This section is from the book "Health Without Medicine. A Treatise On The Laws Of The Human System", by Larkin B. Coles. Also available from Amazon: Philosophy Of Health.
There is scarcely any subject so universally neglected as a knowledge of the laws of health and life. We naturally love to be well, and dread to be sick; yet take little or no pains to economize our health or to ward off disease. We indulge our appetites and inclinations in violation of the laws of health, until we are overtaken with the penalty which the Great Author of our being has affixed to them, in the form of disease, and then, perhaps, charge the result to Divine Providence.
It may, with propriety, be said, that nine cases out of ten, if not ninety-nine out of a hundred, of the ailments which annoy mankind, especially those of a chronic character, might with ease be avoided. We might as well be enjoying health, as a general thing, as to be groaning under pains and diseases. Though we might not be able to repel measles, small-pox, scarlet fever, and many other contagious or epidemic diseases, yet nearly all chronic diseases, and a very large proportion of those which are acute, might be prevented; and even those which could not be avoided, -- for instance, that fearful malady, the small-pox, -- by habitual obedience to law, would be made of much milder form.
Very little is known by the people at large on this subject, and what is known is very lightly appreciated. Scarcely any subject can be presented to the community in which they take so little interest, as that which immediately concerns their health, until they are overtaken with disease. And scarcely any subject can be brought forward which is more offensive than this, especially to those who love their appetites more than they do their health.
These few pages are intended for those who are willing to know what course is best in order to retain or to regain a healthy constitution -- for those who have more regard for their own ultimate good than for their present gratification -- for those who prefer the right way to that which fosters unlawful indulgence.
It is not only a matter of expediency that we obey law in this respect, but a matter of right. The laws which govern our constitutions are the laws of the Creator; and to their violation he has affixed a penalty, which must sooner or later he met. And it is as truly a sin to violate one of these laws, as it is to violate one of the ten commandments. Most people seem to think that they have an undoubted right to do to and with their own bodies as they please; forgetting that God will hold them under obligation to obey physical as well as moral law, and that every infringement of that law will meet with its appropriate reward. L. B. C.