Health, or, How to Live

30/95

DISEASES AND ITS CAUSES. Chapter 2 [EGW]

BY ELLEN G. WHITE.

MEN and women, by indulging the appetite in eating rich and highly-seasoned foods, especially flesh-meats, with rich gravies, and by using stimulating drinks, as tea and coffee, create unnatural appetites. The system becomes fevered, the organs of digestion become injured, the mental faculties are beclouded, while the baser passions are excited, and predominate over the nobler faculties. The appetite becomes more unnatural, and more difficult of restraint. The circulation of the blood is not equalized, and becomes impure. The whole system is deranged, and the demands of appetite become more unreasonable, craving exciting, hurtful things, until it is thoroughly depraved. HHTL 89.1

With many, the appetite clamors for the disgusting weed, tobacco, and ale, made powerful by poisonous, health-destroying mixtures. Many do not stop even here. Their debased appetites call for stronger drink, which has a still more benumbing influence upon the brain. Thus they give themselves up to every excess until appetite holds complete control over the reasoning faculties; and man, formed in the image of his Maker, debases himself lower than the beasts. Manhood and honor are alike sacrificed to appetite. It required time to benumb the sensibilities of the mind. It was done gradually, but surely. The indulgence of the appetite in first eating food highly seasoned, created a morbid appetite, and prepared the way for every kind of indulgence, until health and intellect were sacrificed to lust. HHTL 89.2

Many have entered the marriage relation who have not acquired property, and who have had no inheritance. They did not possess physical strength, or mental energy, to acquire property. It has been just such ones who have been in haste to marry, and who have taken upon themselves responsibilities of which they had no just sense. They did not possess noble, elevated feelings, and had no just idea of the duty of a husband and father, and what it would cost them to provide for the wants of a family. And they manifested no more propriety in the increase of their families than that shown in their business transactions. Those who are seriously deficient in business tact, and who are the least qualified to get along in the world, generally fill their houses with children; while men who have ability to acquire property generally have no more children than they can well provide for. Those who are not qualified to take care of themselves should not have children. It has been the case that the numerous offspring of these poor calculators are left to come up like the brutes. They are not suitably fed or clothed, and do not receive physical or mental training, and there is nothing sacred in the word, home, to either parents or children. HHTL 89.3

The marriage institution was designed of Heaven to be a blessing to man; but in a general sense it has been abused in such a manner as to make it a dreadful curse. Most men and women have acted, in entering the marriage relation, as though the only question for them to settle was whether they loved each other. But they should realize that a responsibility rests upon them in their marriage relation farther than this. They should consider whether their offspring will possess physical health, and mental and moral strength. But few have moved with high motives, and with elevated considerations - that society had claims upon them which they could not lightly throw off - that the weight of their families’ influence would tell in the upward or downward scale. HHTL 90.1

Society is composed of families. And heads of families are responsible for the molding of society. If those who choose to enter the marriage relation without due consideration were alone to be the sufferers, then the evil would not be as great, and their sin would be comparatively small. But the misery arising from unhappy marriages is felt by the offspring of such unions. They have entailed upon them a life of living misery; and though innocent, suffer the consequences of their parents’ inconsiderate course. Men and women have no right to follow impulse, or blind passion, in their marriage relation, and then bring innocent children into the world to realize from various causes that life has but little joy, but little happiness, and is therefore a burden. Children generally inherit the peculiar traits of character which the parents possess, and in addition to all this, many come up without any redeeming influence around them. They are too frequently huddled together in poverty and filth. With such surroundings and examples, what can be expected of the children when they come upon the stage of action, but that they will sink lower in the scale of moral worth than their parents, and their deficiencies in every respect be more apparent than theirs? Thus has this class perpetuated their deficiencies, and cursed their posterity with poverty, imbecility, and degradation. These should not have married. At least, they should not have brought innocent children into existence to share their misery, and hand down their own deficiencies, with accumulating wretchedness, from generation to generation, which is one great cause of the degeneracy of the race. HHTL 90.2

If women of past generations had always moved from high considerations, realizing that future generations would be ennobled or debased by their course of action, they would have taken their stand, that they could not unite their life interest with men who were cherishing unnatural appetites for alcoholic drinks, and tobacco which is a slow, but sure and deadly poison, weakening the nervous system, and debasing the noble faculties of the mind. If men would remain wedded to these vile habits, women should have left them to their life of single blessedness, to enjoy these companions of their choice. Women should not have considered themselves of so little value as to unite their destiny with men who had no control over their appetites, but whose principal happiness consisted in eating and drinking, and gratifying their animal passions. Women have not always followed the dictates of reason instead of impulse. They have not felt in a high degree the responsibilities resting upon them, to form such life connections as would not enstamp upon their offspring a low degree of morals, and a passion to gratify debased appetites, at the expense of health, and even life. God will hold them accountable to a large degree for the physical health and moral characters thus transmitted to future generations. HHTL 91.1

Men and women who have corrupted their own bodies by dissolute habits, have also debased their intellects, and destroyed the fine sensibilities of the soul. Very many of this class have married, and left for an inheritance to their offspring, the taints of their own physical debility and depraved morals. The gratification of animal passions, and gross sensuality, have been the marked characters of their posterity, which have descended from generation to generation, increasing human misery to a fearful degree, and hastening the depreciation of the race. HHTL 92.1

Men and women who have become sickly and diseased, have often in their marriage connections selfishly thought only of their own happiness. They have not seriously considered the matter from the standpoint of noble, elevated principles, reasoning in regard to what they could expect of their posterity, but diminished energy of body and mind, which would not elevate society, but sink it still lower. HHTL 92.2

Sickly men have often won the affections of women apparently healthy and because they loved each other, they felt themselves at perfect liberty to marry, neither considering that by their union the wife must be a sufferer, more or less, because of the diseased husband. In many cases the diseased husband improves in health, while the wife shares his disease. He lives very much upon her vitality, and she soon complains of failing health. He prolongs his days by shortening the days of his wife. Those who thus marry commit sin in lightly regarding health and life given to them of God to be used to his glory. But if those who thus enter the marriage relation were alone concerned, the sin would not be so great. Their offspring are compelled to be sufferers by disease transmitted to them. Thus disease has been perpetuated from generation to generation. And many charge all this weight of human misery upon God, when their wrong course of action has brought the sure result. They have thrown upon society an enfeebled race, and done their part to deteriorate the race, by rendering disease hereditary, and thus accumulating human suffering. HHTL 92.3

Another cause of the deficiency of the present generation in physical strength and moral worth, is, men and women uniting in marriage whose ages widely differ. It is frequently the case that old men choose to marry young wives. By thus doing the life of the husband has often been prolonged, while the wife has had to feel the want of that vitality which she has imparted to her aged husband. It has not been the duty of any woman to sacrifice life and health, even if she did love one so much older than herself, and felt willing on her part to make such a sacrifice. She should have restrained her affections. She had considerations higher than her own interest to consult. She should consider, if children be born to them, what would be their condition? It is still worse for young men to marry women considerably older than themselves. The offspring of such unions in many cases, where ages widely differ, have not well-balanced minds. They have been deficient also in physical strength. In such families have frequently been manifested varied, peculiar, and often painful, traits of character. They often die prematurely, and those who reach maturity, in many cases, are deficient in physical and mental strength, and moral worth. HHTL 93.1

The father is seldom prepared, with his failing faculties, to properly bring up his young family. These children have peculiar traits of character, which constantly need a counteracting influence, or they will go to certain ruin. They are not educated aright. Their discipline has too often been of the fitful impulsive kind by reason of his age. The father has been susceptible of changeable feelings. At one time over indulgent, while at another he is unwarrantably severe. Every thing in some such families is wrong, and domestic wretchedness is greatly increased. Thus a class of beings have been thrown upon the world as a burden to society. Their parents were accountable in a great degree for the characters developed by their children, which are transmitted from generation to generation. HHTL 93.2

Those who increase their number of children, when if they consulted reason, they must know that physical and mental weakness must be their inheritance, are transgressors of the last six precepts of God’s law, which specify the duty of man to his fellow man. They do their part in increasing the degeneracy of the race, and in sinking society lower, thus injuring their neighbor. If God thus regards the rights of neighbors, has he no care in regard to closer, and more sacred relationship? If not a sparrow falls to the ground without his notice, will he be unmindful of the children born into the world, diseased physically and mentally, suffering in a greater or less degree, all their lives? Will he not call parents to an account, to whom he has given reasoning powers, for putting these higher faculties in the background, and becoming slaves to passion, when, as the result, generations must bear the mark of their physical, mental, and moral deficiencies? In addition to the suffering they entail upon their children, they have no portion but poverty to leave to their pitiful flock. They cannot educate them, and many do not see the necessity, neither could they if they did, find time to train them, and instruct them, and lessen, as much as possible, the wretched inheritance transmitted to them. Parents should not increase their families any faster than they know that their children can be well cared for, and educated. A child in the mother’s arms from year to year is great injustice to her. It lessens, and often destroys, social enjoyment, and increases domestic wretchedness. It robs their children of that care, education, and happiness, which parents should feel it their duty to bestow upon them. HHTL 94.1

The husband violates the marriage vow, and the duties enjoined upon him in the word of God, when he disregards the health and happiness of the wife, by increasing her burdens and cares by numerous offspring. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” HHTL 94.2

We see this holy injunction almost wholly disregarded, even by professed Christians. Everywhere you may look, you will see pale, sickly, careworn, broken-down, dispirited, discouraged women. They are generally over-worked, and their vital energies exhausted by frequent child-bearing. The world is filled with images of human beings who are of no worth to society. Many are deficient in intellect, and many who possess natural talents do not use them for any beneficial purposes. They are not cultivated, and the one great reason is, children have been multiplied faster than they could be well trained, and have been left to come up much like the brutes. HHTL 95.1

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. HHTL 95.2

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. HHTL 95.3

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 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. HHTL 96.1

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, and 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 and 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. HHTL 96.2

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. HHTL 96.3

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 the beasts. HHTL 97.1

If parents or 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 soon become impaired, and break down. If care and regularity is considered needful for dumb animals, it is as much more essential for human beings, formed in the image of their Maker, as they are of more value than the dumb creation. HHTL 97.2

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 previous to the birth of her children, is permitted to toil early and late, heating her blood, while preparing various unhealthy 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 of the expense and labor, and would have been far more nourishing. HHTL 97.3

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. HHTL 97.4

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 seems 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, which soon debilitates 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 which fastened disease on their unborn children, under which they are compelled to suffer all through their lives. Some live but a short period with their load of debility. The mother anxiously watches over the life of her child, and is weighed down with sorrow as she is compelled to close its eyes in death, and she often regards God as the author of all this affliction, when the parents in reality were the murderers of their own child. HHTL 98.1

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 very much to do with the character developed by the child after its birth. Many fathers have been so anxious to obtain property fast that higher considerations have been sacrificed, and some men have been criminally neglectful of the mother and her offspring, and too frequently the life of both have been sacrificed to the strong desire to accumulate wealth. Many do not immediately suffer this 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 the husband, of squandering physical strength, to obtain means to live fashionably. It is a crime 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. HHTL 98.2

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 in drinking, and the desire for wealth have led to this intemperance in labor. If the appetite is controlled, and that food only which is healthful be taken, 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 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 cannot render to God perfect service, and are pursuing a course of sin. Property thus obtained is at an immense sacrifice. HHTL 99.1

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 feebler 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 house work. 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. HHTL 99.2

If the father would become acquainted with physical law, he might 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 means to leave for them. They nurse these children through their suffering life, and often lay them prematurely in the grave, little realizing their wrong course has brought the sure result. How much better to have shielded 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. HHTL 100.1

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. HHTL 100.2

It is the duty of every married couple to studiously avoid marring the feelings of each other. They should control every look, and expression of fretfulness, and passion. They should study each others’ happiness, in small matters, as well as in large, manifesting a tender thoughtfulness, in acknowledging kind acts, and the little courtesies of each other. These small things should not be neglected, for they are just as important to the happiness of man and wife, as food is necessary to sustain physical strength. The father should encourage the wife and mother to lean upon his large affections. Kind, cheerful, encouraging words from him, with whom she has entrusted her life-happiness, will be more beneficial to her than any medicine; and the cheerful rays of light such sympathizing words will bring to the heart of the wife and mother, will reflect back their own cheering beams upon the heart of the father. HHTL 100.3

The husband will frequently see his wife care-worn and debilitated, growing prematurely old, in laboring to prepare food to suit the vitiated taste. He gratifies the appetite, and will eat and drink those things which cost much time and labor to prepare them for the table, and which have a tendency to make those who partake of these unhealthy things, nervous and irritable. The wife and mother is seldom free from the headache, and the children are suffering 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 transmitted to it disease, and an unhealthy appetite. And the irritability, nervousness, and despondency, manifested by the mother, will mark the character of her child. HHTL 101.1

In past generations, if mothers had informed themselves in regard to the laws of their being, they would have understood that their constitutional strength, as well as the tone of their morals, and their mental faculties, would in a great measure be represented in their offspring. Their ignorance upon this subject, where so much is involved, is criminal. Many women never should have become mothers. Their blood was filled with scrofula, transmitted to them from their parents, and increased by their gross manner of living. The intellect has been brought down, and enslaved to serve the animal appetites, and children, born of such parents, have been poor sufferers, and of but little use to society. HHTL 101.2

It has been one of the greatest causes of degeneration in generations back, up to the present time, that wives and mothers who otherwise would have had a beneficial influence upon society, in raising the standard of morals, have been lost to society through multiplicity of home cares, because of the fashionable, health-destroying manner of cooking, and also in consequence of too frequent child-bearing. She has been compelled to needless suffering, her constitution has failed, and her intellect has become weakened, by so great a draught upon her vital resources. Her offspring suffer her debility, and society has thrown upon them a class poorly fitted, through her inability to educate them, to be of the least benefit. HHTL 102.1

If these mothers had given birth to but few children, and if they had been careful to live upon such food as would preserve physical health, and mental strength, so that the moral and intellectual might predominate over the animal, they could have so educated their children for usefulness, as to have been bright ornaments to society. HHTL 102.2

If parents in past generations had, with firmness of purpose, kept the body servant to the mind, and had not allowed the intellectual to be enslaved by animal passions, there would be in this age a different order of beings upon the earth. And if the mother, before the birth of her offspring, had always possessed self-control, realizing that she was giving the stamp of character to future generations, the present state of society would not be so depreciated in character as at the present time. HHTL 102.3

Every woman, about to become a mother, whatever may be her surroundings, should encourage constantly a happy, cheerful, contented, disposition, knowing that for all her efforts in this direction she will be repaid ten-fold in the physical, as well as the moral character of her offspring. Nor is this all. She can by habit accustom herself to cheerful thinking, and thus encourage a happy state of mind, and cast a cheerful reflection of her own happiness or spirit upon her family, and those with whom she associates. And in a very great degree will her physical health be improved. A force will be imparted to the life springs, the blood will not move sluggishly, as would be the case if she were to yield to despondency, and gloom. Her mental and moral health are invigorated by the buoyancy of her spirits. The power of the will can resist impressions of the mind, and will prove a grand soother of the nerves. Children who are robbed of that vitality which they should have inherited of their parents should have the utmost care. By close attention to the laws of their being, a much better condition of things can be established. HHTL 102.4

The period in which the infant receives its nourishment from the mother, is critical. Many mothers, while nursing their infants, have been permitted to over labor, and to heat their blood in cooking, and the nursling has been seriously affected, not only with fevered nourishment from the mother’s breast, but its blood has been poisoned by the unhealthy diet of the mother, which has fevered her whole system thereby affecting the food of the infant. The infant will also be affected by the condition of the mother’s mind. If she is unhappy, easily agitated, irritable, giving vent to outbursts of passion, the nourishment the infant receives from its mother, will be inflamed, often producing colic, spasms, and, in some instances, causing convulsions and fits. HHTL 103.1

The character also of the child is more or less affected by the nature of the nourishment received from the mother. How important then that the mother, while nursing her infant, should preserve a happy state of mind, having the perfect control of her own spirit. By thus doing, the food of the child is not injured, and the calm, self-possessed course the mother pursues in the treatment of her child has very much to do in molding the mind of the infant. If it is nervous, and easily agitated, the mother’s careful unhurried manner will have a soothing and correcting influence, and the health of the infant can be very much improved. HHTL 103.2

Infants have been greatly abused by improper treatment. If it was fretful, it has generally been fed to keep it quiet, when, in most cases, the very reason of its fretfulness was because of its having received too much food, made injurious by the wrong habits of the mother. More food only made the matter worse, for its stomach was already overloaded. HHTL 103.3

Children are generally brought up from the cradle to indulge the appetite, and are taught that they live to eat. The mother does much toward the formation of the character of her children in their childhood. She can teach them to control the appetite, or she can teach them to indulge the appetite, and become gluttons. The mother often arranges her plans to accomplish a certain amount through the day, and when the children trouble her, instead of taking time to soothe their little sorrows, and divert them, something is given them to eat, to keep them still, which answers the purpose for a short time, but eventually makes things worse. The childrens’ stomachs are pressed with food when they had not the least want of food. All that was required was a little of the mother’s time and attention. But she regarded her time altogether too precious to devote to the amusement of her children. Perhaps the arrangement of her house in a tasteful manner for visitors to praise, and to have her food cooked in a fashionable style, are with her higher considerations than the happiness and health of her children. HHTL 104.1

Intemperance in eating and in labor debilitates the parents, often making them nervous, and disqualifying them to rightly discharge their duty to their children. Three times a day parents and children gather around the table, loaded with a variety of fashionable foods. The merits of each dish has to be tested. Perhaps the mother had toiled till she was heated, and exhausted, and was not in a condition to take even the simplest food till she had first had a period of rest. The food she wearied herself in preparing was wholly unfit for her at any time, but especially taxes the digestive organs when the blood is heated and the system exhausted. Those who have thus persisted in violating the laws of their being, have been compelled to pay the penalty at some period in their life. HHTL 104.2

There are ample reasons why there are so many nervous women in the world, complaining of the dyspepsia, with its train of evils. The cause has been followed by the effect. It is impossible for intemperate persons to be patient. They must first reform bad habits, learn to live healthfully, and then it will not be difficult for them to be patient. Many do not seem to understand the relation the mind sustains to the body. If the system is deranged by improper food, the brain and nerves are affected, and slight things annoy those who are thus afflicted. Little difficulties are to them troubles mountain high. Persons thus situated are unfitted to properly train their children. The life will be marked with extremes, sometimes very indulgent, at other times severe, censuring for trifles which deserved no notice. HHTL 105.1

The mother frequently sends her children from her presence, because she thinks she cannot endure the noise occasioned by their happy frolics. But with no mother’s eye over them to approbate, or disapprove, at the right time, unhappy differences often arise. A word from the mother would set all right again. They soon become weary, and desire change, and go into the street for amusement, and pure, innocent minded children are driven into bad company, and evil communications breathed into their ears corrupt their good manners. The mother often seems to be asleep to the interest of her children until she is painfully aroused by the exhibition of vice. The seeds of evil were sown in their young minds, promising an abundant harvest. And it is a marvel to her that her children are so prone to do wrong. Parents should begin in season to instill into infant minds good and correct principles. The mother should be with her children as much as possible, and should sow precious seed in their hearts. HHTL 105.2

The mother’s time belongs in a special manner to her children. They have a right to her time as no others can have. In many cases mothers have neglected to discipline their children, because it would require too much of their time, which time they think must be spent in the cooking department, or in preparing their own clothing, and that of their children, according to fashion, to foster pride in their young hearts. In order to keep their young children still, they have given them cake, or candies, almost any hour of the day, and their stomachs are crowded with hurtful things at irregular periods. Their pale faces testify to the fact, that mothers are doing what they can to destroy the remaining life forces of their poor children. The digestive organs are constantly taxed, and are not allowed periods of rest. The liver becomes inactive, the blood impure, and the children are sickly, and irritable, because they are real sufferers by intemperance, and it is impossible for them to exercise patience. HHTL 105.3

Parents wonder that children are so much more difficult to control than they used to be, when in most cases their own criminal management has made them so. The quality of food they bring upon their tables, and encourage their children to eat, is constantly exciting their animal passions, and weakening the moral and intellectual faculties. Very many children are made miserable dyspeptics in their youth by the wrong course their parents have pursued toward them in childhood. Parents will be called to render an account to God for thus dealing with their children. HHTL 106.1

Many parents do not give their children lessons in self-control. They indulge their appetite, and form the habits of their children in their childhood, to eat and drink, according to their desires. So will they be in their general habits in their youth. Their desires have not been restrained, and as they grow older, they will not only indulge in the common habits of intemperance, but they will go still further in indulgences. They will choose their own associates, although corrupt. They cannot endure restraint from their parents. They will give loose rein to their corrupt passions, and have but little regard for purity or virtue. This is the reason why there is so little purity and moral worth among the youth of the present day, and is the great cause why men and women feel under so little obligation to render obedience to the law of God. Some parents have not control over themselves. They do not control their own morbid appetites, or their passionate tempers, therefore they cannot educate their children in regard to the denial of their appetite, and teach them self-control. HHTL 106.2

Many mothers feel that they have not time to instruct their children, and in order to get them out of the way, and get rid of their noise and trouble, they send them to school. The school-room is a hard place for children who have inherited enfeebled constitutions. School-rooms generally have not been constructed in reference to health, but in regard to cheapness. The rooms have not been arranged so that they could be ventilated as they should have been without exposing the children to severe colds. And the seats have seldom been made so that the children could sit with ease, and keep their little, growing frames in a proper posture to ensure healthy action of the lungs and heart. Young children can grow into almost any shape, and can, by habits of proper exercise and positions of the body, obtain healthy forms. It is destructive to the health and life of young children for them to sit in the school-room, upon hard ill-formed benches, from three to five hours a day, inhaling the impure air caused by many breaths. The weak lungs become affected, the brain, from which the nervous energy of the whole system is derived, becomes enfeebled by being called into active exercise before the strength of the mental organs is sufficiently matured to endure fatigue. HHTL 107.1

In the school-room the foundation has been too surely laid for diseases of various kinds. But more especially, the most delicate of all organs, the brain, has often been permanently injured by too great exercise. This has often caused inflammation, then dropsy of the head, and convulsions with their dreaded results. And the lives of many have been thus sacrificed by ambitious mothers. Of those children who have apparently had sufficient force of constitution to survive this treatment, there are very many who carry the effects of it through life. The nervous energy of the brain becomes so weakened, that after they come to maturity, it is impossible for them to endure much mental exercise. The force of some of the delicate organs of the brain seems to be expended. HHTL 107.2

And not only has the physical and mental health of children been endangered by being sent to school at too early a period, but they have been the losers in a moral point of view. They have had opportunities to become acquainted with children who were uncultivated in their manners. They were thrown into the society of the coarse and rough, who lie, swear, steal, and deceive, and who delight to impart their knowledge of vice to those younger than themselves. Young children if left to themselves learn the bad more readily than the good. Bad habits agree best with the natural heart, and the things which they see and hear in infancy and childhood are deeply imprinted upon their minds, and the bad seed sown in their young hearts will take root, and will become sharp thorns to wound the hearts of their parents. HHTL 108.1

During the first six or seven years of a child’s life special attention should be given to its physical training, rather than the intellect. After this period, if the physical constitution is good, the education of both should receive attention. Infancy extends to the age of six or seven years. Up to this period children should be left like little lambs, to roam around the house, and in the yards, in the buoyancy of their spirits, skipping and jumping free from care and trouble. HHTL 108.2

Parents, especially mothers, should be the only teachers of such infant minds. They should not educate from books. The children generally will be inquisitive to learn the things of nature. They will ask questions in regard to the things they see and hear, and parents should improve the opportunity to instruct, and patiently answer, these little inquiries. They can in this manner get the advantage of the enemy, and fortify the minds of their children, by sowing good seed in their hearts, leaving no room for the bad to take root. The mother’s loving instructions at a tender age is what is needed by children in the formation of character. HHTL 108.3

The first important lesson for children to learn is the proper denial of appetite. It is the duty of mothers to attend to the wants of their children, by soothing and diverting their minds, instead of giving them food, and thus teaching them that eating is the remedy for life’s ills. HHTL 109.1

If parents had lived healthfully, being satisfied with simple diet, much expense would have been saved. The father would not have been obliged to labor beyond his strength, in order to supply the wants of his family. A simple nourishing diet would not have had an influence to unduly excite the nervous system, and the animal passions, producing moroseness and irritability. If he had partaken only of plain food, his head would have been clear, his nerves steady, his stomach in a healthy condition, and with a pure system, he would have had no loss of appetite, and the present generation would be in a much better condition than it now is. But even now, in this late period, something can be done to improve our condition. Temperance in all things is necessary. A temperate father will not complain if he has no great variety upon his table. A healthful manner of living will improve the condition of the family in every sense, and will allow the wife and mother time to devote to her children. The great study with the parents will be in what manner can they best train their children for usefulness in this world, and for Heaven hereafter. They will be content to see their children with neat, plain, but comfortable garments free from embroidery and adornment. They will earnestly labor to see their children in the possession of the inward adorning, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight or God of great price. HHTL 109.2

Before the Christian father leaves his home, to go to his labor, he will gather his family around him, and bowing before God will commit them to the care of the Chief Shepherd. He will then go forth to his labor with the love and blessing of his wife, and the love of his children, to make his heart cheerful through his laboring hours. And that mother who is aroused to her duty, realizes the obligations resting upon her to her children in the absence of the father. She will feel that she lives for her husband and children. By training her children aright, teaching them habits of temperance and self-control, and in teaching them their duty to God, she is qualifying them to become useful in the world, to elevate the standard of morals in society, and to reverence and obey the law of God. Patiently and perseveringly will the godly mother instruct her children, giving them line upon line, and precept upon precept, not in a harsh, compelling manner, but in love, and in tenderness will she win them. They will consider her lessons of love, and will happily listen to her words of instruction. HHTL 109.3

Instead of sending her children from her presence, that she may not be troubled with their noise, and be annoyed with the numerous attentions they would desire, she will feel that her time cannot be better employed than in soothing, and diverting their restless active minds with some amusement, or light, happy employment. The mother will be amply repaid for her efforts in taking time to invent amusement for her children. HHTL 110.1

Young children love society. They cannot, as a general thing, enjoy themselves alone, and the mother should feel that, in most cases, the place for her children, when they are in the house, is in the room she occupies. She can then have a general oversight of them, and be prepared to set little differences right when appealed to by them, and correct wrong habits or the manifestation of selfishness or passion, and can give their minds a turn in the right direction. That which children enjoy, they think mother can be pleased with, and it is perfectly natural for them to consult mother in little matters or perplexity. And the mother should not wound the heart of her sensitive child by treating the matter with indifference, or by refusing to be troubled with such small matters. That which may be small to the mother is large to them. And a word of direction, or caution, at the right time, will often prove of great value. An approving glance, a word of encouragement and praise from the mother, will often cast a sunbeam into their young hearts for a whole day. HHTL 110.2

The first education children should receive from the mother in infancy, should be in regard to their physical health. They should be allowed only plain food of that quality that would preserve to them the best condition of health, and that should be partaken of only at regular periods, not oftener than three times a day, and two meals would be better than three. If children are disciplined aright, they will soon learn that they can receive nothing by crying or fretting. A judicious mother will act in training her children, not merely in regard to her own present comfort, but for their future good. And to this end, she will teach her children the important lesson of controlling the appetite, and of self-denial, that they should eat, drink, and dress in reference to health. HHTL 111.1

A well-disciplined family, who love and obey God, will be cheerful and happy. The father, when he returns from his daily labor, will not bring his perplexities to his home. He will feel that home, and the family circle, are too sacred to be marred with unhappy perplexities. When he left his home, he did not leave his Saviour and his religion behind. Both were his companions. The sweet influence of his home, the blessing of his wife, and love of his children, make his burdens light, and he returns with peace in his heart, and cheerful encouraging words for his wife and children, who are waiting to joyfully welcome his coming. As he bows with his family, at the altar of prayer to offer up his grateful thanks to God, for his preserving care of himself and loved ones through the day, angels of God hover in the room, and bear the fervent prayer of God-fearing parents to Heaven, as sweet incense, which are answered by returning blessings. HHTL 111.2

Parents should impress upon their children that it is sin to consult the taste, to the injury of the stomach. They should impress upon their minds that by violating the laws of their being, they sin against their Maker. Children thus educated will not be difficult of restraint. They will not be subject to irritable, changeable tempers, and will be in a far better condition of enjoying life. Such children will the more readily and clearly understand their moral obligations. Children who have been taught to yield their will and wishes to their parents, will the more easily and readily yield their will to God, and will submit to be controlled by the Spirit of Christ. Why so many who claim to be Christians, have numerous trials, which keep the church burdened, is because they have not been correctly trained in their childhood, and were left in a great measure to form their own character. Their wrong habits, and peculiar unhappy dispositions, were not corrected. They were not taught to yield their will to their parents. Their whole religious experience is affected by their training in childhood. They were not then controlled. They grew up undisciplined, and now, in their religious experience, it is difficult for them to yield to that pure discipline taught in the word of God. Parents should, then, realize the responsibility resting upon them to educate their children in reference to their religious experience. HHTL 111.3

Those who regard the marriage relation as one of God’s sacred ordinances, guarded by his holy precept, will be controlled by the dictates of reason. They will consider carefully the result or every privilege the marriage relation grants. Such will feel that their children are precious jewels committed to their keeping by God, to remove from their natures the rough surface by discipline, that their lustre may appear. They will feel under most solemn obligations to so form their characters that they may do good in their life, bless others with their light, and the world be better for their having lived in it, and they be finally fitted for the higher life, the better world, to shine in the presence of God, and the Lamb forever. HHTL 112.1

Fashion makes people visit when they had rather stay at home, eat when they are not hungry, and drink when they are not dry. She ruins health, and makes fools of her followers. HHTL 112.2