Ellen G. White Writings

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Selected Messages Book 2, Page 479

exclaim, “Why such a style of dress would be old-fashioned!” What if it is? I wish we could be old-fashioned in many respects. If we could have the old-fashioned strength that characterized the old-fashioned women of past generations it would be very desirable. I do not speak unadvisedly when I say that the way in which women clothe themselves, together with their indulgence of appetite, is the greatest causes of their present feeble diseased condition. There is but one woman in a thousand who clothes her limbs as she should. Whatever may be the length of the dress, females should clothe their limbs as thoroughly as the males. This may be done by wearing lined pants gathered into a band and fastened about the ankle, or made full and tapering at the bottom; and these should come down long enough to meet the shoe. The limbs and ankles thus clothed are protected against a current of air. If the limbs and feet are kept comfortable with warm clothing, the circulation will be equalized, and the blood will remain healthy and pure, because it is not chilled or hindered in its natural passage through the system.—How to Live, No. 6, pp. 57-64.

The attention of the reader is called to the fact that while Mrs. White ever kept before the church the importance of attire that was healthful, modest, economical, and in conformity with Christian simplicity, she recognized also that within the bounds of these principles the dress should be that which is “appropriate for this age.” In 1897, when certain Seventh-day Adventist women questioned whether, in loyalty to the Spirit of prophecy counsels, they should return to the particular style adopted in the 1860s, she counseled that “no one precise style” had been given her “as the exact rule to guide all in their dress.” She wrote: “the Lord has not indicated that it is the duty of our sisters to go back to the reform dress.” Her statement, setting forth the reasons for her position, appears in full as an appendix in D. E. Robinson's The Story of Our Health Message, 112-130, 166-169, 427-431 1965 edition,.—Compilers.

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