Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 12, 1900

Who Will Help?

NP

January 31, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Te 89; 6BC 1102-1103; 11MR 221-223.

Our brethren have selected a site for our new sanitarium. It is about thirteen miles from Sydney, and is an excellent, healthful location. The altitude is about six hundred feet, and the place receives the cool, life-giving breeze from the sea. Thus, while in low-lying towns the atmosphere is impure, hot, and oppressive, here it is pure, cool, and refreshing. Excellent roads, and beautiful, picturesque scenery afford opportunity for pleasant drives. Freedom from the dust and smoke, the din and confusion, of the city will be most grateful to the brain-weary and the sick. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 1

It was not God’s purpose that people should be crowded into cities, huddled together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents in a garden, amid the beautiful sights and sounds of nature, and these sights and sounds He desires men to rejoice in today. The more nearly we can come in harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position for the recovery and the preservation of health. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 2

Our retired location will offer comparative freedom from many of the temptations of city life. Here are no liquor-selling hotels or dram-shops on every corner to tempt the unfortunate victim of intemperance. And the pure sights and sounds, the clear, invigorating air, and the sense of God’s presence pervading all nature, tend to uplift the mind, to soften the heart, and to strengthen the will to resist temptation. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 3

While affording the benefits of country life, our sanitarium will be sufficiently near Sydney to secure the advantages of connection with the city. There are two railway lines leading into Sydney. The stations are about twenty minutes’ drive from the sanitarium farm, and trains run almost hourly into the city. Five or six little villages within a few miles of our site are fast filling up with the residences of businessmen from the city. This district seemed destined to be the most desirable of all the suburbs of Sydney. Not a person who has seen our selection of land has one word of criticism to offer. All are surprised that we have purchased it so cheap. We are sure that it possesses advantages above any other place we have seen. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 4

Our new building should be erected at once. But we have not on hand means sufficient either to pay for the land or to erect the building. We thank the Lord that our brethren and sisters in America have had their hearts stirred to help the cause in Australia. But we are reluctant to draw upon them largely now, because they have so many missions in foreign countries calling for help. Dr. J. H. Kellogg and a few others have done what they could personally in donations for the sanitarium. For this we thank them in behalf of our people in this country. Now shall not we in Australia make an earnest effort to help ourselves? Some have already done nobly in pledges made at the union conference last July. Will not every Sabbath-keeping family in the Australian colonies do what they can? 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 5

We had hoped ere this to have a sanitarium established and in running order; the hindrance has been the dearth of means. We are now paying for rented houses more than two hundred pounds a year. We hope that soon this amount may be devoted to paying for a building of our own in a healthy location, away from the confusion of the city. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 6

In our sanitarium we wish to teach health and temperance principles from the Bible standpoint. All need to understand how to preserve physical health, that the bodies which God has created may be presented to Him a living sacrifice, fitted to render Him acceptable service. In order that this may be, we must give to the system healthful nutrition, but no artificial excitement. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 7

The right balance of the mental and moral powers depends to a great degree upon the right condition and action of the physical system. Through indulgence of perverted appetite, man loses his power to resist temptation. The sure effect of narcotics and unnatural stimulants, [such] as tea, coffee, tobacco, beer, and wine, is to enfeeble and degrade the physical nature, and lower the tone of intellect and morals. Any unnatural excitement of the nervous system affects the brain nerve power. We have a work before us to educate the people, line upon line, and precept upon precept. We must teach them that health and even life is endangered by the use of stimulants which excite the exhausted energies to unnatural, spasmodic action. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 8

But apart from divine power, no genuine reform can be effected. The deadened moral sensibilities of men and women must be aroused. They must be led to understand the benefits gained by obeying the invitation, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] They must be led to see their need of a loving, sin-pardoning Saviour. He who is man’s Creator and Redeemer will be to all who trust in Him a Restorer. While Satan is the destroyer, Christ is the Restorer. The people must be educated to understand that it is a sin to destroy their physical, mental, and spiritual energies; and they must understand how to cooperate with God in their own restoration. Through faith in Christ they can overcome the habit of using health-destroying stimulants and narcotics. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 9

The Lord has signified that He has precious souls in all the churches. Many of these are blindly working to destroy themselves. To them light must be given as to the recovery and the preservation of health. God’s simple remedies will work miracles in restoring feeble, distressed, diseased humanity. And since Christ has given His precious life to heal the maladies of the human family, should not men and women be earnest to cooperate with Him? Should not all consent to be healed through adopting proper habits of life and correct methods of treatment? 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 10

We are striving to uplift the people to an elevated plane of action. This is the work to be accomplished by our sanitarium. But we cannot make brick without straw. What we need now is a substantial, economical building, and for this we must have the necessary means. To secure this we ask the help of our brethren and sisters in the faith. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 11

To all our brethren scattered abroad I appeal in behalf of the Sydney Sanitarium. Many of us are poor, but this should not shut us out from the privilege of giving. I ask you to read the eighth chapter of Second Corinthians. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 12

The apostle Paul writes: “Moreover, brethren, we make you know the grace of God, which hath been given to the churches of Macedonia; how that in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” [Verses 1, 2.] 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 13

In telling the Corinthians of the liberality of the Macedonian churches, it was the apostle’s purpose to awaken in them a desire to do similar deeds of charity, through the Holy Spirit’s working upon their minds. The favors shown by the Macedonians to the needy saints at Jerusalem should excite in the Corinthian brethren the same spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 14

The apostle continues: “For to their power I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.” [Verses 3-8.] 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 15

Now comes the most telling motive, a motive which should stir every soul to self-denial and activity: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. And herein I give my advice; for this is expedient to you, who have begun before, not only to do, but to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.” [Verses 9-11.] 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 16

These words of the apostle are addressed to you who shall receive this appeal. Paul was happily disappointed in the gifts of the Macedonians. He expected only a limited sum, and was greatly surprised at the amount given, and at the wholehearted, eager manner in which it was bestowed. The Macedonians first made an entire consecration of themselves and all that they had unto the Lord. They kept nothing back. In making their smaller gifts they manifested the same spirit as did David in his larger offering, saying, “Of thine own, O Lord, we freely give thee.” [See 1 Chronicles 29:14.] When a people have an earnest longing to help where help is needed in advancing the cause of God in any line, the Lord will impart to these consecrated, unselfish ones a heart to give gladly, as if it was a privilege. God moved on these Macedonians in their deep poverty to bestow liberally that their example might be recorded, thus leading others to experience the same beneficence. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 17

Encouraged by this movement, which showed the special working of the Holy Spirit on the hearts of the believers, Paul requested Titus to visit the Corinthian church and finish the collection which they had proposed and had already begun. He was anxious that they should perform that which they had promised through the grace of God working upon their hearts. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 18

Lest they should be outstripped in liberality by the comparatively poor Macedonian churches, Paul not only writes to them, but sends Titus to attend to the collection. The apostle greatly desired to see in the believers symmetry of Christian character. He desired them to give evidence of their love, and prove the sincerity of their faith. As disciples in full belief of the truth, he longed to see in them a lively sense of their obligation and accountability to God for the gospel. He desired that it should work in them as the power of God, and that they should bear testimony to its work by yielding fruit to the honor of God. As Christians under the control of God, they were with all diligence to discharge every duty. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 19

Such was the character revealed by the Macedonians, and it gave Paul great satisfaction. He rejoiced at the gratitude manifested by these souls for the most precious gift of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. To comply with the requirements of God, by their liberality to advance His glory, was felt by them to be their highest privilege. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 20

So it will be with every converted soul. An appreciation of the rich endowment of the gifts of God to the believer will lead to great benevolence. And the character cannot be complete unless benevolence is expressed in returning to God His due by sustaining every good work. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 21

Paul laid no command upon the Corinthian brethren. But he set before them the necessity of the church at Jerusalem, and showed what others had given who had fewer advantages and less ability than had the Corinthians. He presented the example of others, to induce them to give. He showed that every one who has received the great gift of God is required to reveal the power of the truth in counterworking selfishness and self-indulgence. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 22

In this he was presenting to the disciples the true nature of fruit-bearing and the necessity of making returns to God of the fruit from His vineyard. Their liberality shown in lines that would advance the kingdom of God would be the very best evidence of the sincerity of their faith. Their love would be expressed in deeds—something tangible. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 23

The apostle called upon them to consider the example of Christ. The Commander of heaven gave Himself to a life of humiliation and poverty that He might stand side by side with the fallen race, to restore the moral image of God in man. The Lord Jesus was willing to become poor, that through His humiliation and His death on the cross He might pay the ransom for us. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 24

Whether rich or poor, we must never forget that the poverty of Christ was a part of His legacy in humanity. It was not alone His betrayal in the garden or His agony upon the cross that constituted the atonement. The humiliation of which His poverty formed a part was included in His great sacrifice. The whole series of sorrows which compassed humanity Christ bore upon His divine soul. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 25

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” [Philippians 2:6-8.] And He was the Prince of heaven. Yet many of His professed followers are so wrapped up in self-love that they have no sense of His great sacrifice for them. They do not realize their own obligation to use every God-given power in helping the souls for whom Christ died. What shame to them should be the lesson of His humiliation! 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 26

“But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.” [Hebrews 6:9.] Many there are, we know, whose hearts have been touched by the vision of Christ’s humiliation and suffering. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 27

Again, I ask my brethren in Australia and wherever this appeal may go, Will you help us with your gifts in our emergency? Will you help in erecting a memorial for the Lord in Sydney? Such an institution will give character to our work. It will bring the truth before many persons of the higher classes, who might never see the light of truth but for the Lord’s agencies in medical missionary lines. Through this instrumentality Jesus, the Prince of life, will be uplifted before those who are suffering and are subdued by affliction. As their hearts are softened by the grace of God, some will listen to the gospel and will see its claims upon them. They will give ear to the last message of mercy to the world, “Come, for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.] 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 28

My brethren, what will you do to forward this work? How much will you lay up as treasure in heaven by contributing toward the erection of a sanitarium? When the building is completed, it will give us facilities to educate and train workers who can carry forward the same work in other places, and thus the blessing will be extended. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 29

In this enterprise all may bear a part. As the sanitarium shall do its work of beneficence, will you not rejoice to be able to say, “With the means the Lord entrusted to me I helped to establish that institution, which is doing such a wonderful work in restoring the sick”? 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 30

We ask now that every one will do his best. You may have the same privilege as had the Macedonians. You may surprise the Lord’s servants by the liberality of your gifts. 15LtMs, Ms 12, 1900, par. 31