Two Articles in the Millennial Star
by Henry Hobbs

Millennial Star, vol. 21 no. 4 (Sat., 22 Jan. 1859), 63–64

By Elder Henry Hobbs

Health is one of the greatest blessings that can be enjoyed by man. Without it we should be unfit for duty, unfit for society, and a perpetual burden to ourselves. The question, then, arises as to how we can best preserve our health, and thence our every-day comfort.

One thing to be attended to, in order to enjoy good health, is having a constant supply of fresh air. It is the air we breathe that purifies the blood. As, if the water we use to wash our clothing is dirty, it is impossible to wash the clothing clean, so, if the air we breathe is impure, it is impossible for it to purify the blood. What, then, are some of the more prominent things which render the air impure? As it is the nature of still water to become impure, so it is the nature of still air to become impure. A running stream purifies itself; and so it is with air in motion. Draughts of air are self-purifiers. Hence the air of a close room is necessarily unhealthy. Close rooms often bring on consumption and other maladies. All habitable rooms should be well ventilated, so as to have a free draught passing through them. We are told that a man of ordinary size renders a hogshead of air unfit for breathing and consumes its blood-purifying qualities every hour. Thus it will be perceived what a great amount of damage the system sustains in consequence of sleeping in close rooms. Though we may be alone, it will still have an injurious effect. Sitting in a crowded room, or any other place unventilated, will produce the same bad effects.

This is a subject well worthy the attention of the Saints, if they value good health. The Prophet Brigham speaks very plainly on this subject. He says that the Saints never thrive so well as when they are getting plenty of exercise in the fresh air; and that when sleeping in their huts, they are much stronger and fresher than when sleeping in close houses. Of course, good houses are far more comfortable to live in than tents, when they are well ventilated. When individuals who have been accustomed to out-door work are confined in-doors, the difference is perceptible and obvious; for they soon emaciate and grow pale and wan. There are many of the Saints who would be much healthier than they are, if they would rise an hour or two sooner in the morning and take a short walk. Medical men, as a general thing, recommend exercise and fresh air when everything else has failed, which shows the great value at which it is estimated.

Again: All sensible people well know that dirt is not conducive to health and comfort. Hence the necessity of having clean bodies, clean linen, &c.

It is a well-known fact that frequent ablution in cold water is very salutary and invigorating to the system. The human body is completely covered with pores. By taking a small magnifying glass, such as is used by the weavers to count the threads in their cloth, and placing it upon the hand, we discover about sixty pores on the extent of surface covered by the glass, although it is not so large as a pea. According to this, then, there must be millions of pores on the entire body; and if they are so fine that the point of a cambric needle will not penetrate them, is it not reasonable that the body should be frequently washed, in order that the perspiration and other refuse matter may run freely from the system? Those who frequently wash their bodies have many advantages which others do not possess. They not only feel more comfortable in having a clean skin, but are better prepared to endure cold and fatigue; and in hot weather, when the body is overpowered with heat, this cools, refreshes, and strengthens it.

Much has been said on this subject in by-gone days, and many have doubtless been profited by instruction’s warning voice; yet experience and observation teach us that there are many who have not truly appreciated the instructions given by the servants of God. Some think they are comfortable when they are enveloped in filth, providing they have clothes to wear, food to eat, and a good fire to sit by. Perchance they may clean out their lower rooms when they expect a few friends. But are their up-stair rooms in as good a condition, so that, if their friends should have occasion to go into them, they would not be disgusted with the sight? Some persons will clean up their houses occasionally, or at least those parts which are likely to meet the eye of a visitor, while other portions of the house which they think will not be seen are entirely neglected. How often such will say, "Oh, don’t let any one come into this room; for it is so dreadfully dirty!" They are always in trouble lest some one should happen to see their filthiness. Then why, in the name of common sense, do they not habituate themselves to cleanliness, both in person and habitation? How often have we heard these individuals say, "Brother So-and-so never calls to see me! What can be the reason?" The reason is often this—The brethren well know that where filth abounds the Spirit of God will not abide. If some of these people could have a peep into the eternal mansions of the faithful, and see the beautiful white garments they wear and the purity of their persons, and then look at themselves and their habitations, it would surely be enough to fill them with shame and cause them to repent of their sin of uncleanness; for it most assuredly is a sin not to be clean, when water is so plentiful. But, alas, the greatest and cheapest blessings are often the least valued and the most despised!

Note: This same issue, on page 62, indicates that Henry Hobbs was reappointed president of the Carlisle Conference.


Millennial Star, vol. 21 no. 19 (Sat., 7 May 1859), 296–97

By Elder Henry Hobbs

The Germans in the age of Tacitus were unacquainted with the use of letters; and the use of letters is the principal circumstance that distinguishes a civilized people from a herd of savages, incapable of knowledge or reflection. Without that artificial help, the human memory soon dissipates or corrupts the ideas entrusted to her charge; and the nobler faculties of the mind, no longer supplied with models or with materials, gradually forget their powers; the judgment becomes feeble and lethargic, and the imagination languid or irregular.

Fully to apprehend this important truth, let us attempt, in an improved society, to calculate the immense distance between the man of learning and the illiterate peasant. The former, by reading and reflection, multiplies his own experience and lives in distant ages and remote countries, whilst the latter, rooted to a single spot and confined to a few years of existence, surpasses but very little his fellow-labourer, the ox, in the exercise of his mental faculties. The same remarks will apply to whole nations or communities as well as to individual cases.

How often have I been grieved, when in the meetings of the Saints, to see fine-looking, intelligent men and women stand up with the rest of the people, but not able to join in the song of praise, for want of knowing the words. Again, when I have seen those persons at the fireside, unconcerned about these matters, making no effort whatever to obtain a knowledge of things past, present, and in the future, I have felt to urge them on to their duties and tell them the serious consequences of their not giving due attention to those things which would eventually elevate them in the scale of intelligent being

Perhaps some will think that I exaggerate the importance of my subject. But this cannot be, if it be true that "knowledge is power," and that through it we shall be exalted in the kingdom of heaven.

Some persons, if they cannot make all the progress they want to at once, get tired and lose heart. I have seen them in moments of perplexity throw down their books as though they would never make another effort in this direction again. Do such people know that "‘I can’t do it’ never did anything; ‘I’ll try’ has worked wonders; and ‘I will do it’ has performed miracles?" This being the case, then, I would advise my brethren to try again and again, and to bear in mind the old saying, that "Rome was not built in a day." Realizing the truth of these things, let us not despair, but put our shoulders to the wheel; and, through the blessing of God and our own exertions, we can overcome every obstacle and be prepared for celestial society here and hereafter.

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