HEALTH
BY E. A. SUTHERLAND

 

THERE are many things which, in our present state of sinfulness and degradation, we view from an entirely wrong standpoint. We think God is greatly glorified when some frail piece of humanity who has been long in the grasp of disease, is, through the power of prayer, restored to health. And this is truly a sign of the greatness of our God and his tender love for us. But is it not more to his glory to find men and women in his vineyard who are strong and well, persons upon whose cheeks there is the glow of health? I fear that years of acquaintance with weariness and disease have so accustomed us to the tired expression, sallow skin, and hollow, dark-circled eyes that we reckon them a necessary accompaniment of work; in fact, it seems to me that some of us even court weakness. This may appear radical at first, but if on closing your shop in the evening after a busy day, you find yourself possessed of a calm and restful spirit, do you not begin to wonder if you have worked as hard as you should, if you have done your whole duty ?

If you are a teacher, and the close of the spring term fails to find you exhausted and a fit inmate for some hospital or in sad need of three months' recreation, are you not in doubt as to your faithful performance of every duty, for is not your assistant teacher in the condition just described ? If you are a mother with an unlimited number of household duties, of course you must have nervous prostration; for it is not to be expected of a woman that she should bear the cares and toils of a family without breaking down.

Painfully true is this condition everywhere among the human race. It is the exception to hear one person greet another with, "I'm in excellent health; I never enjoyed work so well in my life." The older members of the family recount their ills; so it is quite natural for the boys and girls to do likewise, and we have a nation tottering on the edge of the grave. It is true that the race is enfeebled, but to the Christian is offered eternal life, and that life begins on this earth; begins to-day if you so wish it. Look up into God's face, for the expression there will impart health to your countenance. (Ps. 42:5; 43:5.) The display of life in fulness and abundance is the very best way for a Christian to glorify God. Disease in one way or another is the result of sin, either in you or in your ancestors. The Father wishes above all things that we should "prosper and be in health." 3 John 2.

The principles of health reform in diet, dress, exercise, sleep, breathing, etc., have been given that we may show to the world that our God is a God of life. Is it not time that the study of physiology be given more prominence in our schools and homes? Not that physiology which studies a text-book to ascertain the number of bones and muscles, glands and organs, but which studies the science of health. This is especially the work of the church schools. Our children should talk health, work for health. Consult physicians, not to be restored to health, but to learn how to preserve it. Doubtless it would be a great relief to them to talk with more persons in health about the ways and means of preserving health, and have to meet fewer Christians who were in need of new stomachs, mended backs, and healed organs of various sorts. When conducted on godly principles, teaching the proper subjects in the proper way, our schools will turn out healthy students.

Let us as a people claim the promise of God that our health shall spring forth! Let us study to be well; talk health, believe in the God of health, and thus show to the world the beauty and efficacy of the principles we hold.