Meeting the Challenge
By EDNA F. PATTERSON, M.D., Silver Spring, Maryland
Before Christ comes to take His people home there is a great work to be done. A message of healing is to be carried to the world. "That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations." Ps. 67:2. And it is our generation that must carry this message.
Evidently God intended the remnant church to be a great medical missionary people. His remnant people were to be known and recognized for their work in saving human life. They were to be specialists in disease prevention, health preservation, and the art of successfully treating the sick. With what meticulous care God has outlined the methods to be used and the program to follow!
Our medical work dates back almost to the beginning of this movement. Only twelve days after the General Conference was organized in 1863 Mrs. White was given that memorable vision of the great fundamentals of health and healing. This occurred on June 6, 1863, at the home of Aaron Hilliard in Otsego, Michigan. It seemed to constitute a part of the marching orders of the infant church, coming from her Chief Captain and Counselor.
Before we had a school or a college we had a sanitarium (by divine arrangement). When light came that we were to have a medical institution the reasons were plainly given. It was to use methods different from those of the world. It was to follow a system of healing after God's order in harmony with nature's laws. On Sabbath afternoon, December 25, 1865, at the home of Brother Lampson, Mrs. White was given another vision from heaven regarding our health work. Please note that our medical work was guided by counsel from heaven. (This is all recorded in Testimonies, vol. i, pp. 485-49S-)
Let us note a few of the points emphasized in this vision. First, the Sabbathkeepers had neglected to follow the light on healthful living. The reason given was, "As this reform restricts the lustful appetite, many shrink back. They have other gods before the Lord."—Testimonies, vol. i, p. 486. On the same page the health message is declared to be a "part of the third angel's message, and is just as closely connected with it as are the arm and the hand with the human body. I saw that we as a people must make an advance move in this great work." Again, in this same chapter we have the impressive statement revealing the relationship between diet and destiny.
"There are but few as yet who are aroused sufficiently to understand how much their habits of diet have to do with health, their characters, their useful ness in this world, and their eternal destiny."—Ibid., pp. 488, 489.
In Ministry of Healing this pen picture is given: "Disease and wretchedness are everywhere. Many transgress the laws of health through ignorance, and they need instruction." —Page 126.
We are living in a sick world today. America has seven million men and women sick in bed every day of every year. This costs the stupendous sum of four billion dollars, besides all the headaches and all the heartaches. Who is responsible for all the sickness? "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?" Jer. 8:22.
"There is sickness everywhere, and most of it might be prevented by attention to the laws of health."— Ibid., p. 146.
"Disease never conies without a cause. The way is prepared, and disease invited, by disregard of the laws of health."—Ibid., p. 234.
"Teach the people that it is better to know how to keep well than how to cure disease."—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 161.
Dr. Haven Emerson, for years professor of public health in Columbia University, has shown that during the past fifty years medical science scored a notable triumph in the control of acute infectious diseases. Deaths from scarlet fever have decreased 99 per cent; diphtheria, 96 per cent; tuberculosis, 76 per cent. Death from pneumonia under our new antibiotics has reached the vanishing point. And no longer need we fear such dreadful calamities as deaths of mothers from child-bed fever. Meningitis has lost its horrible fear. We are today able to cure, as well as prevent Rocky Mountain spotted fever, typhoid, and many others. These diseases may be called "wholesale," because they are of epidemic form and are germ borne. We can legislate against them.
But what about the retail diseases, the so- called degenerative diseases, those which are under the control of individual health habits? During this same fifty years deaths from heart trouble have increased 186 per cent; hardening of the arteries and apoplexy, 663 per cent; diabetes, 1,150 per cent.
Think of the mentally ill. There are more in mates in our mental institutions than we have students in our colleges and universities. And most of it might be prevented. We hold, the key. What are we doing with it? I once asked a medical superintendent of a large institution for the insane the cause of this terrible in sanity. He replied, "Intemperance, lack of self- discipline."
Even the mention of the word cancer sends a shudder over us; yet every year in the United States five hundred thousand persons die a living death from cancer. Half a million people now living in our civilized nation are ear marked to die of cancer. Its incidence is increasing all the time. In 1928 one person died every hour; today one person dies every three minutes of cancer. A chilling thought is how little children are even being visited by cancer. Harold Dargeon, M.D., says, "Among the causes, of childhood mortality, cancer and allied diseases stood tenth in the two-year age group." He also says it stands third in the ages three to ten years, and sixth from ten to fourteen years. Today everyone is asked to give generously to help stamp out cancer, and millions of dollars are being given and spent in cancer research to find the germ of this mystic killer. Could it be that certain conditions of health are brought on by one's own poor health habits, and this dis ease is thus invited? Sir Arbuthnot Lane, one of England's cancer specialists and a noted surgeon in London, said before the Clinical Congress of American Surgeons, "Cancer is a world disease; cancer is a world peril. Each person can say for himself how far he is willing to go to avoid cancer." The doctor then proceeds to state that if we would avoid cancer, we must "forgo the use of white bread, and shun all meat."
Dr. William Mayo has said, "Cancer of the stomach forms nearly one third of all cancers of the human body. Is it possible there is something in the habits of civilized man, in the cooking or other preparation of his food which acts to produce precancerous conditions?" Within the last one hundred years four times as much meat has been eaten as before that time. If flesh foods are not fully broken up, decomposition results, and active poisons are thrown into an organ not intended to take care of them and which has not had time to adapt itself to the new condition.
Dr. L.-Duncan Bulkley, for years consulting physician of the New York Skin and Cancer Hospital, says, "Analyzing the various data obtained, we find cancer has increased in proportion to the consumption of three articles—flesh, coffee and tea, and alcohol. The first element of treatment is an absolute vegetable diet." Years ago we had this light given: "Cancers, tumors, and all inflammatory diseases are largely caused by meat eating. From the light God has given me, the prevalence of cancers and tumors is largely due to gross living on dead flesh." — Medical Ministry, p. 278.
How thrilling it is today to see scientific men of the world proving these statements to be true. Are they taking the torch out of our hands? An outstanding example of what such a diet will do is the experience of John Gunther, Jr., son of the famous journalist and author, who was dying of brain tumor. He had had all the super specialists in New York City, surgery, X-ray, radium, penicillin, and -even mustard gas given intravenously. The boy was given one week to live. Someone urged that he be taken to a doctor who believed in diet (Dr. Max Gerson). He went. All flesh food was taken out of his diet; and other foods, such as fresh vegetables and juices, were given in abundance. The boy, in spite of his poor health habits and heavy studies, lived on, not for one week but for fourteen months. (JOHN GUN- THER, Death Be Not Proud, book condensation in Reader's Digest, March, 1949.)
Treating disease without drugs was the basis of our health education in the beginning. It seemed very inadequate at the time given, but today, as one doctor puts it, "the slogan of the profession is 'Nature must heal herself.' " Even penicillin does not kill the germ. It cripples it, and one's own tissue cells can then overcome it.
Everyone knows what the march of dimes represents — poliomyelitis. Headlines in the New York Times said that Benjamin P. Sandier, of Asheville, North Carolina, ex-Navy doctor claims "diet halts polio." Avoid sugar and starches, he advises. He says, "Without reserve a controlled diet will immunize a person from infantile paralysis within twenty-four hours." This discovery was made in North Carolina where 1,172 persons had been struck by this malady. "Polio immunization" diet means avoiding sweet foods, soft drinks, ice cream, candy, pastries, bread, rolls, pancakes, and potatoes. Too much sugar in the diet causes a lowered blood sugar, and then one more readily falls prey to poliomyelitis.
Besides diet, think of the work of Sister Kenny, who has relieved thousands of polio victims. Our people had the light of hydrotherapy fifty years before Sister Kenny was ever heard of. But what did we do with that light?
Remember what instruction was given us on the necessity of eating foods in their natural state, and how millions are being spent today on vitamins.
Shall We Return to the Old Paths?
By T. EDWARD HIRST, Manager, Middleboro Sanitarium, Massachusetts
Good crops come from good soil properly fed with the right fertilizer, sufficient water, and intelligent care, with the use of every God-given means to foster the planted seeds until the harvest is gathered.
Is there a close relationship between good health and good gardening and good farming? Should we as Seventh-day Adventists study more closely the relationship between the low ebb of physical health among our people and the food we are eating—not solely from the standpoint of a vegetarian diet, but as to the food actually consumed, whether it contains health and vitality, or whether it has been robbed of its life-giving properties through failure on the part of the farmer to supply the soil with the nutrient elements so badly needed?
These are questions which we ought to do more than talk about. We ought to try to answer them. Even though we may find the answer to be one we do not like, if it is true, then let us accept the facts and put into practice a higher conception of our privileges as growers of crops, whether in a small garden or on a big farm.
Our reluctance to accept new conclusions may, perhaps, be illustrated by the experiences some of us had in accepting the seventh day as the Sabbath. It simply wasn't so because we had never heard of it before; it wasn't in the Bible; our parents never kept the Sabbath; how could so many million people be wrong?
In growing a garden or running a farm successfully we must take the attitude of a learner, and turn away from wrong practices no matter how long followed. The preparation of the soil, seed sowing, cultivation, care of the growing plants, and finally harvesting the ripened crop must all be done in the light of the best knowledge obtainable.
What should we do to prepare the soil? In a small garden someone must spade the soil, or it must be plowed. If the gardener is fortunate enough to have access to a supply of animal manure or compost, the soil is liberally dressed down with these before the spading or plowing takes place. If not, after the garden is spaded up and it comes time for seed sowing, the gardener then should buy fertilizer and apply it to stimulate the growth of his plants.
Right here I wish to point out that many close students of farming methods have also come to believe that most of the difficulties of our modern farming originate in the use of commercial fertilizers made from chemical sources. Moreover, it has been stated, and substantial proofs can be offered, that many of the ills of the body today arise from the use of commercial fertilizers in the raising of our food crops. Why should this be so? Why should this type of fertilizer cause such damage to us ?
The origin of commercial fertilizers is interesting, because in them we also catch some thing of the pictures which have passed through men's minds through the years. Medicine and crop raising have unconsciously intermingled their research and practice in the production of fertilizer. A few hundred years ago the idea was first expressed that, inasmuch as the body was made up of certain minerals, the supplying of these minerals should be through mineral rather than organic sources, and this led to the development of the modern drugstore, with its more than seventy-two thousand different drug concoctions for the healing of the body. The same reasoning led Liebig * and others to develop the commercial fertilizer to bolster up sick soil.
These fertilizers are coincident with the increase of cancer, heart disease, and other terrible scourges which threaten the life of the American nation today. Granted that commercial fertilizers do substantially increase the yield of crops from poor soil, it is also true that a careful examination of all the end products from the use of these fertilizers will reveal facts which will astound any thinking person who is willing to lay aside his preconceived ideas concerning the use of the soil.
There is no magic that makes good farming or good gardening. The farmer merely returns to the soil the elements he receives from the soil in the form of harvested crops, and unless he does this the soil will soon be exhausted.
In the use of commercial fertilizers the farmer returns to the soil a few of the minerals taken out by the plant, but returns them in artificially manufactured minerals, rather than in nature's form of organic minerals from decomposed plant life and natural fertilizers.
Let it be understood, then, that in making a return to the soil of a few of the elements extracted by the plant, the use of commercial fertilizer gives back to the soil an entirely different set of minerals. It is similar to the use of synthetic vitamins in the manufacture of white flour—the miller is putting back into the flour and cereals, not the vitamins and minerals found in the outer coatings of the .cereals and grains, but a chemically pure, entirely mineral product, rather than the true organic minerals and vitamins taken from the soil and created in the growing plant by the sun, rain, and season.
Now, in the natural life of the plant grown on composted and properly manured soil in nature's way, there are hidden elements of which we know but little. There are trace elements, perhaps even vitamins, of which we are entirely unaware as yet, but they are there nevertheless.
In the natural life of the soil there is a bacterial process constantly going on which is one of nature's most astounding displays of its Creator's intelligence. There is a balance of nature in which there are destructive bacterial life properly balanced by creative bacterial life. If the soil is properly prepared and cared for, these two contrasting forms of life are held in perfect balance. Thus the crop is planted in a soil which will protect and care for the plants from seed beginnings to harvest, and will, under almost every circumstance, practically guarantee a sure crop of healthy plants which can give us the vitamins and minerals we so greatly need to maintain good health. It does not stop there, however. Properly prepared and "properly cared for plant life will remain practically free from destructive insect life so that there is no necessity for the constant use of poisonous sprays to destroy the bugs and insects which infest the plants grown on soil where commercial fertilizers are in common use.
It is a startling, provable fact that when you have built up your soil with compost and green manures, when you plan and apply true principles of organic culture to the use of the soil, there will be such a decrease in the presence of destructive insect and bacterial life that it will seem a miracle to you. But it is the miracle of returning to the divine plan, rather than a miracle of divine intervention, which takes place.
Soil free from the commercial fertilizer and properly composted will be fairly living with earthworms, and earthworms are the farmer's greatest helpers. Here is one of the most startling facts in connection with the use of commercial fertilizer. The soil will gradually lose its earthworm population until the earthworm becomes almost as rare as a visitor from Mars
The use of commercial fertilizers makes the soil into a barren desert, as far as the hidden life of the soil is concerned. The destructive nematodes, strange to say, seem to be harmed less than the protective bacterial life, and thus the perfect balance of nature is thrown out of balance. Such destructive life as cabbage maggots multiply in great number in soil where the protective elements are destroyed by the use of commercial fertilizer, and this illustration could 'be carried further to an almost endless degree.
Let me give you a few personal experiences from our own gardening work here at Middleboro Sanitarium in Massachusetts. I have been endeavoring for the past few years to put into active practice the farming principles enunciated in this article. Last year I had over three acres of garden, which included about every kind of vegetable grown in the North. Not one ounce of spray did I use on my garden last year, and the only thing I was bothered with were bean beetles. I have not entirely solved that problem yet.
My crop of potatoes grew well, and the plants were a healthy dark green, practically free from potato bugs all season. My onions were just about perfect. Last year my family was still using old onions in June,, and here is another remarkable fact in regard to composted crops. Their keeping ability is so much better that there is no comparison with commercially fertilized crops. Beans, peas, carrots, parsnips, and other vegetables grew in abundance, yielding prolific crops. The corn was outstanding
A crop grown on composted soil is so much better in flavor and other ways than commercially fertilized crops that there is no fair comparison between them. As an experiment one year, I planted two patches of corn. One patch, about one third of an acre, was grown on soil where I used only green manures and compost. The other third of an acre of corn, side by side with the first and planted the same day, was grown with commercial fertilizer. As they grew there was very little difference, until maturity set in. The stalks in the composted soil were a heavy green, the ears were very much larger, and the flavor was simply delicious. There was a noticeable lack of smut, and this corn was practically 100 per cent work free.
The second patch grown with artificial fertilizers had yellowed stalks, smaller ears, and poor flavor, and a large number of ears were infested with both worms and smut.
Still another factor of good farming appears when we follow true organic principles of farming. When there is a lack of humus soil grows hard, packs easily, and fails to drain to the subsoil in heavy rain. The water rushes off the hard-packed soil, causing erosion, and the precious mineral elements so vitally needed by the soil will leach away. But the soil that is properly cared for with a heavy amount of de composed plant life is friable and drains to the subsoil quickly, preventing the washing away of the precious minerals. Then in dry seasons it gives off the water in the subsoil to the plant life on top of the soil, preventing crop loss through drought. .
A few years ago, when practically every farm around us had lost most of its garden crops in a prolonged drought, our gardens remained fresh, green, and moist. I recognize too, of course, the blessing promised of God to the tithepayer, but I also know that we tried, to our utmost, to protect and cherish the soil He had entrusted us with.
To those interested in correct methods of farming and gardening and soil conservation, let me recommend for your reading such books and magazines as: Pay Dirt, by J. I. Rodale, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania; Pleasant Valley and Malabar Farm, by Louis Brunfield, Harper Brothers, New York; An Agricultural Testament, by Sir Albert Howard, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania; Organic Gardening and Organic Farming Magazine, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania; 'Make Friends With Your Land, by Leonard Wickenden, Devin-Adair Co., New York.
Above all things, give earnest consideration to the need of reformation and change in our own practices of growing a garden. The Lord has said, "My people perish for lack of knowledge," and the earth grows old and decays like a moth-eaten garment. Is it not possible that many of the sicknesses we, suffer from are caused by nutritional deficiencies which come directly from food grown on poor soil, rather than an unwise choice of selected foods on the table?
Thousands of Seventh-day Adventists are sick today; yet they have been carefully trying to follow health-reform ways of eating. They are puzzled and bewildered as they seek to obey the Lord, yet apparently fail to obtain the de sired results in better health. Cause and result are not far apart, and there is a solution for these problems. God does answer prayer, and bless His people. It may be that He is waiting for us to move onto higher ground in the study of soil improvement, and to return to more natural practices of farming.
If it is wrong to administer drugs to the body, why is it not wrong to administer chemicals and poisons to the soil, and then second- handedly take these poisons into our bodies through and on the plants.
In former years I have sprayed plants in early spring, and, then in late fall after several months of rain and weather, have seen these plants frosted, lose color, and plainly reveal the residue of these poisons still retained on the leaves. The constant use of sprays and poisons has another sad ending. The birds which so delight the eye and charm the senses gradually disappear from a place where the insect life is constantly being destroyed by poi sons. With nothing to eat, they move on, and another balance of nature is also destroyed.
We have been told that "the reproach of the soil will be taken away" as we in faith care for the soil as we should. Country living and divine help will lift the reproach of so much unnecessary sickness from our midst, and our vegetarian diet will stand out as a shining light of testimony to a dying world. Let us study the Spirit of prophecy for the instruction so wonderfully given to us on this whole question of living, and apply the knowledge being discovered today. God will bless such a program.
S.D.A. Dentists Meet
There are in North America approximately three hundred Seventh-day Adventist dentists. Seven years ago a handful of these men organized themselves into a group known as the National Association of Seventh-day Adventist Dentists.
The purpose of the organization is to encourage the association of these dentists spiritually as well as in a scientific and social way. The group has given considerable time and consideration to the study of the feasibility of a denominational dental college, so that this field of study might be opened up to our youth in a larger way.
On Friday, October 14, of this year, this organization held its seventh annual meeting at the Bellevue Hotel in San Francisco in connection with the meeting of the American Dental Association. The meeting was opened by the president, Dr. M. Webster Prince, of Detroit, a nationally known dentist; and a devotional hour was conducted. Several scientific papers were presented. Dr. George T. Harding, president of the College of Medical Evangelists, spoke to the group on two occasions and encouraged them to use their profession to reach the souls of men through their personal influence and through service to the body.
On Sabbath, October 15, seventy Seventh- day Adventist dentists met at Pacific Union College for the Sabbath services. In the evening another meeting was held, at which there was considerable discussion regarding the possibility of a dental college for our denomination so that young men and women might be trained in this line. Prof. E. E. Cossentine, of the Department of Education of the General Conference, was present, and spoke to the group.
Fifty new members were added to the National Association of Seventh-day Adventist Dentists. The total now is 135 active members
The officers elected for the year 1950 are as follows: President: Dr. Gerald A. Mitchell, of Atlanta, Georgia. Vice-President : Dr. Ralph Halverson, of Napa, California. Secretary- Treasurer: Dr. Albert C. Koppel, of Washing ton, D.C.
Temperance Booth at State Fair
By KENNETH H. WOOD, Temperance Secretary, New Jersey Conference
Every Adventist evangelist would be thrilled if he could preach a portion of the gospel to 3,369 different people in a week's time and at a total cost of only $325. In a sense we had this privilege through our temperance exhibit this year at the New Jersey State Fair.
Recognizing that education concerning the evils of liquor drinking is badly needed by the masses, we pitched a 4O-by-6o-foot tent on the fairgrounds at Trenton, September 25 to October 2. A large sign announced plainly that this exhibit was sponsored by the American Temperance Society. In the center of this sign was a large emblem of the A.T.S., and on either side were the words: "A Subsidiary of the Seventh-day Adventists' Worldwide Movement," and "Publishers of Listen Magazine."
The tent was partitioned off into three sec tions. The front part was used for literature display; the center section provided an auditorium seating nearly one hundred people; and the rear was used for miscellaneous supplies and sleeping quarters.
As you know, people who wander around a fairground grow very tired and become eager for a place to sit down and rest. Consequently, we had a large sign out in front with the lettering "Come in and Rest." Also on the sign were the words "Free Motion Pictures—Seven Different Films—Educational and Inspirational." A large clock with movable hands was painted on this sign under the heading- "Next Showing." These hands were moved throughout the day and night to announce the time when the next film would begin.
In addition to the canvas wall, which separated the front display from the auditorium, we used a backdrop of black percale, which followed the contour of the tent ceiling. On this the word Listen was mounted in letters about three feet high and made from the covers of Listen magazine. In front of this were two long counters placed at right angles to each other. These held our record player, public-address system, and a good display of literature, some of which was for sale, but most of which was free.
At least two of our sisters were present all the time, handling the literature, counting the number of individuals who saw the motion pictures, playing records between showings, and assisting in other ways. At times only one minister was present to help in the program, but most of the time there were two.
From the outset the Lord blessed this program with success. During the seven days that we were open, 3,369 people came in and were seated during the pictures, learning the truth that "alcohol belongs in industry, outside the human body." In addition to this number, hundreds of others came in merely to view our illustrated report of Dorcas activities, and to receive free literature. A large group of students said that they planned to use the material in Listen, Liberty, and Life and Health in their schoolwork as subject matter for reports. On one day alone more than one thousand young people were shown the evils of liquor through our motion pictures.
One man came back to the exhibit several times, stating that the atmosphere was extremely uplifting compared with everywhere else on the grounds. Several alcoholics came, declaring that they knew they must leave liquor alone, or it would ruin them even further. Other individuals wanted to know what counsel we could give them to break the tobacco habit. Laymen who were interested in temperance in their local communities wanted advice on how to win local option elections. Several individuals expressed surprise that any temperance organization was strong enough to put on such an exhibit.
More than 355,000 people attended this fair. We spent approximately $325 to reach them, including the $96' for the space. Surely this was a relatively small amount, considering the potential good which may come from it. We believe that the value of this exhibit was not confined to the general public. It also gave our own people a wonderful lift to realize that aggressive methods are now being used to bring the temperance message and our work before the world.
Millions around us are held in bondage by habits of sin other than alcoholism. May God help^ us to reach them all with the liberty-imparting message of His power.