« السابقةمتابعة »
Il life andis motionles Animal of its
When the sun ariseth, “man goeth forth to his work and to his labor until the evening,” and in the intensity of his desire, he pushes on his mind into new fields of learning. But now, how changed! This state of activity has given way to rest, and he that was all life and energy, has fallen into a state nearly allied to death. His motionless and inactive limbs are no longer subject to the will. Animal life is suspended, and organic life has yielded up a portion of its activity. His thinking mind no longer explores the mysteries of science. Deep sleep has steeped his senses in forgetfulness. How can he now morally perform his active duties ! How can he now serve his fellow-man, or worship his Creator, God! In sleep, all his moral powers are suspended; but not so his moral obligation. He is still a creature, and must serve his Creator. He is a creature of time, and must prepare for eternity. How much, then, of this brief life, must be allowed to pass in the unconsciousness of sleep? How long shall man be permitted
6 To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life ?"
What rule must govern him, in regulating the period of his repose ? For an answer to this, doubtless, he must look to the end and object of his being. This end is the glory of God; and this object the salvation of his own soul. To accomplish these, he is to give himself to God, that he may serve him with all his powers. He cannot, therefore, fuláll the end of the law, which is obedience, if, on the one hand, he spends in unnecessary activity that time which belongs to God; or, on the other, by long protracted labor and study, wastes those vital energies which should be restored by sleep.
The word of God, by establishing the principles on which the duty of man is founded, prescribes his obligations with regard to this part of physical culture. But we are directed by experience, to define the exact period which must be allotted to sleep, under the government of moral obligation. Careful observation on this subject has led to this practical conclusion : That in the first few months of infancy, nearly all the time must be devoted to the stillness of sleep. That then the dormant senses should be roused to use, and the mental faculties gradually stimulated into action, which may
be permitted for a quarter part of time. In early child. hood, half of the day is required to restore, by sleep, the waste of energy which has been produced by labor during the other half. This may be reduced to a third, in maturer lise ; and as age advances, it may come, at last, to a quarter part, for sleep. But in the second childhood of extreme age, besides the regular sleep at night, transient rest by day must be once more resumed.
By the first of the principles which have now been adverted to, the powers of the body are strengthened by use; and by the last of the principles discussed, the vital energy is renewed by rest to the consideration
We come next to the consideration of another principle, by which the waste, not only of power, but of parts, is to be restored by food.
There is in man a principle of decay, as the result of his disobedience, the consequent fiat of the Almighty ; and this would operate to the speedy extinction of the species, but for the mercy which permits him to prolong his existence to an extended term of years. This goodness operates, by connecting the life of man with the animal and vegetable kingdom around him ; that from them he may draw support and sustenance, to repair the waste of the body, and recruit the loss of his powers.
The support of the system by food, while it constitutes a great part of the animal enjoyment of man, and has been graciously bestowed for his pleasure, as well as for his preservation, is probably more perverted to his injury and unhappiness, than all the other circumstances of his physical nature. Religious principle is therefore highly important here, that he may have some holy guard to restrict, and some holy guide to direct him in the quantity and quality of his food. The Scriptures have therefore furnished him with precepts, founded on principles which experience has illustrated, sufficiently clear to enable him to enjoy the bounties of Providence, for his comfort and support, while, at the same time, he is taught to do all to the honor and glory of his benefactor.
The historical record of God's dealings with primeval man, declares the intention of the Creator that the vegetable kingdom shall be given to him for food ; and when man passed by a single family from the old world to the new, God once more, by covenant, gave to him the animal and vegetable kingdoms, to be to him for sustenance. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Gen. ix. 3. With this provision for his wants, there is also given to the body the capacity to receive, and the property to convert these bounties to the restoration of its wasting powers. But with the extensive field spread out before his view, from which he may partake, and the propensity of his erring nature to pervert the bounties of Providence, there would be danger that man would dishonor the Giver of all good, by a cruel destruction of animal life, or by a wanton waste of the bounties of the field. There is therefore implanted in the constitution a check to his desires, in the limited power which the body has of converting to its renewal the various aliments provided. It is also in conformity with the features of God's government, tempered every where by gentleness and mercy, that this limit of man should be greatly contracted that is, that his actual wants should be very few, and the required amount of sustenance should be very small. Experience shows that such is the law of the animal economy; and revelation has founded on all these principles, those precepts which are enjoined upon him, as a recipient of God's bounties. The corner stone laid on the foundation, is temperance. Over this is raised the whole edifice of Christian perfectness, with all its garniture of spiritual beauty and moral ornament. The precepts which recognise this necessary duty of self-denial and moderation, are such as these.—1 Pet. ii. 11. “ Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” i Pet. iv. 2. " That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Luke xxi. 34. “ Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness.” Rom. viii. 13. “ For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Rom. xiii. 14. “ But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fuláll the lusts thereof." 2 Cor. vii. 1. " Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.” Gal. v. 16. “ Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Gal. v. 24. “ They that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Matt. vi. 25. “ Take no thought
ve after chebe deeds of the Lord Jell the lusts the fileliness 2. But put ye ne desh, to fulbulves from all Hiltonirit, for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” 1 Cor. ix. 25. “ And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” 1 Cor. ix. 27. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” Gal. v. 22, 23. “ But the fruit of the Spirit is = temperance.” “Be temperate in all things."
In accordance with these precepts of the gospel, experience brings in its testimony to the fact that but little is required to sustain the body in health and vigor. The aged Venetian Cornaro reduced the quantity to the small amount of twelve ounces of solid food,* and fourteen of liquid, a day.t Our own Franklin, when in penury, supported bodily labor and mental effort on a limited supply of bread with water, and after his fare became less frugal, he for some years abstained from meat. These are extreme cases, and do not furnish a standard for ordinary men. The results of the investigations of intelligent and humane men, who have pursued the subject with the single desire of benefiting mankind, are such as these :
A gentleman in the 64th year of his age, arrived at the conclusion, after long experiment, that his bodily and mental vigor was best maintained by thirty-eight ounces of liquid, and eighteen and an half of solid food—in all, three pounds and ten and an half ounces a day.
A learned physicians found that it required about twenty ounces of bread and four pounds of water to sustain him in strength.
Another accurate observer$ recommends for a man of common stature, without a laborious occupation, “ Eight ounces of flesh meat, and twelve of bread or of vegetable food, and about two pints of liquid in the twenty-four hours. The valetudinary, or those employed in sedentary professions, or intellectual pursuits, must lessen this quantity of solid food, if they wish to preserve their health, and the freedom of their spirits."
Sir John Sinclair, in his code of health, arrives generally at this conclusion. “For sedentary people, the following quantities may be recommended. For breakfast, four ounces of bread and eight ounces of liquid ; for dinner, four ounces of bread, eight ounces of meat, and twenty ounces
* Venetian weight-equal to about fourteen English. 1 Equal to about sixteen English. Dr. William Stark.
vanlity, addition of when violents.
of liquid; and for supper, eight ounces liquid food; making in all fifty-two ounces. Those, however, who take moderate exercise, will require fuller diet; the amount of which must greatly depend upon the quantity of exercise they take. When moderate exercise is taken, an addition of one third, or about seventeen ounces, may be allowed; but when violent, it may require one half additional, or twenty-six ounces. With a life of much personal labor, a great quantity of food is necessary to recruit the exhausted frame. Those who are employed in common labor may be satisfied with double the quantity allotted to the sedentary, or in all, six and an half pounds, or with great labor even eight pounds of solid and of liquid food, one third of which should be solid and the other two thirds, liquid nourishment.” The results of this learned gentleman were obtained by an examination of the quantity actually consumed by individuals who were then in apparent health, and not by an observation of what the system required to preserve its powers for future usefulness. He consulted facts only, as they appeared at the time, and not principles and practice, which would abide the test of time and experience. His allowance is therefore altogether too large for the long preservation of the freedom of action of the body or the mind.
The result of such an inquiry might be more nearly like this : For the sedentary, at breakfast, four ounces of bread and eight ounces of liquid; for dinner, four ounces of farinaceous and four of animal food, with eight ounces of liquid; for supper, eight ounces of liquid food; in all, thirtysix ounces of nourishment. This amount may be increased under exercise, from ten to fifteen ounces. Under labor, according to its severity, it may extend from this to six pounds, and perhaps even to seven. The proportions of solid and liquid nourishment remaining always the same. About one third of the former and two thirds of the latter.*
In the liquid to be allowed for sustenance, no place is given to stimulating drinks. The deep attention which has been given to this subject by modern physicians, should serve to confirm their universal result—That stimulants are always not only unnecessary to human life, but highly injurious to the human constitution. Experience speaks on this subject
tome and ples and only, its po
* A different arrangement would be directed by the author of this essay for the studious, who desire to push their minds to the utmost in intellectual efforts.