Let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.—Proverbs 3:1, 2.
As the foundation principle of all education in these lines, the youth should be taught that the laws of nature are the laws of God—as truly divine as are the precepts of the Decalogue. The laws that govern our physical organism, God has written upon every nerve, muscle, and fiber of the body. Every careless or willful violation of these laws is a sin against our Creator. . . .
The influence of the mind on the body, as well as of the body on the mind, should be emphasized. The electric power of the brain, promoted by mental activity, vitalizes the whole system, and is thus an invaluable aid in resisting disease. This should be made plain. The power of the will and the importance of self-control, both in the preservation and in the recovery of health, the depressing and even ruinous effect of anger, discontent, selfishness, or impurity, and, on the other hand, the marvelous life-giving power to be found in cheerfulness, unselfishness, gratitude, should also be shown.
There is a physiological truth—truth that we need to consider—in the scripture, “A merry [rejoicing] heart doeth good like a medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22.) . . .
The youth need to understand the deep truth underlying the Bible statement that with God “is the fountain of life.” (Psalm 36:9.) Not only is He the originator of all, but He is the life of everything that lives. It is His life that we receive in the sunshine, in the pure, sweet air, in the food which builds up our bodies and sustains our strength. It is by His life that we exist, hour by hour, moment by moment. Except as perverted by sin, all His gifts tend to life, to health and joy.
“He hath made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, R.V.); and true beauty will be secured, not in marring God’s work, but in coming into harmony with the laws of Him who created all things, and who finds pleasure in their beauty and perfection.
As the mechanism of the body is studied, attention should be directed to its wonderful adaptation of means to ends, the harmonious action and dependence of the various organs. As the interest of the students is thus awakened, and they are led to see the importance of physical culture, much can be done by the teacher to secure proper development and right habits.—Education, 196-198.