THE DIVINE WAY IN DIET
by: Dr. J. H. Kellogg
Israel's Experience with Flesh-food - Convenient Food - Sunlight the Source of All Energy - Heavenly Meat - Why Flesh Shortens Life.
At the close of the two o'clock meeting last
Friday, a question was asked with reference to why Christ fed the disciples with fish, and I made a reply, basing my remarks upon this passage (Matt.14:17): "They say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full."
But in Mark it says that he divided the fish also.
So there is no doubt that the people were fed with fish as well as with bread. The question is, Does this prove that the Lord, in doing this, sanctioned the use of fish, or that he approved of fish as being the most wholesome food? - I certainly think not; for we find, in 1Cor.10:6, that the apostle, speaking of the experience of the children of Israel in the wilderness, says that they lusted after evil things. We turn to Numbers 11, and we find what the evil thing was. We find that it was flesh; and thus we know that flesh is an evil thing. There is no doubt about that. The Lord has told us, directly and distinctly, that flesh is an evil thing, and that the children of Israel, in lusting after flesh, lusted after an evil thing. And yet when we read the account of what the Lord did for them in the wilderness, we see that the Lord fed them with this very evil thing. The Lord himself did it. Here is what the Lord said to Moses: "Say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days nor twenty days; but even a whole month."
Now here you see that the Lord himself not only gave the children of Israel one meal, but that he gave them flesh every day for a whole month.
And yet the inspired apostle tells us that that very flesh that God gave the children of Israel by a miracle was an evil thing. "And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month."
It would take a tremendous amount of flesh-food to feed six hundred thousand people.
There were many more than six hundred thousand people; for there were that many footmen. What an amount of flesh-food would be required to feed all those people! Just think of it! Moses could not understand it; he said: "Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord's hand waxed short? Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not. And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle." A little farther down we read: "Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel. And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth."
Many years ago Audubon, the great naturalist, said he saw pigeons flying in such numbers as to darken the sky. He estimated the number to be many millions.
[J. N. Loughborough: The fifth verse of the same chapter shows what the evil things are.]
This is true. Some of the things named the Lord made to be eaten; but the evil thing they lusted after was fish.
point I want to call your special attention to here, is that God wrought a miracle: "And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on
this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. . . . . And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, . . . the
Lord smote the people with a very great plague."
Now the Lord brought the quails for the people, and fed them with quails; and yet he sent a plague upon them for eating the very thing he sent. He sent the quails because they wept for them.
So you see the fact
that Christ wrought a miracle to make fish for the people who wanted fish, does not prove that fish was the best food for them.
If it did, then certainly he would have to say that God was very unjust and very unreasonable, to make the children of Israel sick in eating flesh that he himself created right there, and wrought a miracle that they might have. This flesh was not good for them. Why did God give it to them? - Because they insisted upon having it. He told them that meat was not good for them. He wanted them to see that he was withholding flesh because it was not good for them. The plague was not an arbitrary measure. Certainly, the Lord never made anybody sick. The children of Israel ate flesh every day for a month. They ate so much that it came out of their nostrils. That means that they vomited it. That is the way plagues come upon us sometimes. I suppose the flesh at a Thanksgiving dinner, and took became poisoned. I remember a case in which a young man gorged himself with flesh at a Thanksgiving dinner, and took cold the next day, and had pneumonia, and died. Unquestionably it was the Thanksgiving dinner that killed him. Gorging on dead turkey, making a cemetery of his stomach, weakened his resistance; so when the germs came upon him, he succumbed at once. The plagues were there in the wilderness. The germs which caused the plagues were there. While the people lived upon manna, they were above the power of these plagues; but when they feasted upon flesh, they succumbed to the plagues. While their blood was pure, they were safe; but just as soon as they brought their bodies into a condition of grossness, by eating flesh, the plagues broke out among them. This was simply the result of their own sin. The eating of flesh brought them into a diseased condition, where they could not resist the influences about them. The Lord knew what kind of pestilential germs were there in the wilderness. With three millions of people in a wilderness, how long will they remain healthy? Even our own modern sanitary appliances do not keep people healthy, when thus crowded together. You saw this illustrated in the experiences during the late war. When the United States brought together 20,000 or 30,000 men from the whole country, - as healthy men as could be found in all the land, - they were not in camp a week before they began to get sick. It is a fact that three or four men died from disease in camp to every one killed by a Spanish bullet.
[Voice: That is so.]
Yes, I know it is so; I have looked up the statistics; and from them you can see -
[S. H. Lane: The proportion was about one to five.]
I attribute this almost wholly to bad diet.
[L. B. Losey: I was in a camp up in Minnesota, a most healthy place; and there was a large amount of typhoid fever and other diseases in the camp.
I attributed it largely to the kind of food they ate and the way they ate it.]
Now if that is true with so small a number, and with all our modern appliances, what must it have been back there where there were three
million people, just out of Egypt, without any of our modern appliances?
What an awful condition there must have been around their camps, without any sewerage and other sanitary appliances! That is why the Lord kept them moving. That was the only way they could maintain any sort of health. The Lord knew all about this condition of things, and the necessities of these three million people, situated as they were in a torrid climate and under conditions most conducive to disease; and he knew that unless there was special provision made to keep them above the power of disease, they must all die. God gave manna; and when they ate that entirely, they were kept free from disease; but when they gorged themselves with meat, even though God sent it, they were soon attacked by plagues.
We are in the wilderness at the present time, and we are going through the worst part of it, too, and shall be from this time to the end. We must come in contact with plagues and germs of all sorts.
But God has given us bread from heaven; and that is what I want to talk about. What is the bread from heaven? - Fruits, grains, and nuts.
God has promised to give us food which is convenient for us.
What food is most convenient? In the first place, what is food? - In a certain sense, air and water are food, as well as what we commonly call food. Bread is food. Anything that supplies the material needs of the body is food. There is a difference in these foods. We have three kinds of foods, - solid, liquid, and gaseous. Solid food is to the body the same as coal is to the engine. Coal in the stove makes heat. Nothing can be a food to the body unless it can burn. It must be something that will combine with oxygen, because it is the combination of these substances with oxygen that makes heat in our bodies, just the same as does coal in the locomotive. The food in the body makes force there, which we manifest through our bodies in the form of muscular strength, the working of our brains, and in other ways. All this energy comes from the food we eat.
The difference between solid foods, such as applies, potatoes, etc., and animals, is that one (the vegetable) is stored energy, and the other is a machine for using the energy. The difference between a horse and
an ear of corn is that in the corn is stored up the energy that the horse is to use.
If you put corn in the stove, it will burn; and out on the Western prairies, I understand that when corn is worth only fifteen cents a bushel, the people use it for fuel, and it is really cheaper than coal.
[Voice: That is so, and it will burn out a stove much quicker than either wood or coal.]
Yes, because it has such great heat making power. Now, the corn is put into a horse, and the animal gets energy from the
corn. The body is a machine, differing from other machines only in that it is the best and most economical machine on earth.
The vegetable world furnishes the energy for animals to use. This energy comes from God. It comes down in the sunbeam. Whenever you see a sunbeam slanting through a rift in a cloud, that is a stream of energy coming down from God.
[Sunlight is a germ-killer.]
Yes, it is the greatest germ-killer in the world. Consumption germs can not live fifteen minutes in bright sunlight.
This is why we need sunlight in our homes. All germs will succumb to bright sunlight. All the energy in the world comes from the sunlight. For instance, from what does the locomotive get its energy? - It gets it from coal or petroleum. All the steam-engines of the world are run by sunlight. The sunlight falls upon the leaves of the tree, and causes them to take up the carbonic acid from the air, and the roots to bring up material from the earth, make it into vegetable substances. Then these great trees - during the flood, perhaps - were buried in the earth, and became oil-fields and coal-beds; and this energy is taken out in the form of coal and petroleum, and burned. Steam is produced, and in that way our boilers and engines are run.
Now there is a principle in all this. All the steam-engines are run by the sun-light stored up in the earth.
You say, How about the water-wheels, and grist-mills, which are run by water-power? - It is just the same thing, because the sun-light falls upon the water, and this causes a vapor to arise. With the air this is carried to the mountains, where, coming in contact with the cool air, it condenses, falls in rain and snow, then runs down the valleys and streams and divers. We watch it as it runs down on its way to the ocean, when the same process is repeated. So you see that every particle of energy in this world comes from the sun. The sunbeam is God himself at work.
We need energy all the time, because we are wasting.
The body is throwing off as much heat as three feet of steam-pipe. We are continually losing energy in the form of heat and in the work that we do. When I take up a stone, and put it on a wall, I put just as much energy in that stone as I throw off. If you build up a tower out of stones, and that tower should topple over, when those stones fall upon the ground, they send out the same amount of energy that was taken to pile them up.
God has provided, in the order of nature, that the vegetable kingdom should be the means of storing up the energy that is passed down to the earth from the sun.
That is God's method of storing energy. Otherwise the sun would strike the earth and glance off. There is nothing on the moon to store up energy, no vegetables there, and so the sun-light goes off without doing any good.
Now the very first lesson that God gave man in the beginning, the very first word that he said to him, so far as we have any record, is on the subject of diet. That was his first lesson. He began by telling
him what to eat.
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree, yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."
you see there is such a thing as vegetable meat, - seeds, nuts, and fruits, - and that was the food that God gave to man.
That is vegetable meat - that is heavenly meat. Now the seeds, nuts, and fruits have energy stored up in them: and they are the natural diet of man.
We do not have to go into any discussion over this. We do
not have to study a man's physiology and anatomy, or anything else about him, to find out what he should eat.
We find it right here in the Bible. It is a beautiful thing that the zoologists and biologists and anatomists, who study man from a purely scientific standpoint, arrive at the same conclusion. Men who do not believe in the Bible at all, who perhaps have never read the Bible, who do not know that that verse is there in the first chapter of Genesis, study man's hands and teeth, and stomach, and alimentary canal, - his whole anatomy, and they call attention to the fact that a man's structure is wonderfully like that of the ape, the gorilla, the chimpanzee, the ourang-outang; and that those animals eat seeds, nuts, and fruits. From this they conclude that these things must be the natural diet for man. It is not simply a few fanatics that say this, nor a few vegetarians, but it is the most eminent anatomists, the most eminent scientists, of the world. So, considering man from his structure, we must regard him as a fruit- and seed-eating animal.
As I have said, we do not have to go to scientists at all. We find it right there in the first chapter of Genesis.
[Voice in congregation: Is the potato included in the seeds and fruits?]
We can not eat potatoes, unless we cook them first. Adam did not have any cook-stove, and he had no means of cooking; so he could not use potatoes, as they have to be cooked. When we take up the subject of cookery, I will show you why potatoes and other vegetables have to be cooked before being fit for food. The process by which fruit is ripened is exactly what is accomplished in the cook-stove in preparing vegetables for the table. You know you can take a green apple and eat it, and be awfully sick; yet if you take the same kind of an apple and cook it, it will not make you sick. The cooking does what the ripening does, but not so perfectly. It converts the starch of the green apple into dextrin and sugar. That is what the process of digestion does for starch. But I will leave this part of the subject for another time.
Let us consider our proposition a moment longer.
There are two classes of living things, - vegetables and animals. These are the two classes of living things. Vegetables are non sentient, living things, while animals are sentient, living things. Animals can feel and think, while vegetables can not; nevertheless, the vegetables are living things. Animals are beings. They are force-consuming machines, while vegetables are simply force, or energy storing things. The vegetable world stores up fuel for the animal world to burn; the vegetable world stores up food for the animal world to use. Let us see what situation a man is in, what a man is doing when he eats an animal, or any animal which eats another animal.
For instance, when a lion eats rabbits, what is the lion doing? - Why, he is doing the very same thing as would be done in feeding a stove with kerosene lamps.
The stove is to burn fuel, and the lamp is to burn fuel. They are both force-consumers; and so it is just the same to feed large animals with little animals as it would be to feed a big stove with little stoves. If you put a kerosene lamp in a stove, and there is some oil in it, say half a pint, left from the gallons and gallons of oil which the lamp has burned, the stove will burn the half pint of oil, and then the lamp will remain in the stove as rubbish. But if we keep throwing in lamps, we shall by and by have a good deal of rubbish there, shall we not?
The animal is a machine.
Aside from the energy it has in itself, it also has the power of utilizing energy. When you burn fuel in a stove, what will be left behind? - Ashes. What goes out of the chimney? - Smoke. The very same thing happens when you and I take food. If you put corn in a stove, there will be ashes left behind, and the smoke will ascend through the chimney. If you feed that same kind of corn to a horse, there will be ashes and smoke. The nose is the chimney of the horse; and smoke is being poured out all the time, and it is a deadly poison, and the very same kind of poison that goes out through the chimney of the stove. If you take the ashes of the stove, and pour water on them, will the ashes dissolve? - They will, to some extent. The same thing is true of the ashes of the food that the horse eats, - the ashes of the corn. Some of the ashes does not dissolve, and is carried off through the bowels; and some does dissolve, and is carried off through the skin and kidneys; so you have the very same thing as you have in the stove - smoke and ashes. These are poisons, are they not? As you keep on putting that fuel into the stove, after a while the fire becomes choked by the accumulation of the ashes, does it not? The ashes have to be cleared away. The animal can, of itself, throw off the ashes. Suppose you disconnect the pipe from the chimney of a stove, and stop up the mouth of the pipe, and shut the stove up tight, what will occur? - The fire will be killed, will it not? It will be smothered by the smoke. Suppose you put something over the top of the chimney of a kerosene lamp, will the lamp burn bright? - No; it will very soon go out. Why? - Because the smoke is poison to the light, and puts it out.
Precisely the same thing is true with our bodies. The fuel put into our bodies is digested.
Some of it is assimilated, and some of it becomes poisonous. Some of it, which is soluble, remains in the body for a time, and passes off slowly through the kidneys and skin; other parts of it pass through the bowels, and in that way all is gotten rid of. So when you put fuel into a stove, there is always some ashes, is there not?
In every animal there are three things, - living matter, food and dead matter; in every vegetable there are two, - living matter and nutrient matter; no poisons, or dead matter. The tree takes in food, and
converts it into living matter; and in the tree there is always some food that has not yet been converted into living matter.
In the animal we have three things, - food that has not been used, - or nutrient matter, living matter, and dead matter. Now did you ever think of that? This dead matter is the ashes.
[A Voice: No matter how
highly meat is flavored, or how it is dressed, there is the broken-down tissue, the dead matter.]
That is it. I am talking of the best animal that ever lived, and it is not entirely a question of disease.
There is dead matter in the animal, because the animal is like the stove, that leaves ashes behind; or the locomotive, that sends out smoke and cinders and other things; because the animal is a working machine, just the same as
the locomotive is.
[A Voice: The arterial blood flows out; and the venous blood, with the impurities, the dregs, is left behind.]
That is it; these things are always left in.
The kidneys strain out the poisons from the body; but this is simply an extract of the body, and the body has more or less of it in it all the time. What the liver strains out in the bile is nothing more nor less than extract of the body, and there is always more or less rife in the body.
Now see how much lung poison - carbonic acid poison - there is in the body. If you put a rope around a man's neck, the poison will accumulate sufficiently to kill him in four or five minutes. The body is so
full of poisons, and is so near the death point, that it takes only three or four minutes after the lungs cease to carry it off, for the poison to accumulate to a fatal amount.
Well, to come back to the point again: the
animal, as we stated, contains three things. I am an animal; and I have, in my body, food, living matter, and dead matter. Now suppose I eat vegetables, what do I do? - I add food and living matter to the food and
the living matter that are in my body.
But suppose I eat an animal, what then? - I add food, living matter, and dead matter, so I add to the dead matter that is already in my body the dead matter that is in the body of the other animal. Now can you see that? [Voices: Yes.] There is no escaping that. When I eat the vegetable, I get pure food, just as the Lord made it for us. God did not put any poisons in the vegetables; there is no dead matter in them. But when I eat the animal, I take the food that is there, and the living matter, also the dead matter; so I add to the dead matter in my body, which is already so near the danger-point, the poisons of the other animal's body.
Now that is the reason the use of flesh shortens life, - because it adds to the accumulation of dead matter in the body; and by and by it overcomes the life-force, and brings death.
That is the way death came; for if Adam had not sinned, and had continued to eat the perfect food, he might have lived right on forever. God made man immortal, not mortal. Man is naturally immortal, not naturally mortal. Some of you will say that is a heresy; but if you will consider the matter, I am sure you will agree with me. The only reason man dies is because he sinned. It is only disobedience that brings death; there could not have been any death if there had been no disobedience. That is not to say that man has intrinsic immortality; for God only is immortal; but God gave to man the privilege of being immortal if he would obey him, man always being in the position where, if he disobeyed God for a moment, he was subject to death. He had to depend upon God's continually pouring into him a continual stream of his energy; and so long as that stream kept coming in uninterruptedly, just so long man might live; but the moment man sinned, he interrupted this continuous stream of God's energy, and was subject to death. And the only reason we may hope to live in the future world, is that we shall be forever obedient, because we shall be continually in touch with God, receiving from him power enough and life enough to keep us above the power of death.
Death comes by the accumulation of death within the body. It has accumulated to an extent which makes it impossible for the life to overcome the death-dealing agencies within. Every animal has death within
him. The vegetable has living matter and food, but no death in it; but the animal has food - living matter - and death. The dead matter gradually accumulates until the body loses its power to overcome it and
If we could throw it all out perfectly, our blood would be pure, and our bodies would be pure, and we would be above the power of disease; but through our inability perfectly to eliminate all the dead matter from our bodies, it gradually accumulates, by the taking on of other dead matter, until the amount of death in the body has reached the point where the body can no longer live.
Now here is a reason for the disuse of flesh-foods that no one can possibly dispute.
It puts the matter on a strictly scientific and Scriptural basis, and there is no possible getting away from it. It is not a question whether the animal is a healthy one or not; it is only a question of whether it is an animal or not. There is no better reason for feeding one animal with another animal than there is for feeding a furnace with small stoves, or a stove with pieces of other stoves.
But I will close, and let you have a breathing-spell before the opening of the next session.
Address by J. H. Kellogg, M. D., February 26, 1899