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Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all. -FREDERICK VON LOGAU.

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.-ECCLESIASTES.

Man is a watch, wound up at first but never Wound up again: once down he's down forever. HERRICK.

Old age seizes upon an ill-spent youth like fire upon a rotten house. -SOUTH.

Last Sunday a young man died here of extreme old age at twenty-five. -JOHN NEWTON.

If you will not hear Reason, she'll surely rap your knuckles. POOR RICHARD'S SAYINGS

OH! oh! ah ! " exclaimed Franklin; " what have I done to merit these cruel sufferings?" "Many things," replied the Gout; " you have eaten and drunk too freely, and too much indulged those legs of yours in your indolence."

Nature seldom presents her bill on the day you violate her laws. But if you overdraw your account at her bank, and give her a mortgage on your body, be sure she will foreclose. She may loan you all you want; but, like Shylock, she will demand the last ounce of flesh. She rarely brings in her cancer bill before the victim is forty years old.

She does not often annoy a man with her drink bill until he is past his prime, and then presents it in the form of Bright's disease, fatty degeneration of the heart, drunkard's liver, or some similar disease. What you pay the saloon keeper is but a small part of your score.

We often hear it said that the age of miracles is past. We marvel that a thief dying on the cross should appear that very day in Paradise; but behold how that bit of meat or vegetable on a Hawarden breakfast table is snatched from Death, transformed into thought, and on the following night shakes Parliament in the magnetism and oratory of a Gladstone. The age of miracles past, when three times a day right before our eyes Nature performs miracles greater even than raising the dead ?

Watch that crust of bread thrown into a cell in Bedford jail and devoured by a poor, hungry tinker; cut, crushed, ground, driven by muscles, dissolved by acids and alkalies ; absorbed and hurled into the mysterious red river of life. Scores of little factories along this strange stream, waiting for this crust, transmute it as it passes, as if by magic, here into a bone cell, there into gastric juice, here into bile, there into a nerve cell, yonder into a brain cell. We can not trace the processes by which this crust arrives at the muscle and acts, arrives at the brain and thinks.

We can not see the manipulating hand which throws back and forth the shuttle which weaves Bunyan's destinies, nor can we trace the subtle alchemy which transforms this prison crust into the finest allegory in the world, the Pilgrim's Progress. But we do know that, unless we supply food when the stomach begs and clamors, brain and muscle can not continue to act; and we also know that unless the food is properly chosen, unless we eat it properly, unless we maintain good digestion by exercise of mind and body, it will not produce the speeches of a Gladstone or the allegories of a Bunyan.

Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Imagine a cistern which would transform the foul sewage of a city into pure drinking water in a second's time, as the black venous blood, foul with the ashes of burned-up brain cells and debris of worn-out tissues, is transformed in the lungs, at every breath, into pure, bright, red blood.

Each drop of blood from that magic stream of liquid life was compounded by a divine Chemist. In it float all our success and destiny. In it are the extensions and limits of our possibilities. In it are health and long life, or disease and premature death. In it are our hopes and our fears, our courage, our cowardice, our energy or lassitude, our strength or weakness, our success or failure. In it are susceptibilities of high or broad culture, or pinched or narrow faculties handed down from an uncultured ancestry.' From it our bones and nerves, our muscles and brain, our comeliness or ugliness, all come. In it are locked up the elements of a vicious or a gentle life, the tendencies of a criminal or a saint. How important is it, then, that we should obey the laws of health, and thus maintain the purity and power of this our earthly River of Life!

" We hear a great deal about the `vile body,' " said Spencer, " and many are encouraged by the phrase to transgress the laws of health. But Nature quietly suppresses those who treat thus disrespectfully one of her highest products, and leaves the world to be peopled by the descendants of those who are not so foolish." Nature gives to him that hath. She shows him the contents of her vast storehouse, and bids him take all he wants and be welcome. But she will not let him keep for years what he does not use. Use or lose is her motto. Every atom we do not utilize this great economist snatches from us.

If you put your arm in a sling and do not use it, Nature will remove the muscle almost to the bone, and the arm will become useless, but in exact proportion to your efforts to use it again she will gradually restore what she took away. Put your mind in the sling of idleness, or inactivity, and in like manner she will remove your brain, even to imbecility. The blacksmith wants one powerful arm, and she gives it to him, but reduces the other. You can, if you will, send all the energy of your life into some one faculty, but all your other faculties will starve.

A young lady may wear tight corsets if she chooses, but Nature will remove the rose from her cheek and put pallor there. She will replace a clear complexion with muddy hues and sallow spots. She will take away the elastic step, the luster from the eye.

Don't expect to have health for nothing. Nothing in this world worth anything can be had for nothing. Health is the prize of a constant struggle. Nature passes no act without affixing a penalty for its violation. Whenever she is outraged she will have her penalty, although it take a life.

A great surgeon stood before his class to perform a certain operation which the elaborate mechanism and minute knowledge of modern science had only recently made possible. With strong and gentle hand he did his work successfully so far as his part of the terrible business went; and then he turned to his pupils and said, " Two years ago a safe and simple operation, might have cured this disease. Six years ago a wise way of life might have prevented it. We have done our best as the case now stands, but Nature will have her word to say. She does not always consent to the repeal of her capital sentences." Next day the patient died.

Apart from accidents, we hold our life largely at will. What business have seventy-five thousand physicians in the United States? It is our own fault that even one-tenth of them get a respectable living.

What a commentary upon our modern American civilization that three hundred and fifty thousand people in this country die annually from absolutely preventable diseases! Seneca said, " The gods have given us a long life, but we have made it short." Few people know enough to become old. It is a rare thing for a person to die of old age. Only three or four out of a hundred die of anything like old age. But Nature evidently intended, by the wonderful mechanism of the human body, that we should live well up to a century.

Thomas Parr, of England, lived to the age of one hundred and fifty-two years. He was married when he was a hundred and twenty, and did not leave off work until he was a hundred and thirty. The great Dr. Harvey examined Parr's body, but found no cause of death except a change of living. Henry Jenkins, of Yorkshire, England, lived to be a hundred and sixty-nine, and would probably have lived longer had not the king brought him to London, where luxuries hastened his death. The court records of England show that he was a witness in a trial a hundred and forty years before his death. He swam across a rapid river when he was a hundred.

There is nothing we are more ignorant of than the physiology and chemistry of the human body. Not one person in a thousand can correctly locate important internal organs or describe their use in the animal economy.

What an insult to the Creator who fashioned them so wonderfully and fearfully in His own image, that the graduates from our high schools and even universities, and young women who " finish their education," become proficient in the languages, in music, in art, and have the culture of travel, but can not describe or locate the various organs or functions upon which their lives depend!

"The time will come," says Frances Willard, "when it will be told as a relic of our primitive barbarism that children were taught the list of prepositions and the names of the rivers of Thibet, but were not taught the wonderful laws on which their own bodily happiness is based, and the humanities by which they could live in peace and good will with those about them." Nothing else is so important to man as the study and knowledge of himself, and yet he knows less of himself than he does of the beasts about him.

The human body is the great poem of the Great Author. Not to learn how to read it, to spell out its meaning, to appreciate its beauties, or to attempt to fathom its mysteries, is a disgrace to our civilization. What a price mortals pay for their ignorance, let a dwarfed, half-developed, one-sided, short-lived nation answer." A brilliant intellect in a sickly body is like gold in a spent swimmer's pocket."

Often, from lack of exercise, one side of the brain gradually becomes paralyzed and deteriorates into imbecility. How intimately the functions of the nervous organs are united! The whole man mourns for a felon. The least swelling presses a nerve against a bone and causes one intense agony, and even a Napoleon becomes a child. A corn on the toe, an affection of the kidneys or of the liver, a boil anywhere on the body, or a carbuncle, may seriously affect the eyes and even the brain. The whole system is a network of nerves, of organs, of functions, which are so intimately joined, and related in such close sympathy, that an injury to one part is immediately felt in every other.

Nature takes note of all our transactions, physical, mental, or moral, and places every item promptly to our debit or credit.

Let us take a look at a page in Nature's ledger:

To damage to the heart in youth by immoderate athletics, tobacco chewing, cigarette smoking, drinking strong tea or coffee, rowing, running to trains, overstudy, excitement, etc..

To one digestive apparatus ruined, by eating hurriedly, by eating unsuitable or poorly cooked food, by drinking ice water when one is heated, by swallowing scalding drinks, especially tea, which forms tannic acid on the delicate lining, of the stomach; or by eating when tired or worried, or after receiving bad news, when the gastric juice can not be secreted, etc.

To one nervous system shattered by dissipation, abuses, over-excitement, a fast life, feverish haste to get riches or fame, hastening puberty by stimulating food, exciting life, etc.

To damage by undue mental exertion by burning the " midnight oil," exhausting the brain cells faster than they can be renewed.

To overstraining the brain trying to lead his class in college, trying to take a prize, or to get ahead of somebody else.

To hardening the delicate and sensitive gray matter of the brain and nerves, and ruining the lining membranes of the stomach and nervous system by alcohol, opium, etc.

The "irritable heart," the "tobacco heart," a life of promise impaired or blighted.

Dyspepsia, melancholia, years of misery to self, anxiety to one's family, pity and disgust of friends.

Years of weakness, disappointed ambition, hopeless inefficiency, a burnt-out life.

Impaired powers of mind, softening of the brain, blighted hopes.

A disappointed ambition, a life of invalidism.

A hardened brain, a hardened conscience, a ruined home, Bright's disease, fatty degeneration, nervous degeneration, a short, useless, wasted life.

By forced balances, here and Accounts closed there. Physiological and moral bankruptcy.

Sometimes two or three such items are charged to a single account. To offset them, there is placed - the credit side a little feverish excitement, too fleeting for calm enjoyment, followed by regret, remorse, and shame. Be sure your sins will find you out. They are all recorded.

"The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices Make instruments to scourge us."

It is a wonder that we live at all. We violate every law of our being, yet we expect to live to a ripe old age. What would you think of a man who, having an elegant watch delicately adjusted to heat and cold, should leave it on the sidewalk with cases open on a dusty or a rainy day, and yet expect it to keep good time? What would you think of a householder who should leave the doors and windows of his mansion open to thieves and tramps, to winds and dust and rain ?

What are our bodies but timepieces made by an Infinite Hand, wound up to run a century, and so delicately adjusted to heat and cold that the temperature will not vary half a degree between the heat of summer and the cold of winter whether we live in the regions of eternal frost or under the burning sun of the tropics ? A particle of dust or the slightest friction will throw this wonderful timepiece out of order, yet we often leave it exposed to all the corroding elements. We do not always keep open the twenty-five miles of ventilating pores in the skin by frequent bathing. We seldom lubricate the delicate wheels of the body with the oil of gladness.We expose it to dust and cinders, cold and draughts, and poisonous gases.

How careful we are to filter our water, air our beds, ventilate our sleeping-rooms, and analyze our milk!

We shrink from contact with filth and disease. But we put paper colored with arsenic on our walls, and daily breathe its poisonous exhalations. We frequent theaters crowded with human beings, many of whom are uncleanly and diseased. We sit for hours and breathe in upon fourteen hundred square feet of lung tissue the heated, foul, and heavy air; carbonic acid gas from hundreds of gas burners, each consuming as much oxygen as six people; air filled with shreds of tissue expelled from diseased lungs; poisonous effluvia exhaled from the bodies of people who rarely bathe, from clothing seldom washed, fetid breaths, and skin disease in different stages of development. For hours we sit in this bath of poison, and wonder at our headache and lassitude next morning.

We pour a glass of ice water into a stomach busy in the delicate operation of digestion, ignorant or careless of the fact that it takes half an hour to recover from the shock and get the temperature back to ninety-eight degrees, so that the stomach can go on secreting gastric juice. Then down goes another glass of water with similar results.

We pour down alcohol which thickens the velvety lining of the stomach, and hardens the soft tissues, the thin sheaths of nerves, and the gray matter of the brain. We crowd meats, vegetables, pastry, confectionery, nuts, raisins, wines, fruits, etc., into one of the most delicately constructed organs of the body, and expect it to take care of its miscellaneous and incongruous load without a murmur.

After all these abuses we do not give the blood a chance to go to the stomach and help it out of its misery, but summon it to the brain and muscles, notwithstanding the fact that it is so important to have an extra supply to aid digestion that Nature has made the blood vessels of the alimentary canal large enough to contain several times the amount in the entire body.

Who ever saw a horse leave his oats and hay, when hungry, to wash them down with water? The dumb beasts can teach us some valuable lessons in and drinking. Nature mixes our gastric juice or pepsin and acids in just the right proportion to digest food, and keep it at exactly the right temperature. If we dilute it, or lower its temperature by ice water, we diminish its solvent or digestive power, and dyspepsia is the natural result.

English factory children have received the commiseration of the world because they were scourged to work fourteen hours out of the twenty-four. But there is many a theoretical republican who is a harsher taskmaster to his stomach than this; who allows it no more resting time than he does his watch; who gives it no Sunday, no holiday, no vacation in any sense, and who seeks to make his heart beat faster for the sake of the exhilaration he can thus produce.

Although the heart weighs a little over half a pound, yet it pumps eighteen pounds of blood from itself, forcing it into every nook and corner of the entire body, back to itself in less than two minutes. This little organ, the most perfect engine in the world, does a daily work equal to lifting one hundred and twenty four tons one foot high, and exerts one-third as much muscle power as does a stout man at hard labor. If the heart should expend its entire force lifting its own weight, it would raise itself nearly twenty thousand feet an hour, ten times as high as a pedestrian can lift himself in ascending a mountain. What folly, then, to goad this willing, hard-working slave to greater exertions by stimulants

We must pay the penalty of our vocations. Beware of work that kills the workman.

Those who prize long life should avoid all occupations which compel them to breathe impure air or deleterious gases, and especially those in which they are obliged to inhale dust and filings from steel and brass and iron, the dust in coal mines, and dust from threshing machines. Stone cutters, miners, and steel grinders are short lived, the sharp particles of dust irritating and inflaming the tender lining of the lung cells. The knife and fork grinders in Manchester, England, rarely live beyond thirty-two years. Those who work in grain elevators and those who are compelled to breathe chemical poisons are short lived.

Deep breathing in dusty places sends the particles of dust into the upper and less used lobes of the lungs, and these become a constant irritant, until they finally excite an inflammation, which may end in consumption. All occupations in which arsenic is used shorten life.

Dr. William Ogle, who is authority upon this subject, says, " Of all the various influences that tend to produce differences of mortality in any community, none is more potent than the character of the prevailing occupations." Finding that clergymen and priests have the lowest death-rate, he represented it as one hundred, and by comparison found that the rate for inn and hotel servants was three hundred and ninety seven; miners, three hundred and thirty-one; earthenware makers, three hundred and seventeen; file makers, three hundred; innkeepers, two hundred and seventy four; gardeners, farmers, and agricultural laborers closely approximating the clerical standard. He gave as the causes of high mortality, first, working in a cramped or constrained attitude; second, exposure to the action of poisonous or irritating substances; third, excessive work, mental or physical; fourth, working in confined or foul air; fifth, the use of strong drink; sixth, differences in liability to fatal accidents; seventh, exposure to the inhalation of dust. The deaths of those engaged in alcoholic industries were as one thousand five hundred and twenty-one to one thousand of the average of all trades.

It is very important that occupations should be congenial. Whenever our work galls us, whenever feel it to be a drudgery and uncongenial, the friction grinds life away at a terrible rate.

Health can be accumulated, invested, and made to yield its compound interest, and thus be doubled redoubled. The capital of health may, indeed, be forfeited by one misdemeanor, as a rich man may sink all his property in one bad speculation; but it is as capable of being increased as any other kind of capital.

One is inclined to think with a recent writer that it looks as if the rich men kept out of the kingdom of heaven were also excluded from the kingdom of brains. In New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago' are thousands of millionaires, some of them running through three or four generations of fortune; and yet, in all their ranks, there is seldom a man possessed of the higher intellectual qualities that flower in literature, eloquence, or statesmanship. Scarcely one of them has produced a book worth printing, a poem worth reading, or a speech worth listening to. They are struck with intellectual sterility. They go to college; they travel abroad; they hire the dearest masters; they keep libraries among their furniture; and some of them buy works of art. But, for all that, their brains wither under luxury, often by their own vices or tomfooleries, and mental barrenness is the result. He who violates Nature's law must suffer the penalty, though he have millions. The fruits of intellect do not grow among the indolent rich. They are usually out of the republic of brains. Work or starve is Nature's motto; starve mentally, starve morally, even if you are rich enough to prevent physical starvation.

How heavy a bill Nature collects of him in whom the sexual instinct has been permitted to taint the whole life with illicit thoughts and deeds, stultifying the intellect, deadening the sensibilities, dwarfing the soul!

" I waive the quantum of the sin, The hazard of concealing; But och, it hardens all within, And petrifies the feeling."

The sense of fatigue is one of Nature's many signals of danger. All we accomplish by stimulating or crowding the body or mind when tired is worse than lost. Insomnia, and sometimes even insanity, is Nature's penalty for prolonged loss of sleep.

One of the worst tortures of the Inquisition was that of keeping victims from sleeping, often driving them to insanity or death. Melancholy follows insomnia; insanity, both. To keep us in a healthy condition, Nature takes us back to herself, puts us under the ether of sleep, and keeps us there nearly one-third of our lives, while she overhauls and repairs in secret our wonderful mechanism. She takes us back each night wasted and dusty from the day's work, broken, scarred, and injured in the great struggle of life. Each cell of the brain is reburnished and refreshened; all the ashes or waste from the combustion of the tissues is washed out into the blood stream, pumped to the lungs, and thrown out in the breath; and the body is returned in the morning as fresh and good as new.

The American honey does not always pay for the sting. Labor is the eternal condition on which the rich man gains an appetite for his dinner, and the poor man a dinner for his appetite; but the habit of constant, perpetual industry often becomes a disease.

In the Norse legend, Allfader was not allowed to drink from Mirmir's Spring, the fount of wisdom, until he had left his eye as a pledge.

Scholars often leave their health, their happiness, their usefulness behind, in their great eagerness to drink deep draughts at wisdom's fountain. Professional, men often sacrifice everything that is valuable in life for the sake of reputation, influence, and money. Business men sacrifice home, family, health, happiness, in the great struggle for money and power. The American prize, like the pearl in the oyster, is very attractive, but is too often the result of disease.

Charles Linnaeus, the great naturalist, so exhausted his brain by over-exertion that he could not recognize his own work, and even forgot his own name. Kirk White won the prize at Cambridge, but it cost him his life. He studied at night and forced his brain by stimulants and narcotics in his endeavor to pull through, but he died at twenty-four. Paley died at sixty-two of overwork. He was called "one of the sublimest spirits in the world."

President Timothy Dwight of Yale College nearly killed himself by overwork when a young man. When at Yale he studied nine hours, taught six hours a day, and took no exercise whatever. He could not be induced to stop until he became so nervous and irritable that he was unable to look at a book ten minutes a day. His mind gave way, and it was a long time before he fully recovered.

Imagine the surprise of the angels at the death of men and women in the early prime and vigor of life. Could we but read the notes of their autopsies we might say less of mysterious Providence at funerals. They would run somewhat as follows:


What, is it returned so soon? - a body framed for a century's use returned at thirty? - a temple which was twenty-eight years in building destroyed almost before it was completed? What have gray hairs, wrinkles, a bent form, and death to do with youth ? Has all this beauty perished like a bud just bursting into bloom, plucked by the grim destroyer? Has she fallen a victim to tight-lacing, over-excitement, and the gaiety and frivolity of fashionable life? Here is an educated, refined woman who died of lung starvation. What a tax human beings pay for breathing impure air!

Nature provides them with a tonic atmosphere, compounded by the divine Chemist, but they refuse to breathe it in its purity, and so must pay the penalty in shortened lives. They can live a long time without water, a longer time without food, clothing, or the so-called comforts of life; they can live without education or culture, but their lungs must have good, healthful air-food twenty-four thousand times a day if they would maintain health. Oh, that they would see, as we do, the intimate connection between bad air, bad morals, and a tendency to crime!

Here are the ruins of an idolized son and loving husband. Educated and refined: what infinite possibilities beckoned him onward at the beginning of his career! But the Devil's agent offered him imagination, sprightliness, wit, eloquence,' bodily strength, and happiness in eau de vie, or "water of life," as he called it, at only fifteen cents a glass. The best of our company tried to dissuade him, but to no avail. The poor mortal closed his " bargain" with the dramseller, and what did he get? A hardened conscience, a ruined home, a diseased body, a muddled brain, a heartbroken wife, wretched children, disappointed friends, triumphant enemies, days of remorse, nights of anguish, an unwept deathbed, an unhonored grave. And only to think that he is only one of many thousands! "What fools these mortals be!"

Did he not see the destruction toward which he was rushing with all the feverish haste of slavish appetite? Ah, yes, but only when it was too late. In his clenched hand, as he lay dead, was found a crumpled paper containing the following, in lines barely legible so tremulous were the nerves of the writer "Wife, children, and over forty thousand dollars all gone! I alone am responsible. All has gone down my throat. When I was twenty-one I had a fortune. I am not yet thirty-five years old. I have killed my beautiful wife, who died of a broken heart; have murdered our children with neglect. When this coin is gone I do not know how I can get my next meal. I shall die a drunken pauper. This is my last money, and my history. If this bill comes into the hands of any man who drinks, let him take warning from my life's ruin." What a magnificent specimen of manhood this would have been if his life had been under the rule of reason, not passion!

He dies of old age at forty, his hair is gray, his eyes are sunken, his complexion sodden, his body marked with the labels of his disease. A physique fit for a god, fashioned in the Creator's image, with infinite possibilities, a physiological hulk wrecked on passion's seas, and fit only for a danger signal to warn the race.

What would parents think of a captain who would leave his son in charge of a ship without giving him any instructions or chart showing the rocks, reefs, and shoals? Do they not know that those who sleep in the ocean are but a handful compared with those who have foundered on passion's seas? Oh, the sins of silence which parents commit against those dearer to them than life itself ! Youth can not understand the great solicitude of parents regarding their education, their associations, their welfare generally, and the mysterious silence in regard to their physical natures. An intelligent explanation, by all mothers to the daughters and by all fathers to the sons, of the mysteries of their physical lives, when at the right age, would revolutionize civilization.

This young clergyman killed himself trying to be popular. This student committed suicide by exhausting his brain in trying to lead his class. This young lawyer overdrew his account at Nature's bank, and she foreclosed by a stroke of paralysis. This merchant died at thirty-five by his own hand. His life was slipping away without enjoyment. He had murdered his capacity for happiness, and dug his own spiritual grave while making preparations for enjoying life. This young society man died of nothing to do and dissipation, at thirty.

What a miserable farce the life of men and women seems to us! Time, which is so precious that even the Creator will not give a second moment until the first is gone, they throw away as though it were water. Opportunities which angels covet they fling away as of no consequence, and die failures, because they have "no chance in life." Life, which seems so precious to us, they spurn as if but a bauble. Scarcely a mortal returns to us who has not robbed himself of years of precious life. Scarcely a man returns to us dropping off in genuine old age, as autumn leaves drop in the forest.

Has life become so cheap that mortals thus throw it away?


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