Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 6a, 1890

Managers of the Health Institution at Crystal Springs, St. Helena, California

Healdsburg, California

April 1890

Portions of this letter are published in MM 144-147, 193-194, 205-206, 217, 259-260; TSB 16, 145-147; VSS 422; 8MR 382-383. +Note

To the Managers of the Health Institution at Crystal Springs:

The Health Retreat is not what it might be. It does not reach the position that God would have it occupy. He has made every provision that it may reach a high standard, that those who are employed in it may possess Christian virtues and graces, and that the institution may attain to larger growth and wider influences. But those connected with the Retreat are not all devout and spiritual. They do not live in communion with God, earnestly seeking by faith and fervent prayer to know His will and to do it. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 1

The Health Retreat is a missionary institution. The Lord designed that it should be a power for good; and if all who are connected with it are consecrated, and if they are meek and lowly in heart, Christ will give them most precious lessons in His school. All should work to carry out the purpose of God, and everything connected with the institution should tend toward reform. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 2

The managers and helpers in all our health institutions should have the true missionary spirit, for they are in a field which requires the highest kind of missionary work. Do not let your patients return to their homes poorly instructed; but educate them in the principles of health, so that they can be qualified to teach others, and to exert an influence over their acquaintances which will draw them away from the demoralizing fashions and the health destroying practices of this degenerate age. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 3

A responsibility to spread the knowledge of hygienic principles rests upon all who have enjoyed the benefits of health reform. This responsibility should be felt by every man and woman who claims to be a Seventh-day Adventist, and much more by those who are connected with our health institutes. All should realize that this is an important part of the Lord’s great vineyard. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 4

Let it be the aim of all at the Retreat to be laborers together with God in the uplifting of humanity. Let them feel a personal responsibility to send forth educated men and women, who shall exercise a direct and saving influence in the homes, the communities, and the churches to which they may go. This would be the very best advertisement that any of our institutions could have. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 5

Wisdom is needed in the selection of superintendent, or physicians, nurses, and workers in the bath-room. The superintendent should be a man who loves and fears God. He should sacredly guard his reputation. He should not be a man of one idea. One who is cold and unapproachable, critical, exacting, and domineering is not fitted for this position; nor is one who will cherish suspicion, jealousy, passion, or stubbornness. If one cannot rule his own spirit, how can he rule others? These traits are not pleasing to God, and will not be manifested by men who take Him for their counselor. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 6

The superintendent must train himself to meet the difficulties that are continually arising. He should be quick to discern what needs to be done, and take active measures to accomplish the work; and he should not be afraid to restrain evil, if he does it in the Spirit of Christ. A neglect of this duty shows him to be unfit for his position. God requires a steward to be faithful. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 7

If those who hold positions of trust in the institutions are persons who love and fear God, they will realize that a sacred responsibility is theirs, because of the measure of authority and the consequent influence which their position gives them. They are dealing with human minds, being brought into connection with all classes of society. They should move discreetly, for they are regarded as representatives of the institution. They should be kind and courteous, ever exercising Christian politeness to all with whom they are brought in contact, both believers and unbelievers. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 8

Brethren, you should watch for souls as they that must give an account. We should never forget that Jesus, in the infinite sacrifice He has made for them, has proved His love for these men, women, and children, and shown what value He sets upon them. They are the purchase of His blood. The rich and the poor are to be treated alike, with unvarying kindness. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 9

Let your influence be persuasive, binding people to your heart because you love Jesus and they are His. This is a great work. If, by your Christlike words and actions, you make impressions that will kindle in their hearts a hungering and thirsting after righteousness and truth, you are a co-laborer with Christ. Your words and deportment are representing Jesus. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 10

Those who have a leading influence in the institution should be men and women who possess devotion and piety, who are not narrow and selfish, but conscientious, self-denying, and self-sacrificing, who have an eye single to the glory of God. They should be in the world, but not of the world. Men of such a character will keep the way of the Lord, and they will be constantly teaching others by precept and example. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 11

The patients and guests all need to have right principles placed before them. There will be men of investigating minds who will thus receive the key of knowledge and will bring out treasures of thought for the enriching of other minds, thoughts that will be the saving of souls. Circumstances will call forth words, decisions in favor of the right, and many will be swayed in the right direction. Such is ever the result when the principles of right are implanted in minds by men who love righteousness, temperance, and truth. Words and works flowing from the love and fear of God become a wide-spread blessing—a blessing that is carried into the highways and the byways of life. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 12

Men who, like Enoch, [are] walking in the light of Christ, will exercise self-control, even under temptation and provocation. Although tried by the perversity and obstinacy of others, they dare not let impulse bear sway. If you are walking in the light, you will give evidence of divine power combined with human effort, and others will see that you are led and taught by God. You will feel that the Holy Watcher is by your side taking knowledge of your words. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 13

Purity of thought must be cherished as indispensable to the work of influencing others. There must be a pure, holy atmosphere surrounding the soul, an atmosphere that will tend to quicken the spiritual life of all who inhale it. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 14

Both physicians have much to learn. The physician needs constant help from God, in order to do his work with promptness and efficiency. Nothing should divert his time and attention from the suffering sick. I have been shown what a physician should be, wise in judgment and prompt in the execution of his professional duties. The sick should not be compelled to wait when they need advice and relief. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 15

Never should the physician neglect his patients. He should have quick, penetrating judgment and should carry into the sick room a genial atmosphere. He should not be cold, reticent, or hesitating, but should cultivate those qualities which exert a soothing influence over the suffering ones. They want more than looks; they want kind, hopeful words. The doctor should be ready to give them cheerful, reassuring words, words spoken from the heart in wisdom, showing that he understands the cases of those under his care. This will inspire a restfulness and confidence even at the first interview. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 16

The physician should be a man of pure mind. If his principles are uncorrupted, he will exert a telling influence in favor of the right. Physicians need to be constantly imbued with the Spirit of Christ, learning lessons from Him, the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. Then they will be pure in thought, in mind, in action. They will give no hint in word or manner that will lend to impure thoughts. Licentiousness is ruining many souls. Physicians, especially, need to watch and pray that they may not enter into temptation and that they may have that grace which will make them examples of piety and purity. Their work is daily undergoing the close inspection of God, and their record will be accurately traced in the ledger of heaven. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 17

Physicians in our health institutions have many and weighty responsibilities. Their only safety is in keeping their thoughts and impulses under the control of the great Teacher. They have golden opportunities for doing good; they can guide and mold the many and varied minds with which they are brought if contact. They should take a stand for God. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 18

Show men and women connected with the institute how pure and noble they may become. Show them that you have firm confidence in God and that He is your Source of strength, that you are resting wholly upon the promises. Fulfil your duty with promptness, while claiming your heavenly Father’s help to overcome all weakness of character. With the hand of faith grasping the arm of divine power, put your whole being into your work. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 19

The Retreat should be a school where both the youth and those of maturer age may be educated. Lectures and short, interesting talks should be given; thus may be sown the seeds of reform which will spring up and bear fruitful harvest. Ignorance, pride, and intemperance in every form are to be met. Christian temperance must be inculcated, the sinfulness of overeating and overworking should be pointed out. The understanding must be enlightened and the reforms will be intelligently made. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 20

The greatest danger will come to our institutions through physicians, superintendents, and helpers who believe the 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; they have not an eye single to the glory of God. Self is indulged, and their influence stands directly in the way of reforming those who have brought on their sickness by unhealthful practices. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 21

Light has been given showing the injurious effects of tea, coffee, and flesh meats; but this light has been disregarded, even by some who profess to believe the testimonies. They even feel that to deny themselves of these health-destroying indulgences would be a restriction of their liberty. If deprived of their use for a time, they feel the loss, because of former indulgences, and are always pleading to be allowed to use them in some form. Care should be exercised in the case of self-indulgent worldlings who have been accustomed to the use of these stimulants. Enlighten their minds by the means of the talks and the lectures in regard to the effects of tea, coffee, and flesh-meats, and thus lead them to a voluntary correction of their habits. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 22

But so long as the use of tea and coffee is favored by some who are connected with the institute, there will be a demand for these articles, on the part of the patients. How can the physician, or any one else, treat this matter as it is, when he is indulging in their use? The point of his lectures is blunted. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 23

The patients soon learn the condition of things, and who will be most ready to listen to their appeals, and indulge them in their use of these articles. If those who occupy positions of trust in the institution are not true to principle, they will be the ones to lower the standard of reform. Arrangements will be made for a liberal table, where tea and coffee and meat can be furnished. Then those who have but little power to resist the cravings of appetite will see these things and plead for a place at the liberal table. Thus a constant temptation is placed before those who should be led to dispense with these hurtful indulgences. Persons who are fully satisfied as to the effect of these things, and who want to reform, have asked me to use my influence to prohibit tea and coffee and meat from coming upon their table. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 24

But what shall be done with those in responsible positions who love these things and who give their influence in favor of their use? I see no way but to dismiss them, lest the reforms, that are hard enough to make when they have the support of all connected with the institute, shall be given up in discouragement. The institution would thus be perverted from its real object and would become like all popular institutions, where tables are spread with all the condiments and stimulants called for. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 25

If we ever enter heaven, we must receive a fitting up for it upon the earth. Christian virtues and graces must be cultivated in this life. Temperance in all things comprehends more than many are willing to acknowledge. Some who have kept the Sabbath for years continue the use of tea and coffee and flesh meats, and they are far from possessing sound nerves and a well-balanced brain. While in this state, they view matters in a perverted light and talk in a way to prejudice others against our institutions. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 26

O, for faithful Calebs in this age of the world! We want men and women who have self-control, who have moral worth, who love and fear God; men who cherish personal piety and firm religious principle. God is dishonored by the lack of moral stamina in many who profess to be Christians; they seem to be only half converted. They claim to believe the truth, but they love the luxuries which are so injurious to health better than they love Jesus or the truth. Eating and drinking are carried to such excess that Christ mentioned this condition of things as a sign of the last days, likening it to the condition of the world before the flood. Christ would have His followers cultivate undeviating principle. It is necessary for the Christian in thought, word, and action, to shun everything that leads to sin. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 27

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 on this subject; for God purposes to accomplish much through this agency. Present temperance with all its advantages to health. Educate people in the laws of life so that they may know how to preserve health. The efforts actually put forth at present are not meeting the mind of God. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 28

Drug medication is a curse to this enlightened age. 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. Many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would live out the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used. It will require earnest, patient, protracted effort to establish the work and to carry it forward upon hygienic principles. But let fervent prayer and faith be combined with your efforts, and you will succeed. By this work you will be teaching the patients, and others also, how to take care of themselves when sick without resorting to the use of drugs. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 29

Ever keep a courteous, kind spirit, and the sick-room may be transformed into a Bethel. Angels of God will work with your efforts. If our health institutions are conducted on right principles, the unbeliever who visits them will be favorably impressed; and he will be more inclined to recognize the truth. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 30

A physician who loves and fears God, one who is controlled by Bible principles, will exert a powerful influence through his example, and many souls may be brought to Christ. But if the health institutions that are conducted by Seventh-day Adventists are to maintain no higher standard than do the popular institutions around them, it would be better to let the world have all of this kind of work to do, for there are other branches of work which it is essential for us to do. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 31

When the Lord revealed to me that we should establish our first health institution in Battle Creek, I was told that it was to be a school, a branch of the missionary work; that this would give character to the truth we held, which was then set before minds in a distorted light. I was shown that the managers and helpers in this institution, if they were sincere Christians, could remove many false ideas, and by precept and example, could recommend the truth. On the other hand, they could, by unconsecrated lives, misrepresent the truth and lead souls away from righteousness. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 32

God demands more of us than we are willing to give Him. None are to be obtrusive or forward, but we are to live out our religion with an eye single to the glory of God. Then we shall shine as lights in the world, without noise or friction. None need to fail, for One is with them who is wise in counsel, excellent in working, and mighty to accomplish His own designs. He works through His agents, seen and unseen, human and divine. This work is a grand work, and will be carried forward to the glory of God, if all who are connected with it will make their works correspond to their profession of faith. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 33

Jesus is honored or dishonored by the words and deportment of His professed followers. The heart must be kept pure and holy, for out of it are the issues of life. If the heart is purified through obedience to the truth, there will be no selfish preferences, no corrupt motives. There will be no partiality, no hypocrisies. Love-sick sentimentalism whose blighting influence has been felt in all our institutions, will not be developed. Strict guard must be kept that this [curse?] shall not poison or corrupt our health institutions. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 34

There will be temptations on every side, and plausible excuses to have favorites. Musical entertainments which, if conducted properly, will do no harm, are often a source of evil. In the present state of society, with the low morals of not only youth but those of age and experience, there is great danger of becoming careless and giving especial attention to favorites, thus creating envy, jealousies, and evil surmisings. Musical talent too often fosters pride and ambition for display, and singers have but little thought of the worship of God. Instead of leading minds to remembering God, it often causes them to forget Him. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 35

But few realize that they grieve away the Spirit of God by their thoughts and feelings, their nonsense, their trifling talk; and when admonished, they say, “O, I meant no harm.” What do these frivolous ones mean? Do they forget that that which they sow they shall also reap? This silly, nonsensical conversation reveals a weak character and is an offence to God. If the grace of Christ were planted in their hearts, striking its roots down deep into good soil, they would bear fruit of an altogether different kind. They would be acquiring a moral stamina, that strength of purpose and solidity of character, which is essential for the rest and good work that ought to be done in the institution. Others would feel their influence and would take knowledge of them that they were led and taught by Jesus. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 36

Many of these trifling, frivolous ones make a profession of religion, and this hollow form of godliness has been so long tolerated that it pervades our institutions and extends even to our churches. The standard of piety is lowered into the dust. The new life from Christ must be implanted in the heart. God calls for the highest development of true godliness. Righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost will be the rich clusters of fruit borne by the branches that are grafted into Christ, the Parent-stem. Then will the truth possess power; its progress and growth will be extended. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 37

There is danger that the physicians in our health institutions will not all guard well their thoughts, their words, and their deportment. A great mistake has already been made in discussing delicate subjects with young ladies of limited knowledge and less experience, and in admitting them to operations of a delicate nature. In this way much harm may be done which is not anticipated. Let all be guarded here; for this is an age of sensualism. Let the physician manifest wisdom in this matter. Let there be a living connection with God, the high and holy One; then dignity and reticence will prevail; no indiscreet practitioner will be talking on subjects he would have shown wisdom in keeping to himself, and the work done will be of a higher order. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 38

Young girls who have not been properly educated at home, who are wanting in reserve, modesty, and decorum, come to the institution to receive treatment. [Their] impure practices have brought upon them the sure result—-physical debility, weakened morals, and a violated conscience. They have practiced evasion and deception, and will continue the same course at the institute, if they can do so without being discovered. They are ready to flirt with young men; and some of those bearing responsibilities, who should set them a better example because of their long Christian experience, engage in the same folly. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 39

Some of the young ladies belonging to the health institute accept the attention of strangers who are of as little worth as themselves, men who are corrupted. This familiarity will be carried on, if allowed, until the influence of the institution is injured. Even if the parties go from place to place, a secret correspondence is kept up among them, while the parents of the girls are in ignorance of the matter. The guardians of the institution must maintain a high standard and watch carefully the young entrusted to them by their parents, whether as patients, as learners, or as helpers in the various departments. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 40

When young men and young women work together a sympathy is created among them which frequently grows into sentimentalism. If the guardians are indifferent in these matters, lasting injuries will be done to these souls, and the high moral tone of the institution will be compromised. If any, patients or helpers, continue their deception and familiarity after having 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. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 41

Let not the angel record the fact that any received their first lessons of impure practices through corrupt associations at any of our health institutions. If the workers are in any way impure in heart or life, it will be revealed in their words and their actions. If they are not strictly moral, there is danger in employing them, for they will be in a position where they can mislead those who desire to reform, and confirm them in unholy, defiling practices. Such men and women, unless converted, will not only be a curse to themselves, but a curse wherever they go. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 42

A physician who will take advantage of corrupt influence in a woman, and by word or action confirm her in the ways of sin, in order to gratify his passion, has placed himself on the side of Satan; and he will indulge in sin whenever opportunity presents itself. His name is registered in heaven as a corrupter, an unholy, and defiled man. Satan is the destroyer, and this man is a laborer together with Satan to corrupt and defile. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 43

The converting power of God alone is sufficient to establish pure principles in the heart, so that the wicked one may find nothing to assail. In these institutions, careful attention should be given to the moral standing and influence of every one employed. You are to deal with those who are diseased in body and mind, and you should be prepared to help them just where they need help. The first appearance of irregularity [in] conduct should be repressed, and the young should be taught to be frank, yet modest and dignified in all their associations. They should be taught to submit to rules and to authority. If they refuse to do this, let them be dismissed, whatever position they occupy, for they will demoralize others. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 44

Those who labor in the institute are there for the purpose of promoting the intellectual and physical welfare of those under their care. They must make their work a matter of earnest, careful prayer and study, that they may know how to accomplish the work before them. Their first work is to carefully scrutinize their own habits, as they must meet the Bible standard of Christianity. Then when they are compelled to deal with those who are nearly ruined, either because of their own vicious practices, or because of the intemperance or of the lasciviousness of man, they will know what words to speak to them, what attitude to assume toward them. They must be chaste, and so free from the taint of defilement that they can correct these evils and bring the poor souls up to the Bible standard of purity. The only safety for men or women, married or unmarried, is to shun love-sick sentimentalism, and all undue familiarity. These things have produced great evil in the world. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 45

Those who believe unpopular truth have much prejudice to meet everywhere, and if those employed in our health institutions desire that Bible religion shall live in the institution, they must exemplify it in their own lives. If they wish that the physical, intellectual, and moral standing of the institution shall be of the highest order, their own deportment is to give evidence of this fact. They must plan the work constantly, and seek in the strength of Jesus so to elevate the character of the institution that it may receive the approbation of heaven. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 46

Every Christian home should have rules, and parents should, in their words and in their deportment toward each other, give the children a precious, living example of what they desire them to be. Purity in speech and true Christian courtesy should be constantly practiced. Teach the children and the youth to respect themselves, to be true to God, true to principle; teach them to respect and to obey the law of God. Then these principles will control their lives, and will be carried out in their associations with others. They will create a pure atmosphere, one that will have an influence to encourage weak souls in the upward path that leads to holiness and heaven. Let every lesson be of an elevating and ennobling character, and the record made in the books of heaven will be such as you will not be ashamed to meet in the Judgment. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 47

Children who receive this kind of instruction will not be a burden, a cause of solicitude in our institutions; but they will be a strength, a support to physicians and nurses. They will be prepared to fill places of responsibility, and by precept and example will be constantly aiding others to do right. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 48

Those whose moral sensibilities have not been blunted will appreciate right principles, they will put a just estimate upon their natural endowments and will make the best use of their physical, mental, and moral powers. Such souls are strongly fortified against temptation; they are surrounded by a wall not easily broken down. All such characters are, with the blessing of God, light-bearers; their influence tends to educate others for a practical Christian life. The mind may be so elevated that divine thoughts and contemplations come to be as natural as the breath. All the faculties of the soul are to be trained. We must do God’s work intelligently. We must know the truth; and to know it is to know God. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 49

The evils of fashionable society have a tendency to corrupt innocence and virtue; but every true follower of Christ, who has this hope in Him will purify himself, even as He is pure, so that not a taint of defilement will be found in his thoughts, or upon his lips, in his heart, or in his character. There must be a coming up to a higher, holier standing. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 50

A decided warfare should be waged against the evils not only in the world, but also among those who claim to believe the truth for this time. These evils, if not put away, will result in spiritual death. The Lord bids us, “Let your light so shine that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] There must be a waking up; consecrated efforts must be put forth, that will tell powerfully against every form of evil. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 51

Let the leaders in our institutions labor to show that their work is wrought in God, that they are workmen who need not to be ashamed, that their words and works are untainted with earthliness and sensualism. They should feel the solemn responsibility which rests upon them to give the youth a worthy example, one corresponding to their position of trust and their holy profession of faith. They are sowing seeds which will blossom and bear fruit. All coarseness and trifling should be put away; it is the fruit borne upon the corrupt tree. Brethren, you are educators. The lessons you give to believers and unbelievers in words and actions, will be a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 52

Our probation is short. We have no time to spend in indulging corrupt impulses. The familiarity of married men with married women and young girls is disgusting in the sight of God and holy angels. The forwardness of young girls in placing themselves in the company of young men, hanging around where they are at work, entering into conversation with them, talking common, idle talk, is belittling to womanhood. It lowers them in the estimation of those who themselves indulge in such things. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 53

There is a positive necessity for reform in our institutions. All frivolity, all undue attention of men to women, must be condemned and discontinued. Some, even married men, who have indulged in this trifling familiarity, have endeavored to excuse themselves and escape censure by claiming that they have done no moral wrong. Was it no moral wrong to jest, to joke, to pay flattering attentions to young women? Are you not starting in their minds a train of thought which it is impossible for you to change? Do you not by your levity and coquetry sanction such conduct? 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 54

You who hold positions of trust, and who claim to be Christians, do you not give countenance to a familiarity which leads to grave sins? What record is made in the books of heaven by the divine Watcher? Was there no moral wrong done to the souls of those with whom you were so familiar? Indeed there was. Impressions were made that will be enduring. Where girls are confirmed in their coquetry and flirting, every such indulgence tends to make them coarse and bold. They become more and more infatuated with the society of men and women who are trifling and frivolous, whose conversation is anything but holy, pure, and ennobling. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 55

“No moral wrong”—this has been the excuse made by everyone who has been reproved for similar conduct. What is moral wrong? Have your spiritual senses become so blinded that you cannot discern the truth? Do you not know that grapevines will not bear thorns, nor a bramblebush grapes? If the truth was brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, it would create a pure moral taste. Then all these objectionable, demoralizing practices will be seen to be a positive denial of Christ, a sin which will pollute the soul. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 56

“Forasmuch as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin, that he no longer could live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but the will of God.” “But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” [1 Peter 4:1, 2, 7.] All trifling, jesting, joking, and flattering, spoken to young girls or women, boys or men, are thornberries and that which produces them is a thorn-bush; for the tree is known by its fruit. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 57

Let not those who profess the religion of Christ descend to trifling conversation, to unbecoming familiarity with women of any class, whether married or single. They should keep their proper place with all dignity. At the same time they may be sociable, kind, and courteous to all. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 58

Young ladies should be reserved and modest. When they walk out they do not need the supporting arm of any man. They should give no occasion for their good to “be evil spoken of.” [Romans 14:16.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 59

Men should be chosen to stand at the head of our institutions who have not only good sound judgment, but who have a high moral tone; [men] who will be circumspect in their deportment, pure in speech, recommending their high and holy calling, and [who know] that there is a Watcher, a true Witness to every word and act. If men in our institutions exhibit a low grade of thought, if their conversation tends to corrupt rather than to elevate, let them be removed at once from any connection with the institution, for they will surely demoralize others. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 60

The well-being of the entire institution is at stake. Ever bear in mind that each of our health institutions is a missionary field. God’s eye is upon it day and night. No one should feel at liberty to allow even the appearance of evil in their associations with the nurses, patients, or helpers; for the Lord will certainly judge you for a wrong influence exerted over any of His instrumentalities. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 61

Directors and helpers of the Health Retreat, I speak to you as Christians, as to men and women whose souls are united to Christ, as the branch is united to the living vine. If you have not been renewed in the spirit of your mind, for your soul’s sake make no delay to have your life hidden with Christ in God. This is the first business of your life. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 62

When Christ is abiding in the heart, you will not be light, chaffy, and immodest, but circumspect and reliable in every place, sending forth pure words like streams from a pure fountain, refreshing all with whom you come in contact. If you decide to continue your idle talk and frivolous conduct, go into some other place where your influence and example will not be so widely felt, contaminating other souls. What you all need is such a sense of purity and holiness of Christ as will lead you to despise this pretense of religion which blesses no one, gives no peace of conscience, no repose of faith. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 63

Let all connected with these institutions that God has ordained for the saving of souls, seek divine wisdom, heavenly grace, that they may have an elevating influence upon others. Unless they are constantly receiving strength from Jesus, looking to Him, trusting in Him, by faith drawing from Him divine grace, they will become an easy prey to temptation. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 64

There are so many forward misses, and bold, forward women who have a faculty of insinuating themselves into notice, putting themselves in the company of young men, courting their attention, inviting flirtations from married and unmarried men, that unless your face is set Christward, firm as steel, you will be drawn into Satan’s net. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 65

It is time that we as Christians reach a higher standard. God forbid that any institution that He has planted shall become a means of decoying souls, a place where iniquity is taught. Let all learn in the school of Christ loveliness of heart; let them lean their helpless souls upon Jesus. Live in the light from the oracles of God. Educate your minds and hearts to pure, elevated, holy thoughts. “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” [1 Peter 1:15.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 66

Whatever influence you have, let it be directed to exalt Jesus. Unless you do this, you are a false guideboard, leading souls away from the truth, the life, the light of the world; and the more pleasing and attractive your manners, the greater the injury you do to souls. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 67

I tell you that you need a genuine conversion. All your faculties need to be consecrated to God, that you may not encourage the prevailing evil in society, but may counteract it. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 68

Many have been cultivating habits which lead directly to earthly sensual actions; and unless the power of God breaks the snare, souls will be lost. God has claims upon you that you do not realize, for you have not brought Christ into your lives, and great decision of character will now be necessary on your part to change the order of things. No weak efforts will accomplish the work. You cannot do it of yourselves; you must have the grace of Christ or you can never overcome. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 69

All your plans will prove a failure unless you are actuated by higher motives, and upheld by greater strength than you can have of yourself. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] There will be no taste for trifling conversation in those who are looking unto Jesus for strength, depending upon His righteousness for salvation. By faith they accept Jesus as their personal Saviour, and become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 70

While men and women in an institution for health should be kind and courteous, while they are required to be affable and congenial toward all, they should shun even the appearance of undue familiarity. And not only should they themselves observe the strictest propriety of conduct, but by precept and example they should educate others to be modest and to shun looseness, jesting, flattery, and nonsensical speeches. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 71

Everything savoring of unbecoming familiarity should be discarded by physicians, superintendents, and helpers. There should be no giving of special favors or special attentions to a few, no preferring of one above another. This has been done, and it is displeasing to God. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 72

There are worthy persons who are afflicted and suffering but do not complain, and are in need of some special attentions. These men and women are often passed by with indifference and with a hardness of heart that is more like Satan’s character than like Christ’s; while young forward misses who in no way need or deserve favors, receive special attentions. All this neglect is written in the books of heaven. All these things are developing character. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 73

Let all who are connected with the institution as helpers bear in mind the words of inspiration, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” [James 3:17.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 74

When you pass by one who is in need of your sympathy, of your kindly acts, and give them not, but turn to the forward ones and bestow on them your favors, remember that Jesus is insulted in the person of His afflicted ones. He says, “I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was naked, and ye clothed me not; sick and in prison, and ye visited me not.” And when the surprised inquiry comes, “When saw we thee thus?” the answer is, “Inasmuch as ye have not done it unto these my brethren [who were afflicted and needed your sympathy], ye have not done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:42-45.] “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” [Luke 5:31.] They that are rich need not your favors, but they that are poor. The bruised and wounded, the lame of the flock are among us, and these test the character of those who claim to be children of God. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 75

Angels of God are watching the development of character. They are weighing moral worth. If you bestow your attentions upon those who have no need, you are doing the recipients harm, and you will yourself receive condemnation rather than reward. Remember that when by your conversation you descend to the level of frivolous characters, you are encouraging them in the path that leads to perdition. Your unwise attentions may prove the ruin of their souls. You degrade their conceptions of what constitutes Christian life and character. You confuse their ideas, and make impressions that may never be effaced. The harm thus done to souls that needed to be strengthened, refined, and ennobled, is often a sin unto death. They cannot associate these men with the sacred positions which they occupy. The ministers, the officers of the church, all are regarded as no better than themselves. Then where is their example? 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 76

God calls upon all who claim to be Christians to elevate the standard of righteousness and to purify themselves even as He is pure. “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” [1 Peter 1:15.] “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear then shall we also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry, for which things sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” [Colossians 3:1-6.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 77

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, and be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance;” for you are to walk in the light while ye have the light; “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:13-16.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 78

The questions is, Shall we be Bible Christians? Will we disregard the plainest instructions given us in the Word of Life and erect a false standard whereby to measure our character? Is this a safe thing for us to do? When you yield to the temptations of the enemy and do the very opposite of that which God has instructed you to do, and then excuse yourselves, saying that you meant no harm, that you have done no moral wrong, what can be your standard of piety and holiness? 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 79

Christ has given us the signs whereby we may distinguish the genuine Christian; no one need be deceived by the pretentious claims of the hypocrite. “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore (by their profession ye shall know them?—No, but) by their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:16-20.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 80

Let those who claim to be Bible believers act out their faith by obedience to all the requirements of God. Christ has invited you, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 81

There is no excuse for indulging a love-sick sentimentalism, no excuse for this flirting of married men with young girls or married women or widows. Let men professing godliness heed the apostle’s admonition, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of his visitation.” [1 Peter 2:11, 12.] Will you, then, disregard the plainest directions given us in the Word of God in regard to our words, our deportment, and our character? Will you excuse levity and even licentiousness as though you had done no moral wrong? Will you pass it off by saying it was thoughtlessness on your part? Is it not the duty of a Christian to think soberly? When Jesus is enthroned in the heart, will the thoughts be running riot? 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 82

Paul, under the influence of inspiration, has spoken, “We are all the children of light and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night. But let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” [1 Thessalonians 5:5-8.] “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged may be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their husbands, that the word of the Lord be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded, in all things showing themselves to be a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that can not be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say to you.” [Titus 2:1-8.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 83

Shall these plain statements be disregarded? Shall the words of the living God be our standard, or will we follow the impulses of a perverted heart and speak and act in a manner to reproach Jesus? Shall we misrepresent Christ by our lightness, our trifling, our jesting, our joking, and flirting, all under the garb of Christianity? There will be seasons of severe trial for those connected with the Health Retreat, but if you know the Source of your strength, you need not be overcome. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 84

Whatever influence God has given you, He requires you to throw on the side of truth, of godliness. In making men, women, and children better by pointing them to the cross of Calvary, you are doing the work He has given you to do. Thorough Bible Christians will have an influence that will lead others’ minds. You, as Christians, have a weight of responsibility which no one can take from you. Said Christ, “To whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required.” [Luke 12:48.] 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 85

The converting power of God is needed every day. We must hide in Christ, “As the branch cannot bear fruit in itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” [John 15:4.] None of us can afford to sin. It is expensive business. Sin so blinds the eyes that evil is not discerned; and by their indiscreet actions those thus blinded become instruments of unrighteousness to scatter for Satan. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 86

The exhortation to Christians is, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without” [Colossians 4:5]; for wise, discreet words and actions will be a power to draw others to Christ, where they will have fellowship with the saints. Are the professed Christians walking in wisdom, when they are vain and frivolous and live so at variance with the profession of their faith that those without cannot see within them the marks of purity, of heavenly nobility? 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 87

We have the history of the antediluvians, and of the cities of the plain whose course of conduct degenerated from lightness and frivolity [to] debasing sins which called forth the wrath of God in a most dreadful destruction, in order to rid the earth of the curse of their contaminating influence. Inclination and passion bore sway over reason. Self was their god, and the knowledge of the Most High was nearly obliterated through the selfish indulgence of corrupt passions. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 88

The words of Christ should ever be borne in mind, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat and they drank.” [Luke 17:26, 27.] Appetite bears sway over mind and conscience in this age. Gluttony, wine bibbing, liquor-drinking, prevail; but Christ’s followers will be temperate in eating and drinking. They will not indulge appetite at the expense of health and spiritual growth. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 89

“They married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” [Verse 27.] We see the same infatuation now in regard to marriage. Youth, and even men and women who ought to be wise and discerning, act as if bewitched upon this question. Satanic power seems to take possession of them. Courtship and marriage are the all-absorbing themes. The most indiscreet marriages are formed. God is not consulted. Human feelings, desires, and passions, bear down everything before them, until the die is cast. Untold misery is the result of this state of things and God is dishonored. The marriage vow covers every kind of lustful abomination. The marriage bed is not sanctified or holy. Shall there not be a decided change in reference to this important matter? 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 90

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went away out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” [Verses 28, 29.] There is need that we should eat and drink, but when men allow the gratification of appetite to occupy their thoughts and time at the neglect of their eternal interests, it is a sin for which God will punish them, for they abuse their bodies, destroy health, unbalance the mind, and strengthen the animal propensities. Then they are led by Satan to do the very things that awaken the sword of justice against them. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 91

Christians are to “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” [Colossians 3:1.] All the warnings given, all the appeals made, do not seem to alarm those who indulge perverted appetite. They go on in sinful indulgence, and the conscience is seared as with a hot iron. They will put their own interpretation on the sinful course of action, saying, “I have done no moral wrong.” Clear discernment is needed, the spiritual eyesalve which we may obtain only by becoming partakers of the divine nature. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 92

Do those who claim to believe the testimonies read and practice the teachings? All this light given in the living oracles and in the testimonies, which all may read and apply, will condemn them in the day of God, if they do not heed the instruction given. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 93

Brethren, the days of our probation are nearly ended. It is time to awake out of sleep. You are in a position of great responsibility. You need to watch unto prayer. Watch against habits of sin. Keep a watch over the tongue. Watch for opportunities to do good and bless others, ever looking to Jesus, growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. If you want the higher life, you must now live the higher life in the lower life of this world. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 94

We are working for time and for eternity. A well-built life is formed by living upon the plan of addition, laying up one grace after another in good deeds, in faith, patience, temperance, benevolence, courage, self-denial. Ye are God’s husbandry. Ye are God’s building. Learning of Christ, you will not be a jumble of opposites and inconsistencies, today, sober and devout, tomorrow, careless and frivolous. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 95

Christ has made every provision that your character may be harmonious through the grace given you. Then build it harmoniously. Let the structure rise, stone on stone. Catch the rays of divine light from Jesus, and let them shine upon the pathway of others who are in darkness. All the universe of God is looking upon us with intense interest. 6LtMs, Lt 6a, 1890, par. 96