The Story of our Health Message


Dr. Austin’s Powerful Plea

“How he delights in the apparel they wear! He sits in their dressing rooms, and nods and chuckles and grins in gratified maliciousness, as the process of dressing goes on; and ever and anon, as some article specially adapted to his hateful purpose is appropriated, he holds his sides and twinkles his eyes in merry satisfaction. Those shoes—yes, those suit him precisely! How beautifully they pinch the toes, and press upon the veins at the ankles! ‘Dear madam, what a loyal subject you are! I will stand by you till your dying day. And these bands about the waist—adjust them carefully. There, make them a little tighter. Cut off the action of the abdominal muscles entirely.’ Tis vulgar to let your breath descend so low. SHM 117.1

“‘And this dress is capital—excellent! The flowing sleeves will allow the cool, damp, evening air to play easily about the white arms. Whalebones in it? Ah, yes, that will do. Now hook it, madam. Draw a little tighter. Exhaust your lungs, and contract your chest into the smallest compass. Bravo! One hook is fastened! No sensible woman would wear corsets. They are injurious, and, what is worse, they are out of date. But a dress just fitting closely and beautifully can do no harm. ... SHM 117.2

“‘Stop, madam, and pant a moment. There, now, proceed. Oh, what a model of a dress! Stand now, and examine its length in a mirror. Elegant! It just sweeps the floor so gracefully. And your hoops are of the most genteel size. Ha! Ha! ... Won’t the wind find easy access to her limbs? And won’t she be harrassed, and hampered, and hindered, in every step she takes, in the midst of all this drapery? By the time she is ready to lay it off, won’t she feel nervous and weary and exhausted? And shall I not have gotten a faster hold upon her?’”—Ibid. SHM 117.3

Among the persons selected at this gathering to serve as officers of the convention for the ensuing year were seven physicians, three ministers, one minister’s wife, and one professor. Joshua V. Himes, a former co-worker with William Miller in connection with the advent movement, was a member of the executive committee. His name found frequent mention in the Laws of Life as one of those interested in, and approving of, the various reforms for the maintenance and restoration of health. SHM 118.1