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Chapter 11—General Hygiene
God designed that man should be active and useful; yet the life
of many is little more than mere existence. They never brighten the
path of others, never bless those around them; on the contrary, they are
only a burden. On the side of right their influence is little more than
a cipher. Scarcely an instance of disinterested benevolence brightens
their life record. No pleasant memory survives them at their death;
for there was no true goodness to leave a loving impress, even on the
hearts of their friends. Such a life is a sad failure. It is the life of an
unfaithful steward, who forgets that his Creator has claims upon him.
Selfish interests attract his mind, and lead to forgetfulness of God, and
of his purpose in the creation of man.
God placed Adam and Eve in Paradise, and surrounded them with
everything that was useful and lovely. He planted for them a beautiful
garden, in which no herb or flower or tree was lacking that might be
for use or ornament. Paradise delighted their senses, but this was not
enough; they must have something to call into play the wonderful
machinery of the human system. Had happiness consisted in doing
nothing, man in his state of holy innocence would have been left
unemployed. But he who formed man, knew what would be for his
best happiness, and he no sooner created him than he gave him his
appointed work. A life of useful labor is indispensable to the physical,
mental, and moral well-being of man.
God has given us all something to do; and in the discharge of
various duties, our lives will be made useful, and we shall be blessed.
“Not slothful in business,” [
Romans 12:11
.] is the injunction of the
apostle Paul. A person might as well expect a harvest where he has not
sown, as to expect to be saved while living in indolence. The race is not
always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, yet “he shall become
poor that dealeth with a slack hand.” [
Proverbs 10:4
.] Those who are
diligent in business may not always be prospered; but drowsiness and
idleness are sure to grieve the Spirit of God, and destroy true godliness.