flesh, fowl, eggs, all intoxicants.
“4. Take systematic, daily exercise, without exhaustion.
“5. Take sufficient rest, sleeping at least six hours.
“6. Be in sunny air, and avoid artificial light as much as possible.
“7. Keep the feet always dry and warm.
“8. Cultivate calmness, cheerfulness, and generosity.” GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.12
These various authorities were quoted to show what others who have not the light of the gospel as we have, have thought and said with reference to these important topics. We may learn some lessons from the heathen. GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.13
THE COUNCIL MEETING
ON Friday afternoon, upon the assembling of the Council in the chapel, the Chairman, Elder Olsen announced that the subject for consideration would be that of medical missionary work. He would consume no time in proving that this work is in the providence of God; we regard that question as settled. We cannot fill our place in God’s work and in his will and design while neglecting these principles, any more than we could do so while ignoring any other part of the truth. GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.14
That which we will consider now is the plans and methods by which this work has been and shall be carried on by us, and how to make the most of this in our dissemination of the truth. In 1894 sixteen or eighteen of our young people graduated at different institutions in medical courses, the most of them at the Michigan University, some at New York, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and other schools of established reputation. It is of primary importance that those who desire to graduate and to work as physicians should obtain their schooling at first-class institutions, for in no other way can they obtain positions of responsibility or be accepted in their profession in a way to do credit to themselves or the cause they represent. Our young people should not be satisfied with something cheap by way of a medical education. GCB February 11, 1895, page 104.15
Our two standard institutions, the Retreat and Sanitarium, cannot furnish employment for all these physicians, nor is it desirable that they should. There is other work to be done. Two years ago we saw many openings for this kind of work; but there are very many more now. The work in Chicago was our first venture in the line of a medical mission. Since that work was instituted, we have established one in Mexico. We have expected Elder D. T. Jones here before this time, directly from that work. He has it in charge. Before going to that field, we feared that Brother Jones’s usefulness was nearly at an end. but now he writes that he enjoys excellent health and is deeply engaged in his work. And the enterprise is succeeding splendidly. Dr. Lillis Wood has succeeded in obtaining government recognition as a physician, which no other Protestant missionary had been able to do before her. Connected with this mission is the school work, led by Miss Ora Osborne. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.1
On the trip of the “Pitcairn” next to the last, Dr. M. G. Kellogg went out as a missionary physician. After accompanying the vessel to several islands, including Pitcairn, he left the ship in New Zealand as she was turned toward home. Since then he has labored very acceptably in New Zealand and Australia. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.2
On its last trip the vessel was accompanied by Dr. J. E. Caldwell who, when he started, expected to settle on the island of Raiatea. but complications between the natives and the French authorities, and the restrictions of the French laws rendered that unadvisable, and he consequently located in Raratonga where efforts were being made to obtain a physician. He was cordially welcomed by the people and is doing a good work. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.3
There are several physicians now under appointment to go to different places: Dr. Neall to Rio Janeiro, Brazil; Dr. Ferciot to British Guiana; Dr. Carmichael to African West Coast; Dr. De Forrest to Matabeleland; and Dr. Braucht to accompany the “Pitcairn” on her next trip. Every one of these men is not only a competent physician, but qualified also to labor in the gospel, to conduct a course of meetings or of Bible study. Dr. Caldwel is an ordained minister, a practical teacher, and a builder. And one who goes to labor in these dark countries needs to be qualified to help the people in every particular. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.4
But it is not from distant lands alone that calls come for help; all around us are openings and calls for the medical missionary worker. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.5
It is well known that within the past few months branch sanitariums have been started in College View, Neb., and Boulder, Col. Dr. Loper is in charge of the former, and Dr. Place of the latter. And in Portland, oregon, the work is being started, and it is the wish of its managers that the institution be placed under the control of the denomination. In South Africa a sanitarium is being built and we are called upon to furnish doctors for it. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.6
The question now before us is, What or who shall control this branch of our work? It is no longer a local work. It is destined to become as extensive as the work of the denomination; and it must be identified with our denomination work. Then it seems to me that no body can so properly control this work as the one which manages the other work — our General Conference. The health work is as much a part of our message as any other part and has been connected with it by the testimonies of the Spirit of God. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.7
At first the principles were scoffed at, but now they are acknowledged even by the most scientific teachers. Our greatest regret is that we have not been more faithful in living out the principles thus revealed to us. But the best we can do now is to give this work its proper place and attention. And how can this be better done than by placing it under the same management that directs all our work? At first such enterprises are a burden financially, but afterward they may yield a revenue with which to push the work in other fields. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.8
These matters this Conference will need to consider. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.9
Question. — Who shall hold the property thus to be created? GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.10
Answer. — At the last General Conference the Medical Missionary Association was formed for this purpose. The General Conference Association cannot hold such property, as this work is not specified in its charter. And also that Association is now pretty well burdened with other interests. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.11
E. H. Gates, being called for, said that he had been satisfied from the first of his experience in the island that the medical missionary work was the most effective work we could do in that field. It was work which the people appreciated because they needed it. Upon landing, the first call is always for that work, and if we cannot furnish it, the people wonder why we have come. Our experience at Pitcairn during that dreadful epidemic illustrates the utility of the health work. Sixty or seventy people helpless at a time and some dying frequently, we had reason to be thankful that we could be of service to the afflicted ones. Without taking credit to ourselves, we may say that we know not how it would have fared with the people, had we not been there with even what knowledge we had. GCB February 11, 1895, page 105.12
A. J. Read of Tahiti confirmed what had been said of the importance of medical missionary work. He related several experiences showing how valuable it had been in giving our work and people standing in the islands. The American consul had said to him that he was highly gratified at the work we were doing. Visiting Raiatea with Dr. Caldwell on board the vessel, it soon became known that there was a physician on board, when the ship was at once surrounded by small boats bearing the sick and suffering who came for relief. The decks became a hospital and the doctor worked until it almost became necessary to take him in hand as a patient. The chief men and merchants came on board with a petition that the doctor should locate there, but the interference of the French law made it difficult for him to do the work he desired. GCB February 11, 1895, page 106.1
At Raratonga on his first visit he had been received kindly by the resident missionary and invited to preach for him. But there was a good deal of uneasiness as to our purposes until the missionary asked Brother Read as to the intentions of the denomination. Upon being assured that our principal object was to introduce medical work rather than to proselyte, he seemed much relieved and extended a welcome. Brother Owen settled there and more recently Dr. Caldwell has gone there. Naturally those who have labored there for years feel somewhat jealous of our movements and we would undoubtedly feel the same were we in their places. But since the doctor has gone there and is quietly at work doing good and relieving the sick, he is more cordially welcomed. He has been called upon to minister to the missionary family, and a friendly feeling exists. GCB February 11, 1895, page 106.2
From his standpoint he favored the General Conference taking charge of the medical work, because it gave standing to the workers, and because that was the only avenue through which we could effectually enter the field. GCB February 11, 1895, page 106.3