Health – Moderation and the Jewels of Health

In the early 1900s many were looking to preserve their health or to restore their health but had not an understanding on what to do or where to begin. About this time, Dr. Frederick M. Rossiter, B.S., M.D., wrote the book, The Practical Guide to Health, which was published in 1908 by The Review & Herald Publishing Association. The book was designed for nurses and for home use and must have been quite popular because it was published again in 1910.

The following is a very thought provoking tidbit which I am sure you will find interesting and may even help to stimulate your approach to preserving your own health.

“In the physical as well as the moral world the virtues are all strung upon this same silken thread, moderation. Health is that physical righteousness which results from the practice of the physical virtues. It is the ‘pearl chain.’

“Everybody longs to possess the priceless necklace of health. Many fail to obtain it because they do not realize that it is a treasure of separate jewels, every one of which must be faithfully earned and carefully guarded on the silken string.

“It is true that health is often inherited. But the vast majority of persons neglect this precious heirloom. The string is broken. The pearls are scattered. Some are preserved because their value is recognized, but others are thrown away as being of no intrinsic worth.

“Most of us, however, it seems to me, lose or never win true physical righteousness chiefly because we have sought certain of the physical virtues at the expense of others, and have quite disregarded the shining thread that must run through all.

“Some try to find health by practicing the one virtue of exercise. They think that if they walk far enough and fast enough every day, or manipulate pulleys and Indian clubs, or practice Swedish gymnastics, they may eat what they please and when they please, and sit up till midnight seven times a week—and still be well. Others reverse this theory, and believe that everything depends upon diet—that if a man eats only simple and wholesome fare, he may neglect physical exercise, work all day and half the night at a high tension of nerve and will, and still maintain vigorous and sound health.

“Another class extols the virtue of sleep, or of recreation, or of some particular game or sport.

“Many, alas! seek after false jewels—tonics, medicines, fads of all sorts—thinking with them to fashion the ornament health. But sooner or later these spurious gems crumble or tarnish in their hands; and they are left with worse than nothing for all their trouble.

“The man who magnifies one physical virtue, and fails to give the rest their proper place, is working an evil as wide-spread as his influence. He is really a sinner. …

“The apostle Paul said, ‘Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things’ (1 Corinthians 9:25). It is quite likely that in this great man’s mind the ‘all things’ included working and sleeping as well as eating and drinking. ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men’ (Philippians 4:5).

“Would you have health? Would you carry an atmosphere of health wherever you go? Then gather and cherish every virtue that nature has decreed belongs to that sacred and beautiful whole. Take exercise—not spasmodically or excessively, but in moderation. Eat simple and healthful food—not too much, too little, too often, or too seldom, but in moderation. Take sleep—not fitfully, two or three hours one night and ten the next, but regularly, and in moderation. Wear healthful clothes—not bags, but garments made with sense and moderation. Take recreation—not long, idle vacations, or short, feverish pleasure trips when your health has threatened to give way, but sensible, wholesome outings by which the whole current of your thoughts is changed, and your entire being refreshed. Seek with equal ardor all these shining gems that make for physical righteousness. Preserve their beauty and unity by keeping them always upon that ‘silken string,’ and you will have a possession of worth untold, not only to yourself, but to everyone whose life touches yours.” Pages 547–549.

Dr. Rossiter helped many people back then to be restored to good health. Would you like to preserve your health or be restored to good health? Pray to God to give you strength to do what is right and then push forward in following each of the health laws daily, and not sporadically. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and God wants us to be healthy.