Counsels on Health


An Example in Temperance

The physician should be a strictly temperate man. The physical ailments of humanity are numberless, and he has to deal with disease in all its varied forms. He knows that much of the suffering he seeks to relieve is the result of intemperance and other forms of selfish indulgence. He is called to attend young men and men in the prime of life and in mature age, who have brought disease upon themselves by the use of the narcotic tobacco. If he is an intelligent physician, he will be able to trace disease to its cause; but unless he is free from the use of tobacco himself, he will hesitate to put his finger upon the plague spot and faithfully unfold to his patients the cause of their sickness. He will fail to urge upon the young the necessity of overcoming the habit before it becomes fixed. If he uses the weed himself, how can he present to the inexperienced youth its injurious effects, not only upon themselves, but upon those around them? ... CH 321.2

Of all men in the world, the physician and the minister should have strictly temperate habits. The welfare of society demands total abstinence of them, for their influence is constantly telling for or against moral reform and the improvement of society. It is willful sin in them to be ignorant of the laws of health or indifferent to them, for they are looked up to as wise above other men. This is especially true of the physician, who is entrusted with human life. He is expected to indulge in no habit that will weaken the life forces.... CH 322.1

The question is not, What is the world doing? but, What are professional men doing in regard to the widespread and prevailing curse of tobacco using? Will men to whom God has given intelligence, and who are in positions of sacred trust, be true to follow intelligent reason? Will these responsible men, having under their care persons whom their influence will lead in a right or a wrong direction, be pattern men? Will they, by precept and example, teach obedience to the laws which govern the physical system? If they do not put to a practical use the knowledge they have of the laws that govern their own being, if they prefer present gratification to soundness of mind and body, they are not fit to be entrusted with the lives of others. They are in duty bound to stand in the dignity of their God-given manhood, free from the bondage of any appetite or passion. CH 322.2

The man who chews and smokes is doing injury, not only to himself, but to all who come within the sphere of his influence. If a physician must be called, the tobacco devotee should be passed by. He will not be a safe counselor. If the disease has its origin in the use of tobacco, he will be tempted to prevaricate and assign some other than the true cause, for how can he condemn himself in his own daily practice? CH 323.1

There are many ways of practicing the healing art, but there is only one way that Heaven approves. God's remedies are the simple agencies of nature, that will not tax or debilitate the system through their powerful properties. Pure air and water, cleanliness, a proper diet, purity of life, and a firm trust in God, are remedies for the want of which thousands are dying, yet these remedies are going out of date because their skillful use requires work that the people do not appreciate. Fresh air, exercise, pure water, and clean, sweet premises, are within the reach of all with but little expense; but drugs are expensive, both in the outlay of means and the effect produced upon the system. CH 323.2