Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 104, 1901

The Need of a Reform


October 8, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 449-450; 7MR 131.

The work we have to do is the work of preparing the way of the Lord, causing light to shine amid the moral darkness. In this work, something more than money is needed. The human talent lent by God is to be utilized in His cause. Money is needed, but patience and faith are much more needed. The work in our sanitariums and other institutions is to be carried forward in right lines. We must co-operate with the heavenly angels sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 1

In our sanitariums and the various enterprises connected with them, there must be a reformation. And there will be great changes when humanity co-operates with divinity. Then there will be a revival of faith. We shall meet with discouragement and disappointment. And as we see men and women departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, we must take heed to ourselves and act well our part. As we place ourselves wholly on the Lord’s side, a marked change will be seen; for divine instrumentalities will co-operate with us. There are those whose characters are as pure gold, and one such person is worth a score of those who have not the true ring. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 2

No culture of field or garden brings so rich a result as the culture of the heart; for the Lord God of heaven has placed a high estimate on the beings He has purchased with the blood of His Son. He demands from them improvement and growth. Mental and moral culture is infinitely more precious in His sight than gold and silver. He declares, “I will make a man more precious than gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 13:12.] 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 3

There is no safety in dependence on self. Christ says to His chosen, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:4, 5.] The union between Christ and His disciples is mutual. By faith and love and obedience they abide in Him, and by His Holy Spirit He abides in them—the Source of their spiritual life. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 4

Those in positions of responsibility in God’s work, who have been wrought upon by the Holy Spirit, have seen their nothingness, as from the depths of penitence they have cried for mercy and the love of Christ. As the great apostle to the Gentiles looked at his sinful condition, he exclaimed, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” [Romans 7:24.] Did Paul love Jesus? Read his letters—full of intense ardor and deep yearning for the churches. His words are weighted with a burning desire to love his Redeemer with greater love. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 5

The depth of our love for God and Christ is revealed by the clearness and fulness of our conviction of what constitutes sin. And our love is shown also by the genuine faith we have in the offering made in our behalf. I repeat: the degree of our love for Jesus depends on the clearness and fulness of our conviction of sin, our realization of the need of simple, living faith, and our dependence on Christ’s power and grace. He saves us, not in our sins, but from our sins. The more definite our experience of absolute dependence on God for spiritual health and growth, the more powerful will be our influence for good in any office we attempt to fill. Entire dependence on a power above ourselves will lead us to reveal Christ’s gentleness in all our connection with our fellow men. Those who realize the peril of these last days will seek for refuge in Jesus Christ. And by His grace they will be enabled to practice the truth. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 6

We are living in the time when changes will be rapid. Impediment after impediment is now to be removed. There are to be reformations in the Sanitarium. It must be cleansed, refined, purified. When the unprofitable ones, the unbelievers among nurses and helpers, are separated from it, there will be a change in the spiritual atmosphere. There will be seen between the true Vine and the branches, the vital union which is essential to the life and fruitfulness of the branches. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 7

The workers in the Sanitarium are to give a much clearer representation of Christ than they have given in the past. The exact way and methods to be followed in the reformation essential cannot be marked out; but we do know that the Lord declares that this institution shall be purged of its defiling influences. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 8

Those who have sinned against great light will find it very hard to receive the truth and make reformation now; and to some who have long resisted light, choosing their own course, will come the knowledge that they have resisted for the last time. When human agencies lose the realization of the perfection of the character of Christ, they rapidly retrograde toward depravity. It is not enough to be half converted. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 9

Human beings are privileged to live in co-operation with heavenly powers. “We are laborers together with God,” says the apostle. [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Those who enter heartily into this work of co-operation place themselves in a direct line with light and strength and power and excellence. Among the redeemed there will be none who has not co-operated with God in working out their own salvation. God does not work alone for our salvation. He works with us to will and to do of His good pleasure. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 10

While the believer is on this earth, it will always be essential for him to oppose error and defend the truth. Error is injurious to the soul. Truth is always beneficial. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He came to enlighten those spiritually blind by bearing witness to the truth. He said, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my words.” [John 18:37.] 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 11

A great deal of harm has been done by admitting to our sanitariums persons of superficial character. Those who should be vigilant stewards are not watchful and discriminating. God calls for a decided change. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 12

Those who are admitted as nurses should be firm in the faith. No trifling ones, no persons of superficial character, are to be taken in; for one light, frivolous mind may be used by Satan to do mischief which few can anticipate. Such ones misrepresent the high standard of righteousness. There are those who are easily influenced by them, and together, by their foolish talking, their loud laughing, their love of amusement, they injure the reputation of the institution. The patients are disgusted by their indecorous conduct. Those who have any part to act in our sanitariums are to be circumspect. They are to act like men and women who carry grave responsibilities. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 13

A warning is given us: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:14-18.] 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 14

There is necessity for much prayer. Walk circumspectly if you desire to be children of God. True Christians will not enter into worldly amusements and entertainments. The truth demands that a firm, decided influence be exerted against the amusement and folly which counteract the serious impressions that are made on the mind. It is time for those who believe the most solemn message ever given to man to take heed, lest in word or action they give Satan any advantage. Believers must show constant vigilance, lest the enemy obtain the victory. The righteous will show a definiteness in their work—a clearness of understanding as to their course of action. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 15

In the Word of God is found instruction which cheers and encourages in times of doubt and darkness. In comparison with this instruction, the amusements of the world sink into insignificance. In the Bible, Christ speaks as the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. God is greatly dishonored when those to whom He has given light walk contrary to the guidance of His Word. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 16

God calls upon us to confess Christ by honoring Bible truth. His Word is to be our meat and drink. The truth is of no profit to those who claim to believe it unless it is appreciated and honored. The nurses and helpers in the Sanitarium are where they can act as God’s helping hand. The Bible is their armory. There they find the weapons of their warfare. If they use aright the grand, sanctifying truths of this Word, they will find them mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Error will be destroyed and truth established. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 17

The Bible contains directions for the life service which we are to offer to Him whose we are by creation and by redemption. The Word of the living God is quick and powerful, able to make men wise unto salvation. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, and for instruction in righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ came to our world to bring to men the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 18

God calls for a purification in the outside connection of the institution. Untold harm may be done by one youth of vile habits. Take heed, for this is an important matter. Purity must be observed. There is soon to be a great separation, the just and pure from the unjust and impure. More harm than any one supposes can be done by children who are not pure. If in connection with the sanitarium work there are those who have such children, they should at once be separated from the institution. If there are men who are loose in their words and practices, let them be sent away at once. The Sanitarium and its branch enterprises are no places for any such persons. It was established away from the cities to avoid the corruption of the sons of Belial. If the sons of Belial are brought into connection with the institution, Satan will work his will. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 19

Parents whose children are impure should take them where they will do the least harm; for such children will corrupt the children with whom they associate. What will be the result, if the word goes forth that the children attending school here have been corrupted by association with those whose parents are employed in the sanitarium? Make most thorough investigation of this matter. And let the parents of these children, if such there be, do all in their power to avert the great evil, else the curse of God will rest upon them. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 20

The public schools in the cities are full of Sodomitish children. In the name of the Lord, search the camp most diligently. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” [1 Thessalonians 5:21.] God says, “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” [1 John 4:1.] We are not asked to accept without proof every one who claims to be a Seventh-day Adventist. In the name of the Lord we are to detect error and unrighteousness. By earnest inquiry we should learn from fathers and mothers what their children are in character. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 21

It is a most dangerous error for those conducting sanitariums to think that to avoid strife they must suffer the good and bad to mingle, every one being responsible for himself. It is true that believers and unbelievers, the wheat and the tares, must grow together. But shall we do nothing to prevent impurity? Shall we make no effort to separate the vile from the righteous? We must search. We must exhort parents to guard their children. We must entreat those whose children are wicked to take them where they will do the least harm. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 22

The ministers and physicians who shall connect with the sanitarium are on trial. God is taking the measurement of the temple and the worshipers therein. Our profession of faith demands that a close work be done in families. “Seeing then that we have this ministry, we faint not, but have renounced the hidden things of darkness, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” [2 Corinthians 4:1, 2.] We are not to weaken the principles of the truth by imperfect lives. The truth is to shine forth much more brightly than it has done. It is of God; it maketh free; it overcometh the world. Its principles are from above, and if brought into the daily life will make the character Christlike. Christ desires His people to be partakers of the divine nature, “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:4.] Freedom from corruption—this is what we are to seek for in all our associations, in all our work, in all our institutions—schools, publishing houses, sanitariums, and food factories. Those who are soundly converted to the truth will strive earnestly to advance the truth in its purity. They will seek to the best of their ability to make the truth what it should be to every household. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 23

The qualifications of an elder are plainly stated by the apostle Paul: “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God, not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” [Titus 1:6-9.] 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 24

If a man does not show wisdom in the management of the church in his own house, how can he show wisdom in the management of the larger church outside? How can he bear the responsibilities which mean so much, if he cannot govern his own children? Wise discrimination is not shown in this matter. God’s blessing will not rest upon the minister who neglects the education and training of his children. He has a sacred trust, and he should in no case set before church members a defective example in the management of his home. 16LtMs, Ms 104, 1901, par. 25