Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 51, 1900

Caro, Dr. E. R.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

March 29, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in MM 167-168; HFM 45-46. +Note

Dear Brother:

You asked me one evening after the union conference [meeting] whether the position of business manager of the medical board was equal to or less than the position of president of the board, whether the position of president was not the highest. I expressed the opinion that the position of president was above that of manager. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 1

That night your past and present was presented before me. You have not been educated or disciplined to take business responsibilities. You are not a financier. Your position gives you influence with the people, and will continue to do so if you will keep their confidence by serving in your appointed place as a conscientious, God-fearing physician, working in accordance with the profession of our faith. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 2

Your own wisdom is small, and unless you are controlled by the wisdom of God, you will make serious mistakes. You should have as your helper a wise financial manager in business lines, who will not be guided by your ideas in regard to the outlay of means. Unless you have a helper, you will not manage economically. You will expend means in expensive furniture, absorbing more than will be produced. Guard this point zealously. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 3

Less expensively furnished rooms than you desire will be in accordance with the work God has given us to do in these last days. Your ideas are not molded and fashioned by a true, practical idea of what it means to walk humbly with God. You look upon the appearance as the great means of lifting you up to success. This is a delusion. You see to make an appearance that is not in any way appropriate to the work God has given you to do, an appearance which it would require a large sum of money to keep up. We cannot consent to have rooms of the sanitarium furnished in accordance with the idolatry of the age, even if this will bring an increase of patronage. Christian influence is of more value than this. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 4

A desire for outside appearance is like a canker which is ever eating into the vitals. Appearance is a merciless tyrant. You need to guard against your inclination for show and entertainment. It is a mistake to suppose that by keeping up an appearance you will obtain more patients and therefore more means. The evils resulting from such a course have not yet appeared to you, but they will appear if you are not guarded. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 5

The light which God has given me is that there is danger of your becoming elated over wealthy patients who can afford to pay a high price. But exorbitant prices should never be charged. Ask a reasonable price for the treatment given. This course will commend itself to all reasonable minds. To set your price above what is true and honest may be in accordance with the custom of worldly physicians, but it will not redound to the glory of God. It is not God’s plan. It will have an unfavorable influence upon our work. The charging of such high prices will bring a rebound and will have an influence altogether different from what we suppose. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 6

You can set such high prices for treatment and accommodations that there will be a reluctance to keep to the simple, wholesome food that is essential to health. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 7

God has given instruction that sanitariums are to be established to give character to the work that is to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ. In these institutions no exorbitant prices are to be charged. Neither is there to be any extravagant outlay of means with a view to securing patronage. This will not gain the favor or the confidence of the people or the approval of God. The business manager of the sanitarium must faithfully control the outlay of means. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 8

The Lord has instructed me that it is not safe for you to have the power of manager, for you will often seek to follow your inclination to launch out. At present there is a dearth of means. If a large income were coming into the sanitarium, you would be in danger of forgetting the principles of health reform, which should ever be an educating, restoring power in our medical institutions. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 9

Again and again I am shown the destitution of various parts of the Lord’s vineyard which are in need of sanitariums. If at the very beginning of our medical work in this field, when everything has yet to be built up, you undertake to carry out your own plans, money will be used in such a way that the work of providing other places with facilities will be bound about. We are to work with reference to the whole vineyard. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 10

A true religious influence is to pervade the sanitarium. This institution is to be an educating school. Physicians and nurses are to be continually receiving and imparting light. Those who come to the sanitarium are to be taught to keep Jesus ever before them as their Pattern. The sanitarium is to be so conducted that the patients will realize that they are living under the management of a superior Power. Christ’s meekness and lowliness are to be made manifest. Lessons are to be given in practical godliness. The patients will be molded by the example that is set before them. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 11

We are not left in darkness to pattern after the world, and to depend on outward appearances for success. The Lord has told us from whence our strength comes. “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 chooses men who keep the way of the Lord, to possess power and exert authority among men. On God they are dependent, and to him they must give an account for the way in which they use the blessings with which He had entrusted them. They are God’s stewards, and they are to seek to magnify His name. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 12

God looks not upon outward display, but on the heart. Well-advised movements must be made. Nothing must be invested extravagantly. It is not because we desire to exalt ourselves that we are seeking to build up a sanitarium, but because we desire to honor God and properly represent the truth, which has been misrepresented. In this institution our peculiar religious principles are to be magnified and exalted. Never are they to be hidden. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 13

The Lord’s way is always the best way. We are safe while we follow Him who says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” [Matthew 11:29.] If Christ, the Majesty of heaven, is meek and lowly, how much more ought we to be, who are under sentence of death for disobedience. The influence of our physicians in the sanitarium should be such as to encourage meekness and lowliness. Men are not to be exalted as great and wonderful. It is God who is to be magnified. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 14

My brother, keep yourself in the school of Christ where you can ever learn of Jesus, else you will be left to follow your own wisdom, which will prove to be foolishness. You have a superficial spiritual education. The Lord will be your guide if you will receive His lessons. He says, “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.” [Verse 29.] Christ’s yoke is a yoke of restraint and obedience. All who follow Christ will learn of Him. When temptation comes, they will look to Him for grace and help. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 15

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 seek to move solidly and sensibly. They will realize that outward parade does not give strength, for it is not in accordance with true principles. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 16

Unless the physicians and managers in our medical institutions are guarded, they will surely deny the principles of truth and righteousness, which exalt the Lord of heaven. Unless God dwells in the heart, they will set an example to others that will be to their injury. They will cater to the tastes and habits of unconsecrated people. They will aid Satan in bringing in innovations; and the blessing of God will be removed from your work. Ever remember that a heart that is meek and lowly constitutes true value in God’s sight, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. God can bless the meek and lowly. He can use them as honored instruments in blessing others, for they will give the glory to Him to whom belongs all the greatness and power. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 17

Workers adorned with the grace of Christ—this will give the greatest influence. Just before the inauguration of Solomon as king of Israel, David said in his prayer, “I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and thou hast pleasure in uprightness.” [1 Chronicles 29:17.] In fidelity to God, in purity [and] humility [before] God, is your strength. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory.” [Philippians 2:3.] Only that which calls the mind to God and heaven and eternal interests is called successful in the courts above. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 18

All connected with the sanitarium have a noble, elevated work to do. What is it? The establishment and support of the work of God in accordance with His appointment, and the spread of the principles of true temperance in eating, drinking, and dressing. The imparting of the knowledge of the saving grace and mercy of God is the most honorable, noble work in which Seventh-day Adventists can engage. As they do this work, they honor God and advance their interests for this life and for the future eternal life. Their example works for the saving of the souls for whom Christ has given His life. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 19

Let not the physicians, managers, or nurses in our sanitariums be guilty of incurring a debt in the matter of tithes and offerings. None of them are released from their obligations to God in this matter, any more than am I. The promise of prosperity is given to us on condition that we cheerfully and gladly return to God the portion He claims as His own. Before those in the sanitarium, you who occupy positions of trust are to set a right example in this matter. In the fear and love of God you are to return to Him His own, as specified in the third chapter of Malachi. Then God’s blessing will rest upon your well-directed efforts, as you perseveringly advance in right lines, discarding every phase of evil. Then the most difficult undertaking may be carried forward to success, for God will co-operate with the humble, faithful worker. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 20

We need to receive into our hearts by faith the pure principles of truth. That which will bring true success is a correct representation of God in our lives. The more closely a man follows the example of Christ, the more faithfully and diligently he works for the Master, the more humble are his views of himself, and the more entire his dependence on divine grace. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 21

My brother, I tell you in the name of the Lord that your power of influence comes from God. When the Lord is with His people, they are strong. By His Spirit and providence He furnishes them with power to do every good work. However difficult the work to which God calls men, He will provide the strength and grace necessary for its accomplishment. Faith and trust in the Lord’s power will make men singular, yes, peculiar in the eyes of the world. They are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 22

When men desire wisdom from above more than they desire wealth, power, or glory, God will provide them with all that they need; for He sees that they will make a proper use of everything committed to them. God had prepared all the needed strength for those who seek for grace to do His will and for wisdom to know their duty. From the great Teacher they will learn not only what to do, but how to do it in such a way as to meet his approval. Such workers are enabled by God’s blessing to educate those with whom they come in contact. Those in the world need to have constantly kept before them high, noble principles. By living righteous lives, God’s commandment-keeping people are to convict their fellow men of sin, and lead them to see the necessity of being cleansed from all uncleanness in the fountain of Christ’s blood. Men and women are in spiritual darkness, and unless Christians set them a right example, exerting a Christlike influence, they will never see things aright. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 23

Darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Christ says to His followers, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] The Holy Spirit must control in the sanitarium. By their words and their works, those connected with the institution are to give to those in darkness the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Treasures of influence and treasures of means are to be invested where they will yield thirty, sixty, and even a hundredfold. The standard on which is inscribed, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,” is to be uplifted. [Revelation 14:12.] Under all circumstances, in all ages of the world, this is the only correct standard of duty. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 24

The Lord is in earnest with us, and we feel no burden to build a sanitarium in which God shall not be made first, and last, and best in everything. The promises of God are only given to us on condition that we faithfully do His will. God said to Solomon, “As for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David, thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe all my statutes, and my judgments, then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them, then will I pluck them up by the roots out of the land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a by-word among all nations.” [2 Chronicles 7:17-20.] 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 25

Let all who are connected with the service of God be guarded, lest by a 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 will bring heavy burdens of debt upon the people, thus depriving others of the means which would provide them with facilities for the work of the Lord. As 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 make crooked paths for their feet, bringing ruin upon themselves, and upon those who look to them for guidance. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 26

In this country, in the management of the institutions that may be established, we are not to follow the example that has been set by those in any other country. There is a right way, and a wrong way. No one can follow his own way, and prosper. How ever skillful in planning he may be, if he does not obey the word of the Lord, he will fall when the test comes. Those who esteem their own wisdom above the wisdom of the Lord will surely feel the sad result of their course. Those who think that prosperity comes through outward display will learn by bitter experience that this is not so. God will greatly help those who trust in Him. He will guide them in judgment. But He cannot give His blessing to those who will not trust in Him. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 27

My brother, God will not give prosperity to any one who link themselves up with wicked men in order to gain strength and influence, for by so doing they dishonor Him. The Lord calls for genuine piety. He gives the warning, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 7:1.] 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 28

God calls upon us to move carefully. He warns us against confederating with unbelievers. We are not to bind ourselves up with them in business relations. No one is excusable who does this. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 29

Those whom the Lord has appointed to do His work should not bind themselves to comply with certain restrictions in regard to the sale of health foods. He who does this is not wearing the yoke of Christ, but a yoke framed by human devising. The Lord is the owner of all things, and the instruction given me is that we are to let alone that which cannot be handled without compliance with certain restrictions. The Lord is the manager of His own goods, and He will give counterorders to the restrictions which bind His servants. They must be left free to act as circumstances demand. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 30

God knows all about the goods He wishes us to handle in His service. He can see beneath the surface and can read the motives which lead men to restrict those who are workers together with God. Men place restrictions on their fellow workers in order that they may reach certain ends; but by making it necessary for others to come exactly to their terms, they may bind about a work which God has declared must advance. They desire to gain a certain object, and they use for themselves the tact and talent given them by God. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 31

Those who use God’s entrusted gifts to advance worldly interests feed themselves, but do not give food to those who are perishing around them. Those who bring selfishness into their work, who draw sympathy to themselves, and secure funds to use as their judgment shall dictate, are hirelings, not good shepherds. God will take His work from them and give it to those who will do it faithfully, bringing forth fruit to His glory. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 32

God’s government is a government of personal responsibility. No one can do his neighbor’s work. No one will be excused for neglecting his own work because his friend or neighbor has failed to do the work the Lord has marked out. Each will be called to give an individual account for the way in which he has performed the work of giving the message of warning to the world. At the hand of the unfaithful servant God will require the blood of those who might have been saved had he done his duty faithfully. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 33

The work is a most solemn one. The shepherds of Israel include leaders in political as well as religious matters. There is need of men who are unselfish, who love God with heart, mind, soul, and strength. Let us seek God earnestly; let us walk humbly with Him. Let us show that we are true followers of the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. The light of truth will shine forth from those who live in conformity to the law of God. By lives of true temperance, by simplicity in eating, drinking, and dressing, by integrity and uprightness, we are to bear witness for God. Thus those who are connected with our sanitarium may do the highest service for the Master. 15LtMs, Lt 51, 1900, par. 34