The Review and Herald

272/1902

July 29, 1884

The Duty to Preserve Health

EGW

The health reform is an important part of the third angel's message; and as a people professing this reform, we should not retrograde, but make continual advancement. It is a great thing to insure health by placing ourselves in right relations to the laws of life, and many have not done this. A large share of the sickness and suffering among us is the result of the transgression of physical law, is brought upon individuals by their own wrong habits. RH July 29, 1884, par. 1

Our ancestors have bequeathed to us customs and appetites which are filling the world with disease. The sins of the parents, through perverted appetite, are with fearful power visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations. The bad eating of many generations, the gluttonous and self-indulgent habits of the people, are filling our poor-houses, our prisons, and our insane asylums. Intemperance in drinking tea and coffee, wine, beer, rum, and brandy, and the use of tobacco, opium, and other narcotics, has resulted in great mental and physical degeneracy, and this degeneracy is constantly increasing. RH July 29, 1884, par. 2

Are these ills visited upon the race through God's providence? No; they exist because the people have gone contrary to his providence, and still continue to rashly disregard his laws. In the words of the apostle I would entreat those who are not blinded and paralyzed by wrong teaching and practices, those who would render to God the best service of which they are capable: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” RH July 29, 1884, par. 3

We have no right to wantonly violate a single principle of the laws of health. Christians should not follow the customs and practices of the world. The history of Daniel is placed upon record for our benefit. He chose to take a course that would make him singular in the king's court. He did not conform to the habits of courtiers in eating and drinking, but purposed in his heart that he would not eat of the king's meat nor drink of his wines. This was not a hastily-formed, wavering purpose, but one that was intelligently formed and resolutely carried out. Daniel honored God; and the promise was fulfilled to him, “Them that honor me, I will honor.” The Lord gave him “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom,” and he “had understanding in all visions and dreams;” so that he was wiser than all in the king's courts, wiser than all the astrologers and magicians in the kingdom. RH July 29, 1884, par. 4

Those who serve God in sincerity and truth will be a peculiar people, unlike the world, separate from the world. Their food will be prepared, not to encourage gluttony or gratify a perverted taste, but to secure to themselves the greatest physical strength, and consequently the best mental conditions. RH July 29, 1884, par. 5

My sisters, do not place upon your tables food that is exciting and irritating, but that which is plain, wholesome, and nutritious. Do not have too great a variety at a meal; three or four dishes are a plenty. At the next meal you can have a change. The cook should tax her inventive powers to vary the dishes she prepares for the table, and the stomach should not be compelled to take the same kinds of food meal after meal. RH July 29, 1884, par. 6

Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or iced lemonade, drank with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Hot drinks are debilitating; and besides, those who indulge in their use become slaves to the habit. Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. Eat slowly, and allow the saliva to mingle with the food. The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest; for the liquid must first be absorbed. Do not eat largely of salt, give up bottled pickles, keep fiery, spiced food out of your stomach, eat fruit with your meals, and the irritation that calls for so much drink will cease to exist. But if anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water drank some little time before or after the meal is all that nature requires. Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues. RH July 29, 1884, par. 7

Very hot food ought not to be taken into the stomach. Soups, puddings, and other articles of the kind, are often eaten too hot, and as a consequence the stomach is debilitated. Let them become partly cooled before they are eaten. RH July 29, 1884, par. 8

In order to have healthy digestion, food should be eaten slowly. Those who wish to avoid dyspepsia, and those who realize their obligation to keep all their powers in the condition which will enable them to render the best service to God, will do well to remember this. If your time to eat is limited, do not bolt your food, but eat less, and eat slowly. The benefit you derive from your food does not depend so much on the quantity eaten as on its thorough digestion, nor the gratification of the taste so much on the amount of food swallowed as on the length of time it remains in the mouth. Those who are excited, anxious, or in a great hurry, would do well not to eat until they have found rest or relief; for the vital powers, already severely taxed, cannot supply the necessary gastric juice. RH July 29, 1884, par. 9

When about to start on a journey, and obliged to meet the train at an hour earlier than your usual meal time, think of the results of irregular and rapid eating, and take something as a lunch, if it is no more than bread and an apple or some other kind of fruit. When traveling, some are almost constantly nibbling, if there is anything within their reach. This is a most pernicious practice. Animals that do not have reason, and that know nothing of mental taxation, may do this without injury; but they are no criterion for rational beings, who have mental powers that should be used for God and humanity. If travelers would eat regularly of the simplest and most nutritious kinds of food, they would not experience so great weariness, nor suffer so much from sickness. RH July 29, 1884, par. 10

It is quite a common custom with people of the world to eat three times a day, besides eating at irregular intervals between meals; and the last meal is generally the most hearty, and is often taken just before retiring. This is reversing the natural order; a hearty meal should never be taken so late in the day. Should these persons change their practice, and eat but two meals a day, and nothing between meals, not even an apple, a nut, or any kind of fruit, the result would be seen in a good appetite and greatly improved health. RH July 29, 1884, par. 11

Our Saviour warned his disciples that in the last days, just prior to his second coming, a state of things would exist very similar to that which preceded the flood. Eating and drinking would be carried to excess, and the world would be given up to business and pleasure. This state of things does exist at the present time. The world is largely given up to the indulgence of appetite; and the disposition to follow its customs and maxims will bring us into bondage to perverted habits,—habits that will make us more and more like the doomed inhabitants of Sodom. RH July 29, 1884, par. 12

Excessive indulgence in eating and drinking is sin. Our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us the great blessing of health reform, that we may glorify him by obeying the claims he has upon us. It is the duty of those who have received the light upon this important subject to manifest a greater interest for those who are still suffering for want of knowledge. Those who are looking for the soon appearing of their Saviour should be the last to manifest a lack of interest in this great work of reform. The harmonious, healthy action of all the powers of body and mind results in happiness; the more elevated and refined the powers, the more pure and unalloyed the happiness. An aimless life is a living death. The mind should dwell upon themes relating to our eternal interests. This will be conducive to health of body and mind. RH July 29, 1884, par. 13

Our faith requires us to elevate the standard of reform, and take advance steps. The condition of our acceptance with God is a practical separation from the world. The Lord calls upon us as a people, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate,” “and touch not the unclean; and I will receive you.” The world may despise you because you do not meet their standard, engage in their dissipating amusements, and follow their pernicious ways; but the God of heaven promises to receive you, and to be a Father unto you. ‘Ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’ The apostle continues, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” This is our work as Christians, to cleanse our robes of character from every spot. The spirit must be in harmony with the Spirit of Christ; the habits must be in conformity to his will, in obedience to his requirements. RH July 29, 1884, par. 14