The Creator chose for our first parents
the surroundings best adapted for their health and happiness. He did
not place them in a palace or
surround them with the artificial adornments and luxuries that so many
today are struggling to obtain. He placed them in close touch with nature
and in close communion with the holy ones of heaven.
garden that God prepared as a home for His children, graceful shrubs
and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. There were
trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious
fruit. On their branches the birds caroled their songs of praise. Under
their shadow the creatures of the earth sported together without a fear.
Adam and Eve, in their untainted purity, delighted in the
sights and sounds of Eden. God appointed them their work in the garden, "to
dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15. Each day's labor brought
them health and gladness, and the happy pair greeted with joy the visits
of their Creator, as in the cool of the day He walked and talked with
them. Daily God taught them His lessons.
The plan of life
which God appointed for our first parents has lessons for us. Although
sin has cast its shadow over the earth, God desires His children to find
delight in the works of His hands. The more closely His plan of life
is followed, the more wonderfully will He
work to restore suffering humanity. The sick need to be brought into close
touch with nature. An outdoor life amid natural surroundings would work wonders
for many a helpless and almost hopeless invalid.
The noise and excitement
and confusion of the cities, their constrained and artificial life, are most
wearisome and exhausting to the sick. The
air, laden with smoke and dust, with poisonous gases, and with germs
of disease, is a peril to life. The sick, for the most part shut within
four walls, come almost to feel as if they were prisoners in their rooms.
They look out on houses and pavements and hurrying crowds, with perhaps
not even a glimpse of blue sky or sunshine, of grass or flower or tree.
Shut up in this way, they brood over their suffering and sorrow, and become
a prey to their own sad thoughts.
And for those who are
weak in moral power, the cities abound in dangers. In them, patients who have
unnatural appetites to overcome are continually
exposed to temptation. They need to be placed amid new surroundings where
the current of their thoughts will be changed; they need to be placed
under influences wholly different from those that have wrecked their
lives. Let them for a season be removed from those influences that lead
away from God, into a purer atmosphere.
Institutions for the
care of the sick would be far more successful if they could be established
away from the cities. And so far as possible,
all who are seeking to recover health should place themselves amid country
surroundings where they can have the benefit of outdoor life. Nature
is God's physician. The pure air, the glad sunshine, the flowers and
trees, the orchards and vineyards, and outdoor exercise amid these surroundings,
are health-giving, life-giving.
Physicians and nurses should encourage their patients to be much
in the open air. Outdoor life is the only remedy that many invalids need.
It has a wonderful power to heal diseases caused by the excitements and
excesses of fashionable life, a life that weakens and destroys the powers
of body, mind, and soul.
How grateful to the invalids weary
of city life, the glare of many lights, and the noise of the streets, are the
quiet and freedom of the
country! How eagerly do they turn to the scenes of nature! How glad would
they be to sit in the open air, rejoice in the sunshine, and breathe
the fragrance of tree and flower! There are life-giving properties in
the balsam of the pine, in the fragrance of the cedar and the fir, and
other trees also have properties that are health restoring.
To the chronic
invalid, nothing so tends to restore health and happiness as living amid
attractive country surroundings. Here the most helpless
ones can sit or lie in the sunshine or in the shade of the trees. They
have only to lift their eyes to see above them the beautiful foliage.
A sweet sense of restfulness and refreshing comes over them as they listen
to the murmuring of the breezes. The drooping spirits revive. The waning
strength is recruited. Unconsciously the mind becomes peaceful, the fevered
pulse more calm and regular. As the sick grow stronger, they will venture
to take a few steps to gather some of the lovely flowers, precious messengers
of God's love to His afflicted family here below.
be devised for keeping patients out of doors. For those who are able to work,
let some pleasant, easy employment be provided.
Show them how agreeable and helpful this outdoor work is. Encourage them
to breathe the fresh air. Teach them to breathe deeply, and in breathing
and speaking to exercise the abdominal muscles. This is an education
that will be invaluable to them.
Exercise in the open air
should be prescribed
as a life-giving necessity. And for such exercises there is nothing better
than the cultivation of
the soil. Let patients have flower beds to care for, or work to do in
the orchard or vegetable garden. As they are encouraged to leave their
rooms and spend time in the open air, cultivating flowers or doing some
other light, pleasant work, their attention will be diverted from themselves
and their sufferings.
The more the patient can be kept out
of doors, the less care will he require. The more cheerful his surroundings,
the more helpful will he
be. Shut up in the house, be it ever so elegantly furnished, he will
grow fretful and gloomy. Surround him with the beautiful things of nature;
place him where he can see the flowers growing and hear the birds singing,
and his heart will break into song in harmony with the songs of the birds.
Relief will come to body and mind. The intellect will be awakened, the
imagination quickened, and the mind prepared to appreciate the beauty
of God's word.
In nature may always be found something to
divert the attention of the sick from themselves and direct their thoughts
to God. Surrounded
by His wonderful works, their minds are uplifted from the things that
are seen to the things that are unseen. The beauty of nature leads them
to think of the heavenly home, where there will be nothing to mar the
loveliness, nothing to taint or destroy, nothing to cause disease or
and nurses draw from the things of nature, lessons teaching of God. Let them
point the patients to Him whose hand has made the lofty
trees, the grass, and the flowers, encouraging them to see in every bud
and flower an expression of His love for His children. He who cares for
the birds and the flowers will care for the beings formed in His own
Out of doors, amid the things that God has made, breathing
the fresh, health-giving air, the sick can best be told of the new life in
Here God's word can be read. Here the light of Christ's righteousness
can shine into hearts darkened by sin.
O, could I find, from day to day,
A nearness to my God,
Then would my hours glide sweet away,
While leaning on His word.
Lord, I desire with Thee to live
Anew from day to day,
In joys the world can never give,
Nor ever take away.
Blest Jesus, come, and rule my heart,
And make me wholly Thine,
That I may nevermore depart,
Nor grieve Thy love divine.
Men and women in need of physical and spiritual
healing are to be thus brought into contact with those whose words and acts
will draw them to
Christ. They are to be brought under the influence of the great Medical
Missionary, who can heal both soul and body. They are to hear the story
of the Saviour's love, of the pardon freely provided for all who come
to Him confessing their sins.
Under such influences as these,
many suffering ones will be guided into the way of life. Angels of heaven co-operate
with human instrumentalities
in bringing encouragement and hope and joy and peace to the hearts of
the sick and suffering. Under such conditions the sick are doubly blessed,
and many find health. The feeble step recovers its elasticity. The eye
regains its brightness. The hopeless become hopeful. The once despondent
countenance wears an expression of joy. The complaining tones of the
voice give place to tones of cheerfulness and content.
physical health is regained, men and women are better able to exercise that
faith in Christ which secures the health of the soul. In the consciousness
of sins forgiven there is inexpressible peace and joy and rest. The clouded
hope of the Christian is brightened. The words express the belief, "God
is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." "Yea,
though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil: for
Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." "He giveth
power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength." Psalms
46:1; 23:4; Isaiah 40:29.
My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day
Be wholly Thine.
May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire;
As Thou hast died for me,
O may my love to Thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be,
A living fire.
While life's dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow's tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.