IN connection with the tent meetings now being held in Washington, D. C., by Elder R. E. Harter, medical talks are given every Monday night. The circumstances attending the securing of the tent location and the opening of the meetings were such as to give the effort a wide publicity. The attendance has been good. As, is usually the case, the largest attendance is on Sunday nights, and Monday nights the attendance is comparatively small. Notwithstanding this, an audience of nearly five hundred persons was present at the last medical lecture. Among this number were government officials and other persons of influence. Close attention and a good interest are always shown.
These medical lectures are given by Dr. H. W. Miller, superintendent of the Washington Sanitarium. They have covered subjects of current interest, and have been given in a way to fit in nicely with the subjects of the other evenings. A brief outline of the ground covered may be of interest.
The lecture on “The Relation of Health to Morals” showed the vital association of correct physical habits with spiritual uprightness. The obligation of right physical habits was shown to be a God-given one. God has also made full provision for healthful living. Transgression of physical law means a violation of God’s law, and brings a sure penalty. Indulgence in intemperate habits brings not only physical degeneration, but moral decline. Both scientific and Scriptural proof was given in abundance.
“Race Degeneracy” was the subject of a lecture that gave the physiologic signs of the times, showing that, while the average of life is now longer than it has been at times, the proportion of long lives is less. Infant mortality is reduced because of protection by health laws. While sanitation and hygiene in general have served to prolong the average length of life, improper living has brought disease into the homes, and has increased the death rate from chronic diseases.
“Natural Defenses of the Body” explained the immunity of the body to infectious and contagious diseases, showing that the body is naturally a fighter capable of developing increasing immunity. This immunity may first be recognized in the ability of the body to produce antitoxin against drugs so that the habitual opium user may be able to use fifteen to twenty times the amount required to kill a man. The body also is able to resist chemical poisons of bacteria, and parasites, so that we recover from certain diseases and are protected from future attacks. Vaccination is based on this principle of the power of the body to produce antitoxin.
“Vegetarianism Defended From the Standpoint of Science” gave a clear outline of the rational dietary. It was represented that man and beast were originally given a vegetarian diet. There were no animals created in the carnivorous state. The carnivorous appetite is a developed one. In the new earth there will be no death, and no carnivorous animals. The tree of life will be for food. The same God that created man prescribed his diet and made provision for him accordingly. Vegetable foods are the primary source of life. Disease and imperfection in vegetable foods may be easily detected. This is not the case with animal food, where even the microscope may fail to reveal the presence of disease. Vegetarianism is economical, requiring less time for digestion, and giving two or three times the nourishment of flesh foods, pound for pound. Experiences in Oriental fields were cited, proving that physical and mental endurance are greater on a vegetarian diet.