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    March 31, 1903

    “A Whole Man” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 80, 14.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Let us bear in mind that we are studying “the gospel of health.” This phrase, like many others in common use, is very faintly understood by most people, and fully comprehended by none. It is our business to study the thing itself so thoroughly that the name will have a vital meaning to us.ARSH March 31, 1903, page 13.1

    A healthy man is a whole man. It is an easy matter, when one’s attention is called to it, to see the connection between the words “heal,” “hale,” and “whole.” All are from a single Saxon root, hel, meaning “whole.” This is still the word for “Whole” in the Scandinavian languages, and from it comes the word “holy.” In the Danish the identity is very apparent, for hel, whole, by a little addition becomes hellig, holy. A holy man is simply a whole man, a man as complete and perfect as Adam was when “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” The fact that holiness has any connection with the body has been almost lost sight of, the popular idea being generally that “saints” were always men with feeble bodies. This false idea is a legacy from the Middle Ages, when most of the so-called saints were characterized by repugnance to cleanliness, and ill-treatment of the body. No charge is brought against the piety of those misguided men, and it is not denied that many most devoted Christian men and women have been physical wrecks; but it should nevertheless be understood that this is not the Scriptural presentation of holiness; for we read, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth;” and, “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”ARSH March 31, 1903, page 13.2

    With the popular conception of the holy man as a pale-faced, stoop-shouldered, weak-limbed, hollow-chested person, contrast such Bible heroes as Abraham, at the age of a hundred years, running nimbly to wait upon his unexpected guests; Moses, beginning his life-work at the age of eighty, when most men consider theirs finished, if they chance even to be alive, and after forty years of such wearing labor as no modern statesman ever knew, laying it down with undimmed eye and unabated vigor.ARSH March 31, 1903, page 13.3

    That wholeness and holiness are in the highest sense identical, is evident from the life-work of Jesus of Nazareth. His name means “Saviour,” and he was so named because his work was, as it still is, to “save his people from their sins.” He himself declared that his mission was “that the world through him might be saved;” yet at the very outset of his career he “went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people;” and as he began, so he continued. He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Jesus was pre-eminently a physician; his first work seems nearly always to have been to heal men’s bodies; and the record of his miracles of healing is the most prominent feature of the Gospels.ARSH March 31, 1903, page 13.4

    These things should teach us that true holiness includes health of body. In this connection it should he noted that the words of Jesus, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace,” spoken to the woman who was notorious as a sinner, and to whom he had just said, “Thy sins are forgiven,” are identical with the words which he addressed to the poor woman who “had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any.” To this one, who, like the other, touched him, he said, “Thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” The words “made whole” and “saved” are from a single word in the Greek.ARSH March 31, 1903, page 13.5

    How little Christ’s mission to earthy and the full meaning of his gospel, is comprehended even to-day! Yet how obvious it is from the Scripture record, that the forgiveness of sins involves the healing of the body, and is accomplished by the same power. This is vividly presented in the case of the palsied man, to whom Jesus first said,“Thy sins be forgiven thee;” and then, to make it evident that he had power on earth to forgive sins, he caused him to rise and walk. The rising and walking by the palsied man was a visible evidence of the forgiveness of his sins.ARSH March 31, 1903, page 13.6

    Lastly, for the present, we have the promise of God to ancient Israel, that if they hearkened diligently to the voice of the Lord, to do that which was right, he would take disease away from them (Exodus 15:26; 23:25), proclaiming himself their leader, and giving this exhortation and promise, which all would do well to heed: “My son attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health [medicine] to all their flesh.”ARSH March 31, 1903, page 13.7

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