Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Ms 23a, 1887

Investing Means in Building Sanitariums

Battle Creek, Michigan


Variant of Ms 23, 1887. Previously unpublished..

I have received letters from different states, making inquiry in regard to the wisdom of investing means in building sanitariums in which the sick may be treated and where they may be under a religious influence. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 1

I would say that if sanitariums can be built in various places, this is the best thing that can be done, if those placed in charge of these institutions are men who will use wisdom in their work. They must not be men who will present to the patients subjects which will cause a disturbance in the mind. They must pray with the sick, leading the afflicted ones to look to Jesus Christ as the physician of the soul as well as of the body. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 2

It has been stated that there are monied men who are willing to invest their means in sanitariums, but who would not be willing to donate toward home or foreign missions. I am made sorry when I hear such statements as this. It seems to me that those who make them are not seeking counsel from God or from their brethren. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 3

Money is lent to man on trust, and as a faithful steward he is to use his entrusted means, not as his fancy may dictate, but where the necessity is the greatest. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 4

We have just come from Europe, where we have been laboring for two years. We saw there on every side fields which needed to be entered and worked. The people were softened and subdued by the Spirit of God and were longing for spiritual food. From all parts of the world, calls came constantly from those who were longing for a better knowledge of the Scriptures. They called for books and papers and for the living preacher. All was done for them that could be done. We knew that nothing more could be done unless hearts were awakened to see the necessity of the work and the need of means to be used in sending those calling for help, not only books, but the living preacher. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 5

Why should those who are stewards of means have no interest to send missionaries to fields which are white for the harvest? The steward is not the owner of the means he has. Why should he not be willing to support those who can go forth to fulfil the commission Christ gave His disciples when He told them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature? Christ died for the world, and there is much work to be done in His vineyard, not merely in one place, but in many places. The means for the advancement of this work is to be used with equality and impartiality. Men are not to expend much money in one part of the vineyard, refusing to see the necessities of other parts of the vineyard. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 6

There are those who do much in one portion of the field, while they utterly ignore the entreaties and appeals for help which come from other parts of the field. Such men may give abundantly and may gain the reputation of being very liberal. But their work is done to receive the praise of men. Their actions reveal a selfish ambition, a desire to do as they please, irrespective of the great necessity of the work. God holds them guilty of lavishly providing one place with facilities, while depriving other places of the facilities needed in order to honor the Lord. He holds them accountable for not helping to erect memorials for Him in the fields which should be added to His kingdom. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 7

Wherever schools, sanitariums, or publishing houses are established, wise managers must be provided for these institutions—managers who will use their talents in doing the very best work they can in various lines. They should be not merely men of business ability, but men who are worked and molded by the Holy Spirit. This is a matter that requires thorough investigation. If those placed in charge are walking humbly with God, they will enter upon their work with unselfish ideas and the purest motives. They will counsel with God and with men who have given evidence that they are men of prayer and self-control. In their work they should never lose sight of those parts of the field which are in need of the same facilities which they have. They must remember that every part of the field is linked with every other part as different parts united to the great whole. In all their planning, they must remember that unity must be preserved. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 8

God requires His stewards, before entering upon an enterprise, to sit down and count the cost, that they may be sure that they will not absorb so much means that other parts of the field will be deprived of the facilities necessary to sustain the work. The Lord will not approve of selfishness in any part of His service. He is a God of impartiality and strict equity; and selfishness misrepresents Him. Let us never forget to consider our plans carefully, in order that we may not absorb so much that our neighbors will be hedged about in their work. God’s workers are to keep their fellow workers in view. They are never to gather to themselves all the money and facilities so that those working beside them will not have opportunity to use their talents and ability for the Master. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 9

It is God’s design that His institutions shall be a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. But have those engaged in the work looked to God for light and wisdom? Have they remembered that Christ died for the world? Have they studied how to invest means so that plants that will produce abiding fruit may be set out in different parts of the world? God has placed money in the hands of His stewards to be used unselfishly in fulfilment of the command to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. The work cannot be advanced unless men bind about their selfish plans, which would help only themselves and the place in which they are working. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 10

There are those claiming to be doing a very benevolent work who are using in their own part of the field donations which the Lord would have used in other parts of His moral vineyard to keep a much larger number at work in unfurling the banner of truth and feeding the hungry souls with the bread of life. God desires that an intelligent knowledge of His Word shall be extended into new territories, that men and women now in the darkness of error may eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 11

No man will be sustained by God in gathering up all the means He can to create large interests in one place, while His work in other parts of the world is languishing for the want of resources to impart the truth. He desires to see souls converted to the truth and organized into churches. The work is to be made a living, breathing, vital power all over the world. God wants the churches to be faithful in working to build up His cause, in doing their part to carry the truth to all parts of the world. Men are not to absorb money as they please. They are to look to the Lord and to the fields that are white unto the harvest. They are the use the means entrusted to them in accordance with the principles of the law of God. 5LtMs, Ms 23a, 1887, par. 12