Ellen G. White Writings

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Selected Messages Book 2, Page 478

positions taken by some dress-reformers upon this subject cripple their influence.

God designed there should be a plain distinction between male and female dress, and has considered the matter of sufficient importance to give explicit directions in regard to it; for the same dress worn by both sexes would cause confusion, and great increase of crime. St. Paul would utter a rebuke, were he alive, and should behold females professing Godliness with this style of dress. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing Godliness) with good works.” The mass of professed Christians utterly disregard the teachings of the Apostles, and wear gold, pearls and costly array.

God's loyal people are the light of the world, and the salt of the earth. And they should ever remember that their influence is of value. Were they to exchange the extreme long, for the extreme short dress, they would, to a great extent, destroy their influence. Unbelievers, whom it is their duty to benefit, and seek to bring to the Lamb of God, would be disgusted. Many improvements can be made in the dress of females in reference to health, without making so great a change as to disgust the beholder.

The female form should not be compressed in the least with corsets and whale bones. The dress should be perfectly easy that the lungs and heart may have healthy action. The dress should reach somewhat below the top of the boot; but should be short enough to clear the filth of the sidewalk and street, without being raised by the hand. A still shorter dress than this would be proper, convenient, and healthful for females, when doing their housework, and especially, for those women who are obliged to perform more or less out-of-door labor. With this style of dress, one light skirt, or, at most two, are all that is necessary, and these should be buttoned on to a waist, or suspended with straps. The hips were not formed to bear heavy weights. The heavy skirts worn by females, their weight dragging down upon the hips, have been the cause of various diseases, which are not easily cured, because the sufferers seem to be ignorant of the cause which has produced them, and they continue to violate the laws of their being by girding the waists and wearing heavy skirts, until they are made life-long invalids. Many will immediately

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