Dear Brother and Sister H: I recollected your countenances as being among several that I had seen who need a work accomplished for them before they can be sanctified through the truth. You embraced the truth because you saw it to be truth, but it has not yet taken hold of you. You have not realized its sanctifying influence upon the life. The light has been shining upon your pathway in regard to health reform and the duty resting upon God's people in these last days to exercise temperance in all things. You, I saw, were among the number who would be backward to see the light and correct your manner of eating, drinking, and working. As the light of truth is received and followed out, it will work an entire reformation in the life and character of all those who are sanctified through it.
Your business is of a character that is not friendly to an advance in the divine life, but is one that will hinder the growth of grace and the knowledge of the truth. It has a tendency to lower, to debase the man, to make him more animal in his propensities. The higher powers of the mind are overpowered by the lower. The brutish part of your nature governs the spiritual. Those who profess to be fitting for translation should not become butchers.
Your family have partaken largely of flesh meats, and the animal propensities have been strengthened, while the
intellectual have been weakened. We are composed of what we eat, and if we subsist largely upon the flesh of dead animals we shall partake of their nature. You have encouraged the grosser part of your organism, while the more refined has been weakened. You have repeatedly said in defense of your indulgence of meat eating: "However injurious it may be to others, it does not injure me, for I have used it all my life." But you know not how well you might have been if you had abstained from the use of flesh meats. As a family, you are far from being free from disease. You have used the fat of animals, which God in His word expressly forbids: "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood." "Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people."
You have flesh, but it is not good material. You are worse off for this amount of flesh. If you should each come down to a more spare diet, which would take from you twenty-five or thirty pounds of your gross flesh, you would be much less liable to disease. The eating of flesh meats has made a poor quality of blood and flesh. Your systems are in a state of inflammation, prepared to take on disease. You are liable to acute attacks of disease and to sudden death because you do not possess the strength of constitution to rally and resist disease. There will come a time when the strength and health you have flattered yourself you possessed will prove to be weakness. It is not the chief end of man to glorify his stomach. You have animal wants to be supplied; but because of this necessity shall man become all animal?
You have set for your children a table of unwholesome food, cooked in an unhealthful manner. You have placed flesh meats before them, and what is the result? Are they refined, intellectual, obedient, conscientious, and religiously
inclined? You know this is not the case, but entirely the contrary. Your manner of living has strengthened the animal of your nature and weakened the spiritual. You have transmitted to your children a miserable legacy, a depraved nature rendered still more depraved by your gross habits of eating and drinking. Your table has completed the work of making them what they are. The sin lies at your door. You know that they are not religiously inclined, that they will not submit to restraint, but are inclined to disobedience and to disrespect your authority. Your eldest son especially is corrupt, partaking to a great degree of the animal. Scarcely a trace of the divine can be seen in his organism. You have brought up your children to indulge their appetite when they please and as they please. Your example has taught them that they live to eat, that the gratification of appetite is about all that is worth living for. There is a work for you to do, Brother H. You have been like a man asleep or paralyzed. It is time that you make a mighty effort to save the younger members of your family. The influence of your eldest son is only evil over them. Correct your table. A depraved, stimulating diet is strengthening the animal passions of your children. Of all the families I am acquainted with, yours most needs to dispense with flesh meats and grease, and learn to cook hygienically.
Sister H is a woman whose blood is corrupt. Her system is full of scrofulous humors from the eating of flesh meats. The use of swine's flesh in your family has imparted a bad quality of blood. Sister H needs to confine herself strictly to a diet of grains, fruits, and vegetables, cooked without flesh or grease of any kind. It will take quite a length of time of strictly healthful diet to place you in better conditions of health, where you will be rightly related to life. It is impossible for those who make free use of flesh meats to have an unclouded brain and an active intellect.
We advise you to change your habits of living; but while you do this we caution you to move understandingly. I am acquainted with families who have changed from a meat diet to one that is impoverished. Their food is so poorly prepared that the stomach loathes it; and such have told me that the health reform did not agree with them, that they were decreasing in physical strength. Here is one reason why some have not been successful in their efforts to simplify their food. They have a poverty-stricken diet. Food is prepared without painstaking, and there is a continual sameness. There should not be many kinds at any one meal, but all meals should not be composed of the same kinds of food without variation. Food should be prepared with simplicity, yet with a nicety which will invite the appetite. You should keep grease out of your food. It defiles any preparation of food you may make. Eat largely of fruits and vegetables.
After they have reduced their physical strength by a reduced quantity and a poor quality of food, some conclude that their former way of living is the best. The system must be nourished. Yet we do not hesitate to say that flesh meat is not necessary for health or strength. If used it is because a depraved appetite craves it. Its use excites the animal propensities to increased activity and strengthens the animal passions. When the animal propensities are increased, the intellectual and moral powers are decreased. The use of the flesh of animals tends to cause a grossness of body and benumbs the fine sensibilities of the mind.
Will the people who are preparing to become holy, pure, and refined, that they may be introduced into the society of heavenly angels, continue to take the life of God's creatures and subsist on their flesh and enjoy it as a luxury? From what the Lord has shown me, this order of things will be changed, and God's peculiar people will exercise temperance in all things. Those who subsist largely upon flesh cannot avoid
eating the meat of animals which are to a greater or less degree diseased. The process of fitting animals for market produces in them disease; and fitted in as healthful manner as they can be, they become heated and diseased by driving before they reach the market. The fluids and flesh of these diseased animals are received directly into the blood, and pass into the circulation of the human body, becoming fluids and flesh of the same. Thus humors are introduced into the system. And if the person already has impure blood, it is greatly aggravated by the eating of the flesh of these animals. The liability to take disease is increased tenfold by meat eating. The intellectual, the moral, and the physical powers are depreciated by the habitual use of flesh meats. Meat eating deranges the system, beclouds the intellect, and blunts the moral sensibilities. We say to you, dear brother and sister, your safest course is to let meat alone.
The use of tea and coffee is also injurious to the system. To a certain extent, tea produces intoxication. It enters into the circulation and gradually impairs the energy of body and mind. It stimulates, excites, and quickens the motion of the living machinery, forcing it to unnatural action, and thus gives the tea drinker the impression that it is doing him great service, imparting to him strength. This is a mistake. Tea draws upon the strength of the nerves and leaves them greatly weakened. When its influence is gone and the increased action caused by its use is abated, then what is the result? Languor and debility corresponding to the artificial vivacity the tea imparted. When the system is already overtaxed and needs rest, the use of tea spurs up nature by stimulation to perform unwonted, unnatural action, and thereby lessens her power to perform and her ability to endure; and her powers give out long before Heaven designed they should. Tea is poisonous to the system. Christians should let it alone. The
influence of coffee is in a degree the same as tea, but the effect upon the system is still worse. Its influence is exciting, and just in the degree that it elevates above par it will exhaust and bring prostration below par. Tea and coffee drinkers carry the marks upon their faces. The skin becomes sallow and assumes a lifeless appearance. The glow of health is not seen upon the countenance.
Tea and coffee do not nourish the system. The relief obtained from them is sudden, before the stomach has time to digest them. This shows that what the users of these stimulants call strength is only received by exciting the nerves of the stomach, which convey the irritation to the brain, and this in turn is aroused to impart increased action to the heart and short-lived energy to the entire system. All this is false strength that we are the worse for having. They do not give a particle of natural strength.
The second effect of tea drinking is headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling of the nerves, with many other evils. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." God calls for a living sacrifice, not a dead or dying one. When we realize the requirements of God, we shall see that He requires us to be temperate in all things. The end of our creation is to glorify God in our bodies and spirits, which are His. How can we do this when we indulge the appetite to the injury of the physical and moral powers? God requires that we present our bodies a living sacrifice. Then the duty is enjoined on us to preserve that body in the very best condition of health, that we may comply with His requirements. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
You have a work to do to set your house in order. Cleanse
yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. You should make earnest efforts to discover your errors, and in the fear of God, relying upon His strength, put them away. Dear brother and sister, you need to reform in the matter of order. You should cultivate a love for neatness and strict cleanliness. God is a God of order. He will not sanction slack and disorderly habits in any of His people. In your dress, in your house, in all things, manifest taste and order. We are looked upon as a peculiar people. The dress reform is a striking contrast to the fashion of the world. Those who adopt this dress should manifest good taste and order and strict cleanliness in all their attire. The dress should not be adopted unless it is made right and arranged neatly. For we should seek not to disgust unbelievers by carelessness and slackness in our apparel, but should dress modestly, with reference to health and neatness, that our dress may commend itself to the judgment of candid minds.
You need clear, energetic minds, in order to appreciate the exalted character of the truth, to value the atonement, and to place the right estimate upon eternal things. If you pursue a wrong course, and indulge in wrong habits of eating, and thereby weaken the intellectual powers, you will not place that high estimate upon salvation and eternal life which will inspire you to conform your life to the life of Christ; you will not make those earnest, self-sacrificing efforts for entire conformity to the will of God, which His word requires, and which are necessary to give you a moral fitness for the finishing touch of immortality.