4 April 1857
THE SOUL—AND THE STOMACH.
There is a good old man. His head is white—his form is bent—his step slow and tremulous. Life has no charms for him and the opening grave is full of terrors; he wanders up and down—up and down—wringing his withered hands, and says, "I have committed the unpardonable sin; I am lost—lost—lost." They who love him, and their name is Legion, look on dismayed at this good father, good husband, good nieghbor, good Christian; and one of them says to me, "why, if your God be merciful does he afflict his faithful servant thus? God is not good."
God is good, though all else fail, and we like insects creep and complain; God is good. It is not religion that makes the old man gloomy—it is not, that the word of God shall not stand forever; but He who has bid us care for the soul, bids us also care for the body. "If one member suffer, all the other members suffer with it." If we neglect the laws of health, and abuse our bodies, even in his service, he does not guarantee to the delinquent, a strong mind, an unperverted spiritual vision—clouds and darkness will come between us and the Sun of Righteousness, and though we shall feel after Him, we shall grope like children in the dark. It is an earthly physician, which such as that old man needs; a tonic for the body, not a sermon from the pulpit. Let him lean upon your arm, lead him forth to the green fields, where every little bird sings God is good; where waving trees and blossoming flowers pass the whisper round with myriad voices; take away the old man's psalm-book, and let him listen to that anthem, and as the soft breath of spring lifts his white locks from his troubled brow, the film of disease will fall from his eyes, and he too shall sing that God is good.
Never lay upon the back of Religion what Dyspepsia should shoulder; the Christian warrior, no more than any other, can afford to neglect or gorge his "rations" when preparing for battle; nor if either faint by the way, in consequence, is it to be laid to the commander.
Fanny Fern, "The Soul—and the Stomach," The New-York Ledger (4 April 1857): 4
To cite this project:
Fanny Fern, "The Soul—and the Stomach," Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, Ed. Kevin McMullen (2018) http://fannyfern.org.