Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 38, 1901

Caro, E. R.

Battle Creek, Michigan

May 28, 1901 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in MM 130-132; 1MR 265. +Note

Dr. E. R. Caro

Dear brother,—

A most distressing call has come from those who are working on the new sanitarium building. They tell us that the Summer Hill Sanitarium has many uncollected debts and that many of the patients who have been at the sanitarium owe the institution for the treatment they received. They say also that money given to the building fund has been used in other lines. I knew something of these difficulties. This reveals the truth of that which I have been trying to impress upon you by letter and by word of mouth—that you are not a wise business manager, that your extravagant idea of making a show to obtain influence would have to be changed if you acted your part successfully as physician in the sanitarium. I have labored constantly to present the principles essential to be carried out by such an institution as the sanitarium in order for it to keep out of debt. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 1

It is reported that you and Brother and Sister Shannan have taken a vacation and that you say that I said that when on a vacation a physician should draw full wages. But the finances of the sanitarium must be taken into consideration. Money should be produced by the managers of an institution before they spend means on vacations. It is cruel and unjust to take pay when on a vacation from an institution so loaded with debt as the sanitarium. The Lord is beholding His work, and a record is kept of every dollar expended. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 2

My brother, you have left things at loose ends, and I feel very sorry that you have taken the course that you have. Right principles have been constantly kept before you. My brother, let me say that I know you have grown to manhood without learning the lesson all should learn in childhood and youth, the lesson of self-denial and self-sacrifice. For your present and future good, remember that you are responsible for the use you make of your Lord’s money. God has given you as a physician genius and capabilities. Ever realize that you must make the best use of your talents because they are not your own. They are entrusted to you by God, not to be used in pleasing and gratifying impulse, but for Him and Him alone, because they are His. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 3

My brother, will you show that you realize that your talents are not your own, that they belong to the Master? Do not accept the praise and flattery of men, forgetting that God requires you to use wisely and judiciously and with the strictest integrity the gifts He has lent you. They are to be increased and returned to the Giver. This the Word of God specifies as our duty. We are to be producers as well as consumers. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 4

We are to use all our opportunities and privileges to do good. These are the Lord’s goods, lent to us to test our usefulness and integrity. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 5

Physical and mental capabilities may be improved by judicious use. Money is God’s talent, but if our ideas have not been properly trained we shall use it in such a way that it will not increase, but diminish. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 6

The Lord has given you your work. He expects you each week to interview yourself to find out how you are trading on your Lord’s goods. Are you putting to the tax your mental, moral and physical powers in an effort to please the Lord, Who desires you to accumulate talents by a correct use of those He has given you? Your being a physician in no case releases you from the necessity of practicing economy. There are new fields to be entered, and to enter these fields requires the closest economy. Will you enter these fields as you have entered Australia, content to let others practice self-denial and lift the cross, while you indulge your fancies, spending money lavishly to make a show? God requires you to accomplish good with every jot of your influence. Then will be seen the most blessed results. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 7

You need to learn the art of using your talents for the glory of Him who has lent them to you. This requires study and prayer and consecration. Some seem to have no idea of the science of handling money. They allow hundreds of dollars to pass through their hands without producing anything for God. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 8

My brother, we are not our own. We have been bought with a price. If we cooperate with God we can advance His kingdom. Neither you nor I nor any other soul should feel at liberty to underrate our talents, be they many or few. God demands a faithful return of His entrusted goods. He calls upon us to enter His school and learn day by day that we have a work to do. No soul is to be an idler. If we fail to use God’s gifts aright, how will we answer Him when He calls upon us for an account of our stewardship? He says, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:12.] 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 9

I have written plainly. Many, looking at the outward appearance of your work, would praise and flatter you. But I have no words of flattery to offer. I know that means which should have been sacredly devoted to the building of the sanitarium have been used in other ways. This money was not collected to be used in meeting the running expenses of an institution which with economical management would have sustained itself. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 10

God calls upon you to straighten yourself out. Be a man. Put away your extravagance. Extravagant ideas must not be indulged under the name of medical missionary work. It is high time that we became Christians in heart. Integrity, self-denial and humility should characterize our lives. Foolish expenditure has for so long time been a part of your experience that I sometimes fear you will never learn the meaning of the words, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Matthew 16:24.] “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 11

Let the same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. He was the author and the heir of all things, but all that He possessed He gave for your salvation, and He calls upon you to employ all your capabilities in His service. But you have not acted upon the principles contained in His Word. You have made a wrong use of the Lord’s money. How long do you suppose any institution could sustain such expensive management? Review from the first your service to God, and henceforth follow the example of Christ, not the example of worldlings. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 12

While as the great Medical Missionary, Christ employed His power in behalf of suffering humanity, He denied Himself every luxury. He suffered that you might secure salvation. For you He endured death on the cross, despising the shame. He poured out His soul unto death to save you; Himself He would not save. He descended to the lowest depths of humiliation that you might sit in heavenly places. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 13

Herein is love! Does it not put to shame your extravagant outlay to make a show in the world? How much owest thou unto thy Lord? Can you compute the sum? 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 14

I leave this question with you. My brother, unless you awaken to your obligations to God, unless you are a producer and not a consumer, unless you study the Saviour’s life and practice His lessons, you will never enter the courts of the blessed. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 15

We are toiling and struggling to erect a humble sanitarium in Australia. There is a great work to be done. Are you doing all you can to help? God has given us a commission which angels might envy. Medical missionary work is to be done. Thousands upon thousands of human beings are perishing. The compassion of God is moved. All heaven is looking on with intense interest to see what stamp medical missionary work will assume under the supervision of human beings. Will men make merchandise of God’s ordained plan for reaching the dark parts of the earth with a manifestation of His benevolence? 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 16

Medical missionary work is a sacred thing of God’s own devising. After Adam’s transgression a costly price was paid to rescue the fallen race. Those who will co-operate with God in His effort to save, working on the lines on which Christ worked, will be wholly successful. The church is charged to convey to the world, without delay, God’s saving mercy. We are not to cover mercy with selfishness and then call it medical missionary work. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 17

We have no time to waste. God has provided a means of recovery for sinners. By unselfish work His truth is to be represented. This is the trust He has given us, and it is to be faithfully executed. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 18

When will the church do her appointed work? She is represented as an angel of light, flying through heaven with the everlasting gospel to be proclaimed to the world. This represents the speed and directness with which the church is to prosecute her work. In the medical missionary work Jesus is to behold the travail of His soul. Human beings are to be snatched as brands from the burning. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 19

But a change has come that has hindered the work which God designed to move forward without a trace of selfishness. All heaven is watching with intense anxiety to see what is to be the outcome of the work which is so large and so important. God is watching, the heavenly universe is watching, and souls are perishing. Is the enterprise of mercy, through which in the past God has manifested His grace in rescuing and restoring, to become a matter of selfish merchandise? Shall the instrumentality ordained by heaven to bring good to man and glory to God be lost through improvident expenditure? Shall God’s agency of blessing be used by those who profess to believe the truth in buying and selling and getting gain? 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 20

The experience of apostolic days will come to us if men will be worked by the Holy Spirit. The Lord will withdraw His blessing where selfish interests are indulged, but He will put His people in possession of good all through the world if they will use this for the uplifting of humanity. His work is to be a sign of His benevolence, a sign that will win the confidence of the world and bring in resources for the advancement of His kingdom. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 21

God will test the sincerity of men. Those who will deny self, take up the cross and follow Christ will have a continual work to do in the line of restoring <the fallen human order>. Those who sacrifice for truth make a great impression on the world. Their example is contagious and convincing. Men see that there is in the church that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. But when those who profess to be working for God seek only to benefit themselves, they greatly retard the work, and cast a reproach upon it. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 22

Will the means God has seen fit to ordain to bring the truth to thousands be turned into speculation, or will it be placed on a basis where it can do its appointed work? Use every advantage possible to secure the salvation of souls. Never forsake the true standard, even though to cling to it makes you a beggar. God has set up a high standard of righteousness. He has made a plain distinction between human and divine wisdom. All who work on Christ’s side must work to save, not to destroy. Worldly policy is not to become the policy of the servants of God. Divine authority is to be acknowledged. The church on earth is to be the representative of heavenly principles. Amid the awful confederacy of injustice, deception, robbery, and crime she is to shine with light from on high. In the righteousness of Christ she is to stand against the prevailing apostasy. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 23

God gives men property that they may use it for the advancement of His cause. In the momentous issue before us, will man make God their all and in all? Will they distinguish themselves from the world, or do as you have been tempted to do,—link up with the world as the means of prosperity? God’s law says, Thou shalt not covet. In the kingdom of mammon God’s law is virtually repealed, and it is made lawful for men to covet, if they will covet according to human standards. Those who follow this are at variance with the divine code. God and truth are not in their thoughts. Our safety lies in keeping the law of God. His approval is above gold or silver. 16LtMs, Lt 38, 1901, par. 24