Old Paths Masthead

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Psalm 25:14


Vol. 26, No.7, 8 Straight and Narrow July-August 2017


 

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In this issue:

“Give Glory to Him”

Wonderful Water

2017 West Virginia Camp Meeting Report

The Medical Arts in Early America

Youth’s Corner

 

“Give Glory to Him”

(The following presentation is an edited version of the 2017 West Virginia camp meeting keynote address.)

Creation exists to glorify God. You exist to glorify God. The purpose of your life is to glorify God. The purpose of all you do is to glorify God, and the purpose of God’s church is to glorify God. In heaven:

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:10, 11)

God’s glory to be proclaimed and demonstrated

God has decreed that his glory shall be proclaimed:

Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; All ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; And fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. (Psalm 22:23)

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: And I will glorify thy name for evermore. (Psalm 86:12)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3)

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6, 7)

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)

The message of salvation

Another manner of giving glory to God is found in the way we care for our bodies, which are the temple of God’s Spirit:

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)

Who looks like a Christian?

Believers are different from the people of the world, and they should even look differently. If we see two people, one obese and one trim and healthy-looking, which one would we most expect to be a Christian? (We acknowledge that there are exceptions to most things.) With the biblical warnings of gluttony, we would certainly expect Christians to do what they can to be trim and healthy people. As Christians it is not unreasonable to think that we should be able to stand up straight and look straight down and see our feet. There should be no large portion of adipose tissue blocking the view.

What if we see someone who is grumpy and another who is smiling and pleasant? Again, which one would we most expect to be a Christian? (We further acknowledge that there are exceptions to most things.) Of course, we would expect the happy and smiling person to be the Christian.

What if we see two people—one clean, neat, and tidy in appearance and the other unkept and dirty and emitting body odors. Which one would we most expect to be a Christian? (We further acknowledge that there are exceptions to most things.) Of course, we would expect the clean and well kept person to be the Christian.

When we are healthy in body and spirit, we bring glory to God. Others see the work of God in us and are drawn to a knowledge of God.

The word glory in Greek is δόξα (doxa), which comes from a word that means “to think” or “opinion.” Doxa means praise, honor, glory, yet doxa has several nuances.

The contexts of how doxa is used in various passages reveal several different meanings. In Matthew 6:29, it has the meaning of splendor, of something magnificent or of something that has a splendid appearance.

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory (doxa) was not arrayed like one of these. (Matthew 6:29)

In Revelation 15:8, we find the meaning to be of brightness.

And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory (doxa) of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. (Revelation 15:8)

This is not speaking of a reflected brightness but of a brightness that is at the very source.

In Romans 6:4, doxa means amazing might or power:

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory (doxa) of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

It was by God’s glory, or power, that Christ was raised, and it is by this same glory that those who are dead in trespasses and sins can have life. In fact, we have been told:

The conversion of the human soul is of no little consequence. It is the greatest miracle performed by divine power. (Ellen White, Evangelism, pp. 289, 290)

In Matthew 6:2, doxa is used in the sense of praise for something unusually fine and deserving of honor.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory (doxa) of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (Matthew 6:2)

Doxa is connected with honor in the parable of the wedding and the seating of the guests:

When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship (doxa) in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. (Luke 14:8–10)

In Matthew 4:8, doxa is connected with greatness:

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory (doxa) of them. (Matthew 4:8)

Doxa is even used to represent government dignities:

But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities (doxa). (2 Peter 2:10)

Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities (doxa). (Jude 8)

To bring glory to God, then, consists in acknowledging his magnificence, greatness, power, brightness, and in giving him the honor he deserves through respect and obedience.

Scripture broadens the picture

The apostle John speaks about God’s desire for the well-being of the entire person, when he writes:

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2)

God’s love for his children is expressed, in part, by his desire for us to be in good health. The result of this good health brings glory to God, for it shows his wonderful master design in the human body and also his care for each person.

Paul directly teaches that caring for our bodies is a spiritual matter that involves giving glory to God.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify (doxasate from doxa) God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)

Beloved, God is not difficult and arbitrary. He wants us in good health, and his health laws and principles are not hard or difficult. They involve nothing harmful and do not withhold anything that is for our good.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield: The Lord will give grace and glory: No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)

When we think of health, often our minds go first to the thought of food and what we eat. Certainly our diet forms a strong basis for our health, but, sadly, many could well be represented by what Paul writes in Philippians 3:19:

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

Inspiration declares that some are so enamored with food and with eating that their bellies become their god. While we are to judge no man, usually there is something wrong when a person, standing erect and looking straight down, cannot see his or her feet because of a fat stomach hanging over their waist. This, left as it is, cannot give glory to God.

It is a shame that so many professed Christians are not simply overweight, but are obese and diseased, due to a non-healthy lifestyle.

Eating, however, is not the only thing that determines our health, nor is it the only thing that we are to be concerned about. In fact, we have been told:

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

All we do is to bring glory to God. Our eating, drinking, exercising are all to give glory to God. Our lives in every aspect are to give glory to God. God is not honored by weak bodies. God is not honored by poor deportment, by always sad facial expressions, by uncleanness, and by untidy dress. Our words and the way we speak are a part of us that brings glory to God. All of these things work to either bring glory or dishonor to God.

Why do not those who have the word of God work out its glorious principles? It rests upon us not merely to use the great gift of speech in the service of the Master, but to bring glory to God by a consistent life and a godly conversation. The fallen world needs the light of heavenly sanctification demonstrated in a glorified character; and it is our duty, before the heavenly universe and a fallen world, to reach the perfect unity which this prayer presents. It is our duty to reflect the light of heaven upon a world that is under the scepter of Satan. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, December 6, 1898, Art. A, par. 6)

Beloved, as we live and share the principles that promote a good lifestyle with others through health reform work, it will be as an entering wedge to help them in every sphere in their lives, especially in their spiritual lives.

When properly conducted, the health work is an entering wedge, making a way for other truths to reach the heart. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 327)

We should cherish the desire to bring glory to God

As God’s people we are to cherish the desire to bring glory to God in all facets of our lives.

Love the right because it is right, and analyze your feelings, your impressions, in the light of the Word of God. Misdirected ambition will lead you into sorrow as surely as you yield to it. Cherish an ambition that will bring glory to God because it is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Consecrate every power of your being to the accomplishment of a holy work. Make every effort, in and through the grace of Christ, to reach the high standard set before you. You can be perfect in your sphere, even as God is perfect in His sphere. Has not Christ declared, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as you Father which is in heaven is perfect”? (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, August 16, 1905)

We are to bring glory to God by doing our best to be perfect men and perfect women. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, June 27, 1907)

By grace through faith

Romans 3:23 teaches that sinning brings us short of God’s glory: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” But faith which works by love (Galatians 5:6), resulting in obedience, brings glory to God:

He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. (Romans 4:20)

Abraham could not, in his own ability, give glory to God. His works could never justify him or give glory to God:

For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (Romans 4:2)

By grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9), we can live a new life that brings glory to God.

By suffering, and even by death, we bring glory to God

Many brave Christians have brought glory to God by their sufferings and even death. Inspiration says:

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (1 Peter 4:16)

Jesus told Peter he would suffer death as a martyr by crucifixion, and John records:

This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. (John 21:19)

Like Job, we may be afflicted at times and not realize that God is working behind the scenes to allow us the privilege of glorifying him through our faithfulness during sickness or trials and even by death. The Bible says that God, “doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men” (Lamentations 3:33). When suffering, and even death, come to the believer, we can be assured that it is not because God is not gracious or merciful. As believers we are to trust in him, and, like Job, we can say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).

God’s will in earth and heaven

Jesus taught us to pray that God’s will be done “in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Heaven is a place that is in the business of giving glory to God, and we should, too, if God’s will is to be done in earth as it is in heaven:

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:11, 12)

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God. (Revelation 19:1)

One more lesson from Revelation

There is another important lesson in the book of Revelation we need to understand, concerning giving glory to God. The first four verses are well known to Adventists:

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, And is become the habitation of devils, And the hold of every foul spirit, And a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, And the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, And the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, That ye be not partakers of her sins, And that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:1–4)

An angel comes from heaven, and the earth is lightened with his glory. Who is this angel? It is not a literal angelic being, but, just like the angels in Revelation 14, it is symbolic of the people of God, giving the last message of warning to the world. Now, we must ask ourselves: Do we have a responsibility to give this message or not? Is this message, along with the second angel’s message, to be given? I heard someone once say that he felt no burden to preach about coming out or of presenting a separation message because “these things usually straighten themselves out.” But if this is true, then why did God put the second and fourth angels’ messages in the Revelation? The fact that the message is repeated twice should speak to us of how God views the matter.

We seem to have no issue speaking about separation when the subjects are the papacy or apostate Protestantism. We can boldly proclaim the messages then, but we are afraid to say anything that might imply or directly state that the Seventh-day Adventist corporate structure should be left. But let us look at one verse that should clarify the matter well.

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)

The trinitarian doctrine denies both the Father and Son. It declares that the Father is not a real father and that the Son is not really a son. This is antichrist! It should be as plain as day that one cannot be antichrist and the remnant of God at the same time. The true remnant is Christian. You cannot be antichrist and Christian at the same time! We have a clear need to give the message of Revelation 18 to the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church because that church has failed to be faithful to the torch of truth that was given to them by God. Today, as always, “the church of the living God, [is] the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. (Ellen White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 11)

It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. (Ellen White, The Upward Look, p. 315)

I once heard of a drinking establishment called Paradise. Just because it had the name Paradise did not make it so. A group may use and even trademark a name so that nobody but those approved may use it, but if their character does not match their profession, then they are not God’s people.

The issue of the true church has caused as much confusion as any issue among those who have been able to agree that the corporate church is in apostasy, yet it need not be. The matter is simple. Let me state again, you cannot be antichrist and Christian at the same time! It is time to end this confusion and for all of those who have been illuminated by the Spirit of God and see the apostasy to speak the same thing.

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5, 6)

Conclusion

Beloved, it is time to finish the work. God has given talents to each member, and he wants us to use our talents for his glory:

There must be no burying of our talents in the earth, to corrode through inaction. A persistent indulgence of self, a refusal to exercise our God-given abilities, will insure our eternal separation from God, the loss of an eternity of bliss. These gifts are bestowed upon us in accordance with our ability to use them, and the wise improvement of each will prove a blessing to us, and will bring glory to God. Every gift gratefully received is a link in the chain which binds us to heaven. (Ellen White, The Signs of the Times, August 18, 1898)

God is calling all, especially the youth:

The work of God is in need of youthful ardor, zeal, and courage. Mental and physical vigor are essential for the advancement of the cause of God. To plan with clear mind and execute with courageous hand demand fresh and uncrippled energies. In order that the work may be forwarded in all its branches, God calls for youthful ardor. Young men and young women are invited to give Him the strength of their youth, that through the exercise of their God-given powers, through healthful thought and vigorous action, they may bring glory to God and salvation to men. God calls upon you, young men, to make the most of the powers entrusted to you. Cultivate the habit of doing your best in everything you undertake. God is your Master, and you are His employed servants. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, May 20, 1890)

We have nothing of ourselves in which to glory but can only glory in the gift and work of Jesus. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).

In the gift of his Son as a substitute and surety for fallen man, is an everlasting testimony to the world, to the heavenly universe, and to worlds unfallen, of the sacred regard which God has for the honor of his law and the eternal stability of his own moral government. It was also an expression of his love and mercy for the fallen human race. In the plan of redemption, this Saviour was to bring glory to God by making manifest his love for the world. (Ellen White, The Youth’s Instructor, August 5, 1897, Art. A)

Jesus set an example for each of us. His life was to bring glory to God. As we live Christ’s life of humility and service and as we honor God in our bodies and spirit, we, too, many bring glory to God.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:3–11)

Allen Stump


Wonderful Water—One of God’s Remedies

Eight-year-old Vincenz Priessnitz worked on his family’s farm in Germany instead of going to school, for his father had recently become blind, and Vincenz’s help was crucial. They were peasants, living off the land, and Vincenz’s job was to tend the family herd. While doing so one day, he noticed an injured deer drag itself to the spring. The deer had been shot in the thigh, and Vincenz watched as it managed to get its wounded thigh completely submerged in the flowing water of the spring. The deer returned several times that day and the next to repeat the process, and Vincenz observed the deer slowly heal. This stirred his thinking about how water can heal. Then in 1816, when he was seventeen years old, Vincenz was hauling a large load of oats to seed his neighbor’s farm, when the horse became spooked and bolted. Vincenz pulled hard on the bit, and the horse struck out violently with his hind legs. In the process Vincenz was thrown from the wagon, his front teeth were knocked out, his body was run over by the heavy wagon, and he lay unconscious. When the physician arrived, he pronounced Vincenz’s life in immediate danger and stated that if he did live, he would be an invalid for the rest of his life. Learning of this news when he regained consciousness, Vincenz refused to accept it and set his dislocated/broken ribs back into place by pushing the bottom of his rib cage on the back of a chair, had cold compresses applied to his chest and then had his chest wrapped with wet compresses. He also made sure to drink plenty of cold water. He continued the cold wrappings for a year but ten days after his accident, he was back to tending to his work on the farm, and thus was born a modern hydrotherapy movement!

Meanwhile here in America water was usually withheld from a sick person; in fact, thirst for cool water by those sick was considered a symptom of disease, and quenching this thirst was usually prohibited because it was thought unwarranted. Since the standard mode of treatment for illness included purging and/or vomiting, adding more water to the system was considered counterproductive. Treatment at the time aimed at getting as much as possible of whatever was inside a person out because it was thought that in the process the cause of disease would also be gotten out, and the patient would then recover. So, the use of emetics, purgatives, blistering agents, and even blood-letting was the normal treatment of the day.

Ellen White understood, however, the benefit of pure water to help the sick and advocated it:

Go with me to yonder sickroom. There lies a husband and father, a man who is a blessing to society and to the cause of God. He has been suddenly stricken down by disease. The fire of fever seems consuming him. He longs for pure water to moisten the parched lips, to quench the raging thirst, and cool the fevered brow. But, no; the doctor has forbidden water. The stimulus of strong drink is given [remember, if by “strong drink” she means alcohol, alcohol is a diuretic] and adds fuel to the fire. The blessed, heaven-sent water, skillfully applied, would quench the devouring flame; but it is set aside for poisonous drugs. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 195; 1882)

The use of water is appropriate both to quench the thirst and to cool the fevered brow of the sick person.

“Water can be used in many ways to relieve suffering (Ellen White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 419), and “the external application of water is one of the easiest and most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood (Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 237). Since we should all “have a knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them” (Ibid., p. 127), let us consider the wonderful ways water can be used, combined with trust in God, in the relieving of suffering, and we will start with two personal experiences of the White family.

The first was when Elder White suffered partial paralysis in 1865:

One morning, as we were taking our usual walk before breakfast, we stepped into Brother Lunt’s garden, and while my husband attempted to open an ear of corn, I heard a strange noise. Looking up, I saw his face flushed, and his right arm hanging helpless at his side. His attempt to raise his right arm was ineffectual—the muscles refused to obey his will.

I helped him into the house, but he could not speak to me until in the house he indistinctly uttered the words, “Pray, pray.” We dropped on our knees and cried to God, who had ever been to us a present help in time of trouble. My husband soon uttered words of praise and gratitude to God, because he could use his arm. His hand was partially restored, but not fully. . . .

The first five weeks of our affliction we spent at our own home. . . .

We had confidence in the use of water as one of God’s appointed remedies, but no confidence in drugs. But my own vital energies were too much exhausted for me to attempt to use hydropathic remedies in my husband’s case; and we felt that it might be duty to take him to Dansville, N. Y., where he could rest, and where we could have the care of those well skilled as hydropathic physicians. . . .

We remained in Dansville about three months. We obtained rooms a short distance from the institution, and were both able to walk out and be in the open air much of the time. Every day, excepting Sabbath and first day, we took treatment. (Ellen White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, pp. 168, 169)

Another experience was with their son, Willie, in 1864, when he was ten years old:

In the winter of 1864, my Willie was suddenly and violently brought down with lung fever [pneumonia]. We had just buried our oldest son [sixteen-year-old Henry in 1863] with this disease, and were very anxious in regard to Willie, fearing that he, too, might die. We decided that we would not send for a physician, but do the best we could with him ourselves by the use of water, and entreat the Lord in behalf of the child. We called in a few who had faith to unite their prayers with ours. We had a sweet assurance of God’s presence and blessing.

The next day Willie was very sick. He was wandering. He did not seem to see or hear me when I spoke to him. His heart had no regular beat, but was in a constant agitated flutter. We continued to look to God in his behalf, and to use water freely upon his head, and a compress constantly upon his lungs, and soon he seemed rational as ever. He suffered severe pain in his right side, and could not lie upon it for a moment. This pain we subdued with cold water compresses, varying the temperature of the water according to the degree of the fever. We were very careful to keep his hands and feet warm.

We expected the crisis would come the seventh day. We had but little rest during his sickness, and were obliged to give him up into others’ care the fourth and fifth nights. My husband and myself the fifth day felt very anxious. The child raised fresh blood, and coughed considerably. My husband spent much time in prayer. We left our child in careful hands that night. Before retiring my husband prayed long and earnestly. Suddenly his burden of prayer left him, and it seemed as though a voice spoke to him, and said, “Go lie down, I will take care of the child.”

I had retired sick, and could not sleep for anxiety for several hours. I felt pressed for breath. Although sleeping in a large chamber, I arose and opened the door into a large hall, and was at once relieved, and soon slept. I dreamed that an experienced physician was standing by my child, watching every breath, with one hand over his heart, and with the other feeling his pulse. He turned to us and said, “The crisis has passed. He has seen his worst night. He will now come up speedily, for he has not the injurious influence of drugs to recover from. Nature has nobly done her work to rid the system of impurities.” I related to him my worn-out condition, my pressure for breath, and the relief obtained by opening the door.

Said he, “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 sickroom at the very time when most needed, as though dangerous enemies.”

This dream and my husband’s experience was a consolation to us both. We found in the morning that our boy had passed a restless night. He seemed to be in a high fever until noon. Then the fever left him, and he appeared quite well, except weak. He had eaten but one small cracker through his five-days’ sickness. He came up rapidly, and has had better health than he has had for several years before. This experience is valuable to us.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:151–153, (1864), (first section). (Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 2, pp. 304, 305)

Water is a basic necessity

Water is one of the basic necessities of life—“respiration, digestion, glandular secretion, temperature regulation, sufficient blood volume to maintain circulation, excretion of wastes, and virtually all other body activities depend on water. It acts as a lubricant, helps protect tissues from external injury, and gives flexibility to muscles, tendons, cartilage, and bones. Every chemical and physical function of life is carried out in a water medium” (William Dysinger, M. D., Heaven’s Lifestyle Today, p. 47).

Dr. Dysinger, who worked with Dr. Mervyn Hardinge in establishing the school of public health at Loma Linda University, also explains that about 57 percent of the total body weight of a man is water, and in a newborn it is about 75 percent, which helps us to understand why it is so important to protect newborns from dehydration—they need more water in proportion to their body weight than adults do—but the powerhouse of the body as far as water is concerned is the brain—it is 85 percent water! To be able to think well, we must keep our brains well-hydrated!

The kidneys

Our kidneys are essential for maintaining our body’s water balance. Ten quarts of blood are filtered through the kidneys every hour, and the higher the protein intake, the greater the need for extra water to flush out urea, the end product of protein metabolism, from the blood.

Thirst and dehydration

You cannot depend on your thirst to alert you to increase your intake of water. Symptoms of dehydration can creep in before you know it. First you will notice fatigue and possibly a headache, and then a feeling of exhaustion. Drink more water! If you do not, fever can occur, along with decreased alertness, mental depression, and irritability; and dehydration can ultimately end in coma and death. The following chart gives the data for the loss of water from our bodies under normal circumstances and during heavy exercise, so you can understand how much water is necessary to just replace what is lost through the skin, through excretion, etc.

The rate of water loss in the body

Part of Body

Normal
Temperature

Prolonged
Heavy Exercise

Skin

350 ml

350 ml

Respiration

350 ml

650 ml

Urine

1,400 ml

500 ml

Perspiration

100 ml

5,000 ml

Feces

100 ml

100 ml

Total

2,300 ml

6,600 ml

Bladder infections and kidney stones

Plenty of water enables the kidneys to function effectively and “helps prevent kidney and bladder infections and stone formation. It is almost impossible to initiate either infection or stone formation in diluted urine. Concentrated urine is generally dark yellow. A good indicator of sufficient water intake is if the urine is very pale or clear at least once a day. How much suffering and distress could be relieved if everyone drank sufficient pure water to keep the urine clear” (Ibid., p. 49).

 

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Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park; flow rate in this picture is about 44,000 liters of water a second!

Caffeine and alcohol

The caffeine present in cola drinks, in coffee, and in tea has a tendency to dehydrate a person because caffeine is a diuretic. A person drinking a caffeinated beverage should drink extra water to make up for the water lost in diuresis. This is true, also, when one ingests alcoholic beverages, for this ingestion also results in diuresis.

Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, July 29, 1884)

Overweight and excess salt

“Extra fat in the body requires extra water intake—an extra glass per day for every 25 pounds of excess weight” (Ibid., p. 49), and we need to “be aware that salt retains water in the body. Those who eat large amounts of salt need to drink more water to help flush out excess salt . . .” (Ibid.).

Benefits of hydrotherapy

When cold is applied briefly to a warm body, the heart beats “more rapidly and forcibly; the circulation is whipped up; the nerves tingle with new life; respiration becomes at first rapid, then slower and deeper; and the muscles are energized” (Ibid., p. 55). Three different reactions take place when cold is briefly applied to a warm body—a thermic one (the body produces more heat in reaction to the cold), a circulatory reaction (the skin becomes reddened due to increased circulation), and a nervous reaction (the nerves tingle was with new life). One would think the opposite would take place and that a cold treatment would cause the body to become cold and sluggish, but this is not so. The body speeds things up, so to speak, to adapt to the cold.

Many of the most beneficial results of hydrotherapy are due to the reaction of the body to heat and cold applications, but this reaction does not occur well in the very young, in the old, and in those who are generally weakened, so hydrotherapy techniques must be used carefully with these people. As Dr. Dysinger says, “the body must have good vital force to produce the reactionary effects” (Ibid.).

Hydrotherapy arouses the body to bring about recuperation and healing. It is important to understand the value of the use of water in treating infections because we face increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The blessing of hydrotherapy is that it provides natural tonic and sedative effects without the common side effects of drugs.

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Crater Lake contains about 4.49 cu mi (18.7 km3) of water!

How hydrotherapy works

Prolonged exposure to extremes of temperature will have an intrinsic effect on the body. With prolonged cold, the body functions are slowed or depressed. The respiration, pulse, and circulation slow; the skin sensation is blunted; and muscles move sluggishly and clumsily. Digestion is arrested, and body temperature lowers. With moderate heat, the life processes are stimulated. Respiration, pulse, and circulation increase; digestion proceeds more rapidly; and muscles are more quick and active.

Applying brief periods of cold and hot water treatments to the skin, however, has a reactionary, not an intrinsic, effect on the skin and on the organs beneath the skin. For example, hot and cold compresses to the face, scalp, and back of the neck will have an effect on the brain. Mucus membranes of the nose are also affected by hydrotherapy to the back of the neck. The larynx and pharynx are affected by compresses to the neck, and the lungs are benefitted by compresses to the chest and shoulders. Hydrotherapy on the lower right chest will affect the liver; on the lower left chest, the spleen; on the lower third of the sternum, the kidneys; on the lower dorsal and the lumbar spine, the kidneys and intestines; on the lower lumbar and the sacral spine, the pelvic organs; and treatment applied on the epigastrium affects the stomach. There are no nearby organs to be affected, however, when the hands, feet, and lower legs receive hydrotherapy, but because the temperature of the water has an effect on the circulatory system, distal areas can be benefitted. For example, a hot foot bath can have a positive effect on the brain, lungs, and/or pelvic organs:

A lady was passing by—one of our highest teachers in Battle Creek, and it was icy and she didn’t know how to drive and neither did her husband, and the sleigh slipped and jerked the lines right out of their hands. “Jump, jump,” said the husband, and she jumped and was caught right on the side of the sleigh and struck her head on the ice and the blood poured out of her ears and nose and eyes and they thought it would be impossible to save her, but we gathered her up and took her into the house. We said we will take care of her but it is a question of how long she can live. There must be no noise around anywhere. It may be possible we can save her life. The doctor was sent for and when he said, “What are you doing?” We said, giving her a hot foot bath right under the bed clothes. Well, he said, you know better than I, and he turned on his heel and walked off and that was the last we saw of the doctor. Well, we kept her for four weeks and we had all the roosters removed from the neighborhood and every bit of noise excluded. And we succeeded in saving her life. Five years later in passing a woman who looked like this same teacher, when she saw me she grasped me in her arms and said, “You saved my life and the life of this child, the only child I have, and I feel so grateful whenever I hear the name of Ellen White mentioned. (Ellen White, Loma Linda Messages, p. 541.4; emphasis supplied)

 

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Clean mountain water is refreshing.

Treatment to the hands can also have an effect on the brain, as well as an impact on the nasal mucus membranes.

Applications

Dr. Dysinger applies the above and the following principles of hydrotherapy in several ways:

1) Prolonged immersion of hands in cold water causes contraction of the blood vessels of the nasal mucus membranes. (This may be helpful with uncontrolled nosebleeds.)

2) Short, cold applications to the face and head stimulate mental activity. (Are you drowsy and not alert?)

3) An ice bag applied over the heart slows the heart rate, increases its force, and raises arterial blood pressure. (Is the blood pressure dropping and/or the heart fibrillating?)

4) A short, cold application, such as a cold rub to the chest, at first increases respiration but soon results in deeper breathing at a slower rate.

5) A prolonged application of heat to any area of skin reflexly produces dilation of the blood vessels in the distant organ beneath the skin.

6) Hot, moist applications (fomentations) to the chest facilitate respiration and expectoration.

7) Prolonged, hot applications to the abdomen lessen peristalsis (and colic).

  1. A one minute cold application is more useful than anything else therapeutically in changing the functions of the body. It increases circulation, the skin is toned, basal metabolism increases, red and white blood cells increase, urine production increases, and constipation is relieved.
  2. Heat usually brings more blood supply to an area, stimulates the work of white blood cells in fighting infection, relaxes muscles, and can relieve muscle spasm pain.

Fred B. Moor et al. in Manual of Hydrotherapy and Massage on pages 15 and 16, provide this additional information:

  1. Prolonged heat to one extremity causes vasodilatation in the contralateral extremity.
  2. Prolonged heat to the abdominal wall causes decreased intestinal blood flow and diminished intestinal motility, and decreases secretion of acid in the stomach.
  3. Prolonged cold to the skin of the abdomen causes increased intestinal blood flow, increased intestinal motility, and increased acid secretion in the stomach.
  4. Prolonged heat to the precordium increases the heart rate, decreases its force, and lowers blood pressure (the opposite of #3).
  5. Prolonged heat to the chest promotes ease of respiration and expectoration (agrees with #6).
  6. Prolonged heat to the trunk apparently relaxes the ureters or bile ducts, as the case may be, and relieves renal or gallbladder colic.
  7. An ice pack over the thyroid gland contracts its blood vessels and decreases its function.

Water intake slows digestion

Drinking liquids while we eat will slow digestion;

Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or ice lemonade, drunk with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Hot drinks are debilitating...Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. (White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 106)

It is beneficial, however, to drink before or after our meals:

But if anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water, drunk some little time before or after the meal, is all that nature requires. (White, The Review and Herald, July 29, 1884)

Drafts of clear, hot water taken before eating (half quart, more or less), will never do any harm, but will rather be productive of good.—Letter 35, 1890. (White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 419)

Science today is taking a closer look at the evidence for using hydrotherapy. In the 1800s, hydrotherapy, also known as hydropathy, was a cold-water-only treatment. Priessnitz’s treatments were all cold-water ones, with only a very rare tepid water treatment of 55 degrees F being used. When Priessnitz’s theories reached America, they were called the water-cure or were called hygienic treatments, but they continued to be cold-water procedures. Drinking plenty of cold water was advocated, as well as were immersion up to the shoulders in cold water, cold-water showers, cold-water wraps, and always bathing in cold water. Steam treatments, saunas, hot foot baths, etc., were added later, and even Ellen White only mentions the use of hot foot baths once in her writings. She refers to the use of hot and cold water and to the use of hot compresses, an inspired improvement on Priessnitz’s methods. (See Medical Ministry, page 228; written in 1897.)

Mooventhan and Nivethitha have published a paper in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences[1] which summarizes what has been published about the effects of hot and cold water on basal metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, the immune system, etc., and also summarizes the potential benefits of hydrotherapy in treating disease.

The use of water is a simple means available to us all, the use of which can address many health issues, but remember to use it carefully with the very young and the old, and with those who have compromised health in general and/or significant health issues in particular.[2]

Onycha Holt

[1]. A. Mooventhan and L. Nivethitha, “Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body,” North American Journal of Medical Sciences May 2014, pp. 199–209; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049052/

[2]. Good books with which to get started are: Heaven’s Lifestyle Today by William Dysinger, M. D.; Home Remedies: Hydrotherapy, Massage, Charcoal, and Other Simple Treatments by Agatha Thrash, M. D. and Calvin Thrash, M. D.; Hydrotherapy: Simple Treatments for Common Ailments by Clarence Dail, M. D. and Charles Thomas, Ph. D.; and Manual of Hydrotherapy and Massage by Fred B. Moor, Stella C. Peterson, Ethel M. Manwell, Mary C. Noble, and Gertrude Muench.


2017 WV Camp Meeting Report

The 2017 West Virginia camp meeting was the best attended and certainly one of the best camp meetings we have had this decade. The theme was “The Right Arm and the Three Angels’ Messages.”

Most of the meetings during the day focused on the right arm—the medical missionary work/health reform—and the evening meetings focused on the body of the message—the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14. We have been told:

Again and again I have been instructed that the medical missionary work is to bear the same relation to the work of the third angel’s message that the arm and hand bear to the body. Under the direction of the divine Head they are to work unitedly in preparing the way for the coming of Christ. The right arm of the body of truth is to be constantly active, constantly at work, and God will strengthen it. But it is not to be made the body. At the same time the body is not to say to the arm: “I have no need of thee.” The body has need of the arm in order to do active, aggressive work. Both have their appointed work, and each will suffer great loss if worked independently of the other. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 229)

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Brother Lynnford Beachy sharing

Several interesting messages were presented. Some of these will be printed in Old Paths over the next few months and all will be posted on our YouTube channel. We are currently behind on the video project but hope to get more up very soon. You can find a direct link to our YouTube channel at smyrna.org. We will also have the presentations available on DVD and audio CD as soon as possible. We are sorry for the delay. Our staff is small, and we do not have a person dedicated to working with audio and video projects, so please be patient with us.

Adventist have known well that God has provided eight natural remedies for healing and for maintaining good health. While all of these remedies were at one point or another discussed during the camp meeting, no one presentation gave an overview of all eight. Perhaps each speaker felt sure that someone else would cover these eight remedies as a group, but surprisingly no one did.

There were some excellent presentations, though. Pastor Stump did a study on the relationship between the physical and spiritual health of the believer. This study demonstrated the necessity of health reform, if we are to be spiritually well.

Sister Onycha Holt gave a historical background of the medical practices used just before and during the life of Ellen White to help us better understand the counsels that God gave to her. She then presented a comprehensive view of Ellen White’s counsels on herbs, medicines, and drugs, finding principles with which to understand how we should or should not use them.

 

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Suwannee Brown shared
special music.

Pastor Mesa testifying

Zach, Elvis, and Jean-Christophe

Sister Dorthy being a Berean

 

Brother Jean-Christophe Bolotte from France gave three evening messages, one on each of the three angels of Revelation 14. These messages were one of the great highlights of the camp meeting. His energy and enthusiasm were impossible to miss.

Elder S. T. Lewis from Columbus, Ohio, presented a special message on the typology of the Hebrew feasts.

Other presentations involved the need for medical missionary work, God’s plan for country living, dress reform in the health message, and others.

Two special highlights of the camp were the dedication of Elliot Polsky to the Lord by his parents and two of our youth taking a stand for the Lord in baptism.

We were also especially blessed to have Pastor Daniel Mesa and Brother Dustin Butler (a great, great grandson of G. I. Butler) visit us from California.

Todd and Rhonda Brown organized the youth group into two health fairs, one in the nearby city of Welch, West Virginia, and the other for those at the camp meeting. During these fairs, health screenings were offered to the people, with spiritual, as well as physical health, counseling. This gave our youth some practical hands-on experience, as well as being a blessing and outreach to others.

It would be difficult to extend thanks to all who helped with the camp meeting. It seems like everyone did something to make camp meeting better and to contribute to the meetings. From Brother Bruce, with his music and songs, to Brother Zachary’s help in clean up, and to Sister Elaine and her crew’s help with a tasty and healthy fellowship-Sabbath meal, there were no slackers in the group (at least none that I ever saw)!

The only thing that would have made the camp meeting better would have been for you to have been here, if you missed it! So please begin to think about attending next year, if the Lord wills that we have the opportunity for such a meeting. As Brother Whitehurst said, “Jesus is coming soon and the final events are sooner than soon!

Editors

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The Medical Arts in Early America

We have been blessed with a health message that is capable of sustaining a long life of well-being spiritually, physically, and mentally, and part of that health message includes counsel on the use of drugs. Our article this month will evaluate the practice of medicine during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, years that encompass the ministry of Ellen White. Next month we will seek to apply the principles we will cover now to the art of healing today. Both articles are broadly based upon Mervyn G. Hardinge’s book, A Physician Explains Ellen White’s Counsel on Drugs, Herbs, & Natural Remedies, published by the Review & Herald Publishing Association in 2005.

Dr. Hardinge was born and raised in India and when eighteen years of age, he moved to England to attend Newbold College, then a fairly young college, to study theology and business. Dr. Hardinge was intent on pastoral ministry and following graduation began work as an assistant minister in Sheffield, England, but just days into his duties a voice arrested him as he walked down a street in Sheffield, saying: “You must take the medical course!” This was October, and the words echoed in his mind through the remainder of the year, until at last he informed his mother of them. She understood the importance of the calling and made arrangements for the family to travel to America so Mervyn could study pre-med and then attend the College of Medical Evangelists in Loma Linda, California. Later Dr. Hardinge was awarded a doctorate in public health from Harvard University and a doctorate in pharmacology from Stanford University. In the course of his career, Dr. Hardinge was instrumental in establishing the school of public health at Loma Linda University, but throughout his career, he never completely understood Sister White’s counsel on the use of drugs:

Through the years I have struggled with what her message on therapeutics was really about. Back in 1945 I attempted to resolve the problem by placing her statements on drugs in chronological order, but that did little to help. Finally I decided that should God spare my life, I would thoroughly investigate the matter after I retired. And this I have done. (Mervyn Hardinge, A Physician Explains Ellen White’s Counsel on Drugs, Herbs, & Natural Remedies, p. 17)

The database for the writings of Ellen White (not including the recently released materials) contains nearly six hundred references for the word drugs alone. A few of the first references are:

Unsuspecting parents will try the skill of one physician after another, who prescribe drugs . . . Their drugs only add a second great burden for abused nature to struggle against, which often breaks down in her efforts and the victim dies. (Ellen White, Appeal to Mothers, p. 17; 1864; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise stated)

The Health Retreat was established at a great cost to treat the sick without drugs. It should be conducted on hygienic principles. Drug medication should be worked away from as fast as possible, until entirely discarded. (Ellen White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 406; 1884)

Drug medication, as it is generally practiced, is a curse. Educate away from drugs. Use them less and less, and depend more upon hygienic agencies; then nature will respond to God’s physicians—pure air, pure water, proper exercise, a clear conscience. . . . Drugs need seldom be used. (Ellen White, Counsels on Health, p. 261; 1890)

It is the Lord’s purpose that His method of healing without drugs shall be brought into prominence in every large city through our medical institutions. (Ellen White, A Call to Medical Evangelism and Health Education, p. 16; 1905)

Thousands need and would gladly receive instruction concerning the simple methods of treating the sick—methods that are taking the place of the use of poisonous drugs. (Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 146; 1905)

A practice that is laying the foundation of a vast amount of disease and of even more serious evils is the free use of poisonous drugs. When attacked by disease, many will not take the trouble to search out the cause of their illness. . . .

People need to be taught that drugs do not cure disease. It is true that they sometimes afford present relief, and the patient appears to recover as the result of their use . . . Health is recovered in spite of the drug. But in most cases the drug only changes the form and location of the disease. Often the effect of the poison seems to be overcome for a time, but the results remain in the system, and work great harm at some later period.

By the use of poisonous drugs, many bring upon themselves lifelong illness, and many lives are lost that might be saved by the use of natural methods of healing. . . . Many of the popular nostrums called patent medicines, and even some of the drugs dispensed by physicians, act a part in laying the foundation of the liquor habit, the opium habit, the morphine habit, that are so terrible a curse to society. (Ibid., p. 126; 1905)

Throughout his years as a doctor, Mervyn Hardinge struggled to understand Ellen White’s varied counsels on drugs, and perhaps you have, too. So, to gain a better understanding, let us consider the practice of medicine in early America.

Medical education in early America

On a peninsula, where the James River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, a group of men stepped down from the Susan Constant, from the Discovery, and from the Godspeed, ships that had departed England five months earlier. Even though the men were city dwellers and not farmers, they had come to establish a colony. The French, the Spanish, and the Portuguese were already claiming land in the New World, and the English wanted a share. This particular peninsula, however, was swampy and plagued with mosquitoes, and the water on all sides was brackish. After building a fort for protection, it was too late to plant crops. In addition, the area was suffering from a drought. One hundred four men and boys arrived in 1607, and by 1610 most of them had died. The governor of Jamestown described it this way:

Our men were destroyed with cruel diseases, as Swellings, Fluxes, Burning Fevers, and by wars, and some departed suddenly, but for the most part they died of mere famine. . . . Our food was but a small Can of Barley sod [soaked] in water, to five men a day, our drink cold water taken out of the River, which was at a flood [full tide] very salty, at a low tide full of slime and filth, which was the destruction of many of our men. Thus we lived for the space of five months in this miserable distress, not having five able men to man our Bulwarks upon any occasion.

. . . our men night and day groaning in every corner of the Fort most pitiful to hear. (George Percy, “Jamestown: 1607, the First Months”)

These men and boys were “destroyed with cruel diseases,” in addition to the famine. This was 1607. No physician came from England to be part of the Jamestown settlement. In 1620, another group of settlers arrived from the Old World, this time weighing anchor in Cape Cod, and Samuel Fuller was among those who disembarked from the Mayflower. He was the colony’s physician/surgeon.

Colonial and frontier life in America was carved out of the untamed land. Medical education was nonexistent except for what could be learned through apprenticeship. Settlers did their best to replicate the ways of healing they had known in England. They also learned new remedies from the natives—quinine for malaria, for example, foxglove for heart issues, and willow bark for fever and pain—but no one understood the cause of disease, and superstition was rampant. Warts were believed cured by applying water collected from a rotting tree stump. Smallpox was treated with the powder of dried toads, and birthmarks were supposedly removed when rubbed by the hand of a corpse, but eventually frontier life became easier. Land was cleared; houses and schools were built; and a federal government was established, which paved the way for railroads and a system of education and by the nineteenth century, medical schools had been established. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine was the first, established in 1765, and the Harvard School of Medicine was begun in 1782, but illness remained mysterious, and the schools of medicine only perpetuated false knowledge and dangerous treatments. Treating someone with dried toads or with water from a rotting tree stump was minor compared to what developed. Poisonous chemicals and potions were introduced in vain attempts to cure disease. The physicians knew no better and were grasping at straws. They only wanted to be healers but were lost in the darkness of speculation and superstition, and their trusted approaches to treatment were bloodletting, blistering, purging, and the use of so-called drugs.

Bloodletting always seemed to work. If a patient had a fever, the best way to reduce it was with bloodletting. It usually brought a rapid response. Soon after the treatment the patient would become bathed in copious perspiration and the fever and delirium would be gone. If, however, the first bleed did not accomplish this, a second bleed would be done, and sometimes a third or a fourth, and by this time the patient was so debilitated that he often died. George Washington is an example. He had a sore throat, a fever, and laborious breathing, most likely something akin to severe tonsillitis or laryngitis. Here is the report of his two doctors of that fateful night in 1799:

The necessity of blood-letting suggesting itself to the General, he procured a bleeder in the neighborhood, who took from the arm in the night, twelve or fourteen ounces of blood. . . . Discovering the case to be highly alarming, and foreseeing the fatal tendency of the disease, two consulting physicians were immediately sent for . . . In the interim were employed two copious bleedings; a blister was applied to the part affected, two moderate doses of calomel were given, an injection was administered which operated on the lower intestines, but all without any perceptible advantage, the respiration becoming still more difficult and distressing. Upon the arrival of the first of the consulting physicians, it was agreed . . . to try the result of another bleeding, when about thirty-two ounces were drawn, without the smallest apparent alleviation of the disease. . . . ten grains of calomel were given, succeeded by repeated doses of emetic tarter, amounting in all to five or six grains, with no other effect than a copious discharge from the bowels. The powers of life seemed now manifestly yielding to the force of the disorder. Blisters were applied to the extremities, together with a cataplasm of bran and vinegar to the throat. Speaking, which was painful from the beginning, now became almost impracticable, respiration grew more and more contracted and imperfect, till . . . he expired without a struggle [the same evening]. (William C. Rothstein, American Physicians in the Nineteenth Century, p. 55, quoting Wyndham B. Blanton, Medicine in Virginia in the Eighteenth Century, pp. 305–306; brackets in original)

All of us can agree that this kind of treatment is of “no benefit to the human family” (Ellen White, Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 137; written August 26, 1898) and that the sick “need not call in a doctor any more than they would call in a lawyer” (Ibid.) in such cases. Admittedly, Sister White was addressing the medical practices of one hundred one years later, but they had not improved during that one hundred years, and disease continued to be a grim reaper without stop.

Illnesses of the nineteenth century

Malaria was the most common disease in America in the early nineteenth century, not only in the southern regions, but also north into Wisconsin and Minnesota. Wherever there were marshes and bodies of stagnant water, malaria flourished. Being ill with malaria was considered a normal part of life. One observer made the following statement about an inn twelves miles south of Chicago:

The place . . . seemed to be the headquarters of the mosquito tribe; they kept our hands and handkerchiefs in constant motion; and yet they evaded both, so as to cover the faces of most of the parties with large pustules from their bites. They were the largest and most venomous I had ever seen; and the sultriness of the night, the closeness of the place, and the filth of the room in which we were staying, seemed to give them new vigour. I went into the open air, hoping for some relief, but met as large a legion of them without as within, and found there was no escape from their tormenting attacks. One of our Western passengers declared that in a part of the prairie from which he had come, they were so thick that if you held out your naked arm straight for a few minutes, so as to allow them to settle on it, they would be followed by such a cloud of others hovering around them, that if you suddenly drew in your arm, you would perceive a clear hole left in the cloud, by the space which the arm had occupied! (Rothstein, p. 56, quoting J. S. Buckingham, The Eastern and Western States of America, vol. 3, p. 138)

By the way, Buckingham also stated black flies were so prevalent that at one meal it was impossible to see the food on the dishes because of them. For the most part, our country was young and poor and had polluted water supplies, unsanitary means of sewage disposal, unhygienic methods of food preparation, and a lack of control over mosquitoes, flies, and other insect vectors. Illness was a major part of the daily life of Americans, including Ellen White and fellow believers. From her diary for only a three month period, we find the following references to poor health:

We tried to comfort Augusta. She is cast down and discouraged; health poor, and no one to depend on. . . .

Sister Bognes . . . is poor and sickly. . . .

Gave Agnes a half-worn dress paramatta for her mother. They are poor. The husband and father is sick.

Rested well last night, but feel depression of spirits this morning. . . .

I went to Brother Thompson’s. Was gladly received, yet did not enjoy the visit; was unwell. . . . After supper I went to Brother Day’s. Had quite a good visit, yet do not feel in a visiting mood. My spirits are depressed. . . .

Brother Leander had gone hunting. Their little one is not well. . . .

Am quite sick. Went to the meeting. Was so sick I was obliged to return home to Brother Leander’s. . . . I felt so miserable I could not converse. . . . why am I so depressed, why so cast down and homesick? . . .

Brother Cramer is a cripple—caused by a fall from a building. I am so weary and lame through riding I cannot move without suffering pain. . . .

Sister Root is in feeble health. . . .

Brother Cramer . . . is deeply afflicted with ill health and lameness. . . .

My teeth troubled me through the night. . . .

Little Willie seems overjoyed to meet us again. Poor child, he has been very sick in my absence. Is now better but looks miserable. My husband has been sick . . .

My lungs trouble me very much. . . .

Health poor. . . .

My health is very poor. Am troubled with severe cramp in my side. . . . I cannot stand straight, and walk with much pain and difficulty. Intended visiting the brother Dan. It is impossible to go. I feel a strange weakness. . . .

In the eve, at the commencement of the Sabbath, we assembled at Brother T. Meade’s to pray for him, that God would heal him of his disease. He is fast going down. . . .

Did not attend meeting today [Sabbath]. My husband was sick. . . .

I suffer so much pain in my shoulder, lung, and my whole side . . .

Thomas [Meade] . . . is much cast down. His lungs trouble him much. . . .

Not able to attend meeting. . . .

My teeth troubled me. . . .

My health is very poor. . . .

I suffer continually in body . . .

I have a sick headache . . .

Quite unwell . . . (The Ellen G. White Letters & Manuscripts with Annotations, vol. 1, pp. 579–615; entries by Ellen White in her diary for January through March 1859)

Second to malaria in prevalence were diarrhea and dysentery. Dysentery was also known as the flux. Adults died after years of suffering from chronic diarrhea, which was caused by a continual lack of sanitation. Adults also died from intestinal disorders, often in the form of cholera, which was the leading cause of death in children. Cholera was probably the most terrifying of diseases.

It struck the sufferer so rapidly that it was almost a shock. One victim of an attack stated that as he was walking he felt himself growing stiff from the knees downward. Then, he related, ‘I felt suddenly a rush of blood from my feet upward, and as it rose my veins grew cold and my blood curdled. My legs and hands were cramped with violent pain.’ Suddenly, he found himself thrown to the floor ‘as if shot.’ William McPheeters, a physician who treated patients during the 1849 St. Louis epidemic, stated that the symptoms were ‘vomiting freely with frequent and copious discharges from the bowels; at first of slight bilious character, but it soon became pure ‘rice water’; cramps in the stomach and lower extremities and tongue cold; skin of a blue color and very much corrugated; urinary secretions suspended; eyes sunken and surrounded by a livid hue.’ All this occurred in a few hours, while the patient sunk into a corpselike collapse. (Rothstein, p. 58)

Respiratory ailments, such as pneumonia, influenza, and pulmonary tuberculosis, were also major causes of death.

Another disease was yellow fever, which was epidemic in the United States, appearing nearly every year between 1800 and 1879. Thousands of people died from it. The standard treatment for yellow fever was bloodletting, up to twenty ounces two to four times a day, after every exacerbation of fever. This was supplemented with purging, induced by eight to twelve grains of calomel mixed with jalap (a harsh purgative) or rhubarb, given every four to six hours. This treatment was later updated to sixty grains of calomel. Patients were also doused with cold sea water for as long as they could bear it. Quinine was given to people with yellow fever, thinking the diseases of malaria and yellow fever were related, and as quinine did not help, doubt was also cast on its use for malaria. Receiving treatment was a terrible experience.

Medical information during the nineteenth century was limited and mainly guesswork. No one understood how disease was transmitted or how it was successfully treated. The only essentials for a medical school were a faculty chosen from local doctors (any doctor would do), a lecture hall, and a room for dissection.

One must needs have lived in those days, and have seen the sick, to realize the terrible character of regular medicine. The miserable sinners suffering from disease were tormented continuously by nauseant drugs, by unutterable nausea of the stomach, the torments of physic [purging], the suffering from blisters, and the terrible thirst [from ingesting mercury] which . . . cried to heaven for relief . . . The blister was drawn, clipped, poulticed, and not unfrequently stunk so as to be recognized as soon as the door of the house was opened. Patients were unwashed, clothing and bed-clothing allowed to become dirty—dirt and bad odors, indeed, were characteristic of the treatment. (John M. Scudder [a physician of the 19th century] in “A Brief History of Eclectic Medicine,” Eclectic Medical Journal 39, p. 298; 1879)

Treatment options

Let us now consider why treatment always included bloodletting, blistering, and purging. The concept of disease at this time was based on theory only, and the main theory was that there was something noxious inside a sick person that had to be gotten out before healing could take place. So blood was let out. This was the first phase of treatment. Household members were taught how to bleed one another. This was the first line of attack during George Washington’s last illness. No physician was at his home to bleed him at first. A veterinarian from a nearby farm was called to perform it. The people were also familiar with applying leeches. Bloodletting was a normal, everyday treatment, the same as taking Tylenol or Benadryl is for much of America today, and they were not concerned with how much blood they released because they believed they had much more blood in their systems than they actually did.

Blistering did just what the term says. A substance was applied to the skin which caused blisters to form. They were then punctured, irritated, and sucked by a cupping method, which, of course, caused infection, requiring more suction, etc. Soon the patient smelled strongly of a raging infection.

Many intestinal cleansers are sold today, but we are much more knowledgeable about the use of herbs for this process than the people were in the nineteenth century. Then strong, harsh, and debilitating cathartics were used, highly irritating substances, some of which are known today as definite carcinogens. In the 1800s these substances were administered repeatedly to a sick person and resulted in an obvious work of moving everything out, but scrubbing the insides in the process, so that the cathartics actually caused erosion of the mucosal lining and resultant bleeding. It was a terrible and debilitating process to endure, and the patient often succumbed to death during it or struggled for a long time thereafter to heal from it. It was called heroic medicine because of its intensity and thoroughness. Treatment marched on as a hero to conquer disease with harsh, warlike methods.

Methods of treatment

Let us now consider how treatment was administered. For bleeding, a tourniquet was applied to the upper arm, and an unsterile lancet was used to cut a vein in the antecubital area. A bowl was held underneath the elbow to catch the blood, which was later discarded.

Blistering was done anywhere on the body. Patches of mustard or of other irritating substances were applied to the chest, the back, the thighs, the neck, and/or the abdomen. Sometimes the head was shaved and a patch was applied that covered the entire head.

While this abysmal work was taking place, strong purgatives were administered. One of the strongly irritating purgatives used was croton oil, obtained from crushed croton seeds. The oil is a drastic and a very rapid cathartic and one of the most purgative substances known to mankind. It can induce vomiting also and will raise blisters on the skin, if applied externally. Croton oil is considered carcinogenic today, and eating only four seeds is lethal to a man, and fifteen seeds will kill a horse. When oil was not available, a single kernel was all that was needed to induce purging.[1]

George Washington

The story of George Washington’s last illness

. . . begins on a cold winter day—Thursday, December 12, 1799. The general, who was then . . . sixty-seven-year-old former president, rode out to inspect the farms on the periphery of his sprawling Mount Vernon estate. Under a cold and cloudy sky, the general mounted his trusty steed and headed out at about 10:00 a.m. to mark trees to be removed from the estate. About three hours into his tour, the sky opened up and a driving rain began, followed by hail and snow. As Washington pressed onward, the weather deteriorated. An icy December wind began to blow.

By the time he returned to Mount Vernon at 3:00 p.m., his hair was covered in snow, and his neck was soaking wet. He entered Mount Vernon at the west entrance, where he was greeted by his friend and estate manager, Tobias Lear, a New Hampshire native who had started working for the Washingtons in 1784. The general went to the dining room, where the table was set for two. (Michael Lee Pope, Wicked Northern Virginia, Chapter 1, Kindle edition)

Martha joined him and after a warm meal and hot tea and after completing a batch of correspondence, he retired. By the next afternoon, his voice was hoarse, and it was difficult for him to speak. He retired early that evening, also, but at 2:00 a.m. awoke with fever and shivering, and his breathing was laborious. He was bled by a neighbor, and the doctor was summoned, who bled him again. In fact, he was bled four (some say five) times in total, removing over half (some say 80 percent) of his blood supply. He was also blistered on the throat with cantharidin poultices and given doses of calomel and of other purgatives. All for a sore throat or tonsillitis or laryngitis or a swollen and inflamed epiglottis—we really are not sure.

Let us now consider some of the main drugs used during the nineteenth century.

Drugs of the nineteenth century

Cantharidin is a substance produced by blister beetles and by false blister beetles, cardinal beetles, and soldier beetles. The beetle produces it to protect its egg case. It is a potent blistering agent and is classified today as an extremely hazardous substance. Cantharidin is dangerously toxic if ingested, similar to strychnine, and will cause severe gastrointestinal bleeding, renal dysfunction, and often organ failure and death. If the person does not die, permanent renal damage may result. It was a relatively new drug on the scene in the 1800s and medicinally was used only externally for blistering. It causes severe chemical burns. Cells of the epidermis break down, releasing fluid and raising blisters. Since the skin heals from this without scarring, a diluted version of it is used today by dermatologists to treat warts and to remove tattoos. Cantharidin is classified in the United States as an extremely hazardous substance and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities which produce, store, or use it in significant quantities.

Aconite is derived from the tuberous root of the common monkshood.

Of all the drugs we possess, there are certainly none more valuable than aconite. Its virtues by most persons are only beginning to be appreciated . . . [Sydney Ringer, “Papers on the Therapeutic Action of Drugs,” Lancet 1 (1869):42]

Aconite was prescribed for neuralgias of the brow or face; to control inflammation, such as tonsillitis or sore throat; and for croup, pneumonia, and pleurisy. In actuality it is a rapidly acting and powerful poison. Toxic levels characteristically produce a numbness in the lips and mouth and then in the fingers. Then the heart beats weakly, and respirations slow. The patient next experiences stupor or convulsions and finally death. It is also known as monkshood, wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, mousebane, women’s bane, devil’s helmut, queen of all poisons, and blue rocket.

The roots are poisonous and have been used in arrow poisons for hunting bear and ibex and in warfare, and Alaskans used it on their spears in hunting whale. It is a potent neurotoxin, and poisoning can occur through the skin when picking leaves without gloves. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine, in traditional Indian medicine, and by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Croton Oil: Seeds of the croton plant contain one of the most purgative substances known, and the oil is expressed from seeds. Taken internally, it is a drastic, very rapid, and gushing purgative that causes severe cramping and often bloody stool. When applied externally to the skin, it is a powerful caustic irritant, causing blisters, which often become infected.

Calomel is a mercurial compound.[2] Mercury accumulates in the body. Early symptoms of mercury ingestion are purging (which is why it was given) and salivation, and with repeated doses to induce purging, inflamed and painful gums, tongue, and salivary glands. Then the mouth would feel unusually hot, and gums would became swollen and red. Ulcers would then appear in all directions in the mouth, the saliva became thick and the tongue swollen and stiff. This was accompanied by a fever. As calomel was repeatedly used, it would destroy every part that it touched, until the lips, the cheeks, and even the bones were eaten away. Then death came. (See Hardinge page 80 and Rothstein page 51.)

The teeth . . . become loose and rot, perhaps fall out; or worse still, the upper and lower jaw-bones exfoliate and rot out sometimes, as I have witnessed, in the form of horse shoes; parts of the tongue and palate are frequently lost, and the poor object lingers out a doleful existence during life. (W. G. Rothstein, p. 49)

Calomel was given to patients as a purgative and was often administered to patients in such great quantities that their hair and teeth fell out. It was prescribed for anything about which the doctor was puzzled. It was taken internally to cause vomiting and purging. Because vomiting/purging was thought to release impurities from the body, it did not matter if the doctor knew what was wrong with the patient or not. He knew calomel would help; in fact, he was not considered a good doctor unless he did prescribe calomel.

Karen Wetterhahn

Karen Wetterhahn was a professor of chemistry at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, specializing in toxic metal exposure. On August 14, 1996, she spilled one or two drops of dimethylmercury from a pipette onto her gloved hand. She was not concerned, for she was observing all the recommended procedures for dealing with mercury. She was wearing the required latex gloves and was using a vapor hood, so she proceeded to clean her equipment before removing her protective clothing. As it turned out, she should have stripped her gloves immediately, for tests later revealed that dimethylmercury rapidly permeates latex gloves and enters the skin within fifteen seconds. Her mercury exposure was later confirmed by hair testing, which showed a dramatic jump in mercury levels seventeen days after the accident, with a peak at thirty-nine days. The one or two drops of dimethylmercury raised her blood mercury level to eighty times the toxic threshold, and her urinary mercury content was 234 micrograms. Normal is 1–5 micrograms.

Approximately three months after the accident, she began to suffer brief episodes of abdominal discomfort and a significant weight loss. Loss of balance and slurred speech appeared two months later. In spite of aggressive chelation therapy, her condition deteriorated rapidly. She lapsed into a coma and died less than a year after her exposure.

The mercury used as medicine in the 1800s was not as potent as dimethylmercury, but the amounts used were toxic. Consider Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is etched in the nation’s memory as a calm and reflective man. But only a few years before Lincoln became president of the United States, he was quite different in temperament and known for fits of intense anger. According to research published . . . pills Lincoln took for depression were likely to blame.

“We wondered how a man could be described as having the patience of a saint in his fifties when only a few years earlier he was subject to outbursts of rage and bizarre behavior,” Norbert Hirschhorn, lead author of the study, says. His team suspected that blue mass, a common 19th-century antidepressant, might have exposed Lincoln to mood-altering doses of the heavy metal mercury. (Harald Franzen, “Medication May Explain Lincoln’s Legendary Fits of Rage,” Scientific American online article, July 17, 2001; https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/medication-may-explain-li/)

Little Blue Pills, or Blue Mass, contained mercury, a good deal of it, and they were sold for whatever ailed a person—apoplexy (stroke), worms, child-bearing, tuberculosis, toothache, and constipation, as well as for depression. The pills were a common item that could be bought over-the-counter-like with which one could self-medicate, and Abraham Lincoln was taking them for what ailed him—most likely depression. He started suffering, however, from rage and bizarre behavior—jumping up suddenly and running out of the house for no reason, bursts of inappropriate laughter, and a rage that could be terrifying. One contemporary described him as so angry that he looked like Lucifer in a rage. Lincoln, however, had insight, and he realized his mental and emotional outbursts were connected to the blue pills, so he stopped them. He stopped them in time to lead the country with justice, wisdom, and sure-footedness during the turbulence of the civil war and of the abolishment of slavery. We can all be thankful for that.

Mercuric nitrate was used in the 1800s to make the felt needed for men’s hats. Felt was made out of hare and rabbit fur, but in order to make the fur stick together and form felt, the hatters brushed the fur with mercuric nitrate. The phrase mad as a hatter originated in the 1800s because the hatters who used mercury in making their hats often developed severe mental changes. Mercury is extremely toxic and one way it can enter a person is by inhaling the vapors. It can then go quickly to the brain, according to Alison Matthews David in Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present. Mercury easily passes the blood-brain barrier, but it also effortlessly passes the placental barrier and can result in irreparable neurological damage to the developing fetus.

Minamata Bay

The beautiful Minamata Bay lies along the coast of one of the southern islands of Japan, but sixty-six years ago four patients from the city of Minamata were admitted to a hospital with the same severe symptoms—very high fever, convulsions, and psychosis, and then loss of consciousness, coma, and finally death. Thirteen others from neighboring fishing villages, suffering the same symptoms, also died. In all, hundreds of people have died, some say nine hundred, and thousands more have suffered permanent neurological damage and lived,[3] all from eating fish contaminated with mercury from the toxic sludge dumped into the bay by a chemical factory.

More poisonous drugs

After a patient was considered properly purged and cleaned out and after his fever was reduced by bloodletting, he was ready to be restored to health by the use of tonics, and one of the most prevalent ingredients in tonics was arsenic.

Arsenic, as an element, is not particularly toxic by itself; however, in a compound form, such as arsenic trioxide (or white arsenic, as it was known in the nineteenth century), it can be extremely toxic. White arsenic was the by-product of the smelting process used on various metals in the nineteenth century, and smelters were left with tons of white arsenic of which to dispose. As a result, it was plentiful and cheap, and it was found in nearly every household as rat poison. Another arsenic compound was used in manufacturing paper products. Other compounds were used in the fashion industry to dye fabric, shoes, gloves, and artificial flowers bright green; and people employed in these industries often suffered, and even died, from arsenic poisoning. Yet, in the nineteenth century, arsenic compounds were used in tonics and used also in cancer powders and in substances to treat malaria and asthma. Taken internally, arsenic acts as a cathartic or emetic, causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and if too much was ingested, the heart can be damaged, which can result in death.

We know today that opium is highly addictive, but in the nineteenth century it was thought to be a medicine from God because it seemed to make everyone feel better, no matter what was wrong. It is also highly constipating, so strong purgatives were given, which scrubbed the intestines, as mentioned earlier, to the point that they bled.

Cyanide was used in the treatment of certain disease, such as asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and pleurisy. It is an extremely poisonous substance and has no usefulness as a medicinal agent. It kills by blocking the oxygen the cells need, and it would be hard to find anything, Dr. Hardinge says, worse for asthma than cyanide.

Strychnine was prescribed for rheumatism, paralysis, loss of sight, night blindness, epilepsy, nervous exhaustion, and intestinal obstruction. It is also an extremely poisonous substance and even in small doses can cause death.

Balsam of copaiva or copaiba causes violent vomiting and purging, extreme itching and was prescribed for diseases of the heart, hemorrhoids, croup, psoriasis, smallpox, scarlet fever, and for problems of the genitourinary system. It is no longer used as a medicine today, but its essential oil can still be purchased.

Ipecac was prescribed for whooping cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and dysentery. It is an excellent agent to induce vomiting. It irritates the stomach lining and causes vomiting, which is useful when certain poisons are ingested, but it is certainly not beneficial for any of the health issues for which it was prescribed.

The traveling medicine man

In addition to poisonous substances prescribed by physicians, traveling medicine men brought their wares to the very doorsteps of America, substances such as rattlesnake oil; so-called liver and kidney pills; heart pills for weak hearts; heroin tablets for asthma; Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup for teething babies, which contained significant amounts of morphine; Dr. Bonker’s Egyptian Oil; Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound; cocaine drops for toothaches; cocaine lozenges for singers, teachers, and orators; cancer and scrofula syrup; food for the brain; laudanum, a mixture of opium and alcohol, taken for sleeplessness and coughing; and Little Blue Pills, which contained mercury and were supposedly good for whatever ailed a person.

Granny remedies

Many homes, however, were on the frontier where no traveling salesman reached and where the circuit-riding physician rarely came. Homemade remedies were the only recourse to sickness and included mashed snails and earthworms, tea from chicken gizzard linings, the liquid from a half bucket of rusty nails soaked in vinegar, mold scraped from cheese or bread, fried heart of rattlesnake, skunk meat, owl broth, boiled toads, blood of bessie bugs, and hot chicken blood.[4] We can praise God that he has given us the knowledge of natural remedies, but even these were abused. Thirst for clear, pure water, for example, was considered an indication of disease during the nineteenth century, and water was, therefore, denied. Instead, cathartics were given, which only dehydrated the person even more.

Go with me to yonder sickroom. There lies a husband and father, a man who is a blessing to society and to the cause of God. He has been suddenly stricken down by disease. The fire of fever seems consuming him. He longs for pure water to moisten the parched lips, to quench the raging thirst, and cool the fevered brow. But, no; the doctor has forbidden water. The stimulus of strong drink is given and adds fuel to the fire. The blessed, heaven-sent water, skillfully applied, would quench the devouring flame; but it is set aside for poisonous drugs. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 195; 1882)

Summary

In summary, the main treatments in America for disease during the early part of the nineteenth century and which continued through the remainder of the century, though with less intensity, were bleeding, cupping, blistering, purging, vomiting, and poisonous drugs. Next month we will consider the emergence of the health reform movement, and we will apply the principles found in the Spirit of Prophecy to the use of medicine today.

Onycha Holt

[1]. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Croton_tiglium.html

[2]. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=112&tid=24

[3]. For one report, see: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/23/world/mercury-mostly-gone-from-bay-in-japan-still-poisons-town-s-life.html

[4]. Volney Steele, M. D., Bleed, Blister, and Purge, p. 146


Youth’s Corner-Carried by the Wind

It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)

Shortly after the opening of the Great War, in 1914, as Spain increased its forces, a young Spaniard who was called to the colors had an experience that illustrates the promise of the text, “Before they call, I will answer,” and a gust of wind was the agency in bringing him a quick answer to prayer.

This young soldier was a Sabbatarian, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and he found many a perplexity in trying to perform the duties assigned and still be true to his faith regarding the Sabbath. His experience was reported by Dr. P. A. de Forest, of Gland, Switzerland.

“The soldier betook himself to prayer, intending shortly to petition his captain for release from military exercises on God’s holy day. He was in the act of writing a letter to one of his brethren in his home church, asking that the church unite in prayer in his behalf so that he might have liberty to follow the dictates of his conscience, when he was suddenly called out of his tent to inspection. The wind was blowing at the time, and when he came back, his letter had been whisked away and was not to be found.

“In searching for it he passed by the tent of his captain, which was situated but a little distance from his, and to his surprise he was called in and told that his desire to have the Sabbath free was granted. The officer was very friendly, and appeared interested in knowing more about the truths our brother professed; and then he told him that he had found his unfinished letter at the door of his tent, had read it, and was impressed to grant him his request immediately.”

Just an accident, some might say; but to the praying soldier it was the delivering hand of a heavenly Father. (W. A. Spicer, Providences of the Great War, p. 222)


Old Paths is a free monthly newsletter/study-paper published by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, 750 Smyrna Road, Welch, WV 24801–9606 U. S. A. The paper is dedicated to the propagation and restoration of the principles of truth that God gave to the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers. Duplication is not only permitted, but strongly encouraged. This issue, with other gospel literature we publish, can be found at our website. The url is: http://www.smyrna.org. Phone: (304) 732–9204. Fax: (304) 732–7322.

Editor Allen Stump—editor@smyrna.org
Associate Editor Onycha Holt—onycha@smyrna.org