I was shown that the position of Dr. E in regard to amusements was wrong, and that his views of physical exercise were not all correct. The amusements which he recommends hinder the recovery of health in many cases to one that is helped by them. He has to a great degree condemned physical labor for the sick, and his teaching in many cases has proved a great injury to them. Such mental exercise as playing cards, chess, and checkers excites and wearies the brain and hinders recovery, while light and pleasant physical labor will occupy the time, improve the circulation, relieve and restore the brain, and prove a decided benefit to the health. But take from the invalid all such employment, and he becomes restless, and, with a diseased imagination, views his case as much worse than it really is, which tends to imbecility. {1T 554.3}

For years I have from time to time been shown that the sick should be taught that it is wrong to suspend all physical labor in order to regain health. In thus doing the will becomes dormant, the blood moves sluggishly through the system and constantly grows more impure. Where the patient is in danger of imagining his case worse than it really is, indolence will be sure to produce the most unhappy results. Well-regulated labor gives the invalid the idea that he is not totally useless in the world, that he is, at least, of some benefit. This will afford him satisfaction, give him courage, and impart to him vigor, which vain mental amusements can never do. {1T 555.1}

 

The view that those who have abused both their physical and mental powers, or who have broken down in either mind or body, must suspend activity in order to regain health, is a great error. In a very few cases entire rest for a short period may be necessary, but these instances are very rare. In most cases the change would be too great. Those who have broken down by intense mental labor should have rest from wearing thought, yet to teach them that it is wrong and even dangerous for them to exercise their mental powers to a degree leads them to view their condition as worse than it really is. They become still more nervous and are a great trouble and annoyance to those who have the care of them. In this state of mind their recovery is doubtful indeed. {1T 555.2}

Those who have broken down by physical exertion must have less labor, and that which is light and pleasant. But to shut them away from all labor and exercise would in many cases prove their ruin. The will goes with the labor of their hands, and those accustomed to labor would feel that they were only machines to be acted upon by physicians and attendants, and the imagination would become diseased. Inactivity is the greatest curse that could come upon such. Their powers become so dormant that it is impossible for them to resist disease and languor, as they must do in order to regain health. {1T 556.1}

Dr. E has made a great mistake in regard to exercise and amusements, and a still greater in his teaching concerning religious experience and religious excitement. The religion of the Bible is not detrimental to the health of body or mind. The exalting influence of the Spirit of God is the best restorative for the sick. Heaven is all health, and the more fully the heavenly influences are felt the more sure the recovery of the believing invalid. The influence of such views as are advanced by Dr. E has reached us as a people in some degree. Sabbathkeeping health reformers must be free from all these. Every true and real reform will bring us nearer to God and heaven, closer to the side of Jesus, and increase our knowledge of spiritual things and deepen in us the holiness of Christian experience. {1T 556.2}

It is true that there are unbalanced minds that impose upon themselves fasting which the Scriptures do not teach, and prayers and privation of rest and sleep which God has never required. Such are not prospered and sustained in their voluntary acts of righteousness. They have a pharisaical religion which is not of Christ, but of themselves. They trust in their good works for salvation, vainly hoping to earn heaven by their meritorious works instead of relying, as every sinner should, upon the merits of a crucified, risen, and exalted Saviour. These are almost sure to become sickly. But Christ and true godliness are health to the body and strength to the soul. {1T 556.3}

Let invalids do something instead of occupying their minds with a simple play, which lowers them in their own estimation and leads them to think their lives useless. Keep the power of the will awake, for the will aroused and rightly directed is a potent soother of the nerves. Invalids are far happier to be employed, and their recovery is more easily effected. {1T 557.1}