"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." 3 John 2.
Extent of the Work
God has qualified His people to enlighten the world. He has entrusted them with faculties by which they are to extend His work until it shall encircle the globe. In all parts of the earth they are to establish sanitariums, schools, publishing houses, and kindred facilities for the accomplishment of His work.
The closing message of the gospel is to be carried to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." Revelation 14:6. In foreign countries many enterprises for the advancement of this message must yet be begun and carried forward. The opening of hygienic restaurants and treatment rooms, and the establishment of sanitariums for the care of the sick and the suffering, is just as necessary in Europe as in America. In many lands medical missions are to be established to act as God's helping hand in ministering to the afflicted.
Christ co-operates with those who engage in medical missionary work. Men and women who unselfishly do what they can to establish sanitariums and treatment rooms in many lands will be richly rewarded. Those who visit these institutions will be benefited physically, mentally, and spiritually--the weary will be refreshed, the sick restored to health, the sin-burdened relieved.
In far-off countries, from those whose hearts are by these agencies turned from the service of sin unto righteousness, will be heard thanksgiving and the voice of melody. By their songs of grateful praise a testimony will be borne that will win others to allegiance to and fellowship with Christ.
The conversion of souls to God is the greatest, the noblest work in which human beings can have a part. In this work are revealed God's power, His holiness, His forbearance, and His unbounded love. Every true conversion glorifies Him and causes the angels to break forth into singing.
We are nearing the end of this earth's history, and the different lines of God's work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than is at present manifest. The work for these last days is in a special sense a missionary work. The presentation of present truth, from the first letter of its alphabet to the last, means missionary effort. The work to be done calls for sacrifice at every advance step. From this unselfish service the workers will come forth purified and refined as gold tried in the fire.
The sight of souls perishing in sin should arouse us to put forth greater effort to give the light of present truth to those who are in darkness, and especially to those in fields where as yet very little has been done to establish memorials for God. In all parts of the world a work that should have been done long ago is now to be entered upon and carried forward to completion.
Our brethren generally have not taken the interest that they ought in the establishment of sanitariums in the European countries. In the work in these countries, the most perplexing questions will arise because of the circumstances peculiar to the various fields. But from the light given me, institutions will be established which, though at first small, will, by God's blessing, become larger and stronger.
Our institutions for any land are not to be crowded together in one locality. God never designed that the light of truth should be thus restricted. For a time the Jewish nation was required to worship at Jerusalem. But Jesus said to the Samaritan woman: "Believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father." The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." John 4:21, 23, 24. Truth is to be planted in every place to which we can possibly gain access. It is to be carried to regions that are barren of the knowledge of God. Men will be blessed in receiving the One in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered. The acceptance of the truth as it is in Jesus will fill their hearts with melody to God.
To absorb a large amount of means in a few places is contrary to Christian principles. Every building is to be erected with reference to the need for similar buildings in other places. God calls upon men in positions of trust in His work not to block the way of advance by selfishly using in a few favored places, or in one or two lines of work, all the means that can be secured.
In the early days of the message very many of our people possessed the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Thus a right beginning was made, and success attended the efforts put forth. But the work has not developed as it should have developed. Too much has been centered in Battle Creek and in Oakland and in a few other places. Our brethren should never have built so largely in any one place as they have in Battle Creek.
The Lord has signified that His work should be carried forward in the same spirit in which it was begun. The world is to be warned. Field after field is to be entered. The command given us is: "Add new territory; add new territory." Shall we not as a people, by our business arrangements, by our attitude toward a world unsaved, bear a testimony even more clear and decisive than that borne by us twenty or thirty years ago?
Upon us has shone great light in regard to the last days of this earth's history. Let not our lack of wisdom and energy give evidence of spiritual blindness. God's messengers must be clothed with power. They must have for the truth an elevating reverence that they do not now possess. The Lord's solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed in the most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities--in every place where the light of the third angel's message has not yet dawned. To everyone is to be given the last call to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
In proclaiming the message, God's servants will be called upon to wrestle with numerous perplexities and to surmount many obstacles. Sometimes the work will go hard, as it did when the pioneers were establishing the institutions in Battle Creek, in Oakland, and in other places. But let all do their best, making the Lord their strength, avoiding all selfishness, and blessing others by their good works.
New York City
While in New York in the winter of 1901, I received light in regard to the work in that great city. Night after night the course that our brethren should pursue passed before me. In Greater New York the message is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. God will raise up laborers for this work, and His angels will go before them. Though our large cities are fast reaching a condition similar to the condition of the world before the Flood, though they are as Sodom for wickedness, yet there are in them many honest souls, who, as they listen to the startling truths of the advent message, will feel the conviction of the Spirit. New York is ready to be worked. In that great city the message of truth will be given with the power of God. The Lord calls for workmen. He calls upon those who have gained an experience in the cause to take up and carry forward in His fear the work to be done in New York and in other large cities of America. He calls also for means to be used in this work.
It was presented to me that we should not rest satisfied because we have a vegetarian restaurant in Brooklyn, but that others should be established in other sections of the city. The people living in one part of Greater New York do not know what is going on in other parts of that great city. Men and women who eat at the restaurants established in different places will become conscious of an improvement in health. Their confidence once gained, they will be more ready to accept God's special message of truth.
Wherever medical missionary work is carried on in our large cities, cooking schools should be held; and wherever a strong educational missionary work is in progress, a hygienic restaurant of some sort should be established, which shall give a practical illustration of the proper selection and the healthful preparation of foods.
When in Los Angeles I was instructed that not only in various sections of that city, but in San Diego and in other tourist resorts of Southern California, health restaurants and treatment rooms should be established.
Our efforts in these lines should include the great seaside resorts. As the voice of John the Baptist was heard in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord," so must the voice of the Lord's messengers be heard in the great tourist and seaside resorts.
The Southern States
I have a message to bear in regard to the Southern field. We have a great work to do in this field. Its condition is a condemnation of our professed Christianity. Look at its destitution of ministers, teachers, and medical missionaries. Consider the ignorance, the poverty, the misery, the distress, of many of the people. And yet this field lies close at our doors. How selfish, how inattentive, we have been to our neighbors! We have heartlessly passed them by, doing little to relieve their sufferings. If the gospel commission had been studied and obeyed by our people, the South would have received its proportionate share of ministry. If those who have received the light had walked in the light, they would have realized that upon them rested the responsibility of cultivating this long-neglected portion of the vineyard.
God is calling upon His people to give Him of the means that He has entrusted to them, in order that institutions may be established in the destitute fields that are ripe for the harvest. He calls upon those who have money in the banks to put it into circulation. By giving of our substance to sustain God's work, we show in a practical manner that we love Him supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.
Let schools and sanitariums now be established in many places in the Southern States. Let centers of influence be made in many of the Southern cities by the opening of food stores and vegetarian restaurants. Let there also be facilities for the manufacture of simple, inexpensive health foods. But let not selfish, worldly policy be brought into the work, for God forbids this. Let unselfish men take hold of this work in the fear of God and with love for their fellow men.
The light given me is that in the Southern field, as elsewhere, the manufacture of health foods should be conducted, not as a speculation for personal gain, but as a business that God has devised whereby a door of hope may be opened for the people. In the South special consideration should be shown to the poor, who have been terribly neglected. Men of ability and economy are to be chosen to take up the food work; for, in order to make it a success, the greatest wisdom and economy must be exercised. God desires His people to do acceptable service in the preparation of healthful food, not only for their own families, which are their first responsibility, but for the help of the poor everywhere. They are to show Christlike liberality, realizing that they are representing God, and that all they have is His endowment.
Brethren, take hold of this work. Give no place to discouragement. Do not criticize those who are trying to do something in right lines, but go to work yourselves.
In connection with the health food business, various industries may be established that will be a help to the cause in the Southern field. All that men as missionaries for God can do for this field should now be done; for if ever a field needed medical missionary work, it is the South. During the time that has passed into eternity, many should have been in the South laboring together with God by doing personal work, and by giving of their means to sustain themselves and other workers in that field.
Small sanitariums should be established in many places. This will open doors for the entrance of Bible truth and will remove much of the prejudice that exists against those who look upon the colored people as having souls to be saved as well as the white people.
Had such lines of work been established for the colored people immediately after the proclamation of freedom, how different would be their condition today!
In All Lands
The Lord is calling upon us to awake to a realization of our responsibilities. God has given to every man his work. Each one may live a life of usefulness. Let us learn all that we can and then be a blessing to others by imparting a knowledge of truth. Let everyone do according to his several ability, willingly helping to bear the burdens.
Everywhere there is a work to be done for all classes of society. We are to come close to the poor and the depraved, those who have fallen through intemperance. And, at the same time, we are not to forget the higher classes--the lawyers, ministers, senators, and judges, many of whom are slaves to intemperate habits. We are to leave no effort untried to show them that their souls are worth saving, that eternal life is worth striving for. To those in high positions we are to present the total abstinence pledge, asking them to give the money they would otherwise spend for the harmful indulgences of liquor and tobacco to the establishment of institutions where children and youth may be prepared to fill positions of usefulness in the world.
Great light has been shining upon us, but how little of this light we reflect to the world! Heavenly angels are waiting for human beings to co-operate with them in the practical carrying out of the principles of truth.
It is through the agency of our sanitariums and kindred enterprises that much of this work is to be done. These institutions are to be God's memorials, where His healing power can reach all classes, high and low, rich and poor. Every dollar invested in them for Christ's sake will bring blessings both to the giver and to suffering humanity.
Medical missionary work is the right hand of the gospel. It is necessary to the advancement of the cause of God. As through it men and women are led to see the importance of right habits of living, the saving power of the truth will be made known. Every city is to be entered by workers trained to do medical missionary work. As the right hand of the third angel's message, God's methods of treating disease will open doors for the entrance of present truth. Health literature must be circulated in many lands. Our physicians in Europe and other countries should awake to the necessity of having health works prepared by men who are on the ground and who can meet the people where they are with the most essential instruction.
The Lord will give to our sanitariums whose work is already established an opportunity to co-operate with Him in assisting newly established plants. Every new institution is to be regarded as a sister helper in the great work of proclaiming the third angel's message. God has given our sanitariums an opportunity to set in operation a work that will be as a stone instinct with life, growing as it is rolled by an invisible hand. Let this mystic stone be set in motion.
The Lord has instructed me to warn those who in the future establish sanitariums in new places, to begin their work in humility, consecrating their abilities to His service. The buildings erected are not to be large or expensive. Small local sanitariums are to be established in connection with our training schools. In these sanitariums young men and young women of ability and consecration are to be gathered--those who will conduct themselves in the love and fear of God, those who, when prepared for graduation, will not feel that they know all that they need to know, but will diligently study and carefully practice the lessons given by Christ. The righteousness of Christ will go before such ones, and the glory of God will be their rearward.
I have been given light that in many cities it is advisable for a restaurant to be connected with treatment rooms. The two can co-operate in upholding right principles. In connection with these it is sometimes advisable to have rooms that will serve as lodgings for the sick. These establishments will serve as feeders to the sanitariums located in the country and would better be conducted in rented buildings. We are not to erect in the cities large buildings in which to care for the sick, because God has plainly indicated that the sick can be better cared for outside of the cities. In many places it will be necessary to begin sanitarium work in the cities; but, as much as possible, this work should be transferred to the country as soon as suitable locations can be secured.
The light that has been given me is that, instead of devoting our energies to the upbuilding of a few mammoth medical institutions, we should establish many smaller ones. It is almost impossible to find talent to manage a large sanitarium as it should be managed. The workers are not all under the control of the Spirit of God as they should be, and a worldly spirit comes in.
The strength and joy of benefiting humanity lie not in expensive buildings. We must remember how many are suffering for want of necessary food and clothing. In erecting buildings we should not be influenced by a desire for appearance. We should do our duty, and leave the results with God who only can give success. Let any extra means that we may have be spent in providing proper health-restoring facilities. Let all our sanitariums be erected for health and happiness; let them be so located that the patients will have the blessing of the sunlight; let them be so arranged that every unnecessary step will be saved.
In this work it is best to make small beginnings in many places and allow God's providence to indicate how rapidly facilities should be increased. The small plants established will grow into larger institutions. There will be a distribution of responsibilities, and workers will thus gradually acquire greater mental and spiritual power. The establishment of these institutions will result in much good if all connected with them will suppress selfish ambition and keep ever in view the glory of God. Many of our people should be laboring in new fields, but let none seek notoriety. The minds of the laborers must be sanctified.
In all our work let us remember that the same Jesus who fed the multitude with five loaves and two small fishes is able today to give us the fruit of our labor. He who said to the fishers of Galilee, "Let down your nets for a draft," and who, as they obeyed, filled their nets till they broke, desires His people to see in this an evidence of what He will do for them today. The same God who gave the children of Israel manna from heaven still lives and reigns. He will guide His people and give skill and understanding in the work they are called to do. In answer to earnest prayer He will give wisdom to those who strive to do their duty conscientiously and intelligently. Under His blessing the work with which they are connected will grow to larger proportions, many will learn to be faithful burden bearers, and success will attend their efforts.
We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work. The world is a lazar house filled with victims of both physical and spiritual disease. Everywhere people are perishing for lack of a knowledge of the truths that have been committed to us. The members of the church are in need of an awakening, that they may realize their responsibility to impart these truths. Those who have been enlightened by the truth are to be light bearers to the world. To hide our light at this time is to make a terrible mistake. The message to God's people today is: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
On every hand we see those who have had much light and knowledge deliberately choosing evil in the place of good. Making no attempt to reform, they are growing worse and worse. But the people of God are not to walk in darkness. They are to walk in the light, for they are reformers.
Before the true reformer, the medical missionary work will open many doors. No one need wait until called to some distant field before beginning to help others. Wherever you are, you can begin at once. Opportunities are within the reach of everyone. Take up the work for which you are held responsible, the work that should be done in your home and in your neighborhood. Wait not for others to urge you to action. In the fear of God go forward without delay, bearing in mind your individual responsibility to Him who gave His life for you. Act as if you heard Christ calling upon you personally to do your utmost in His service. Look not to see who else is ready. If you are truly consecrated, God will, through your instrumentality, bring into the truth others whom He can use as channels to convey light to many that are groping in darkness.
All can do something. In an effort to excuse themselves, some say: "My home duties, my children, claim my time and my means." Parents, your children should be your helping hand, increasing your power and ability to work for the Master. Children are the younger members of the Lord's family. They should be led to consecrate themselves to God, whose they are by creation and by redemption. They should be taught that all their powers of body, mind, and soul are His. They should be trained to help in various lines of unselfish service. Do not allow your children to be hindrances. With you the children should share spiritual as well as physical burdens. By helping others they increase their own happiness and usefulness.
Let our people show that they have a living interest in medical missionary work. Let them prepare themselves for usefulness by studying the books that have been written for our instruction in these lines. These books deserve much more attention and appreciation than they have received. Much that is for the benefit of all to understand has been written for the special purpose of instruction in the principles of health. Those who study and practice these principles will be greatly blessed, both physically and spiritually. An understanding of the philosophy of health will be a safeguard against many of the evils that are continually increasing.
Many who desire to obtain knowledge in medical missionary lines have home duties that will sometimes prevent them from meeting with others for study. These may learn much in their own homes in regard to the expressed will of God concerning these lines of missionary work, thus increasing their ability to help others. Fathers and mothers, obtain all the help you can from the study of our books and publications. Read the Good Health, for it is full of valuable information. Take time to read to your children from the health books, as well as from the books treating more particularly on religious subjects. Teach them the importance of caring for the body, the house they live in. Form a home reading circle, in which every member of the family shall lay aside the busy cares of the day and unite in study. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, take up this work heartily and see if the home church will not be greatly improved.
Especially will the youth who have been accustomed to reading novels and cheap storybooks receive benefit by joining in the evening family study. Young men and young women, read the literature that will give you true knowledge and that will be a help to the entire family. Say firmly: "I will not spend precious moments in reading that which will be of no profit to me and which only unfits me to be of service to others. I will devote my time and my thoughts to acquiring a fitness for God's service. I will close my eyes to frivolous and sinful things. My ears are the Lord's, and I will not listen to the subtle reasoning of the enemy. My voice shall not in any way be subject to a will that is not under the influence of the Spirit of God. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and every power of my being shall be consecrated to worthy pursuits."
The Lord has appointed the youth to be His helping hand. If in every church they would consecrate themselves to Him, if they would practice self-denial in the home, relieving their careworn mother, the mother could find time to make neighborly visits, and, when opportunity offered, they could themselves give assistance by doing little errands of mercy and love. Books and papers treating on the subject of health and temperance could be placed in many homes. The circulation of this literature is an important matter; for thus precious knowledge can be imparted in regard to the treatment of disease, knowledge that would be a great blessing to those who cannot afford to pay for a physician's visits.
Parents should seek to interest their children in the study of physiology. There are but few among the youth who have any definite knowledge of the mysteries of life. The study of the wonderful human organism, the relation and dependence of its complicated parts, is one in which many parents take little interest. Although God says to them, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth," yet they do not understand the influence of the body upon the mind or of the mind upon the body. Needless trifles occupy their attention, and then they plead a lack of time as an excuse for not obtaining the information necessary to enable them properly to instruct their children.
If all would obtain a knowledge of this subject and would feel the importance of putting it to practical use, we should see a better condition of things. Parents, teach your children to reason from cause to effect. Show them that, if they violate the laws of health, they must pay the penalty by suffering. Show them that recklessness in regard to bodily health tends to recklessness in morals. Your children require patient, faithful care. It is not enough for you to feed and clothe them; you should seek also to develop their mental powers and to imbue their hearts with right principles. But how often are beauty of character and loveliness of temper lost sight of in the eager desire for outward appearance! O parents, be not governed by the world's opinion; labor not to reach its standard. Decide for yourselves what is the great aim of life, and then bend every effort to reach that aim. You cannot with impunity neglect the proper training of your children. Their defective characters will publish your unfaithfulness. The evils that you permit to pass uncorrected, the coarse, rough manners, the disrespect and disobedience, the habits of indolence and inattention, will bring dishonor to your names and bitterness into your lives. The destiny of your children rests to a great extent in your hands. If you fail in duty you may place them in the ranks of the enemy and make them his agents in ruining others; on the other hand, if you faithfully instruct them, if in your own lives you set before them a godly example, you may lead them to Christ, and they in turn will influence others, and thus many may be saved through your instrumentality.
Fathers and mothers, do you realize the importance of the responsibility resting upon you? Do you realize the necessity of guarding your children from careless, demoralizing habits? Allow your children to form only such associations as will have a right influence upon their characters. Do not allow them to be out in the evening unless you know where they are and what they are doing. Instruct them in the principles of moral purity. If you have neglected to teach them line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, begin at once to do your duty. Take up your responsibilities and work for time and for eternity. Let not another day pass without confessing your neglect to your children. Tell them that you mean now to do your God-appointed work. Ask them to take hold with you in the reform. Make diligent efforts to redeem the past. No longer remain in the condition of the Laodicean church. In the name of the Lord I call upon every family to show its true colors. Reform the church in your own home.
As you faithfully do your duty in the home, the father as a priest of the household, the mother as a home missionary, you are multiplying agencies for doing good outside of the home. As you improve your own powers, you are becoming better fitted to labor in the church and in the neighborhood. By binding your children to yourselves and to God, fathers and mothers and children become laborers together with God.
The life of the true believer reveals an indwelling Saviour. The follower of Jesus is Christlike in spirit and in temper. Like Christ, he is meek and humble. His faith works by love and purifies the soul. His whole life is a testimony to the power of the grace of Christ. The pure doctrines of the gospel never degrade the receiver, never make him coarse, or rough, or uncourteous. The gospel refines, ennobles, and elevates, sanctifying the judgment and influencing the whole life.
God will not suffer one of His truehearted workers to be left alone to struggle against great odds and be overcome. He preserves as a precious jewel everyone whose life is hid with Christ in God. Of every such an one He says: "I . . . will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee." Haggai 2:23.
The workers in our sanitariums have a high and holy calling. They need to awake to a realization of the sacredness of their work. The character of this work and the extent of its influence call for earnest effort and unreserved consecration.
In our sanitariums the sick and suffering are to be led to realize that they need spiritual help as well as physical restoration. They are to be given every advantage for the restoration of physical health; and they should be shown also what it means to be blessed with the light and life of Christ, what it means to be bound up with Him. They are to be led to see that the grace of Christ in the soul uplifts the whole being. And in no better way can they learn of Christ's life than by seeing it revealed in the lives of His followers.
The faithful worker keeps his eyes fixed on Christ. Remembering that his hope of eternal life is due to the cross of Christ, he is determined never to dishonor Him who gave His life for him. He takes a deep interest in suffering humanity. He prays and works, watching for souls as one that must give an account, knowing that the souls whom God brings in contact with truth and righteousness are worth saving.
Our sanitarium workers are engaged in a holy warfare. To the sick and the afflicted they are to present the truth as it is in Jesus; they are to present it in all its solemnity, yet with such simplicity and tenderness that souls will be drawn to the Saviour. Ever, in word and deed, they are to keep Him uplifted as the hope of eternal life. Not a harsh word is to be spoken, not a selfish act done. The workers are to treat all with kindness. Their words are to be gentle and loving. Those who show true modesty and Christian courtesy will win souls to Christ.
We should strive to restore to physical and spiritual health those who come to our sanitariums. Let us therefore make preparation to draw them for a season away from those surroundings that lead away from God, into a purer atmosphere. Out of doors, surrounded by the beautiful things that God has made, breathing the fresh, health-giving air, the sick can best be told of the new life in Christ. Here God's words can be taught. Here the sunshine of Christ's righteousness can shine into hearts darkened by sin. Patiently, sympathetically, lead the sick to see their need of the Saviour. Tell them that He gives power to the faint and that to those who have no might He increases strength.
We need to appreciate more fully the meaning of the words: "I sat down under His shadow with great delight." Song of Solomon 2:3. These words do not bring to our minds the picture of hasty transit, but of quiet rest. There are many professing Christians who are anxious and depressed, many who are so full of busy activity that they cannot find time to rest quietly in the promises of God, who act as if they could not afford to have peace and quietness. To all such Christ's invitation is: "Come unto Me, . . . and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.
Let us turn from the dusty, heated thoroughfares of life to rest in the shadow of Christ's love. Here we gain strength for conflict. Here we learn how to lessen toil and worry, and how to speak and sing to the praise of God. Let the weary and the heavy-laden learn from Christ the lesson of quiet trust. They must sit under His shadow if they would be possessors of His peace and rest.
Those who engage in sanitarium work should have a treasure house full of rich experience because the truth is implanted in the heart and as a holy thing is tended and fed by the grace of God. Rooted and grounded in the truth, they should have a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Constantly asking for blessings, they should keep the windows of the soul closed earthward against the malarious atmosphere of the world and opened heavenward to receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.
Who is preparing to take hold understandingly of medical missionary work? By this work the minds of those who come to our sanitariums for treatment are to be led to Christ and taught to unite their weakness with His strength. Every worker should be understandingly efficient. Then in a high, broad sense he can present the truth as it is in Jesus.
The workers in our sanitariums are continually exposed to temptation. They are brought in contact with unbelievers, and those who are not sound in the faith will be harmed by the contact. But those who are abiding in Christ will meet unbelievers as He met them, refusing to be drawn from their allegiance, but always ready to speak a word in season, always ready to sow the seeds of truth. They will watch unto prayer, firmly maintaining their integrity and daily showing the consistency of their religion. The influence of such workers is a blessing to many. By a well-ordered life they draw souls to the cross. A true Christian constantly acknowledges Christ. He is always cheerful, always ready to speak words of hope and comfort to the suffering.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Proverbs 1:7. One sentence of Scripture is of more value than ten thousand of man's ideas or arguments. Those who refuse to follow God's way will finally receive the sentence, "Depart from Me." But when we submit to God's way, the Lord Jesus guides our minds and fills our lips with assurance. We may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Receiving Christ, we are clothed with power. An indwelling Saviour makes His power our property. The truth becomes our stock in trade. No unrighteousness is seen in the life. We are able to speak words in season to those who know not the truth. Christ's presence in the heart is a vitalizing power, strengthening the entire being.
I am instructed to say to our sanitarium workers that unbelief and self-sufficiency are the dangers against which they must constantly guard. They are to carry forward the warfare against evil with such earnestness and devotion that the sick will feel the uplifting influence of their unselfish efforts.
No taint of self-seeking is to mar our service. "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Lift Him up, the Man of Calvary. Lift Him up by living faith in God, that your prayers may prevail. Do we realize how near Jesus will come to us? He is speaking to us individually. He will reveal Himself to everyone who is willing to be clothed with the robe of His righteousness. He declares: "I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand." Let us place ourselves where He can hold us by the hand, where we can hear Him saying with assurance and authority: "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore."
A Message to Our Physicians
The Christian physician is to be to the sick a messenger of mercy, bringing to them a remedy for the sin-sick soul as well as for the diseased body. As he uses the simple remedies that God has provided for the relief of physical suffering, he is to speak of Christ's power to heal the maladies of the soul.
How necessary that the physician live in close communion with the Saviour! The sick and suffering with whom he deals need the help that Christ alone can give. They need prayers indited by His Spirit. The afflicted one leaves himself to the wisdom and mercy of the physician, whose skill and faithfulness may be his only hope. Let the physician, then, be a faithful steward of the grace of God, a guardian of the soul as well as of the body.
The physician who has received wisdom from above, who knows that Christ is his personal Saviour, because he has himself been led to the Refuge, knows how to deal with the trembling, guilty, sin-sick souls who turn to him for help. He can respond with assurance to the inquiry: "What must I do to be saved?" He can tell the story of the Redeemer's love. He can speak from experience of the power of repentance and faith. As he stands by the bedside of the sufferer, striving to speak words that will bring to him help and comfort, the Lord works with him and through him. As the mind of the afflicted one is fastened on the Mighty Healer, the peace of Christ fills his heart; and the spiritual health that comes to him is used as the helping hand of God in restoring the health of the body.
Precious are the opportunities that the physician has of awakening in the hearts of those with whom he is brought in contact a sense of their great need of Christ. He is to bring from the treasure house of the heart things new and old, speaking the words of comfort and instruction that are longed for. Constantly he is to sow the seeds of truth, not presenting doctrinal subjects, but speaking of the love of the sin-pardoning Saviour. Not only should he give instruction from the word of God, line upon line, precept upon precept; he is to moisten this instruction with his tears and make it strong with his prayers, that souls may be saved from death.
In their earnest, feverish anxiety to avert the peril of the body, physicians are in danger of forgetting the peril of the soul. Physicians, be on your guard, for at the judgment seat of Christ you must meet those at whose death-bed you now stand.
The solemnity of the physician's work, his constant contact with the sick and the dying, require that, so far as possible, he be removed from the secular duties that others can perform. No unnecessary burdens should be laid on him, that he may have time to become acquainted with the spiritual needs of his patients. His mind should be ever under the influence of the Holy Spirit, that he may be able to speak in season the words that will awaken faith and hope.
At the bedside of the dying no word of creed or controversy is to be spoken. The sufferer is to be pointed to the One who is willing to save all who come to Him in faith. Earnestly, tenderly, strive to help the soul that is hovering between life and death.
The physician should never lead his patients to fix their attention on him. He is to teach them to grasp with the hand of faith the outstretched hand of the Saviour. Then the mind will be illuminated with the light radiating from the Sun of Righteousness. What physicians attempt to do, Christ did in deed and in truth. They try to save life; He is life itself.
The physician's effort to lead the minds of his patients to healthy action must be free from all human enchantment. It must not grovel to humanity, but soar aloft to the spiritual, grasping the things of eternity.
The physician should not be made the object of unkind criticism. This places on him an unnecessary burden. His cares are heavy, and he needs the sympathy of those connected with him in the work. He is to be sustained by prayer. The realization that he is appreciated will give him hope and courage.
The intelligent Christian physician has a constantly increasing realization of the connection between sin and disease. He strives to see more and more clearly the relation between cause and effect. He sees that those who are taking the nurses' course should be given a thorough education in the principles of health reform, that they should be taught to be strictly temperate in all things, because carelessness in regard to the laws of health is inexcusable in those set apart to teach others how to live.
When a physician sees that a patient is suffering from an ailment caused by improper eating and drinking, yet neglects to tell him of this and to point out the need of reform, he is doing a fellow being an injury. Drunkards, maniacs, those who are given over to licentiousness--all appeal to the physician to declare clearly and distinctly that suffering is the result of sin. We have received great light on health reform. Why, then, are we not more decidedly in earnest in striving to counteract the causes that produce disease? Seeing the continual conflict with pain, laboring constantly to alleviate suffering, how can our physicians hold their peace? Can they refrain from lifting the voice in warning? Are they benevolent and merciful if they do not teach strict temperance as a remedy for disease?
Physicians, study the warning which Paul gave to the Romans: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1, 2.
The spiritual work of our sanitariums is not to be under the control of physicians. This work requires thought and tact and a broad knowledge of the Bible. Ministers possessing these qualifications should be connected with our sanitariums. They should uplift the standard of temperance from a Christian point of view, showing that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and bringing to the minds of the people the responsibility resting upon them as God's purchased possession to make mind and body a holy temple, fit for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When temperance is presented as a part of the gospel, many will see their need of reform. They will see the evil of intoxicating liquors and that total abstinence is the only platform on which God's people can conscientiously stand. As this instruction is given, the people will become interested in other lines of Bible study.
The Value of Outdoor Life
The great medical institutions in our cities, called sanitariums, do but a small part of the good they might do were they located where the patients could have the advantages of outdoor life. I have been instructed that sanitariums are to be established in many places in the country and that the work of these institutions will greatly advance the cause of health and righteousness.
The things of nature are God's blessings, provided to give health to body, mind, and soul. They are given to the well to keep them well and to the sick to make them well. Connected with water treatment, they are more effective in restoring health than all the drug medication in the world.
In the country the sick find many things to call their attention away from themselves and their sufferings. Everywhere they can look upon and enjoy the beautiful things of nature--the flowers, the fields, the fruit trees laden with their rich treasure, the forest trees casting their grateful shade, and the hills and valleys with their varied verdure and many forms of life.
And not only are they entertained by these surroundings, but at the same time they learn most precious spiritual lessons. Surrounded by the wonderful works of God, their minds are lifted from the things that are seen to the things that are unseen. The beauty of nature leads them to think of the matchless charms of the earth made new, where there will be nothing to mar the loveliness, nothing to taint or destroy, nothing to cause disease or death.
Nature is God's physician. The pure air, the glad sunshine, the beautiful flowers and trees, the orchards and vineyards, and outdoor exercise amid these surroundings, are health-giving--the elixir of life. Outdoor life is the only medicine that many invalids need. Its influence is powerful to heal sickness caused by fashionable life, a life that weakens and destroys the physical, mental, and spiritual powers.
How grateful to weary invalids accustomed to city life, the glare of many lights, and the noise of the streets are the quiet and freedom of the country! How eagerly do they turn to the scenes of nature! How glad would they be for the advantages of a sanitarium in the country, where they could sit in the open air, rejoice in the sunshine, and breathe the fragrance of tree and flower! There are life-giving properties in the balsam of the pine, in the fragrance of the cedar and the fir. And there are other trees that are health-promoting. Let no such trees be ruthlessly cut down. Cherish them where they are abundant, and plant more where there are but few.
For the chronic invalid nothing so tends to restore health and happiness as living amid attractive country surroundings. Here the most helpless ones can be left sitting or lying in the sunshine or in the shade of the trees. They have only to lift their eyes and they see above them the beautiful foliage. They wonder that they have never before noticed how gracefully the boughs bend, forming a living canopy over them, giving them just the shade they need. A sweet sense of restfulness and refreshing comes over them as they listen to the murmuring breezes. The drooping spirits revive. The waning strength is recruited. Unconsciously the mind becomes peaceful, the fevered pulse more calm and regular. As the sick grow stronger, they will venture to take a few steps to gather some of the lovely flowers--precious messengers of God's love to His afflicted family here below.
Encourage the patients to be much in the open air. Devise plans to keep them out of doors, where, through nature, they can commune with God. Locate sanitariums on extensive tracts of land, where, in the cultivation of the soil, patients can have opportunity for healthful, outdoor exercise. Such exercise, combined with hygienic treatment, will work miracles in restoring and invigorating the diseased body and refreshing the worn and weary mind. Amid conditions so favorable the patients will not require so much care as if confined in a sanitarium in the city. Nor will they in the country be so much inclined to discontentment and repining. They will be ready to learn lessons in regard to the love of God, ready to acknowledge that He who cares so wonderfully for the birds and the flowers will care for the creatures formed in His own image. Thus opportunity is given physicians and helpers to reach souls, uplifting the God of nature before those who are seeking restoration to health.
In the night season I was given a view of a sanitarium in the country. The institution was not large, but it was complete. It was surrounded by beautiful trees and shrubbery, beyond which were orchards and groves. Connected with the place were gardens, in which the lady patients, when they chose, could cultivate flowers of every description, each patient selecting a special plot for which to care. Outdoor exercise in these gardens was prescribed as a part of the regular treatment.
Scene after scene passed before me. In one scene a number of suffering patients had just come to one of our country sanitariums. In another I saw the same company; but, oh, how transformed their appearance! Disease had gone, the skin was clear, the countenance joyful; body and mind seemed animated with new life.
I was also instructed that as those who have been sick are restored to health in our country sanitariums and return to their homes, they will be living object lessons, and many others will be favorably impressed by the transformation that has taken place in them. Many of the sick and suffering will turn from the cities to the country, refusing to conform to the habits, customs, and fashions of city life; they will seek to regain health in some one of our country sanitariums. Thus, though we are removed from the cities twenty or thirty miles, we shall be able to reach the people, and those who desire health will have opportunity to regain it under conditions most favorable.
God will work wonders for us if we will in faith co-operate with Him. Let us, then, pursue a sensible course, that our efforts may be blessed of heaven and crowned with success.
Why should not the young men and the young women who are seeking to obtain a knowledge of how to care for the sick have most liberally the advantage of nature's wonderful resources? Why should they not be most diligently taught to value and to use these resources?
In the location of sanitariums our physicians have missed the mark. They have not used the provisions of nature as they may. God desires that the places chosen for sanitarium work be beautiful, that the patients be surrounded with everything that delights the senses. May God help us to do our utmost to utilize the life-giving power of sunshine and fresh air. When we as a people closely follow the Lord's plan in our sanitarium work, nature's resources will be appreciated.
Out of the Cities
Those who have to do with the locating of our sanitariums should prayerfully study the character and aim of sanitarium work. They should ever bear in mind that they are working for the restoration of the image of God in man. In one hand they are to carry remedies for the relief of physical suffering, and in the other the gospel for the relief of sin-burdened souls. Thus they are to work as true medical missionaries. In many hearts they are to sow the seeds of truth.
No selfishness, no personal ambition, is to be allowed to enter into the work of selecting locations for our sanitariums. Christ came to this world to show us how to live and labor. Let us learn from Him not to choose for our sanitariums the places most agreeable to our taste, but those places best suited to our work.
Light has been given me that in medical missionary work we have lost great advantages by failing to realize the need of a change in our plans in regard to the location of sanitariums. It is the Lord's will that these institutions shall be established outside the city. They should be situated in the country, in the midst of surroundings as attractive as possible. In nature--the Lord's garden--the sick will always find something to divert their attention from themselves and lift their thoughts to God.
I have been instructed that the sick should be cared for away from the bustle of the cities, away from the noise of streetcars and the continual rattling of carts and carriages. People who come to our sanitariums from country homes will appreciate a quiet place; and in retirement patients will be more readily influenced by the Spirit of God.
The Garden of Eden, the home of our first parents, was exceedingly beautiful. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. In the garden were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. On their branches the birds caroled their songs of praise. Adam and Eve, in their untainted purity, delighted in the sights and sounds of Eden. And today, although sin has cast its shadow over the earth, God desires His children to find delight in the works of His hands. To locate our sanitariums amidst the scenes of nature would be to follow God's plan; and the more closely this plan is followed, the more wonderfully will He work to restore suffering humanity. For our educational and medical institutions, places should be chosen where, away from the dark clouds of sin that hang over the great cities, the Sun of Righteousness can arise, "with healing in His wings." Malachi 4:2.
Let the leaders in our work instruct the people that sanitariums should be established in the midst of the most pleasant surroundings, in places not disturbed by the turmoil of the city, places where by wise instruction the thoughts of the patients can be bound up with the thoughts of God. Again and again I have described such places; but it seems that there has been no ear to hear. Recently in a most clear and convincing manner the advantage of establishing our institutions, especially our sanitariums and schools, outside the cities was presented to me.
Why are our physicians so eager to be located in the cities? The very atmosphere of the cities is polluted. In them, patients who have unnatural appetites to overcome cannot be properly guarded. To patients who are victims of strong drink, the saloons of a city are a continual temptation. To place our sanitariums where they are surrounded by ungodliness is to counterwork the efforts made to restore the patients to health.
In the future the condition of things in the cities will grow more and more objectionable, and the influence of city surroundings will be acknowledged as unfavorable to the accomplishment of the work that our sanitariums should do.
From the standpoint of health the smoke and dust of the cities are very objectionable. And the patients who for a large part of their time are shut up within four walls often feel that they are prisoners in their rooms. When they look out of a window they see nothing but houses, houses, houses. Those who are thus confined to their rooms are liable to brood over their suffering and sorrow. Sometimes an invalid is poisoned by his own breath.
Many other evils follow the establishment of great medical institutions in the large cities.
Why deprive patients of the health-restoring blessing to be found in outdoor life? I have been instructed that as the sick are encouraged to leave their rooms and spend time in the open air, cultivating flowers, or doing some other light, pleasant work, their minds will be called from self to something more health-giving. Exercise in the open air should be prescribed as a beneficial, life-giving necessity. The longer patients can be kept out of doors the less care will they require. The more cheerful their surroundings, the more hopeful will they be. Surround them with the beautiful things of nature; place them where they can see the flowers growing and hear the birds singing, and their hearts will break into song in harmony with the song of the birds. Shut them in rooms, and, be these rooms ever so elegantly furnished, they will grow fretful and gloomy. Give them the blessing of outdoor life; thus their souls will be uplifted. Relief will come to body and mind.
"Out of the cities" is my message. Our physicians ought to have been wide awake on this point long ago. I hope and pray and believe that they will now arouse to the importance of getting out into the country.
The time is near when the large cities will be visited by the judgments of God. In a little while these cities will be terribly shaken. No matter how large or how strong their buildings, no matter how many safeguards against fire may have been provided, let God touch these buildings, and in a few minutes or a few hours they are in ruins.
The ungodly cities of our world are to be swept away by the besom of destruction. In the calamities that are now befalling immense buildings and large portions of cities God is showing us what will come upon the whole earth. He has told us: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it [the coming of the Son of man] is near, even at the doors." Matthew 24:32, 33.
Brick and stone buildings are not the most desirable for a sanitarium, for they are generally cold and damp. It may be said that a brick building presents a much more attractive appearance, and that the building should be attractive. But we need roomy buildings; and if brick is too costly, we must build of wood. Economy must be our study. This is a necessity, because of the greatness of the work that must be done in many lines in God's moral vineyard.
It has been suggested that patients will not feel safe from fire in a wooden structure. But if we are in the country, and not in the cities where buildings are crowded together, a fire would originate from within, not from without; therefore brick would not be a safeguard. It should be presented to the patients that for health a wooden building is preferable to one of brick.
For years I have been given special light that we are not to center our work in the cities. The turmoil and confusion that fill these cities, the conditions brought about by the labor unions and the strikes, would prove a great hindrance to our work. Men are seeking to bring those engaged in the different trades under bondage to certain unions. This is not God's planning, but the planning of a power that we should in no wise acknowledge. God's word is fulfilling; the wicked are binding themselves up in bundles ready to be burned.
We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trade-unions. We are to stand free in God, looking constantly to Christ for instruction. All our movements are to be made with a realization of the importance of the work to be accomplished for God.
Light has been given me that the cities will be filled with confusion, violence, and crime, and that these things will increase till the end of this earth's history.
In the Country
In August, 1901, while attending the Los Angeles camp meeting, I was in the visions of the night in a council meeting. The question under consideration was the establishment of a sanitarium in Southern California. By some it was urged that this sanitarium should be built in the city of Los Angeles, and the objections to establishing it out of the city were pointed out. Others spoke of the advantages of a country location.
There was among us One who presented this matter very clearly and with the utmost simplicity. He told us that it would be a mistake to establish a sanitarium within the city limits. A sanitarium should have the advantage of plenty of land, so that the invalids can work in the open air. For nervous, gloomy, feeble patients, outdoor work is invaluable. Let them have flower beds to care for. In the use of rake and hoe and spade they will find relief for many of their maladies. Idleness is the cause of many diseases.
Life in the open air is good for body and mind. It is God's medicine for the restoration of health. Pure air, good water, sunshine, the beautiful surroundings of nature--these are His means for restoring the sick to health in natural ways. To the sick it is worth more than silver or gold to lie in the sunshine or in the shade of the trees.
In the country our sanitariums can be surrounded by flowers and trees, orchards and vineyards. Here it is easy for physicians and nurses to draw from the things of nature lessons teaching of God. Let them point the patients to Him whose hand has made the lofty trees, the springing grass, and the beautiful flowers, encouraging them to see in every opening bud and blossoming flower an expression of His love for His children.
It is the expressed will of God that our sanitariums shall be established as far from the cities as is consistent. So far as possible these institutions should be located in quiet, secluded places, where opportunity will be afforded for giving the patients instruction concerning the love of God and the Eden home of our first parents, which, through the sacrifice of Christ, is to be restored to man.
In the effort made to restore the sick to health, use is to be made of the beautiful things of the Lord's creation. Seeing the flowers, plucking the ripe fruit, listening to the happy songs of the birds, has a peculiarly exhilarating effect on the nervous system. From outdoor life men, women, and children gain a desire to be pure and guileless. By the influence of the quickening, reviving, life-giving properties of nature's great medicinal resources the functions of the body are strengthened, the intellect awakened, the imagination quickened, the spirits enlivened, and the mind prepared to appreciate the beauty of God's word.
Under these influences, combined with the influence of careful treatment and wholesome food, the sick find health. The feeble step recovers its elasticity. The eye regains its brightness. The hopeless become hopeful. The once despondent countenance wears an expression of cheerfulness. The complaining tones of the voice give place to tones of content. The words express the belief: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1. The clouded hope of the Christian is brightened. Faith returns. The word is heard: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength." Psalm 23:4; Luke 1:46, 47; Isaiah 40:29. The acknowledgment of God's goodness in providing these blessings invigorates the mind. God is very near and is pleased to see His gifts appreciated.
When the earth was created, it was holy and beautiful. God pronounced it very good. Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely and filled the mind with thoughts of the love of God. Through tempting man to sin, Satan hoped to counteract the tide of divine love flowing to the human race; but, instead of this, his work resulted in calling forth new and deeper manifestations of God's mercy and goodness.
It was not God's purpose that His people should be crowded into cities, huddled together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents in a garden amidst the beautiful sights and attractive sounds of nature, and these sights and sounds He desires men to rejoice in today. The more nearly we come into harmony with God's original plan, the more favorable will be our position for the recovery and the preservation of health.
Not Among the Wealthy
It might seem to us that it would be best to select for our sanitariums places among the wealthy; that this would give character to our work and secure patronage for our institutions. But in this there is no light. "The Lord seeth not as man seeth." 1 Samuel 16:7. Man looks at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. The fewer grand buildings there are around our institutions, the less vexation we shall experience. Many of the wealthy property owners are irreligious and irreverent. Worldly thoughts fill their minds. Worldly amusements, merriment, and hilarity occupy their time. Extravagance in dress and luxurious living absorb their means. The heavenly messengers are not welcomed to their homes. They want God afar off. Humility is a difficult lesson for humanity to learn, and it is especially difficult for the rich and the self-indulgent. Those who do not regard themselves as accountable to God for all that they possess are tempted to exalt self, as if the riches comprehended by lands and bank stock made them independent of God. Full of pride and conceit, they place on themselves an estimate measured by their wealth.
There are many rich men who in God's sight are unfaithful stewards. In their acquirement and use of means He has seen robbery. They have neglected the great Proprietor of all and have not used the means entrusted to them to relieve the suffering and the oppressed. They have been laying up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath; for God will reward every man according as his work shall be. These men do not worship God; self is their idol. They put justice and mercy out of the mind, replacing them with avarice and strife. God says: "Shall I not visit them for these things?" Jeremiah 9:9.
God would not be pleased to have any of our institutions located in a community of this character, however great its apparent advantages. Selfish wealthy men have a molding influence upon other minds, and the enemy would work through them to hedge up our way. Evil associations are always detrimental to piety and devotion, and principles that are approved by God may be undermined by such associations. God would have none of us like Lot, who chose a home in a place where he and his family were brought into constant contact with evil. Lot went into Sodom rich; he left with nothing, led by an angel's hand, while messengers of wrath waited to pour forth the fiery blasts that were to consume the inhabitants of that highly favored city and blot out its entrancing beauty, making bleak and bare a place that God had once made very beautiful.
Our sanitariums should not be situated near the residences of rich men, where they will be looked upon as an innovation and an eyesore, and unfavorably commented upon, because they receive suffering humanity of all classes. Pure and undefiled religion makes those who are children of God one family, bound up with Christ in God. But the spirit of the world is proud, partial, exclusive, favoring only a few.
In erecting our buildings, we must keep away from the homes of the great men of the world, and let them seek the help they need by withdrawing from their associates into more retired places. We shall not please God by building our sanitariums among people extravagant in dress and living, who are attracted to those who can make a great display.
Consideration in Buildings
As the chosen people of God we cannot copy the habits, aims, practices, or fashions of the world. We are not left in darkness to pattern after worldly models and to depend on outward appearance for success. The Lord has told us whence comes our strength. "This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 4:6. As the Lord sees fit, He imparts to those who keep His way, power that enables them to exert a strong influence for good. On God they are dependent, and to Him they must give an account of the way in which they use the talents He has entrusted to them. They are to realize that they are God's stewards and are to seek to magnify His name.
Those whose affections are set on God will succeed. They will lose sight of self in Christ, and worldly attractions will have no power to allure them from their allegiance. They will realize that outward display does not give strength. It is not ostentation, outward show, that gives a correct representation of the work that we, as God's chosen people, are to do. Those who are connected with our sanitarium work should be adorned with the grace of Christ. This will give them the greatest influence for good.
The Lord is in earnest with us. His promises are given on condition that we faithfully do His will; therefore in the building of sanitariums He is to be made first and last and best in everything.
Let all who are connected with the service of God be guarded, lest by desire for display they lead others into indulgence and self-glorification. God does not want any of His servants to enter into unnecessary, expensive undertakings, which bring heavy burdens of debt upon the people, thus depriving them of means that would provide facilities for the work of the Lord. So long as those who claim to believe the truth for this time walk in the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, they may expect that the Lord will give them prosperity. But when they choose to wander from the narrow way, they bring ruin upon themselves and upon those who look to them for guidance.
Those who lead out in the establishment of medical institutions must set a right example. Even if the money is in sight, they should not use more than is absolutely needed. The Lord's work should be conducted with reference to the necessities of every part of His vineyard. We are all members of one family, children of one Father, and the Lord's revenue must be used with reference to the interests of His cause throughout the world. The Lord looks upon all parts of the field, and His vineyard is to be cultivated as a whole.
We must not absorb in a few places all the money in the treasury, but must labor to build up the work in many places. New territory is to be added to the Lord's kingdom. Other parts of His vineyard are to be furnished with facilities that will give character to the work. The Lord forbids us to use selfish schemes in His service. He forbids us to adopt plans that will rob our neighbor of facilities that would enable him to act his part in representing the truth. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We must also remember that our work is to correspond with our faith. We believe that the Lord is soon to come, and should not our faith be represented in the buildings we erect? Shall we put a large outlay of money into a building that will soon be consumed in the great conflagration? Our money means souls, and it is to be used to bring a knowledge of the truth to those who, because of sin, are under the condemnation of God. Then let us bind about our ambitious plans; let us guard against extravagance or improvidence, lest the Lord's treasury become empty and the builders have not means to do their appointed work.
Much more money than was necessary has been expended on our older institutions. Those who have done this have supposed that this outlay would give character to the work. But this plea is no excuse for unnecessary expenditure.
God desires that the humble, meek, and lowly spirit of the Master, who is the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, shall ever be revealed in our institutions. Christ's first advent is not studied as it should be. He came to be our example in all things. His life was one of strict self-denial. If we follow His example, we shall never expend means unnecessarily. Never are we to seek for outward show. Let our showing be such that the light of truth can shine through our good works, so that God will be glorified by the use of the very best methods to restore the sick and to relieve the suffering. Character is given to the work, not by investing means in large buildings, but by maintaining the true standard of religious principles, with noble Christlikeness of character.
The mistakes that have been made in the erection of buildings in the past should be salutary admonitions to us in the future. We are to observe where others have failed, and, instead of copying their mistakes, make improvements. In all our advance work we must regard the necessity of economy. There must be no needless expense. The Lord is soon to come, and our outlay in buildings is to be in harmony with our faith. Our means is to be used in providing cheerful rooms, healthful surroundings, and wholesome food.
Our ideas of building and furnishing our institutions are to be molded and fashioned by a true, practical knowledge of what it means to walk humbly with God. Never should it be thought necessary to give an appearance of wealth. Never should appearance be depended on as a means of success. This is a delusion. The desire to make an appearance that is not in every way appropriate to the work that God has given us to do, an appearance that could be kept up only by expending a large sum of money, is a merciless tyrant. It is like a canker that is ever eating into the vitals.
Men of common sense appreciate comfort above elegance and display. It is a mistake to suppose that, by keeping up an appearance, more patients, and therefore more means, would be gained. But even if this course would bring an increase of patronage, we could not consent to have our sanitariums furnished according to the luxurious ideas of the age. Christian influence is too valuable to be sacrificed in this way. All the surroundings, inside and outside our institutions, must be in harmony with the teachings of Christ and the expression of our faith. Our work in all its departments should be an illustration, not of display and extravagance, but of sanctified judgment.
It is not large, expensive buildings; it is not rich furniture; it is not tables loaded with delicacies, that will give our work influence and success. It is the faith that works by love and purifies the soul; it is the atmosphere of grace that surrounds the believer, the Holy Spirit working upon mind and heart, that makes him a savor of life unto life, and enables God to bless his work.
God can communicate with His people today and give them wisdom to do His will, even as He communicated with His people of old and gave them wisdom in building the tabernacle. In the construction of this building He gave a representation of His power and majesty; and His name is to be honored in the buildings that are erected for Him today. Faithfulness, stability, and fitness are to be seen in every part.
Those who have in hand the erecting of a sanitarium are to represent the truth by working in the spirit and love of God. As Noah in his day warned the world in the building of the ark, so, by the faithful work that is done today in erecting the Lord's institutions, sermons will be preached, and the hearts of some will be convicted and converted. Then let the workers feel the greatest anxiety for the constant help of Christ, that the institutions which are established may not be in vain. While the work of building is going forward, let them remember that, as in the days of Noah and of Moses God arranged every detail of the ark and of the tabernacle, so in the building of His institutions today He Himself is watching the work done. Let them remember that the great Master Builder, by His word, by His Spirit, and by His providence, designs to direct His work. They should take time to ask counsel of Him. The voice of prayer and the melody of holy song should ascend as sweet incense. All should realize their entire dependence upon God; they should remember that they are erecting an institution in which is to be carried forward a work of eternal consequence, and that, in doing this work, they are to be laborers together with God."Looking unto Jesus" is ever to be our motto. And the assurance is: "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye." Psalm 32:8.
Not for Pleasure Seekers
To Our Sanitarium Workers in Southern California --
I have a decided message for our people in Southern California. The Lord does not require them to provide facilities for the entertainment of tourists. The establishment of an institution for this purpose would be setting a wrong example before the Lord's people. The result would not justify the effort put forth.
Why do we establish sanitariums? That the sick who come to them for treatment may receive relief from physical suffering and may also receive spiritual help. Because of their condition of health they are susceptible to the sanctifying influence of the medical missionaries who labor for their restoration. Let us work wisely, for their best interests.
We are not building sanitariums for hotels. Receive into our sanitariums only those who desire to conform to right principles, those who will accept the foods that we can conscientiously place before them. Should we allow patients to have intoxicating liquor in their rooms, or should we serve them with meat, we could not give them the help they should receive in coming to our sanitariums. We must let it be known that from principle we exclude such articles from our sanitariums and our hygienic restaurants. Do we not desire to see our fellow beings freed from disease and infirmity, and in the enjoyment of health and strength? Then let us be as true to principle as the needle to the pole.
Those whose work it is to labor for the salvation of souls must keep themselves free from worldly policy plans. They must not, for the sake of obtaining the influence of someone who is wealthy, become entangled in plans dishonoring to their profession of faith. They must not sell their souls for financial advantage. They must do nothing that will retard the work of God and lower the standard of righteousness. We are God's servants, and we are to be workers together with Him, doing His work in His way, that all for whom we labor may see that our desire is to reach a higher standard of holiness. Those with whom we come in contact are to see that we not only talk of self-denial and sacrifice, but that we reveal it in our lives. Our example is to inspire those with whom we come in contact in our work, to become better acquainted with the things of God.
If we are to go to the expense of building sanitariums in order that we may work for the salvation of the sick and afflicted, we must plan our work in such a way that those we desire to help will receive the help they need. We are to do all in our power for the healing of the body; but we are to make the healing of the soul of far greater importance. Those who come to our sanitariums as patients are to be shown the way of salvation, that they may repent and hear the words: Thy sins are forgiven thee; go in peace, and sin no more.
Medical missionary work in Southern California is not to be carried forward by the establishment of one mammoth institution for the accommodation and entertainment of a promiscuous company of pleasure lovers, who would bring with them their intemperate ideas and practices. Such an institution would absorb the time and talent of workers who are needed elsewhere. Our capable men are to put forth their efforts in sanitariums established and conducted for the purpose of preparing minds for the reception of the gospel of Christ.
We are not to absorb the time and strength of men capable of carrying forward the Lord's work in the way He has outlined, in an enterprise for the accommodation and entertainment of pleasure seekers, whose greatest desire is to gratify self. To connect workers with such an enterprise would be perilous to their safety. Let us keep our young men and young women from all such dangerous influences. And should our brethren engage in such an enterprise, they would not advance the work of soul saving as they think they would.
Our sanitariums are to be established for one object, the advancement of present truth. And they are to be so conducted that a decided impression in favor of the truth will be made on the minds of those who come to them for treatment. The conduct of the workers, from the head manager to the worker occupying the humblest position, is to tell on the side of truth. The institution is to be pervaded by a spiritual atmosphere. We have a warning message to bear to the world, and our earnestness, our devotion to God's service, is to impress those who come to our sanitariums.
As soon as possible, sanitariums are to be established in different places in Southern California. Let a beginning be made in several places. If possible, let land be purchased on which buildings are already erected. Then, as the prosperity of the work demands, let appropriate enlargements be made.
We are living in the very close of this earth's history, and we are to move cautiously, understanding what the will of the Lord is and, imbued with His Spirit, doing work that will mean much to His cause, work that will proclaim the warning message to a world infatuated, deceived, perishing in sin.
In Southern California there are many properties for sale on which buildings suitable for sanitarium work are already erected. Some of these properties should be purchased and medical missionary work carried forward on sensible, rational lines. Several small sanitariums are to be established in Southern California for the benefit of the multitudes drawn there in the hope of finding health. Instruction has been given me that now is our opportunity to reach the invalids flocking to the health resorts of Southern California, and that a work may be done also in behalf of their attendants.
"Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35.
For months I carried on my soul the burden of the medical missionary work in Southern California. Recently much light has been given me in regard to the manner in which God desires us to conduct sanitarium work. We are to encourage patients to spend much of their time out of doors. I have been instructed to tell our brethren to keep on the lookout for cheap, desirable properties in healthful places, suitable for sanitarium purposes.
Instead of investing in one medical institution all the means obtainable, we ought to establish smaller sanitariums in many places. Soon the reputation of the health resorts in Southern California will stand even higher than it stands at present. Now is our time to enter that field for the purpose of carrying forward medical missionary work.
St. Helena, California, September 4, 1902. To the Leaders in Our Medical Work --
Dear Brethren: The Lord is working impartially for every part of His vineyard. It is men who disorganize His work. He does not give to His people the privilege of gathering in so much means to establish institutions in a few places, that nothing will be left for the establishment of similar institutions in other places.
Many plants are to be established in the cities of America, and especially in the Southern cities, where as yet little has been done. And in foreign lands many medical missionary enterprises are to be started and carried forward to success. The establishment of sanitariums is as essential in Europe and other foreign countries as in America.
The Lord desires His people to have a right understanding of the work to be done and, as faithful stewards, to move forward wisely in the investment of means. In the erection of buildings He desires them to count the cost to see whether they have enough with which to finish. He also desires them to remember that they should not selfishly gather all the means possible to invest in a few places, but that they should work with reference to the many other places where institutions must be established.
From the light given me, the managers of all our institutions, and especially of newly established sanitariums, are to be careful to economize in the expenditure of means, that they may be in a position to help similar institutions that are to be established in other parts of the world. Even if they have a large amount of money in the treasury, they should make every plan with reference to the needs of God's great missionary field.
It is not the Lord's will for His people to erect mammoth sanitariums anywhere. Many sanitariums are to be established. They are not to be large, but sufficiently complete to do a good and successful work.
Cautions have been given me in reference to the work of training nurses and medical missionary evangelists. We are not to centralize this work in any one place. In every sanitarium established, young men and young women should be trained to be medical missionaries. The Lord will open the way before them as they go forth to work for Him.
The evidences before us of the fulfillment of prophecy declare that the end of all things is at hand. Much important work is to be done out of and away from the places where in the past our work has been largely centered.
When we bring a stream of water into a garden to irrigate it, we do not provide for the watering of one place only, leaving the other parts dry and barren, to cry: "Give us water." And yet this represents the way in which the work has been carried forward in a few places, to the neglect of the great field. Shall the desolate places remain desolate? No. Let the stream flow through every place, carrying with it gladness and fertility.
Never are we to rely upon worldly recognition and rank. Never are we, in the establishment of institutions, to try to compete with worldly institutions in size or splendor. We shall gain the victory, not by erecting massive buildings, in rivalry with our enemies, but by cherishing a Christlike spirit--a spirit of meekness and lowliness. Better far the cross and disappointed hopes, with eternal life at last, than to live with princes and forfeit heaven.
The Saviour of mankind was born of humble parentage, in a sin-cursed, wicked world. He was brought up in obscurity at Nazareth, a small town in Galilee. He began His work in poverty and without worldly rank. Thus God introduced the gospel, in a way altogether different from the way in which many in our day deem it wise to proclaim the same gospel.
At the very beginning of the gospel dispensation He taught His church to rely, not on worldly rank and splendor, but on the power of faith and obedience. The favor of God is of greater value than gold and silver. The power of His Spirit is of inestimable worth.
Thus saith the Lord: "Buildings will give character to My work only when those who erect them follow My instruction in regard to the establishment of institutions. Had those who have managed and sustained the work in the past always been controlled by pure, unselfish principles, there never would have been the selfish gathering of a large share of My means into one or two places. Institutions would have been established in many localities. The seeds of truth, sown in many more fields, would have sprung up and borne fruit to My glory.
"Places that have been neglected are now to receive attention. My people are to do a sharp, quick work. Those who with purity of purpose fully consecrate themselves to Me, body, soul, and spirit, shall work in My way and in My name. Everyone shall stand in his lot, looking to Me, his Guide and Counselor.
"I will instruct the ignorant, and anoint with heavenly eyesalve the eyes of many who are now in spiritual darkness. I will raise up agents who will carry out My will to prepare a people to stand before Me in the time of the end. In many places that before this ought to have been provided with sanitariums and schools, I will establish My institutions, and these institutions will become educational centers for the training of workers."
The Lord will work upon human minds in unexpected quarters. Some who apparently are enemies of the truth will, in God's providence, invest their means to develop properties and erect buildings. In time these properties will be offered for sale at a price far below their cost. Our people will recognize the hand of Providence in these offers and will secure valuable property for use in educational work. They will plan and manage with humility, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. Thus men of means are unconsciously preparing auxiliaries that will enable the Lord's people to advance His work rapidly.
In various places, properties are to be purchased to be used for sanitarium purposes. Our people should be looking for opportunities to purchase properties away from the cities, on which are buildings already erected and orchards already in bearing. Land is a valuable possession. Connected with our sanitariums there should be lands, small portions of which can be used for the homes of the helpers and others who are receiving a training for medical missionary work.
I have been repeatedly shown that it is not wise to erect mammoth institutions. It is not by the largeness of an institution that the greatest work for souls is to be accomplished. A mammoth sanitarium requires many workers. And where so many are brought together, it is exceedingly difficult to maintain a high standard of spirituality. In a large institution it often happens that responsible places are filled by workers who are not spiritually minded, who do not exercise wisdom in dealing with those who, if wisely treated, would be awakened, convicted, and converted.
Not one quarter of the work has been done in opening the Scriptures to the sick that might have been done, and that would have been done in our sanitariums if the workers had themselves received thorough instruction in religious lines.
Where many workers are gathered together in one place, management of a much higher spiritual tone is required than has often been maintained in our large sanitariums.
We are on the verge of the eternal world. The judgments of God have already begun to fall upon the inhabitants of the land. God sends these judgments to bring men and women to their senses. He has a purpose in everything that He permits to take place in our world, and He desires us to be so spiritually minded that we shall be able to perceive His working in the events so unusual in the past, but now of almost daily occurrence.
We have before us a great work, the closing work of giving God's last warning message to a sinful world. But what have we done to give this message? Look, I beg of you, at the many, many places that have never yet been even entered. Look at our workers treading over and over the same ground, while around them is a neglected world, lying in wickedness and corruption --a world as yet unwarned. To me this is an awful picture. What appalling indifference we manifest to the needs of a perishing world!
The Sign of our Order
I have been instructed that our medical institutions are to stand as witnesses for God. They are established to relieve the sick and the afflicted, to awaken a spirit of inquiry, to disseminate light, and to advance reform. These institutions, rightly conducted, will be the means of bringing a knowledge of the reforms essential to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord, before many that otherwise it would be impossible for us to reach.
Many of the patrons of our medical institutions have high ideas in regard to the presence of God abiding in the institution they visit; and they are very susceptible to the spiritual influences that prevail. If all the physicians, nurses, and helpers are walking circumspectly before God, they have more than human power in dealing with these men and women. Every institution whose helpers are consecrated is pervaded by divine power; and the patrons not only obtain relief from bodily infirmities, but find a healing balm for their sin-sick souls.
Let the leaders among our people emphasize the necessity of a strong religious influence being maintained in our medical institutions. The Lord designs that these shall be places where He will be honored in word and in deed, places where His law will be magnified and the truths of the Bible made prominent. Medical missionaries are to do a great work for God. They are to be wide awake and vigilant, having on every piece of the Christian armor and fighting manfully. They are to be loyal to their Leader, obeying His commandments, including the one by which they reveal the sign of their order.
The observance of the Sabbath is the sign between God and His people. Let us not be ashamed to bear the sign that distinguishes us from the world. As I considered this matter in the night season recently, One of authority counseled us to study the instruction given the Israelites in regard to the Sabbath. "Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep," the Lord declared to them; "for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you. . . . Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever." Exodus 31:13-17.
The Sabbath is ever the sign that distinguishes the obedient from the disobedient. With masterly power Satan has worked to make null and void the fourth commandment, that the sign of God may be lost sight of. The Christian world have trodden underfoot the Sabbath of the Lord and observe a sabbath instituted by the enemy. But God has a people who are loyal to Him. His work is to be carried forward in right lines. The people who bear His sign are to establish churches and institutions as memorials to Him. These memorials, however humble in appearance, will constantly bear witness against the false sabbath instituted by Satan, and in favor of the Sabbath instituted by the Lord in Eden, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.
A spirit of irreverence and carelessness in the observance of the Sabbath is liable to come into our sanitariums. Upon the men of responsibility in the medical missionary work rests the duty of giving instruction to physicians, nurses, and helpers in regard to the sanctity of God's holy day. Especially should every physician endeavor to set a right example. The nature of his duties naturally leads him to feel justified in doing on the Sabbath many things that he should refrain from doing. So far as possible he should so plan his work that he can lay aside his ordinary duties.
Often physicians and nurses are called upon during the Sabbath to minister to the sick, and sometimes it is impossible for them to take time for rest and for attending devotional services. The needs of suffering humanity are never to be neglected. The Saviour, by His example, has shown us that it is right to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. But unnecessary work, such as ordinary treatments and operations that can be postponed, should be deferred. Let the patients understand that physicians and helpers should have one day for rest. Let them understand that the workers fear God and desire to keep holy the day that He has set apart for His followers to observe as a sign between Him and them.
The educators and those being educated in our medical institutions should remember that to keep the Sabbath aright means much to them and to the patrons. In keeping the Sabbath, which God declares shall be kept holy, they give the sign of their order, showing plainly that they are on the Lord's side.
Now and ever we are to stand as a distinct and peculiar people, free from all worldly policy, unembarrassed by confederating with those who have not wisdom to discern God's claims so plainly set forth in His law. All our medical institutions are established as Seventh-day Adventist institutions to represent the various features of gospel medical missionary work and thus to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. We are to show that we are seeking to work in harmony with heaven. We are to bear witness to all nations, kindreds, and tongues that we are a people who love and fear God, a people who keep holy His memorial of creation, the sign between Him and His obedient children that He sanctifies them. And we are plainly to show our faith in the soon coming of our Lord in the clouds of heaven.
As a people we have been greatly humiliated by the course that some of our brethren in responsible positions have taken in departing from the old landmarks. There are those who, in order to carry out their plans, have by their words denied their faith. This shows how little dependence can be placed on human wisdom and judgment. Now, as never before, we need to see the danger of being led unguardedly away from loyalty to God's commands. We need to realize that God has given us a decided message of warning for the world, even as He gave Noah a message of warning for the antediluvians. Let our people beware of belittling the importance of the Sabbath in order to link up with unbelievers. Let them beware of departing from the principles of our faith, making it appear that it is not wrong to conform to the world. Let them be afraid of heeding the counsel of any man, whatever his position may be, who works counter to that which God has wrought in order to keep His people separate from the world.
The Lord is testing His people to see who will be loyal to the principles of His truth. Our work is to proclaim to the world the first, second, and third angels' messages. In the discharge of our duties we are neither to despise nor to fear our enemies. To bind ourselves up by contracts with those not of our faith is not in the order of God. We are to treat with kindness and courtesy those who refuse to be loyal to God, but we are never, never to unite with them in counsel regarding the vital interests of His work. Putting our trust in God, we are to move steadily forward, doing His work with unselfishness, in humble dependence upon Him, committing to His providence ourselves and all that concerns our present and future, holding the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end, remembering that we receive the blessings of heaven, not because of our worthiness, but because of Christ's worthiness and our acceptance, through faith in Him, of God's abounding grace.
I pray that my brethren may realize that the third angel's message means much to us and that the observance of the true Sabbath is to be the sign that distinguishes those who serve God from those who serve Him not. Let those who have become sleepy and indifferent awake. We are called to be holy, and we should carefully avoid giving the impression that it is of little consequence whether or not we retain the peculiar features of our faith. Upon us rests the solemn obligation of taking a more decided stand for truth and righteousness than we have taken in the past. The line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not is to be revealed with unmistakable clearness. We are conscientiously to honor God, diligently using every means of keeping in covenant relation with Him, that we may receive His blessings, the blessings so essential for the people who are to be so severely tried. To give the impression that our faith, our religion, is not a dominating power in our lives is greatly to dishonor God. Thus we turn from His commandments, which are our life, denying that He is our God and that we are His people.
We are to invite everyone--the high and the low, the rich and the poor, all sects and classes--to share the benefits of our medical institutions. We receive into our institutions people of all denominations. But as for ourselves we are strictly denominational; we are sacredly denominated by God and are under His theocracy. But we are not unwisely to press upon anyone the peculiar points of our faith.
In order that men might not forget the true God, Jehovah gave them a memorial of His love and power --the Sabbath. He says: "Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you." Exodus 31:13.
Concerning Israel, the Lord declared: "The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." Numbers 23:9. To us as well as to ancient Israel these words apply. God's people are to stand alone. The observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is to be a sign between them and God, showing that they are to be a peculiar people, separate from the world in habit and practice. Through them God will work to gather from all nationalities a people for Himself.