The Review and Herald


July 11, 1899

Disease and Its Causes


Children in this age are suffering, with their parents, more or less, the penalty of the violation of the laws of health. The course generally pursued with them, from their infancy, is in continual opposition to the laws of their being. They were compelled to receive a miserable inheritance of disease and debility, before their birth, occasioned by the wrong habits of their parents, which will affect them in a greater or less degree through life. This bad state of things is made every way worse by parents’ continuing to follow a wrong course in the physical training of their children during their childhood. RH July 11, 1899, par. 1

Parents manifest astonishing ignorance, indifference, and recklessness, in regard to the physical health of their children, which often results in destroying the little vitality left the abused infant, and consigns it to an early grave. You will frequently hear parents mourning over the providence of God, which has torn their children from their embrace. Our Heavenly Father is too wise to err, and too good to do us wrong. He has no delight in seeing his creatures suffer. Thousands have been ruined for life because parents have not acted in accordance with the laws of health. They have moved from impulse, instead of following the dictates of sound judgment, constantly having in view the future well-being of their children. RH July 11, 1899, par. 2

The first great object to be attained in the training of children is soundness of constitution, which will prepare the way in a great measure for mental and moral training. Physical and moral health are closely united. What an enormous weight of responsibility rests upon parents when we consider that the course pursued by them before the birth of their children has very much to do with the development of their character after their birth. RH July 11, 1899, par. 3

Many children are left to come up with less attention from their parents than a good farmer devotes to his dumb animals. Fathers, especially, are often guilty of manifesting less care for wife and children than that shown to their cattle. A merciful farmer will take time to devote especial thought as to the best manner of managing his stock, and will be particular that his valuable horses shall not be overworked, overfed, or fed when heated, lest they be ruined. He will take time to care for his stock, lest they be injured by neglect, exposure, or any improper treatment, and his increasing young stock depreciate in value. He will observe regular periods for their eating, and will know the amount of work they can perform without injuring them. In order to accomplish this, he will provide them only the most healthful food, in proper quantities, and at stated periods. By thus following the dictates of reason, farmers are successful in preserving the strength of their beasts. If the interest of every father, for his wife and children, corresponded to that care manifested for his cattle, in that degree that their lives are more valuable than the dumb animals, there would be an entire reformation in every family, and human misery be far less. RH July 11, 1899, par. 4

Great care should be manifested by parents in providing the most healthful articles of food for themselves and for their children. And in no case should they place before their children food which their reason teaches them is not conducive to health, but which would fever the system, and derange the digestive organs. Parents do not study from cause to effect in regard to their children, as in the case of their dumb animals, and do not reason that to overwork, to eat after violent exercise and when much exhausted and heated, will injure the health of human beings, as well as the health of dumb animals, and will lay the foundation for a broken constitution in man, as well as in the beasts. RH July 11, 1899, par. 5

If parents of children eat frequently, irregularly, and in too great quantities, even of the most healthful food, it will injure the constitution; but in addition to this, if the food is of an improper quality, and prepared with grease and indigestible spices, the result will be far more injurious. The digestive organs will be severely taxed, and exhausted nature will be left a poor chance to rest and recover strength, and the vital organs will soon become impaired, and break down. If care and regularity are considered needful for dumb animals, they are as much more essential for human beings, formed in the image of their Maker, as they are of more value than the dumb creation. RH July 11, 1899, par. 6

The father, in many cases, exercises less reason, and has less care, for his wife, and their offspring before its birth, than he manifests for his cattle with young. The mother, in many cases, previously to the birth of her children, is permitted to toil early and late, heating her blood, while preparing various unhealthful dishes of food to suit the perverted taste of the family and of visitors. Her strength should have been tenderly cherished. A preparation of healthful food would have required but about one half the expense and labor, and would have been far more nourishing. RH July 11, 1899, par. 7

The mother, before the birth of her children, is often permitted to labor beyond her strength. Her burdens and cares are seldom lessened, and that period, which should be to her, of all others, a time of rest, is one of fatigue, sadness, and gloom. By too great exertion on her part, she deprives her offspring of that nutrition which nature has provided for it, and by heating her blood, she imparts to it a bad quality of blood. The offspring is robbed of its vitality, robbed of physical and mental strength. The father should study how to make the mother happy. He should not allow himself to come to his home with a clouded brow. If he is perplexed in business, he should not, unless it is actually necessary to counsel with his wife, trouble her with such matters. She has cares and trials of her own to bear, and she should be tenderly spared every needless burden. RH July 11, 1899, par. 8