Pacific Health Journal


February 1, 1902

Health Principles


Man came from the hand of God perfect in organization and beautiful in form. All his faculties of mind and body were fully developed and harmoniously balanced. His nature was in harmony with the will of God. His affections were pure; his appetites and passions were under the control of reason. His mind was capable of comprehending divine things. He stood before his Maker in the strength of manhood, the crowning glory of the creative work. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 1

In infinite wisdom, the world which God had newly formed was placed under fixed laws. Laws were ordained, not only for the government of living beings, but for the operations of nature. Man was created subject to law. He was to glorify God by a life of obedience to the divine laws, including those that relate to his physical organization. But God's laws are not merely an expression of His selfish or arbitrary authority. He is love, and in all that He did, He had the well-being of humanity in view. He would have been glorified in the work of His hands had man retained his first perfection, and had all his varied capabilities of mind and soul and body been developed so as to reach the highest possible degree of excellence. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 2

The appetites of our physical nature were given us for important purposes. Kept, as they were at first created, in subjection to reason and to the laws that God made for their regulation, they would have worked only for good. Their legitimate action would have prompted health and happiness; but the Creator's benevolent purpose has been interfered with. By the fall, man was brought into bondage to sin. He lost his moral uprightness and his physical perfection. The appetites and passions that were given to him as blessings were perverted, and became warring lusts, the ministers of death. And so man passed under the dominion of the grave. Sin is the cause of physical degeneration; sin has blighted the race, and introduced disease, misery, and death. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 3

Since the fall the tendency of the race has been continually downward, the effects of sin becoming more marked with every successive generation. But so great was the vitality with which man was endowed that the patriarchs from Adam to Noah, with a few exceptions, lived nearly a thousand years. Moses, the first historian, gives an account of social and individual life in the early days of the world's history; but we find no record that an infant was born blind, deaf, crippled, or imbecile. Not an instance is recorded of a death in infancy, childhood, or early manhood. Obituary notices in the book of Genesis run thus: “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” “And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.” Concerning another, the record states, “He died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years.” It was so rare for a son to die before his father that such an occurrence was thought worthy of record: “Haran died before his father Terah.” PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 4

Since the flood, the average length of life has been decreasing. Had Adam possessed no greater physical force than men now have, the race would before this have become extinct. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 5

At the time of Christ's first advent, humanity had so degenerated that many endured a terrible weight of misery; and not only the old but the middle-aged and the young were brought to the Saviour from all the country around, to be healed of their diseases. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 6

Still more deplorable is the condition of the human family at the present time. Diseases of every type have been developed. Thousands of poor mortals with deformed, sickly bodies and shattered nerves, are dragging out a miserable existence. The infirmities of the body affect the mind, and lead to gloom, doubt, and despair. Even infants in the cradle suffer from diseases resulting from the sins of their parents. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 7

Disease and premature death have so long prevailed, with an ever-increasing weight of suffering, that they have come to be regarded as the appointed lot of humanity. But this is not the case. God is not the author of the many woes to which mortals are subject; it is not because He desires to see His creatures suffer that there is so much misery in this world. Neither is it all due to Adam's transgression. We may mourn over the fall in Eden, and think that our first parents showed great weakness in yielding to temptation, thus opening the door for sin to enter our world, with all its attendant evils. But the first transgression is not the only cause of our unhappy lot. A succession of falls has occurred since Adam's day. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 8

The same subtle enemy that beguiled Adam and Eve still attends our steps, and employs his strength and skill to urge us on in the way that leads to death. He was working to thwart the purpose of God when he presented the first temptation in Eden; and he has ever since been trying to deface the image by marring the body and depraving the soul. Wherever we look, we see evidences of his success in this work in the indulgence of depraved appetites and lustful passions, in defilement and corruption, deformity and sin. It is to these causes, and not to the providence of God, that the physical degeneration of the race is attributable. Men have listened to the suggestions of the arch-deceiver, and he delights in the ruin he has wrought. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 9

There is a close relation between the moral law and the laws that God has established in the physical world. If men would be obedient to the law of God, carrying out in their lives the principles of its ten precepts, the principles of righteousness that it teaches would be a safeguard against wrong habits. But as, through the indulgence of perverted appetite, they have declined in virtue, they have become weakened through their own immoral practises and their violation of physical laws. The suffering and anguish that we see everywhere, the deformity, decrepitude, disease, and imbecility now flooding the world, make it a lazar-house in comparison to what it might be even now if God's moral law and the law which He has implanted in our being were obeyed. By his own persistent violation of these laws, man has greatly aggravated the evils resulting from the transgression in Eden. How dishonoring to God is all this, how opposed to His design that men should glorify Him in their body and spirit, which are His! How destructive, too, to the health and happiness of mankind! PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 10

Against every transgression of the laws of life nature utters her protest. She bears abuse as long as she can; but finally retribution comes, and the mental as well as the physical powers suffer. Nor does the punishment fall on the transgressor alone; the effects of his indulgence are seen in his offspring, and thus the evil is passed on from generation to generation. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 11

Many complain of providence when their friends suffer, or are removed by death; but it is not in the order of God that men and women should lead lives of suffering, and die prematurely, leaving their work unfinished. God would have us live out the full measure of our days, with every organ in health, doing its appointed work. It is unjust to charge Him with a result which, in many cases, is due to the individual's own transgression of natural law. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 12

Because mankind have, by the transgression of these laws, departed so far from God's purpose in their creation, and have brought upon themselves such untold woe, a reform in habits relating to health has become an important branch of the great work of God in the earth. The soul temple has been polluted, and men are called upon to awake, and win back their God-given manhood. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 13

There is an intimate relation between the mind and the body; they react upon each other. In order, then, to reach a high standard of moral and intellectual attainment, and to secure a strong, well-balanced character, the laws that control our physical being must be heeded; both the mental and the physical powers must be developed. Such a training will produce men of strength and solidity of character, of keen perception and sound judgment,—men who will be an honor to God and a blessing to the world. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 14

In the providence of God, the laws that govern our physical being, with the penalties for their violation, have been made so clear that intelligent beings can understand them, and all are under the most solemn obligation to study this subject, and to live in harmony with natural law. Health principles must be agitated, and the public mind deeply stirred to investigation. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 15

As in everything else, the Bible is the standard on this subject. The teaching of the Bible has a vital bearing upon men's prosperity in all the relations of life. Compliance with its requirements will be a blessing to both soul and body. The fruit of the Spirit is not only love, joy, and peace, but temperance also,—health of body as well as health of mind. PHJ February 1, 1902, par. 16