The Review and Herald


January 23, 1900

Disease and Its Causes


My sisters, there is need of a dress reform among us. There are many errors in the present style of female dress. It is injurious to health, and, therefore, a sin for females to wear tight corsets, or whalebones, or to compress the waist. Compressing the waist has a depressing influence upon the heart, liver, and lungs. The health of the entire system depends upon the healthy action of the respiratory organs. Thousands of females have ruined their constitutions, and brought upon themselves various diseases, in their efforts to make a healthy and natural form unhealthy and unnatural. They are dissatisfied with nature's arrangements; and in their earnest efforts to correct nature, and bring her to their ideas of gentility, they break down her work, and leave her a mere wreck. RH January 23, 1900, par. 1

Many females drag down the bowels by hanging heavy skirts upon the hips. These were not formed to sustain weights. In the first place, heavy quilted skirts should never be worn. They are unnecessary and a great evil. The female dress should be suspended from the shoulders. RH January 23, 1900, par. 2

It would be pleasing to God if there were greater uniformity in the dress among believers. The style of dress formerly adopted by the Friends is the least objectionable. Many of them have backslidden; and although they may preserve the uniformity of color, yet they have indulged in pride and extravagance, and their dress has been of the most expensive material. Still their selection of plain colors, and the modest and neat arrangement of their clothing, are worthy of imitation by Christians. RH January 23, 1900, par. 3

The children of Israel, after they were brought out of Egypt, were commanded to have a simple ribbon of blue in the border of their garments, to distinguish them from the nations around them, and to signify that they were God's peculiar people. The people of God are not now required to have a special mark placed upon their garments. But in the New Testament we are often referred to ancient Israel as examples. If God gave such definite directions to his ancient people in regard to their dress, will not the dress of his people in this age come under his notice? Should there not be in their dress a distinction from that of the world? Should not the people of God, who are his peculiar treasure, seek even in their dress to glorify God? And should they not be examples in dress, and by their simple style rebuke the pride, vanity, and extravagance of worldly, pleasure-loving professors?—God requires this of his people. Pride is rebuked in his word. RH January 23, 1900, par. 4

But there is a class who are continually harping upon pride and dress, who are careless of their own apparel, and who think it a virtue to be dirty, and dress without order and taste; and their clothing often looks as if it flew, and lit upon their persons. Their garments are filthy, and yet such ones will ever be talking against pride. They class decency and neatness with pride. Had they been among that number who gathered around the mount to hear the law spoken from Sinai, they would have been chased from the congregation of Israel, because they had not obeyed the command of God—“And let them wash their clothes,”—preparatory to listening to his law given in awful grandeur. RH January 23, 1900, par. 5

The ten commandments spoken by Jehovah from Sinai can not live in the hearts of persons of disorderly, filthy habits. If ancient Israel could not so much as listen to the proclamation of that holy law, unless they had obeyed the injunction of Jehovah, and cleansed their clothing, how can that sacred law be written upon the hearts of persons who are not cleanly in person, in clothing, or in their houses?—It is impossible. Their profession may be as high as heaven, yet it is not worth a straw. Their influence disgusts unbelievers. Better if they had ever remained outside the ranks of God's loyal people. The house of God is dishonored by such professors. RH January 23, 1900, par. 6

All who meet upon the Sabbath to worship God should, if possible, have a neat, well-fitting, comely suit to wear in the house of worship. It is a dishonor to the Sabbath, and to God and his house, for those who profess that the Sabbath is the holy of the Lord, and honorable, to wear the same clothing upon the Sabbath that they have worn through the week while laboring upon their farms, when they can obtain other. If there are worthy persons who, with their whole heart, would honor the Lord of the Sabbath, and the worship of God, and who can not obtain a change of clothing, let those who are able give to such a Sabbath suit, that they may appear in the house of God with cleanly, fitting apparel. RH January 23, 1900, par. 7

A greater uniformity in dress would be pleasing to God. Those who expend money on costly apparel and extra fixings can, by a little self-denial, exemplify pure religion by simplicity of clothing, and then use the money that they have usually expended needlessly, in aiding some poor brother or sister, whom God loves, to obtain neat and modest apparel. RH January 23, 1900, par. 8