Section VI - Successful Institutional Work
Pages 255 - 320
The success of the sanitarium depends upon its maintaining the simplicity of godliness and shunning the world's follies in eating, drinking, dressing, and amusements. It must be reformatory in all its principles. Let nothing be invented to satisfy the wants of the soul and take the room and time which Christ and His service demand, for this will destroy the power of the institution as God's instrumentality to convert poor, sin-sick souls, who, ignorant of the way of life and peace, have sought for happiness in pride and vain folly.
"Standing by a purpose true" should be the position of all connected with the sanitarium. While none should urge our faith upon the patients or engage in religious controversy with them, our papers and publications, carefully selected, should be in sight almost everywhere. The religious element must predominate. This has been and ever will be the power of that institution. Let not our health asylum be perverted to the service of worldliness and fashion. There are hygienic institutions enough in our land that are more like an accommodating hotel than a place where the sick and suffering can obtain relief for their bodily infirmities, and the sin-sick soul can find that peace and rest in Jesus to be found nowhere else. Let religious principles be made prominent and kept so; let pride and popularity be discarded; let simplicity and plainness, kindness and faithfulness, be seen everywhere; then the sanitarium will be just what God intended it should be; then the Lord will favor it.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, pp. 586, 587 (1881).
In the view given me October 9, 1878, I was shown the position which our sanitarium at Battle Creek should occupy, and the character and influence which should be maintained by all connected with it. This important institution has been established by the providence of God, and His blessing is indispensable to its success. The physicians are not quacks nor infidels, but men who understand the human system and the best methods of treating disease, men who fear God and who have an earnest interest for the moral and spiritual welfare of their patients. This interest for spiritual as well as physical good the managers of the institution should make no effort to conceal. By a life of true Christian integrity they can give to the world an example worthy of imitation; and they should not hesitate to let it be seen that in addition to their skill in treating disease, they are continually gaining wisdom and knowledge from Christ, the greatest teacher the world has ever known. They must have this connection with the Source of all wisdom to make their labor successful.
Truth has a power to elevate the receiver. If Bible truth exerts its sanctifying influence upon the heart and character, it will make believers more intelligent. A Christian will understand his responsibility to God and to his fellow men, if he is truly connected with the Lamb of God, who gave His life for the world. Only by a continual improvement of the intellectual as well as the moral powers can we hope to answer the purpose of our Creator.
God is displeased with those who are too careless or indolent to become efficient, well-informed workers. The Christian should possess more intelligence and keener discernment than the worldling. The study of God's word is continually expanding the mind and strengthening the intellect. There is nothing that will so refine and elevate the character and give vigor to every faculty as the continual exercise of the mind to grasp and comprehend weighty and important truths.
The human mind becomes dwarfed and enfeebled when dealing with commonplace matters only, never rising above the level of the things of time and sense to grasp the mysteries of the unseen. The understanding is gradually brought to the level of the subjects with which it is constantly familiar. The mind will contract its powers and lose its ability if it is not exercised to acquire additional knowledge and put to the stretch to comprehend the revelations of divine power in nature and in the Sacred Word.
But an acquaintance with facts and theories, however important they may be in themselves, is of little real value unless put to a practical use. There is danger that those who have obtained their education principally from books will fail to realize that they are novices, so far as experimental knowledge is concerned. This is especially true of those connected with the sanitarium. This institution needs men of thought and ability. The physicians, superintendent, matron, and helpers should be persons of culture and experience. But some fail to comprehend what is needed at such an establishment, and they plod on, year after year, making no marked improvement. They seem
to be stereotyped; each succeeding day is but a repetition of the past one.
The minds and hearts of these mechanical workers are impoverished. Opportunities are before them; if studious, they might obtain an education of the highest value, but they do not appreciate their privileges. None should rest satisfied with their present education. All may be daily qualifying themselves to fill some office of trust....
Intelligent, God-fearing workers can do a vast amount of good in the way of reforming those who come as invalids to be treated at the sanitarium. These persons are diseased, not only physically, but mentally and morally. The education, the habits, and the entire life of many have been erroneous. They cannot in a few days make the great changes necessary for the adoption of correct habits. They must have time to consider the matter and to learn the right way. If all connected with the sanitarium are correct representatives of the truth of health reform and of our holy faith, they are exerting an influence to mold the minds of their patients. The contrast of erroneous habits with those which are in harmony with the truth of God has a convicting power.
Man is not what he might be and what it is God's will that he should be. The strong power of Satan upon the human race keeps them upon a low level; but this need not be so, else Enoch could not have become so elevated and ennobled as to walk with God. Man need not cease to grow intellectually and spiritually during his lifetime. But the minds of many are so occupied with themselves and their own selfish interests as to leave no room for higher and nobler thoughts. And the standard of
intellectual as well as spiritual attainments is far too low. With many, the more responsible the position they occupy, the better pleased are they with themselves; and they cherish the idea that the position gives character to the man. Few realize that they have a constant work before them to develop forbearance, sympathy, charity, conscientiousness, and fidelity--traits of character indispensable to those who occupy positions of responsibility. All connected with the sanitarium should have a sacred regard for the rights of others, which is but obeying the principles of the law of God.
Some at this institution are sadly deficient in the qualities so essential to the happiness of all connected with them. The physicians and the helpers in the various branches of the work should carefully guard against a selfish coldness, a distant, unsocial disposition, for this will alienate the affection and confidence of the patients. Many who come to the sanitarium are refined, sensitive people, of ready tact and keen discernment. These persons discover such defects at once and comment upon them. Men cannot love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves and be as cold as icebergs. Not only do they rob God of the love due Him, but they rob their neighbor as well. Love is a plant of heavenly growth and it must be fostered and nourished. Affectionate hearts, truthful, loving words, will make happy families and exert an elevating influence upon all who come within the sphere of their influence.
Those who make the most of their privileges and opportunities will be, in the Bible sense, talented and educated men; not learned merely, but educated, in mind, in manners, in deportment. They will be refined, tender, pitiful, affectionate....
We should ever bear in mind that we are not only learners but teachers in this world, fitting ourselves and others for a higher sphere of action in the future life. The measure of man's usefulness is in knowing the will of God and doing it. It is within our power to so improve in mind and manners that God will not be ashamed to own us. There must be a high standard at the sanitarium. If there are men of culture, of intellectual and moral power, to be found in our ranks, they must be called to the front to fill places in our institutions.
The physicians should not be deficient in any respect. A wide field of usefulness is open before them, and if they do not become skillful in their profession they have only themselves to blame. They must be diligent students; and, by close application and faithful attention to details, they should become caretakers. It should be necessary for no one to follow them to see that their work is done without mistakes.
Those who occupy responsible positions should so educate and discipline themselves that all within the sphere of their influence may see what man can be, and what he can do, when connected with the God of wisdom and power. And why should not a man thus privileged become intellectually strong? Again and again have worldlings sneeringly asserted that those who believe present truth are weak-minded, deficient in education, without position or influence. This we know to be untrue; but is there not some reason for these assertions? Many have considered it a mark of humility to be ignorant and uncultivated. Such persons are deceived as to what constitutes true humility and Christian meekness.
Among the greatest dangers to our health institutions is the influence of physicians, superintendents, and helpers who profess to believe the present truth, but who have never taken their stand fully upon health reform. Some have no conscientious scruples in regard to their eating, drinking, and dressing. How can the physician or anyone else present the matter as it is when he himself is indulging in the use of harmful things? God's blessing will rest upon every effort made to awaken an interest in health reform, for it is needed everywhere. There must be a revival in regard to this matter, for God purposes to accomplish much through this agency.
Drug medication, as it is generally practiced, is a curse. Educate away from drugs. Use them less and less, and depend more upon hygienic agencies; then nature will respond to God's physicians--pure air, pure water, proper exercise, a clear conscience. Those who persist in the use of tea, coffee, and flesh meats will feel the need of drugs, but many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would obey the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used.
If the heart is purified through obedience to the truth, there will be no selfish preferences, no corrupt motives; there will be no partiality. Lovesick sentimentalism, whose blighting influence has been felt in all our institutions, will not be developed. Strict guard should be kept that this curse shall not poison or corrupt our health institutions.--Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work, pages 42, 43 (1890).
I saw that there was a large amount of surplus means among our people, a portion of which should be put into the Health Institute. I also saw that there are many worthy poor among our people, who are sick and suffering, and who have been looking toward the Institute for help, but who are not able to pay the regular prices for board, treatment, etc. The Institute has struggled hard with debts the last three years, and could not treat patients, to any considerable extent, without full pay. It would please God for all our people who are able to do so, to take stock liberally in the Institute, to place it in a condition where it can help God's humble, worthy poor. In connection with this, I saw that Christ identifies Himself with suffering humanity, and that what we have the privilege of doing for even the least of His children, whom He calls His brethren, we do to the Son of God....
To raise the Health Institute from its low state in the autumn of 1869 to its present prosperous, hopeful condition has demanded sacrifices and exertions of which its friends abroad know but little. Then it had a debt of thirteen thousand dollars, and had but eight paying patients. And what was worse still, the course of former managers had been such as to so far discourage its friends that they had no heart to furnish means to lift the debt, or to recommend the sick to patronize the Institute. It was at this discouraging point that my husband decided in his mind that the Institute property must be sold to pay the debts, and the balance, after the payment of debts, be refunded to stockholders in proportion to the amount
of stock each held. But one morning, in prayer at the family altar, the Spirit of God came upon him as he was praying for divine guidance in matters pertaining to the Institute, and he exclaimed, while bowed upon his knees, "The Lord will vindicate every word He has spoken through vision relative to the Health Institute, and it will be raised from its low estate and prosper gloriously."
From that point of time we took hold of the work in earnest and have labored side by side for the Institute, to counteract the influence of selfish men who had brought embarrassment upon it. We have given of our means, thus setting an example to others. We have encouraged economy and industry on the part of all connected with the Institute and have urged that physicians and helpers work hard for small pay, until the Institute should again be fully established in the confidence of our people. We have borne a plain testimony against the manifestation of selfishness in anyone connected with the Institute and have counseled and reproved wrongs. We knew that the Health Institute would not succeed unless the blessing of the Lord rested upon it. If His blessing attended it, the friends of the cause would have confidence that it was the work of God and would feel safe to donate means to make it a living enterprise, that it might be able to accomplish the design of God.
The physicians and some of the helpers went to work earnestly. They worked hard, under great discouragement. Doctors Ginley, Chamberlain, and Lamson worked with earnestness and energy, for small pay, to build up this sinking institution. And, thank God, the original debt has been removed and large additions for the accommodation of patients have been made and paid for. The
circulation of the Health Reformer, which lies at the very foundation of the success of the Institute, has been doubled, and it has become a live journal. Confidence in the Institute has been fully restored in the minds of most of our people, and there have been as many patients at the Institute, nearly the year round, as could well be accommodated and properly treated by our physicians.
It is far easier to allow matters in our important institutions to go in a lax, loose way than to weed out that which is offensive, which will corrupt and destroy confidence and faith. But it would be far better to have a smaller number of workers, to accomplish less, and as far as possible to have these who are engaged in the work truehearted, firm as rock in principle, loving the whole truth, obedient to all the commandments of God.
The white-robed ones who surround the throne of God are not composed of that company who were lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, and who choose to drift with the current rather than to breast the waves of opposition. All who remain pure and uncorrupted from the spirit and influence prevailing at this time will have stern conflicts. They will come through great tribulations; they will wash their robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. These will sing the song of triumph in the kingdom of glory. Those who suffer with Christ will be partakers of His glory.--Review and Herald, Oct. 16, 1883.
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.
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 would 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.
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....
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. . . .
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.
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 trades 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.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 84 (1902).
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 the 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.
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.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, pp. 83, 84 (1902).
Economy in the outlay of means is an excellent branch of Christian wisdom. This matter is not sufficiently considered by those who occupy responsible positions in our institutions. Money is an excellent gift of God. In the hands of His children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and raiment for the naked; it is a defense for the oppressed and a means of health to the sick. Means should not be needlessly or lavishly expended for the gratification of pride or ambition.
In order to meet the real wants of the people, the stern motives of religious principle must be a controlling power. When Christians and worldlings are brought together, the Christian element is not to assimilate with the unsanctified. The contrast between the two must be kept sharp and positive. They are servants of two masters. One class strive to keep the humble path of obedience to God's requirements,--the path of simplicity, meekness, and humility,--imitating the Pattern, Christ Jesus. The other class are in every way the opposite of the first. They are servants of the world, eager and ambitious to follow its fashions in extravagant dress and in the gratification of appetite. This is the field in which Christ has given those connected with the sanitarium their appointed work. We are not to lessen the distance between us and worldlings by coming to their standard, stepping down from the high path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. But the charms exhibited in the Christian's life--the principles carried out in our daily work, in holding
appetite under the control of reason, maintaining simplicity in dress, and engaging in holy conversation--will be a light continually shining upon the pathway of those whose habits are false. . . .
All who are connected with our institutions should have a jealous care that nothing be wasted, even if the matter does not come under the very part of the work assigned them. Everyone can do something toward economizing. All should perform their work, not to win praise of men, but in such a manner that it may bear the scrutiny of God.
Christ once gave His disciples a lesson upon economy, which is worthy of careful attention. He wrought a miracle to feed the hungry thousands who had listened to His teachings; yet after all had eaten and were satisfied, He did not permit the fragments to be wasted. He who could, in their necessity, feed the vast multitude by His divine power, bade His disciples gather up the fragments, that nothing might be lost. This lesson was given as much for our benefit as for those living in Christ's day. The Son of God has a care for the necessities of temporal life. He did not neglect the broken fragments after the feast, although He could make such a feast whenever He chose. The workers in our institutions would do well to heed this lesson: "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." John 6:12. This is the duty of all, and those who occupy a leading position should set the example.
The sanitarium at Battle Creek has been built up under a pressure of difficulties. There have had to be decisive measures taken, contracts signed by those who were engaged as helpers that they would remain a certain number of years. This has been a positive necessity. After help has been secured, and by considerable painstaking efforts these have become efficient workers, wealthy patients have held out inducements of better wages to secure them as nurses for their own special benefit, at their own homes. And these helpers have often left the sanitarium and gone with them, without taking into consideration the labor that had been put forth to qualify them as efficient workers. This has not been the case in merely one or two instances, but in many cases.
Then people have come as patrons from other institutions that are not conducted on religious principles, and in a most artful manner have led away the help by promising to give them higher wages. Physicians have apostatized from the faith and from the institution, and have left because they could not have their own way in everything. Some have been discharged, and after obtaining the sympathy of others of the helpers and patients, have led these away; and after being at great expense and trying their own ways and methods to the best of their ability, they have made a failure and closed up, incurring debts that they could not meet. This has been tried again and again. Justice and righteousness have had no part in the movements of such. "The way of the Lord" has not been
chosen but their own way. They beguiled the unwary and made an easy conquest of those who love change. They were too much blinded to consider the right and wrong of this course, and too reckless to care.
Thus it has been necessary in the sanitarium at Battle Creek to make contracts binding those who connected with it as helpers, so that after they have been educated and trained as nurses and as bath hands, they shall not leave because others present inducements to them. Money has been advanced to some special ones that they might obtain a medical education and be useful to the institution. Dr. ---- has placed hopes upon some of these, that they would relieve him of responsibilities that have rested most heavily upon him. Some have become uneasy and dissatisfied because those who have started institutions in other parts of the country have tried to flatter and induce them to come to their sanitariums, promising to do better by them. In this way the workers--some of them at least--have become uneasy, unsettled, self-sufficient, and unreliable, even if they did not disconnect with the sanitarium, because they felt there were openings for them elsewhere. Those who are just beginning to practice have felt ready to take large responsibilities which it would be unsafe to trust in their hands, because they have not proved faithful in that which is least.
Now we wish all to look at this matter from a Christian standpoint. These tests reveal the true material that goes to make up the character. There is in the Decalogue a commandment that says, "Thou shalt not steal." This commandment covers just such acts as these. Some have stolen the help that others have had the burden of bringing up and training for their own work. Any
underhanded scheme, any influence brought to bear to try to secure help that others have engaged and trained, is nothing less than downright stealing.
There is another commandment that says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." There has been tampering with the help that has been secured and depended upon to do a certain kind of labor; efforts have been made to demerit the plans and find fault with the management of those who are conducting the institution. The course of the management has been questioned as regards those whose services they desired to secure. Their vanity has been flattered and insinuations made that they are not advanced as rapidly as they should be, they ought to be in more responsible positions.
The very gravest difficulty that the physicians and managers of our institutions have to meet is that men and women who have been led up step by step, educated and trained to fill positions of trust, have become self-inflated, self-sufficient, and placed altogether too high an estimate upon their own capabilities. If they have been entrusted with two talents, they feel perfectly capable of handling five. If they had wisely and judiciously used the two talents, coming up with faithfulness in the little things entrusted to them, thorough in everything they undertook, then they would be qualified to handle larger responsibilities. If they could climb every step of the ladder, round after round, showing faithfulness in that which is least, it would be an evidence that they were fitted to bear heavier burdens, and would be faithful in much. But many care only to skim the surface. They do not think deep, and become master of their duties. They feel ready to grasp the highest round of the ladder without the trouble of climbing up step after step. We are pained
at heart as we compare the work coming forth from their hands with God's righteous standard of faithfulness which God alone can accept. There is a painful defect, a remissness, a superficial gloss, a wanting in solidity and in intelligent knowledge and carefulness and thoroughness. God cannot say to such, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things." Matthew 25:21.
Men must get hold conscientiously and feel that they are doing the work of God. They must have the trust in their heart to correct all the sophistries and delusions of Satan that would throw them off the right track, so that they will not choose the way of the Lord, but follow the impulses of their own undisciplined characters. If the heart is sanctified and guided by the Holy Spirit, they will run no risks, but will be sure in all they undertake to do good work for Jesus; and in doing their work righteously they are standing securely in this life with a fast hold from above, and they will be guided into every good and holy way. They will be constant to principle. They will do their work, not to secure a great name or great wages, not for the purpose of weaving self into all their works, and of appearing to be somebody in the world, but to be right in everything in the sight of God. They will not be half as anxious to do a big work as to do whatever they have to do with fidelity and with an eye single to the glory of God. Such men are great in the sight of God. Such names are registered in the Lamb's book of life as the faithful servants of the most high God. These are the men who are more precious in the sight of God than fine gold, even more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir.
The sanitarium is to be a missionary institution in the fullest sense of the word, and its character in this respect must be preserved or it will not bear upon it the superscription of God. To keep it thus will require godliness of life and character in every worker. The success of this institution must be viewed in the light of God's word. True success will bear the heavenly credentials. The workers for God will rejoice in the Lord, and at the same time be dissatisfied with their own efforts. The moment of rejoicing in the Lord because of success will be the moment of self-abasement because of what has been left undone through neglect and unfaithfulness.
Men who accept a position in any of our health institutions should do so with as full a realization of its responsibilities as possible. The Lord has promised to be a present help in every time of need, and there is no excuse for not doing more real missionary work at the sanitarium. Far better attention should be paid to obtaining a fitness for every duty. Workers should seek to improve, that they may do their work in the best manner possible and with fidelity, so as to meet the approval of God. Opportunities for doing good have always been far in advance of the workers, for they have failed to see and improve them, because the enemy of right doing has had a controlling power over their minds.--Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work, pages 46, 47 (1888).
The temptations by which Christ was beset in the wilderness--appetite, love of the world, and presumption-- are the three great leading allurements by which men are most frequently overcome. The managers of the sanitarium will often be tempted to depart from the principles which should govern such an institution. But they should not vary from the right course to gratify the inclinations or minister to the depraved appetites of wealthy patients or friends. The influence of such a course is only evil. Deviations from the teachings given in the lectures or through the press have a most unfavorable effect upon the influence and morals of the institution and will, to a great extent, counteract all efforts to instruct and reform the victims of depraved appetites and passions and to lead them to Christ, the only safe refuge.
The evil will not end here. The influence affects not only the patients, but the workers as well. When the barriers are once broken down, step after step is taken in the wrong direction. Satan presents flattering worldly prospects to those who will depart from principle and sacrifice integrity and Christian honor to gain the approbation of the ungodly. His efforts are too often successful. He gains the victory where he should meet with repulse and defeat.
Christ resisted Satan in our behalf. We have the example of our Saviour to strengthen our weak purposes and resolves; but notwithstanding this, some will fall by Satan's temptations, and they will not fall alone. Every soul that fails to obtain the victory carries others down through his influence. Those who fail to connect with
God and to receive wisdom and grace to refine and elevate their own lives will be judged for the good they might have done, but failed to perform because they were content with earthliness of mind and friendship with the unsanctified.
All heaven is interested in the salvation of man, and is ready to pour upon him her beneficent gifts, if he will comply with the conditions Christ has made: "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean." 2 Corinthians 6:17.
We are commanded, whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, to do all to the glory of God. How many have conscientiously moved from principle rather than impulse, and obeyed this command to the letter? How many of the youthful disciples in ----- have made God their trust and portion, and have earnestly sought to know and do His will? There are many who are servants of Christ in name, but who are not so in deed. Where religious principle governs, the danger of committing great errors is small; for selfishness, which always blinds and deceives, is subordinate. The sincere desire to do others good so predominates that self is forgotten. To have firm religious principles is an inestimable treasure. It is the purest, highest, and most elevated influence mortals can possess. Such have an anchor. Every act is well considered, lest its effect be injurious to another and lead away from Christ.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 129 (1868).
It is of great importance that the one who is chosen to care for the spiritual interests of patients and helpers be a man of sound judgment and undeviating principle, a man who will have moral influence, who knows how to deal with minds. He should be a person of wisdom and culture, of affection as well as intelligence. He may not be thoroughly efficient in all respects at first; but he should, by earnest thought and the exercise of his abilities, qualify himself for this important work. The greatest wisdom and gentleness are needed to serve in this position acceptably, yet with unbending integrity, for prejudice, bigotry, and error of every form and description must be met.
This place should not be filled by a man who has an irritable temper, a sharp combativeness. Care must be taken that the religion of Christ be not made repulsive by harshness or impatience. The servant of God should seek, by meekness, gentleness, and love, rightly to represent our holy faith. While the cross must never be concealed, he should present also the Saviour's matchless love. The worker must be imbued with the spirit of Jesus, and then the treasures of the soul will be presented in words that will find their way to the hearts of those who hear. The religion of Christ, exemplified in the daily life of His followers, will exert a tenfold greater influence than the most eloquent sermons. . . . If all connected with the sanitarium are correct representatives of the truths of health reform and of our holy faith, they are exerting an influence to mold the minds of their patients. The contrast of erroneous habits with those which are in harmony with the truth of God, has a convicting power.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, pp. 546, 547 (1878).
Those who are placed in charge of the Lord's institutions are in need of much of the strength and grace and keeping power of God, that they shall not walk contrary to the sacred principles of the truth. Many, many are very dull of comprehension in regard to their obligation to preserve the truth in its purity, uncontaminated by one vestige of error. Their danger is in holding the truth in light esteem, thus leaving upon minds the impression that it is of little consequence what we believe, if, by carrying out plans or human devising, we can exalt ourselves before the world as holding a superior position, as occupying the highest seat.
God calls for men whose hearts are as true as steel, and who will stand steadfast in integrity, undaunted by circumstances. He calls for men who will remain separate from the enemies of the truth. He calls for men who will not dare to resort to the arm of flesh by entering into partnership with worldlings in order to secure means for advancing His work--even for the building of institutions. Solomon, by his alliance with unbelievers, secured an abundance of gold and silver, but his prosperity proved his ruin. Men today are no wiser than he, and they are as prone to yield to the influences that caused his downfall. For thousands of years Satan has been gaining an experience in learning how to deceive; and to those who live in this age he comes with almost overwhelming power. Our only safety is found in obedience to God's word, which has been given us as a sure guide and counselor. God's people today are to keep themselves distinct and separate from the world, its spirit, and its influences.
"Come out from among them, and be ye separate." 2 Corinthians 6:17. Shall we hear the voice of God and obey, or shall we make halfway work of the matter and try to serve God and mammon? There is earnest work before each one of us. Right thoughts, pure and holy purposes, do not come to us naturally. We shall have to strive for them. In all our institutions, our publishing houses and colleges and sanitariums, pure and holy principles must take root. If our institutions are what God designs they should be, those connected with them will not pattern after worldly institutions. They will stand as peculiar, governed and controlled by the Bible standard. They will not come into harmony with the principles of the world in order to gain patronage. No motives will have sufficient force to move them from the straight line of duty. Those who are under the control of the Spirit of God will not seek their own pleasure or amusement. If Christ presides in the hearts of the members of His church, they will answer to the call, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate." "Be not partakers of her sins." Revelation 18:4.
In their conduct toward the patients, all should be actuated by higher motives than selfish interest. Everyone should feel that this institution is one of God's instrumentalities to relieve the disease of the body and point the sin-sick soul to Him who can heal both soul and body. In addition to the performance of the special duties assigned them, all should have an interest for the welfare of others. Selfishness is contrary to the spirit of Christianity.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 564 (1881).
We should be careful that we connect with all our sanitariums those who will give a right mold to the work. Characters are to be formed here after the divine similitude. It is not the expensive dress that will give us influence, but it is by true Christian humility that we shall exalt our Saviour. Our only hope for success in doing good to the people of the world who come to our sanitariums as guests, is for the workers, each and every one, to maintain a living connection with God. The dress of sanitarium helpers is to be modest and neat, but the dress is not so important as the deportment. The matter of greatest consequence is that the truth be lived out in our lives, that our words be in harmony with the faith we profess to hold. If the workers in our sanitariums will surrender to God, and take a high position as believers in the truth, the Lord will recognize this, and we shall see a great work done in these institutions.
It is not the wisest course to connect with our sanitariums too many who are inexperienced, who come as learners, while there is a lack of experienced, efficient workers. We need more matronly women, and men who are sound and solid in principle--substantial men who fear God and who can carry responsibilities wisely. Some may come and offer to work for small wages, because they enjoy being at a sanitarium, or because they wish to learn; but it is not true economy to supply an institution largely with inexperienced helpers.
If the right persons are connected with the work, and
if all will humble their hearts before God, although there may now be a heavy debt resting upon the institution, the Lord will work in such a way that the debt will be lessened, and souls will be converted to the truth, because they see that the workers are following in the way of the Lord, and keeping His commandments. This is the only hope for the prosperity of our sanitariums. It is useless to think of any other way. We cannot expect the blessing of God to rest upon us, if we serve God at will, and let Him alone at pleasure.
It is not necessary that we should cater to the world's demands for pleasure. There are other places in the world where people may find amusement. We need at our sanitariums substantial men and women; we need those who will reveal the simplicity of true godliness. When the sick come to our institutions, they should be made to realize that there is a divine power at work, that angels of God are present.
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.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 75 (1902).
The guardians of the institution must ever maintain a high standard and carefully watch over the youth entrusted to them by parents as learners or helpers in the various departments. When young men and women work together a sympathy is created among them which frequently grows into sentimentalism. If the guardians are indifferent to this, lasting injury may be done to these souls and the high moral tone of the institution will be compromised. If any, patients or helpers, continue their familiarity by deception after having had judicious instruction, they should not be retained in the institution, for their influence will affect those who are innocent and unsuspecting. Young girls will lose their maidenly modesty and be led to act deceptively because their affections have become entangled. . . .
The young should be taught to be frank, yet modest, in their associations. They should be taught to respect just rules and authority. If they refuse to do this, let them be dismissed, no matter what position they occupy, for they will demoralize others. The forwardness of young girls in placing themselves in the company of young men, lingering around where they are at work, entering into conversation with them, talking common, idle talk, is belittling to womanhood. It lowers them, even in the estimation of those who themselves indulge in such things. . . .
Let not those who profess the religion of Christ descend to trifling conversation, to unbecoming familiarity with women of any class, whether married of single. Let them keep their proper places with all dignity. At the same
time they should be sociable, kind, and courteous to all. Young ladies should be reserved and modest. They should give no occasion for their good to be evil spoken of. . . . Those who give evidence that their thoughts run in a low channel, whose conversation tends to corrupt rather than to elevate, should be removed at once from any connection with the institution, for they will surely demoralize others.
Ever bear in mind that our health institutions are missionary fields. . . . Will you excuse levity and careless acts by saying that it was the result of thoughtlessness on your part? Is it not the duty of the Christian to think soberly? If Jesus is enthroned in the heart, will the thoughts be running riot? . . .
Moral purity, self-respect, a strong power of resistance, must be firmly and constantly cherished. There should not be one departure from reserve. One act of familiarity, one indiscretion, may jeopardize the soul, by opening the door to temptation and thus weakening the power of resistance.
We need a constant sense of the ennobling power of pure thoughts. The only security for any soul is right thinking. As a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he." The power of self-restraint strengthens by exercise. That which at first seems difficult, by constant repetition grows easy, until right thoughts and actions become habitual. If we will, we may turn away from all that is cheap and inferior, and rise to a higher standard; we may be respected by men, and beloved of God.--The Ministry of Healing, page 491 (1905).
Those visiting our institutions and seeing where work is not done to the best advantage, should, if they have had larger experience, and know of a more successful way to manage, counsel with those who are in trust and seek to help them to see the right way of action. Those who fail to do this neglect their duty, and are unfaithful to their God-given responsibility. Such an one, if he goes from that institution without saying anything to the proper persons and states to parties not connected with it that he saw failures in the management there, that he saw places where expense was incurred without benefiting the institution, has failed to manifest a Christian spirit and has been unfaithful to his brethren and to God. The Lord would have him diffuse light, if he has it to give; and if he has not a well-regulated plan to suggest, he does wrong to tell others of the mistakes which he has seen. If he fails to give the workers the benefit of his supposed superior wisdom, if he only finds fault without telling, in a right spirit, how to improve, he not only injures the reputation of the institution, but of the workers, who may be acting according to the very best light they have.
These things need to be carefully considered. Let every man and woman inquire, "On whose side am I? Am I working to build up or to tear down one of God's instrumentalities?"
One thing makes me feel very sad, and that is that there is not always harmony among the workers in our institutions. I have thought, Is it possible that there is anyone who will find fault with those connected with
them in the work? Is there anyone who will suggest to patients or to visitors or fellow workers that there are many things which ought to be done that are not done, and many other things which are not done right? If they do this, they are not doing the work of Christians.
Men who have been appointed to different positions of trust are to be respected. We do not expect to find men who are perfect in every respect. They may be seeking for perfection of character, but they are finite and liable to err. Those who are engaged in our institutions should feel it their duty jealously to guard both the work and the workers from unjust criticism. They should not readily accept or speak words of censure against any who are connected with the work of God, for in thus doing God Himself may be reproached and the work that He is doing through instrumentalities may be greatly hindered. The wheels of progress may be blocked when God says "Go forward."
It is a great evil, and one which exists among our people to a great extent, to give loose rein to the thoughts, to question and criticize everything another does, making mountains out of molehills, and thinking their own ways are right, whereas, if they were in the same place as their brother, they might not do half as well as he does. It is just as natural for some to find fault with what another does as it is for them to breathe. They have formed the habit of criticizing others, when they themselves are the ones who should be brought severely to task and their wicked speeches and hard feelings be burned out of their souls by the purifying fire of God's love. . . .
A person who will allow any degree of suspicion or censure to rest upon his fellow workers, while he neither rebukes the complainers nor faithfully presents the matter
before the one condemned, is doing the work of the enemy. He is watering the seeds of discord and of strife, the fruit of which he will have to meet in the day of God. . . .
This disrespect for others, this disregard for right and justice, is not a rare thing. It is found to a greater or less extent in all our institutions. If one makes a mistake, there are some who make it their business to talk about it until it grows to large proportions. Instead of this, there should be in all engaged in our institutions a sacred principle to guard the interest and reputation of everyone with whom they are associated, even as they would wish their own reputation guarded.
The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not iniquitous life of the abandoned sinner or the degraded outcast; it is that life which otherwise appears virtuous, honorable, and noble, but in which one sin is fostered, one vice indulged. To the soul that is struggling in secret against some giant temptation, trembling upon the very verge of the precipice, such an example is one of the most powerful enticements to sin. He who, endowed with high conceptions of life and truth and honor, does yet willfully transgress one precept of God's holy law, has perverted his noble gifts into a lure to sin. Genius, talent, sympathy, even generous and kindly deeds, may become decoys of Satan to entice other souls over the precipice of ruin for this life and the life to come.--Mount of Blessing, pages 94, 95 (1896).
Last night I had a wonderful experience. I was in an assembly where questions were being asked and answered. I awoke at one o'clock and arose. For a time I walked the room, praying most earnestly for clearness of mind, for strength of eyesight, and for strength to write the things that must be written. I entreated the Lord to help me to bear a testimony that would awake His people before it is forever too late. . . .
My soul was drawn out in the consideration of matters relating to the future carrying forward of God's work. Those who have had little experience in the beginning of the work often err in judgment in regard to how it should be advanced. They are tempted on many points. They think that it would be better if the talented workers had higher wages, according to the importance of the work they do.
But one of authority stood among us in the assembly in which I was present last night and spoke words that must decide the question. He said: "Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith, trace His work after He assumed humanity, and remember that He is your pattern. In the work of soul saving, His divine-human life in our world is to be your guide. He made the world, yet when He lived on this earth He had not where to lay His head."
Were the most talented workers given higher wages, those who do the more laborious part of the work would desire larger wages also, and would say that their work is just as essential as any work that is done.
Work is to be carried forward in many lines. New
territory is to be annexed. But no Jerusalem-centers are to be made. If such centers are made, there will be a scattering of the people out of them, by the Lord God of heaven.
The work of God is to be carried on without outward display. In establishing institutions, we are never to compete with the institutions of the world in size or splendor. We are to enter into no confederacy with those who do not love or fear God. Those who have not the light of present truth, who are unable to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible, are surrounded by spiritual darkness that is as the darkness of midnight. Within, all is dreariness. They know not the meaning of joy in the Lord. They take no interest in eternal realities. Their attention is engrossed by the trifling things of earth. They make haste unto vanity, striving by unfair means to obtain advantages. Having forsaken God, the fountain of living waters, they hew out for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water. Let it not be thus with those who have tasted the power of the world to come.
Sow the seeds of truth wherever you have opportunity. In establishing the work in new places, economize in every possible way. Gather up the fragments; let nothing be lost. . . .
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 they have yet been. The work for these last days is a missionary work. 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 step of advance. The workers are to come forth from trial purified and refined, as gold tried in the fire.
It is well that our training schools for Christian workers should be established near to our health institutions, that the students may be educated in the principles of healthful living. Institutions that send forth workers who are able to give a reason for their faith, and who have a faith which works by love and purifies the soul, are of great value. I have clear instruction that, wherever it is possible, schools should be established near to our sanitariums, that each institution may be a help and strength to the other. He who created man has an interest in those who suffer. He has directed in the establishment of our sanitariums and in the building up of our schools close to our sanitariums, that they may become efficient mediums in training men and women for the work of ministering to suffering humanity.
Let Seventh-day Adventist medical workers remember that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Christ was the greatest Physician that ever trod this sin-cursed earth. The Lord would have His people come to Him for their power of healing. He will baptize them with His Holy Spirit and fit them for service that will make them a blessing in restoring the spiritual and physical health of those who need healing. . . .
The Lord would have the workers make special efforts to point the sick and suffering to the Great Physician who made the human body.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 178 (1909).
I did not suppose that it would be so long before I fulfilled my promise to write to you. I have been thinking of the question that was agitating your mind in regard to wages. You suggest that if we paid higher wages, we could secure men of ability to fill important positions of trust. This might be so, but I should very much regret to see our workers held to our work by the wages they receive. There are needed in the cause of God workers who will make a covenant with Him by sacrifice, who will labor for the love of souls, not for the wages they receive.
Your sentiment regarding wages, my much-respected brother, is the language of the world. Service is service, and one kind of work is as essential as the other. To every man is given his work. There is stern, taxing labor to be performed, labor involving disagreeable taxation and requiring skill and tact. In the work of God, the physical as well as the mental powers are drawn upon, and both are essential. One is as necessary as the other. Should we attempt to draw a line between mental and physical work, we would place ourselves in very difficult positions.
The experiment of giving men high wages has been tried in the publishing institutions. Some men have grasped high wages, while others, doing work just as severe and taxing, have had barely enough to sustain their families. Yet their taxation was just as great, and often men have been overworked and overwearied, while others, bearing not half the burdens, received double the wages. The Lord sees all these things, and He will surely call
men to account; for He is a God of justice and equity.
Those who have a knowledge of the truth for this time should be pure and clean and noble in all their business transactions. None among God's servants should hunger and thirst for the highest place as director or manager. Such positions are fraught with great temptation.
Our nurses are encouraged to pledge themselves to work for certain parties for a certain sum. They bind themselves to serve thus and so, and afterward they are dissatisfied. It is necessary that more equality be shown in dealing with our nurses. There are among us intelligent, conscientious nurses, who work faithfully and at all times. It is nurses such as these that we need, and they should receive better wages, so that should they fall sick, they would have money enough laid by to enable them to have a rest and a change. Then again, often the parents of these nurses practice great self-denial to make it possible for their children to take the nurses' course. It is only right that when these children have received their education, they should be given sufficient remuneration to enable them to help their parents, should they need help.
Those whose hands are open to respond to the calls for means to sustain the cause of God and to relieve the suffering and the needy, are not the ones who are found loose and lax and dilatory in their business management. They are always careful to keep their outgoes within their income. They are economical from principle; they feel it their duty to save, that they may have something to give. --Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 573 (1881).
God does not want His work to be continually embarrassed with debt. When it seems desirable to add to the buildings or other facilities of an institution, beware of going beyond your means. Better to defer the improvements until Providence shall open the way for them to be made without contracting heavy debts and having to pay interest.
The publishing houses have been made places of deposit by our people and have thus been enabled to furnish means to support branches of the work in different fields and have aided in carrying other enterprises. This is well. None too much has been done in these lines. The Lord sees it all. But, from the light He has given me, every effort should be made to stand free from debt.
The publishing work was founded in self-denial and should be conducted upon strictly economical principles. The question of finance can be managed, if, when there is a pressure for means, the workers will consent to a reduction in wages. This was the principle the Lord revealed to me to be brought into our institutions. When money is scarce, we should be willing to restrict our wants.
Let the proper estimate be placed upon the publications, and then let all in our publishing houses study to economize in every possible way, even though considerable inconvenience is thus caused. Watch the little outgoes. Stop every leak. It is the little losses that tell heavily in the end. Gather up the fragments; let nothing be lost. Waste not the minutes in talking; wasted minutes mar
the hours. Persevering diligence, working in faith, will always be crowned with success.
Some think it beneath their dignity to look after small things. They think it the evidence of a narrow mind and a niggardly spirit. But small leaks have sunk many a ship. Nothing that would serve the purpose of any should be allowed to waste. A lack of economy will surely bring debt upon our institutions. Although much money may be received, it will be lost in the little wastes of every branch of the work. Economy is not stinginess.
Every man or woman employed in the publishing house should be a faithful sentinel, watching that nothing be wasted. All should guard against supposed wants that require an expenditure of means. Some men live better on four hundred dollars a year than others do on eight hundred. Just so it is with our institutions; some persons can manage them with far less capital than others can. God desires all the workers to practice economy, and especially to be faithful accountants.
Every worker in our institutions should receive fair compensation. If the workers receive suitable wages, they have the gratification of making donations to the cause. It is not right that some should receive a large amount, and others, who are doing essential and faithful work, very little.
Yet there are cases where a difference must be made. There are men connected with the publishing houses who carry heavy responsibilities, and whose work is of great value to the institution. In many other positions they would have far less care, and, financially, much greater profit. All can see the injustice of paying such men no higher wages than are paid to mere mechanical workers.
If a woman is appointed by the Lord to do a certain
work, her work should be estimated according to its value. Some may think it good policy to allow persons to devote their time and labor to the work without compensation. But God does not sanction such arrangements. When self-denial is required because of a dearth of means, the burden is not to rest wholly upon a few persons. Let all unite in the sacrifice.
The Lord desires those entrusted with His goods to show kindness and liberality, not niggardliness. Let them not, in their deal, try to exact every cent possible. God looks with contempt on such methods. . . .
The Lord wants men who see the work in its greatness, and who understand the principles that have been interwoven with it from its rise. He will not have a worldly order of things come in to fashion the work in altogether different lines from those He has marked out of His people. The work must bear the character of its Originator.
In the sacrifice of Christ for fallen men, mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. When these attributes are separated from the most wonderful and apparently successful work, there is nothing to it.
God has not singled out a few men for His favor, and left others uncared for. He will not lift up one, and cast down and oppress another. All who are truly converted will manifest the same spirit. They will treat their fellow men as they would treat Christ. No one will ignore the rights of another.
God's servants should have so great respect for the sacred work they are handling that they will not bring into it one vestige of selfishness.
No man should be granted an exorbitant salary, even though he may possess special capabilities and qualifications. The work done for God and His cause is not to be placed on a mercenary basis. The workers in the publishing house have no more taxing labor, no greater expense, no more weighty responsibilities, than have the workers in other lines. Their labor is no more wearing than is that of the faithful minister. On the contrary, ministers, as a rule, make greater sacrifices than are made by the laborers in our institutions. Ministers go where they are sent; they are minutemen, ready to move at any moment, to meet any emergency. They are necessarily separated, to a great degree, from their families. The workers in the publishing houses, as a rule, have a permanent home and can live with their families. This is a great saving of expense and should be considered in its bearing on the relative compensation of laborers in the ministry and in publishing houses.
Those who labor wholeheartedly in the Lord's vineyard, working to the utmost of their ability, are not the ones to set the highest estimate on their own services. Instead of swelling with pride and self-importance, and measuring with exactness every hour's work, they compare their efforts with the Saviour's work and account themselves unprofitable servants.
Brethren, do not study how little you may do, in order to reach the very lowest standard, but arouse to grasp the fullness of Christ, that you may do much for Him.-- Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, pp. 208, 209 (1902).
As God's agencies we are to have hearts of flesh, full of the charity that prompts us to be helpful to those more needy than ourselves. If we see our brethren and sisters struggling under poverty and debt, if we see churches that are in need of financial aid, we should manifest an unselfish interest in them and help them in proportion as God has prospered us. If you who have charge of an institution see other institutions bravely struggling for standing room, so that they may do a work similar to the work of the institutions with which you are connected, do not be jealous.
Do not seek to push a working force out of existence and to exalt yourself in conscious superiority. Rather curtail some of your large plans and help those who are struggling. Aid them in carrying out some of their plans to increase their facilities. Do not use every dollar in enlarging your facilities and increasing your responsibilities. Reserve part of your means for establishing in other places health institutions and schools. You will need great wisdom to know just where to place these institutions, so that the people will be the most benefited. All these matters must receive candid consideration.
Those in positions of responsibility will need wisdom from on high in order to deal justly, to love mercy, and to show mercy, not only to a few, but to everyone with whom they come in contact. Christ identifies His interests with those of His people, no matter how poor and needy they may be. Missions must be opened for the colored people, and everyone should seek to do something and to do it now.
There is need that institutions be established in different places, that men and women may be set at work to do their best in the fear of God. No one should lose sight of his mission and work. Everyone should aim to carry forward to a successful issue the work placed in his hands. All our institutions should keep this in mind and strive for success; but at the same time let them remember that their success will increase in proportion as they exercise disinterested liberality, sharing their abundance with institutions that are struggling for a foothold. Our prosperous institutions should help those institutions that God has said should live and prosper, but which are still struggling for an existence. There is among us a very limited amount of real, unselfish love. The Lord says: "Everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us." 1 John 4:7, 8, 12. It is not pleasing to God to see man looking only upon his own things, closing his eyes to the interests of others.
In the providence of God the Battle Creek Sanitarium has been greatly prospered, and during this coming year those in charge should restrict their wants. Instead of doing all that they desire to do in enlarging their facilities, they should do unselfish work for God, reaching out the hand of charity to interests centered in other places. What benefit they could confer upon the Rural Health Retreat, at Saint Helena, by giving a few thousand dollars to this enterprise! Such a donation would give courage to those in charge, inspiring them to move forward and upward.
in its earlier history, and should not this sanitarium consider carefully what it can do for its sister institution on the Pacific Coast? My brethren in Battle Creek, does it not seem in accordance with God's order to restrict your wants, to curtail your building operations, not enlarging our institutions in that center? Why should you not feel that it is your privilege and duty to help those who need help?
I have been instructed that a reformation is needed along these lines, that more liberality should prevail among us. There is constant danger that even Seventh-day Adventists will be overcome with selfish ambition and will desire to center all the means and power in the interests over which they especially preside. There is danger that men will permit a jealous feeling to arise in their hearts and that they will become envious of interests that are as important as those which they are handling. Those who cherish the grace of pure Christianity cannot look with indifference upon any part of the work in the Lord's great vineyard. Those who are truly converted will have an equal interest in the work in all parts of the vineyard and will be ready to help wherever help is needed.
It is selfishness that hinders men from sending help to those places where the work of God is not as prosperous as it is in the institution over which they have supervision. Those who bear responsibilities should carefully seek for the good of every branch of the cause and work of God. They should encourage and sustain the interests in other fields, as well as the interests in their own. Thus the bonds of brotherhood would be strengthened between members of God's family on earth and the door would
be closed to the petty jealousies and heartburnings that position and prosperity are sure to arouse unless the grace of God controls the heart.
"This I say," Paul wrote: "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work;" "being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; and by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 11-15. . . .
The institution is now in a prosperous condition, and its managers should not insist upon the low rate of wages that was necessary in its earlier years. Worthy, efficient workers should receive reasonable wages for their labor, and they should be left to exercise their own judgment as to the use they make of their wages. In no case should they be overworked. The physician in chief himself should have larger wages.
To the physician in chief I wish to say: Although you have not the matter of wages under your personal supervision,
it is best for you to look carefully into this matter; for you are responsible, as the head of the institution. Do not call upon the workers to do so much of the sacrificing. Restrict your ambition to enlarge the institution and to accumulate responsibilities. Let some of the means flowing into the sanitarium be given to the institutions needing help. This is certainly right. It is in accordance with God's will and way, and it will bring the blessing of God upon the sanitarium.
I wish to say particularly to the board of directors: "Remember that the workers should be paid according to their faithfulness. God requires us to deal with one another in the strictest faithfulness. Some of you are overburdened with cares and responsibilities, and I have been instructed that there is danger of your becoming selfish and wronging those whom you employ."
Each business transaction, whether it has to do with a worker occupying a position of responsibility, or with the lowliest worker connected with the sanitarium, should be such as God can approve. Walk in the light while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you. It would be far better to expend less in building and give your workers wages that are in accordance with the value of their work, exercising toward them mercy and justice.
From the light that the Lord has been pleased to give me, I know that He is not pleased with many things which have taken place in reference to the workers. God has not laid every particular open to me, but warnings have come that in many things decided reformation is needed. I have been shown that there is need of fathers and mothers in Israel being united with the institution. Devoted men and women should be employed who, because they are not continually pressed with cares and
responsibilities, can look after the spiritual interests of the employees. It is necessary that such men and women should be constantly at work in missionary lines in this large institution. Not half is being done that should be done in this respect. It should be the part of these men and women to labor for the employees in spiritual lines, giving them instruction that will teach them how to win souls, showing them that this is to be done, not by much talking, but by a consistent, Christlike life. The workers are exposed to worldly influences, but instead of being molded by these influences, they should be consecrated missionaries, controlled by an influence that elevates and refines. Thus they will learn how to meet unbelievers, and how to exert an influence that will win them to Christ.
Cooranbong, N.S.W., August 28, 1895.
God has a work for every believer who labors in the sanitarium. Every nurse is to be a channel of blessing, receiving light from above and letting it shine forth to others. The workers are not to conform to fashionable display of those who come to the sanitarium for treatment, but are to consecrate themselves to God. The atmosphere that surrounds their souls is to be a savor of life unto life. Temptations will beset them on every side, but let them ask God for His presence and guidance. The Lord said to Moses: "Certainly I will be with thee;" and to every faithful, consecrated worker the same assurance is given.
Have you learned how much Dr. ------- proposes to charge for his services? If a physician does his work skillfully, his talent should be recognized, but there is danger of our being brought into perplexity. If we introduce a new system of paying our surgeons high wages, there may be a hard problem to settle after a time. Other physicians will demand high wages, and our ministers will require consideration, also....
There is great necessity for decided reforms to be made in regard to our dealings with the workers in our sanitariums. Faithful, conscientious workers should be employed, and when they have performed a reasonable amount of work in a day they should be relieved that they may secure needed rest.
Only a reasonable amount of labor should be required, and for this the worker should receive a reasonable wage. If helpers are not given proper periods for rest from their taxing labor they will lose their strength and vitality. They cannot possibly do justice to the work, nor can they represent what a sanitarium employee should be. More helpers should be employed, if necessary, and the work should be so arranged that when one has performed a day's labor he may be freed to take the rest necessary to the maintenance of his strength.
Let no man consider it his place to judge of the amount of labor a woman should perform. A competent woman should be employed as matron, and if anyone does not perform her work faithfully, the matron should deal with the matter. Just wages should be paid, and every
woman should be treated kindly and courteously, without reproach.
And let those who have charge of the men's work be careful lest they be too exacting. The men should have regular hours for service, and when they have worked full time, they are not to be begrudged their periods of rest. A sanitarium is to be all that the name indicates.
Every worker should seek to educate himself to perform his work expeditiously. The matron should teach those under her charge how to make quick, careful movements. Train the young to perform the work with tact and thoroughness. Then when the hours of work are over, all will feel that the time has been faithfully spent and the workers are rightfully entitled to a period of rest.
Educational advantages should be provided for the workers in every sanitarium. The workers should be given every possible advantage consistent with the work assigned them.
Workers should receive compensation according to the hours they give in honest labor. The one who gives full time is to receive according to the time. If one enlists mind, soul, and strength in bearing the burdens, he is to be paid accordingly.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 208 (1902).
At one time you made the suggestion that if the managers of our institutions offered higher wages, they would secure a higher class of workmen and thus a higher grade of work. My brother, such reasoning is not in harmony with the Lord's plans. We are all His servants. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price and we are to glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are His. This is a lesson that we need to learn. We need the discipline so essential to the development of completeness of Christian character.
Our institutions are to be entirely under the supervision of God. They were established in sacrifice, and only in sacrifice can their work be successfully carried forward.
Upon all who are engaged in the Lord's work rests the responsibility of fulfilling the commission: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19, 20.
Christ Himself has given us an example of how we are to work. Read the fourth chapter of Matthew, and learn what methods Christ, the Prince of life, followed in His teaching. "Leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the seacoast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way
of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." Matthew 4:13-16.
"And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him. And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him." Matthew 4:18-22.
These humble fishermen were Christ's first disciples. He did not say that they were to receive a certain sum for their services. They were to share with Him His self-denial and sacrifices.
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them." Matthew 4:23, 24.
In every sense of the word Christ was a medical missionary. He came to this world to preach the gospel and to heal the sick. He came as a healer of the bodies as well as the souls of human beings. His message was that obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God would bring men and women health and prosperity....
Christ might have occupied the highest place among the highest teachers of the Jewish nation. But He chose rather to take the gospel to the poor. He went from place to place, that those in the highways and byways might catch the words of the gospel of truth. He labored in the way in which He desires His workers to labor today. By the sea, on the mountainside, in the streets of the city, His voice was heard, explaining the Old Testament Scriptures. So unlike the explanation of the scribes and Pharisees was His explanation that the attention of the people was arrested. He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes. With clearness and power He proclaimed the gospel message.
Never was there such an evangelist as Christ. He was the Majesty of heaven, but He humbled Himself to take our nature that He might meet men where they were. To all people, rich and poor, free and bond, Christ, the Messenger of the Covenant, brought the tidings of salvation. How the people flocked to Him! From far and near they came for healing, and He healed them all. His fame as the Great Healer spread throughout Palestine, from Jerusalem to Syria. The sick came to the places through which they thought He would pass, that they might call on Him for help, and He healed them of their diseases. Hither, too, came the rich, anxious to hear His words and to receive a touch of His hand. Thus He went from city to city, from town to town, preaching the gospel and healing the sick--the King of glory in the lowly garb of humanity. "Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye, through His poverty might be rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9.
In the establishment and carrying forward of the work, the strictest economy is ever to be shown. Workers are to be employed who will be producers as well as consumers. In no case is money to be invested for display. The gospel medical missionary work is to be carried forward in simplicity, as was the work of the Majesty of heaven, who, seeing the necessity of a lost, sinful world, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might stand at the head of humanity. He so conducted His missionary work as to leave a perfect example for human beings to follow. "If any man will come after Me," He declared, "let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24. Every true medical missionary will obey these words. He will not strain every nerve to follow worldly customs and make a display, thus thinking to win souls to the Saviour. No, no. If the Majesty of heaven could leave His glorious home to come to a world all seared and marred by the curse, to establish correct methods of doing medical missionary work, we His followers ought to practice the same self-denial and self-sacrifice.
Christ gives to all the invitation: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30. If all will wear Christ's yoke, if all will learn in His school the lessons that He teaches, there will be sufficient means to establish gospel medical missionary work in many places.
Let none say, "I will engage in this work for a stipulated sum. If I do not receive this sum, I will not do the work." Those who say this show that they are not wearing Christ's yoke; they are not learning His meekness and lowliness. Christ might have come to this world with a retinue of angels, but instead He came as a babe and lived a life of lowliness and poverty. His glory was in His simplicity. He suffered for us the privations of poverty. Shall we refuse to deny ourselves for His sake? Shall we refuse to become medical missionary workers unless we can follow the customs of the world, making a display such as worldlings make? ...
My brother, my sister, take up your work right where you are. Do your best, ever looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. In no other way can we do the work of God and magnify His truth than by following in the footsteps of Him who gave up His high command to come to our world, that through His humiliation and suffering, human beings might become partakers of the divine nature. For our sake He became poor, that through His poverty we might come into possession of the eternal riches....
Intelligent, self-denying, self-sacrificing men are now needed--men who realize the solemnity and importance of God's work, and who as Christian philanthropists will fulfill the commission of Christ. The medical missionary work given us to do means something to every one of us. It is a work of soul saving; it is the proclamation of the gospel message.