Be the Boss of Your Body (Avoid Gluttony, Actively Exercise)

For Lord’s Day, April 17, 2022

Dear Saints,

In One Thousand Evangelical Illustrations (Webb), Albert Barnes wrote: “Neglect is enough to ruin a man … A man who is lying on a bed of sickness need not cut his throat to destroy himself ; he has only to neglect the means of restoration, and he will be ruined.”

The sermons tomorrow are “special requests” for me and Fernanda about how we have been neglecting the health of our bodies and want to turn to Scriptures to motivate us about not eating excessively or unhealthy in the morning message, “Don’t Let Your Belly be Your Boss,” looking at Philippians 3:18-20, and on exercising sufficiently in the evening message, “Be the Boss of Your Body”, looking at 1 Corinthians 9:27.  The Westminster Larger Catechism will be consulted on a required moderate use of “meat” and “labour” and “recreation.” 

I was curious about what I might find in some resource books I have on these topics.  I will share a few from what I offer in this e-devotion, but what follows are various words of wise provocation.

From the Dictionary of Thoughts (Edwards):

On Eating

“One should eat to live, not live to eat.”—[Benjamin] Franklin

“By eating what is sufficient man is enabled to work; he is hindered from working and behaves heavy, idle, and stupid if he takes too much.—as to bodily distempers occasioned by excess, there is no end to them.”— Jones

“They are sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing.”—Shakespeare

On Gluttony

“Swinish gluttony ne’er looks to heaven amid his gorgeous feast, but with besotted, base ingratitude, crams and blasphemes his feeder.”—Milton

“I saw a few die of hunger—of eating, a hundred thousand.”—Benjamin Franklin

“Their kitchen is their shrine, the cook, their priest, the table, their altar, and their belly their god.”—Charles Buck

“Gluttony is the source of all our infirmities and the fountain of all our diseases.  As a lamp is choked by a superabundance of oil, and a fire extinguished by excess of fuel, so is the natural health of the body destroyed by intemperate diet.”—Burton

“I have come to the conclusion that mankind consume too much food.”—Sydney Smith

“As houses well stored with provisions are likely to be full of mice, so the bodies of those who eat much are full of diseases.”—Diogenes

“He who is a slave to his belly seldom worships God.”—Saadi

“I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.”—Shakespeare

On Exercise

“Health is the vital principle of bliss; and exercise, of health.”—Thomson

“Inactivity, supineness [lying face upward], and effeminacy have ruined more constitutions than were ever destroyed by excessive labors.  Moderate exercise and toil, so far from prejudicing, strengthen and consolidate the body.”—Richard Rush

“The wise, for cure, on exercise depend.—Better to hunt in fields for health unsought than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught.”—Dryden

“Such is the constitution of man, that labor may be styled its own reward.—Nor will any external incitements be requisite if it be considered how much happiness is gained, and how much misery escaped, by frequent and violent agitation of the body.”—Johnson

On Gymnastics

“The exercise of all the muscles of the body in their due proportion is one great secret of health and comfort as well as of strength, and the full development of manly vigor.”—Schiller

“Gymnastics open the chest, exercise the limbs, and give a man all the pleasure of boxing, without the blows.  I could wish that learned men would lay out the time they employ in controversies and disputes about nothing, in this method of fighting with their own shadows.  It might conduce very much to evaporate the spleen, which makes them uneasy to the public as well as to themselves.”—Addison

On Health

“A sound mind in a sound body; of the former be the glory of the latter, the latter is indispensable to the former.”—Tryon Edwards

“Half the spiritual difficulties that men and women suffer arise from a morbid state of health.”—H. W. Beecher

“Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering—an image of death.”—Rabelais

“Take care of your health; you have no right to neglect it, and thus become a burden to yourself, and perhaps to others.”—W. Hall

“Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life, which fade and are tasteless without it.”—Sir W. Temple

“If the mind, that rules the body, ever so far forgets itself as to trample on its slave, the slave is never generous enough to forgive the injury, but will rise and smite the oppressor.”—Longfellow

“The morality of clean blood ought to be one of the first lessons taught us by our pastors and teachers.—The physical is the substratum of the spiritual ; and this fact ought to give the food we eat, and the air we breathe, a transcendent significance.”—[William] Tyndale

“To preserve health is a moral and religious duty, for health is the basis of all social virtues.—We can no longer be useful when not well.”—Johnson

“Dyspepsia [indigestion] is the remorse of a guilty stomach.”—A. Kerr

“If men gave three times as much attention as they now do to ventilation [supply of fresh air to the lungs], ablution [the act of washing oneself], and exercise in the open air, and only one third as much to eating, luxury, and late hours, the number of doctors, dentists, and apothecaries [people selling medicines and drugs], and the amount of neuralgia [intermittent pain in the nerves especially in the face], dyspepsia [indigestion], gout, fever, and consumption [wasting away of the body], would be changed in a corresponding ratio.  Never hurry; take plenty of exercise; always be cheerful, and take all the sleep you need, and you may expect to be well.”—J. F. Clarke

“The first wealth is health.”—Emerson

“Youth will never live to age unless they keep themselves in health with exercise, and in heart with joyfulness.”—Sir P. Sidney

“The only way for a rich man to be healthy is by exercise and abstinence, to live as if he were poor.”—Sir W. Temple

“It is the opinion of those who best understand the physical system, that if the physical laws were strictly observed from generation to generation, there would be an end to the frightful diseases that cut life short, and of the long list of maladies that make life a torment or a trial, and that this wonderful machine, the body,—this ‘goodly temple.’ would gradually decay, and men would at last die as if gently falling asleep.”—Mrs. Sedgwick

“Health is so necessary to all the duties, as well as pleasures of life, that the crime of squandering it is equal to the folly.”—Johnson

“Health is the greatest of all possessions; a pale cobbler is better than a sick king.”—Bickerstaff

“Regimen is better than physic.  Every one should be his own physician.  We ought to assist, and not to force nature.  Eat with moderation what agrees with your constitution.  Nothing is good for the body but what we can digest.  What medicine can procure digestion?  Exercise.  What will recruit strength?  Sleep.  What will alleviate incurable evils?  Patience.”—Voltaire

“What a searching preacher of self-command is the varying phenomenon of health.”—Emerson

“Look to your health ; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to a good conscience ; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of—a blessing that money cannot buy ; therefore value it, and be thankful for it.”—Izaac Walton

“There are two things in life that a sage must preserve at every sacrifice, the coats of his stomach, and the enamel of his teeth.”—Bulwer

“Seldom shall we see in cities, courts, and rich families, where men live plentifully, and eat and drink freely, that perfect health and athletic soundness and vigor of constitution which are commonly seen in the country, where nature is the cook, and necessity the caterer, and where they have no other doctor but the sun and fresh air.”—South

“Joy, temperance, and repose, slam the door on the doctor’s nose.”—Longfellow

“Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy.”—[Benjamin] Franklin

“If you want to know if your brain is flabby feel of your legs.”—Bruce Barton

“There is still an immense amount to be learned about health, but if what is at present known to a few were part of the general knowledge, the average expectation of life could probably be increased by about ten years.”—J. B. S. Haldane

“As knowledge with regard to the effects of food upon man increases, it is more than conceivable that the races that first avail themselves of the new values of nutrition may decrease the handicaps of disease, lengthen their lives, and so become the leaders of the future.”—Victor G. Heiser

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.”—Arabian Proverb

Semper Reformanda,

Pastor Grant

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