The Story of

OUR

HEALTH MESSAGE


The Origin, Character, and Development of Health

Education in the Seventh-day Adventist Church

By Dores Eugene Robinson

Third Edition
Revised and Enlarged

SOUTHERN PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION
Nashville, Tennessee

Copyright, 1943, 1955, 1965, by
Southern Publishing Association

(Printed in U.S.A.)



FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION


It is with deep satisfaction that we now present this new edition of The Story of Our Health Message as a part of the convenient and popular Christian Home Library. In the several printings of the first edition, this volume has demonstrated its unique value and its rightful permanent place in the literature of the church.

Seventh-day Adventists are known as a health-minded people—a denomination which in its evangelistic program places emphasis on the close relationship between physical well-being and spiritual life and growth. Only religious conviction and a concept which makes the health message a part of the third angel's message could motivate a health reform program which moves men and women in all parts of the world to adopt new and better living habits, and could lead the denomination to establish and operate a worldwide system of medical institutions.

The Story of Our Health Message takes the reader back to the times when the Seventh-day Adventist Church had its beginnings. These were times when the general public was quite ignorant concerning physiology and hygiene. The story of how God led His people to an understanding of the laws of nature which He had established to govern the human body is a thrilling one. In rapid succession the account leads from the vision given to Ellen White in 1863 calling for radical changes in the personal living habits of the church members to the development of a medical work which now belts the globe, with special emphasis on training centers for health education. The book gives us an understanding of the impact of the work of Seventh-day Adventists on medical practice at large and the dietetic habits of many people around the world.

Seventh-day Adventists have in their homes such E. G.


  1. Foreword


White books as Ministry of Healing, Counsels on Health, Counsels on Diet and Foods, Temperance, and Medical Ministry. The Story of Our Health Message leads to an understanding of the backgrounds of the counsel presented in these much-used volumes.

The author, D. E. Robinson, for many years one of Mrs. White's secretaries and more recently a member of the staff of the Ellen G. White Publications, is well qualified to set forth the subject he has so ably presented. He has explained in his preface how Mrs. White, sensing the need of such a volume as this, anticipated its preparation.

That this work may, in its broader reading, lead Seventh-day Adventists generally to a better understanding of the importance and place of our health message and our medical work is the sincere wish of the publishers and

The Trustees of the
Ellen
G. White Estate

Washington, D.C.

March 4, 1955


FOREWORD TO THE THIRD EDITION


That the record may keep pace, somewhat, with the advance in some major features of the medical work of the church, particularly as it relates to the medical school and to the recent gifts to it of large medical institutions, certain later chapters of this printing have undergone revision and one new chapter has been added. Credit for assistance in these steps is due the personnel of the Loma Linda University Department of Public Relations and H. E. Rice, Associate Secretary of the Medical Department of the General Conference.

The Trustees of the

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D.C.

January 5, 1965

7

PREFACE

That Seventh-day Adventists are a health-minded people; that a large proportion of their members are trained as physicians, nurses, or dietitians in institutions supported by them at great expense; that they maintain numerous sanitariums, treatment rooms, health food stores, and restaurants; that the converts to their faith are expected not only to abstain from the stronger stimulants and narcotics, but also to make what seem to some to be radical changes in their diet and other health habits—all this is generally known. Just why they hold these principles, and when they came to adopt them as an integral part of their church relationship are not so generally known, even by many of their own members.

It is felt that the story of the adoption of the "health reform" early in the history of the denomination, and of the movements that have grown out of it, constitutes a valuable heritage to the present generation. Also it will make for a better appreciation of these health principles that were regarded as so important by the pioneers of the church.

In Mrs. E. G. White's will, dated February 12, 1912, provision was made regarding certain "proposed books," which she greatly desired to be prepared. Among these was a historical work listed as "Experience of Ellen G. White in Connection With the Health Reform Movement Among Seventh-day Adventists." After her death the trustees appointed by her gave early consideration to the matter of preparing such a book. Clarence C. Crisler, a trusted secretary long connected with Mrs. White's office, was asked

8 Preface

to undertake the task. But soon after making a beginning he was called to duties in the Far East, and the enterprise was suspended. More recently the present writer was asked by the trustees of the Ellen G. White Publications to bring the work to completion.

The correspondence files of James and Ellen White, and of other leaders in the development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, have been indispensable in the preparation of this work and have furnished a rich background of experiences helpful in illuminating the narrative. A current picture of the development of the message has been found in the denominational and other periodical files of the past century. The records of early movements toward reform have been gathered from the wealth of material in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

If one were to give a complete history of the movement covered briefly in this book, mention should be made of the work of many persons who are not even named here. Whatever success has marked the growth of medical missionary work among Seventh-day Adventists is due largely to the convictions and to the active and hearty co-operation in the cause of health on the part of ministers, physicians, and laymen. However, prominence has here been given to the counsels and leadership of Mrs. E. G. White, because it is largely due to these that the movement was initiated and later guided in its development.

During the twelve years since the printing of the first edition of this book, the medical missionary work of Seventh-day Adventists has experienced an unprecedented growth, especially in the development of the College of Medical Evangelists. In order to bring some recent movements into our narration, several paragraphs have been incorporated into the original material. These will be found in the enlarged chapters thirty-four to thirty-six.

It is hoped that this effort to explore a field of history that has not been systematically covered before may prove

9 Preface

helpful in making clear the evidences of a divine guidance in leading a comparatively small religious body to adopt sound principles of hygienic living and to maintain institutions for the practice and promotion of high ideals in the cause of abounding health.

D. E. Robinson

Loma Linda, California.

March 28, 1955.



Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest

prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

3 John 2.



CONTENTS


1. "The Times of This Ignorance" …………………………………………………………….

13

2. Movements Toward Therapeutic Reform …………………………………………………..

28

3. Temperance and Diet Reforms ……………………………………………………………..

38

4. Joseph Bates, a Health Reformer …………………………………………………………...

50

5. Health Reforms Among Seventh-day Adventists …………………………………………..

60

6. The Vision at Otsego, Michigan ……………………………………………………………

75

7. Early Health Literature ……………………………………………………………………..

86

8. Launching a Campaign for Health ………………………………………………………….

97

9. The Popular Dress Reform …………………………………………………………………

112

10. The Quest for Moderation ………………………………………………………………….

120

11. Days of Affliction …………………………………………………………………………..

131

12. "Let Us Arise and Build" …………………………………………………………………...

143

13. The Ministry as Teachers of Health ………………………………………………………...

156

14. A Lesson in Institutional Finance …………………………………………………………..

172

15. Lost Confidence Restored ………………………………………………………………….

183

16. Opposing Extreme Views …………………………………………………………………..

191

17. Reaching for High Standards ……………………………………………………………….

203

18. On to World Leadership ……………………………………………………………………

213

19- Uniting With the Temperance Forces ……………………………………………………...

223

20. Training for Service ………………………………………………………………………...

236

21. Training of Physicians ……………………………………………………………………...

249

22. For Medical Missionary Service …………………………………………………………...

259

23. Launching a Medical College ………………………………………………………………

271

24. Variant Views Arise ………………………………………………………………………..

284

25. Steps Toward Unity ………………………………………………………………………...

301

26. Final Steps in Separation …………………………………………………………………...

312



12


27. A Remarkable Coincidence …………………………………………………………………


329

28. Rapid Moves in Southern California ……………………………………………………….


335

29. The Call for a Third Sanitarium …………………………………………………………….


343

30. Purchase of Loma Linda Property ………………………………………………………….


347

31. How the Payments Were Met ………………………………………………………………


354

32. “An Educational Center” ……………………………………………………………………


362

33. “We Wait for Light” ………………………………………………………………………..


371

34. A Bold Venture in Faith …………………………………………………………………….


380

35. Faith Further Tested …………………………………………………………………………


390

36. Through “Rivers of Difficulty” ……………………………………………………………..


403

37. By the Providence of God …………………………………………………………………..


414

38. Retrospective and Prospective ………………………………………………………………


426

Appendix



Guiding Principles in Dress Reform ……………………………………………………………


441




chapter 1


"THE TIMES OF THIS IGNORANCE"


just at the turn of the nineteenth century George Washington was stricken with a sickness that in a few days was to prove fatal. As soon as he realized that he was seriously ill, he sent—not for a physician—but for a "bleeder," who took from his veins about fourteen ounces of blood. The next morning the family physician was called, who, discovering the case to be highly alarming, called two other doctors for consultation. While waiting for them, he directed a second copious bleeding. Upon the arrival of the first of his consultants in the afternoon, it was agreed "to try the result of another bleeding, when about thirty-two ounces of blood were drawn, without the slightest alleviation of the disease."—Kennebec Intelligencer, January 11, 1800.

This debilitating treatment was supplemented by the application of blisters, the administration of calomel, repeated doses of tartar emetic, and frequent inhalations of "vapors of vinegar and water." It is not surprising to learn from a contemporary report that Washington's last request, understood with great difficulty because of his weakness, was to be permitted to die without further interruption.

Details of the progress of the illness, and particularly of the methods employed for the relief of the famous patient, were made public, not in any wise as a reflection upon the skill of the attending physicians, but, on the contrary, to give assurance that the beloved leader had received the best of care, and that his untimely death occurred in spite of all that human knowledge and skill could devise to arrest the course of the disease.

13


14

Drugs and Opiates Used

The first quarter of a century after the death of George Washington witnessed but very little advance in the general methods of therapeutic practice. Medical books of that period abound with evidence that the strongest drugs and opiates were freely prescribed, and that little attention was given to the causes of disease or to rational methods for its alleviation. In 1810 the senior physician in the Manchester Infirmary issued a book giving the case histories of hundreds of his patients. Here is a condensed report in which he related the experience of James Johnson, a youth of twenty-three years, who came to the hospital for relief from dropsy (Johnson was admitted on August 15):

"After trying some other diuretics, took the infusorum nicotiance in the quantity of eighty drops in twenty-four hours, for three days together." This "produced sickness," but did not produce the desired effect. "Fifteen grains of jallap and two drachms of cream of tartar given at bedtime, vomited him briskly, and reduced the swellings for a time." However, strange to say, "the most powerful diuretics given in large doses" proved ineffective. Toward the end of September he was given, "after a gradual augmentation, one hundred and twenty of the tonic pills in one day."

This treatment brought on a "degree of vertigo," and the pills were therefore "omitted, and some wine prescribed. Thirty drops of spiritus aetheris vitriolici were likewise ordered to be given four times a day," The day after this, "pain in the bowels and a diarrhea came on," so "the vitriolic spirit was omitted." "Opiates and astringents were now given, but with little success." On the fifth of November the patient "was ordered three grains of digitalis, which on the seventh were augmented to four."

By this time the patient was desirous of "returning to his native air," and he was dismissed from the infirmary before there was time to "experience the effect" of the new course


15

of drugging. Though "much relieved," according to the physician, he deemed that Mr. Johnson had "little prospect of being ultimately cured."—John Ferriar, M.D., Medical Histories and Reflections, pp. 93-95. London: Cadell and Davis, 1810.


Bitter Controversies

During this early part of the nineteenth century bitter controversies were waged between various schools of thought among the members of the medical profession. Even regarding the nature of disease itself, as well as its rational treatment, opposing views were held. For instance in New England Dr. Gallup, on one side, and Drs. Miner and Tully, on the other, fought with vitriolic polemics. The first maintained that diseases were almost wholly of an inflammatory nature, and with him bleeding was the sovereign remedy. His opponents took an opposite view of the general nature of disease; and their favorite remedies were opium, calomel, and stimulants.

Dr. Gallup lashed out at his opponents, declaring: "It is probable that, for forty years past, opium and its preparations have done seven times the injury they have rendered benefit on the great scale of the world."

Dr. Tully retorted: "The lancet is a minute instrument of mighty mischief. . . . The king of Great Britain loses every year more subjects by this means [that is by bleeding] than the battle and campaign of Waterloo cost him, with all their glories."—Worthington Hooker, M.D., Rational Therapeutics, pp. 13, 14. Boston: John Wilson and Sons, 1857.


The Typical Treatment

A physician who wrote in 1858 of conditions within the period of his own memory says of the popular methods of medical practice:

"Confinement by disease, which might have terminated in a few days, was protracted to weeks and months, because


16

the importance of the case, as it was thought, required that the patient should be artificially 'taken down,' and then artificially 'built up.'

"When carried to its 'heroic' extent, artificial medicine undermined the strength, elicited new morbid manifestations, and left more disease than it took away. The question raised was not how much the patient had profited under his active treatment, but how much more of the same he could bear. Large doses of violent and deleterious drugs were given as long as the patient evinced a tolerance of them, that is, did not sink under them. The results of such cases, if favorable, like the escapes of the desperate surgery, were chronicled as professional triumphs, while the press was silent on the disastrous results subsequently incurred in like cases by deluded imitators.

"If diseases proved fatal, or even if they were not jugulated, or cut short at the outset, the misfortune was attributed to the circumstances of the remedies not being sufficiently active, or of the physician not being called in season. So great at one time, and that not long ago, was the ascendancy of heroic teachers and writers that few medical men had the courage to incur the responsibility of omitting the more active modes of treatment which were deemed indispensable to the safety of the patient."—Jacob Bigelow, M.D., Brief Exposition of Rational Medicine, pp. 62, 63. Boston: Philips, Samson, and Co., 1858.

By the middle of the century voices of reform began to be heard among progressive members of the medical profession. In 1846 Sir John Forbes, editor of the British and Foreign Medical Review, wrote a stirring editorial under the title of "Young Physic," in which he sounded a clarion call for substituting natural remedies for the popular methods of drugging. In a concluding summary of his objectives he announced as one of his purposes:

"To endeavor to banish from the treatment of acute and dangerous diseases at least, the ancient axiom, melius anceps


17

remedium quam nullam (a doubtful remedy is better than none), and to substitute in its place the safer and wiser dogma that when we are not certain of an indication, we should give nature the best chance of doing the work herself, by leaving her operations undisturbed by those of art."


Discrimination Urged

Although it is true that by this time (1858) the dangers of the excessive use of the more potent drugs were recognized by observant physicians, only a very few had the courage to discard the use of drugs altogether. Dr. Worthington Hooker, who, as we have quoted, set forth what he regarded as "rational therapeutics," in his book by that name, advocated the "discriminatory use" of these drugs and even of bleeding. Thus he says concerning the use of certain remedies:

"The combination of calomel, antimony, and opium, which in various preparations is now so much used, is a remedy of very great value in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. . . .

"Mercury is a remedy of great value in the treatment of many chronic diseases. . . .

"[Bleeding] has been in some quarters too much given up. ...

"For a long time the doctrine of the profession was . . . that the patient must sleep or die; and that the grand means of securing sleep was opium. . . . The profession were right in regard to the first clause of this doctrine, . . . but they were wrong in regard to the necessity of opium to produce this result. The agitation can be quieted by other means, as alcohol, for example. . . .

"[For colic and intermittent fever] quinine is often given much more freely than it formerly was."—Rational Therapeutics, pp. 23, 24, 27, 32, 33, 36.

As we enter the third quarter of the nineteenth century, we note marked progress in the methods of medical prac-


18

tice. But a single instance will here be cited, that of the knowledge of fevers and their proper treatment. The various stages in this development were well set forth by Dr. J. H. Kellogg, who, writing in 1876, says regarding the old method of treating fevers:

"Twenty years ago, when a man had a fever, the doctors thought he had too much vitality—too much life—and so they bled him, and purged him, and poisoned him with calomel, and blue mass, and sundry other poisons, for the purpose of taking away from him a part of his vitality— his life—in other words, killing him a little."—J. H. Kellogg, M.D., in The Health Reformer, January, 1876. (Battle Creek, Michigan.)

Of course, as Doctor Kellogg points out, only those who were "extraordinarily tough" could survive such treatment; and the heavy mortality led to the adoption of a theory the very opposite of the former. Instead of being an indication of too much vitality, fever was regarded as a sign of too little. And now brandy, wine, and other stimulants were used "to increase vitality." It was a matter of great perplexity that the results of this treatment were found to be no better than the former.


The "Water Cure" for Fevers

A few years later a doctor announced that he was able to cure more fever patients when he used milk with the brandy. Another observed that the mixture of water with the brandy, not only internally as a drink, but externally in the form of baths, was even more effective in reducing fevers.

Soon there followed an announcement by an observant physician that still better results followed when milk alone was used, with no brandy. So for a time the "milk cure" for fevers attracted wide attention. Certain German physicians, who experimented with the brandy-water method, were convinced that it was a little in advance of the brandy-

19

milk mode, and they finally discovered that the use of "water alone" was still better than any of the other plans of treatment. Finally it was found that "water cure" was the best remedy for fevers.

Regarding the mistaken instruction given to medical students about 1860, a physician wrote retrospectively forty years later:

"Learned professors had their own ideas and opinions, and these ideas and opinions were generally derived from someone equally emphatic who had preceded them, probably amplified from time to time as light gradually began to show itself on the medical horizon. Yet most of their ideas and opinions had not fact, scientific or otherwise, for their basis, but an absolutely empirical origin; in other words, true science had not yet dawned upon medical practice and medical thought."—John Janvier Black, M.D., Forty Years in the Medical Profession, p. 126. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1900.


Diet and Sanitation

As for diet, the importance of which is now recognized as a prime factor in the maintenance of health and in the cure of disease, the same writer tells us that in those days "little was said about it, and less was taught concerning it in the medical schools. All, or nearly all, at that time believed, empirically believed, in antiphlogistin system of treatment [treatment designed to reduce inflammation, understood at that time as bleeding, and the use of salts and antimony]; and almost every sick man, or wounded man, or crazy man, for that matter, was put on a diet as near bread and water as possible."—Ibid., p. 187.

With such an absence of true scientific knowledge regarding diet, sanitation, and rational therapy among the profession, it was inevitable that among the laity there should be a deplorable prevalence of suffering due to unhealthful practices. Of this there is abundant evidence in the literature


20

of that time and in the testimony of our grandparents. Said a physician in 1867:

"That people are sick needs no argument. From almost every hamlet the wail of the sufferer is heard, and very few houses exist under whose roof some poor victim has not ended his sufferings, and been relieved from his misery by the King of Terrors. And most who die at the present time die prematurely. . . .

"The customs of society are not favorable at the present time to healthful living. No sooner is life commenced than the stomach is made the recipient of some poisonous nostrum, which weakens it; and, with many, this practice is kept up from the cradle to the grave. The brain is stupefied at one time with a poisonous dose, and at another time it is excited by poison; food of a very unhealthful nature is supplied for the nourishment of the body; the body is very unhealthfully clothed; and the habits of mankind are so generally perverse that it would seem that the ingenuity of man had been taxed to the utmost to invent means to waste vitality, impair the constitution, and shorten life."—J. F. Byington, M.D., in The Health Reformer, May, 1867.

A woman practitioner of the same period bewailed the prevalence of sickness among those of her sex; and she asserted that the women of America "are, with scarce an exception, diseased." Addressing the feminine readers of a health journal, she said:

"Could each and all of the diseased within your ranks, with one fell swoop, be set aside, how many think you would remain? So few, I trow, that it would be scarcely worth the while to count; for upon those on whom no definite disease is preying, nervousness and debility have so strong a hold that life seems scarce worth the effort you are compelled to make in order to keep even your slight hold upon it."—Mrs. E. P. Miller, M.D., in Herald of Health. (Quoted in The Health Reformer, September, 1866.)


21

The Family Medicine Chest

With sickness so prevalent, and with the natural reluctance to call for the services of a physician except as a last resort, it was inevitable that home remedies should be eagerly sought. The nature of these may be learned by perusing the pages of books especially prepared for family reference in case of sickness.

Let us look inside one such work, one bearing the imposing name of The Family Medicine Chest Dispensatory. This book was published in 1835. Here are recommended various standard assortments of medicines. The first is "for a physician practicing in the country" and is priced at $100. For this he may secure forty-eight bottles of medicine, fifty-three wide-mouthed bottles of powders, etc., besides various and sundry ointments and miscellaneous substances. For the convenience of the physician both the common name and the Latin term for prescription use were given. Adapted either for the physician or for the family, there were other assortments of medicine graded in size and cost to suit the financial status of nearly everyone.

In an introductory paragraph the following caution is given: "The least active remedies operate very violently on some individuals, owing to a peculiarity of stomach, or rather disposition of body, unconnected with temperament. This state can only be discovered by accident or time; but when it is known, it should always be attended to by the practitioner."—Family Medicine Chest Dispensatory.

It was deemed advisable to give special warnings against some of the drugs included in the sets designed for family use; and the readers were informed that "medicines, such as the mercurial salts, arsenic, etc., are apt to accumulate in the system, and danger may thence arise if the doses too rapidly succeed each other. The action also of some remedies, elaterin and digitalis, for example, continues long after the remedy is left off, and therefore much caution is requisite


22

in avoiding too powerful an effect by a repetition of them even in diminished doses."—Ibid., pp. 19, 20.


Typical Home Remedies

Glancing through the pages of this family adviser, we note here and there mention of, and recommendations for, such drugs as the following: prussic acid, "administered with advantage in consumption for allaying the cough"; asafoetida, "a medicine very serviceable in those hysterical affections to which delicate females are liable"; calomel, which is recommended as a cathartic, "children requiring larger doses in proportion than adults"; lunar caustic, "employed internally in epilepsy and externally for lotions"; ipecacuanha, to produce perspiration in colds, no medicine "more useful in the family than this"; laudanum, "for procuring sleep"; and nux vomica, "administered to excite the nervous system, especially in palsy."

A Dr. Chapman is quoted as recommending the use of tobacco as a remedy for the affections of the lungs, "the vapor to be produced by smoking a cigar," and advising "that the patient should frequently draw in the breath freely, so that the internal surface of the air vessels may be exposed to the action of the vapor."—Ibid., pp. 24, 35, 43, 48, 88, 108, 165.

Pity the poor youngster who had croup in those days, and whose parents consulted another authority on the subject of home treatment. He would find by sad experience that for this affliction "the remedies principally relied on are bleeding, emetics, and calomel." Before beginning such heroic treatment on the poor victim, his parents probably would mark, and during the treatment would frequently consult, the place in the book where were found the following directions:

"Let the little patient be bled very freely at the commencement of the case. Then give to the child of three years old or upwards a teaspoonful of antimonial wine


23

[made by dissolving a scruple of emetic tartar in a pint of sherry wine], and repeat it, if necessary, in half an hour. If the second dose does not cause vomiting, double its quantity, unless the case be very mild. . . . The vomiting should be encouraged by warm drinks, and the nausea should be continued for a few hours."—Dr. J. Boyd, in Family Medical Adviser, p. 118. Philadelphia: 1845.

It was during this period of general ignorance of the laws of life and health that the youthful pioneers of the advent movement were laying the foundations of a work that was to fit men and women for translation at the second coming of Christ. And for that fitness it was necessary that there be not only spiritual and mental, but also physical, reform.

Those privileged to have a personal acquaintance with many of those pioneers remember most of them as men of vigor and endurance. Although some of them curtailed their lives by overwork, yet they seem to have been endowed with remarkable physical powers. However, almost without exception, there was a time in their earlier life when the vital forces were burning low because of physical ailments due to their lack of knowledge of some of the elementary principles pertaining to the maintenance of good health.


Elder Loughborough's Experience

The childhood and youth of Elder J. N. Loughborough, who died at the ripe age of ninety-two, may be cited as typical of his contemporaries. At the age of eight he peered one day through the thick blankets that curtained and covered the tall posts of the bed on which his father lay dying of typhoid fever. The sufferer had been faithfully and lovingly dosed with drugs, and then had been forbidden by his attending physician the comfort of a drink of cold water or even a refreshing breath of pure air.

After his father's death the orphaned boy was reared in


24

the family of his grandfather, who lived on a farm. Every fall four large, fat hogs and one beef were slaughtered as winter provisions for the family. Nearly all parts of the hogs were eaten "except the bristles and the hoofs." Of his diet at that time he related:

"I was a great lover of animal flesh as food. I wanted fat pork fried for breakfast, boiled meat for dinner, cold slices of ham or beef for supper. One of my sweetest morsels was bread well soaked in pork gravy."—Gospel of Health, October, 1899. (Battle Creek, Michigan.)

"If in the spring of the year we felt langour (really the result of consuming so much fat and flesh meats during the winter), we resorted to sharp pickles, horse-radish, mustard, pepper, and the like, to 'sharpen the appetite’ and tone up the system. We naturally expected a 'poor spell' in the spring before we could get newly grown vegetables." —Medical Missionary, December, 1899. (Battle Creek, Michigan.)


Liquor and Tobacco Used

Although the grandfather was a devout Christian and a class leader in the Methodist Church, he did not realize the harmfulness of the milder intoxicants; and every fall he, like his neighbors, rolled into the cellar several barrels of hard cider. It was customary to serve this drink freely to company and to the laborers in the field. Ministers in many popular churches were free to use tobacco and to drink alcoholic beverages without criticism.

Medicines were used freely to relieve the various maladies that resulted from the pernicious habits of living. On one occasion, when the Loughborough family moved, there was carted to the dump heap an accumulation of two bushel baskets of empty bottles that had contained sarsaparilla, syrups, medical discoveries, and painkillers. Pills were considered indispensable for daily regulation.

At the age of eighteen, when young Loughborough was


25

just beginning to preach, he was advised to use tobacco as a remedy for a lung difficulty which followed a slight hemorrhage. He accepted this advice as good counsel and formed the habit of smoking cigars. About two years later there passed before his mind the contrast between the filthiness of the tobacco habit and the clean lives and purity of those who would dwell in the New Jerusalem. A deep and vivid impression that there would enter into that city nothing that should defile led him then and there to throw a partly smoked cigar into the river and to abandon forever the use of tobacco.

In later years, as the health reform movement made progress among Seventh-day Adventists, a number of the ministers bore testimony to the benefits they had received through adopting its principles. In so doing they naturally looked back to the "hole of the pit" whence they had been digged, and they could clearly see that their former weakness and suffering were due to their lack of knowledge of the laws of life. Among those who bore such testimony was Elder J. N. Andrews, best known, perhaps, as the author of the scholarly work entitled The History of the Sabbath, as well as being the first missionary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to carry the message overseas.


Elder Andrews's Experience

In 1863, at the age of thirty-four, Elder Andrews found himself in very poor health, with a congested brain, nervous dyspepsia, catarrh, salt rheum, and suffering from periods of utter prostration. "My general strength," he wrote, "was easily exhausted. I found it difficult to perform the labor which devolved upon me as a preacher. ... I had no degree of hope that I should ever again possess a sufficient measure {of health} to make life in itself anything desirable."—The Health Reformer, July, 1869.

He recognized that the foundation for this condition had been laid in his youth, regarding which he wrote:


26

"I was not instructed in the principles of hygiene, for my father and mother had neither of them any just knowledge of these. I was kept from the use of tobacco, and from even tasting strong drink; but I learned almost nothing of the evils of unwholesome food—at least, of such as was common in our own family. I did not know that late suppers, and 'hearty ones' at that, were serious evils. I had no idea of any special transgression in eating between meals. ... I supposed old cheese was good to aid digestion. ... As to mince pie and sausage, I had no thought that these were unwholesome, unless too highly seasoned, or, as it was termed, 'made too rich.' 'Hot biscuit and butter,' doughnuts, pork in every form, pickles, preserves, tea, coffee, etc., were all of common use."—The Health Reformer, December, 1871.

To such ignorance of good dietetic principles Elder Andrews added the confession that, in common with most people of his time, he did not see the relation between the transgression of the laws of health and the resulting physical ailments. He said:

"I had little other idea of headache, dyspepsia, nausea, fevers, etc., than that these were things that for the most part were wholly out of our control, and that like the various phenomena of nature they were ordered by God's hand, and man had generally no agency therein. Do not smile at this strange notion. It is strange, indeed, that such ideas should prevail; but that they do prevail even now, you may satisfy yourself by calling out the ideas of the very next person you meet."—Ibid., p. 170.

It is only as we picture this background of health conditions as they were a century ago, that we can truly appreciate the great advance in the knowledge of physiology, hygiene, dietetics, and therapeutics that has been made in this generation, and which is the rich heritage of those who live today.

Seventh-day Adventists, we shall show, were providen-


27

tially led to accept as a matter of religious principle the sound reforms in health habits—and that at a time when these health principles were not popular—and to throw their energies into the campaign of health education that time has demonstrated to be rational and progressive.



chapter 2


MOVEMENTS TOWARD THERAPEUTIC REFORM


an attempt to picture conditions in the practice of medicine and in the health habits of the public would be incomplete were we to dwell only upon the "heroic" treatment and drugging by the physicians in the first part of the nineteenth century, or on the general ignorance regarding the laws of life on the part of the people who lived then. There were trends and movements in the direction of progress. Both in European countries and in the United States men were experimenting and were finding out better ways of living and of treating the sick. Prominent physicians were becoming enlightened and were sounding warnings against the common practice of administering powerful and toxic medicines. Other and more rational methods of treating the sick were meeting with gratifying success, and voices of reform were being heard with increasing attention.


The Hydropathic Movement

In the summer of 1777 William Wright, a physician of Jamaica, was sailing from that island in a ship bound for Liverpool. In treating a case of typhus fever, which ended fatally, he became infected and was very ill. He prescribed for himself the usual remedies, such as taking a "gentle vomit," followed by a "decoction of tamarinds," and "at bedtime, an opiate, joined with antimonial wine." He was perplexed because that even after taking a "drachm of Peruvian bark . . . every hour for six hours successively," with an occasional glass of port wine, he felt no better. He experienced decided relief, however, when he went on deck; and he noted that the colder the air, the better he felt.

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"This circumstance," he reported, "and the failure of every means I had tried encouraged me to put in practice on myself what I had often wished to try on others, in fevers similar to my own."

We can only imagine his feelings of mingled apprehension and of desperate hope as he waited the result of a cold douche—three buckets of sea water which he ordered thrown over his naked body. Though "the shock was great, [he] felt immediate relief." A few hours later his fever reappeared, and he repeated the treatment, and did it twice more on the following day. For the third day he recorded in his diary: "Every symptom vanished, but to prevent a relapse, I used the cold bath twice."

Soon another passenger was taken down with the same fever, and at his urgent request Dr. Wright ventured to give him the same treatment, and with the same gratifying result. (James Currie, M.D., Medical Reports on the Effects of Cold and Warm Water as a Remedy in Fever and Other Diseases, Vol. I, pp. 1-4. London: Printed for T. Cadell and W. Davis, 1805.)


An Experiment With Typhus

Let us go back a few years further, in our story, to gratify a natural curiosity as to why Dr. Wright had "often wished to try on others" the cold douche for the relief of typhus fever. The surgeon on a ship calling at Jamaica had related to Dr. Wright a "queer thing that happened" on the voyage. "A serious epidemic of typhus fever had broken out among his crew," the bunkers were all filled with patients, and the supply of medicines was exhausted. Not finding room below, some of the sufferers were forced to stay on deck. Naturally the most hopeless cases were chosen to endure such exposure in the open air, where, with no medicine available for them, only death could be expected. When some of these fever-racked patients begged their companions to pour buckets of water over them, the physician


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consented, believing that the cold application would only the sooner end their sufferings.

The results were surprising. While the patients in their bunks, who were carefully protected from the cold air and kept warm with blankets, grew worse, and many died, most of their fellow sufferers who were lying on the hard deck, not only exposed to the heat of the sun but soaked with sea water, recovered. (Logan Clendenning, M.D., Behind the Doctor, pp. 296, 297. New York: The Garden City Publishing Company, 1933.)

Dr. Wright, to whom this incident was related, kept it in mind and wondered, but feared the risk of a charge of malpractice that might have resulted if he should use such a method in his work. Now that he had tried it on himself and on another patient with gratifying results, he felt free to recommend it to others, and in the summer of 1778 he wrote for a medical journal an account of the successful treatment of fever by means of ablution. His article caught the eye and thoughtful attention of Dr. James Currie, of Liverpool, England, one of the staff physicians in the large hospital in that city, to whom we are indebted for the story of Dr. Wright's experience.

Soon after this an epidemic of typhus fever raged in Liverpool, and many cases were brought to the hospital. Dr. Currie's associates were shocked and horrified when he prescribed the cold water treatment for several of the cases under his care. But their horror was changed to astonishment when they beheld the remarkable curative effects of the treatment; for all recovered, and the mortality rate was still high among those treated according to the accepted methods.

After further study of the matter and after experimentation with various methods of applying water to the sick, Dr. Currie brought out in 1797 the book from which we have quoted. It was widely read and ran through several editions. But though it created an interest in the subject, it


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did not lead to the general adoption of hydropathy, as it was termed, by the medical profession; and after a few years the matter was largely forgotten.


Priessnitz's Discovery

Interest was revived in the subject as reports spread regarding marvelous cures effected by an Austrian peasant through the agency of cold water. Again it was an accidental circumstance that was the occasion for the rediscovery of the curative powers of water. Vincent Priessnitz (1799-1851), a lad of thirteen years living in Graefenberg, Austria, one day sprained his wrist. With his good hand he worked a pump and kept a stream of water running over the injured part. This brought alleviation of the pain. When he became tired of pumping, he devised the plan of continuing the relief, using wet cloths frequently dipped into cold water. Soon after this he crushed his thumb while working in the woods, and again found relief by the application of cold compresses.

The report of these minor injuries, and of their relief by the use of cold water, probably would not have gone beyond a very small circle of acquaintances, except that these incidents were but preliminary to a more serious accident and a striking recovery from expected death. When young Priessnitz was sixteen years old, he was driving a pair of horses with a load of hay down a steep mountain road. The animals became frightened and began to run. The young man tried to stop them by holding the bridle reins, but he was knocked down, kicked by the horses, and run over by the heavy wagon. When stock was taken of his injuries, it was found that he had lost three teeth and, in addition to many wounds and bruises, had three broken ribs. A surgeon painfully probed the wounds, put bandages around his chest, and left, declaring that the wounds were incurable.

Priessnitz tore off the bandages and applied cold cloths


32

till the inflammation was subdued and the pain was alleviated. By pressing his abdomen against the window sills and inflating his lungs, he set the broken ribs, and resumed the cold treatment, making a speedy recovery. (Joel Shew, M.D., The Water Cure Manual, pp. 266-277. New York: Fowler and Wells, 1852.)

"Instead of being carried to the fields, he lived to write his name deep in water. Uneducated, not knowing what Hippocrates had written about hydrotherapy in the years B.C., but gifted with natural clinical insight and a first-class organizing ability, Priessnitz established a hydropathic institute at Graefenberg, which was soon crowded with health seekers from all parts of the world. ... In time many well-known physicians of unimpeachable standing sojourned at Graefenberg to learn from the untutored Priessnitz such practical thermotherapeutic procedures as the douche, the plunge, the dripping sheet, the dry blanket pack, the wet sheet pack, the foot bath, the sitz bath, the warm bath, and much else that was not written in books." —Victor Robinson, M.D., The Story of Medicine, p. 394. New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1931.


Active Opposition to Priessnitz

There was active opposition to Priessnitz by contemporary physicians. He was repeatedly brought before the courts and charged with practicing medicine without qualifications or government license; but he had popular support, and the judges freed him upon his defense that he used no other means than pure water. One writer, who visited the place and viewed the proceedings with a prejudiced eye, says:

"It is by no means agreeable to be roused from a comfortable sleep in the depth of winter, morning after morning, by candlelight, to be enveloped in a piercing cold moist sheet, and afterwards rubbed in a tub of cold water until nearly every particle of warmth is abstracted from the body;


33

and then to repeat this in the afternoon, or to alternate it with a sweat in a blanket for two or three tedious hours— well may it be said, therefore, that the 'water cure' requires much enduring fortitude and strength of constitution, both to overcome the repugnance naturally felt, and to resist the congestion likely to ensue."—Robert Hay Graham, M.D., Graefenberg: A True Report of the Water Cure, p. 34. London: Longmans, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844.


Water Cures Gain Popularity

If we are led to wonder at the unusual success of such treatment, we should bear in mind that its effectiveness is to be contrasted, not with modern methods, but with the general practice of bleeding and drugging universally practiced at that time.

The phenomenal success of Priessnitz was followed by the rapid appearance of many "water cures" on the continent of Europe, in Great Britain, and in the United States. Books were written, journals were started, and lecturers took the field, extolling the great benefits of hydrotherapy. The profusion of books on the subject is evidenced by those listed in the Library of Congress at Washington, D.C. The list includes more than sixty volumes written between 1843 and 1863 and represents writers not only in English-speaking countries, but also in Germany, France, Austria, Poland, and Italy.

There are two American physicians who should find special mention in this connection, not only because of their endorsement and successful practice of hydrotherapy, but because of their leadership in medical reform. Later we shall have occasion to mention them in their influence upon, and association with, Seventh-day Adventists in their endeavors to find and to practice true health reform principles.

Dr. James C. Jackson (1811-1895), of New York State, was among the pioneers in the United States who lost faith in the efficacy of drugs and discontinued their use in medical


34

practice. After practicing twenty years as a physician, he wrote:

"In my entire practice I have never given a dose of medicine; not so much as I should have administered had I taken the homeopathic pellet of the seven millionth dilution, and dissolving it in Lake Superior, given my patients of its water. ...

"I have used in the treatment of my patients the following substances or instrumentalities: first, air; second, food; third, water; fourth, sunlight; fifth, dress; sixth, exercise; seventh, sleep; eighth, rest; ninth, social influences; tenth, mental and moral forces."—James C. Jackson, M.D., How to Treat the Sick Without Medicine, pp. 25, 26. New York: Fowler and Wells, 1868.


Dr. Jackson at Dansville, New York

In 1858 Dr. Jackson leased for three years, and then purchased, a water cure establishment located at Dansville, New York. This he enlarged and transformed into an institution for the rational care of the sick, where he might treat them in harmony with these principles. Because of its location, it was named "Our Home on the Hillside." A woman physician, Dr. Harriet Austin, an adopted daughter, was associated with him in the institution and in the editorial work on a monthly magazine, The Laws of Life. Dr. Jackson wrote a number of books, besides pamphlets and tracts, and lectured in many places. It is probable that he, more than any other single individual, exercised a widespread influence in behalf of early hygienic reform in the United States.

Dr. R. T. Trail (1812-1877) was another physician who entirely discontinued the use of drugs in his practice. His emergence as a health reformer preceded by a few years that of Dr. Jackson. Of Dr. Trail and his associates in this field, a physician writing in 1871 says in a retrospective view of the progress of reform:


35

"Twenty-five years ago Drs. Jennings, Trail, and Shew were about the only men of science who dared openly to question the utility of drugs or to advocate the simple laws of health. . . . Drugopathy seemed to becloud all light and weigh down all hope. At that time the laborers, including writers and speakers, were not over half a dozen; while now, they are counted by hundreds. Then, but few would listen, or read, or believe; while now, by a large and increasing class of the best minds in our country, no lectures elicit more attention, nor matter is read with so much interest, as hygienic literature. . . . Then, there were no facilities for a sound education as to the nature of disease or its true remedy; while now, and for years past, Dr. Trail has been conducting with marked success his college, chartered by the legislature of New York, and fully authorized to confer diplomas as other like institutions."—W. Perkins, M.D., in The Health Reformer, March, 1871, pp. 185, 186.


The Water Cure Journal

In 1845 the voice of the hydropathic movement in the United States began to be heard in a monthly periodical known as The Water Cure Journal and Herald of Reform, which, according to its claims, was "devoted to physiology, hydropathy, and the laws of life." Its objective was "to promulgate the philosophy and practice of hydropathy; embracing the true principles of health and longevity, together with directions for the application of water, air, exercise, and diet, to all the various diseases with which mankind are affected."

By 1851 the journal was enlarged and improved. In its twenty-four pages were departments on food and diet, physical exercise, and other important features relating to health. By the end of the same year its editors boasted a circulation of 30,000 copies. They claimed that more than a thousand allopathic physicians were subscribers, and that many of these were, when sick, resorting to hydropathic


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institutions for treatment. (The Water Cure Journal, December, 1851, pp. 161, 162.) Of such institutions, there were advertised or mentioned in The Water Cure Journal no fewer than fifty, each one being headed by a medical doctor. The "oldest and most extensive" of them was conducted by Dr. Trail himself in New York City. (Ibid., September, 1852, p. 73.) The editorial page of The Water Cure Journal was filled with articles by Dr. Trail, who was the principal contributor. Other articles are signed by such writers as Drs. William Alcott, Joel Shew, J. C. Jackson, T. M. Antisell, O. M. Gleason, E. A. Kittredge, and T. L. Nichols.

The last named, with his wife, Mrs. Gove Nichols, who was a former schoolteacher, opened in New York City (September, 1851) the American Hydropathic Institute, which was established for "the instruction of qualified persons of both sexes, in all branches of a thorough medical education, including the principles and practice of water cure, in acute or chronic diseases, surgery, and obstetrics." (Ibid., Vol. XI, p. 91, April, 1851.) Three or four years later this gave way to the Hygieo-pathic Medical School, which was headed by Dr. Trail. A charter from the New York legislature empowered the school to confer upon its graduates the title of doctor of medicine. The students were taught to discard all drugs and to rely entirely upon natural remedies. In 1867 the work was transferred from New York City to Florence Heights, New Jersey, where it functioned for several years under the name of the Hygieo-Therapeutic College. The enrollment was not large, for only twenty students were graduated at the end of the twentieth term of six months, in 1870. (The Health Reformer, July, 1870, p. 3.) But the graduates year by year spread the principles wherever they located for practice.

One of the textbooks used in the training of the medical students in these early educational medical institutions was a comprehensive work of 960 pages, The Hydropathic En-


37

cyclopedia, prepared by Dr. Trail in 1851. It ran through several editions and found its way into many homes, where it helped greatly in educating the public in physiology, hygiene, and the rational care of the sick.


Pioneers in Health Reform

Such men as Drs. Jackson and Trail recognized the therapeutic value of water, and they also saw that it was but one of the remedial agencies provided by nature for the alleviation of suffering. Their practice and their institutions survived, but those failed who made the "water cure" their main dependence, and their names are largely lost in oblivion.

It is also worthy of note that some of these health reformers recognized the relationship between obedience to the laws of life and Christian character. Thus Dr. J. C. Jackson wrote:

"There are two classes of persons engaged in the discussion of questions pertaining to human welfare as embodied in the health reform. First, those who relate themselves to it from the side of science and natural law only. Second, those who in addition thereto are quickened in their activities from a sense of the duty which Christ imposes to consecrate and sanctify their bodies as well as their souls to His service. We belong to the latter class, and our hope in presenting health considerations to the people originates mainly from the latter point."—"The Christian Aspect of the Health Reformation," in Laws of Life, Vol. VI, p. 22, February, 1863.

With such a background of reform, and with able exponents of health principles, the way was prepared in the providence of God for impressing upon the minds of Seventh-day Adventists the importance of physical reform as an adjunct to their message setting forth the pressing need for the restoration of Bible truths and the keeping of God's commandments.



chapter 3


TEMPERANCE AND DIET REFORMS


not alone in the field of hydrotherapy and rational methods of treatment of disease was the foundation laid for reform. The same is true in the field of temperance and of diet.

In 1785 there appeared a pamphlet entitled "Inquiry Into the Effects of Ardent Spirits," penned by Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence in 1776. A graduate of medical schools of Princeton, New Jersey, and Edinburgh, Scotland, the author had attained a position of eminence in the medical profession in the United States and was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania.

"It is from this man, holding medals and honors from the crowned heads of Europe, whose activities covered so wide a field, whose interests were so humanitarian—it is from this man that the drinking customs of society received their first effectual rebuke. His pen, so busy on other themes also, arrested attention."—August F. Fehlandt, A Century of Drink Reform in the United States, p. 25. New York: Eaton and Mains, 1905.


An Appeal for Drastic Laws

Dr. Rush appealed to the government to pass drastic laws to limit the sale of ardent spirits and to bring into disgrace, even by abridging their civil rights, those who were convicted of habitual drunkenness. He appealed to the religious element to arouse. He urged:

"Ministers of the gospel, of every denomination in the United States, aid me with all the weight you possess in

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society, from the dignity and usefulness of your sacred office, to save our fellow men from being destroyed by the great destroyer of their lives and souls."—Ibid., p. 31.

This appeal produced no immediate results in organization, but it laid the foundations for what was to come later. This essay fell into the hands of Lyman Beecher, who became an ardent advocate of temperance reform. Some local so-called temperance societies were formed early in the century. In one instance the members, after signing the constitution, repaired to the tavern where they all drank together to set before the world an example of "true moderation."


Against the Use of Liquor at Funerals

In 1814 one of the first effective steps was taken in the United States in a protest against the use of intoxicating liquors at funerals. It was plausibly argued that the tendency of this practice was "to prevent the benefit that might otherwise be derived from providences, and the religious exercises of funeral occasions." Soon after this a further protest was made against "the evils of furnishing ardent spirits as an article of entertainment, especially to ministers of the gospel, a practice which was also common, and was thought by many to be a suitable expression of respect and kindness toward the ministerial office."—Permanent Documents of the American Temperance Society, Vol. I, pp. 6, 7. New York: 1852.

In 1822 the tragic deaths of two victims of drunkenness furnished the text for two sermons, which were printed and circulated: the first, "On the Wretchedness of Intemperate Men"; the second, "On the Duty of Preventing Sober Men From Becoming Intemperate." It was argued that if, first, sober men could be prevented from becoming intemperate, then "when the present race of drunkards should be removed, the whole land might be free."—Ibid., p. 7.


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Three years later a more effective argument, based upon a social-economic experiment, was made. A farmer in Massachusetts, owning about 600 acres of land and employing about ten men, became aware of the evils of drink and felt that he could no longer conscientiously continue to give the customary ration of ardent spirits to his employees. Calling them together, he kindly but firmly told them of his decision. Only one chose to leave. Some of those, however, who chose to remain through the season got liquor elsewhere, so it was not at once a matter of total abstinence.

The next season he determined to hire only those who would agree to drink no ardent spirits at all. His neighbors predicted that it would be impossible to hire such a group of workers, but in this they were mistaken. Then the neighbors were equally certain that the workmen would not render satisfactory service, and that his farm would run down for want of proper care. Again the results were entirely contrary to their expectations.

This story, briefly told, was published by the American Tract Society. The benefits both to the men themselves and to the farmer were set forth, with the conclusion that great good would ensue to the country should all the people of the United States adopt the plan of abstinence from the use of ardent spirits. ("A Well-Conducted Farm," American Tract Society, No. 176, 1825, 12 pp.)


The American Temperance Society Organized

While at this time there were individuals here and there who abstained from the use of ardent spirits, and who agreed not to furnish them to others, there was not at first any effective system of working or means of co-operation. A few of these reformers met together and began a correspondence with others, and these communications resulted in the organization of the American Temperance Society. It was their hope "by light and love to change the habits of the nation, with regard to the use of intoxicating liquors."


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The organization was effected in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 10, 1826, with the Honorable Marcus Morton as president and Justin Edwards as secretary.

The labor exerted by the charter members of the society and the enthusiasm of others who united with them were phenomenal. In less than a decade they were able to report approximately 5,000 local societies, with more than 1,000,000 members. Thousands of manufacturers of spirits had been led to cease their occupation, and over 6,000 retailers had discontinued its sale. Five thousand drunkards—supposed to be incurable—had been reclaimed. And 700 ships were being navigated without the use of spirits. Temperance journals were numerous. One, The Temperance Recorder, of Albany, New York, claimed a subscription list of 200,000 copies. (The Moral Reformer, Wm. A. Alcott, editor, Vol. I, p. 64. Boston: Light and Horton, 1836.)

Several years passed, however, before "teetotalism" was generally adopted by the temperance societies. The inconsistency of taking only half measures was seen by many, and protests were made, but it was difficult to move the public to take the next logically advanced step. One correspondent of a temperance journal wrote in 1835:

"While attacking spirit drinking only, we are beating the air, exciting the laughter of our opponents, and sinking beneath their scorn. Who can answer the charges of inconsistency and hypocrisy incurred by this system? A gentleman drinks his half bottle of wine, but will not allow the poor man his two pennyworth of whisky, although it were reduced with water to half the strength of his wine."—The Temperance Journal, August, 1835. (Boston, Massachusetts.)

The difficulties encountered in making such appeals effective are indicated by the plaint of another would-be reformer: "'I am sorry,' says one, 'that the wine question should be agitated.' 'I regret it exceedingly,' says another. 'It is ruining the temperance cause,' says a third. 'O what a


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pity,' says a fourth, 'when we were going on so well.' 'I'll withdraw,' says a fifth, 'and have nothing more to do with them.'"—Ibid., Vol. IV, December, 1835.

By the middle of the century the initial activity and success of the temperance movement had greatly abated. Most of the temperance journals had only an ephemeral life. The local societies to a large degree ceased to function. It was to be a few decades before the more modern movement, fostered by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and its affiliated organizations, was to take shape. However, the effects of the earlier crusade were manifest in a greatly enlightened conscience, and the use of intoxicating drinks had lost caste among church members.


Vegetarianism and Diet Reform

Other movements were on foot looking to reforms in diet. In 1809 there appeared in England a book by William Lambe, M.D., bearing the quaint title of Reports of the Effects of a Peculiar Regimen in Scirrhous Tumours and Cancerous Ulcers. The peculiar regimen referred to consisted for the most part in the discontinuance of flesh food, and the free use of water.

"My opinion is," he wrote, "that no case which is curable can resist the effect of this regimen, if persevered in steadily for three complete years; at the same time that one year or a year and a half will commonly afford much relief."—P. 178.

A layman named John Frank Newton, who had from childhood suffered from a chronic disease, read the book and made a personal application of the experiment to his own diet. So gratifying were the results that he was impelled to write a book setting forth the benefits he had experienced. In closing the first part of this work, he gives more than a suggestion of the opposition those early advocates of vegetarianism encountered. He cautioned "him who may become a convert to this simple method of preventing


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disease, not to lose his temper when assailed in argument by his tenacious opponents with violence almost inexplicable; and to be firm and constant in his own practice, in contempt of all the means which will be resorted to, whether threats or persuasions, to turn him aside from his offensive purpose."—J. F. Newton, The Return to Nature, or a Defense of the Vegetable Regimen, pp. 156, 157. London: J. McCreery, 1811.


Shelley, the Poet, Interested

Two years later the attention of the curious reader of a new book by P. B. Shelley, the poet, must have been arrested by the opening sentence: "I hold that the depravity of the physical and moral nature of man originated in his unnatural habits of life."—Vindication of a Natural Diet. London: F. Pitman, edition of 1884.

If he read the book to its conclusion, just before laying it down, he would have marked the following admonition:

"The proselyte to a simple and natural diet, who desires health, must from the moment of his conversion attend to these rules—

"Never take any substance into the stomach that once had life.

"Drink no liquid but water restored to its original purity by distillation."

The English poet was a personal friend of the Newton and Lambe families and had followed them in adopting a vegetarian diet. He acknowledged that he had drawn his arguments largely from the two former books, but his distinctive style, together with his literary reputation, tended to arouse a deeper interest in the subject.

The benefits to health experienced by those who discontinued the use of flesh as food led to a gradual increase of favor for the new regimen. But it was more than three decades after the publication of the treatise by Shelley that the Vegetarian Society was organized in England. The first


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meeting was held at Ramsgate, England, on September 30, 1847, with Joseph Brotherton, Esq., M.P., presiding. Of the 265 charter members 91 had abstained from meat less than 10 years, and 72 had been vegetarians for more than 30. Only one had a record of 40 years. (John Smith, Fruits and Farinacea the Proper Food for Man, p. 190. New York: Fowler and Wells. From the second London edition, 1854.) In 1851 James Simpson, president of the society, reported nearly 700 adult members, 153 of whom had not tasted animal flesh for more than 20 years. He said further: "These vegetarians belong indiscriminately to all trades and professions and have, as a body, always a much higher and more uniform standard of health than flesh eaters under similar general circumstances, and many of them have experienced a wonderful improvement in bodily vigor and mental vivacity."—R. T. Trail, M.D., in The Health Reformer, November, 1867, p. 20.


A Campaign for Diet Reform

An active campaign in behalf of diet reform and the adoption of a vegetarian diet was waged also in the United States. In 1835 Dr. William A. Alcott, of Massachusetts, began the publication of The Moral Reformer as an organ of healthful dietetics. Dr. Milo L. North, a practitioner of Hartford, Connecticut, had become interested in the matter of diet, especially of the reported benefits of vegetarianism. He compiled a questionnaire, asking those who had discarded the use of flesh foods to state the effect upon their strength, their mental acumen, their susceptibility to colds, and any ailments they might have had. He also asked an opinion as to whether either laborers or students, or both, would be benefited by the exclusion of animal food from their diet.

This questionnaire was published in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal and in The American Journal of Medical Science. Several other papers copied it. Thus it was


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circulated generally throughout the country. Replies were received from various parts of the United States, many of them from medical men. Dr. Alcott published various of these replies, with suitable remarks upon their almost unanimous agreement as to the benefits of the change they had made in their diet, thus building up a strong argument in favor of a vegetarian regimen. (Dr. William A. Alcott, Vegetable Diet, as Sanctioned by Medical Men, and Experience in All Ages. New York: Fowler and Wells, 1849.)

At the age of thirty Sylvester Graham (1794-1849) entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. In his early years he had been afflicted with tuberculosis. The state of his health was a factor in arousing his interest in the temperance cause which was then coming into prominence, and he made a special study of anatomy and physiology. In 1832 he began to lecture, advocating a comprehensive system of healthful living. At first he set forth these principles as a preventive of cholera, and it is said that "thousands followed his advice with beneficial results." He continued lecturing with great success and was always well received and very impressive. (Sylvester Graham, M.D., Lectures on the Science of Human Life, p. 3. New York: Fowler and Wells, 1851.) In 1833 he started a paper called The Graham Journal, which was published monthly in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1839 his lectures appeared in book form, and despite the size of the volume (650 pages) and the fact that it was printed in small type, it was widely read and discussed. (Ibid., p. 4.)

And so the terms "Grahamites," "Graham hotels," "Graham bread," and "bran eaters" were facetiously applied in reference to the followers of the popular lecturer, to the caravansaries where they might obtain the reform diet, or to the loaves made from unbolted flour. A well-selected dietary from vegetable products was set forth as an aid in maintaining health and longevity. In Graham's Lectures on


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the Science of Human Life, page 9, is quoted a review of his book:

"The bold originality of thought which pervades the lectures before us, and their perfect freedom from those errors into which most writers who treat on the same subject have fallen by following too implicitly the dogmas of their predecessors, constitute one of their chief recommendations."—Bell's Select Library and Eclectic Journal of Medical Science.


Toward Vegetarianism

William Metcalf, pastor of the Society of Bible Christians of Philadelphia (see note p. 49), was an enthusiastic vegetarian and, as early as 1821, the author of a booklet entitled "Abstinence From the Flesh of Animals," which was widely circulated and quite generally reviewed pro and con by the public press. (History of the Philadelphia Bible Christian Church, p. 29. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1922.) After corresponding with Dr. Graham, Dr. Alcott, and others who were leading out in diet reform, he initiated a convention of diet reformers in Clinton Hall, New York, May 15, 1850.

Here was launched the American Vegetarian Society, with Dr. Alcott as president; William Metcalf, corresponding secretary; and Dr. R. T. Trail, recording secretary. To give the society a voice, The American Vegetarian and Health Journal was issued, edited by Metcalf. (Ibid., pp. 43, 44.) Because of lack of support the journal was suspended in 1854, but the vegetarian cause continued to be ably advocated in The Water Cure Journal, The Moral Reformer, and The Graham Journal.

At the fourth annual meeting of the society Horace Greeley presided as one of the chairmen. There were 350 persons in attendance, including Drs. James C. Jackson and R. T. Trail, also Mrs. Amelia Bloomer and Mrs. Susan B. Anthony. (Ibid., pp. 158, 159.) Though not so large in


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membership as its counterpart in England, the society maintained a healthy existence until the death of Mr. Metcalf in 1854. (The Vegetarian Society of America was reorganized in Philadelphia, June 24, 1886. On November 2, on Wallace Street in that city, a reception was held by the society in honor of Dr. J. H. Kellogg of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, who delivered an address on the history of vegetarianism.)


Physiology in the Schools

Through the labors and influence of the foregoing and other reformers during the first half of the nineteenth century, a broad foundation was laid for a program of education in health principles. The introduction of the teaching of physiology in the public schools was one of the issues on which a long but finally successful fight was waged. In 1850 some progress was made when the legislature of Massachusetts passed a law providing for the teaching of physiology and hygiene in the public schools "in all cases in which the school committee shall deem it expedient." Provision was also made for all teachers thereafter to be examined "in their knowledge of the elementary principles of physiology and hygiene, and their ability to give instruction in the same."

The following year, however, the Committee on Education of that state was divided over the question of the purchase of the necessary anatomical diagrams for the use of common schools. After a lengthy argument the majority decided against it, expressing "doubts whether, out of 3,748 public school teachers, a hundred teachers can be found qualified to teach physiology," and urging that this subject give way to others "having a stronger demand upon the attention."

A minority of the committee made an eloquent and logical statement in protest against the decision of the majority in this matter. They made a plea for putting the


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study of physiology in the very forefront of the educational curriculum.

In their unsuccessful attempt to influence public opinion before it was ready for such a progressive move, they declared that the education of children was "commenced wrong, continued wrong, and ended wrong." The religious training was deemed of prime importance, then the moral, the intellectual, and lastly the physical. They urged the complete reversal of this order of instruction, asserting that the teaching of the mechanism of their bodies would be far more effectual in directing the young minds to the Creator than would "arguments on the questionable necessity of infantile regeneration."

"Rather let the mind remain a blank" they contended, "than make it a dyspeptic by prematurely feeding it with unintelligible dogmas. To educate the mind regardless of the body is like building a house without a foundation." —"Physiology in Schools—Progress of Public Sentiment," an editorial appearing in The Water Cure Journal, June, 1851.


Progress in Public Health Education

The education of the public in matters pertaining to health and hygiene continued to be fostered by the tireless and often unselfish efforts of enlightened lecturers and writers. Of the nature and influence of their work and of its importance in the cause of health reform, an experienced educator said in 1862:

"About twenty years ago Dr. Calvin Cutter began his career as a public lecturer upon the science of physiology. He was followed by T. S. Lambert and a multitude of others less known if not less useful. More recently the science has been extensively introduced and taught in our schools and seminaries, as one of the regular branches of study. The influence of this movement in the direction of health reform is incalculable."—J. C. Porter, professor of


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mathematics, Clinton Liberal Institute, New York, in The Laws of Life, November, 1862, p. 162.

In showing why the work of these physiologists was worthy of being rated as "by far the most important auxiliary of the hygienic reform," Professor Porter said further:

"They have taught the people the importance of bathing and exercise; they have inculcated useful lessons upon the choice and preparation of food, bringing the frying pans into ill repute, and doing no little damage to the trade in pork; they have borne strong and effectual testimony against the use of tobacco and intoxicating beverages; they have enlightened upon the habits of dressing, and have made corsets and thin soles a reproach to any lady; they have prevented more disease by the correction of private and social vice than all the doctors have cured since preaching began."—Ibid.

The knowledge of health principles disseminated by the printed page, by lectures, by the formation of health clubs, and by the teaching of children in the public schools was as leaven that, by 1863, was permeating society. Thus providentially was the way prepared for the great and important instruction of health reform that would become an integral part of the religious movement then arising with its divine commission to herald to the world a message designed to prepare a people "body, and soul, and spirit" for translation to heaven at the second advent of Christ.



chapter 4


JOSEPH BATES, A HEALTH REFORMER


that a physician, a teacher, or a minister should be led by study and experience to discover and to advocate some principles of health reform is not a matter of surprise. That many, through the lectures and writings of such reformers, should be influenced to accept their findings and to change their own manner of living, as a result, is to be expected. It is, however, a matter worthy of note when a youthful sailor makes a series of radical reforms, as a spontaneous reaction to his own personal observations, and then stands courageously for his convictions in an unfavorable environment.

Because Joseph Bates had such a unique experience, and because he was to become one of the pioneers in the Seventh-day Adventist movement, it is fitting to set forth somewhat in detail such portions of the story of his life as are related to the acceptance of the reforms that were then being agitated.


Joseph Bates's Early Life

A brief review of his earlier life reveals that God in His providence was preparing Joseph Bates for an important work. The reforms he was led to make in his physical habits were no less marked than were the steps by which he was converted from "the ruinous habits of a common sailor"—to use his own words—to Christianity and to an effective ministry. These steps in reform were taken entirely as the deliberate action of his own judgment and reason, and when he was surrounded by unfavorable influences. Of this his biographer states:

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"It was during his seafaring life, while separated from the saving influences of the parental, Christian home, and exposed to the temptations of sailor life, [that Joseph Bates] became thoroughly impressed with moral and religious principles, and gathered strength to trample intemperance and all other forms of vice beneath his feet, and rise in the strength of right and of God to the position of a thorough reformer, a devoted Christian, and an efficient minister of the gospel."—James White, The Early Life and Later Experience and Labors of Elder Joseph Bates, p. 16. Battle Creek, Michigan: 1878.

Joseph Bates was born near New Bedford, Massachusetts, on July 7, 1792. His father was a merchant in that city. At this shipping center the lure of the sea proved irresistible to the lad and aroused in him an ardent desire to become a sailor. Hoping that Joseph might find the reality less pleasing than the dream, his parents gave their permission for him to accompany an uncle on a short trip by water to Boston. But the desired cure did not work, and at the age of fifteen he was permitted to ship as a cabin boy. Thus he entered upon his maritime career.

On the return voyage from England he experienced the first of several hairbreadth escapes. Falling from a mast into the ocean, he barely succeeded in catching the end of a rope thrown to him from the fast-receding vessel. On the next trip to Europe the ship crashed an iceberg, and for a time all hope of escape was abandoned. With great difficulty, however, the vessel was brought to a port and was repaired sufficiently so that they could proceed to their destination.


Captured by Danish Privateers

Captured by Danish privateers and taken to Copenhagen, Denmark, where ship and cargo were condemned under the decrees of Napoleon; stripped of everything but clothing and left friendless among a strange people; enduring a tedious and perilous passage to Prussia, with the


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vessel leaking so badly that it was barely kept from sinking till they reached the wharf; making a voyage to Ireland that was "replete with trials and sufferings" under a hard, cruel captain—such were a few of the experiences through which he passed as a youth.

At Liverpool, England, he was captured by a "press gang," and for two years and a half was compelled to work in the British navy. When war broke out between England and the United States in 1812, he and other Americans demanded that they should be treated as prisoners of war. They were sent to Dartmoor Prison, where they remained till the close of the hostilities.

While in Dartmoor Prison, Mr. Bates formed an intimate acquaintance with a Mr. Davis. They spent many hours together, talking over their desperate situation. Observing the ruinous habits of their fellow prisoners, they mutually agreed that, if liberated, they would avoid the dreadful habits of intemperance and seek for a standing among sober, reflecting men.1

After six and a half years of untold suffering and hardship, the young man returned to his home, with a few old, worn clothes as his only reward for his services. Of the meeting with his father, he says:

"My father had been told by those who thought they knew, that if ever I did return home, I would be like other drunken man-o'-war sailors. He was away from home on business when I arrived, but returned in a few days. Our meeting overcame him. At length he recovered and asked me if I had injured my constitution. 'No, father,' I replied, 'I became disgusted with the intemperate habits of the people I was associated with. I have no particular desire for

1 Several years afterward, when docking in New York as master of his own vessel, Captain Bates met this Mr. Davis among the day laborers who applied for work discharging the ship's cargo. Mr. Davis admitted, with sadness of heart, that he had lacked the moral courage to reform. Mr. Bates regarded the difference in their stations in life as one of the rewards of his own temperate life.


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strong drink,' or words to this effect, which very much relieved his mind at the time."—Ibid., pp. 99, 100.


At Sea Again

After a brief stay at home Joseph Bates was offered a berth as second mate on another ship bound for Europe. With brief intervals at home between voyages, he continued his seafaring life, most of the time as master of his own ship, until 1828, making a total of twenty-one years that he spent on the ocean.

For some time he kept his resolution to be temperate and abstained entirely from the use of ardent spirits, but later he returned to the moderate use of liquor. He thought that if he drank not more than one glass a day, he would be secure from walking the drunkard's path. Upon discovery that the desire for that one glass, which he took at the dinner hour, was stronger than his appetite for food, he became alarmed and decided that he had committed an egregious error when he lapsed from his rule of strict abstinence. In the autumn of 1821, therefore, he solemnly resolved never to drink another glass of ardent spirits as long as he should live.

Soon after this he decided also to discontinue entirely the use of wine. "In this work of reform," he said, "I found myself entirely alone, and exposed to the jeering remarks of those with whom I afterward became associated, especially when I declined drinking with them. Yet after all their comments, that it was not improper or dangerous to drink moderately, etc., they were constrained to admit that my course was perfectly safe!"—Ibid., p. 155.

About two years later he took another advanced step in reform. Leaving a Peruvian port, Captain Bates was conversing with the master of another ship regarding the use of tobacco. A sudden resolution caused the other captain to take the tobacco from his mouth and cast it overboard, saying, "Here goes my tobacco, Bates!" "And here goes


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mine, too!" was the ready response. The tobacco that he then removed from his mouth was the last that ever stained his lips. Of his victory at that time, he said in later years: "I was now free from all distilled spirits, wine, and tobacco. Step by step I had gained this victory. . . . How much more like a human being I felt when I had gained the mastery in these things and overcome them all. I was also making great efforts to conquer another crying sin, which I had learned of wicked sailors. That was the habit of using profane language."—Ibid., p. 178.


"A Solemn Covenant" Signed

The Spirit of God was striving with this earnest, conscientious young man and was bringing to him a conviction of sin and an earnest desire to be a Christian. The severe illness of a member of his crew brought to him serious thoughts of the hereafter, and finding a place of retirement, he offered his first prayer to God. He determined to persevere in his petitions till he should find pardon and peace for his troubled mind. When his shipmate died, it was his duty, as captain, to take charge of the burial. Four days afterward he signed "a solemn covenant with God" copied from Philip Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, a portion of which reads:

"This day do I with the utmost solemnity surrender myself to Thee. I renounce all former lords that have had dominion over me, and I consecrate to Thee all that I am, and all that I have."

In his thorough and methodical way he prefaced his signature with these words: "Done on board the brig 'Empress' of New Bedford, at sea, Oct. 4, 1824, in latitude 90° 50' North, and longitude 34° 50' West, bound to Brazil."—Ibid., p. 190.

On his return home he erected the family altar, and soon after this, in the spring of 1827, he was baptized in Fair-haven, Massachusetts, and united with the Christian Church.


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Having become thoroughly convinced of the evils of strong drink, he was impressed, "forcibly impressed," as he relates, "with the importance of uniting my energies with others, to check, if possible, the increasing ravages of intemperance."


The Fairhaven Temperance Society

While changing their clothes after the baptism, Joseph Bates suggested to the officiating minister that they work together in organizing a temperance society. Though he failed to secure this desired co-operation, he was not thereby discouraged. Writing out a pledge ready for signature, he went from house to house among friends and acquaintances, and soon had twelve or thirteen names subscribed, including those of the minister and two deacons of the Congregational church and several sea captains. Thus he organized a temperance society.

Captain Bates, as we have seen, had discarded not only ardent spirits, but also wine. The members of his temperance society, however, would not consent to include wine, beer, and cider among the beverages that were to be banned by them. These "were so freely used as a beverage that the majority" were unwilling to include them in the list. They did agree, however, to use no ardent spirits, specified as "rum, gin, brandy, and whisky." (Ibid., p. 212.)

It is evident that Joseph Bates and his associates thought that they were the first to organize a temperance society of this kind in the United States. "If any temperance societies had ever been organized previous to the one at Fairhaven, we were unacquainted with the fact," wrote Captain Bates in his memoirs. The records, however, show that the organization of the American Temperance Society in Boston, Massachusetts, had been effected one year earlier.1


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Credit is due the Fairhaven society, however, for priority in one advanced step. They seem to have been pioneers in putting the ban on fermented as well as distilled liquors several years before the national organization, the American Temperance Society, took this advanced step. Soon after the Fairhaven organization was effected, one of the members was reported, to be intoxicated, and he was charged with having violated his oath. He maintained that he drank nothing but cider, which was permissible according to the agreement they had made, and he refused to discontinue its use. His wife bore witness that he was worse when under the influence of cider than when intoxicated with brandy. This incident led to an amendment of the constitution of the society, banning "all intoxicating drinks" as well as "ardent spirits." (Ibid., pp. 212, 213.)

In the midst of his temperance activities Joseph Bates was called to make another voyage with the brig "Empress." Soon after leaving New Bedford, Massachusetts, he called all hands together and announced to them the rules that were to govern their lives while en route. Strange, indeed, did some of them seem to the hardy sailors. They were to address one another by their first names and in a respectful manner. No swearing was to be permitted. Sunday was to be rigidly observed and with no shore leaves on that day when in port. Captain Bates had brought but a small quantity of liquor on board for emergency use in case of sickness, and the crew were informed of this, with a strict injunction that they were not to bring any on board. They were also asked to assemble regularly for morning and evening prayers.


1 In 1807 a group of dissenters in England, under the leadership of William Cowherd, adopted as part of their church practice the nonuse of flesh as food and abstinence from all intoxicating drinks. Some of this company migrated to America in 1817 and settled in Philadelphia. Their pastor, William Metcalf, wrote a tract, "The Duty of Abstinence From All Intoxicating Drinks," for which a valid claim seems to be made that it was the first of its kind to be published in the United States. This society never claimed more than a few members—less than one hundred at the most— yet they seem to have been the earliest to adopt the principles of teetotalism. See History of the Philadelphia Bible Christian Church for the First Century of Its Existence, p. 38. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1922.


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Tea and Coffee Given Up

In 1828 Captain Bates, at the age of thirty-five, retired from the sea and settled in New Bedford. Again, after this, he took another forward step in health reform, and did it entirely on his own initiative because of experience and personal conviction. Up to this time his attention had not been called to the harmful effects of tea and coffee, and he had continued their use. While he was with his wife on a social visit, tea somewhat stronger than that to which they were accustomed was served to them. Finding himself unable to sleep until after midnight, he associated the effect with the cause. "I then became fully satisfied," he declared, "and have never seen cause to change my belief since, that it was the tea I drank which so affected me. From thence I became convicted of its intoxicating qualities, and discarded the use of it. Soon after this, on the same principle, I discarded the use of coffee."—Ibid., pp. 241, 242.

In 1839 Captain Bates heard the advent message, and after carefully weighing and accepting the evidence, he threw all his energies and resources into its proclamation. Some of his friends protested, because he seemed to take less interest in the temperance cause, and they urged that a belief in the second coming of Christ ought to make him more ardent in suppressing the growing evils of intemperance.

"My reply was," he relates, "that in embracing the doctrine of the second coming of the Saviour, I found enough to engage my whole time in getting ready for such an event, and aiding others to do the same, and that all who embraced this doctrine would and must necessarily be advocates of temperance, . . . and those who opposed the doctrine of the second advent could not be very effective laborers in moral reform. And further, I could not see duty in leaving such a great work to labor singlehanded as we had done, when so much more could be accomplished in


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working at the fountainhead, making us every way right as we should be for the coming of the Lord."—Ibid., p. 271.


Further Reforms in Diet

In his heart-searching preparation for the expected return of Christ, Captain Bates was impressed to make still further reforms in his diet. "In February, 1843," he relates, "I resolved to eat no more meat. In a few months after, I ceased using butter, grease, cheese, pies, and rich cakes."— Joseph Bates, in The Health Reformer, July, 1871.

Just what circumstances finally led Captain Bates to become a vegetarian we cannot find related in his memoirs. He does, however, in relating events early in his career at sea, mention certain observations he had made at Liverpool, England, where two Irishmen were shoveling salt from a scow into his vessel. Seven or eight men were unable to shovel it into the hold of the vessel as fast as these two Irishmen were scooping it to them through the "ballast port." In commenting on the situation, he learned that while the crew of the ship were living in good boarding-houses in Liverpool, the Irishmen had eaten no flesh for some time, and were living on vegetables. By this incident he was forcibly impressed with the fact that flesh food does not impart "superior strength to the laboring class." (James White, The Early Life and. Later Experience and Labors of Elder Joseph Bates, p. 143.)

Early in 1845, when he faced the evidence that the seventh day of the week still remains the Sabbath of the Lord, with characteristic decision he began not only its observance but also its promulgation. In the following year we find him united with James and Ellen White in proclaiming this and other fundamental doctrines now held by Seventh-day Adventists. He was uncompromising in urging the Christian duty of temperance, including abstinence from stimulants and narcotics. Of his attitude on this point we have a statement made by him in an early letter:


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"I find some places to hold a meeting with a few hungry ones. The pipes and tobacco are traveling out of sight fast, I tell you. 'Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.' Nothing must be too dear or precious to let go in aid of the cause now."—Joseph Bates, in a letter to Brother and Sister Hastings, September 25, 1849.

Regarding the minor points of reform, he exerted a silent influence, but did not urge his practices upon others. Sometimes his friends would ask him why he did not partake of flesh meat, or grease, or highly spiced foods; and he would quietly reply, "I have eaten my share of them." He did not make prominent in public or in private his views of proper diet unless asked about them. Naturally he was gratified when many of his fellow laborers at a later date adopted and began to teach the principles of health reform. He then heartily joined them in speaking freely upon the subject.



chapter 5


HEALTH REFORMS AMONG SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS


nearly every religious denomination may trace its origin to the work of a single outstanding leader as its founder. Some individual—guided by study, conviction, and varied influences—reached certain conclusions and with earnest appeal or facile pen won converts to his views. About his personality the new group of doctrines was centered.

In contrast to this, Seventh-day Adventists did not receive the doctrines they hold through the study or teachings of a single man who may be pointed out as the founder of the church. Various individuals made their contributions and at length came into unity of belief only after earnest, prayerful study together in groups, aided and sometimes corrected by manifestation of the gift of prophecy. The full development of the system of doctrine covered a period of years.


After October, 1844

Most of these Bible students had participated in the advent movement of 1831 to 1844, and from this experience had received a rich legacy of prophetic interpretation. Although sharing in the disappointment when the time of expectation, October 22, 1844, passed and Christ did not appear, they still maintained their confidence that the prophecies had not failed and that the return of Christ was near. Some were led to a study of the sanctuary, and their findings proved to be the key that unlocked the mystery of the disappointment. As the truths relating to the sanctuary were further studied, these earnest students found

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additional light that is held to be fundamental by Seventh-day Adventists to this day.

Others were led by their study to see the perpetually binding claims of the Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue and were convinced that the change of the day of sacred rest from the seventh to the first day of the week had been effected by men and not by divine authority. The minds of still others were concentrated for a time on a study of the future experiences of the church and the events that were to cluster about the second advent.

When, in God's providence, these pioneer Sabbathkeeping Adventists were brought together in conferences for mutual and co-operative study, their individual contributions were fitted into a harmonious system of doctrinal belief.

In all these experiences they were aided by the prophetic gift as manifested through the visions of Mrs. Ellen G. Harmon-White. This divine help came to them, however, not as a substitute for Bible study, but rather in connection with, or following, such study. Thus they received assurance of the validity of the truths they accepted, and so they were led to unity in faith and practice.


A Time of General Ignorance

This formative period of the body of Seventh-day Adventists may be roughly stated to have been from 1844 to 1855. It was still a time of general ignorance and carelessness regarding hygiene and medical practice among many physicians and practitioners. Yet, as we have pointed out, there were definite, decided movements in health reform; and the way was being prepared for the inclusion of the progressive laws of life in the faith and practice of the believers when the time should be propitious.

There were, however, other reforms to be adopted before the Sabbathkeeping Adventists were ready to accept the health reform principles. It is a well-known proclivity of human nature to rise up against any interference with self-


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indulgent habits. Had the health message, with its call to self-denial, been introduced prematurely, it might have caused distraction and brought in confusion. It seems to have been in the providence of God, therefore, that the great fundamental spiritual truths should be presented first. By these the body of believers was unified and knit together before it was to be tested by the introduction of the health reform message, which, though a matter of great importance, was nevertheless secondary.

In fact, it was with difficulty that the pioneers among Sabbathkeeping Adventists prevented zealous men of unbalanced judgment from urging unduly that which, though perhaps good in itself, was not opportune.

"In those days," wrote Elder James White, "there were trials, and these trials generally arose in consequence of a disposition to draw off from the great truths connected with the third message, to points of no vital importance. It has been impossible to make some see that present truth is present truth, and not future truth, and that the Word as a lamp shines brightly where we stand, and not so plainly on the path in the distance."—Review and Herald, December 31, 1857.


The Use of Swine's Flesh

A notable instance of this inclination to urge the adoption of certain reform measures prematurely was the insistence of some that all who should accept the Sabbath truth ought to discontinue immediately the use of swine's flesh. This matter was urged as early as 1850. But the time had not then come when the rank and file of our people were ready to act unitedly and intelligently in such a matter. Even Elder James White himself, not yet having been impressed with the Scriptural reasons against the use of swine's flesh, took issue with some who, as he believed, misapplied certain verses in Isaiah in an effort to prove that Sabbath-keepers should make its use a test of fellowship.


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In a published statement regarding this untimely issue, Elder White made it plain that he did "not object to abstinence from the use of swine's flesh, if it is done on the right grounds." He acknowledged that the "too free and abundant use of it, and other animal food, of which many, and even some of our brethren in the present truth are not guiltless, is a sin; for it clogs and stupefies the mind, and in many cases impairs the constitution." "But," he added, "we do object to a misapplication of the Holy Scriptures in sustaining a position which will only distract the flock of God, and lead the minds of the brethren from the importance of the present work of God among the remnant."—The Present Truth, November, 1850.

A few years later the same issue again was raised, this time by some whose temperament and general religious experience were such that they were not qualified to act as wise teachers or leaders. Though conscientious in their convictions, these zealous friends of the cause of present truth had taken extreme positions regarding diet. Their reform was of a negative nature, and they made no provision to teach the people concerning the use of wholesome substitutes for the articles of food they desired to have discarded.

Through His chosen messenger the Lord sent words of counsel to those earnest reformers. They were advised to move no faster than the heavenly angels could lead the entire body of believers in unity. In a letter written to them by Mrs. Ellen G. White in 1858, she said:

"I saw that your views concerning swine's flesh would prove no injury if you have them to yourselves; but in your judgment and opinion you have made this question a test, and your actions have plainly shown your faith in this matter. . . . If it is the duty of the church to abstain from swine's flesh, God will discover it to more than two or three. He will teach His church their duty.

"God is leading out a people, not a few separate individuals, here and there, one believing this thing, another


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that. Angels of God are doing the work committed to their trust. The third angel is leading out and purifying a people, and they should move with him unitedly. Some run ahead of the angels that are leading this people; but they have to retrace every step, and meekly follow no faster than the angels lead.

"I saw that the angels of God would lead His people no faster than they could receive and act upon the important truths that are communicated to them. But some restless spirits do not more than half do up their work. As the angel leads them, they get in haste for something new, and rush on without divine guidance, and thus bring confusion and discord into the ranks. They do not speak or act in harmony with the body."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, pp. 206, 207.


The Hand of Providence

These words of caution do not necessarily imply a reprehensible failure on the part of the leaders to recognize and publicly advocate measures of reform that were later adopted by them and by the general body of believers. We may rather see in such incidents the restraining hand of Providence in order that these matters might be held in abeyance until the time was ripe for their presentation. We have evidence that Elder James White so regarded it, for, referring to the foregoing counsel, he later wrote:

"This remarkable testimony was written October 21, 1858, nearly five years before the great vision of 1863, in which the light upon health reform was given. When the right time came, the subject was given in a manner to move all our people. How wonderful are the wisdom and goodness of God!"—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 206, footnote.

Although no united move was made among Sabbath-keeping Adventists in behalf of a broad health message before 1863, certain fundamental preliminary steps were


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taken progressively through the formative years. Tobacco, tea, and coffee were involved in the first steps of reform. While there were among both leaders and laity many who had been led early in life either to abstain from, or to leave off, harmful practices, especially the use of stimulants and narcotics, yet their use was quite common in the ranks of the believers. Already the experience of Elder Joseph Bates has been noted, and although Elder James White had not progressed in the reform as far as Elder Bates, nevertheless he was able to say of himself at the age of twenty:

"I had never descended to the common sin of profanity, and had not used tobacco, tea, and coffee, nor had I ever raised a glass of spirituous liquor to my lips."—Life Incidents in Connection With the Great Advent Movement, p. 15. (1868.)


God Spoke to His People

In the autumn of 1848, while Elder and Mrs. White were living in Connecticut, she was shown in vision that not only was tobacco harmful, but also that tea and coffee were injurious, and she never used either of them as a beverage after that time. As opportunity afforded, the evils of these articles were pointed out, and the Sabbathkeepers were advised to lay them aside. Late in 1851 one of the brethren wrote to Mrs. White inquiring whether she had seen in vision that it was "wrong to use tobacco." Replying on December 14, 1851, Mrs. White wrote in no uncertain terms:

"I have seen in vision that tobacco was a filthy weed, and that it must be laid aside or given up. Said my accompanying angel, 'If it is an idol it is high time it was given up, and unless it is given up the frown of God will be upon the one that uses it, and he cannot be sealed with the seal of the living God. . . .'

"I saw that Christ will have a church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing to present to His Father. . .


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"We must be perfect Christians, deny ourselves all the way along, tread the narrow thorny pathway that our Jesus trod, and then if we are final overcomers, heaven, sweet heaven, will be cheap enough."—E. G. White Letter 5, 1851.

Continuing, she speaks understandingly of the battle to break loose from the bondage of the filthy weed: "Those who have been in the habit of using tobacco will have a struggle to leave it off, but they must not be discouraged." —Ibid.

Then she hastens with words of encouragement to the one who must fight his way, by recounting the experience of one of the honored ministers in his struggle against the tobacco habit: "Let him be humble as Bro. Rhodes was when he was leaving off using tobacco. He called for the brethren to pray for him and we did. He was cured and has desired none since."—Ibid.


Tobacco Still Tolerated

No special effort, however, was made through denominational publications to induce Sabbathkeeping Adventists to discontinue the use of tobacco until the latter part of 1853. The first utterance, indeed, on this topic to appear in the church organ was a "selected" article. The principal reason given for putting away the narcotic was that the indulgence hindered spiritual growth. It was argued that "religion, for its full development, demands all our mental powers. . . . This drug impairs them. It accordingly must follow, that, in proportion to their derangement, will be the defect of their action; so that, in this sense, it may be said with truth, that the person that uses tobacco, cannot be as good a Christian as he could be without it."—Review and Herald, December 13, 1853.

As time went on, the objections to tobacco were stated more positively. This is indicated in the following statement, written by Elder James White regarding some who


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pleaded poverty as a reason for not helping to sustain the Review and Herald:

"They have much leisure time, and perhaps are in the filthy, health-destroying, God-dishonoring practice of using tobacco. Yes, too poor to help a brother send out the bread of heaven to the scattered flock; but have means enough to obtain tobacco, snuff, and tea. Can the Holy Spirit dwell with such men and women? Who dares say, Yes?"—Review and Herald, July 24, 1855, p. 13.

A few months later an article dealing with tobacco was prefaced with the observation that "the subject of the use of tobacco is engaging the attention of many of our brethren in different places."—Ibid., October 16, 1855.

By this time some were so deeply stirred that they were ready to take drastic action against their brethren who persisted in its use. At a general church meeting held at Morristown, Vermont, October 15, 1855, and attended by delegates from most of the churches in the state, the subject of the use of tobacco by members of the church was introduced. After listening to arguments based upon Scripture, the delegates voted,

"That the use of tobacco by any member is a serious and bitter grief, and greatly lamented by the church; and after such members have been labored with, and properly admonished, as long as duty seems to require, if they do not reform, the church will then deem it their duty to withdraw from them the hand of fellowship."—Ibid., December 4, 1855.


Bold With His Pen

Perhaps some devotees of the weed who read their church paper during the spring of 1856 were somewhat perturbed at the boldness of the position taken by Elder J. N. Andrews, who, in the heading of an article, characterized the use of tobacco as "A Sin Against God." In lifting his voice in protest against the continuance of


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tobacco-using among those who claimed to be commandment-keepers, he said, in commenting on 1 Corinthians 3:16-18 and 2 Corinthians 7:1:

"Answer before God, would not the use of alcohol, opium, or tobacco, defile the temple of God? And of the three, is not tobacco the most filthy, both in itself and in its use? . . .

"Do you indulge in this inexcusable worldly lust? If so, let me beg you to consider that you cannot thus be presented without spot or wrinkle or fault before God. (Ephesians 5:27; Revelation 14:5.) Deceive not yourself. If you would stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, you must cleanse yourself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of God."—Ibid., April 10, 1856.

Steady progress was made in cleansing the company of believers from tobacco, but the work of reform required time and patient education. Elder James White, in June, 1856, estimated that there were probably "no less than one thousand families who have left (or should immediately leave) the use of tobacco and tea." Nevertheless he deprecated the "shameful fact" that "there are those among us" who are "too poor to pay for their paper," but who "contrive to raise the cash to purchase tobacco and tea."— Ibid., May 1, 1856.

The churches in Vermont had evidently found it difficult to enforce their ruling that persistent tobacco-users were to be disfellowshiped, for at the next annual meeting they rescinded their former action and passed the following as a substitute:

"Resolved, that the use of tobacco is a fleshly lust, which wars against the soul; and therefore we will labor in the spirit of meekness, patiently and perseveringly to persuade each brother and sister who indulge in the use of it, to abstain from this evil."—Ibid., March 5, 1857.

In the discussion of the use of tobacco by members of the church some evidently sought to justify its use, citing the


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words of Christ, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth." Matthew 15:11. Elder J. H. Waggoner gave a good answer to this with Scriptural arguments (Review and Herald, November 19, 1857), but perhaps the most pungent reply was made by a correspondent who said:

"We also feel it a pleasure to heartily sustain the uncompromising course the Review has taken, to suppress the use of that noxious weed, tobacco, among Sabbathkeepers. If any take the ground that it is not that which goes into the man that defiles, but what conies out of him—that is the very reason why we protest against the use of tobacco: for no man can use it without defiling himself, the place he occupies, and also be in danger of defiling those with whom he associates."—Ibid., October 7, 1858.


Constant Instruction

For a period of more than ten years the columns of the Review and Herald were used in an effort to remove this evil from all who claimed to be children of God. The scientific arguments against the use of tobacco were often urged, and from time to time the workers added a word of encouragement to those who were hesitating or who were seemingly unable to overcome the appetite. There were also appeals through the pen of Mrs. Ellen G. White for the believers to "lay aside such hurtful stimulants as tobacco, tea, and coffee," and to put the cost of "those idols" into the "treasury of the Lord."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, pp. 224, 222.

Little by little the good work was accomplished. But it was not without much patient teaching, line upon line, precept upon precept, that the camp of the believers was finally cleansed. Listen, for example, to the plea of Elder M. E. Cornell, as late as 1858:

"The thought that some among us, who are called brethren, after all that has been written on the subject,


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should still persist in using the infamous weed, is truly distressing: I can no longer hold my peace; for duty imperatively demands that the servants of God should 'cry aloud and spare not' on this subject."—Review and Herald, May 20, 1858.


Tea and Coffee Tabooed

God's servants did continue their earnest work for several years. At the close of the publication of a series of eleven long and able articles on tobacco which were from the pen of L. B. Coles, M.D., Elder Uriah Smith, the editor of the Review and Herald, wrote in 1864: "Let none infer from the publication of the present series of articles on tobacco, that our people are especially addicted to this habit. We are happy to know that as a general thing those who were in its use when they embraced the truth, have broken away from the evil. But we cannot be any too thoroughly fortified on this subject, and especially should it be kept before the people, so long as there is the least vestige of the unclean and unchristian habit hanging about any."—Ibid., October 4, 1864.

Although the principal emphasis during these years of effort to cleanse the church was upon tobacco, tea and coffee were frequently mentioned. Not alone had the evil of tobacco been pointed out in the vision of 1848, but also attention was directed to the "injurious effects" of "tea and coffee." In leading the people to reform, leaders emphasized the fact that these common beverages were not only valueless and injurious but also constituted a waste of means. Note the dual basis for the appeal of Mrs. Ellen G. White in a statement published in January, 1854:

"If all would study to be more economical in their articles of dress, depriving themselves of some things which are not actually necessary, and should lay aside such useless and injurious things as tea and coffee, giving to the cause what these cost; they would receive more blessings here,


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and a reward in heaven."—Early Writings, pp. 121, 122. (Originally published in January, 1854, in Supplement to the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White, p. 42.)

Only a few days after the publication of the foregoing statement the obligation of another advance step in reform was presented to Mrs. White. This time cleanliness of person and surroundings was called for. In describing a vision given February 5, 1854, she wrote:

"I saw that God was purifying unto Himself a peculiar people; He will have a clean and holy people, a people in whom He can delight. ... I saw that God would not acknowledge an untidy, unclean person as a Christian. His frown is upon such. Our souls, bodies, and spirits are to be presented blameless by Jesus to His Father; and unless we are clean in person, and pure, we cannot be presented blameless to God. I saw that the houses of the saints should be kept tidy and neat, free from dirt and filth and all uncleanness."—E. G. White MS. 1, 1854.


Health Preservation and Diet

From cleanliness the vision turns to health preservation and diet: "I then saw that appetite must be denied," she said, and added that all who wish to keep well "must take special care of the health that God has given us." Then, without the reasons stated therefor, certain basic principles were enunciated: "Deny the unhealthy appetite; eat less fine food, eat coarse food, free from grease, and then as you sit at the table to eat you can from the heart ask God's blessing upon the food and can derive strength from coarse, wholesome food."—Ibid.

Emphasis is further placed on the benefits of a simple diet. The readers were admonished to "get food that is plain, and that is essential to our health, free from grease." —Ibid.

Thus step by step the people were led along in progres-


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sive reforms of primary importance. Writing retrospectively in 1870, Elder James White spoke of the united and intelligent advance in the health reform in these courageous words:

"The Lord also knew how to introduce to His waiting people the great subject of health reform, step by step, as they could bear it, and make a good use of it, without souring the public mind. It was twenty-two years ago the present autumn, that our minds were called to the injurious effects of tobacco, tea, and coffee, through the testimony of Mrs. White. God has wonderfully blessed the effort to put these things away from us, so that we as a denomination can rejoice in victory, with very few exceptions, over these pernicious indulgences of appetite. . . . When we had gained a good victory over these things, and when the Lord saw that we were able to bear it, light was given relative to food and dress."—Review and Herald, November 8, 1870. Quoted in Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 495, 496.

At the close of the year 1870 Elder James White was able to report that at last the reforms inaugurated many years before had been adopted by practically all Seventh-day Adventists, and he thanked God "for such a glorious victory over perverted appetite."—The Health Reformer, December, 1870.

A few months later Elder White wrote again concerning the progressive nature of this reformatory movement, and added: "What a glorious victory our brethren have gained! Having left the use of tobacco in all its forms, thousands of reformed tobacco inebriates among us can now raise their hosannas. . . . Those who have found freedom from the tyranny of tea, coffee, and tobacco, enjoy improved health, clearer brains, and more even and buoyant spirits."—Ibid., April, 1871.

With the gaining of the victory over the use of these stimulants and narcotics, the way was now prepared for further reforms.


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One of the Earliest Instances

One of the earliest recorded instances of the use by Seventh-day Adventists of rational methods in the treatment of serious illness was during an epidemic of diphtheria in the winter of 1862-63. A local newspaper in Illinois was quoted as saying:

"The diphtheria has been raging throughout the country to an alarming extent, and seems, to a great extent, to baffle the skill of physicians. It is confined almost exclusively to children, and when once under headway, death is almost certain to be the result. It will pass through whole towns, missing scarcely a family, and in some instances whole families of children have been swept away by it."—The Rock Island (Illinois) Argus. Quoted in Review and Herald, January 13, 1863.

The anxiety of Elder and Mrs. White can be imagined, when, during that same winter, two of their children "were suddenly and severely attacked with sore throat, hoarseness so that they were unable to speak, and high fever." By good fortune, Elder White's attention was called to a current newspaper, in which was printed a letter addressed to the editor by Dr. J. C. Jackson, of Dansville, New York, giving directions for the treatment of diphtheria. (Yates County Chronicle, Penn Yan, New York, January 15, 1863.)

The doctor wrote regarding wrong habits of living and eating, which were contributing factors in causing the disease, and then gave his own method of treatment without drugs. He used methods that could be applied by parents in the home, such as hot baths, cooling packs, moderation in feeding, and that only of liquid foods, copious drinking of soft water, thorough ventilation, rest, and careful home nursing. He claimed that when he could treat the patient before the very advanced stage of the disease, he never lost a case.

The reading of this article led Elder and Mrs. White to


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decide to follow the directions, giving the treatment at home to their sick children. The results were very gratifying. A few days later Mrs. White was sent for to come to the home of a neighbor, where a six-year-old boy was suffering with the same alarming symptoms that her own children had manifested. Again she gave the treatment recommended by Dr. Jackson, with satisfactory results.


As a Means of Helping Others

That it might be the means of helping others, Elder White then printed the entire article from Dr. Jackson, as first published in the Yates County Chronicle. In an introductory statement he said:

"Diphtheria is making dreadful ravages in our land. It is a much dreaded disease, because physicians so often fail to cure it. If it can be cured by the simple prescription of Dr. Jackson, found in the following article, it is important that the fact should be known."—Review and Herald, February 17, 1863.

This experience seems to have led Elder White to take a greater interest in passing on from time to time to the readers of the Review and Herald, of which he was then editor, a few articles selected from other journals, giving some simple rules for the maintenance of health—such as proper dress, ventilation, diet, and rest. One such article from Dio Lewis, and three from W. W. Hall's Journal of Health, may be found in the issues for January 20 and in three successive numbers: May 5, 12, and 19.

An examination of the files of the Review and Herald indicates, however, that aside from material discouraging the use of tobacco, tea, and coffee, and these few quoted articles, the subject of health had little place in the periodical prior to the middle of 1863.

At that time, as we shall now record, a sudden impetus was given to health education among Seventh-day Adventists.



chapter 6


THE VISION AT OTSEGO, MICHIGAN


may 21, 1863, was an epochal day in the history of Seventh-day Adventists. On that day there gathered in their meetinghouse in Battle Creek, Michigan, a group of 21 delegates representing about 3,500 believers. The conference had been called "for the purpose of securing unity and efficiency in labor, and promoting the general interests of the cause of present truth, and of perfecting the organization of Seventh-day Adventists." (Review and Herald, May 26, 1863.) A constitution for a General Conference was adopted, and officers were elected. The Executive Committee of the General Conference then began its work by looking over the field and recommending an equitable distribution of the few available workers.


Prepared for United Action

By the effective linking together of local churches, state conferences, and the General Conference, the way was now prepared for a far greater unity of action in the work of Seventh-day Adventists than had been possible while each church or section had been a unit in itself.

We have seen that during the preceding fifteen years several basic steps had been taken involving the discontinuance of tobacco and tea and coffee. The importance of cleanliness was stressed, and counsel had come in regard to the use of rich foods. By painstaking and persevering effort ground had been gained on these preliminary points. In one instance, it will be recalled, reforms that we now recognize as right in themselves had been an occasion for confusion and controversy, because they were premature.

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The Lord had then sent messages of restraint addressed to zealous advocates of the nonuse of swine's flesh.

As though Heaven had been waiting for the arrival of this propitious time for a united advance in temperance and godliness, the Spirit of God now spoke to the church through the prophetic gift by which it had received counsel and guidance all along the way. "It was at the house of Brother A. Hilliard, at Otsego, Michigan, June 6, 1863," writes Mrs. Ellen G. White, "that the great subject of health reform was opened before me in vision." (Review and Herald, October 8, 1867.) This was less than two weeks after the adjournment of the General Conference.

Elders R. J. Lawrence and M. E. Cornell were conducting tent meetings in Otsego, and a company of believers showed their interest in the effort by driving up there from Battle Creek, a distance of about thirty miles, to pass the week end. Among these were Elder James White and his wife. Worn with overwork and perplexity, and in feeble health, Elder White was much depressed in spirit.


A Memorable Vision

At the beginning of the Sabbath the family and visitors assembled for song and prayer. Of this prayer service and the memorable vision given at that time, one who was present has written:

"Sister White was asked to lead in prayer at family worship. She did so in a most wonderful manner. Elder White was kneeling a short distance from her. While praying, she moved over to him, and laying her hand on his shoulder continued praying for him until she was taken off in vision. She was in vision about forty-five minutes. It was at this time she was given instruction upon the health question which soon after became such a matter of interest to our people. Those present at the time this vision was given will never forget the heavenly influence that filled the room. The cloud passed from the mind of Elder White, and he


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was full of praise to God."1—Mrs. Martha D. Amadon, Ellen G. White Publications, Document File No. 105.

During this revelation Mrs. White was given much instruction for the church and also for her husband and herself as concerned their physical welfare. (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. HI, pp. 11-13.) But the outstanding feature of the vision was the presentation to Mrs. White of the relation between physical welfare and spiritual health, or holiness. Upon her and her husband was placed the responsibility of leading out in educating the people who were preparing for eternal life, regarding the reforms they should make in their daily living. Under date of June 6, 1863, Mrs. White wrote in a document still preserved in the original handwriting:

"I saw that it was a sacred duty to attend to our health, and arouse others to their duty. . . . We have a duty to

1 In the document containing the foregoing statement, Mrs. Martha Amadon, who was present on other occasions when Mrs. White was in vision, has given a description of her condition at such times. From her account the reader may form a more graphic idea of the prayer season at Brother A. Hilliard's, and of the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the bestowal of the gift of prophecy. Her testimony regarding this is, in part, as follows:

"Mrs. E. G. White was a woman very gifted in prayer, her voice clear, her words distinct and ringing; and it was almost always during one of these earnest seasons that she was taken off in vision. . . .

"Her appearance in vision was heavenly. . . . Her eyes were open, there was no breath, but there were gentle movements of the shoulders, arms, and hands by herself in expression of what she saw. And yet it was impossible for anyone else to move hand or arm. She often uttered words singly, and sometimes sentences, which told to those about her the view she was having either of heaven or of earth.

"Her first word in vision, I might say, always was 'Glory,' sounding at first close by, and then dying away in the distance, seemingly far, far away, lending enchantment to the view. This was sometimes repeated. . . .

"There was never any excitement among those present during a vision; nothing caused fear. It was a solemn, quiet scene, lasting about an hour or less. . . . When the vision is ended, and she loses sight of the heavenly light, as it were, coming back to earth once more, she exclaims with a long-drawn sigh, as she takes her first natural breath, 'D-a-r-k!' She is limp and strengthless, having experienced the power of God, and has to be assisted to her chair. . . .

"These impressive scenes encouraged and strengthened the faith of those present, not only in her work, but in the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever."


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speak, to come out against intemperance of every kind— intemperance in working, in eating, in drinking, in drugging

and then point them to God's great medicine: water, pure soft water, for diseases, for health, for cleanliness, for luxury. ... I saw that we should not be silent upon the subject of health, but should wake up minds to the subject."

E. G. White Letter 4, 1863.


Care of Health a Sacred Duty

Through this vision Mrs. White's prayer for her husband's recovery to health was answered, but not by immediate restoration. Rather, it was better answered by pointing out some of the causes for his weakness, and by emphasizing the importance of making the proper care of the health a religious duty. "It is not safe nor pleasing to God," Mrs. White wrote, "to violate the laws of health, and then ask Him to take care of our health, and keep us from disease, when we are living directly contrary to our prayers." (Ibid.) And further:

"I saw that it was duty for everyone to have a care for his health, but especially should we turn our attention to our health, and take time to devote to our health, that we may in a degree recover from the effects of overdoing and overtaxing the mind. The work God requires of us will not shut us away from caring for our health. The more perfect our health, the more perfect will be our labor."—Ibid.

The injunction to Elder and Mrs. White that they were to give attention to their health was accompanied by practical instruction pointing out specific mistakes that they had made, and laying down great fundamental principles of general application. The bearing of heavy burdens, and the feeling that some of his brethren had failed to give him due co-operation in his arduous labors and responsibilities, had led Elder White into a condition of mental discouragement and depression. He was exhorted to exercise faith in God and to rise above these gloomy thoughts, for this state of


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mind was seriously affecting his health. Thus was laid down the broad principle that "we should encourage a cheerful, hopeful, peaceful frame of mind, for our health depends upon our doing this."—Ibid.

Another effect of intemperate labor was pointed out. "When we tax our strength, overlabor, and weary ourselves much, then we take colds, and at such times are in danger of diseases taking a dangerous form."—Ibid.


By Precept and Example

The duty to elevate by precept and example the principles of temperance and of health reform, by giving them a place with other saving truths, as an integral part of the message to prepare a people for Christ's coming—this is an outstanding feature of the vision relating to health, which was given at Otsego. The light that came resulted in reforms in the White household, and that light was to be passed on to others as a solemn obligation divinely laid upon them.

In this memorable vision there was a presentation of basic principles which, although now established and accepted as scientific, were in advance of the general knowledge of the time. But the greatest value of the revelation lay not primarily in the enunciation of correct health principles. As has been pointed out, there were by 1863 various persons who were teaching reforms in living and in the care of the sick. The outstanding contribution of the instruction that came through the Testimonies is the recognition that it is a part of religious duty to care for the body temple. Elder J. H. Waggoner, in clarifying this point, well said:

"We do not profess to be pioneers in the general principles of the health reform. The facts on which this movement is based have been elaborated, in a great measure, by reformers, physicians, and writers on physiology and hygiene, and so may be found scattered through the land. But


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we do claim that by the method of God's choice it has been more clearly and powerfully unfolded, and is thereby producing an effect which we could not have looked for from any other means.

"As mere physiological and hygienic truths, they might be studied by some at their leisure, and by others laid aside as of little consequence; but when placed on a level with the great truths of the third angel's message by the sanction and authority of God's Spirit, and so declared to be the means whereby a weak people may be made strong to overcome, and our diseased bodies cleansed and fitted for translation, then it comes to us as an essential part of present truth, to be received with the blessing of God, or rejected at our peril."—Review and Herald, August 7, 1866.


The Source of Mrs. White's Counsel

This clear statement by one of the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventists was published in the church organ at the time when the health reform was just beginning to be agitated among them. The fact that there were at that time reformers who were doing commendable work in writing and lecturing on health principles was readily and openly acknowledged. That fact was not left for the discovery of critics many years later, who might thereby assume that Mrs. White merely copied from others in her advocacy of health principles. However, we have positive statements both from Mrs. White and from Elder White that at the time the vision was given they had not made a study of the writings of others. Mrs. White further testifies that she had completed the writing of her initial articles before she read the writings of others upon the subject. Although the statement anticipates some of the history which will be traced later, her testimony regarding this should be given here. What she wrote was in answer to the direct question, "Did you receive your views upon health reform before visiting


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the Health Institute at Dansville, N.Y., or before you had read works upon that subject?"

The reply was as follows: "It was at the house of Brother A. Hilliard, at Otsego, Mich., June 6, 1863, that the great subject of health reform was opened before me in vision. I did not visit Dansville till August, 1864, fourteen months after I had the view. I did not read any works' upon health until I had written Spiritual Gifts, Vols. III and IV, 'Appeal to Mothers,' and had sketched out most of my six articles in the six numbers of 'How to Live.' I did not know that such a paper existed as the Laws of Life, published at Dansville, N.Y. I had not heard of the several works upon health, written by Dr. J. C. Jackson, and other publications at Dansville, at the time I had the view named above. . . . "As I introduced the subject of health to friends where I labored in Michigan, New England, and in the State of New York, and spoke against drugs and flesh meats, and in favor of water, pure air, and a proper diet, the reply was often made, 'You speak very nearly the opinions taught in the Laws of Life, and other publications, by Drs. Trail, Jackson, and others. Have you read that paper and those works?' My reply was that I had not, neither should I read them till I had fully written out my views, lest it should be said that I had received my light upon the subject of health from physicians and not from the Lord.

"And after I had written my six articles for 'How to Live,' I then searched the various works on hygiene, and was surprised to find them so nearly in harmony with what the Lord had revealed to me. And to show this harmony, and to set before my brethren and sisters the subject as brought out by able writers, I determined to publish 'How to Live,' in which I largely extracted from the works referred to."—Review and Herald, October 8, 1867.

"I was astonished," she wrote of this at another time, "at the things shown me in vision. Many things came directly across my own ideas."—Ellen G. White Undated MS, 149,


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Elder White's Testimony

A statement made by Elder James White a year and a half after the vision further confirms the assertion that prior to the vision of June 6, 1863, neither he nor his wife had read extensively on health subjects, nor had their attention been called to the good work being done by others in that field. Elder White wrote:

"Eighteen months since, we resolved to read up on the subject [of health], as we could find time, and sent to the Dansville, N.Y., publishing house for an assortment of their works, that might cost from ten to twenty-five dollars. Then we knew not the name of a single publication offered for sale at that house. We heard from reliable sources that there was something valuable there, and resolved to put in for a share."—Review and Herald, December 13, 1864.

That these books were received by Elder White after, and not before, June 6 is indisputable; for a letter from Dr. J. C. Jackson, in reply to this request for health literature from Dansville, N.Y., is dated August 13, 1863. The doctor apologizes for the long delay in answering, due to "absence from home for some time, and great pressure of business after my return." (This letter is on file at the office of the Ellen G. White Publications.)

The vision created the interest that led Elder James White, on learning of the work carried forward by Dr. Jackson, to desire to know what he and others were doing in the field of reform; but as explained by Mrs. White, other health publications were not read by her until she had completed writing out the instruction that God had given to her.


Remarks by Dr. H. S. Lay

About two weeks after the vision Mrs. White was visiting in Allegan, Michigan, where lived a Seventh-day Adventist physician who for some years had practiced medicine. During a ride with this Dr. H. S. Lay, Mrs. White


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related to him some of the principles pertaining to health as she had seen them. A few days later, at his home, the doctor asked her to relate that portion of the vision more fully. Regarding this interview, her son, W. C. White, who was present, has written:

"Although the time was propitious, mother responded very reluctantly to this request. She said that she was not familiar with medical language, and that much of the matter presented to her was so different from the commonly accepted views that she feared she could not relate it so that it would be understood.

"Dr. Lay pleaded, 'Tell us what you have been shown, and see if we can understand it.'

"Then mother told in simple language what she had seen. . . . This conversation in Dr. Lay's home continued for two hours. It covered comprehensively the fundamentals of the great truths that have led to our health reform movement."—Review and Herald, November 12, 1936.

Dr. Lay was profoundly impressed by the factual accuracy of the principles of physiology, hygiene, diet, and therapeutics that lay at the foundation of what Mrs. White related as having been shown her in vision. He knew that her knowledge of these principles had not been acquired from human sources of information. He frequently related these circumstances to others.

At the General Conference of 1897 a well-known physician said:

"It is a very interesting fact that the Lord began giving us this light thirty years ago. Just before I came to the Conference I had a talk with Dr. Lay, and he told me of how he heard the first instruction about health reform away back in 1860 and especially in 1863. While he was riding in a carriage with Brother and Sister White, she related what had been presented to her upon the subject of health reform, and laid out the principles which have stood the test of all these years—a whole generation."—J. H. Kel-


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logg, M.D., in the General Conference Daily Bulletin, March 8, 1897, p. 309.

And Dr. Kellogg added, as a basis for his own confidence in the sound health principles as consistently set forth by Mrs. White:

"It is impossible for any man who has not made a special study of medicine to appreciate the wonderful character of the instruction that has been received in these writings. It is wonderful, brethren, when you look back over the writings that were given us thirty years ago, and then perhaps the next day pick up a scientific journal and find some new discovery that the microscope has made, or that has been brought to light in the chemical laboratory—I say, it is perfectly wonderful how correctly they agree in fact. . . . There is not a single principle in relation to the healthful development of our bodies and minds that is advocated in these writings from Sister White, which I am not prepared to demonstrate conclusively from scientific evidence."— Ibid., pp. 309, 310.


Given by the Author of Truth

The fact that there was agreement in many points between Mrs. White's writings on health and the teachings of certain pioneers in the health reform field opens the way for the skeptic to attempt to discredit her by asserting that the writings of those physicians and physiologists really constituted the source of her information, and that she blasphemously claimed to have received such as divine revelation. But the documentary evidence does not support such assertions. The information that came to her from the Author of truth was bound to be in agreement with such truths as had been discovered by others.

She declares that not until after she had fully written out her views did she read the current writings of the doctors who were teaching advanced health principles. And she gives as the reason, "lest it should be said that I had


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received my light upon the subject of health from physicians and not from the Lord."

A similar claim to having received truth by divine inspiration was made by the Apostle Paul: "I certify you, brethren," he wrote, "that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Galatians 1:11, 12.

The fact that there was perfect agreement between the gospel that Paul preached and that which was earlier taught by the apostles gave ample opportunity for his opponents to assert that he received from them the doctrines that he taught; for some of his contemporaries had taught the same things before he accepted them. It might have been pointed out that he had heard the impressive discourse of Stephen. But unless we are to brand the Apostle Paul as an impostor, we must believe him when he declared that he received the truths of Christianity "by revelation." The truth of this claim is strengthened by Paul's manifest insight into the vital truths of the gospel in advance of any presentation by others prior to his call to the ministry.

Likewise, in the hundreds of pages written by Mrs. White on the subject of health, there is much more than a reproduction of the ideas of the health reformers then living. In some instances, indeed, she positively differed with them. Under divine guidance she took these revealed truths and wrought them into the warp and woof of the advent message as an aid to attaining that holiness of character to which those are called who expect to be translated at the coming of Jesus Christ.



chapter 7


EARLY HEALTH LITERATURE


the principles relating to health reform constituted only a portion of the vision given to Mrs. White on June 6, 1863. As already stated, she wrote out at once the instruction given for her husband and herself, pointing out where they had transgressed some of the laws of life and were suffering physically in consequence. Several personal testimonies written shortly thereafter, and inspired by that vision, are on file among Mrs. White's handwritten letters. In Testimonies for the Church, No. 10 (now Vol. I, pp. 390-395), published about six months later, are chapters containing instruction given at the same time.

During the latter part of that year Mrs. White's life was crowded with literary activity. She was endeavoring to complete the third and fourth volumes of Spiritual Gifts. At Battle Creek, Michigan, the headquarters of the work, there were many demands upon her time and energies, and she longed for a place of quiet where she could write without constant interruptions. In August the White family left their home for a visit among churches in the eastern states, and plans were laid for retirement during the winter months in order that Mrs. White might give herself wholeheartedly to her literary work.


Plans Thwarted

Their plan, however, was tragically thwarted. At Tops-ham, Maine, Henry White, their eldest son, was stricken with pneumonia. This threatening condition followed a cold that resulted from sleeping by an open window after severe physical exertion. The family physician, who was

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called in, took measures that only hastened the fatal outcome, and a few days later the saddened family were returning to Battle Creek, where they laid Henry to rest in the Oak Hill Cemetery.

In the first church paper issued after the funeral (Review and Herald, January 5, 1864) appeared a note to the effect that the sudden bereavement of Elder and Mrs. White had broken up their arrangements for the winter in the East, and that their work was much delayed, particularly that on Mrs. White's third volume of Spiritual Gifts.

Soon they were confronted with another occasion for alarm. Willie, their youngest son, was suddenly and violently prostrated with sickness—with the same affliction that had so recently snatched Henry from them. The child became delirious and made no response when spoken to. His heart beat rapidly, and he suffered with severe pain.

Sending for a few friends, the anxious parents prayed earnestly for divine help. Then they decided that rather than to employ the accepted methods of the time, they would use simple water treatments in the home. They placed cold compresses, frequently renewed, on the youth's head and chest, keeping his feet and hands warm. For five days they prayed and worked untiringly. During this time the sufferer ate nothing save one small cracker.


An Instructive Dream

By this time the mother was utterly exhausted, and she retired to her room to try to snatch a few hours of sleep. But sleep refused to come, and she could only toss restlessly about. At last, feeling the need for fresh air, she opened the door of her room into the hall. Soon she was asleep, and in a dream she seemed to see an experienced physician standing by the sick child, watching his breathing and feeling his pulse. Turning to the mother, he said:

" 'The crisis has passed. He has seen his worst night. He will now come up speedily, for he has not the injurious


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influence of drugs to recover from. Nature has nobly done her work to rid the system of impurities.’"—Spiritual Gifts, Vol. IV, p. 152.

Then, referring to the relief experienced by Mrs. White after opening the door to her sleeping room, the physician continued:

" ‘That which gave you relief will also relieve your child. He needs air. You have kept him too warm. The heated air coming from a stove is injurious, and were it not for the air coming in at the crevices of the windows, would be poisonous and destroy life. Stove heat destroys the vitality of the air and weakens the lungs. The child's lungs have been weakened by the room being kept too warm. Sick persons are debilitated by disease and need all the invigorating air that they can bear to strengthen the vital organs to resist disease. And yet in most cases air and light are excluded from the sick room at the very time when most needed, as though dangerous enemies.'"—Ibid., pp. 152, 153.

The hope inspired by these words was realized. The following day Willie's fever broke, and he seemed much better. Though weak for a time, his recovery was rapid, and he enjoyed better health after the sickness than before.

"This experience is valuable to us," wrote Mrs. White in concluding the story. The counsel and experience thus gained were freely made available to others. After this she was called not infrequently by her neighbors to act as a nurse to the sick, sometimes at their own homes; and at times the sick were brought to the White home. Thus she tested by actual experience the principles revealed to her and advocated by her pen, and found them effective and beneficial.


Mrs. White's First Health Publication

Mrs. White's first publication (a booklet) on the subject of health bore the title "An Appeal to Mothers. The Great Cause of the Physical, Mental, and Moral Ruin of Many of


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the Children of Our Time." It dealt primarily with the prevalence of secret vice in children and youth. The purpose and scope of the book is indicated in the opening paragraph, as follows:

"My sisters, my apology for addressing you on this subject is, I am a mother, and feel alarmed for those children and youth who by solitary vice are ruining themselves for this world and for that which is to come. Let us closely inquire into this subject from the physical, mental, and moral points of view."—"An Appeal to Mothers," p. 5.

Following the article by Mrs. White in this booklet are found thirty pages of matter relating to the subject of chastity. The pamphlet concluded with corroborative statements from several authoritative writers. In an introductory note to this portion of the book, the publishers said: "We have thought proper to add to the foregoing the following testimonies from men of high standing and authority in the medical world, corroborative of the views presented in the preceding pages. And in justice to the writer of those pages, we would say that she had read nothing from the authors here quoted, and had read no other works on this subject, previous to putting into our hands what she has written. She is not, therefore, a copyist, although she has stated important truths to which men who are entitled to our highest confidence have borne testimony."—Ibid., p. 34.

The reason for her burden on the matter is said to be a view that was presented before her of "the state of our world" and especially of "the youth of our time." As she saw a group of imbeciles, with "dwarfed forms, crippled limbs, misshapen heads, and deformity of every description," the causes of these terrible conditions were set forth. Of this she wrote:

"Sins and crimes, and the violation of nature's laws, were shown me as the causes of this accumulation of human woe and suffering. I saw such degradation and vile practices, such defiance of God, and I heard such words of blasphemy,


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that my soul sickened. From what was shown me, a large share of the youth now living are worthless. Corrupt habits are wasting their energies and bringing upon them loathsome and complicated diseases."—Ibid., p. 17.

Modern statistics regarding the prevalence of insanity and other ills resulting from sexual perversion and excesses enable us today to understand the truthfulness of such a picture far better than could those who lived at the time when this view was given.


"An Appeal to Mothers"

In the pamphlet cited is found the first published statement from Mrs. White showing the relation of diet to the spiritual life and advocating a return to the Edenic diet. Mothers were urged to show their children that "we make a great account of health, and that they should not violate its laws." Instead of wearing themselves out by cooking elaborate dishes and preparing food to tempt the appetite, they should rather adopt a "plain, nourishing diet," which would not require so great an amount of labor. And it is significant to note that in making her first appeal for a return to God's original plan for man's diet, she laid down a principle of deeper import than the mere preservation of health. "In order to strengthen in them [the children] the moral perceptions, the love of spiritual things, we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal food, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits as articles of food."—Ibid., pp. 19, 20.

One month after the issuance of Mrs. White's "An Appeal to Mothers," the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists met in Battle Creek for its first annual session. One of the actions of the conference pertained to that booklet, deeming it a "work of great importance for general circulation," and commending it "to the attention of our brethren everywhere." Parents and guardians of children were urged to place it in the hands of the young.

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During the latter part of 1863 and the first months of 1864, Mrs. White was completing the third and fourth volumes of Spiritual Gifts. The latter came from the press in August, 1864, and contained a thirty-two-page article entitled "Health." This was the first comprehensive treatise on the subject found in any Seventh-day Adventist publication. In the opening paragraph reference is again made to the view that had been presented to her, as related in "An Appeal to Mothers," of the tragic condition of the human race today, with "disease, deformity, and imbecility" to be observed everywhere. "I inquired the cause of this wonderful degeneracy," she wrote, "and was pointed back to Eden." —Spiritual Gifts, Vol. IV, p. 120.

Since the fall of man, she stated, there has been a violation of the laws of health by the human family, with the result that "disease has been steadily increasing. The cause has been followed by the effect." (Ibid.)

The prevalence of perverted appetite was traced through Bible history, with reference to the antediluvians, to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, to the attempted diet reform when the children of Israel were in the wilderness, with their rebellion against it, and to the story of Nadab and Abihu as illustrating the results of intemperance. Emphasis was laid upon the express command against the use of swine's flesh. The evils of present-day indulgence in liquor and tobacco were vividly portrayed, and the stimulating effects of tea and coffee were pointed out.


Unwholesome Foods Discussed

The baneful effects of injurious articles of food, such as "highly seasoned meats, with rich gravies," "rich cake, pies, and puddings," and the free use of meat were set forth in contrast to the benefits of "a plain, wholesome, and nutritious diet." And of the free use of drugs, she wrote:

"I was shown that more deaths are caused by drug-taking than from all other causes combined. . . . Generally the


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persons who suffer pain become impatient. They are not willing to use self-denial and suffer a little from hunger. Neither are they willing to wait the slow process of nature to build up the overtaxed energies of the system. But they are determined to obtain relief at once and take powerful drugs prescribed by physicians.

"Nature was doing her work well and would have triumphed, but while accomplishing her task, a foreign substance of a poisonous nature was introduced. . . . Drugs never cure disease. They only change the form and location. Nature alone is the effectual restorer, and how much better could she perform her task if left to herself."—Ibid., p. 134.


A Warning Against Drugs

The warning against the use of drugs was not only general, but specific in some instances. Of strychnine, used freely at that time, we read:

"I was shown persons under the influence of this poison. It produced heat and seemed to act particularly on the spinal column, but affected the whole system. . . . When first taken, its influence may seem to be beneficial. It excites the nerves connected with the spinal column, but when the excitement passes away, it is followed by a sense of prostration and of chilliness the whole length of the spinal column, especially upon the head and back of the neck. The patients generally cannot endure the least draught of air. They are inclined to close every crevice, and for want of the free, invigorating air of heaven, the blood becomes impure. . . . The sight and hearing are often affected, and in many cases the patient becomes helpless."—Ibid., p. 138.

With equal detail the effects of other drugs commonly prescribed by physicians in those days were portrayed. "I was shown that the innocent, modest-looking, white poppy yields a dangerous drug," begins Mrs. White in the introductory sentence of a paragraph setting forth the pitiful condition of the opium slave. Mercury, calomel, and quinine


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are also specifically mentioned as drugs that "have brought their amount of wretchedness, which the day of God alone will fully reveal."—Ibid., pp. 138, 139.

The importance of cleanliness, sunlight, fresh air, the rational use of water, the value of the power of the will as a "mighty soother of the nerves" and in resistance to disease, and other principles of general hygiene were emphasized. Two pages were devoted to the dangers of the use of flesh as food. "Many die of disease caused wholly by meat eating, yet the world does not seem to be the wiser."—Ibid., p. 147.

A vivid picture was drawn of the terror and distress of the animals before their slaughter, frequently resulting in a fevered and poisoned condition of the blood. The article closed with an earnest appeal to follow Christ, who resisted temptation on the point of appetite, and to seek to perfect holiness in the fear of God.

It was not long before the effects of the instruction on health as published by Mrs. White in Spiritual Gifts, Vol. IV, began to be seen. In those days counsel from the Spirit of prophecy was eagerly received. Her books or pamphlets, as they came from the press from time to time, were not large and soon found their way into nearly all Seventh-day Adventist homes. An intimation of the eagerness with which the new volumes were received is seen in an announcement:

"The call for Spiritual Gifts is so great that we are unable to fill orders as soon as they are received. We have two binders at work, but today have not a single copy in the office."—Review and Herald, August 23, 1864.


Mrs. White's Testimony

The Review and Herald, with its columns open to correspondence, also set forth the response of its readers to the messages contained in the book. A few weeks after the publication of Spiritual Gifts, Vol. IV, a communication


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appeared from H. S. Gurney, expressing his conviction that a dietetic reform was needed, and stating:

"It has now become evident that such a reform movement has commenced among Seventh-day Adventists. And I rejoice that I have the opportunity to unite my influence with such a movement, and adopt a system which appears rational, convenient, and Scriptural."—Review and Herald, November 8, 1864.

As those who adopted the health reform principles began to see the beneficial results, they wrote of their experiences. Mrs. White herself bore testimony of a marked improvement. For years she had thought that she was dependent upon a flesh diet for strength. She suffered from discomfort of the stomach and from dizziness, and frequently fainted. Because eating flesh food seemed to remove these distressing symptoms, she had decided that it was indispensable, at least in her case. Writing in 1864, she said:

"Since the Lord presented before me, in June, 1863, the subject of meat eating in relation to health, I have left the use of meat. For a while it was rather difficult to bring my appetite to bread, for which, formerly, I have had but little relish. But by persevering, I have been able to do this. I have lived for nearly one year without meat. For about six months most of the bread upon our table has been unleavened cakes, made of unbolted wheat meal and water, and a very little salt. We use fruits and vegetables liberally. I have lived for eight months upon two meals a day."— Spiritual Gifts, Vol. IV, p. 153.

As a result of these changes she could report that, though taxing her mind constantly in writing, with but little exercise, her health had never been better. The faint and dizzy feelings had left her. And for the first time she had gone through the spring season without a loss of appetite. Of the rigid determination that it took for her to make some of these changes, she says in another connection:

"I suffered keen hunger. I was a great meat eater. But


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when faint, I placed my arms across my stomach and said, 'I will not taste a morsel. I will eat simple food, or I will not eat at all.' Bread was distasteful to me. I could seldom eat a piece as large as a dollar. Some things in the reform I could get along with very well; but when it came to the bread, I was especially set against it. When I made these changes, I had a special battle to fight. The first two or three meals, I could not eat. I said to my stomach, 'You may wait until you can eat bread.' In a little while I could eat bread, and graham bread too. This I could not eat before; but now it tastes good, and I have had no loss of appetite." —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. II, pp. 371, 372.


An Enthusiastic Response

In the church paper correspondents enthusiastically rejoiced in the new light on health reform and testified of great benefits they had received as they had adopted the principles. Elder Isaac Sanborn reported that for ten years he had been afflicted with inflammatory rheumatism and had tried many remedies, but without help. In the spring of 1864 he discontinued the use of pork. In October he adopted the "two-meal system, leaving out meat of every variety." Having used no medicine of any kind, the only change being in accordance with the recent instruction through the Spirit of prophecy, he says of the happy outcome and his appreciation of the light:

"I enjoy as perfect health as probably can be enjoyed in this mortal state. I would not return to my old habits of eating for any consideration. ... I thank God for the light He has given upon this subject."—Review and Herald, April 11, 1865.

Elder M. E. Cornell reported that after his wife had nursed him for ten days through a fever, she came down with typhoid. For several days she lay at the point of death. "We knew," he says, "that to take the drugs of physicians would be in this case certain death." Water treatments were


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used, and the attendants did what they could to "give nature a chance to throw off the disease." With these measures they united the prayer of faith, and Mrs. Cornell was reported to be out of danger. (Ibid., October 25, 1864.)

Such experiences related by the ministers as they went about among the churches, together with selected articles in the Review and Herald, helped to make the people health conscious.

Mrs. White, having completed her writing of a comprehensive statement regarding the health principles that had been shown to her in vision, was ready to turn with interest to learn what she could regarding the progress of the health reform as it was practiced and advocated by others.



chapter 8


LAUNCHING A CAMPAIGN FOR HEALTH


in the letter written in 1863 to Dr. J. C. Jackson of Dansville, New York, soon after the instruction in regard to health reform was given to Mrs. White in vision, Elder James White had not only asked him for health literature, but suggested a visit to his medical institution in order to observe his methods of treating the sick. From Dr. Jackson's reply we quote the following, as indicating his hearty spirit of co-operation:

"I advise you to come yourself to our house, and make yourself acquainted with our ways of doing things. I do not see how, with our great family, we could well take care of yourself, wife, and three sons, without subjecting you to such expense as, unless you are a rich man, you could not afford to pay. But we could take care of you by having you lodge out of the house and give you all the information we possibly can at our clergyman's price, which is to charge for board and treatment to clergymen, $2.50 per week, they paying the price of their own lodging. Your lodging will cost you about $1.00 or $1.25 per week. . . .

"We shall be happy to do anything we can for you in the way of giving you information, or extending to you any courtesies whereby you may be better qualified and fitted to do your work and to do it well."—Letter of Dr. J. C. Jackson to Elder James White, August 13, 1863.


A New Book Announced

The proposed visit to Dansville was postponed, however, for over a year, and was not made until after Mrs. White had completed the writing of Spiritual Gifts, Vol. IV, in

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which was included her article entitled "Health." The announcement of this book appeared in the Review and Herald for August 23, 1864. As to what followed we have Elder White's report:

"We left home August 24 and spent Sabbath with the brethren at Rochester, N.Y. The three following weeks we were at Dansville, N.Y., where we listened with deep interest to the lectures of Drs. Jackson and Hurd and enjoyed the practical illustrations of the principles of hygiene taught at 'Our Home' at their ample table, in the bathroom, and upon their beautiful walks. The three weeks were made still more happy by the society of brethren Dr. Lay and wife, King and daughter, Andrews, Edson, and Hall."—Review and Herald, November 22, 1864.

The facts we have presented show that by this time the campaign in behalf of health reform among Seventh-day Adventists already had been well launched. However the visit to the Health Institute at Dansville may have influenced that movement, it did not by any means initiate it. This is clearly indicated in these words by Elder White in announcing his plans for visiting the institution:

"The health question is much agitated among our people. The Dansville institution has its warm friends and strong prejudices against it. We wish to investigate as far as we can spare the opportunity to do so, that we may be able to speak more understandingly."—Ibid., September 6, 1864.


Dr. H. S. Lay's Work

At this time Dr. H. S. Lay was one of the five members on the medical staff of "Our Home," at Dansyille. He had been deeply impressed by the principles of health and healing as set forth by Mrs. White during her conversation with him soon after the vision at Otsego. After twelve years of medical practice with the usual drugs prescribed by the regular physicians, his confidence in their value had been


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greatly shaken. The severe illness of his wife now led him to give more serious consideration to drugless and rational methods of treatment. A great improvement in her health resulted, which he attributed to his acceptance and application of the light on health reform. In a letter to Elder White he wrote:

"Julia's health continues slowly but steadily to improve. We believe it is through the blessing of God and the use of His great remedies that she yet lives and is brought to enjoy her present state of health. ... I think I have been brought of late more than ever before to see and feel the necessity of obeying the laws of hygiene as well as the moral law. ... I now see clearer than ever before that while you both have so ardently labored to discountenance the use of tobacco, tea, and coffee among us, you have been doing the work of God."—Letter of Dr. H. S. Lay to James White, October 11, 1863.

Dr. Lay's search for nature's methods of healing, that his wife's health might be restored, led him to study the works of Drs. Jackson, Trail, and others; and in the summer of 1864 he took her to Our Home at Dansville, where he soon accepted an invitation to join the medical staff. That this was a providential experience was made clear by Mrs. White, who wrote a few years later:

"I was shown that God in His providence had directed the course of Dr. H. S. Lay to Dansville, that he might there obtain an experience he would not otherwise have had, for He had a work for him to do in the health reform. As a practicing physician, for years he had been obtaining a knowledge of the human system, and God would now have him by precept and practice obtain a knowledge of how to apply the blessings He has placed within the reach of man, and thus be prepared to benefit the sick, and instruct those who lack knowledge how to preserve the strength and health they already have, and by a wise use of pure water, air, and diet, Heaven's remedies, prevent disease."—Testi-


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monies for the Church, No. 11, p. 47. (Vol. I, pp. 490, 491.)


Dr. Jackson's Success

Of the phenomenal success of Dr. Jackson and his associates at Dansville, some of the believers had already received practical evidence. Especially notable was the case of Charles, the only son of Elder J. N. Andrews. At nine years of age this lad had become a cripple, seemingly incurable. One hip and leg were withered, and the ankle joint of the same limb was unduly enlarged and so ossified as to be nearly rigid. "To see this brilliant little fellow literally dragging his leg after him, was enough to touch a heart of stone." ("How to Live," No. 1, p. 17.) He was placed under the care of the physicians at Our Home, and after fifteen weeks had sufficiently improved to be returned to his home. Soon after he left the institution, he was able to "run and skip about the yard as nimbly as other boys"; and his recovery proved to be permanent, for the limb returned to its normal size, and no trace of lameness was left.

At this time the buildings at Dansville were able to furnish accommodations for between three and four hundred patients. The main building, four stories in height, was furnished with bath and dressing rooms. To the north, it was connected by an enclosed corridor three hundred feet long, with Liberty Hall, a commodious room used as a gymnasium, lecture room, and chapel.

In behalf of Our Home, and its forerunner at Glen Haven, New York, Dr. Jackson laid claim to its being the pioneer, and that for some time it was the only institution "where all things which in their nature are health-producing and disease-curing are combined and used upon the largest possible plan, and are made to exercise not an isolated or individual influence, but a collective force." (Laws of Life, February, 1862.) Of the objectives of the institution and the methods of treatment followed, he said:


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"Its object is to restore the sick to health by means of the agencies provided by God for the preservation of health, such as pure air, pure water, sunlight, sleep, proper clothing, healthful food, pleasant social influences, etc., excluding all poisonous drugs, and all other means and agencies, which in their nature tend to injure persons in health; and also to so instruct them in regard to the laws of life, and health, as that they may not be again liable to take on the diseases which are everywhere so prevalent, and which to a very great degree, are the result of false habits of living."—Ibid., March, 1862.

Various forms of water therapy were used, but the "heroic" treatment, involving the use of extremely cold water, which had caused much prejudice against hydro-therapy, had been discarded by Dr. Jackson and his associates. There were general baths, such as the "half bath," the full bath or "plunge," the "dripping sheet," the "pail douche," and the "pack," also local applications of water, including the "sitz bath," the "shallow bath," and the "foot bath." ("How to Take Baths," a tract, Dansville, N.Y., quoted in "How to Live," No. 2, pp. 14-24.) Compresses and fomentations were also listed among the methods of therapy.


The Reform Diet at Dansville

The reform diet as advocated by Sylvester Graham and other hygienists was adopted at Our Home, and the patients received an abundance of plain and nourishing food which was free from spices, rich gravies, or grease. Provision was made for a gradual change from the popular to a vegetarian diet, but as Elder and Mrs. White had already adopted the reforms, this was not necessary in their case. "As we had lived almost entirely without meat, grease, and spices, for more than a year," he wrote, "we were in a condition to have our wants in the line of food fully met at the tables at Our Home."—"How to Live," No. 1, p. 16.


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As a health educator Dr. Jackson spared no pains in setting forth the principles of healthful living. The Laws of Life, edited by himself and his adopted daughter, Harriet N. Austin, M.D., was at that time a sixteen-page monthly filled with sensible and practical instruction. At Our Home all who were able to do so were required to attend the morning lectures at Liberty Hall. These were usually given by Dr. Jackson, but occasionally by others on the medical staff.

The two-meal-a-day system was practiced and ably defended by the medical staff. To this practice Dr. Jackson attributed the reason for the physicians' seldom being called out in the middle of the night to attend patients with serious attacks of illness. He asserted that when the patients ate three meals a day, scarcely a night, and never a week, passed without one or more of the physicians being called from their rest to attend upon the sick, but that after changing to the two-meal plan, such an event was very rare.

Although Elder and Mrs. White saw much to commend in those methods of life and treatment of the sick, while at Dansville, there were a few things which they could not approve. In his report Elder White said:

"In all their amusements we could not unite. For the object for which they were intended, and when confined to the institution, these seem less objectionable. But we fear the influence of card playing and dancing upon young men and women, who at the same time profess to be Christians, when they shall leave the institution and be exposed to the vices so common with card players and dancers."—"How to Live," No. 1, p. 16.


Lectures on Health

After leaving Dansville, Elder and Mrs. White held some meetings in the eastern states. At each place they spoke upon the subject of health to those in attendance. An indication of the enthusiasm of the speakers and of the deep


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interest on the part of the hearers is found in the fact that at one place after Elder White had spoken for two hours on this theme, he was followed for another hour by Mrs. White; and, to quote Elder White, "the audience was held for three hours without manifesting the least impatience." —Review and Herald, November 29, 1864.

Elder J. N. Loughborough, who accompanied Elder and Mrs. White through New England at this time, bears a testimony to the helpfulness of their instruction and of the personal benefits he had received since making the changes in health habits as set forth through the Spirit of prophecy. In rendering his report, he said:

"For the short time I have been striving to live strictly in accordance with the laws of life, I have been greatly benefited. . . .

"Never was sleep sweeter, or health better, or my mind more cheerful, since I first started in the service of God at the age of seventeen years, than for the last two months. With the short experience I have had, I would not, for any consideration, go back to the meat, spice, pepper, sweet cake, pickles, mustard, headache, stomach-ache and gloom, and give up the good wholesome fruit, grain, and vegetable diet, with pure cold water as a drink, no headaches, cheerfulness, happiness, vigor, and health.

"But I do not urge these things upon others or judge them about their meat. But I do esteem it a privilege to tell them what a temporal blessing I have found in this direction."—Review and Herald, December 6, 1864.

In his report of this eastern tour Elder White wrote: "The health question is attracting great attention from our people." And after speaking of a number of matters that demanded attention, he concluded his report by saying: "We also want time to read up and give some lectures to our people on the subject of health. Work increases upon our hands, and we design to be free from every unnecessary burden, so as to labor the most efficiently for the present,


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as well as the future, good of our fellow men."—Review and Herald, November 22, 1864.


A Difficult Task for the Leaders

Upon the leadership of the recently organized Seventh-day Adventist Church was now placed not only a great responsibility but a seemingly impossible task. Two decades before that, they had been called of God to lead out in the advocacy of unpopular reforms in religious teachings, and through His blessing the believers had grown to a united people, numbering about ten thousand Sabbathkeeping Adventists. Now they were called upon to unite with these doctrines still other unpopular reforms in physical habits, changes that called for self-denial and a breaking away from popular customs and practices.

They had begun the first task with three public laborers, no publications, and no financial support. They faced the second call to duty with one physician among them, who was a modest, retiring gentleman with no experience either as a public speaker or as a writer. There were among them no trained nurses, no physiologists, and no lecturers in the health field. Points of agreement among them were limited to the certain preliminary reforms, such as discarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee. Beyond this both leaders and laity were quite ignorant of the evils of many other articles of common use in diet, and of the proper treatment for the common ailments.


Health Education Needed

Obviously the first step in accomplishing the task to which they were commissioned was to become acquainted with the laws of life and educate others concerning them. With no literature of their own, save the article entitled "Health," written by Mrs. White, they rejoiced to find writers and lecturers who had adopted and were advocating sound reforms in health practices.

"Our people are generally waking up to the subject of


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health," Elder White again wrote in December, 1864. "And," he added, "they should have publications on the subject to meet their present wants, at prices within the reach of the poorest."—Review and Herald, December 13, 1864.

He realized, however, that in order to give Seventh-day Adventists the education they needed in health principles, more was necessary than for them to read merely the literature that had been produced by others who had blazed the trail before them. Among these heralds of reform there was not always agreement, and there were some errors to be shunned. To avoid extreme or erroneous views, they needed the divine guidance which was supplied as truly as in the advocacy of sound and lasting truths in health reform. True, there was a good library of health works written by advanced thinkers among the physicians and physiologists of the day, who not only urged needed reforms but gave good and logical reasons for their acceptance. It was, however, necessary for Seventh-day Adventists that there should be a stronger appeal than mere factual scientific statements. These reforms were to be seen as "a part of the third angel's message," and "just as closely connected with it as are the arm and hand with the human body."—Testimonies for the Church, No. 11, p. 41. (Vol. I, p. 486.)

Elder White might purchase from twenty to twenty-five dollars' worth of books on health, issued by Jackson, Trail, Coles, Shew, Graham, Alcott, and other health reformers. Some of these books might be placed in the book stock of the Review and Herald office and be advertised and recommended. But only a very few of the rank and file of Seventh-day Adventists would either go to the expense of purchasing such voluminous and sometimes technical works, or be interested in reading them. So it was that Elder White recognized the urgent need for Seventh-day Adventists to have publications "to meet their present wants" and "at prices within the reach of the poorest."


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As an initial step in meeting these needs, Elder White announced the plan for publishing six pamphlets. Mrs. White was to "furnish a liberal chapter in each number on health, happiness, and miseries of domestic life, and the bearing which these have upon the prospects of obtaining the life to come."

No extravagant claims of "skill as physicians" were to be made. It was the plan to fill the pamphlets with material drawn from "personal experiences from the Word of God, and from the writings of able and experienced health reformers." It was hoped that the information thus disseminated might enable some of the readers to "preserve vital force, live healthfully, save doctor's bills, and be better qualified to bear with cheerfulness the ills of this mortal life."—Review and Herald, December 13, 1864.


Six Pamphlets on Health

The proposed series of six pamphlets soon appeared, bearing the title "Health, or How to Live." According to a statement made some years later by Elder White, they "were devoted, one each, to the several questions of food, baths, drugs, air, clothing, and proper exercise. They each contained a lengthy article by Mrs. White on 'Diseases and Their Causes.' But they were made up chiefly from the most spirited and valuable articles and extracts from Trail, Jackson, Graham, Dio Lewis, Coles, Horace Mann, Gunn, and many others. A very large edition of these six pamphlets was printed, and a portion of the edition was bound in a neat volume, and has had a large sale. This work was readable and well adapted to the wants of the people. It has also had a wide circulation outside of Seventh-day Adventists, and its influence for good in calling the attention of the people to the subject of health reform can hardly be estimated."—The Health Reformer, February, 1871.

By the end of January, 1865, the first number was ready. In the first article, entitled "Sanctification," Elder White set


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forth the close relationship of the physical and the spiritual. Six pages devoted to a report of the visit at Dansville concluded with the following counsel from Elder White:

"Critical cases, unless beyond all reasonable hope, we would recommend to the care of the skillful physicians at Dansville. To those who are active, yet suffering from failing health, we urgently recommend health publications, a good assortment of which we design to keep on hand. Friends, read up in time to successfully change your habits and live in harmony with the laws of life.

"And to those who call themselves well, we would say: As you value the blessings of health, and would honor the Author of your being, learn to live in obedience to those laws established in your being by High Heaven. A few dollars' worth of books, that will teach you how to live, may save you heavy doctor bills, save you months of pain upon a sick bed, save you suffering and feebleness from the use of drugs, and perhaps from a premature grave. God has strongly related man to life. If he will live in obedience to the laws of life, and give nature a chance, she will manifest her wondrous power in restoring the sick, and in preserving health to those who are well."—"How to Live," No. 1, p. 18.


Suitable Substitutes Provided

Those who were leading out in the health reform movement among Seventh-day Adventists were careful from the first not to advocate the discarding of unwholesome food without giving instruction in the preparation of suitable substitutes. The ladies of the church in Battle Creek, Michigan, were encouraged to make a special study of hygienic cookery and to prepare for. publication the results of their investigation and experience. Among those who took part in this pioneer work were Sisters Lockwood, Loughborough, Cornell, Smith, Amadon, Driscall, and Patten. These sisters furnished twenty pages of copy for the


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first number of "How to Live." In this early treatise were included many recipes for making bread, both leavened and unleavened, as also for mushes, porridges, pies, and puddings. Instruction was given for properly cooking fruits and vegetables.

Some who had acquired skill in hygienic cookery wrote helpful articles for the Review and Herald. In one issue of the paper Mrs. Martha Amadon contributed suggestions on the use of graham flour. The adoption of the whole-wheat flour—bran and all—was one of the first reforms generally accepted; and Mrs. Amadon, who had used it for a number of years, was asked for information as to how it should be prepared. Among the suggestive recipes was one for graham gems to be made in baking irons. So important did these gem irons become that they were advertised and carried in stock by the Review and Herald office.


The Effects of Poisonous Drugs

An uncompromising stand was early taken against the use of the common poisonous drugs so freely prescribed at that time by nearly all physicians. In the third number of the series on "How to Live," Mrs. White's article gave instruction regarding the effects of the popular drugs. She related how in panoramic views typical cases were presented before her, and gave detailed description of the physical effects of the drugs that were administered by the physicians called for advice and treatment. In the first instance a man whose daughter was sick related to the physician the details of the illness and death of his wife, a son, and a daughter, to whom powerful drugs had been administered by attending physicians. The father made a pitiful appeal in behalf of his only remaining daughter. The attending physician left the sickroom without administering any medicine.

In the place of a prescription for powerful drugs, a few simple rules calling for freedom from excitement, a cheer-


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ful atmosphere, simple diet, an abundance of pure, soft water to be used as a beverage, frequent bathing, light massage, adequate ventilation, and quiet, undisturbed rest were left with the father.

"Follow my directions," assured the physician, "and I trust in a few weeks to present her to you in a much better condition of health, if not fully restored."—"How to Live," No. 3, p. 55.

A patient treated with nux vomica, another with calomel, and a third with opium were next viewed. The scenes were shifted from one case to another, each time revealing the tragic progressive action of the drug taken; and in contrast was shown the steady improvement of the first case, which was treated rationally with no drugs. In the third scene the daughter was seated by the side of her father, with the glow of health upon her countenance, and the doctor said:

"I present to you your daughter restored to health. I gave her no medicine that I might leave her with an unbroken constitution. Medicine never could have accomplished this. Medicine deranges nature's fine machinery and breaks down the constitution and kills, but never cures. Nature alone possesses the restorative powers."—Ibid,, No. 3, p. 57.

In each issue of the series of pamphlets "How to Live," Mrs. White's article on a certain phase of the health reform was buttressed by writings from the pen of other writers on the subject—physicians and reformers. In the second article Mrs. White dealt with the subject of the home, the relations of husband and wife, and proper care of infants and children. It was in this connection that she first counseled against sending the child to school too early. She urged that "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


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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." —Ibid., No. 2, p. 44.


Home Health Instruction Needed

The necessity of a knowledge of simple home remedies was recognized, and articles were included on the use of hydrotherapy, or "bathing," as it was usually termed. Cautions were given against attempting the "heroic" method of the use of cold water, especially for long periods of time. In Mrs. White's article in No. 4 of the series, she gave practical instruction relating to the care of the sick in the home. She stressed the need for strict cleanliness, not only of the patient, but also of the attendants, that they might be fortified against disease. She urged adequate ventilation, and with it the maintenance of an even temperature. "Fresh air will prove more beneficial to the sick," she declared, "than medicine, and is far more essential to them than their food."—Ibid., No. 4, p. 55.

Such instruction was much needed in those days when, because of an uncanny dread of the "night air," windows and doors were not only closed, but every crack where a possible bit of fresh air might enter was sealed. Mrs. White, in her own experience in caring for her sick neighbors, was sometimes obliged to open windows and doors against the terrified protests of the relatives or of the patient himself. She was led to urge that in self-defense an attendant was justified in refusing to imperil his own health under such circumstances.

"If attendants are awake to the subject of health, and realize the necessity of ventilation for their own benefit, as well as that of the patient, and the relatives, as well as the sick, oppose the admission of air and light into the sick room, the attendants should have no scruples of conscience in leaving the sick room. ... If the sick will fall a vic-


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tim to their own erroneous ideas, and will shut out of the room the most essential of Heaven's blessings, let them do so, but not at the peril of those who ought to live."—Ibid., No. 4, p. 57.

Number 5 of "How to Live" and a portion of No. 6 were devoted to the subject of dress, particularly of children and of women. To an understanding of what was written by Mrs. White and others on dress at that time, a picture of the prevailing styles is necessary, and also a knowledge of the steps in dress reform that had already been taken by some.



chapter 9


THE POPULAR DRESS REFORM


"My sisters, there is need of a dress reform among us. There are many errors in the present style of female dress." With these words Mrs. White introduced her sixth and last article on "Disease and Its Causes," in the series entitled "How to Live," which appeared in print in the early part of 1865.


A Plea for Women

In the literature of that period there is abundant evidence of the truthfulness of Mrs. White's arraignment of the current fashions in woman's dress. About three years earlier a spokesman for the unfortunate sex, when addressing a large audience in Washington, D.C., made the following plaint regarding the disadvantages and tortures of women:

"Women's clothing is arranged with such an eye to inconvenience and burdensomeness, that if they go out at all it is under great disadvantage. If they should cross the threshold, they may dampen their feet and soil their skirts on the steps, and have their unprotected limbs chilled by the wind. If they wish to walk, they must wait till the dew is off the grass, and a sultry summer sun detracts from the benefit of it. If they work in the garden, more strength is expended on account of the dress than with the plants; for it not only is so arranged that they cannot make a motion easily, but it must be gathered up in their arms while they work with their hands. If they go to market, they must carry skirts as well as a basket; for dew, dust, mud, or snow has to be cleared. If they ride, they must be lifted in and out of the carriage, while they take care of their skirts, and

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even then they are often caught, and have to be extricated from them; and if, by accident, any danger conies to life or limb in carriage or on horseback, it is tenfold greater on account of such shackling garments. . . .

"If they turn to the leafy adorned temple of nature to recreate, they must zigzag their way around every bush and log, in spending all their care on muslin instead of enjoying nature; and if they come to a fence, the field beyond is forbidden ground to them, though it be all abloom with choicest flowers."—Ellen Beard Harmon, "Dress Reform: Its Physiological and Moral Bearing" (a lecture delivered at the Y.M.C.A. Hall, Washington, D.C., February 10, 1862, pp. 10, 11). New York: Davies and Kent, 1862.

For more than a decade voices of protest had been heard against the barbarous, health-destroying styles of dress imposed upon women by those who regulated the fashions. Eleven years earlier the Honorable Gerrett Smith, a member of Congress, declared:

"A reformation in the dress of woman is very much needed. It is indispensable to her health and usefulness. While in the prison of the present dress, she is, and ever will remain, comparatively unhealthful and useless."—Quoted by Mrs. M. Angeline Merritt, in Dress Reform, Practically and Physiologically Considered, pp. 169, 170. Buffalo: Jewett, Thomas, and Co., 1852.


Distinguished Ladies Lead Out

With such pronounced opposition to the prevailing styles of dress, it is not surprising that the congressman gave his hearty approval when his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Miller adopted a dress somewhat on the style of the Turkish costume. Mr. Miller also approved and vigorously defended his wife's startling but sensible break with the conventions. As she was among the first to wear publicly such a dress in the United States, the costume made a news feature for the press of that time.


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After wearing the dress for about three months, Mrs. Miller went to Seneca Falls, New York, to visit her cousin, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the honored ladies of the nation because of her efforts in the cause of women. Evidently the advantages in freedom and comfort of the costume worn by Mrs. Miller made a strong appeal to her cousin, for she very soon donned a dress made in the same style.

Mrs. Amelia Bloomer then entered the scene. She lived in Seneca Falls and edited The Lily, a monthly paper for women. Seeing the novelty, she admired it and soon became the third member of a triumvirate of dress reformers. In the issue of her journal for March, 1851, she described and praised the costume, and in the following month she announced her personal adoption of it, saying:

"Reader ours, behold us now in short dress and trowsers, and then, if you please, give free vent to your feelings on the subject—praise or blame, approve or condemn, as might suit you best. We have become used to both, and are indifferent as to your opinion."—The Lily, April, 1851.


Mrs. Bloomer Given Publicity

Mrs. Bloomer at that time had no thought of permanently adopting the new style of dress, no thought that her action would create an excitement throughout the civilized world, or that her own name would be given to the costume. She always declared that such credit should have gone to Mrs. Miller. The public press spread the innovation far and wide as a spicy news item. Writing later an account of the event for the Chicago Tribune, Mrs. Bloomer commented thus upon the excitement it caused:

"I stood amazed at the furor I had unwittingly caused. The New York Tribune contained the first notice I saw of my action. Other papers caught it up and handed it about. My exchanges all had something to say. Some praised and some blamed, some commended, and some ridiculed and


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condemned, 'Bloomerism,' 'Bloomerites,' and 'Bloomers' were the headings of many an article, item, and squib. . . . "As soon as it became known that I was wearing the new dress, letters came pouring in upon me by hundreds from women all over the country, making inquiries about the dress and asking for patterns—showing how ready and anxious women were to throw off the burden of long, heavy skirts."—Quoted by her husband, Dexter C. Bloomer, Life and Writings of Amelia Bloomer, p. 68. Boston: Arena Publishing Company, 1895.

In June Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Bloomer, and four or five other ladies appeared in the costume while attending a health convention at Dr. Jackson's health institution, which was then at Glen Haven, New York. The new style of dress was placed on the agenda for discussion, and Dr. Harriet Austin, an associate physician at the institution, became a convert. She and Dr. Jackson were won as ardent and enthusiastic advocates of the reform. As editors of the Water Cure Journal and its successor, the Laws of Life, they were in a position to give wide publicity to it. For several years scarcely an edition of their journal failed to urge its adoption or to print testimonials from enthusiastic readers who had received health benefits from it. The style, however, was considerably modified by Miss Austin, and soon became generally known as the "American costume."

Praise and commendation on the one hand, and reproach and sarcasm on the other, were the lot of the dress reformers. This makes it possible for later commentators on the movement either to heap contumely upon it and to represent it as unpopular and ridiculous, or to commend it as meritorious and worthy of the praise which it received in many quarters. Dr. Jackson tells how its adoption by his wife, at a time when she had become a hopeless invalid, not only saved her life but restored her to health, and speaks thus of the severity of the criticism he received from some:


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"No one can tell what we all have suffered in public estimation for our conviction of the need of a change of a style in dress for our country women if they are to have health as a rule and sickness as an exceptional condition of life. I do believe that no representation of villainy supposed possible for a man to be capable of committing, and yet be luckily free from liability to be hung, has not been made against me, simply because I advocated a reform in dress of women and a vegetarian diet for invalids."—Laws of Life, November, I860.


Dress Reform Gained Favor

There was a steady increase year by year in the number of women who changed to the new style. In June of 1863, about twelve years after Mrs. Miller had initiated the reform, an annual meeting of the Dress Reform Convention was held in Rochester, New York. In her opening address Dr. Austin stated that she invariably included as a part of the prescription to her patients the words "Adopt the American Costume," and she claimed credit for having thus influenced at least a thousand women to follow her advice. As to its general adoption, she said further:

"No reform, so truly conservative as this, ever made more progress, during the first years of its existence, than this has done. In all the Northern States it has hundreds of representatives; and in numbers of them it has thousands. It is known and worn in California, Canada East and West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Thousands of women in this State are wearing the American Costume. There are many neighborhoods, in central and western New York, where it is the common dress worn. There are counties in Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and other of the Western States, where its wearers can be counted by hundreds."—Laws of

Life, August, 1863.

In this same address before an audience of 1,700 people, Dr. Austin gives us a picturesque arraignment of the style


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of dress against which the "American costume" was a protest. Personifying "lank, sallow Disease," she graphically pictured the results of his clutches upon wives and mothers, and added:


Dr. Austin's Powerful Plea

"How he delights in the apparel they wear! He sits in their dressing rooms, and nods and chuckles and grins in gratified maliciousness, as the process of dressing goes on; and ever and anon, as some article specially adapted to his hateful purpose is appropriated, he holds his sides and twinkles his eyes in merry satisfaction. Those shoes—yes, those suit him precisely! How beautifully they pinch the toes, and press upon the veins at the ankles! 'Dear madam, what a loyal subject you are! I will stand by you till your dying day. And these bands about the waist—adjust them carefully. There, make them a little tighter. Cut off the action of the abdominal muscles entirely.’ Tis vulgar to let your breath descend so low.

" 'And this dress is capital—excellent! The flowing sleeves will allow the cool, damp, evening air to play easily about the white arms. Whalebones in it? Ah, yes, that will do. Now hook it, madam. Draw a little tighter. Exhaust your lungs, and contract your chest into the smallest compass. Bravo! One hook is fastened! No sensible woman would wear corsets. They are injurious, and, what is worse, they are out of date. But a dress just fitting closely and beautifully can do no harm. . . .

" 'Stop, madam, and pant a moment. There, now, proceed. Oh, what a model of a dress! Stand now, and examine its length in a mirror. Elegant! It just sweeps the floor so gracefully. And your hoops are of the most genteel size. Ha! Ha! . . . Won't the wind find easy access to her limbs? And won't she be harrassed [sic], and hampered, and hindered, in every step she takes, in the midst of all this drapery? By the time she is ready to lay it off, won't she


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feel nervous and weary and exhausted? And shall I not have gotten a faster hold upon her?'"—Ibid.

Among the persons selected at this gathering to serve as officers of the convention for the ensuing year were seven physicians, three ministers, one minister's wife, and one professor. Joshua V. Himes, a former co-worker with William Miller in connection with the advent movement, was a member of the executive committee. His name found frequent mention in the Laws of Life as one of those interested in, and approving of, the various reforms for the maintenance and restoration of health.


Dress Reform Principles Prevailed

Because the popular agitation over dress reform was carried forward for only two or three decades, and because the costumes they designed and advocated were later discontinued, it might seem that the cause of these reformers was lost. But the principles for which they valiantly contended have prevailed. This is well set forth in an editorial in a popular journal, from which we quote:

"The cause for which the early dress reformers labored and suffered martyrdom has triumphed in almost all points, but in a very different way than they anticipated. They considered only health and convenience. They cared little for beauty, knew nothing of art. Their attempts to introduce the bloomer and other costumes of equal ugliness fortunately failed, but their efforts were not altogether wasted. . . .

"The chief points in the indictment of woman's dress of former times were that the figure was dissected like a wasp's, that the hips were overloaded with heavy skirts, and that the skirts dragged upon the ground and swept up the dirt. Nowadays the weight of a woman's clothing as a whole is only half or a third of what it used to be. Four dresses can be packed in the space formerly filled by one. In the one-piece dresses now in vogue the weight is borne


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from the shoulders, and the hips are relieved by reducing the skirts in weight, length, and number. The skirt no longer trails upon the street. . . . The women who, for conscientious reasons, refused to squeeze their waists, and in consequence suffered the scorn of their sex, now find themselves on the fashionable side. A thirty-two-inch waist is regarded as permissible, where formerly a twenty-inch waist was thought proper. A fashionably gowned woman of the present day can stoop to pick up a pin at her feet."— New York Independent, October 23, 1913.

It is possible for womanhood today to be clothed neatly, modestly, inexpensively, and healthfully without the necessity of a wide divergence from accepted styles.



chapter 10


THE QUEST FOR MODERATION


having noted the fashions of the time and the movements of the dress reformers, we should consider the attitude of Seventh-day Adventists to these questions.

Between 1840 and 1844, when the believers in the advent movement were looking for the imminent coming of Christ, they sought earnestly for such a preparation of heart and of life as would enable them to meet Him with a conscience void of offense. Many of them felt as did the youthful Ellen Harmon, who, in recounting later the experience of herself and her sisters, wrote:

"We talked the matter over among ourselves, and decided to earn what money we could, and spend it in buying books and tracts to be distributed gratuitously. This was the best we could do, and we did this little gladly. ... I had no temptation to spend my earnings for my own personal gratification. My dress was plain; nothing was spent for needless ornaments, for vain display appeared sinful in my eyes. . . . The salvation of souls was the burden of my mind."—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, pp. 47, 48.


Adoniram Judson's Appeal

And so it was also with most Seventh-day Adventists from the earliest days of their existence as a separate people. Although neatness and durability of dress were regarded as in harmony with the mind of God, unnecessary adornment was shunned as being sinful. From time to time articles appeared in the Review and Herald counseling simplicity in dress, though the consideration of the matter from the standpoint of health was for some years subordinated

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to the thought of the Scriptural injunctions against pride and display. In 1855 the editor of the Review and Herald inserted as a leading article the pronouncement of John Wesley on dress in his "Advice to the People Called Methodists" (July 10, 1855); and "Judson's Letter on Dress" appeared in 1859. In this letter Adoniram Judson had appealed, from his mission in Burma, to the ladies of the home churches, because of the difficulties and embarrassments created when the Christian natives of Burma, having discarded their ornaments, would see similar decorations worn by the wives and daughters of those who came to his field as missionaries.

On May 27, 1856, at a conference of believers in Battle Creek, Michigan, a very solemn message was given for the church through the Spirit of prophecy, deploring the "conformity of some professed Sabbathkeepers to the world." It was pointed out that these "have a disposition to dress and act as much like the world as possible, and yet go to heaven."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 131.


Mrs. White's Remarks on Dress

Concerning the view given her at that time, Mrs. White wrote:

"I saw that some professed Sabbathkeepers spend hours that are worse than thrown away, in studying this or that fashion, to decorate the poor, mortal body. While you make yourselves appear like the world, and as beautiful as you can, remember that the same body may in a few days be food for worms. And while you adorn it to your taste, to please the eye, you are dying spiritually. ... I saw that the outside appearance is an index to the heart. When the exterior is hung with ribbons, collars, and needless things, it plainly shows that the love for all this is in the heart; unless such persons are cleansed from their corruption, they can never see God; for only the pure in heart will see Him."—Ibid., pp. 134, 136,


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Thus for a time were set forth general principles that should govern the Christian who seeks to follow the in-injunction of the apostle against the "love of the world." The first word of opposition found in our denominational literature against a specific style of dress is in the Review and, Herald of August 5, 1858, where Elder J. Byington makes the following innuendo in the form of a question and a conclusion:

"Are sleeves which are largest at the little end, and round tires like the moon, or hoops (Isaiah 3:18), articles of dress that are modest apparel? 1 Timothy 2:9. If so, let them be recommended to the church generally."

Only four ladies, apparently, ventured to respond to the question, with its implication. All these were agreed in condemning the first style, and three agreed that the wearing of hoops was a practice "unbecoming women professing godliness."

The fourth, however, expressed her opinion that the hoops were unobjectionable, and might be "recommended to the church generally in this season of the year, when used with moderation."—Review and Herald, September

23, 1858.

In the latter part of 1861 Mrs. White said of this oddity: "Hoops, I was shown, were an abomination, and every Sabbathkeeper's influence should be a rebuke to this ridiculous fashion, which has been a screen to iniquity."—Ibid., August 27, 1861.

Hoops continued to be frequently denounced in the church paper, both by ministry and laity. The general stand of the church against them is reflected in a letter from a lady correspondent who wrote of her experience in accepting the message. At a tent meeting she asked one good sister if she could be an Adventist and continue wearing her hoops. A negative reply caused her to assert that she could not become a member if that were the case. However, after hearing a lecture on dress by Elder Waggoner, she decided


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that she "could lay them off forever if it would be pleasing in the sight of the Lord." (Ibid., April 28, 1863.)


Deplorable Physical Effects

The deplorable physical effects of the fashionable dress of that period began to receive attention about this time. Under the heading "Talks About Health" two articles appeared, both selected from the writings of Dr. Dio Lewis of Boston. In the first (November 25, 1862) he pointed out the evil effects of insufficient clothing for the limbs, and in the second (May 25, 1863) he condemned the corset and recommended a "full and loose" dresswaist to be supported from the shoulders instead of the hips. The "dress reformers" who advocated the "American costume" exerted but little influence, however, upon Seventh-day Adventists, and only a few of them adopted it.

The fact that many spiritualists had adopted the Bloomer, or "American costume," and wore it at their meetings gave it an unsavory reputation in the eyes of many sincere Christians. The costume as modified was now very much shorter than when first introduced, coming barely to the knee or even higher than that, and this tended to bring it into discredit as being immodest.

It was from the standpoint of modesty and propriety that the "American costume" was first discussed by Mrs. Ellen G. White. In 1863, in writing of the "cause in the East," where some had taken extreme positions and others had run into fanaticism, she stated:

"God would not have His people adopt the so-called reform dress. It is immodest apparel, wholly unfitted for the modest, humble followers of Christ."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 421.

In presenting Scriptural arguments against this extreme style, she also wrote:

"I saw that God's order has been reversed, and His special directions disregarded, by those who adopt the


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'American costume.' I was referred to Deuteronomy 22:5: The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.'" —Ibid.


The Influence of the "American Costume"

Mrs. White wrote also of the influence that might be exerted against Seventh-day Adventists were they to adopt this extreme form of dress, pointing out that they might be mistaken for spiritualists if. they were to adopt it:

"Some who believe the truth may think that it would be more healthful for the sisters to adopt the 'American costume,' yet if that mode of dress would cripple our influence among unbelievers so that we could not so readily gain access to them, we should by no means adopt it, though we suffered much in consequence. . . .

"Spiritualists have, to quite an extent, adopted this singular mode of dress. Seventh-day Adventists, who believe in the restoration of the gifts, are often branded as spiritualists. Let them adopt this costume, and their influence is dead. The people would place them on a level with spiritualists and would refuse to listen to them. . . . There is a great work for us to do in the world, and God would not have us take a course to lessen or destroy our influence in the world."—Ibid., pp. 421, 422.

Although the unfavorable features of the "American costume" were opened to Mrs. White and she wrote against the adoption of it by our sisters, yet she was equally clear regarding the objectionable features of the prevailing styles of dress and the need for reform. Her attention was directed to a medium position which our sisters should take, following neither the extreme mannish "American costume" nor the health-destroying, action-impeding, long, heavy dresses of the time. Introducing a call for reform, Mrs. White said:

"We do not think it in accordance with our faith to


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dress in the 'American costume,’ to wear hoops, or to go to an extreme in wearing long dresses which sweep the sidewalks and streets. If women would wear their dresses so as to clear the filth of the streets an inch or two, their dresses would be modest, and they would be kept clean much more easily, and would wear longer. Such a dress would be in accordance with our faith."—Ibid., p. 424.

"There is a medium position in these things. Oh, that we all might wisely find that position and keep it."—Ibid., p. 425.


Basic Principles

A fuller presentation of the subject of dress was prepared by Mrs. White for the concluding and sixth article as later presented in "How to Live." In this we may discover the following basic principles upon which a true reform must be built:

1. "It is injurious to health, and, therefore, sin for females to wear tight corsets, or whalebones, or to compress the waist."—"How to Live," No. 6, p. 57.

2. "Many females drag down the bowels and hips by hanging heavy skirts upon them. . . . The female dress should be suspended from the shoulders."—Ibid., p. 58.

3. "The people of God, who are His peculiar treasure [should] seek even in their dress to glorify God, and by their simple style, rebuke the pride, vanity, and extravagance of worldly, pleasure-loving professors."—Ibid.

4. They should not, however, be "careless of their own apparel, . . . and dress without order and taste. . . . Decency and neatness are not to be classed with pride."—Ibid., pp. 62,64.

5. "A greater uniformity in dress would be pleasing to God."—Ibid.

6. "The length of the fashionable female dress is objectionable for several reasons. . . . The dress should reach somewhat below the top of the boot, but should be


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short enough to clear the filth of the sidewalk and street, without being raised by the hand."—Ibid.

7. "Whatever may be the length of the dress, females should clothe their limbs as thoroughly as the males. This may be done by wearing lined pants gathered into a band and fastened about the ankle, or made full and tapering at the bottom; and these should come down long enough to meet the shoe."—Ibid., p. 64.

To those who might object to such a costume on the grounds that it would be old-fashioned, Mrs. White replied with emphasis:

"What if it is? I wish we could be old-fashioned in many respects. If we could have the old-fashioned strength that characterized the old-fashioned women of past generations, it would be very desirable."—Ibid., p. 64.

She urged that womanhood should "manifest a noble independence, and moral courage, to be right, if all the world differ from them."—Ibid., pp. 61, 62.

"Christians should not take pains to make themselves gazingstocks by dressing differently from the world. But if, in accordance with their faith and duty in respect to their dressing modestly and healthfully, they find themselves out of fashion, they should not change their dress in order to be like the world."—Ibid., p. 61.

Such were the circumstances when Elder and Mrs. White made their visit to Dr. Jackson's institution at Dansville, New York. A definite stand had been taken against hoops. Mrs. White had spoken specifically against the adoption of the "American costume" because of its immodesty, its resemblance to male attire, as being contrary to the Scriptural injunction, and because of the prejudice it would raise against those who had a solemn truth to give to the world. She deplored the ultra-long dress and recommended one short enough so that it would always clear the ground. And she was praying that God's people might find the proper medium position in these things.


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Close Observation

During their three weeks' stay at Our Home, Mrs. White and her husband had opportunity to observe at close hand the mode of dress that she had formerly declared to be unsuitable for Seventh-day Adventists. Through the lectures and the literature put out by Drs. Jackson and Austin, they had opportunity to become better acquainted with the reasons for its adoption. But they were not led to alter their former counsel that it was not suitable attire for Seventh-day Adventist womanhood. It is evident, however, that they did find in their hearts a deepening conviction that they should endeavor to find a dress pattern that would be healthful in every way and yet be free from the objectionable features of the "American costume." Elder White expressed his views as follows:

"At Our Home, the ladies wear what is commonly called the short dress, which is so frequently worn in its ultra-style by brazen-faced and doubtful female spiritualists. These things have a tremendously prejudicial influence abroad against the invaluable good of this institution. We recognize the principles from which arise the valid objections to the present fashionable style of woman's dress, and look for a remedy that will save to the world her appearance as a woman, and save her from public ridicule, and to herself influence. But we have serious objections to woman's dress being so long as to constitute her a street sweeper, and we strongly incline to the opinion that existing evils in her dress can be fully removed without adopting those extremes which we sometimes witness."—Ibid., No. 1, p. 17. (Italics mine.)


The Need for a Reformed Dress

A similar recognition of the need for a reformed dress that might be adopted by Seventh-day Adventist women is voiced in a letter written by Mrs. White to friends during the time of her visit to Dansville:


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"They have all styles of dress here. Some are very becoming, if not so short. We shall get patterns from this place, and I think we can get out a style of dress more healthful than we now wear, and yet not be Bloomer or the 'American costume.' ... I am going to get up a style of dress on my own hook which will accord perfectly with that which has been shown me. Health demands it. Our feeble women must dispense with heavy skirts and tight waists if they value health. . . .

"We shall never imitate Miss Dr. Austin or Mrs. Dr. York. They dress very much like men. We shall imitate or follow no fashion we have ever yet seen. We shall institute a fashion which will be both economical and healthful."— E. G. White Letter la, 1864. (Italics mine.)

It is evident from this statement that up to that time, although Mrs. White had "been shown" certain principles that should govern a reform in dress, there had been no detailed, specified pattern revealed to her. Later she consulted with other sisters in Battle Creek, Michigan, in seeking for a costume that would be consistent with the faith and practice of Seventh-day Adventists. It seems probable that it was about this time, while they were endeavoring to find such a middle-of-the-road pattern, that the vision was given in which she saw three companies of women, each with a different length of dress. Regarding this she wrote, in 1867, in reply to a question:

"The first were of fashionable length, burdening the limbs, impeding the step, and sweeping the street and gathering its filth; the evil results of which I have fully stated. This class, who were slaves to fashion, appeared feeble and languid.

"The dress of the second class which passed before me was in many respects as it should be. The limbs were well clad. They were free from the burdens which the tyrant Fashion had imposed upon the first class, but had gone to that extreme in the short dress as to disgust and prejudice


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good people, and destroy in a great measure their own influence. This is the style and influence of the 'American costume,' taught and worn by many at Our Home, Dansville, N.Y. It does not reach to the knee. I need not say that this style of dress was shown me to be too short.

"A third class passed before me with cheerful countenances, and free, elastic step. Their dress was the length I have described as proper, modest, and healthful. It cleared the filth of the street and sidewalk a few inches under all circumstances, such as ascending and descending steps, etc." —Review and Herald, October 8, 1867.


Mrs. White Tries the Dress

In September, 1865, Mrs. White put on such a dress, which she wore for a time "excepting at meetings, in the crowded streets of villages and cities, and when visiting distant relatives." (Ibid.) After a time she wore it in all places and at all times.

Her example was soon followed by several of the Seventh-day Adventist women in northern Michigan, and numerous letters of inquiry came from many quarters. When she saw that some were overemphasizing the question, as a matter of prime importance, she was led to protest:

"The dress reform," she declared, "was among the minor things that were to make up the great reform in health, and never should have been urged as a testing truth necessary to salvation. It was the design of God that at the right time, on proper occasions, the proper persons should set forth its benefits as a blessing, and recommend uniformity, and union of action."—Ibid.

Mrs. White's advocacy of the health reform dress came thirteen years after Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Stanton, and Mrs. Bloomer had initiated in the United States the movement in favor of dress reform. There was scarcely a section of the country in which the voices of its friends were not heard.


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It had found able and honored advocates in its favor, as well as critics and defamers. Thousands of women were rejoicing in new-found freedom and health. Yet with all that might well be said in its favor, Mrs. White presented adequate reasons given to her why it was unsuitable for Seventh-day Adventists, and she determined to help her fellow sisters to find and adopt a style of dress in harmony with that shown her, one that would avoid the extreme and unfavorable aspects of the popular reform dress and yet give freedom of action and be healthful in every way. She was not, therefore, introducing and initiating a style of costume that was so ridiculous and strange as to merit the criticisms that some in later years have been led to present in a manner that seems plausible to those who are unaware of the circumstances which have been here presented.

The particular costume adopted at the Health Reform Institute and recommended by Mrs. White was worn by many Seventh-day Adventist women for some years. The reasons for its being discarded afterward will be given in a later chapter.1

1 See pp. 166-169.



chapter 11


DAYS OF AFFLICTION


the winter of 1864-1865 was a dark period for Seventh-day Adventists. For nearly four years the Civil War between the North and the South had been in progress. Regarding it at first as merely an insurrection that would be speedily put down, the president of the United States issued a call for 75,000 men for a brief period of enlistment. As the struggle increased in intensity, call after call was made for additional men. And in December, 1864, President Lincoln issued a summons for another 300,000 men for the army. Any deficiency in the number volunteering was to be made up by a draft on February 5, 1865.

During the earlier part of the war money was raised 'by private subscription, and those volunteering for service were granted a bonus from this fund. This helped to stimulate voluntary enlistment so that the draft was resorted to but little. Seventh-day Adventists, from principle, were averse to the bearing of arms, but they cheerfully subscribed to the bonus funds. At first the amount granted to an individual who volunteered was only $25, but as the war progressed, it was increased to as much as $300. At Battle Creek, Michigan, a committee of nine persons was chosen to lead out in the securing of the bonus fund. Two Seventh-day Adventists, Elder James White and J. P. Kellogg, were members of this committee. (Battle Creek Journal, October 24, 1862.)


Divine Counsel Given

Through the Spirit of prophecy counsel had come setting forth principles to guide the members of the church in their

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relation to the civil powers in time of war. Pointing out that it was "duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spake with an audible voice," Mrs. White also added, in giving her testimony relating to voluntary enlistment:

"I was shown that God's people, who are His peculiar treasure, cannot engage in this perplexing war, for it is opposed to every principle of their faith. In the army they cannot obey the truth and at the same time obey the requirements of their officers. There would be a continual violation of conscience."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 361. (January, 1863.)

Immunity from army service was possible as long as volunteer enlistment, stimulated by the bonus, was sufficient to meet the calls for men. Conscientious objectors against the bearing of arms were, under these conditions, free from serious trouble. But as the war progressed, a resort to the draft became more and more imminent. Fortunately before the real crisis came, proper steps were taken to declare the denominational position on war and military service, and official recognition was accorded to Seventh-day Adventists as conscientious noncombatants.


Two Courses Before Them

As such they were, if drafted, given their choice of two courses: They might enter the army and be assigned to noncombatant lines of duty; or they might secure release by payment of $300 for exemption. Unfortunately some who were drafted and thus entered the service found that the orders of the War Department were often disregarded by local officials who tried to force them to violate their conscience. The increasing number of believers who were drafted, and who appealed for help in buying their exemption, brought great perplexity to the leaders, especially to Elder James White, who was foremost in promoting the raising of a fund for that purpose.


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So it was that Elder White, in the early part of 1865, found himself pressed beyond measure. His arduous labors in behalf of his brethren who were being drafted into the army added to his already heavy burdens and told heavily upon his strength. Yet he rose above his weaknesses, and during the conference session in May he labored untiringly for the upbuilding of the cause he loved, not allowing himself proper periods of rest. Despite his plea that his burdens be lightened, he was persuaded to accept the presidency of the General Conference.

Mrs. White also shared in the burdens of this meeting. One evening, as reported by Elder Uriah Smith, she spoke "on the connection between the physical and the mental and moral, the relation which health bears to, or the almost controlling influence it has over, our feelings, and the necessity of caring for the health of the body, if we would possess buoyancy and cheerfulness of spirit. The important bearing of this subject upon the present truth will be seen at once by all who realize how necessary is a reform in our physical habits to that high state of spirituality involved in the preparation needful for us to be partakers in the latter rain."—Review and Herald, May 23, 1865.

Immediately after the conference Elder White and his wife were called by telegram to Wisconsin, where they met with unusual hardship in journeying from place to place. From there they hurried on to Iowa to meet serious difficulties that had arisen in that conference. Unfortunately during their travels they were frequently unable to obtain suitable food, and this circumstance proved a severe tax on their waning strength. Soon after returning home from this exhausting experience, they were urged to attend week-end meetings in Memphis, Michigan. There, following a late Sunday night service and a very short sleep, they arose before sunrise and walked a mile to the station to take a train for Battle Creek, Michigan. Then missing a connection at Detroit, they did not reach home till midnight. The fol-


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lowing day Elder White attended to important matters connected with the office, hoping then to take a sorely needed rest.


Elder White's Breakdown

It is not surprising that under these circumstances exhausted nature broke down under the strain. On the morning of August 16, 1865, Elder White was stricken with paralysis. In answer to earnest prayer a partial restoration was effected, but he did not rally from the nervous prostration induced by the shock. Attending physicians declared that unless a miracle were wrought in his behalf, he would never regain either his physical or mental vigor. They declared that they had never known of an instance of recovery from so severe a case of paralysis.

For five weeks everything possible was done for him at the White home in Battle Creek, but with no sign of improvement in his condition. Then, hoping that he might be benefited by a change of surroundings and the skillful services of Dr. Jackson, they decided to visit once more Our Home at Dansville, New York. They were accompanied by two other worn pilgrims, Elders J. N. Loughborough and Uriah Smith, the latter being editor of the Review and Herald. Of their experience, Elder Smith wrote:

"Brother and Sister White were cordially welcomed by Dr. Jackson, physician-in-chief of Our Home. Thursday, the day following our arrival, the doctor gave our party an examination, pronouncing upon our present condition and future prospects in respect to physical health and strength. His judgment in the case of Brother White was, that it was very fortunate for him that he was arrested in his course of toil and labor when he was; for if nature had held up even but a short time longer under the same pressure, it would have eventually given way, and in such a manner as to produce a complete wreck, for which there would have been no remedy."—Ibid., October 3, 1865.


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Dr. Jackson held out hopes that under proper hygienic influences Elder White would in time make a complete recovery, but asserted that "the causes which have led to this attack must for all time be avoided, and to the work of recovery, quite a length of time, perhaps six or eight months, must be devoted." He suggested that Elder Loughborough should remain for treatment for five or six months, and Elder Smith for as many weeks.


The Whites at Dansville

Elder and Mrs. White and Elder Loughborough remained at Dansville for about three months. While there as patients they had a better opportunity than before to make observations regarding the efficacy of the treatments given, and to learn more of the principles of the institution. They found much to commend, yet some of the principles that were advocated there they regarded as contrary to the teachings of Christ. In fact, medical advice was given there that might well have proved fatal in the case of Elder White. In a manuscript giving many details of the affliction of her husband, Mrs. White wrote regarding the sojourn at Our Home:

"We did not feel that the three months passed at this institution was in vain. We did not receive all the ideas and sentiments and suggestions advanced, but we did gather many things of value from those who had obtained an experience in health reform. We did not feel that there was any necessity of gathering the chaff with the wheat."—E. G. White MS. 1, 1867.

What some of these matters of disagreement were can be ascertained from Mrs. White's writings. One pertained to the use of salt. Dr. Jackson's rule enforcing the absence of this seasoning from the tables was very strict. However, it soon became obvious that Mrs. White's digestion was impaired when she discontinued it entirely. Rather than to make her case a public exception, he requested her not


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to come to the dining room for her meals and arranged to have them sent to her own room, saying: "A moderate use of salt is necessary to you; without it you will become a dyspeptic."—E. G. White Letter 19a, 1891.1


The Matter of Amusements

In a report written for the Review and Herald, Mrs. White speaks of the interest with which they compared the teachings given by the physicians in die institution with the instruction that had been given to her in vision. She gave two reasons why she and her husband did not attend many of the lectures: first, the heated and vitiated atmosphere of the hall where the lectures were given seriously affected Elder White's head; second, to use her own words:

"When he [Dr. Jackson] dwelt upon the subject of health, we were too deeply interested for the good of our wearied minds, for our minds would begin to travel, comparing Dr. J.'s philosophy with facts established in our minds, which had been received from higher and unerring authority. . . . When Dr. Jackson and other physicians advanced and sought to sustain ideas that we could not receive from our religious standpoint, especially in regard to amusements and pleasure, dancing, card-playing, theatergoing, etc., we could not see harmony between his religious teachings, and the teachings of Christ recorded in the New Testament."—Review and Herald, February 20, 1866.

The supposed necessity for amusements as a diversion from serious thoughts, because it was assumed by the physicians at Our Home that such thoughts were detri-


1 Later in life she again was persuaded by a physician to try the saltless diet, but found the results inimical to her health. She was led to condemn as an extreme view the teaching that all salt was injurious, not because of her own experience, but as she testified: "From the light given me by God, this article, in the place of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. The whys and wherefores of this I know not, but I give you the instruction as it is given me."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 344. (Italics mine.)


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mental to the recovery of health, became an open issue between Mrs. White and some of the staff of the institution. On one occasion she found a favorable opportunity to express her views before a few of the patients and attendants. While in the bathroom she, with others, was solicited for an offering to pay the fiddler for a forthcoming dance. Writing of this incident, she thus quotes a portion of her response:

"I am a follower of Jesus. This dancing is thought essential to keep up the spirits of the patients, but have you not marked that the very ones who engage in this exercise are for a day or two languid, and some are unable to rise from their bed? . . . The ideas that are here advanced, that we are too intensely religious, and that is the reason why we are invalids, I will not, I cannot admit. Do you ever see me gloomy, desponding, complaining? I have a faith that forbids this. It is a misconception of the true ideal of Christian character and Christian service that leads to these conclusions. It is the want of genuine religion that produces gloom, despondency, and sadness. Earnest Christians seek to imitate Jesus, for to be Christians is to be Christlike. . .

"A half service, loving the world, loving self, loving frivolous amusements, makes a timid, cowardly servant; he follows Christ a great way off. A hearty willing service to Jesus produces a sunny religion. Those who follow Christ the most closely have not been gloomy. . . . We need more Christ, and less worldliness; more Christ, and less selfishness."—E G. White MS. 1, 1867.


Earnest Prayer for Healing

Prayer seasons were held in Elder White's room three times daily, and great spiritual blessings were experienced on these occasions. Many nights, when Elder White was suffering and unable to sleep, he would call to his wife and she would arise from her bed in an adjoining room and pray earnestly for and with him. She says that for ten


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successive nights "we had the evidence that God heard us pray, and my husband would drop into a quiet sleep."— Review and Herald, February 27, 1866.

These prayer seasons brought them much blessing and peace. But the attending physicians disapproved. They argued that Elder White's mind had been exercised to the breaking point on religious themes, and that his thoughts should be entirely diverted from the mental exercises that, they maintained, had caused his affliction.

There was an even more serious source of disagreement in his case. Mrs. White greatly deplored the counsel given by the physicians to the effect that complete physical and mental inaction should be sought. She argued to the contrary:

"The fact that his illness was the result of overwork, together with the instructions of the Dansville physicians concerning the importance of entire rest, led him, in his feeble state, to shrink from all exertion. Here was one of the most serious obstacles to his recovery. Naturally a man of great activity, both of body and mind, he had been constantly occupied, previous to his illness, in planning and carrying forward important enterprises; and now to sink down in aimless inactivity was to foster disease and to become the prey of despondency."—Life Sketches of Elder James White and Mrs. Ellen G. White (edition of 1888), pp. 353, 354.

Mrs. White untiringly and devotedly cared for her husband until she was told that she herself was in danger of a breakdown. For her own good and that of her husband she was urged to leave the institution and let others care for him. This she refused to do.

At length she became convinced that she must take him away. She feared that he could not be led, in the environment and subject to the influences there, to exercise the faith necessary for his restoration. Day by day she saw with dismay that the courage, hope, and buoyancy of spirit which


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had formerly sustained him were failing; and she felt that she must take him where his tried and true brethren could associate with him and help him by their prayers, sympathy, and faith.


A Special Vision Given

When Mrs. White spoke to Dr. Jackson about taking her husband home, he expressed serious misgivings and advised that he be taken to some nearby place as an experiment. If this should work favorably, he might then go the rest of the way, whereas if he did not rally, it would be better to return with him to Dansville. So it was decided to attend a monthly meeting of the believers in Rochester, New York, about forty-five miles from Dansville.

Three weeks were spent in Rochester. Elder J. N. Andrews came from Maine, other brethren of faith arrived from places nearby, and for ten days special, earnest prayer was held daily in Elder White's behalf. Then some were obliged to return to their homes, but others remained and continued in their prayer seasons. Regarding some features of this experience, Mrs. White wrote:

"It seemed to be a struggle with the powers of darkness. Sometimes the trembling faith of my husband would grasp the promises of God, and sweet and precious was the victory then enjoyed. Then again his mind seemed depressed and to be too weak to hold the victory he had gained.

"Every season of prayer increased in interest, and everyone who took part in them felt repaid for their efforts in drawing near to God, and praying for my husband, by the work which they felt was wrought for their own souls. ... I felt the assurance that we should come forth from the furnace of affliction purified. . . .

"Christmas evening, as we were humbling ourselves before God, and earnestly pleading for deliverance, the light of Heaven seemed to shine upon us, and I was wrapt in a vision of God's glory. It seemed that I was borne


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quickly from earth to heaven, where all was health, beauty, and glory."—Review and Herald, February 27, 1866.

This vision was supplementary to, and perhaps of equal importance with, the first vision given to Mrs. White on the health reform two years and a half before. The first revelation set forth great health principles and urged their adoption by the remnant church. The second pointed out that the response to the light on health reform had been far short of what it should have been, and it made more clear the relation of that reform to the gospel message to be given to the world. Of the inadequate response on the part of church members, Mrs. White wrote:

"In the vision given me in Rochester, N.Y., Dec. 25, 1865, I was shown that our Sabbathkeeping people have been negligent in acting upon the light which God has given in regard to the health reform; that there is yet a great work before us; and that, as a people, we have been too backward to follow in God's opening providence, as He has chosen to lead us. ... While some feel deeply and act out their faith in the work, others remain indifferent and have scarcely taken the first step in reform."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, pp. 485, 486. (First published in January, 1867.)


A Part of the Third Angel's Message

Of the relation of the health reform to the third angel's message, and to the work of preparation for the coming of Christ, it was further stated by Mrs. White that the health reform "is a part of the third angel's message" and is as closely connected with it as "the arm and hand with the human body." Advance moves were to be taken in this great work, ministers and people acting in concert.

"In order to be fitted for translation, the people of God must know themselves. They must understand in regard to their own physical frames. . . . They should ever have the appetite in subjection to the moral and intellectual organs.


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The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body. I was shown that there is a much greater work before us than we as yet have any idea of, if we would insure health by placing ourselves in the right relation to life. . . . Our faith requires us to elevate the standard and take advance steps."—Ibid., pp. 486-488.

In order to take such advance steps as were called for in this instruction, provision had to be made for an effective campaign of education in the principles of health reform. And some way had to be opened for those who needed medical care to go to some place where they could not only receive rational treatment, but also be free from the temptation to violate their conscience.


The Temptation to Compromise

A year earlier Elder White had felt free to recommend that those whose health was in a critical condition should place themselves under the care of the skillful physicians at Dansville. ("How to Live," No. 1, p. 18.) Experience had now made it clear that conscientious Sabbathkeepers would find constant temptation to compromise with principle even in the very best and most advanced medical institutions. This difficulty was thus stated by Mrs. White in speaking of her vision at Rochester:

"I was shown that those who are strongly fortified with religious principles and are firm to obey all God's requirements cannot receive that benefit from the popular health institutions of the day that others of a different faith can. Sabbathkeepers are singular in their faith. To keep all God's commandments as He requires them to do in order to be owned and approved of Him is exceedingly difficult in a popular water cure. They have to carry along with them at all times the gospel sieve and sift everything they hear, that they may choose the good and refuse the bad."—Ibid., pp. 489, 490.

This instruction not only pointed out the difficulties con-


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fronting Sabbathkeepers who might seek to avail themselves of proper care and rational treatment in popular health resorts, but went further in giving them definite, practical instruction and counsel. The need was manifest, and the reasons could now be easily understood for the following proposal:

"I was shown that we should provide a home for the afflicted and those who wish to learn how to take care of their bodies that they may prevent sickness. . . .

"Sabbathkeepers should open a way for those of like precious faith to be benefited without their being under the necessity of expending their means at institutions where their faith and religious principles are endangered, and where they can find no sympathy or union in religious matters. . . .

"Our people should have an institution of their own, under their own control, for the benefit of the diseased and suffering among us, who wish to have health and strength that they may glorify God in their bodies and spirits which are His."—Ibid., pp. 489-492.

To establish and to conduct a denominational health institution might seem an impossible undertaking for the few Seventh-day Adventists of that time with their limited means and with almost no trained medical workers. But with the command came the faith and the enabling to obey. No one could have foreseen, in that day of small things, to what large enterprises and endeavors the instruction given in the vision of December 25, 1865, would lead. The sad afflictions of Elder White and other overburdened workers proved to be the birth pangs which marked the beginnings of our present system of health institutions and other medical missionary lines of service.



chapter 12


"LET US ARISE AND BUILD"


elder james white was not the only Seventh-day Adventist minister whose physical breakdown was indicative of the timeliness of the health reform message. It was a cause for grave concern that during the year ending in the spring of 1866 "instead of an increase of laborers, many of the more efficient ones then in the field" had "been either entirely prostrated or afflicted in some way calculated to dishearten and cripple them."—Review and Herald, April 17, 1866.

A partial list of those thus afflicted is here mentioned. Elder John Bostwick of Minnesota had died. Elders J. N. Loughborough, D. T. Bourdeau, A. S. Hutchins, J. B. Frisbie, and John Byington, because of their poor health, had been able to do little or no field work during the year. All three children of Elder C. O. Taylor had been taken by death, and also one each in the families of Elders R. J. Lawrence and J. N. Andrews. One child of Elder Nathan Fuller was a subject of constant care, with little prospect of recovery, as the result of complications following an attack of measles.


A Season of Fasting and Prayer

For months neither the General Conference Committee nor the Michigan Conference Committee had been able to meet for counsel because of the sickness, in each case, of two out of the three committee members.

This very serious situation had been preceded by the four difficult years of the Civil War. When that long conflict was ended (in 1865), there was great rejoicing, and the

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brethren looked forward to a year of encouraging progress in evangelism and in growth of the church membership. They now sorrowfully lamented that "instead of a special rise in the message, the progress of the truth the past year has been no more than ordinary."—Ibid.

Facing such conditions, the General Conference Committee were now setting apart four days as a season of fasting and prayer. From Wednesday, May 9, 1866, till the close of the following Sabbath, they urged that among Seventh-day Adventists business be suspended, and that public meetings be held in the churches during the afternoon of each weekday and twice on the Sabbath "to pour out their supplications before God." In concluding they said:

"Let us cry to the Lord to revive His cause, remove His rebuke from off His people, restore His servants, and lead on the message to its destined victory. . . . We have reached a crisis in which it seems that the Lord alone can save us."—Ibid.

The correspondence columns of the church paper indicate that a profound impression was made upon the minds of ministers and laymen during these days of supplication and heart searching. And it was fresh from this experience that four days later the delegates assembled in Battle Creek, Michigan, for the third annual session of the General Conference.


A Call for a Greater Advance

This was an opportune time and occasion for Mrs. White to present to those assembled the instruction which she had received during the vision in Rochester, New York, about four months previous. The general content of her address before the General Conference assembly of 1866 is indicated both in her writings of that time and in the response of the people to the message she bore. Very earnestly she urged the believers to place a higher estimate upon the


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instruction that had come regarding health principles. She solemnly exhorted the ministry not only to adopt these principles for themselves, but to make them prominent in their work among the churches. Rehearsing the instruction given her in the vision of December 25, 1865, she wrote a few weeks after the conference:

"Ministers and people must make greater advancement in the work of reform. They should commence without delay to correct their wrong habits of eating, drinking, dressing, and working. I saw that quite a number of the ministers are not awake upon this important subject. . . . One important part of the work of the ministry is to faithfully present to the people the health reform, as it stands connected with the third angel's message, as a part and parcel of the same work. They should not fail to adopt it for themselves, and should urge it upon all who profess to believe the truth."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, pp. 466, 469, 470.

She asserted that the work of reform had "scarcely been entered upon yet." (Ibid., p. 485.) There were few who were sufficiently aroused to understand "how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their characters, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny." (Ibid., pp. 488, 489.) She spoke also of "a much greater work" in this line than was comprehended by anyone as yet. "Men and women must be instructed," she counseled. To climax the appeal she said that Seventh-day Adventists "should have an institution of their own," "for the benefit of the diseased and suffering among us." (Ibid., pp. 487, 489,492.)


An Official Response

At the conclusion of Mrs. White's stirring address before the conference assembly, the delegates and others present indicated by a rising vote their acceptance of the counsel and pledged themselves to endeavor to walk in the light.


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The official action covering this response appears in the conference minutes as follows:

"whereas, the subject of health is now attracting much attention among us as a people, and we are now learning the great truth that the proper way to avoid disease, or to recover from it, is to adopt correct habits of life, therefore

"Resolved, That this conference request our Brother Dr. H. S. Lay, whom we deem fully competent so to do, to furnish through the Review a series of articles on the health reform.

"Resolved, That we acknowledge the health reform as set forth in the testimony of Sister White, as part of the work of God incumbent on us at this time; and that we pledge ourselves to live in accordance with these principles, and that we will use our best endeavors to impress their importance upon others."—Review and Herald, May 22, 1866.

These resolutions reveal a profound conviction on the part of those present that the light on health reform was of paramount importance. Not only did the ministers pledge themselves to adopt "correct habits of life," but to assume the work of education in these principles as a "part of the work of God incumbent" on them. To this cause they promised their "best endeavors," and the story of the ensuing year bears witness to their faithfulness in fulfilling these resolutions.

It is frequently the case that men would be better esteemed if judged by their resolutions rather than by their subsequent actions. But in some respects the framers of these resolutions did far more than they specifically pledged themselves to do. One will indeed look through the Review and Herald in vain for the proposed series of articles on health reform by Dr. H. S. Lay. Instead of this, however, the readers of that paper soon saw Dr. Lay's name as editor of a new sixteen-page monthly periodical called The Health


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Reformer, which was issued at the Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan.

The two names—The Health Reformer and Health Reform Institute—then added to the vocabulary of Seventh-day Adventists sprang quickly into their speech and their writings. In his prospectus for The Health Reformer, Dr. Lay stated that its purpose was "to aid in the great work of reforming, as far as possible, the false habits of life so prevalent at the present day." It would advocate the cure of diseases, not by a single means, but by the "use of nature's own remedies, air, light, heat, exercise, food, sleep, recreation, etc." It would conscientiously hold up to light the "best methods, so far as ascertained," for maintaining health, in order that man might glorify God in body as well as in spirit, "both of which are equally His, and should be regulated according to His will." "In short," concludes the statement, "we aim to publish a first-class health journal, interesting in its variety, valuable in its instructions, and second to none in either literary or mechanical execution."—Review and Herald, June 5, 1866.


A Hearty Response From the Field

Such a bold statement as this would indicate either a foolhardy and unwarranted self-confidence or else a profound faith in a divine power that could and would work through feeble instruments and with meager facilities. The future of the enterprise, with its failure or its success, must determine which interpretation is correct. The courage to venture upon such an undertaking can be understood only as we see it as a sequel to the period of fasting and prayer followed by the powerful and convincing message delivered by Mrs. White before the conference.

The announcement of this new health journal brought an encouraging response from the field. We cite Elder D. T. Bourdeau as an enthusiastic spokesman for the ministry, others of whom gave similar expression to their hearty wel-


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come to this new enterprise. His joy and hopeful expectations were penned promptly for the very next issue of the Review and Herald:

"Having had some experience and derived rich benefits in practically carrying out those truths [on health reform], my whole being responds to, and is elated by, the article in the last Review, headed, 'Prospectus of The Health Reformer.’ Such a journal as is therein described is just what we need, and can, without exaggeration, be made one of the most interesting and useful health journals in the world."—Review and Herald, June 12, 1866.

Elder Bourdeau could not base his confidence in the success of the journal upon the support of trained workers in professional health lines. The ministry and lay members must largely bear the responsibility of contributing to the new periodical, and he set before them the following challenge and opportunity:

"To this end, the preachers in the wide field should contribute to its columns. Let others also, who can use their pens, bring in their communications on experience, on interesting facts, or on some of the numerous branches of the health question. Brethren and sisters, another door of usefulness is here opened before us. Let all who can step in and help by their faithful and earnest endeavors and make this journal practical and illustrative, as well as theoretical. Such a journal will give us more room to express our minds on the health reform and will also leave more space in the Review for other subjects."—Ibid. (Italics mine.)


The Health Reformer

Six weeks later appeared the first number of The Health Reformer, with a two-page introductory article by J. H. Ginley, M.D., and a single-page editorial by Dr. Lay. The remaining articles were contributed by the ministers. Mrs. E. G. White, under the heading "Duty to Know Ourselves," urged that "men and women should inform themselves in


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regard to the philosophy of health," concluding by saying that "ignorance upon this important subject is sin; the light is now beaming upon us, and we are without excuse if we do not cherish the light and become intelligent in regard to these things, which it is our highest earthly interest to understand."—The Health Reformer, August, 1866.

Other contributors to the first issue of the journal were Elders J. N. Loughborough, D. T. Bourdeau, A. C. Bourdeau, R. F. Cottrell, J. H. Waggoner, and J. N. Andrews. In the second issue the editor wrote a note for the benefit of those who might think that "nobody can talk on health but an M.D., and nobody on theology but a D.D.," and made the following reference to the qualifications of the contributors, with assurance that their writings were checked by professionally qualified practitioners:

"Many have written for The Reformer thus far, whom we hope to retain as permanent correspondents, who are not professionally medical men. But they have been forced by circumstances and their own experience to acquaint themselves more or less with health reform; and they are prepared to speak as advisedly with reference to its great principles as though they could attach to their names all the titles known to the medical profession. To those, however, who must have the magic of an M.D. to inspire confidence, we would say that all these articles are examined professionally and endorsed before they are laid before the reader."—The Health Reformer, September, 1866.

In this same connection the editor apologetically explains, as a reason for certain "deficiencies" in the journal, that "the many labors and cares incident to opening the Western Health Reform Institute have been sufficient to fully occupy both head and hands thus far."—Ibid.


The Western Health Reform Institute

As already mentioned, the name "The Western Health Reform Institute" was chosen for the new health institution


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that had been called for in the view given to Mrs. White at Rochester, New York, and related by her before the General Conference assembly. Of the initial steps taken to launch this new enterprise, Elder J. N. Loughborough later wrote:

"The question arose, 'How can we, in our condition of limited means, obtain and control a health institution?' Brother James White was at that time in a critical condition of health and could not take upon himself the management of the enterprise; so the matter seemed to fall upon the Michigan Conference Committee, of which I was at that time president. The committee, with a few of the leading members in Battle Creek, counseled and prayed over the matter and said, 'We will pledge to the enterprise, venturing out on what is said in the testimony, though it looks to us like a heavy load for us to hold up.'"—"Sketches of the Past," No. 133, in Pacific Union Recorder, January 2, 1913.

Drawing up a subscription paper, Elder Loughborough went first to J. P. Kellogg, reminding him of the testimony given by Mrs. White and of the decision to establish a health institution. Taking the paper, Brother Kellogg wrote his name in a bold hand, and opposite the figures $500. He assured Elder Loughborough that he would venture this much in the enterprise whether it should succeed or not. "Understand," he said, "that five hundred dollars is a seed to start the institution, sink or swim."—Medical Missionary, May, 1899, Extra.


Funds Subscribed

With this encouraging beginning, a meeting was called of the members of the church in Battle Creek, and opportunity was given to others to subscribe to the enterprise. Another $500 was pledged by Mrs. E. G. White, and $250 by J. M. Aldrich. Two other pledges for $100, two for $50, and eleven for $25 each brought a total of $1,825 raised at the denominational headquarters.


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Elder J. N. Andrews brought the matter before a monthly meeting of the church in Olcott, New York, and the members there pledged $800. Thus, with a start of $2,625 raised in the two churches, the campaign was launched. Circulars were prepared for mailing to each church and to prospective investors, soliciting the purchase of dividend-bearing shares of $25. Each church was requested to call a meeting at which the matter should be presented, with solicitation for cash and pledges. The subscription list was opened in the Review and Herald for June 19, 1866, with the list of donors in the Battle Creek and Olcott churches, and the progress of the fund was reported weekly.

Elders Loughborough and Andrews were named as leaders of the campaign in the West and East (of the United States) respectively, but it was taken for granted that "all our preaching brethren who were at the late conference here will be prepared to act as agents in this enterprise."—Review and Herald, June 19, 1866.

Confidence in the success of the undertaking was expressed editorially, it being "so manifestly appropriate at the present time, and in the order of Providence," that doubtless it would be "carried through triumphantly, even if it was necessary to be done by donations" rather than by "a safe investment of means."—Ibid.

Advice was sought of a firm of lawyers in Battle Creek, Michigan, regarding the legal procedure in forming a corporation to hold the property of the Western Health Reform Institute. The brethren were told that the only state law in Michigan under which they could incorporate was one that included mining and manufacturing enterprises, and which made provision for the payment of dividends to stockholders. This fact, together with the natural fear that the raising by donations alone of so large an amount of money as was needed would be difficult among the few Seventh-day Adventists, led to the plan of selling dividend-bearing shares. This arrangement, as we shall see, was soon


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changed, and the shares were donated outright, except in a few cases where the money was returned to the investors.

A site of five acres was secured in the city of Battle Creek, upon which there stood a good residence building. A few weeks later an adjoining plot of two acres and another cottage were added. Of course it was necessary to reconstruct the buildings and to provide some additional facilities necessary for giving treatments.

At first it was hoped to open the institution by the middle of August, but it was evident that this would be impossible, and the time was extended. The readers of the first copy of The Health Reformer were told that "in addition to the buildings already on the grounds purchased for this institution, we have been obliged to erect a building for a reservoir, bath, dressing, and pack rooms. This is rapidly going forward; and the institution will be open for patients by the fifth of September."—The Health Reformer, August, 1866.


In Harmony With Our Faith

In the meantime the work of solicitation of means was proceeding encouragingly. By the middle of August, 1866, Elder Loughborough was able to report that "our people, not only at Battle Creek, but elsewhere" were entering into the enterprise "with commendable zeal." There were some who questioned whether starting such an institution might not be regarded as inconsistent with their faith in the soon coming of Christ. To this Elder Loughborough responded:

"The institution will afford our people an opportunity to learn in the shortest possible time how to apply to themselves those principles which are to fit them to stand at last, like Israel of old, with not one feeble one in all their tribes, and fit us for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of its being a denial of our faith to enter zealously into this work, it is to show that our faith is genuine. This institution itself is to me an evidence of the near coming of Christ— God's people rallying to get rid of those things that blunt


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their faculties, that they may be clean vessels, all prepared for translation when the Lord comes.

"Then again, look at the haste and earnestness with which this work is being carried forward. Instead of its being a matter which we look to months in the future to establish, it is right here. Ere you have fairly read these lines, the institution is to be in operation. Even the rapidity with which this enterprise is being carried forward is an evidence that it is needful that God's people speedily avail themselves of its benefits."—Review and Herald, August 14, 1866.


The Institution Opened

At the time appointed the institution was opened for the reception of patients. Dr. Lay and Dr. Phoebe Lamson constituted the medical staff. So with "two doctors, two bath attendants, one nurse (untrained), three or four helpers, one patient, any amount of inconveniences, and a great deal of faith in the future of the institution and the principles on which it was founded" (Medical Missionary, January, 1894) was begun an institution destined to become world famous, and whose cumulative influence cannot be estimated. Under the fitting heading of "A Great Fact Accomplished," Elder White wrote:

"We have only to look back to our Conference in May last, less than four short months ago, for the time when this matter first began to take practical shape among our people. Now we behold an elegant site secured, buildings ready for operation, a competent corps of assistants on the ground, two numbers of a health journal already issued, with a subscription list that has doubled within the past few weeks, a sum bordering on eleven thousand dollars already subscribed for stock in the enterprise, and the institute opened and operations actually commenced. In no enterprise ever undertaken by this people has the hand of the Lord been more evidently manifested than in this thing. And we here


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enter our record of gratitude for the great fact accomplished, the great step taken in the right direction."—Review and, Herald, September 11, 1866.

Progress in the work of adequate preparation for the giving of treatments was reported during the two months after the formal opening of the institution. A windmill was erected, which was capable, with a moderate breeze, of pumping water from a well to an elevation of eighty feet at "the rate of a barrel in from three to five minutes." Directly over the bathrooms was the receiving tank from which water was drawn into a smaller heating tank and through pipes from both tanks to the bathroom below. This made it possible to temper the water "to any degree of heat required for the various baths to be given." (Ibid,, October 2, 1866.)

Two months after the opening of the institution, Dr. Lay reported its prosperity as "far beyond our most sanguine expectations." Patients had been received from "Canada, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa," and it had become necessary to secure rooms nearby for such as were able to walk a short distance, leaving the rooms in the main building for the accommodation of the more feeble ones. (The Health Reformer, November, 1866.)


The Greatest Danger

At the inception of this enterprise, at the very time when it was so signally blessed of God, and when the people were enthusiastically rising to its support, there came counsels from a divine source, calling for the maintenance of the high standard that had been adopted at that time. Mrs. White wrote with seeming foresight of the perils of the future, saying:

"I saw that in an institution established among us, the greatest danger would be of its managers departing from the spirit of the present truth, and from that simplicity


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which should ever characterize the disciples of Christ."— Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 560. (Italics mine.) "God forbid," she added, that the patients "should ever be disappointed and grieved in finding the managers of the institute working only from a worldly standpoint, instead of adding to the hygienic practice the blessings and virtues of nursing fathers and mothers in Israel."—Ibid., p. 561.



chapter 13


THE MINISTRY AS TEACHERS OF HEALTH


the years following the starting of The Health Reformer and the opening of the Western Health Reform Institute witnessed a stronger campaign of health education among Seventh-day Adventists than in any previous effort. The ministry stood by their pledge to follow the principles themselves and to use their "best endeavors to impress their importance upon others." They added to their libraries the best current books, and by diligent study qualified themselves to write and to lecture on health subjects. They wrote well-balanced articles for The Health Reformer and made the subject of health reform a prominent feature of their sermons when visiting the churches.


Marching Forward

The experience of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was frequently rehearsed as a journey toward the kingdom, in which the Lord had led and was still leading "step by step." The announcement of the judgment hour, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus; the abandonment of tea, coffee, and tobacco; organization, systematic benevolence, and now the health reform were listed as definite steps in advance. It was noted that at each step some believers had fallen behind, as others had progressed. One writer, in tracing these steps, contrasted the unhappy experience of those who, failing to adopt the health reform, were remaining in the rear, with the better experience of those who were progressing. Of those who accepted the latest reform, he said:

"They saw no mountain. They marched forward and

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found it but a vast plain. On it were growing no poisonous nor filthy weed, nor tea nor coffee, pepper, nor hurtful condiments. The animals also enjoyed life. They found that the sun was not veiled, but they basked in its light. The breath of life was not shut out from them, but they enjoyed its free use. These they found were granted unto them freely. They saw that their motto was no longer 'work! work!' that they could enjoy seasons of rest, when they could serve the Creator, and not the creature. As they advanced, they felt their diseases, aches, and pains leaving them, and in return buoyancy of spirit, and glow of health, the greatest earthly blessings. Thus those in front accepted the offered mercies, not given by commandment or way of urging, but to obtain the blessing resulting from such a course of life and habits; by obeying the laws of their being which God implanted, and cleansing the temple for the indwelling of His Holy Spirit; which will be poured more copiously upon those who are ready to receive it."—R. M. Kilgore, in Review and Herald, September 10, 1867.


Ministers Benefited

Ministers whose health had formerly been seriously undermined, and for whose recovery the period of fasting and prayer had been appointed, were now able to recount the benefits that followed their adoption of the principles of reform. A number of their grateful testimonies were published in the Review and Herald and in The Health Reformer. A typical note of gratitude is sounded by Elder M. E. Cornell, who wrote:

"I believe the reform came up just in time to save me from becoming a complete wreck. Fourteen years of incessant labor, with all kinds of unhealthy diet and but little attention to the laws of life, had nearly used up a strong constitution. Now I hope to recover, by the blessing of God, and endure to the end. My whole being cries out, Praise God for the health reform. Let those who have adopted the


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reform hold on. And I exhort all others to take hold of it in earnest."—Ibid., January 15, 1867.

Elder H. S. Gurney wrote: "The reform in diet has now become a settled thing with me. I now wish to acknowledge the benefits of this reform, spiritually, physically, and financially." He estimated that he had saved, through discarding "worse than useless articles," more than $50, which he now gladly turned in to various branches of the cause, and regarding which he said, "This is not sacrificing on our part, but on the part of a depraved appetite, which proves very beneficial."—Ibid., August 7, 1866.

Elder John Byington affirmed that a year previous he had been afflicted with a cough so severe that his survival during the winter was considered doubtful. After making proper changes in diet, he wrote thus: "My cough is better. I have gained in flesh, have more warmth in my system, and feel better prepared to endure another cold winter."—The Health Reformer, December, 1866.

"Bless God for the health reform!" wrote Elder J. H. Waggoner. "It is no cross; it is no hardship; it brings pleasure in pain and gives strength in weakness... . When bearing heavy burdens of body and mind, when all looked dark and cheerless in this world, it has come as a messenger of mercy, strengthening the body, cheering the mind, and refreshing the spirits, and bringing the peace of the Saviour to the sorrowing soul."—Review and Herald, January 1, 1867.

Joseph Clark, not a minister, but an able and frequent writer for the Review and Herald, wrote enthusiastically:

"Since adopting the health reform, my own health has been so much benefited that I have been at a loss to know whether it was duty to tell others of it, lest they might consider me an enthusiast; but over two years have passed away since we commenced to live out the health reform, and it is proving to be even better than I had imagined at first."— The Health Reformer, February, 1867.


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Such gratifying testimonials by ministers and laymen to the benefit of the changes in health habits they had made served to strengthen the conviction of others who, urged by voice and pen, were joining the increasing army of health reformers.


Dr. J. H. Kellogg's Report

Writing reminiscently of the benefits received generally by the adoption of the health reform teachings at that time, Dr. J. H. Kellogg stated:

"Numerous reforms in diet and dress were introduced and quite generally adopted. These reforms were of such a character that, when conscientiously carried out, they invariably produced a decided change for the better on the part of those adopting them. Hundreds who had for years suffered from various chronic ailments were soon relieved of the distressing symptoms which had been endured so long. Many whose cases had been pronounced hopeless were restored to excellent health. Others who seemed to be just on the brink of the grave received a new lease of life and ability for eminent usefulness. The most extraordinary evidences of good resulting from the adoption of health reform principles—results which in many instances seemed little short of miracles—were to be met on every hand. In every community of Sabbathkeepers were to be found those who freely acknowledged that they owed their lives to the light which they had received upon this question."—Review and Herald, January 5, 1886.

Elder James White was an exception. His constitution was undermined by many years of overtaxing labor, and this condition being climaxed by the paralytic stroke suffered in the summer of 1865, he did not quickly regain his strength. In that respect his experience was quite different from that of most of the workers who had been so quickly benefited by practicing the reform that had been presented to them.


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Elder White Restored to Health

Following his return from Dansville, New York, to Battle Creek, Michigan, in December, 1865, he improved in health; but his recovery was greatly retarded because of the suggestion by the head physician at Dansville that either physical or mental exertion would prove to be dangerous and perhaps fatal. Contrary to her judgment, Mrs. White endeavored for a time to carry out the doctor's instructions, but the results only made her more certain that this course was not correct. She believed that an incentive to exertion would prove to be the needed stimulus to arouse his mind and body to resist and overcome disease. Writing in 1867, she said:

"For years past I have been shown from time to time that the sick should be taught that it was wrong to suspend all physical labor in order to regain health. In thus doing the will becomes dormant, the blood circulates through the system sluggishly and grows more impure. Where there is danger of the patient's imagining his case worse than it really is, indolence will be sure to produce the most unhappy results. Well-regulated labor gives the invalid the idea that he is not totally useless in the world, that he is, at least, of some benefit. This will afford him satisfaction, give him courage, and impart to him vigor."—Review and Herald, October 8, 1867.

In harmony with such principles, in the spring and summer of 1866 Mrs. White encouraged her husband to travel by carriage, as his strength permitted, to visit old friends and to conduct meetings over week ends. This seemed beneficial, but with the coming of the cold winter and his confinement in a heated home, his health again began to fail. With patient fortitude and perseverance his faithful companion had sought to overcome his fears and had hoped to lead him gradually back into service, but now he again lost hope and courage.


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By this time, to quote Mrs. White's words, she had "become fully satisfied" that her husband "would not recover from his protracted sickness while remaining inactive." For eighteen months she had devoted herself entirely to caring for him, but now she was convinced that the time had come when she must resume her public labors. She decided to venture with him on a tour among the churches in northern Michigan. Although it was winter, and he was extremely feeble, she felt that "to remain longer from the field" seemed "worse than death," and that should they move out they could "but perish."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 570.

Accordingly on December 19, 1866, in a blinding snowstorm, they started in an open sleigh for Wright, Michigan, a distance of ninety miles. No ill effects followed, and soon Elder White united with his wife in spiritual labors for the church, speaking briefly at the Sabbath meetings. And when, on a Sabbath morning, he spoke for an hour "with clearness and power," Mrs. White wept tears of gratitude for this hopeful sign of progress.


Out-of-door Exercise Needed

Mrs. White believed that her husband's health would further improve with out-of-door labor, as his strength would permit, and so it was that in the spring of 1867 they bought a small farm in Greenville, Michigan. With the help of their son William, and with her own hands, she planted, hoed, and pruned, and was gratified to see on her husband's part an increasing interest in the project and a sharing of the work.

One incident indicates the tact and wisdom sometimes needed to persuade Elder White to take needed exercise, when it was against his judgment or inclination. When haying time came, their grass was cut with a machine, and Elder White decided to ask some of his neighbors to help to get it in. But his wife forestalled him. She visited these


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neighbors first and learned that, although they were pressed with their own work, they would help her husband. But she explained her plans, and her reasons, and secured their co-operation. Accordingly when the call for help was made by Elder White, they one and all told him that it would not be convenient for them to leave their own work, as they would suffer loss thereby.

It was necessary that the hay receive attention at once, and Elder White was bitterly disappointed. Mrs. White cheerfully but resolutely suggested that they could do it themselves. She said:

" ‘Let us show the neighbors that we can attend to the work ourselves. Willie and I will rake the hay and pitch it on the wagon if you will load it and drive the team.' To this he consented, but how could they make the stack? The farm was new, and they had no barn. Mrs. White volunteered to build the stack if her husband would pitch up the hay, while Willie should be raking for another load. Thus the hay was gathered and stacked, and with great pleasure they surveyed the result of their labor."—Life Sketches of Elder James White and Mrs. Ellen G. White (edition of 1888), p. 357.


Elder White Active Again

It was two years after Elder White had left Battle Creek as a patient for Dansville that he recorded in his report for the Review and Herald, under date of September 15, 1867:

"By invitation from Dr. Lay, I spoke this morning to the patients and many others at the health institute, giving my own experience. I spoke mainly upon the evil results of inactivity during the first part of my sickness and of the beneficial results of active life as experienced by myself."— Review and Herald, September 17, 1867.

Such a public advocacy of his change of convictions was deeply gratifying to his wife, to whose care and devotion he undoubtedly owed his life.


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As Elder and Mrs. White resumed their public labors after his long period of retirement due to sickness, they united with their ministering brethren in driving home with logic and reason the chief measures of dietetic reform as they were then made known. These included the discarding entirely of tobacco, alcohol, tea, coffee, flesh food—especially pork—spices, and rich condiments; moderation in the use of salt, sugar, and of such animal products as milk, butter, and eggs; and also the use of graham or whole-wheat flour in place of the refined white flour. The two-meal system was quite generally adopted at that time; and for the sisters the healthful style of dress, having the beneficial features of the "American costume," without its immodest brevity of skirt, was recommended.

A summary of one of Elder White's discourses on the subject of sanctification will illustrate the style of his preaching, as does also the force of his arguments in setting forth these principles of health. His text was 2 Peter 1:1-11, and he based that portion of the discourse dealing with the health reform upon the injunction to "add to knowledge temperance." (Verse 6.)

"Why not add patience to knowledge?" he asked, and concluded that it is "because it is impossible for an intemperate man to be patient. . . . Who has not seen the impatience of the drunkard?" He set forth the evils of intoxicating drink. Then coming a "little closer," he condemned tobacco as filthy, expensive, and "injurious to the constitution."

"There is but one creature that God has made, who will take tobacco; and that is man! In this respect man does the swine the honor to look up to him as occupying a more exalted position than himself! You offer tobacco to the horse, and he will snort at it. You offer it to the cow, and she will shake her horns over it. While if you offer it to the swine, he would squeal over it. But man takes it as a sweet morsel to roll beneath his tongue."—Ibid., April 9, 1867.


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Coming again "a little closer," the speaker asked: "Why send to China or to Java for your herbs? Of what use to the human frame are coffee and tea?" No nutrition is to be found in either. This is made evident by the bees who would gather honey from the clover, but would ignore coffee or tea. The morning headache of the tea drinker places her in "great danger of becoming impatient" unless "domestic matters move very smoothly." In contrast to this experience of the tea drinker, the morning hours are the best "to the well and healthy man or woman."—Ibid.


The Question of Flesh Food

The next step "closer" introduced the question of flesh eating. Here Elder White pointed to man's original diet prescribed by God Himself in Eden. The shedding of blood and the subsequent eating of meat came as a result of sin. He drew lessons from the experience of Israel in the wilderness, when God was trying to "wean man from the use of flesh meats." He met the frequent objection based upon the Biblical statement that "every creature of God is good, if it be received with thanksgiving and prayer," by pointing out that the word "creature" embraces all that the Lord has created, and that "He has as much created wheat and corn and beans and peas and apples and peaches as He has living animals." "How broad will you have the expression?" he asked. The cat, the dog, the rat, or the snake, are creatures. Why should they not be eaten as food, if a blessing were said "over them"? "There must be," he concluded, "a limitation; and God's Word has fixed the boundary in that which is good to eat; and that is, the fruit of the tree, and the fruit of the ground."—Ibid.

By mathematical calculations based upon what farmers had told him regarding the amount of grain required to produce a pound of beef or pork, he pointed out the economic folly of a poor man, if a farmer, in reducing his grain crop by throwing away fourteen parts and retaining "one part


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for his hungry wife and children"; or if he purchased his food, paying fifty cents for three pounds of beef or pork, which contains as much nutrition as might be bought in one pound of "graham flour or Indian meal" which costs "but three cents."—Ibid.

Coming "still closer," he urged the use of graham flour instead of white. Referring to the sneering remark of some who claimed that it was no more nutritious than sawdust, he asked:

"Then why don't they feed sawdust instead of bran to their cows and horses? What makes the horse so healthful and sleek, and the cow give so much good milk? You have been giving them bran. Why does the farmer go twenty miles for a load of bran or shorts? Because it is one of the best things for his stock."—Ibid.


The Two-Meal-a-Day System

Whatever we today may think of the merits of the two-meal-a-day system, there is no questioning the fact that it constituted an important part of the reform message then. To him who argued that he could not work on two meals a day, Elder White replied:

"Are such aware that it is their custom to work on only two meals, breakfast and dinner, as they are called, and to sleep on their supper? Who needs this meal to sustain them in sleep? Why not let the stomach rest and be refreshed as well as the other portions of the system? Why keep the stomach mill running all night? Why not save this unnecessary wear of this delicate organ, and let it last in good condition as long as other portions of the human organism? In so doing you will save yourself those restless nights, fevered sleep, and unpleasant dreams. And in the morning you will arise refreshed, in good condition to enjoy the blessing graciously given by Providence."—Ibid.

In concluding this portion of his sermon on sanctification, Elder White made an incidental allusion to the dress re-


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form, which is indicative of the progress made in this direction by that time.

"We are happy to report," he said, "that at least forty of the most respectable, devoted, and wealthy of our sisters in our northern churches have on today the dress of which Mrs. White's is a model. In this respect we would join our efforts with those who have the responsibility and toils of the health institution; and we know of no other way of accomplishing the matter, but for all to take hold of it without scringing. We would say to the praise of some worldly men who have Sabbathkeeping daughters, that after seeing them put on this modest, healthful, and convenient dress, they have urged others of their daughters to go and do likewise."—Ibid.

The foregoing statement is corroborative of the fact that Mrs. White was a pioneer among Seventh-day Adventist women in adopting a reform dress, having worn it herself since the autumn of 1865.


The Need for Dress Reform

The physicians at the Health Reform Institute, from the very first, had seen the need for a style of dress that would conform to correct principles, saying that "it was not only desirable, but necessary in the treatment of some cases; and that being so, it would be useless and wrong to receive such cases without adopting what they were assured was essential to effect cures." They also saw that if a healthful dress was not adopted, a certain class of people who most needed the benefits of the institute would be led to go elsewhere where they might be freed from the "cumbersome, prevailing fashion." (The Health Reformer March, 1868.)

At first general principles of healthful dress were urged, and the individual wearers might consult their own taste and choice as to the length and appearance of the garments worn by them. While such a diversity had its disadvantages, yet it afforded an opportunity to observe and compare a


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number of patterns, and thus to select the best features in striving for a uniform style and length.

How this was done is related by Elder J. H. Waggoner.

At his request the physicians at the institute named a number of its inmates whose dresses they considered the best in make and appearance. He then "measured the height of twelve, with the distance of their dresses from the floor. They varied in height from five feet to five feet seven inches, and the distance of the dresses from the floor was from eight to ten and one-half inches. The medium, nine inches, was decided to be the right distance and is adopted as the standard." (Ibid.)

It was the style of costume thus adopted at the Health Reform Institute that had become the prevailing pattern used not only by Seventh-day Adventist women there, but among the churches.

However, Mrs. White did not unduly urge the adoption of the dress reform. "None need fear," she wrote, "that I shall make dress reform one of my principal subjects as we travel from place to place. ... I shall urge none and condemn none. This is not the work assigned me."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 523.


Dress Discussed in the Churches

The ministers, as they visited the churches, regarded the newly adopted healthful dress as an important feature of the health reform and gave it a place in their discourses. As they reported their work, they frequently mentioned the favorable reception of this portion of their message. Hence Elder D. M. Canright, in commenting on a special meeting in Portland, Maine, wrote:

"The modesty of the short dress is not the smallest thing to be considered. . . . With the reform dress on, all exposure is entirely avoided. After seeing it worn, I think it is the most modest dress I have ever seen, and I am not alone in this opinion.


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"All these things were freely talked over here. Nearly all decided in favor of it, and others had but very slight objections to it. ... Most of the sisters resolved as soon as consistent to adopt it. My wife, who wears one, has assisted them in preparing their dresses. They have adopted the health reform quite thoroughly."—Review and Herald, June 18, 1867.

For about four years or more considerable was written in our denominational publications about the advantages accruing from the consistent use of the health dress. Many willingly and gladly adapted their garb to conform to the principles of health as well as of modesty, which prompted the designing of the "health reform dress." But its acceptance was not general, and there was opposition and criticism. Some, forgetting "that none were to be compelled to wear the reform dress," "sought to control others' conscience by their own." "With extremists, this reform seemed to constitute the sum and substance of their religion. It was the theme of conversation and the burden of their hearts. . . . Instead of prizing the dress for its real advantages, they seemed to be proud of its singularity." So wrote Mrs. White, in 1881, in answer to the question, "Why has this dress been laid aside?" And she continued:

"To those who put it on reluctantly, from a sense of duty, it became a grievous yoke. Still others, who were apparently the most zealous reformers, manifested a sad lack of order and neatness in their dress."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. IV, pp. 635-637.

Consequently, "because that which was given as a blessing was turned into a curse, the burden of advocating the reform dress was removed."—E. G. White MS. 167, 1897.


"Adopt a Simple, Unadorned Dress"

Nevertheless she still urged that Seventh-day Adventist women "adopt a simple, unadorned dress, of modest length," and suggested "another, less objectionable style." This con-


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sisted of "a plain sacque or loose-fitting basque, and skirt, the latter short enough to avoid the mud and filth of the streets." It was to be "free from needless trimmings, free from the looped-up, tied-back overskirts." (Ibid., p. 640.)

Such a dress Mrs. White personally wore during her later life, but she deplored any attempt to urge a uniform style upon others. When in later years a few conscientious sisters in the faith felt that a move should be made to restore the "reform dress," and to agitate for its general adoption, she earnestly counseled against this. She sought to correct a mistaken impression, saying:

"Some have supposed that the very pattern given was the pattern that all were to adopt. This is not so. But something as simple as this would be the best we could adopt under the circumstances. No one precise style has been given me as the exact rule to guide all in their dress."—E. G. White Letter 19, 1897.

By this time, prevailing styles had changed and were more sensible and healthful, and there was no reason for departing widely from established custom in the matter of dress. In view of this fact Mrs. White spoke decidedly against an issue "to divert the minds of the people and get them into controversy over the subject of dress," and she counseled:

"Let our sisters dress plainly, as many do, having the dress of good material, durable, modest, appropriate for this age, and let not the dress question fill the mind."—Ibid.1


The Book "Physiology and Hygiene"

In reviewing the health campaign for this period, the issuance of a popular book entitled Physiology and Hygiene should not be passed by. The preparation of this book was undertaken not by a physician or a specialist in the field of medicine, but by a minister, and that, too, while he was

1 For a more complete statement made by Mrs. White regarding the suggestion that the "reform dress" again be adopted, see Appendix.


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serving in executive work as a conference president. And here again we have a practical evidence of the seriousness with which the brethren at that time regarded the subject of health reform, considering it as a part of the very warp and woof of the advent message. In announcing his purpose to bring out such a book, Elder Loughborough thus states both his method of procedure and his aim in producing this much-needed instruction:

"As I am not an M.D., I would say that this work will be drawn mainly from such works as Dr. Trail's Cyclopedia, Graham's Science of Human Life, Mrs. Taylor's Know Thyself, Lambert's Physiology, Hitchcock's, Wilson's, Cutter's, Nichol's, etc. Most of these works are too voluminous and expensive for many to purchase or peruse. We therefore design to collect from them and arrange that which we deem to be of the most practical benefit to the reader."— Review and Herald, November 20, 1866.

With optimism he hoped to have the copy of his manuscript in the hands of the printers by January 1, 1867, and on this basis called for advance subscriptions. Two weeks after the expiration of this date, he published a note of apology to the subscribers and urged that they be patient, assuring them that he was devoting all his leisure time out of meetings to the writing of the book. "I must try to be hygienic myself, while writing," he explained, "or I might write faster. But I do not esteem it my duty to put the work of two days into one, as I have sometimes done in the past." —Ibid., January 15, 1867.

As a matter of fact, the preparation of this book took about a year's time. It had been undertaken by Elder Loughborough at the request of the board of the Health Reform Institute, and when it appeared, it was recommended by Dr. H. S. Lay as "being well adapted to the wants of the common people, and in accordance with the recognized principles of physiology, and of hygienic medication."— Hand Book of Health; or a Brief Treatise on Physiology


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and Hygiene, p. iv. Battle Creek, Michigan: Steam Press, 1868.

The book took the form of questions and answers. The various systems of the body were considered consecutively, and the suggestions regarding hygiene were blended with the physiology. There were 445 questions in its 205 pages of text.

At the General Conference of 1868 the delegates recognized that although the ministers had been active in their teaching of the health reform principles, the subject demanded "labor and attention," which the preachers could not "bestow in connection with their other arduous labors," and it was voted that Dr. M. G. Kellogg, a recent graduate in medicine, "should labor in that department of the great work of preparation for the coming of the Son of man, by the counsel of the General Conference Committee."—Review and Herald, May 26, 1868.

Having taken this glance at the nature of the health educational work that was undertaken by ministers and laymen, we now briefly review the development and vicissitudes of the Health Reform Institute during the first decade of its work.



chapter 14


A LESSON IN INSTITUTIONAL FINANCE


To find room for the patients who came to the newly opened Western Health Reform Institute was the first serious problem that confronted its managers. Within four months after it was opened, the medical superintendent announced that not only was every room occupied in the three buildings, but that it was necessary to find rooms in neighboring homes. "We do not dare to advertise the institution to any great extent," he said, "for fear we shall not have place for those that may wish to come." He felt that the need for another large building for the accommodation of the patients was imperative, and urged that the erection of such a building be begun early in the spring at a probable cost of $25,000 or more. He concluded his statement and appeal with these words:

"Shall this money be raised immediately and this building erected as soon as possible? Or, shall we continue to do business on as limited a scale as at present, and in a few months from now not be able to receive at the health institute but a very small portion of those that may wish to come? I ask again, What shall be done?"—Review and Herald, January 8, 1867.


Elder Smith's Call for Action

This question was answered promptly in a Review and Herald editorial by Elder Uriah Smith:

"The institute, now not yet five months old, is literally running over," he said. "A large, new building is essential. . . . Now is the time to be getting the materials. . . . Hence the necessity for immediate action, , . . There is

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but one thing that can be done, and that is to erect a commodious building at the earliest possible date. This must be done; and to let the enterprise fail, or even to drag, for want of means, is to be recreant to our duty and the light we have received."—Ibid., January 29, 1867.

Elder Smith had consulted a few friends of the enterprise in Battle Creek and found them ready to subscribe further to the amount of nineteen shares of $25 each, and expressed confidence that this was but the beginning of a move that would swell to a thousand shares.

The manager of the institution expressed his confidence that the brethren would see the necessity of taking hold of this work, and announced that "we have already made a large commencement, by making contracts for materials for the building, and which are now being rapidly conveyed to the place assigned. We need funds immediately to meet these contracts."—Ibid., February 12, 1867.

A week later Elder J. N. Andrews enthusiastically reported the encouraging conditions which he had found on a recent visit to the institution, and said, "You have responded nobly to the calls for means with which to lay its foundation. We ask you to aid its immediate enlargement." The financial calls were still being made on the basis of dividend-bearing stock, and in harmony with this plan Elder Andrews continued:

"We do not ask you to give one cent, but we invite you to invest your money in an institution where it may be the means of great good to others, while at the same time it shall yield a fair return of income to yourselves. The entire income will belong to the stockholders, and to no one else. If, therefore, any of you fear a speculation, you will see that the proceeds of it come into your pockets, and not out of them; and if any of you desire to receive nothing as a return, you can have your part of the income devoted to the relief of such patients as can pay nothing. . . . We invite all our people to act in this matter. Some can do largely:


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all can do something. Shall it be said of us, ‘They have done what they could'?"—Ibid., February 19, 1867.


New Patients Nearly Every Day

In The Health Reformer for March, 1867, Dr. Lay reported that nearly every day witnessed the arrival of new patients, and he spoke of the difficulty in finding rooms for those who were coming. With hopeful optimism he continued:

"We would say, however, that we hope the time is not far distant when we shall have room enough to accommodate two or three hundred patients. Perhaps this will be no further distant than next autumn. We trust every true friend of the cause will continue to work with ardor and zeal."

By the time of the first annual meeting, held on May 17, 1867, the state legislature of Michigan had passed a special act "to provide for the formation of corporations for establishing health institutions," under which the Health Reform Institute was recognized as a corporate body. At this meeting the articles of association and the bylaws were read and adopted. A gratifying report was rendered by the auditor, stating that for the eight months of its operation the institution had a patient income of $9,584.05, and the statement of income and expense showed a net profit of $1,653.33. It was pointed out that the business thus made possible a dividend to the investors at the rate of 10 per cent per annum. (Review and Herald, May 28, 1867.) This favorable report increased the enthusiasm in the plans for quickly adding another large building.


"$15,000 Wanted Immediately"

In August, 1867, under the heading "$15,000 Wanted Immediately," the manager inserted in the Review and Herald another strong appeal for "means to complete the new building for the Health Reform Institute." He notified


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the readers of the Review and. Herald that the directors had authorized the erection of a brick building; that lumber to the value of $6,000 had already been delivered on the ground; the foundations had been laid; and the lower story of stone had already been completed. He continued:

"The question now is, Must we stop here for this season, and continue under the disadvantages spoken of for another winter, and incur the extra expense in hiring rooms outside; or shall we have the necessary means to purchase the brick and immediately complete the erection of the building?"— Review and Herald, August 27, 1867.

As a means for encouraging the brethren to invest liberally in enlarging the institution, writers in the Review and Herald quoted some of the strongest statements from Sister White's appeal for financial support in starting the institution, as they had appeared in Testimony No. 11.

After this strong appeal no further mention was made either in the Review and Herald or The Health Reformer regarding the erection of this proposed new building. What were the reasons for this surprisingly abrupt discontinuance of the enterprise? These may be gathered from Testimonies for the Church, Nos. 12 and 13, which appeared in September and October, 1867.

For several months Elder and Mrs. White had been at their country home in Greenville, Michigan. Elder White, still feeble, had been unable even to attend the annual meeting of the Health Reform Institute. It was with grave apprehension that they heard of the plans to greatly enlarge the infant institution. Regarding her own feelings, Mrs. White wrote, "The disposition manifested to crowd the matter of the institute so fast has been one of the heaviest trials I have ever borne."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 563.

As quickly as possible she wrote to the directors, pointing out that the plan as presented to her had been that the Health Reform Institute should be "small at its commence-


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ment, and cautiously increased, as good physicians and helpers could be procured and means raised, and as the wants of invalids should demand."

She gave voice to her alarm as she had noted "the large calculations hastily urged" by those who were leading out in the work. And she gave ample, valid reasons for her misgivings. She pointed out how that without the continued blessing of God the work might be hindered in various ways. The meager staff of physicians might fail through sickness or death. Before the new addition could be completed, the means might cease to come in, thus causing loss not only in capital, but bringing about a general discouragement that might halt the entire enterprise. Or there might come about a decline in the patronage, thus making it impossible even to meet running expenses.


Success Assured

Assurance was given that "with all the efforts in every department, put forth in a correct and judicious manner, and with the blessing of God, the institution will prove a glorious success." On the other hand, "a single failure . . . might sooner or later prove a great injury." "It should not be forgotten," Mrs. White reminded the directors, "that out of many hygienic institutions started in the United States within the last twenty-five years, but few maintain even a visible existence at the present time."—Ibid., pp. 558, 559.

During later years Mrs. White was frequently led to repeat what now for the first time she pointed out: that in their enthusiasm over the health reform movement some of our brethren were in danger of giving it a position of undue importance. While it was important, it was not the leading feature. She counseled:

"Let the health reform and the health institute grow up among us as other worthy enterprises have grown, taking into the account our feeble strength in the past and our greater ability to do much in a short period of time now.


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Let the health institute grow, as other interests among us have grown, as fast as it can safely, and not cripple other branches of the great work which are of equal or greater importance at this time. . . . Move no faster, brethren, than the unmistakable providence of God opens the way before you."—Ibid., pp. 559, 560.

She further urged that every stirring appeal in behalf of the Health Reform Institute should be accompanied by a caution not to rob other branches of the work.

Influenced by the Dansville Institution

Because of their connection for some time with Dr. Jackson's institution at Dansville, New York, it was but natural that the physicians of the Health Reform Institute should have been influenced very largely by the principles and methods of that institution. Timely cautions were now given against unduly patterning the Health Reform Institute at Battle Creek, Michigan, after the one in Dansville, New York, especially "in matters of religion and amusement." Mrs. White said:

"Should those connected with this enterprise cease to look at their work from a high religious standpoint, and descend from the exalted principles of present truth to imitate in theory and practice those at the head of institutions where the sick are treated only for the recovery of health, the special blessing of God would not rest upon our institution more than upon those where corrupt theories are taught and practiced. ... It should ever be kept prominent that the great object to be attained through this channel is not only health, but perfection and the spirit of holiness, which cannot be attained with diseased bodies and minds. This object cannot be secured by working merely from the worldling's standpoint."—Ibid., p. 554.

To some extent policies of the Dansville institution were being introduced, such as the recommendation of amusements that excite and weary the brain, and an undue em-


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phasis upon complete physical and mental rest. It is of interest to note that in this early instruction outdoor manual work for the patients was presented as a beneficial exercise. Regarding this, Mrs. White wrote:

"I saw there should be connected with the institute ample grounds, beautiful with flowers, and planted with vegetables and fruits. Here the feeble could find work, appropriate to their sex and condition, at suitable hours. These grounds should be under the care of an experienced gardener, to direct all in a tasteful, orderly manner."—Ibid,., p. 562.

At the time that Mrs. White wrote these words, the term "occupational therapy," as well as its value, was unknown. It is a cause for regret that Seventh-day Adventists did not recognize more fully the potential value of the foregoing instruction given to them so many years ago. Others have been privileged to lead out in the adoption of the work cure, with demonstrations of remarkable success.1


Warned Against a Worldly Policy

In Mrs. White's testimony regarding the work of the Health Reform Institute she warned of the danger that through following a "worldly policy, or personal interest, or a desire to be engaged in a great and popular work," the blessing of God upon this branch of the cause would be withheld. She pointed out that skill, scientific knowledge, and facilities were not sufficient. In all these things the young institution at Battle Creek was surpassed by others; yet she gave assurance that, with God's blessing, "angels will attend patients, helpers, and physicians, to assist in the work of restoration, so that in the end the glory will be given to God, and not to feeble, short-sighted man."—Ibid., p. 562.

In justice to those to whom these messages were sent,

1 Today there is a journal, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation, and also many books devoted to the subject.


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we should not forget that in the active leadership of our work, aside from Elder James White, there was no one who had special knowledge and experience in finance. Although making a gratifying recovery from his invalidism, he was still physically unable to carry heavy responsibilities, and these were for a time placed on younger and less experienced shoulders. The gratifying initial patronage of the institution led to unwarranted confidence in the ability of a small denomination with limited means to undertake a work comparable to the long-established larger health institution at Dansville, with which the Health Reform Institute physicians had been connected.

Elder White feared that the testimony against over-expansion would make it difficult to secure further pledges to the institute. He expressed his conviction that the plans for erecting a large brick building at that time had been a mistake, and that its immediate completion would bring "worse results than to abandon" the enterprise. This opinion seems to have prevailed, for the work of that building was deferred and even the foundations that had been laid were leveled to the ground.


Another Testimony From Mrs. White

In the Review and Herald for April 7, 1868, appeared a notice to the effect that Testimonies for the Church, No. 14 (now included in Vol. I), would be ready in a few days. The brethren were urged to "order it immediately in order to receive it and read it, and have time to respond to important matters pertaining to the cause before General Conference," appointed for May 12-17, 1868.

An examination of the contents of the testimony referred to reveals the reason for this urgent appeal to read it. In the leading article, entitled "The Health Institute," Mrs. White spoke of her "great interest in the health reform" and of her "high hopes of the prosperity" of the institution. A "terrible burden" had rested upon her because she had


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seen the institution running into certain dangers which had been presented before her. (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 633.)

In this message for the church, Mrs. White referred to a good work that had been wrought for the church at Battle Creek during the autumn of 1868, and gratifyingly records a "thorough reform and turning to the Lord by physicians, helpers, and managers at the health institute, and the general agreement of our brethren and sisters in all parts of the field, relative to the great object of the health institute." (Ibid., p. 635.)

She expressed the fond hope that the Health Reform Institute might prosper and become in every respect what had been shown her. She laid down the principle anew that the health reform is a part of the great work connected with the third angel's message, "a branch of the great, charitable, liberal, sacrificing, benevolent work of God." Then she raised the question: "Why should these brethren say, 'Stock in the health institute will pay a large per cent,' 'it is a good investment,' 'a paying thing'?" (Ibid.)

She disclaimed any intention of appealing for the raising of funds for the establishment of the health institution in a manner different from that for other phases of the cause of truth. All was to be motivated by the spirit of liberality.

"Although the change from the present plan to one that can be fully approved of the Lord may be attended with difficulties, and require time and labor, yet I think that it can be made with little loss of stock already taken, and that it will result in a decided increase of capital donated to be used in a proper manner to relieve suffering humanity."— Ibid., pp. 638, 639.


Involved in Debt

Mrs. White's apprehensions regarding the new enterprise were well grounded, as shown in the financial statement rendered at the second annual meeting of the Health Re-


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form Institute, held on May 15, 1868. This was not so pleasing as that of the previous year. According to the auditor's report, the institution had done a patient business of only a little over $1,000 a month. The difference between receipts and expenditures for the year showed a balance of operating gain of a little over $1,000, but this consisted entirely of accounts receivable. The institution was owing over $13,000 as against $1,500 due to it. (Review and Herald, May 26, 1868.)

In harmony with Mrs. White's counsel, an important action was taken at this time. The financial policy of the institution was changed in order to make it a missionary enterprise. It was voted to dispose of future dividends "for all coming time as far as practicable, to the directors of the institute, for its charitable uses and purposes." (Ibid.)

The stockholders were requested to forego the expectation of dividends on their investments. Provision was made whereby any who were unable to make their investments as a donation might be reimbursed as their stocks were replaced by others. Not only did the constituency of the Health Reform Institute adopt the recommended change in the constitution but, as reported by Elder White, "the entire conference, and as far as we could learn of, its friends everywhere, were in favor of conducting it on the same liberal, benevolent plan as that of the publishing association."—Ibid., June 2, 1868.

By this time Elder White's health had so far recovered that he was again taking an active part in the management of the work. At the constituency meeting he was elected to, and accepted a place on, the board of directors. He was soon able to report that many of the stockholders had already "so arranged the matter of their stock as to cut off all income from it forever." He pointedly reminded some of the brethren who had given as a reason why they had taken little or no stock in the institution that they objected to the plan which made investment in the institution a matter


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of profit instead of liberality, that this objection was removed. Now they were urged to take new stock or to purchase the stock of some who had invested more heavily than they were able to, as a matter of charity. (Review and Herald, June 16, 1868.)


The Crisis Passed

As a matter of reassurance, Elder White wrote:

"The large building is given up for the present, and the material is being sold. Still a debt of several thousands will be resting upon the institute after this is done. Efforts will be made in the future to have everything connected with the institute managed on the most economical plan, and everything that can be done by the directors to overcome present embarrassments will be done."—Ibid.

He maintained that it was no time for the professed friends of the institute to settle back and cast an influence against it. "The very worst time for a horse to balk," he said, "is when the load draws hard. . . . Now is the time for all to stand together like Christian men and women, and share equally the privilege of sacrificing in the cause of Christ. Mrs. W. and self have $1,000 in the institute, as a matter of liberality, and shall expect wealthy brethren to stand with us in this matter."—Ibid.

Thus was passed the first crisis in the history of the Health Reform Institute, an emergency which threatened not only to defeat the purposes of God in the maintenance of the principles for which the institution was established, but also to involve it in financial bankruptcy. Out of the sad experience there shines one blessing, however, in the instruction that came emphasizing God's purposes and plans for sanitarium work in connection with the great worldwide message of truth committed to the remnant church. This instruction, found in Testimonies for the Church, Nos. 12, 13, and 14, may well be studied with profit at this time. (See Vol. I, pp. 553-568; 633-643.)



chapter 15


LOST CONFIDENCE RESTORED


although the Health Reform Institute had passed a real crisis by 1868, yet there were still grave difficulties confronting its management. The wide publicity that had been given to the initial prosperity of the institution had led to an unwarranted optimism for the future. It was, therefore, somewhat of a shock to the stockholders when, at the third annual meeting, they were told by the auditor that there had been an operating loss of $1,178.68, and that the institution was heavily in debt. (Review and Herald, May 25, 1869.)

The deficit was not only a shock, but also an occasion of surprise to many, for it was common knowledge that the institution had been crowded with patients nearly all the time. The difficulty had arisen from the fact that with the assignment of the dividend by the stockholders to the directors of the establishment, for its charitable uses and purposes, half rates had been offered to needy church members, and the patronage had been largely of this class, giving a patient income of only $8,000 for the year. The full rates were as low as $5.00 to $7.00 a week.


Elder White Exonerated

Elder White had recovered his health so far by now that he consented to take his place as president of the General Conference, as well as to serve actively as a member of the board of directors for the Health Reform Institute. A resolution passed by the constituency absolved him from all responsibility for "the errors committed in its management," pointing out that because of sickness he had been

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unable to have any part in the business. (Review and Herald, May 25, 1869.)

Almost immediately after the close of the annual meeting, Elder White made a statement to the readers of the Review and Herald regarding the health institution. He pointed out the embarrassments that had come to it because of the large number of patients that were cared for at half rates, and also because of those who waited till they were desperately ill before they applied for admission. He emphasized the educational advantages of the institution as being of even greater importance than the treatments designed to recover lost health.

"One half of the readers of the Review," he said, "would do well to spend from three weeks to three months at the institute. Their money laid out at full prices would pay 50 per cent in the end. The advantages healthwise cannot be estimated in dollars and cents. . . . Come while you can be helped. Do not wait till you are so low as to only be able to reach the institute just alive, to be told, on examination, that there is no help for you. . . . Do not wait till you have eaten all the drugs in town, and have fairly gotten up an apothecary shop in your stomach, and you are nearly ready for the cemetery, before you decide to come to the institute. . . .

"You do not do the institute justice to put off the matter of recovery till your case becomes doubtful. Come while it is a matter of certainty that you can be helped."—Ibid., June 8, 1869.

There was another serious obstacle to the success of the institution at this time. The suddenly checked plans for enlargement, together with the unhappy experiences that had called forth words of caution and reproof, caused a reaction of feeling among the people. This resulted in nearly a complete withdrawal of the liberal support that had characterized the launching of the enterprise. Elder White's efforts to restore confidence and enthusiasm could


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not at once change this attitude. By September of 1869 there were only eight paying patients, and the institution was still burdened with a heavy indebtedness of over $13,000.

Light Through Darkness

So discouraging was the outlook that Elder White was almost ready to urge that the property be sold to pay the debts, and that the balance, if any, be returned to the stockholders in proportion to their investment in stock. But there came a divine interposition before such a drastic step was taken, a move that might well have resulted in the abandonment of an enterprise undertaken in harmony with divine counsel. The turning point came during a period of family worship and is thus related by Mrs. White:

"One morning, in prayer at the family altar, the Spirit of God came upon him as he was praying for divine guidance in matters pertaining to the institute; and he exclaimed, while bowed upon his knees, "The Lord will vindicate every word He has spoken through vision relative to the health institute, and it will be raised from its low estate and prosper gloriously.'"—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. III, p. 175.

Up to this time the directing board of the institution was made up of ministers, or of men living in Battle Creek, who had very little experience to qualify them for the management of such a work. Elder White labored diligently to rectify this weakness, and following the annual meeting in 1870 the General Conference Committee reported that a board of directors was now chosen, one "consisting of efficient businessmen, who have shown their interest in the work by strenuous efforts put forth to correct errors which have too long existed, and to so rearrange the working of the institution as to secure the confidence of the stockholders and of our people, and the approbation and favor of God." —Review and Herald, May 3, 1870.


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An Occasion of Rejoicing

These brethren had left their homes and business at a busy season, had traveled at their own expense, and had made such arrangements for the future of the institution as to lead Elder White to express his belief "that the interests of the institute will be well cared for by them, and that we look upon its future prosperity as a matter of certainty." He urged others to unite with him in prayer that it might enjoy God's favor, "and yet become what it was originally designed to be, a place where the sick may receive physical and spiritual benefit, and a means of spreading the true light in regard to the laws of our being, and so aid in the great work of purifying a people to overcome, and stand strong in God amid the perils of the last days."—Ibid.

A year later a pleasing program was given on the institution's grounds. Extensive additions had been made to the main building, the cottages had been renovated, and in grateful recognition of the renewed prosperity it was decided to hold a service of rededication. Printed notices and invitations were mailed to leading residents of the city and vicinity, and on July 21, 1871, about 800 guests arrived. On one side of the grove, in front of the main building, were 5 tables, "each 128 feet in length, the total length being 640 feet." On the other side was a large platform erected with seats arranged in front. Small banners conspicuously displayed bore various mottoes, such as "Nature the Best Physician," "Nature's Laws Are God's Laws."

Addresses were given, interspersed with appropriate music rendered by the Battle Creek church choir, both in the forenoon and the afternoon. From a friendly article, written by the editor of the local newspaper, we copy the menu for the dinner, together with his comments:

"Vegetables

"New ripe potatoes, green beans, green corn, beets, squash, green peas, baked beans.


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"Bread, Cake, Etc.

"Gems, raised bread, hard biscuit, buns, fruit cake (graham), sponge cake (graham), apple pie (graham), oatmeal pudding, manioca pudding with fruit, rice pudding with fruit.

"Fruit

"Peaches, prunes (dried), figs (dried), dates (dried), apples, whortleberries, blackberries.

"It is to be noticed that butter, grease of all kinds, tea, coffee, spice, pepper, ginger, and nutmeg were wholly discarded in the cookery, and were not in use upon the tables. Salt was provided for those who desired it. After the invocation of the divine blessing, the dinner was served in a most capital manner, and was

"Relished and Universally Commended

"by the vast company of guests, most of whom for the first time sat at a public dinner got up on the hygienic plan."— Battle Creek Daily Journal. (Quoted in Review and Herald, August 22, 1871.)


Divine Encouragement

And now once again the Lord graciously indicated His favor by sending a message of encouragement and counsel. It is of interest to note the circumstances under which this third important vision relating to the health reform was given, and its place in the gospel message.

In the winter of 1871 Elder and Mrs. White were filling appointments for meetings in the New England States. On Sunday afternoon, December 10, at Bordoville, Vermont, two young men came to the home of Elder A. C. Bourdeau, where Mrs. White was staying, to bid her good-by. They had been in a backslidden condition, and Mrs. White felt a burden for their salvation. She made an earnest appeal to them to return to the Lord. After a season of prayer they


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yielded themselves anew to Him. In relating this experience, Elder Bourdeau wrote:

"The Spirit of the Lord drew nearer and nearer. Sister White was free, and soon, unexpectedly to all, she was in vision. She remained in this condition fifteen minutes. The news spread, and soon the house was crowded. Sinners trembled, believers wept, and backsliders returned to God." —Review and Herald, December 26, 1871. (See also Testimonies, Vol. III, p. 125.)

In Testimonies, Nos. 21 and 22, which appeared in the year 1872, are found more than 125 pages of instruction which are definitely mentioned as based upon this vision. One fifth of this material relates to the health reform and the Health Reform Institute. In introducing the subject she wrote:

"Dec. 10,1871, I was again shown that the health reform is one branch of the great work which is to fit a people for the coming of the Lord. It is as closely connected with the third angel's message as the hand is with the body."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. III, p. 161.


Further Emphasis on Health Reform

Further emphasis was placed upon the importance of the health reform as an important part of the gospel message which is to prepare a people for the coming of Christ. "To make plain natural law, and urge the obedience of it" was said to be a "work that accompanies the third angel's message, to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord."— Ibid.

In the following statement Mrs. White gave an added reason why physical habits must be corrected before people are prepared to discern and to receive sacred truths:

"He [God] designs that the great subject of health reform shall be agitated, and the public mind deeply stirred to investigate; for it is impossible for men and women, with all their sinful, health-destroying, brain-enervating


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habits, to discern sacred truth, through which they are to be sanctified, refined, elevated, and made fit for the society of heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory."—Ibid., p. 162.

Further specific instruction was given regarding the work of the Health Reform Institute, which had been established "to relieve the afflicted, to disseminate light, to awaken the spirit of inquiry, and to advance reform." (Ibid., p. 165.) The differences between this and other health institutions were never to be lost sight of. "Most institutions of the kind," wrote Mrs. White, "are established upon different principles and are conservative, making it their object to meet the popular class halfway, and to so shape their course that they will receive the greatest patronage and the most money."—Ibid.

In contrast to this, she continued: "The health institute at Battle Creek is established upon firm religious principles. Its conductors acknowledge God as the real proprietor. Physicians and helpers look to Him for guidance, and aim to move conscientiously, in His fear. For this reason it stands upon a sure basis. . . . This institution is designed of God to be one of the greatest aids in preparing a people to be perfect before God. In order to attain to this perfection, men and women must have physical and mental strength to appreciate the elevated truths of God's Word, and be brought into a position where they will discern the imperfections in their moral characters. They should be in earnest to reform, that they may have friendship with God. The religion of Christ is not to be placed in the background, and its holy principles laid down to meet the approval of any class, however popular."—Ibid., p. 166.


A Message of Cheer

There was a ringing note of cheer and encouragement in this message from heaven. There were words of commendation for the liberal supporters of the enterprise and for the sacrifices and exertions that had contributed in raising "the


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health institute from its low state in the autumn of 1869 to its present prosperous, hopeful condition." (Ibid., p. 174.)

"The physicians and some of the helpers went to work earnestly. They worked hard, under great discouragements. Drs. Ginley, Chamberlain, and Lamson1 worked with earnestness and energy, for small pay, to build up this sinking institution. And, thank God, the original debt has been removed, and large additions for the accommodation of patients have been made and paid for. The circulation of The Health Reformer, which lies at the very foundation of the success of the institute, has been doubled, and it has become a live journal. Confidence in the institute has been fully restored in the minds of most of our people, and there have been as many patients at the institute, nearly the year round, as could well be accommodated and properly treated by our physicians."—Ibid., pp. 175, 176.

It would be gratifying to be able to record truthfully that by this time the enemy of righteousness had been finally thwarted in his attempts to bring to naught the health reform movement, and that the future success of the health institution and of the journal through which sound health education was to be given was now assured. However, it must be borne in mind that God was calling upon humble men with no former experience to guide them in the great enterprise to which they were called, and there were yet lessons which they must learn in the hard school of adversity and trial. Were it not for the guiding hand of God and the messages which He sent to expose the strategy of the enemy, there would have been certain failure.

1 Dr. H. S. Lay had resigned his position in the health institute.



chapter 16


OPPOSING EXTREME VIEWS


we have so far considered five important visions and their relation to the progress of the cause of health reform among Seventh-day Adventists. In 1848 and 1854 preliminary reforms were called for. In the vision of Otsego, Michigan, June 6, 1863, the broad principles of the subject had been revealed to Mrs. Ellen G. White. In that of Christmas Eve, 1865, instruction had been given that led to the establishment of the Western Health Reform Institute. On December 10, 1871, at Bordoville, Vermont, warnings were given regarding the danger of losing sight of the great objectives for which the institution had been established.


Another Vision

In another vision, given in 1868, very important counsel was given, pointing out another serious danger that threatened to bring reproach upon the health reform. An allusion to this vision is made by Elder J. H. Waggoner when, in reporting the session of the New York State Conference held at Adams Center, he wrote in the Review and Herald of November 10, 1868:

"The evening of the 25th was the occasion of a special favor. While Sister White was leading in prayer,

" 'The angel of the Lord came down, And glory shone around.'"

On this occasion, along with counsel in other lines, Mrs. White was given a message for two brethren who were "extremists, and would run the health reform into the ground."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. II, p. 377.

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The deleterious effects of their course were thus portrayed:

"These extremists do more injury in a few months than they can undo in their whole lives. By them the entire theory of our faith is brought into disrepute, and they can never bring those who witness such exhibitions of so-called health reform to think that there is anything good in it. These men are doing a work which Satan loves to see go on."—Ibid.

One of the men referred to had injured the health of members of his own family, and even caused the death of some, by imposing upon them an impoverished diet. Nor had their baneful influence been limited to their own households; for, having gained their confidence, they had prescribed for others. In one family a son had died as a result of following their directions for prolonged fasting, and the father would also have succumbed had it not been for the "presence and timely counsel of a doctor from the health institute."—Ibid., p. 386.


The Matter of Fasting

The following principles regarding the benefits of an occasional fast and the dangers of prolonged abstinence from food were pointed out in the testimony given for these extremists:

"In cases of severe fever, abstinence from food for a short time will lessen the fever and make the use of water more effectual. But the acting physician needs to understand the real condition of the patient and not allow him to be restricted in diet for a great length of time until his system becomes enfeebled. While the fever is raging, food may irritate and excite the blood; but as soon as the strength of the fever is broken, nourishment should be given in a careful, judicious manner. If food is withheld too long, the stomach's craving for it will create fever, which will be


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relieved by a proper allowance of food of a right quality." —Ibid., pp. 384, 385.

The two persons addressed in this testimony were not the only ones who were bringing discredit upon the cause of health reform by the advocacy of extreme views, or by rigorously adopting and urging certain principles perhaps right in themselves, while at the same time ignoring or violating other equally vital laws of health. Some who had been unsuccessful in other lines of work were, with a smattering of knowledge gained by reading, posing as "health reform physicians." They were experimenting upon others whom they might dupe into giving them their confidence. Mrs. White vigorously protested against such practices. In a lecture on Christian temperance, given about five months after the vision at Adams Center, New York, she said:

"My voice shall be raised against novices undertaking to treat disease professedly according to the principles of health reform. God forbid that we should be the subjects for them to experiment upon! We are too few. It is altogether too inglorious a warfare for us to die in. God deliver us from such danger! We do not need such teachers and physicians. Let those try to treat disease who know something about the human system."—Ibid., p. 375.

Not alone by novices was the cause of health reform imperiled by the advocacy of extreme views. A more subtle danger lay in the acceptance of erroneous principles advocated by some of the very reformers to whom great credit is due for the leadership which in the main was correct. We have already noted the fact that some questionable principles taken over from the Dansville health home had been adopted by the institution at Battle Creek. These had been pointed out by the Spirit of prophecy and had been corrected. Now there was a danger that through a still closer affiliation with Dr. R. T. Trail, one of the outstanding health reformers of the time, certain extreme views ad-


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vocated by him would become identified with the health education carried on through The Health Reformer and at the Western Health Reform Institute.


Dr. R. T. Trail's Views

The physicians at the institute had good reason for confidence in the teachings of Dr. Trail. The doctor's scientific works on health were outstanding in their real merit, and they were freely read and offered for sale by the denominational leaders. We may agree with Elder White when he said that Dr. Trail "is admitted by all to stand at the head of the health reform in this country, so far as human science is concerned." (Review and Herald, July 28, 1868.)

By invitation of the General Conference Committee, Dr. Trail came to Battle Creek in the summer of 1868 to visit the Health Reform Institute. While there he delivered in the church a series of nine lectures, which were well attended. In a report of these lectures the General Conference Committee wrote:

"We hold it to be duty to hear and gather truth from every possible source, and consider it a very gratifying circumstance that there are such men as Dr. Trail, who have thoroughly investigated these principles on a scientific basis, that we may have still greater confidence in our position, knowing that science cannot be arrayed against us."—Ibid., May 26, 1868.

On his part Dr. Trail was favorably impressed with the principles advocated and the methods followed by our brethren in Battle Creek. This appreciation was shown in two ways: first, by words of commendation; and second, by offering to turn over to The Health Reformer the list of subscribers to his own paper, The Gospel of Health, in return for which he was granted the privilege of conducting a department in the paper.

At the time this affiliation was effected, Dr. Lay had resigned from the active editorship of The Health Reformer,


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and it was controlled by an editorial committee consisting of four physicians, five ministers, and three laymen. The magazine was enlarged, and for a time it seemed that Dr. Trail's connection with the paper was of great benefit to all concerned. Because of his more advanced scientific education, no one, and least of all a layman who was acting editor, was in a position to weigh the evidence for all the doctor's positions or to take exception to them. Rather, it was but natural that the editor should place emphasis upon the same teachings as did Dr. Trail in his department.


A Problem for The Health Reformer

After a time it became evident that much of Dr. Trail's department was devoted to a defense of certain personal hobbies, or theories, in which he was at variance with members of the medical profession. Arguments pro and con were inserted, relating to matters of minor importance, or in which the majority of the readers took but little interest. And so the readers were given occasion to assert that, according to The Health Reformer, such extreme positions as the absolute discontinuance of salt, sugar, milk, butter, and eggs were the principal reforms to be effected.

With this background the reader can better understand a situation described by Mrs. White in the latter part of 1870, when, after returning from western camp meetings, she and her husband found the editor of The Health Reformer—referred to as Bro. B—sick. She reported:

"The Reformer was about dead. Bro. B had urged the extreme positions of Dr. Trail. This had influenced the doctor to come out in The Reformer stronger than he otherwise would have done, in discarding milk, sugar, and salt. The position to entirely discontinue the use of these things may be right in its order; but the time had not come to take a general stand upon these points."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. III, p. 19.

The situation was indeed desperate. Every day's mail


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brought to the office of The Health Reformer demands from subscribers that their subscriptions be discontinued. Especially vigorous protests were received from the western states, where the country was new and fruit scarce. Inquiries were raised asking whether the church members at Battle Creek were living entirely without salt or milk or eggs. "We can get but little fruit, and we have left off the use of meat, tea, coffee, and tobacco," some declared, "but we must have something to sustain life."—Ibid., p. 20.

Mrs. White wrote: "We sympathized with our brethren who were conscientiously seeking to be in harmony with the body of Sabbathkeeping Adventists. They were becoming discouraged, and some were backsliding upon the health reform, fearing that at Battle Creek they were radical and fanatical. We could not raise an interest anywhere in the West to obtain subscribers for The Health Reformer. We saw that the writers in The Reformer were going away from the people and leaving them behind."—Ibid.


A New Editorial Policy

Under these discouraging conditions Elder White took over the editorship of The Health Reformer, at first temporarily to meet the emergency caused by the sickness of the editor. With the November number he began a series of articles entitled "Health Reform, Its Rise and Progress Among Seventh-day Adventists." Four months later his name appeared as the editor of the journal. In his initial statement of policy for the conduct of the paper he sought to remove the prejudices that had arisen because of extreme views. He wrote:

"The Reformer proposes to reach the people with all their prejudices, and their ignorance of the laws of life, where they are. It will avoid extreme positions, and come as near those who need reforming as possible, and yet be true to the principles of health reform."—The Health Reformer, March, 1871.


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A clearer statement of policy was made the following month, in which Elder White wrote: "It {The Health Reformer) will not be satisfied with fighting it out with a few friends in defense of positions which are regarded by all the rest of the world as extremely absurd. It will rather stand in independent and bold defense of the broad principles of hygiene, and gather as many as possible upon this glorious platform."—Ibid., April, 1871.

The paper was enlarged from twenty to thirty-two pages. Mrs. White assumed the responsibility for a regular monthly department. Dr. Trail's department was continued, but there is reason to believe that the new editor gave him some counsel regarding the nature of the subject matter from his pen. He also made it clear to the readers that the doctor alone was responsible for the contents of his department. Regarding this, in a tactful way he wrote:

"Should either of the Special Departments fail to please all, besides these there are pages enough where all can read tenfold their money's worth. And no one should feel disturbed on seeing some things in these departments which do not agree with their ideas of matters and things, as the very term, Special Department, shows that the conductors of them are alone responsible for what they say."—Ibid.

"My husband and myself united our efforts to improve The Health Reformer," wrote Mrs. White; and she gives somewhat in detail the united teachings of the leading advocates of health reform, regarding articles of diet, about some of which extreme views had been advocated:

"We should not with our pens advocate positions that we do not put to a practical test in our own families, upon our own tables. This is dissimulation, a species of hypocrisy."— Testimonies for the Church, Vol. III, p. 21.


On Sundry Items of Diet

Regarding "salt, sugar, and milk," she said: "We know that a free use of these things is positively injurious to


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health, and in many cases we think that if they were not used at all, a much better state of health would be enjoyed. But at present our burden is not upon these things. The people are so far behind that we see it is all they can bear to have us draw the line upon their injurious indulgences and stimulating narcotics."—Ibid.

The list of injurious articles against which they did continue to bear "positive testimony," in The Health Reformer, and in their health lectures, includes "tobacco, spirituous liquors, snuff, tea, coffee, flesh meats, butter, spices, rich cakes, mince pies, a large amount of salt, and all exciting substances used as articles of food."—Ibid.

Some who have chosen to criticize Seventh-day Adventists feel that they have found an occasion for reproach because of the inclusion of butter in this list. They assert that this is indicative of an extreme position taken by the denominational leaders. Because of such perplexity in the minds of some, a few facts should be considered in this connection.

Sylvester Graham, who was the leading physiologist and dietitian of that time, testifies that "nearly all who have written or spoken on the subject of human ailment with reference to health have been entirely agreed in considering this favorite article as decidedly objectionable, and some have spoken of it in the severest terms of condemnation."— Lectures on the Science of Human Life, p. 506. New York: Fowler and Wells.


The Use of Butter

He referred to the experiments and observations of Dr. William Beaumont. Dr. Beaumont's opportunities as physician to Alexis St. Martin, the French Canadian soldier whose stomach was opened by a gunshot wound, were unique. After quoting this doctor regarding the difficulties in digestion of butter and other animal fats, Mr. Graham concluded:

"The point is, therefore, forever established beyond all


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controversy, that butter is better avoided than eaten by mankind. . . . Diseases of every kind, both acute and chronic, are aggravated by it, though it may produce no distress nor sensible disturbance in the stomach. The delicate and feeble and inactive suffer more from it than the robust. And children and youth are always more injured by it than healthy adults."—Ibid.

Graham was very positive in his assertion that no butter should be used except that which was perfectly sweet and recently made from the milk of healthy cows. He maintained that even this should be used very sparingly if at all, and never in the melted form.

This recognition of the dangers incident to the free use of butter was agreed to, as Graham intimates, by practically all the hygienists of that time.

It should be remembered that in those days there was no refrigeration or pasteurization, and that all animal products very quickly became subject to bacterial infection. Under such conditions no one can consistently deny that raw butter was very likely to contain tuberculosis and other harmful germs. Butter was used very freely in frying. Moreover, it was not uncommon for large quantities of butter to be used in gravies and sauces and cakes and desserts, all eaten at the same meal. Such free and excessive use in cooking was justly condemned by the health reformers of those days.


From a Government Report

Nor should we overlook the fact that similar cautions against the free use of butter were uttered by authorities many years later. The prevalence of tubercle bacilli in butter was forcefully set forth in a publication issued by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1908. In summing up the conclusions reached, based upon many experiments made at the Bureau of Animal Industry Experiment Station, the following statements are made:


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" (1) The conduct of tubercle bacilli in milk is to move both upward with the cream and downward with the sediment and thus, in both directions, away from the intermediate layer of skim milk. The downward movement is due to their high specific gravity and the upward movement to the tenacity with which they adhere to the comparatively large cream globules. Hence when cream is separated from infected milk, it will contain, volume for volume, more tubercle bacilli than the milk.

"(2) The frequency with which tubercle bacilli occur in sediment from milk is a fair measure of the frequency with which they occur in cream. What this means for the infection of commercial cream may be judged from the following paragraph quoted verbatim from the last {1907] Annual Report of the Secretary of Agriculture:1

" 'The examination of sediment taken from cream separators of public creameries throughout the country has demonstrated the presence of tubercle bacilli in about one fourth of the samples.'

"(3) When butter is prepared from infected cream, tubercle bacilli are transferred to it in such numbers that they will be present in greater concentration than in the milk from which the cream was derived; hence, measure for measure, infected butter is a greater tuberculous danger than infected milk. . . .

"(7) Unimpeachable evidence proves conclusively that tubercle bacilli of the bovine type, from bovine sources, must be classed as highly infectious for man; hence, tubercle bacilli in butter cannot be ignored because they are usually derived from bovine sources."—E. C. Schroeder, M.D.V., and W. E. Cotton, Tubercle Bacilli in Butter; Their Occurrence, Vitality, and Significance, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry—Circular 127, pp. 20, 21. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1908.

1 Report of the Secretary of Agriculture, p. 30, Washington, D.C., 1907.


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Mrs. White maintained that the time would come when, due to increasing disease among animals, it would be unsafe to continue the use of animal products. (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. VII, pp. 124, 135.) Until her death she personally did not use butter nor did it appear on her table. However, she affirmed that eggs, milk, and butter were not to "be classed with flesh meat." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. VII, p. 135.) In later years (after pasteurization and refrigeration had made the use of dairy products much safer) she recognized that "butter is less harmful when eaten on cold bread than when used in cooking," but still maintained that "as a rule, it is better to dispense with it altogether," especially "where the purest article cannot be obtained."—Ministry of Healing, p. 302; Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 351. She taught that when properly prepared, olives, like nuts, would "supply the place of butter and flesh meats," and asserted that "the oil, as eaten in the olive, is far preferable to animal oil or fat."— Ministry of Healing, p. 298.


More Recent Discoveries

More recent discoveries indicate that the excessive use of butter is a contributing factor to the prevalence of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This has been shown to be caused by a deposit of cholesterol in the walls of the arteries. "Cholesterol comes only from animal fats and animal tissues."—Review and Herald, July 1, 1937.

Therefore, we now have clear evidence that the use of even the best quality of butter, save in moderate quantities, is still a source of danger, and that in the decades when the light on health reform was given to Seventh-day Adventists, butter was generally used so excessively as properly to be classed among objectionable articles of food.

Through the energetic editorship of Elder James White and a strong campaign in behalf of The Health Reformer, the journal soon regained its standing in the field, and the


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cause that it advocated again came to the front among Seventh-day Adventists. Within a year the list of subscribers increased from three thousand to over ten thousand. The importance which this leader among Seventh-day Adventists assigned to the cause of health in the message advocated by that church is indicated in his statement that he had "thrown off other labors and cares," and designed to "give The Reformer" his "first and closest attention." "We shall labor," he says, "to secure the best writers, and to make the best selections from health journals and medical works."— The Health Reformer, December, 1872.

He issued a call for the ministry again to rally to the support of the cause. Listing by name nineteen ministers, he said: These "and many more, are especially expected to help by clear, sharp articles, or selections of the same sort, and paragraphs with comments thereon, and with brief articles they may come across in reading. Men of Israel, help!"—Review and Herald, December 10, 1872.

And so it was that by plain testimonies of counsel through the Spirit of prophecy, and the able leadership of Elder James White, the medical staff of the Health Reform Institute, and the co-operation of the ministry and laymen, an early drift toward extremes was checked, and the minds of the people were led more and more to accept only tried and proved principles of health reform.



chapter 17


REACHING FOR HIGH STANDARDS


the widening influence of The Health Reformer was drawing to the Health Reform Institute many patients of means and influence. More and more frequently the managers were disappointed and pained as these would say, "Your publishing buildings and your college are first class, but your health department is third rate." They would remain perhaps only a few days and then leave, disappointed with buildings, facilities, and physicians. So it was that, though the patronage seemed encouragingly large, a high proportion of the patients who remained were those accepted at reduced rates, and the institute was able to continue only a feeble financial existence. Speaking of these conditions, in a manner revealing a clear discernment of the key to the situation, Elder White said:

"We became satisfied that our health institute could not rise to eminence and the full measure of usefulness without thoroughly educated physicians to stand at the head of it. We laid our plans to gain this point."—Review and Herald, May 24, 1877.


Better Educated Physicians

The cause of health reform might well be begun by discarding the use of drugs, adopting a rational diet, and using water and other natural agencies as remedies for disease; but it was impossible to make a strong appeal in its behalf to the more educated and cultured classes of society until there was a leadership whose scientific knowledge could command respect.

The benefits of rational treatment had been demon-

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strated empirically, but this was not sufficient. The scientific and physiologic principles for the success of certain rational and therapeutic agencies must be made clear. This required a much more thorough knowledge of chemistry, physiology, anatomy, and materia medica than could be taught during the short course at the Hygieo-Therapeutic College. These conditions, together with the counsel through the Spirit of prophecy against novices practicing as physicians, and calling for the most thorough training, were strong factors in leading Elder James White to realize that even the physicians connected with the Health Reform Institute were lacking in the scientific knowledge necessary for the intelligent diagnosis and treatment of the many diseases of mankind.

God had greatly blessed the consecrated efforts of these physicians as they faithfully endeavored to practice in harmony with the principles set forth in the counsel that had come to them. The rational remedies that they had learned in Dr. Trail's Hygieo-Therapeutic College and had seen practiced by Dr. Jackson at his institution in Dansville, New York, were as a rule sound in theory and practice.

It was impossible, however, for the Health Reform Institute to obtain favorable recognition among the best and most progressive members of the medical profession as long as some of the physicians on the staff were initially equipped for their service with only a few months of training. If they were to continue to criticize the practice of physicians of the day, they must be able to bring to the discussion of their points of difference a storehouse of scientific knowledge of chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. They must be able to keep abreast of the important medical discoveries that were being made at this time.


J. H. Kellogg in Medical Training

There were some who, having seen the apparent prosperity of the institution, had continued to urge that it be


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enlarged. But with this Elder White could not agree. To Elder G. I. Butler, the president of the General Conference, he wrote: "Show me the doctors and then build away. Hustle young men off to some doctor mill, and get ready. Our institute buildings are already larger than our doctors." —Letter dated July 13, 1874.

Early in the seventies Elder and Mrs. James White had arranged for four young men to attend the Hygieo-Therapeutic College at Florence Heights, New Jersey, and learn what they could during the short-term course that Dr. Trail and his associates were conducting, with special reference to hygienic methods of treating disease. After completing the brief course of study, and receiving his degree of M.D., one of these students, J. H. Kellogg, enrolled at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York City, and took the regular three-year course of training. The hospital with which this medical school was connected was the largest in New York City. On its staff were many of the leading specialists in the various forms of disease.

Elder White and other members of the Health Reform Institute Board recognized in J. H. Kellogg a young man of talent and industry. They believed that he was so thoroughly conversant with the principles of reform that he could continue his studies in a medical course without being influenced to compromise those principles, and Elder White encouraged him to continue his medical education till he had received the best training possible. In order that he might not be delayed in this enterprise, Elder White lent him $1,000 to meet his expenses in New York.


Dr. J. H. Kellogg Appointed Editor

Even before he had completed the advanced medical course, Dr. Kellogg was called to succeed Elder White as editor of The Health Reformer, and for several months edited the journal from New York City. In taking over this responsibility he paid the following tribute to his predeces-


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sor and commented on his success in re-establishing the popularity of The Health Reformer:

"With myself, the sincere regret deepens into sorrow that he should be so pressed with other urgent editorial duties as to feel it necessary to remove his name from the head of the journal which he has been the chief means of raising to its present state of prosperity and usefulness; especially is this the case, when we recollect the general discouragement which brooded over the prospects of The Reformer a few years since when Elder White consented to add its editorship to his other burdens, and undertook the task of reassuring its faltering patrons, extending its sphere of influence, and establishing upon a broader and better foundation the whole tone and character of the journal. Then its friends were losing their interest, being discouraged by the advocacy of extreme and radical positions. Its circulation was lessening, and the prospect for the future was exceedingly gloomy.

"Since that time, a revolution has occurred, being brought about by the judicious management of the editor, whose many years' experience in journalism eminently qualified him for the task. And now we see the same journal presenting a wholly different picture. Its friends are constantly increasing in numbers; and its influence has been rapidly extending, until it now numbers its readers by tens of thousands."—The Health Reformer, July, 1874.

Under Dr. Kellogg's able editorial guidance The Health Reformer continued its steady growth in influence. Six months after he entered upon his work, the journal had reached a circulation of more than 20,000 copies, and he believed that the subscription list would soon "number 50,000 names." (The Health Reformer, January, 1875.)


An Interesting Report

It is gratifying also to note that by this time there was among the medical profession generally a perceptible


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change in their attitude toward the use of hydrotherapy in the treatment of disease. In a report of a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences, Dr. Kellogg, who was present, said that "the learned president of the society, Dr. Austin Flint, read a paper on the 'Researches of Currie, and Recent Views Concerning the Medical Use of Cold Water.'" The lecture room was well filled with an interested audience of doctors. After describing certain features of the modern history of hydropathy, Dr. Flint "related some very interesting cases in which water was employed as the chief remedy with the most excellent success." (Ibid., February,

1875.)

Dr. Flint was followed by "the venerable Dr. Richards," who related "his experience in the use of water in treating disease." He spoke of using hydrotherapy during an epidemic of typhoid fever with "such remarkable success as to astonish old practitioners." Another, a Dr. Doyle, "gave an interesting resume of ten years' experience in the use of water, with uniform success."

In concluding his report of this meeting, Dr. Kellogg said: "The sentiment of the audience, which was wholly composed of medical gentlemen, was shown by the hearty applause with which the remarks of each speaker were received. We did not fail to do our part in the cheering, and would warmly commend the good sense, honesty, and evident desire for truth, which led these eminent gentlemen to make so frank an avowal of a truth which, as hygienists, we all entertain."—Ibid.

The trend among regular physicians to recognize the value of the rational treatment of disease made possible a much more amicable relation between them and the physicians at the Health Reform Institute.

After having spent three years in New York, Dr. Kellogg was graduated from the Bellevue Hospital Medical School in 1875. A prospectus of this institution shows that at that time it was possible for future medical students to take a


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portion of their education from any well-qualified physician. We find that in harmony with this provision Dr. Kellogg, on his return to Battle Creek, proceeded without delay to conduct classes with other young men as a preparatory part of their medical course, which might be completed at regular institutions. We have a glimpse of the method in which the classwork was conducted, in a letter to W. C. White, under date of May 9, 1875, where E. J. Waggoner reports taking chemistry and anatomy with J. H. Kellogg as tutor, and says:

"We meet every Saturday evening to recite. We usually 'spin out' until nearly twelve o'clock, but last night it was about one, and John made us stay all night, so we did not get away until five A.M. He thinks we are doing well."


The Health Reformer Popular

A few weeks later, in a vein of humor, he gave a more detailed account of their daily program in preparation for the weekly recitation: "Our daily life is somewhat as follows: We get up in the morning and sit down for a little study, then we go to breakfast and prayers. Then, if nothing special is to be done, we return to our work and engage in study till nearly bath time, if it is bath day. We then go to administer a suitable dose of water or lightning to several specimens of poor suffering humanity. Then more study. Next, dinner. Then perhaps something else or more study. In the afternoon there will probably be some movements to give to someone who is too lazy to exercise himself. Then we study till we go to bed, unless we recite or have special business elsewhere."—E. J. Waggoner Letter, July 8, 1875.

In addition to his work of tutoring the young men in their medical studies, Dr. Kellogg was able to give more time to editorial work on The Health Reformer. He led out also in preparing the Hygienic Family Almanac, an annual first prepared in the summer of 1874. This proved to be a very popular work, and the church membership rallied en-


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thusiastically to its circulation. By January 1, 1875, as many as 47,000 copies of the first number had been printed. Agents and canvassers reported ready sales. The children were selling scores of them. Hundreds were placed in friendly stores, where they were sold or given away. In some instances it was sold on railroad trains. Elder White wrote:

"It contains as much of the most valuable reading on the subject of health as is found in a thirty-two-page tract, besides all else usually pertaining to an almanac. It is just the thing to place at the firesides of 25,000 of your friends you wish to instruct on the health question."—Review and Herald, September 15, 1874.

A young man, who was later to become a well-known minister, was inspired to employ the poetic muse in urging the distribution of the second edition of this publication. Under the heading "Health Almanac," he wrote:

"Oh, the blessing of health! Who its worth can declare?
Yet how many are sick! and the healthy how rare!
In a land of great light, and of blessings untold,
How few seem to think good health better than gold.
How ignorant our race! how lamentably blind,
With regard to the laws of the body and mind!
Do you, reader, rejoice in the light of hygiene?
If so, is your light by your works being seen?
How can you withhold these invaluable facts

So clearly expressed in our little health tracts?
Oh, scatter them freely! let not your hand slack!
Above all distribute the
Health Almanac."
—H. A. St. John, in Review and Herald,
December 9, 1875.


New Health Publications

During the latter part of 1874 Dr. Kellogg had written five health tracts bearing the titles "Dyspepsia," "Principles of Health Reform," "Startling Facts About Tobacco,"


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"Twenty-five Reasons for Tobacco-Using Briefly Answered," "Tea, Coffee, and Pork." Within a few weeks after their publication, it was reported that an edition of 10,000 each had been quickly exhausted and that a second edition of 15,000 each was already on the press. (Ibid., November 24, 1874.)

The cause of health reform received a still further impetus by the preparation and production of the Hygienic Cook Book, a booklet of about a hundred pages. The recipes were preceded by an introduction setting forth the principles of healthful diet and pointing out the reasons for discarding certain unwholesome foods, spices, stimulants, and narcotics.

At the annual meeting of the Health Reform Institute in 1876, Dr. J. H. Kellogg was made medical superintendent. Another physician, Dr. Kate Lindsay, a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, was also added to the staff. No abrupt change was made, however, in the personnel of physicians. Drs. Fairfield, Sprague, and Lam-son remained there; and the work was carried forward progressively, building upon the strong foundation already laid. Elder James White, in the following words expressed his elation and his high hopes for the future growth of the institution:

"We have never seen as bright a prospect of success before our health institute as at the present time. . . . For more than five years we have been laying our plans that our health institute should have the benefits of the highest, most thoroughly educated and cultivated medical talent in the nation. God has helped in this work thus far. And we trust His help to its full completion. And that which gives us hope above all others is that those who tremblingly take their responsible positions are deeply imbued with the spirit of Christian temperance, and with a sense of the need of the help of God in all their labors of love for the afflicted."—Review and Herald, October 19, 1876.


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A New Era Begun in the Health Movement

And so began a new era in the health reform movement among Seventh-day Adventists. The leadership of members of the medical profession, more highly trained in scientific lines, resulted not so much in altering the principles upon which the work had been carried forward for a decade as to justify these principles by giving satisfactory reasons for their adoption in the treatment of the sick and the education of all.

In the light of further knowledge, some of the methods used at the institute might be deemed "ultra," but statements that have appeared in certain quarters that prior to this time it had been only a struggling "water cure" and that its procedure was wholly irrational cannot be substantiated by well-ascertained facts. It would be difficult to harmonize such a disparaging view with statements found in a prospectus put out by the new physicians, under date of October 19, 1876. Regarding the former work of the institution, they point out that during the eleven years of its operation it had "successfully treated more than two thousand patients with an average of only one death a year among those received for treatment." And, furthermore, the claim that many types of rational remedies were employed was repeated. The public was informed that "this institution is not a 'water cure,' neither does it employ, exclusively, any special method of treatment; but the plan upon which it is carried on is to employ all remedial agents, applying each to the cases of which it is especially adapted. All diseases are treated here in a thoroughly scientific manner, and with a degree of success unattainable under any other plan of treatment. Besides the usual remedies, the physicians employ, together with all hydropathic appliances, electricity, Swedish movements, lift cure, and the modified Russian and Turkish baths."—Review and Herald, October 19, 1876.


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A Declaration of Aims

Here is no declaration of new principles, for only eight months after the opening of the institution in September, 1866, the following statement had been publicly made:

"The notions which many entertain of a 'water cure' are very erroneous and calculated to prejudice and mislead the minds of many candid individuals against such institutions. They suppose that water is the only agent used in the treatment of disease, which is far from being correct. But on the contrary, in an institution like ours, water is only one of the agencies used to aid nature in restoring the sick. . . .

"It is our aim in conducting the health institute to bring to our aid, in the treatment of disease, all the means which are calculated to insure the safest and speediest possible cure. We do not intend to have any lack on our part in making available all modern improvements in treating disease on true hygienic principles."—The Health Reformer, April, 1867.

Despite the weaknesses and imperfections of the work and workers, it had, under the blessing of God, made progress; and the new medical staff only built well upon a strong foundation that was already laid. Furthermore they had the advantage of profiting by the mistakes as well as by the wisdom of the former directors of the institution.



CHAPTER l8


ON TO WORLD LEADERSHIP


not only did Elder James White lead out in insisting that the physicians who were to practice as health reformers should learn all they could in the very highest medical institutions, but for a time he stood almost alone in his conviction. We can therefore understand his expressions of joy and enthusiasm when Drs. J. H. Kellogg and Kate Lindsay and other physicians at the institute had been granted diplomas by leading state medical schools, yet without losing their confidence in the hygienic principles of the denomination. He withdrew his objections to increasing the size of the Health Reform Institute buildings, and said:


Building on a Bigger Scale

"When we have been urged to build during the past three or four years, we have objected on the ground that our buildings and facilities were equal to our doctors. Now that we have men of ability, refinement, and sterling sense, educated at the best medical schools on the continent, we are ready to build. Not less than $25,000 will be laid out in building the present summer. . . .

"Five years since, we became satisfied that our health institute could not rise to eminence and the full measure of usefulness without thoroughly educated physicians to stand at the head of it. We laid our plans to gain this point, and without assistance or sympathy from anyone we have pressed this matter forward. Dr. J. H. Kellogg has been as true as steel. Drs. Fairfield and Sprague, who are studying under him, will graduate at the highest medical school on the continent in the spring of 1878. It is a disgrace to

213


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Seventh-day Adventists to do a second-class job in anything. . . .

"The time has come to bring up this branch of our work equal to others, so that all our institutions here shall be number one."—Review and Herald, May 24, 1877.

In planning for the new building, Dr. Kellogg had made a careful observation and study of all the principal establishments of the kind in the United States. The plans had been submitted to experts in this line and had met with their unqualified approval. The building was to be constructed of brick on what seemed to the people of those days a "mammoth scale"—130 feet long with a rear extension for bathrooms, giving it a depth through the middle of 137 feet. The estimated cost was $50,000, to which was added $10,000 for heating and ventilating equipment. The hopeful anticipation of a bright future for the institution was thus set forth:

"Altogether, this institution is the one par excellence of its kind in America. With an efficient corps of physicians, at whose head stands a thoroughly scientific man, in the front rank of his profession—having a board of trustees of tried ability and judgment, whose president is acknowledged to be one of the best financiers in the state, and a man whose life thus far has been spent in the successful carrying forward of grand enterprises—with all the facilities that science and long experience can devise—with a wide and enviable reputation, and an ever-increasing patronage—the Medical and Surgical Sanitarium of Battle Creek, Michigan, is destined to wield a mighty influence in the world, and to be a powerful means of breaking down the old, pernicious autocracy of empirical medical practice, and of encouraging sanitary reform."—The Health Reformer, September, 1877.


New Buildings Dedicated

April 10, 1878, was the date for the formal dedication of the new buildings of the Medical and Surgical Sanitarium


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in Battle Creek, Michigan. It had been rechristened about a year earlier under a name "more significant of its real character." (Ibid., June, 1877.)

The dedicatory service began in the forenoon and continued throughout the day. Many eminent persons from abroad were in attendance, several of whom took part in the program. According to the Battle Creek Daily Journal, it was estimated that "no less than one thousand were present at the evening entertainment and during the afternoon." (Ibid., May, 1878.)

At the conclusion of the toasts in the afternoon a large portrait of Elder James White, which had been presented to the institution by the artist Miss Lillie Abbey of New York, was exhibited. In presenting this picture, the physician-in-chief referred to Elder White as the one chiefly instrumental in the great improvements which had been made at the sanitarium within the past year. (Ibid., June, 1878.)

We may believe that the words were carefully weighed and were true which spoke of the dinner given that day as "the grandest hygienic festival ever held." The dining room and gymnasium had been so planned that they could be thrown together, making a room 40 by 50 feet. About two hundred guests had been expected, and for that number the tables had been prepared. But so many persons came that it was necessary to clear and reset the tables for the third time before all were accommodated. (Ibid., May, 1878.)


Recognition by Medical Men

The sanitarium and the principles for which it stood had now gained favor in the eyes of the medical profession generally. "Entirely rational and 'regular'"—so agreed the physicians attending the Michigan State Medical Association who were guests of the institution in May, 1877. After a thorough examination of the institution and its methods


216

of operation, all were agreed, we are told, in giving it "their entire endorsement." (Ibid., June, 1877.)

This gratifying recognition on the part of such an influential organization afforded opportunity for the medical superintendent of the sanitarium to comment upon the antagonism against the medical profession in general that had sometimes found expression in the utterances and writings of the advocates of reform, and which was not always justifiable.

"We have no quarrel with the regular profession," he said, "and there is no reason why we should be upon any other than the most friendly terms with those who are doing nearly all that is being done to conserve the public health, to investigate the causes of disease and the means by which they may be eradicated. It is the grossest injustice to charge the medical profession in general with such grievous crimes as total apathy to human suffering, and reckless, culpable tampering with human life. The regular profession embodies all there is of real science in the healing art. There may be patent errors prevalent among the rank and file of the profession, but most of these are recognized by the more scientific and progressive teachers of medicine of the modern stamp. Instead of constantly stirring up strife, and belaboring the profession in an antagonistic manner, let us take a conciliatory course. By this means we shall be enabled to disarm the prejudice of our medical friends, and thus to secure their influence in our favor rather than against us. By this conservative course we may be able to bring to the attention of our fellow workers for the relief of suffering humanity some germs of truth which they would otherwise reject through prejudice and personal bias."—Ibid., June, 1877.

The following spring the Calhoun County Medical Association held its annual meeting in Battle Creek. Opportunity was given to Dr. Kellogg to present before the large delegation of physicians in attendance the nature and ob-


217

jectives of the sanitarium. Many of the visiting physicians accepted his invitation to visit the institution and to see the large new building which was now rapidly nearing its completion.

The general expression of hearty approval of the sanitarium and its principles led Dr. Kellogg to say further: "We are afraid that many of our hygienic friends have failed to give the regular profession due credit for the liberality of feeling and real good sense which many of its members really possess."—Ibid., March, 1878.


Not Occasioned by Compromise

It is gratifying to be able to state that the improved friendly relationship between the exponents of health reform and of the medical profession was not occasioned by any compromise on the part of the friends of reform. During the course of the preceding decades the success attending the work of the hygienists had had its influence in leading many of the more intelligent physicians greatly to lessen their confidence in the use of drugs. Typical of this changed attitude is the following statement made by Dr. Ira Remsen, professor of chemistry in Johns Hopkins University, in an address delivered before the medical and chirurgical faculty of Maryland:

"The tendency of the present generation of physicians is, I think, to rely less and less upon the action of drugs and chemicals, and to pay more and more attention to the circumstances surrounding the patient, so the discovery of purely remedial agents is becoming day by day of less importance, and the accurate study of those substances which we all necessarily make use of—air, water, food in its various forms—is becoming the great problem in medicine."—Quoted in Good Health, July, 1879.

The sharp cleavage for a time between the health reform physician and the general practitioner had naturally led to mutual recriminations. The former was tempted to point


218

with pride and perhaps with offensive egotism to the rationality of the methods he was using in contrast with the general practice of drugging; but the latter had some reason to regard the reformer, with perhaps only a few months of training in a medical school, as ignorant, fanatical, or quackish.

The medical staff of the sanitarium, being now made up of physicians who had been instructed during their medical course by highly trained scientific and experienced specialists in the various fields of medicine, were in a position to recognize the great value of the research and discoveries made in the laboratories by trained technicians, and to command the respect of the medical profession.


A Summary of Three Years' Work

At the twelfth annual meeting of the Health Reform Institute, held October 4, 1878, a comparative summary of three years' work was presented, clearly indicating that the year 1876 had indeed marked the beginning of a new era in the growth and progress of the institution. The report for these three consecutive years (as published in the Review and Herald, October 17, 1878) is as follows:



1876

1877

1878

Number of Patients -----------------------------------------------------------------

225

493

615

Number of Patients From Abroad ------------------------------------------------

182

232

235

Number of Patients From Battle Creek and Neighboring Cities -------------

43

261

375

Gross Earnings ----------------------------------------------------------------------

$l4,500

$24,500

$32,000

Donations to Poor -------------------------------------------------------------------

475

2,000

4,341

Actual Gain --------------------------------------------------------------------------

4,500

9,500

15,500


From this time forward there was a constant and steady growth in the patronage of the sanitarium. A number of cottages were rented for the accommodation of patients,


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besides occasional additions for increasing facilities and room in the institution. By the latter part of 1883 so great was the embarrassment on account of insufficient accommodations for patients, that the board of directors authorized the construction of another one-hundred-foot five-story addition to the main building.

The managers of the institution were now able to report that the debt incurred in the erection of the former building had been paid off. So great was the faith of the friends of the enterprise in its future success that within three weeks nearly two thirds the amount of stock required for the enlargement had been subscribed.

With the completion of this addition, in 1885 the following words were written regarding the results of eighteen years of achievement:

"This institution . . . has grown to be the largest institution of its kind in the world. And if one seeks for more complete appliances and facilities for treating all manner of diseases, and a more intelligent application of them to the cases in hand, he must seek them on some other planet; for here we have the best that this one affords."—Ibid., January 6, 1885.

On returning from a visit to Europe, in the summer of 1883, where he visited leading medical institutions on the continent, the medical superintendent reported that he had found nothing of the kind superior to the sanitarium, and that "while many things had suggested themselves to him for information and adoption, he had found nothing to copy."—Good Health, August, 1883.


Rapid Growth

As a member of the American Public Health Association, the American Society of Microscopists, the Association for the Advancement of Science, and other associations devoted to the development of knowledge of rational therapy, Dr. Kellogg was able not only to keep abreast of the discoveries


220

being made, but was able to disseminate among the leaders of medical thought the principles for which the sanitarium had stood from its inception.

The work now rapidly grew to large proportions. Not only did the sanitarium number among its patients those suffering from simple disorders of digestion, or liver trouble, or minor ailments, but an increasing number of cases of a most critical surgical character. Physicians who had exhausted their skill on difficult cases sent them to the institution. In a number of cases physicians accompanied patients they sent, that they might observe the methods of treatment used. The success of the sanitarium in treating these difficult cases was watched with care and interest by members of the medical profession.

The true worth of the sanitarium, however, is to be measured not by its size, its equipment, or its success in the restoration of the sick to health. There was a strong spiritual influence that made itself felt upon helpers and patients. It was on the day following the dedication of the new building in 1878 that Elder D. M. Canright began a series of revival meetings in Battle Creek. His effort culminated in the baptism of fifty persons. Ten of these were either helpers or patients in the sanitarium. "Almost constantly," wrote Elder Canright, "persons coming here as patients go away converted to the Lord and the truth."—Review and Herald, April 25, 1878.


The Religious Program of the Sanitarium

Of the religious program in the sanitarium, he wrote in the same connection: "All the physicians are men and women who fear God and have a deep love for the truth. They take all reasonable measures to maintain a good religious influence in the institution. Elder George Tenney, of Wisconsin, has charge of the devotional exercises at present. He is a candid, devoted man, and knows how to represent the truth judiciously. We believe this is an ex-


221

cellent field for his labors. Sister Lamson, the matron, . . . will have a good influence in religious matters in the institution. Nearly all the helpers are now prepared to work together in this matter."—Ibid.

From another writer in 1885, soon after the completion of the later new addition, we get a further picture of the religious influence exerted by this institution. After a three-month sojourn at the sanitarium, Elder R. F. Cottrell referred to the institution as "unsurpassed by any in the wide world in its appliances and facilities for the hygienic treatment of the sick and infirm," and added:

"Not only so, but in its attitude in respect to the religion of the Bible it is decidedly unique. The prevailing influence in other health institutions, and also in colleges and institutions of learning to a great extent, is toward skepticism in regard to revealed truth. Science is exalted and brought into competition with revelation, and by it they propose to correct 'the mistakes of Moses.' The in-variableness of the laws of nature is taught, while the power and providence of the Author of those laws are ignored. In contrast with this, Bible religion holds a prominence in the sanitarium. It was ordained of God to be a power for good, not only in respect to physical but also moral and religious health. It has proved so in the past, and it will in the future, if it continue faithful to its high and holy calling."—Ibid., April 14, 1885.

The morning and evening worship periods for the helpers in the institution were more than formal exercises. Frequently they were occasions for prayer and testimony. As messages from the Spirit of prophecy were received, the medical superintendent read from them to the helpers during the worship period, as also from earlier testimonies setting forth the real objects for which the institution was founded.

From the very beginning of its work the directors of the sanitarium did their best, as we have seen, to make provision


222

for the worthy sick poor. In 1891 it was stated that the amount of charity work done during the first twenty-five years of its operation had amounted to more than double the entire sum invested by the stockholders in the institution.

In order to give more adequate care to this class of patients, a large, new building, devoted entirely to charity work and surgical cases, was erected across the street from the main building. More than one hundred beds were thus made available for the worthy poor. They were treated without charge for operations or medical attendance, a small charge only being made for board. In some cases opportunity was given to work out even this small charge. There were a number of endowed beds, some by individuals and others by groups or organizations. In the Medical Missionary magazine, frequent reports were given of the patients who were thus served. The addition of this hospital, at a cost of about $40,000, completed the building program until the time of the destruction of the institution by fire in 1902.



CHAPTER 19


UNITING WITH THE TEMPERANCE FORCES


the years of the Civil War in the United States and the subsequent period of reconstruction witnessed a serious setback to the cause of temperance reform, which had flourished in the earlier part of the century. During the seventies, however, there appeared various movements which brought the temperance cause again to the front.

One such movement had its inception in 1871, at Gardiner, Maine. Mr. I. K. Osgood, once a successful merchant, who had been brought to poverty through drink, was returning to his home late one night, when he saw his loyal wife sitting by the window in their wretched home, waiting for him. His heart stirred by pity and remorse, he firmly resolved that, with God's help, he would never again drink intoxicating liquor. This resolution he kept, and after a time induced another one of his friends to sign the pledge of total abstinence. On January 19, 1872, these two gentlemen appointed a meeting, inviting the public to come and hear them tell what rum had done to them and the benefits they had received since becoming abstainers. At the close of their recital eight of their drinking companions signed the pledge. Thus was launched the first "Reform Club."


The Red Ribbon Clubs

About two years later a brilliant physician and surgeon, Dr. Reynolds, of Bangor, Maine, had become caught in the toils of strong drink. He tried in vain several times to break off the habit. While attending a prayer meeting one night he sought and received divine power to overcome, and at once tried to help others like himself. He, too, organized a

223


"Reform Club," on September 10, 1874, and its membership grew rapidly.

Believing that he was called of God to engage in this work, Dr. Reynolds gave up the practice of his profession and entered the lecture field. Within a year, in Maine alone, he led out in organizing no less than 45,000 reformed drinkers into local Reform Clubs. He carried the campaign into other states, including Michigan. The badge of this movement was a red ribbon, and the clubs became known as the "Red Ribbon Reform Clubs." Hundreds of thousands of drinkers were led by these and other earnest workers to sign the pledge. (August F. Fehlandt, A Century of Drink Reform in the United States, pp. 230-235. New York: Eaton and Mains, 1904.)


The Woman's Christian Temperance Union

In this decade, on November 18, 1874, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized. The next few years witnessed great activity on the part of this organization, with which is associated the name of Miss Frances E. Willard, who in 1879 was elected as its president.

The influence both of the Reform Clubs and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union reached Battle Creek, Michigan, and drew the following comment from the editor of The Health Reformer:

"The present temperance movement, under the auspices of the Reform Clubs and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, is the most remarkable reformation of the kind which this country has ever witnessed. . . . The work is spreading with wonderful rapidity, and we sincerely hope it may do a vast amount of permanent good. Great good has already been done in our own city. Scores of men who had been notorious for drunkenness and dissipation have become sober; and from being idle vagabonds they are now filling offices of usefulness and trust with entire satisfaction." —The Health Reformer, August, 1877.


225

Mrs. White entered heartily into the advocacy of the temperance cause, and earnestly sought to induce her fellow believers to unite with others in forwarding this noble work.

One of the first opportunities for co-operation with the temperance forces was afforded in the early part of 1874, in the city of Oakland, California, where Elders Cornell and Canright were conducting a series of tent meetings. A local option campaign was in progress, and the temperance forces were active. Some of the leaders in the movement requested the use of the large tent for a temperance rally.

While the preachers were debating in their minds whether the granting of this request might not detract from the solemn subjects they had to present to the people, they received a message from Mrs. White. Not only did she urge them to permit the use of the tent for the temperance cause, but she encouraged the believers in the city and vicinity to do all in their power to bring the campaign to a successful issue. "By pen and voice and vote" she then, and consistently through the years that followed, urged those whom she could influence to wage the fight for temperance reform.

Mrs. White's counsel was followed. For several nights temperance rallies were held in the large tent; and when the temperance forces had won in the election, a great victory meeting was held. On this occasion the mayor of the city expressed the thanks of himself and his fellow citizens for the splendid co-operation they had received from the tent company, and he urged his audience now to give them a favorable hearing in the presentation of their message.


"Must Begin-at Our Tables"

A few months later very important and timely instruction was given for the church, pointing out certain weaknesses of the temperance campaign as it was then being conducted, and very definitely setting forth the only effective method of approach to the problem of intemperance. The vision in which this instruction was given occurred on the


226

afternoon of January 3, 1875. Mrs. White was suffering from a severe attack of influenza, and she had become so weakened that the physicians at the Health Reform Institute expressed anxiety. A few of the ministers came to her home and offered prayer in her behalf, carrying out the instruction found in James 5:13-16. After others had prayed for her, she began to pray, and while in prayer was taken off in vision. Soon after coming out of the vision she dressed for meeting and walked to the church, where she spoke to a waiting congregation.

A very important part of this vision relating to health reform and temperance work was soon published. It may now be read in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. III, pages 560-570. Regarding the ineffectiveness of the temperance movement as popularly carried forward, she wrote in that connection:

"Intemperance is increasing everywhere, notwithstanding the earnest efforts made during the past year to stay its progress. I was shown that the giant power of intemperance will not be controlled by any such efforts as have been made. The work of temperance must begin in our families, at our tables."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. III, p. 562. (Italics mine.)

Here was clearly pointed out the impossibility of effecting true reform while the warfare of the temperance forces was restricted to its field of action against alcoholic liquors. The evils of tobacco and of the milder stimulants and narcotics were largely ignored. Men were induced to sign the pledge sometimes in meeting halls reeking with tobacco smoke. Mrs. White referred to men who, even while speaking against the use of liquor and deploring the evil of intemperance, would eject tobacco juice from their mouths. She asked, "What power can the tobacco devotee have to stay the progress of intemperance?" She said further:

"There must be a revolution in our world upon the subject of tobacco before the ax is laid at the root of the tree.


227

We press the subject still closer. Tea and coffee are fostering the appetite which is developing for stronger stimulants, as tobacco and liquor. And we come still closer home, to the daily meals, the tables spread in Christian households. Is temperance practiced in all things? Are the reforms which are essential to health and happiness carried out there?"— Ibid., pp. 569, 570.

"Intemperance commences at our tables. The appetite is indulged until its indulgence becomes second nature. By the use of tea and coffee an appetite is formed for tobacco, and this encourages the appetite for liquors."—Ibid., p. 563.


Speaking to Parents

Addressing the parents, Mrs. White declared that they "should make it their first business to understand the laws of life and health, that nothing shall be done by them in the preparation of food, or through any other habits, which will develop wrong tendencies in their children."—Ibid., p. 568.

Parents, she declared, hold the key position as potential temperance reformers, and the dining table is a more important arena for effective temperance teaching than is the lecture hall. Though "the demon of intemperance" be of "giant strength," yet she assured parents of success if they would "begin a crusade against intemperance" in their own families, teaching their children from "their very infancy" the principles that they should follow through life. (Ibid., p. 567.)

In confirmation of Mrs. White's assertion that the temperance cause as carried forward was far from efficient is the following statement by Mr. Fehlandt:

"The ranks of the drunkard were being recruited, not alone from the moderate drinkers, but from those who had taken the pledge as well. They meant to keep the pledge, but fell before the power of a returning appetite. How


228

many went down again no one knows. Perhaps not far from one half. When the pledge covered only spirituous liquors, the trouble was readily enough seen, and the pledge was extended. But yet it did not avail. With the safeguard and support of a pledge of total abstinence from all intoxicants, men still lapsed into their former habits. Of the half million that were helped to their feet temporarily by the Washingtonian crusade, it was estimated that two thirds again fell."—A Century of Drink Reform in the United States, pp. 104, 105.


Mrs. White Lectured on Temperance

It is of interest to note that, as Mr. Fehlandt points out, the inclusion of only spirituous liquors in the pledge was recognized as a main reason for the lapse of many who had signed the pledge; so the pledge was extended to cover all alcoholic beverages. This was a move in the right direction, but did not go far enough. To Seventh-day Adventists God graciously gave instruction that the pledge of abstinence should include tobacco, tea, and coffee and all unwholesome foods that tended to create an abnormal appetite. It was with this counsel in mind that Mrs. White directed her testimony in behalf of temperance, that the ax should be laid at the very root of the tree.

She found opportunity frequently to speak in behalf of temperance. One Sunday afternoon, in the summer of 1876, she spoke to no less than 20,000 people on a camp ground at Groveland, Massachusetts. At the close of the service she accepted an invitation of officers of the Haverhill Reform Club to repeat the address at the city hall the following night. On that occasion the hall, which would accommodate about 1,100 persons, "was filled to its utmost capacity with the very elite of Haverhill's society, professional men of all classes, officers of the city, and the most intelligent of the people." (Review and Herald, September 7, 1876.)

The next summer Elder and Mrs. White had journeyed


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from California to Battle Creek, Michigan, at which time Elder White carried very heavy responsibilities at the publishing house and the college and in the plans for the new sanitarium building. After a few weeks of a strenuous program, he was physically exhausted, and it was feared that he would suffer a general breakdown in health. Preparations were being made for a period of retirement among the mountains of Colorado, when, as Mrs. White says, "a voice seemed to say to me, 'Put the armor on. I have work for you to do in Battle Creek.' The voice seemed so plain that I involuntarily turned to see who was speaking. I saw no one, and at the sense of the presence of God my heart was broken in tenderness before Him. When my husband entered the room, I told him the exercises of my mind. We wept and prayed together. Our arrangements had been made to leave in three days, but now all our plans were changed."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. IV, p. 272. The reason why the Lord instructed Elder and Mrs. White to change their plans was made manifest in a few days. They received a delegation from the representatives of "the Battle Creek Reform Club, six hundred strong, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, two hundred and sixty strong." (Ibid., p. 275.) These had come to request their co-operation and that of the sanitarium staff in a temperance mass meeting that was to be held soon in the city of Battle Creek.


Plans for a Health and Temperance Society

Barnum's great menagerie and circus visited the city on the twenty-eighth of June, and the leaders of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union provided an immense temperance restaurant to accommodate the crowds who came from the neighboring country, hoping thus to keep many of them from visiting the saloons, where they would be tempted to drink. The large tent, owned by the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and capable of seat-


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ing five thousand people, was offered for this occasion. Among the heavily laden tables was one set in the center of the pavilion, which was bountifully supplied by the sanitarium with wholesome fruits, grains, and vegetables, and this table formed the chief attraction and was largely patronized.

In the evening, by invitation of the committee on arrangements, including the mayor of the city and the cashier of the principal bank, Mrs. White spoke on the subject of Christian temperance. "God helped me that evening," she says, "and although I spoke ninety minutes, the crowd of fully five thousand persons listened in almost breathless silence."—Ibid., p. 275.

The activity of Mrs. White and of the editors of the Good Health1 in the temperance cause, in its broadest sense, was commendable. But much more than this was needed. The time had come for a great forward movement that would enlist the rank and file of Seventh-day Adventists, and this was now to be launched. In the latter part of December, 1878, as a fitting conclusion to a day especially set apart for fasting and prayer, a meeting was held in the publishing house chapel in Battle Creek, Michigan, "to consider the propriety of organizing a national health and temperance society." (Review and Herald, Supplement, January 9, 1879.)


The Organization Completed

At a second meeting held on New Year's Day further steps were taken, and on January 5 the organization was completed. Dr. J. H. Kellogg was elected as president. In his opening address he pointed to the early work of Joseph Bates in organizing the temperance society at Fairhaven, and to the appropriateness that the denomination of which he was a prominent member, should be the first to organize

1 Vol. XIII of The Health Reformer was succeeded in January, 1879, by Vol. XIV, renamed Good Health.


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a temperance society, "with a thoroughgoing temperance platform, and a comprehensive pledge." (Ibid.)

No temperance society heretofore organized had gone beyond urging the prohibition of the use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco. The American Health and Temperance Association adopted as its ideal pledge the following: "I do hereby solemnly affirm that with the help of God I will wholly abstain from the voluntary use of alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, and all other narcotics and stimulants in any form." (Ibid.) This broader promise was called the Teetotal Pledge.

For the benefit of those who might not be prepared to go to such lengths in self-denial, provision was made for a second, an antirum and antitobacco pledge; and a third, an antiwhisky pledge. Thus provision was made for "three grades of membership."

The object of the association was declared to be the promotion of the health of its members and the advancement of the interests of the cause of "temperance in its truest and broadest sense, by the circulation of health and temperance literature, by securing popular lectures upon those subjects in various parts of the country, and by the wide circulation of suitable pledges and earnest efforts to secure numerous signers."—Ibid.

During the next camp meeting season, as the Teetotal Pledge was circulated among Seventh-day Adventists, there was brought to light the need of a revival in health reform among our church members. With the lapse of time since the importance of health reform living had been pressed upon the people, some had grown careless and had returned to the use of tea and coffee. Some, indeed, it was learned, had never given them up, and occasionally a church member was found who was still enslaved to tobacco. A few, even among the ministers, complained that a pledge including tea and coffee was too strong, for they had not yet gained the victory on these points.


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Other Matters Attract Attention

It would not be true to fact to maintain that there ever had been a time when all the church members adopted heartily the principles of health reform as they were presented and taught on this point. Mrs. White had written as late as 1870:

"There has been a war in the hearts of some ever since the health reform was first introduced. They have felt the same rebellion as did the children of Israel when their appetites were restricted on their journey from Egypt to Canaan. Professed followers of Christ, who have all their lives consulted their own pleasure and their own interests, their own ease and their own appetites, are not prepared to change their course of action and live for the glory of God, imitating the self-sacrificing life of their unerring Pattern." —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. II, p. 394.

The resolutions adopted not only by the state conferences, but by the General Conference in 1879, indicate recognition of quite a general backsliding on health practices, and urge a renewal of faithfulness in this important matter. The health reform had been first introduced as the advance step in the message and was given a prominence that aided in its general adoption.

As time went on, however, other issues arose to attract the attention of the people. In the work of the ministry the health reform began to take a secondary place. Aside from The Health Reformer and the few health publications, no regular continued effort was provided for systematic health education. Many new converts were added to the faith who received but little instruction in the health principles. Some of the young ministers and licentiates had not been trained to appreciate the importance of the reforms and were not fitted to instruct the people.

The organization of the American Health and Temperance Association, with its revival of the principles of health,


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together with plans for individual activity, did much to check these backward moves and to impart new life and vigor to the reform.

In the reports of the camp meetings held during the summer of 1879, prominent mention was made of the work of the organization of temperance societies. In reporting a meeting at Nevada, Missouri, Elder Butler wrote:

"A strong effort was made in behalf of health reform and the temperance cause. Sister White had pointed reproofs for us because of our backslidden condition on this subject. She spoke very solemnly and represented our condition as being grievous in the sight of God, because we have not made better use of the light we have had."—Review and Herald, June 12, 1879.


A Rally Meeting

Among those present at this meeting was Colonel Hunter, a recent convert to the faith. Following an earnest appeal by Mrs. White in behalf of the temperance cause, this gentleman arose and related the story of his conversion. He stated that he had drunk enough liquor to float a ship. He had already given up liquor and tobacco, and now he declared that the coffee he had drunk for breakfast would be his last. He asked for the privilege of writing his name at the top of the pledge list.

Elder Butler, the president of the conference, then arose and made a confession to the effect that he had not been as forward in the temperance reform as he should have been. Though strictly temperate in his own habits, yet he had not seen the necessity of signing the pledge. He now expressed his conviction that in this attitude he had been standing in the way of others who ought to sign it. He wrote his name beneath that of Colonel Hunter. The signatures of Elder James White and his wife were then written down, followed by that of Elder E. W. Farnsworth. Regarding the response of the congregation, Elder Butler writes further:


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"Some who had been unwilling slaves to the tobacco habit pledged themselves to leave off and, by the grace of God, overcome this evil habit. One hundred and thirty-two signed the pledge to leave alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, and all other narcotics and stimulants forever. Some others signed the anti-liquor and tobacco pledge. . . . God evidently blessed this temperance movement, and we were encouraged to go forward to help all within the reach of our influence to take their stand on the broad platform of true temperance, and to leave off all hurtful indulgences." —Ibid.

At the camp meetings in other states during this same summer, people readily signed their names to the pledge and consecrated themselves to the work not only of personal reform, but of seeking to influence their friends and neighbors to discard the use of unwholesome food and drink. Somewhat on the plan of the Reform Clubs, local health and temperance clubs were organized by the churches. After returning from the western camp meetings, Elder and Mrs. White led out in an enthusiastic campaign that resulted in the organization of the Battle Creek Health and Temperance Club, including the original 150 signers and 250 more.

In the course of time pledges were prepared, including other health habits than those pertaining merely to the abstinence from stimulants and narcotics. Pledges were adapted for children, and a juvenile campaign was organized. Pledges adapted for men and women were formulated, upholding the standards of social purity.


A Widening Work

The activity of the members of the health and temperance societies was not limited to the signing of pledges. They circulated many thousands of pages of well-prepared educational literature, and some qualified themselves as lecturers, freely giving their time and energies to the cause.


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Thus, in addition to its helpful influence upon church members, the movement led to the reformation of hundreds of nonbelievers.

In 1889 a class was formed at the sanitarium to study health and temperance subjects; and from this class, which held winter sessions for several years, a number of efficient lecturers, teachers, and workers in other departments of the work went out under the auspices of the American Health and Temperance Association.

The association continued its activities until 1893, when it was merged into the Seventh-day Adventist Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, which included the purposes of its predecessor, but represented a far broader field of endeavor.



chapter 20


TRAINING FOR SERVICE


"freely ye have received, freely give," said Jesus to His disciples as He sent them forth on their first missionary tour. This divine principle of imparting that which has been received was from the first emphasized in the instruction given to Seventh-day Adventists regarding health reform. The day following the memorable vision at Otsego, Michigan, in June, 1863, with its scenes vividly in her mind, Mrs. White wrote:

"I saw that it was a sacred duty to attend to our health, and arouse others to their duty. . . . We have a duty to speak, to come out against intemperance of every kind. . . . I saw that we should not be silent upon the subject of health, but should wake up minds to the subject."—E. G. White Letter 4, 1863.


To Teach the People

In the vision of December 25, 1863, where the need for a health institution among Seventh-day Adventists was presented, the plant called for was to be "a home for the sick, where they could be treated for their diseases, and also learn how to take care of themselves so as to prevent sickness." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, p. 553.)

Writing to the ministry at that time, Mrs. White had declared that one important part of their work was "to faithfully present to the people the health reform, as it stands connected with the third angel's message." They were to "urge it upon all who profess to believe the truth." (Ibid., pp. 469, 470.)

In response to the earnest appeal of Mrs. White at the

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General Conference of 1866, the delegates had pledged themselves not only to live in accordance with the health principles, but to use their "best endeavors to impress their importance upon others." (Review and Herald, May 22, 1866.)

Two years later, at the General Conference held in May, 1868, the delegates expressed their conviction that "the cause of health reform among our people demands that labor and attention which our preachers cannot bestow in connection with their other arduous labors." (Review and Herald, May 26, 1868.) To meet this demand a graduate physician, Dr. M. G. Kellogg, was appointed to labor "in that department of the great work of preparation for the coming of the Son of man." (Ibid.)

The one thus selected was the son of J. P. Kellogg, the first to subscribe for stock in the Western Health Reform Institute (which was renamed as the Medical and Surgical Sanitarium) and an older brother of J. H. Kellogg. Some years prior to this he had joined a group of emigrants en route to California. There he was earning a good wage, but now he had left his business, sold his home, and used the proceeds to secure a medical training. "I did this," he wrote, "because I believed the work of health reform was of God, and that God had a work for me to do in the message." (Letter to Mrs. E. G. White, July 16, 1868.)

Elder and Mrs. White questioned him closely when he came to Battle Creek, after he had taken the medical course at Dr. Trail's Medical College at Florence Heights, New Jersey. They were fearful that he would bring with him some ideas that were "objectionable, either in theory or in zeal to carry some points to extremes," but in this matter they were, Elder White wrote, "happily disappointed." On the contrary, he said, "The harmony between what the Lord has revealed relative to this subject, and science, has been a theme of most interesting conversation, and mutual profit." —Review and Herald, April 28, 1868.


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A Health Lecturer in the Field

A few weeks before the conference, Elder White secured appointments for Dr. M. G. Kellogg to lecture to some of the churches. After hearing one of his lectures, he wrote: "Our ministers speak on the subject of health from a Bible standpoint. This seems right. Brother Kellogg treats the subject from a scientific view, and we think well calculated to teach the people and lead them to a practical understanding of how to live. It seems to us that the Lord has enough such men as Brother Kellogg to teach the people the science of human life, without our ministers being called from their work."—Ibid., May 5, 1868.

Dr. Kellogg attended the General Conference and was seated as a delegate from California. It was in response to his appeal that Elders Loughborough and Bourdeau soon left to introduce the message in that field, where today the medical work of Seventh-day Adventists is so prominent. Elder James White expressed his convictions regarding the need for lecturers who were qualified to present the scientific reasons for the health reform. His views met with a hearty response, and thus the way seemed to be opened for Dr. Kellogg to take up his labor among the churches.

In a note addressed to the "friends of health reform," the General Conference Committee introduced Dr. M. G. Kellogg, setting him forth as "an instructive and interesting lecturer, and one qualified to advise the sick," and urging that "all our churches should secure his labors." He was appointed to work under the direction of the General Conference Committee, who would guarantee his expenses. It was expected, however, that when he was called to labor in a place, the church placing the call would pay his traveling expenses, together with "a reasonable compensation for his time and labor in treating the sick." For an examination and prescription he should receive two dollars. If his receipts from the churches should amount to more than what was


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paid to a minister, the surplus that he thus received would be paid into the General Conference fund. (Ibid., May 26, 1868.)


The Need for a Greater Vision

It would be gratifying to be able to report that this plan was enthusiastically received by the churches, and that Dr. Kellogg's services were in continuous demand. That there was a need is beyond question. There were doubtless not a few companies of believers of whom it might be said, as one worker wrote regarding a particular church: "They are sadly behind in the health reform. ... If some thorough-going, well-informed health reformer could give them a course of lectures on health during the coming winter, I think the labor would be well expended."—Ibid., June 30, 1868.

But the churches most in need of such instruction would, naturally, be the last to realize it and to place a call, at some expense to themselves, for a health lecturer. So it was a keen disappointment both to the doctor and to the General Conference Committee to find that after filling appointments in three churches, where the lectures were highly appreciated, the doctor received no further invitations. After a few months the readers of the Review and Herald were notified that Dr. M. G. Kellogg had "returned to California, not receiving sufficient calls for help to induce him to remain in this part of the country." (Ibid., August 18, 1868.)

And then eight years more passed. During this time, through The Health Reformer, through lectures in the Health Reform Institute by the physicians there, or through instruction in the churches by the ministers, the work of health education was carried on with more or less effectiveness, though apparently with diminished rather than increased emphasis. The possibilities of greater success in the work of the ministry through uniting the teachings of health with those of holiness were as yet only dimly com-


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prehended, till the Testimonies pointed to a higher conception of the value of the health principles.


A School of Health Needed

In the latter part of 1876, Testimonies for the Church, No. 27, appeared. In it reference was made to the combined work done by Jesus in healing the sick and preaching the gospel, indicating that He "devoted more time and labor to healing the afflicted of their maladies than to preaching." It was also pointed out that Christ's commission to the disciples, in sending them forth, included the healing of the sick as well as the preaching of the gospel. In caring for their physical health, the reception of truth into their minds was made more likely. When the Master shall come, it is recorded in Scripture, "He will commend those who have visited the sick and relieved the necessities of the afflicted." "We are slow," continued Mrs. White in this connection, "to learn the mighty influence of trifles and their bearing upon the salvation of souls."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. IV, p. 225.

If these principles were to be carried out in the gospel work of the church, opportunity must be afforded whereby laymen and ministers might receive a broader education in health principles. It was natural that they should look to the sanitarium physicians for such training. Dr. J. H. Kellogg and his associates recognized the need and greatly desired to meet it, but for a time serious difficulties seemed to make it impossible. There was no place where there were facilities for the holding of a school of health. Moreover, the few physicians at the sanitarium were overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caring for the rapidly growing work. With the erection of the new building in 1877, however, the first of these difficulties was removed, and even before the work of building was completed, the medical staff felt sufficiently freed from responsibility to announce the opening of a "School of Hygiene."


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The first notice of this new enterprise is found in the Review and Herald of December 20, 1877, where Elder S. N. Haskell referred to the move as another important step in the progress of present truth. In retrospect he reviewed the "broader plans" and the "additional helps" that had been progressively undertaken for the purpose of enlightening others "in regard to the solemn truths that relate to the time in which we live." He could rejoice that the publishing work had expanded till it represented an invested capital of $150,000, and that there was an organized force of missionary workers to scatter the publications that came from the presses in Battle Creek, Michigan, and in Oakland, California. Battle Creek College, now in its third year, was attended by nearly four hundred students, and workers trained for the ministry were going forth yearly from its doors. The medical work was now represented by the largest sanitarium in the world, and the health journal was finding "more readers than any other similar journal in America." After recounting these progressive steps, Elder Haskell continued:


Dr. Kellogg's Announcement

"And now a hygienic school is to be established. . . . There are hundreds of our young men and women who should attend this school. Sickness is everywhere, and there is no more successful method of removing prejudice than to be able to enter the sickroom and relieve the afflicted....

"We speak in behalf of this hygienic school. We believe it is needed. There should be, connected with every church, individuals who understand what to do in the sickroom. They should know how to give packs, baths, etc. . . . May God bless this our first effort."—Review and Herald, December 20, 1877.

Dr. J. H. Kellogg, in announcing the opening of the School of Hygiene, spoke of the many calls that had come from the field for such opportunities as the new school


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would afford. "For several years," he wrote, "the managers of the sanitarium have been in constant receipt of numerous letters from persons who were desirous of acquiring a knowledge of the laws of hygiene and the application of hygienic agencies in the treatment of the sick and the prevention of disease."—The Health Reformer, December, 1877.

This desire for a practical knowledge of the laws of hygiene and of simple home remedies for the sick was prompted by a sincere interest in friends and neighbors, to whom they might minister spiritual as well as physical blessings. Although the term "medical missionary work" did not come into denominational use until the following decade, some among the ministry had been led to see in this dual service a means of removing prejudice and of coming close to the people. Thus we find in the Review and Herald the following words from a young minister:

"God is honoring us as a people, before the world, for the position we have taken upon the subject of temperance reform. We stand in the front rank of this reformation.

"If we follow the providence of God, we shall certainly avail ourselves of the influence which these truths afford us. We should seek to become intelligent upon the subject, in order that we may . . . help and instruct others. . . .

"A few discourses by our ministers in each of the neighborhoods where they labor, upon the laws of hygiene, Christian temperance, and sanitary rules, would awaken an interest in the minds of many when nothing else would. In no other way can we gain the confidence and gratitude of an individual so readily as by affording him relief in his distress."—G. C. Tenney, in Review and Herald, January 3, 1878.


An Advance Step

A realization of the world "suffering for want of teachers to point out the right way," and thousands "dying daily for


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want of the very information which will be imparted in the course of instruction in the School of Hygiene," led Dr. Kellogg, in his appeal for entrants to the course, to voice the hope that during the coming winter there might be "a hundred lecturers in the field educating the people on the subjects which are of the most vital importance to them"— those relating to life and health. (The Health Reformer, December, 1877.)

The opening of such a school was truly an advance step, for it was announced as "not only the first, but the only school of the sort in America." (Ibid., August, 1878.)

Dr. Trail, the founder of the Hygieo-Therapeutic College, was now dead, the building where the school had been held had burned, and the commendable work that had been done there was now discontinued. So liberal were the requirements for medical training that it might still have been possible for the sanitarium to receive a charter empowering them to confer upon those finishing the course the degree of M.D. There were some who urged that this should be done, but the promoters of the enterprise were positive in their conviction that the time had passed when anything short of the most thorough and complete education should be recognized or sanctioned by those who had practiced the healing art. Regarding this matter, Dr. Kellogg wrote:

"A first-class, complete, and thorough medical education can only be obtained at some one of the large, expensively equipped institutions in the large cities, where clinical material abounds, and where practical anatomy can be studied at pleasure. The great lack in these otherwise admirable institutions is the universal lack of attention to hygiene. Only one college in the United States has a professorship of hygiene. ... It is to supply this lack, only, that this school is to be opened. It is not intended in any sense to take the place of a regular medical course, but simply to give to individuals wishing to commence the study of medicine a


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basis for a broad, liberal, thorough, and practical medical education, and to supply to those desiring only a limited amount of medical knowledge an opportunity to become familiar with a large share of the practical knowledge in the hands of the profession, divested of its technical dress, simplified, and put in shape to be readily utilized."—Ibid., December, 1877. (Italics mine.)


The School Opened

The school was opened January 14, 1878, with an enrollment of seventy-five students, and this number was soon doubled.

The school course continued for twenty weeks with daily lessons and class recitations. Several studies collateral to hygiene were included in the course, such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, and mental philosophy. So thorough was the course of study given in the School of Hygiene that its certificate of study and proficiency was accepted by any medical college in the United States as a part of the regular course. Drs. Fairfield and Sprague, who had just been graduated from the Bellevue Medical College, were associated with Dr. Kellogg in the teaching.

As an interesting item of comparison with the present-day cost of student expense, we note that the tuition for the twenty-week course was $25. Room and good table board were offered at the Sanitarium Students' Club for $1.60 a week, and opportunity was offered for several active young men and women to pay the entire cost of the course by working.

Some hundreds of patrons attended this excellent course of health instruction during the few years that it was offered at the sanitarium. Many of these were thereby fitted to give substantial assistance to the organization and work of the health and temperance associations that were by this time flourishing all over the country, and a number of them devoted their lives to medical missionary work.


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Another advance move was made in the spring of 1883, when the sanitarium made a public call for a half dozen young women to learn "nursing, massage, the use of electricity, and other branches of the practical medical department." (Good Health, April, 1883.)

The period of instruction was to continue three months; but the applicants, it was stated, would be required to remain from two to five years at the institution. It was asserted that such a training would qualify for a good position whereby one might gain a livelihood. That the opportunities for engaging in the nursing profession had not yet been comprehended by Seventh-day Adventist young people is evident, for only two young ladies were enrolled in this the initial effort of the sanitarium to train its own nurses. (Medical Missionary Yearbook, 1896, p. 117.)


A Call for Recruits

On the first of November, 1883, another call was made for recruits to enter "a school for the training of nurses." It was promised that "the course of instruction will include all the branches of practical and theoretical study necessary to qualify competent persons to become first-class professional nurses." (Review and Herald, October 23, 1883.) The course was lengthened to six months. This time there was a more encouraging response; indeed so large a number of letters was received from persons who desired to attend but could not come on such short notice that the opening was postponed for two weeks. So great was the demand for trained nurses that the sanitarium physicians felt free to guarantee situations for all graduates of the school who would become proficient.

At the end of this six-month course, the period of training was lengthened to two years. The school of nursing became better known, and with each succeeding year the number of applications increased. Some came because they saw in the nursing profession a lucrative occupation, but


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more were prompted by their love of humanity and an earnest desire to qualify for service in God's work.

After four years, in 1888, was formed a class of eight who solemnly pledged themselves to devote their lives to missionary work. These were given more advanced instruction than those in the regular training classes. Their example was an important factor in influencing others to engage more directly in the combined ministry of health and religion. The members of this class later filled important positions, some in institutional work, others as foreign missionaries, and some as teachers.


An Urgent Appeal

In the latter part of 1889 Dr. Kellogg presented before the General Conference Committee in session in Battle Creek, Michigan, the increasing demand for efficient and consecrated laborers in the health and temperance work. Other lines of work, he said, had absorbed so many of the young people of the denomination that it was difficult to find competent persons even to man the large sanitarium. He foresaw that in time other medical institutions would be established, and competent helpers and physicians must be trained to man them. In addition to the opportunities for service in medical institutions, there were many openings in the field. Some should be trained to give instruction in hygiene and cooking at the large camp meetings. Nurses were needed for foreign missionary service, in the city missions, and in schools.

To meet these needs the sanitarium had just launched "the Health and Temperance Missionary School." The General Conference Committee endorsed the action of the sanitarium and recommended that the managers of schools, missions, camp meetings, and other denominational institutions should select as their matrons, cooks, and nurses those who had received a special training for this work at the sanitarium. It was also recommended that conference


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presidents and officers should select suitable young men and women to take special training in the sanitarium. Thus it was hoped that an army of matrons, cooks, nurses, and