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Life Sketches of Ellen G. White

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    Chapter 26—Battling Against Disease

    [Historical Note.—“Our people are generally waking up to the subject of health,” wrote Elder James White in an editorial in The Review and Herald, December 13, 1864.“And they should have publications on the subject to meet their present wants, at prices within reach of the poorest.” He announced the early issuance of a series of pamphlets, under the general title, “Health: or How to Live.”LS 167.1

    The strong conviction of Elder and Mrs. White, that the reforms to be outlined in these pamphlets were of great importance, is thus expressed in a note in The Review and Herald, January 24, 1865, calling attention to the publication of the first of the series:LS 167.2

    “We wish to call the attention of the brethren everywhere to these works, prepared with especial care, on the important subject of a reform in our manners of life, which is greatly needed, and as we view it, will surely be accomplished in whatever people find themselves at last prepared for translation.“LS 167.3

    During the first five months of 1865 this series was completed. These health pamphlets, six in number, contained articles from Mrs. White on “Disease and Its Causes,” and on allied subjects; and many extracts from the writings of various physicians and others interested in health reform principles. Hygienic recipes were included, also hints on the use of water as a remedial agency. The harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee, spices, and other stimulants and narcotics, were further emphasized.LS 167.4

    The winter of 1864-65 was a time of stress and trial. While uniting with his wife in the preparation of matter on health and temperance for publication, Elder White found it necessary to labor untiringly in behalf of Sabbath keepers who were being drafted for service in the army. This work was attended with perplexity and anxiety, and drew heavily on his sympathies, besides overtaxing his physical strength. The administrative cares in the session of the General Conference held in May, 1865, added to his weariness.LS 167.5

    Worn with the labors of writing and publishing, and of looking after many interests connected with the general work, Elder White and his wife were nevertheless given no rest. Immediately after the conference session, they were called to Wisconsin and Iowa, where they endured many hardships. Soon after their return to Michigan, he was stricken with partial paralysis. An account of this affliction, and of the impetus it indirectly brought to the health reform movement a few months later, is given by Mrs. White in The Review and Herald, February 20 and 27, 1866, a portion of which forms the text of this chapter.]LS 168.1

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