The Review and Herald


July 18, 1899

Disease and Its Causes


The mother too often meets with cold reserve from the father. If everything does not move off just as pleasantly as he could wish, he blames the wife and mother, and is indifferent to her cares and daily trials. Men who do this are working directly against their own interest and happiness. The mother becomes discouraged. Hope and cheerfulness depart from her. She goes about her work mechanically, knowing that it must be done, and this soon results in a loss of both physical and mental health. Children are born to them suffering with various diseases, and God holds the parents accountable in a great degree; for it was their wrong habits that fastened upon their unborn children the disease under which they are compelled to suffer all through their lives. Some live but a short time with their load of debility. The mother anxiously watches over the life of her child, and is weighed down with sorrow when she is compelled to close its eyes in death; and she often regards God as the author of all this affliction, when in reality the parents are the murderers of their own child. RH July 18, 1899, par. 1

The father should bear in mind that the treatment of his wife before the birth of his offspring will materially affect the disposition of the mother during that period, and will have much to do with the character developed by the child after its birth. Many fathers have been so anxious to obtain property quickly that higher considerations have been sacrificed; some have been criminally neglectful of the mother and her offspring, and too frequently the life of both has been sacrificed to the strong desire to accumulate wealth. Many do not immediately suffer the heavy penalty for their wrong-doing, and are asleep as to the result of their course. The condition of the wife is sometimes no better than that of a slave; and sometimes she is equally guilty with her husband, of squandering physical strength to obtain means to live fashionably. It is a sin for such to have children; for their offspring will often be deficient in physical, mental, and moral worth, and will bear the miserable, close, selfish impress of their parents, and the world will be cursed with their meanness. RH July 18, 1899, par. 2

It is the duty of men and women to act with reason in regard to their labor. They should not exhaust their energies unnecessarily; for by doing this, they not only bring suffering upon themselves, but, by their errors, bring anxiety, weariness, and suffering upon those they love. What calls for such an amount of labor?—Intemperance in eating and drinking, and the desire for wealth, have led to this intemperance in labor. If the appetite is controlled, and only healthful food is eaten, there will be so great a saving of expense that men and women will not be compelled to labor beyond their strength, and thus violate the laws of health. The desire of men and women to accumulate property is not sinful if in their efforts to attain their object they do not forget God, and transgress the last six precepts of Jehovah, which dictate the duty of man to his fellow man, and so place themselves in a position where it is impossible for them to glorify God in their bodies and spirits, which are his. If, in their haste to be rich, they overtax their energies, and violate the laws of their being, they place themselves in a condition where they can not render to God perfect service, and are therefore pursuing a course of sin. Property thus obtained is gained at an immense sacrifice. RH July 18, 1899, par. 3

Hard labor and anxious care often make the father nervous, impatient, and exacting. He does not notice the tired look of his wife, who has labored with her feeble strength just as hard as he has labored with his stronger energies. He suffers himself to be hurried with business, and through his anxiety to be rich, loses in a great measure the sense of his obligation to his family, and does not measure aright his wife's power of endurance. He often enlarges his farm, requiring an increase of hired help, which necessarily increases the housework. The wife realizes every day that she is doing too much work for her strength, yet she toils on, thinking the work must be done. She is continually reaching down into the future, drawing upon her future resources of strength, and is living upon borrowed capital; and at the period when she needs that strength, it is not at her command, and if she does not lose her life, her constitution is broken past recovery. RH July 18, 1899, par. 4

If the father would become acquainted with physical law, he would better understand his obligations and his responsibilities. He would see that he had been guilty of almost murdering his children, by suffering so many burdens to come upon the mother, compelling her to labor beyond her strength before their birth, in order to obtain money to leave for them. They nurse these children through their suffering life, and often lay them prematurely in the grave, little realizing that their wrong course has brought the sure result. How much better to shield the mother of his children from wearing labor and mental anxiety, and let the children inherit good constitutions, and give them an opportunity to battle their way through life, not relying upon their father's property, but upon their own energetic strength! The experience thus obtained would be of more worth to them than houses and lands purchased at the expense of the health of mother and children. RH July 18, 1899, par. 5

It seems perfectly natural for some men to be morose, selfish, exacting, and overbearing. They have never learned the lesson of self-control, and will not restrain their unreasonable feelings, let the consequences be what they may. Such men will be repaid by seeing their companions sickly and dispirited, and their children bearing the peculiarities of their own disagreeable traits of character. RH July 18, 1899, par. 6

It is the duty of every married couple studiously to avoid marring the feelings of each other. They should control every look of fretfulness and passion. They should study each other's happiness in small matters as well as in large, manifesting a tender thoughtfulness in acknowledging kind acts and little courtesies. These small things should not be neglected; for they are just as important to the happiness of man and wife, as food is to sustain physical strength. The father should encourage the wife and mother to lean upon his large affection. Kind, cheerful, encouraging words from him to whom she has entrusted her life-happiness will be more beneficial to her than any medicine; and the cheerful rays of light that such sympathizing words will bring to the heart of the wife and mother, will reflect their own cheering beams upon the heart of the father. RH July 18, 1899, par. 7

The husband will frequently see his wife careworn and debilitated, growing prematurely old, in laboring to prepare food to suit his vitiated taste. He gratifies the appetite, and will eat and drink those things which cost much time and labor to prepare for the table, and which have a tendency to make those who partake of these unhealthful things nervous and irritable. The wife and mother is seldom free from headache, the children suffer from the effects of eating unwholesome food, and there is a great lack of patience and affection with parents and children. All are sufferers together; for health has been sacrificed to lustful appetite. The offspring, before its birth, has had transmitted to it disease and an unhealthy appetite. The irritability, nervousness, and despondency manifested by the mother will mark the character of her child. RH July 18, 1899, par. 8