Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents

Health, or, How to Live

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    BREATHING IMPURE AIR

    IT is not, however, in private rooms and offices only, that the occupants are exposed to the breathing of impure air, but also in churches and factories, where persons congregate in large numbers.HHTL 204.1

    There has always seemed to me to be a very irreligious air in our houses of public worship. These are sacred places, — temples, as they used to be termed, — where people expect, or which they visit as if they did expect, to meet the Divine Presence, and be blessed by it. Just what fatuity has rested upon Christians up to this time to induce them to believe that between nature and revelation, there exists a feud, showing itself in actual hostility, and that, in order to be pious, they must take sides with revelation against nature, I know not; but that they act as if they were under special obligations to be unnatural in order to be religious, is as obvious to a close observer as any thing can be. This feeling works itself out in every direction; and in none can it be more plainly seen than in the way in which religious persons, on a Sabbath day, relate themselves to health and its laws. Why meeting-houses should be built so that congregations shall be compelled to breathe impure air all the time, and, as is now-a-days becoming fashionable, be shut out from the sunlight, and deprived of its healthy and exhilarating effects, seems strange to a candid and sincere mind; yet not one church in a hundred can be found so constructed as to enable its occupants to have any thing like pure air to breathe, or fair opportunity to enjoy the sunlight. They huddle themselves together in close pens like sheep, and do but little else than breathe each other’s breaths, and listen with a very superficial devotion to the services of the hour; going away as little impressed thereby as is possible, and not one in five hundred of them partaking of the anointing of the minister, which, if he is a good man, will have been given him by God for their especial benefit. Really, I do not suppose that the ministers of the gospel, who undertake to represent the divine will, to expound the divine word, and exhibit the divine life, to the people among whom they are placed, are successful in communicating their own spiritual gifts to one in a hundred of those, who, from Sabbath to Sabbath, gather in the churches of our land. This is very deplorable; for just to the degree that a public representative of the divine will and the divine life finds himself unable to communicate his gifts to those who need them, in the relation an unhappy one, and fraught with injurious results both to himself and the people of his charge. No man can ever have a great spiritual endowment conferred upon him by the Divine Wisdom for a given end, who is not himself the worse for that endowment, if he finds himself unable to accomplish the end. Power of any kind bestowed upon a human creature for any purpose, has, if anything prevents it from being used for such purpose, an ill tendency; and he who carries it about is necessarily the worse for having it imposed upon him. Every minister who stands in the pulpit, and cannot reach the hearts of his people, is made unhappy in spirit thereby.HHTL 204.2

    One of the laws which God has established for the transmission of spiritual life from one man to another, is that the conditions of both such persons shall be in conformity with physical law. If a minister be a sickly man, suffering under bodily infirmity, and seeks to communicate from the pulpit, not simply the divine will, but the divine affection, he is, by the very nature of things, a less efficient agent for this purpose than he would be if his conditions were those of perfect health. Neither his brain nor his heart can become a medium for the transmission of the divine bestowments, as they would if his physical nature were rightly related to health. If his congregation is made up chiefly of invalids, and he is a robust man, they can never receive such impressions from him as they could if they were in health. If both the minister and the people are free from any bodily sickness, and yet gather themselves together under such circumstances, and in such relations to their physical comfort, or to the operation of any of the laws of physical health, as to render these more or less inefficient, they, by these very conditions, rear barriers to their own receptivity, that may be found impregnable and impassable.HHTL 205.1

    This is very plainly seen in other directions. If a man becomes intoxicated by having introduced alcoholic poison into his blood, so as to effect his brain,the presence of such poison is a complete bar to his reception of any thing like spiritual impressions from on high, and is so regarded. God’s spirit not only does not work in the heart of a drunken man, but, while he is drunk, it cannot. Suppose, then, that a congregation come together with a view of being spiritually benefited, and the relation of the air they breathe to the blood that circulates in their veins is such as seriously to impair its electric, magnetic, and nutritive conditions; how, in such a condition of this great vital fluid, can they hope, for a moment, to have anything like healthy conditions of brain? And, if they cannot have these, how can they have their emotional natures rendered particularly susceptible to divine impressions? A man breathing carbonic-acid gas in a church, instead of atmospheric air, can in no wise be so related to the perception of truth, or the reception of the divine love, as he would or could be if his physical conditions were changed, and he were permitted to breathe atmospheric air instead of carbonic-acid gas. There are, then two great ill results flowing from the breathing of impure air in houses of worship; one, that the health of those who breathe it is impaired thereby, and the foundation laid in many instances for positive disease; and the other, that the spiritual conceptions of the persons breathing such air are greatly blunted, if not, for the time being, destroyed.HHTL 206.1

    It is very seldom that a hundred persons can be gathered together without having a considerable number of them suffering under more or less advanced stages of pulmonary disease. Recollect that scrofula is a household disease, to be found in almost every family. Recollect, also, that the ultimate manifestation of scrofula is pulmonary consumption, and that the intermediate stages of its progress show more or less involvement of the pulmonary organs. From this point, one can judge of the correctness of my statement, that very few congregations of a hundred persons can be found, without having a considerable number of them laboring under pulmonary consumption, in its early or advanced stages, by the practical exhibitions made upon such occasions. How seldom is it that a congregation assembled together on the Sabbath is not disturbed by the coughing and expectoration of one, two, three, or half a dozen of its members, in various parts of the house! Shut up all the windows, close all the doors, rarefy the air so that there shall be but slight opportunity for getting oxygen into the lungs, and then set this congregation of one hundred or five hundred, as the case may be, to breathing. In ten minutes, the air becomes foul; the oxygen is more or less consumed; carbonic vapor from the lungs mingles with the body of gaseous fluid to be taken in at every respiration; and so do the consumptive particles emitted from the lungs of those having the disease. God only knows how many persons have begun to be consumptive from just such exposure as this, when attendant on his worship. There are various ways of committing murder; and there are also various ways of committing suicide. The wickedness of such a mode as this is heightened by the outward sacredness given to the action by the occasion. It is as much worse for a man to violate the laws of life and health when he is engaged in some special act of piety, than it would be were he not so engaged, as it is for him to be a hypocrite instead of being simply disingenuous.HHTL 206.2

    I confess that I have a liking for public worship: I feel that to myself it might always be a means of great benefit. But I hold in such disfavor the arrangements made for its enjoyment, because of the disregard of the laws of life and health manifested under the present order of things, that only when important occasions urge upon me to do it, do I venture into a house of public worship.HHTL 207.1

    School-houses used formerly to be built without any reference whatever to the necessity of having pure air; but a better state of things is gradually coming to exist, and improved ventilation is now secured.HHTL 207.2

    Girls suffer much more than boys, both in factories and in schools, under the influence of causes predisposing to consumptive disease, by reason of the very foolish and wicked fashion which obtains throughout Christendom in respect to their style of dress.HHTL 208.1

    It is sometimes the case that children, if not particularly instructed to the contrary, find their way to that most unhealthy and undesirable attachment to a household, the privy, for purposes or amusement and play. It is well that parents should be thoughtful about the matter; for, from want of knowledge how to deodorize the mass of defecation that accumulates in the privy vault, the air of such a place becomes exceedingly unhealthy, and furnishes as effective an influence in deranging the healthy conditions of the blood, and determining any latent poison that may be in the system into active exercise, as any mass of decomposable matter could possibly do. Young children, therefore, should not be permitted to make such a place a point for assemblage for any purpose other than that which nature institutes; and then they should be taught to make their stay there as short as circumstances will permit. Privies might be built so that there would be little or no effluvia into the body of the house; but carelessness prevails in this matter, and will continue to prevail, until a very much better philosophy, in regard to the means of preserving health and preventing disease, obtains on the part of those who have it in charge. — Jackson on Consumption.HHTL 208.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents