Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 121, 1901

Sanderson, A. J.

St. Helena, California

September 12, 1901 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in MM 111-115; 1SM 22; HP 75; 7BC 939. +Note

Dr. Sanderson

Dear brother,—

I have said many things to you by letter, but I am so weighed down in your case that I must continue to write to you, lest in your blindness you will not see where you need to reform. I am instructed that you are entertaining ideas with which God has forbidden you to deal. I will name these as a species of mind-cure. You suppose that you can use this mind-cure in your professional work as a physician. In tones of earnest warning the words were spoken: Beware, beware where your feet are placed and your mind is carried. God has not appointed you this work. The theory of mind controlling mind is originated by Satan to introduce himself as the chief worker to put human philosophy where divine philosophy should be. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 1

No man or woman should exercise his or her will to control the senses or reason of another, so that the mind of the person is rendered passively subject to the will of the one who is exercising the control. This science may appear to be something beautiful, but it is a science which you are in no case to handle. If you do handle it, it will finally handle you. There is something better for you to engage in than the control of human nature over human nature. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 2

I lift the danger-signal. The only safe and true mind-cure covers much. The physician must educate the people to look from the human to the divine. He who has made man’s mind knows precisely what the mind needs. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 3

In taking up the science you have begun to advocate, you are giving an education which is not safe for you or for those you teach. It is dangerous to tinge minds with the science of mind-cure. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 4

This science may appear to you to be very valuable, but to you and to others it is a fallacy prepared by Satan. It is the charm of the serpent which stings to spiritual death. It covers much that seems wonderful, but it is foreign to the nature and Spirit of Christ. This science does not lead to Him who is life and salvation. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 5

The poor, afflicted souls with whom you are brought in contact have needed more of your attention than they have received. You have it in your power to encourage them to look to Jesus, and, by beholding, be changed to His image. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 6

The true knowledge of Jesus Christ will lead your mind and the mind of your wife in a safe direction. It gives the inspiration of true worship. It is the fellowship of the soul with Him who is its life. Coming in contact with Him, the mind is drawn to His heart of life and is inspired with the essence of His sanctification. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 7

Be careful, my brother and my sister, in regard to where your faith is tending. Jesus lives to make intercession for you. Let your minds be one with the mind of Christ. Having His mind, you will not soar to heights which will at last bring you down to the lowest depths. Dabble not in those things which now appear to you so attractive, but which do not lead to Christ. Let your ambition ascend higher, to pure, true fellowship with Him in whom you may safely glory. Then your religion will be a power for good. You will not then communicate that which will prove a snare unto death. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 8

Our Saviour understood all about human nature, and He says to every human being, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] As God is perfect in His sphere, so man is to be perfect in his sphere. Those who receive Christ are among the number to whom the words, so full of hope, are spoken, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] These words declare to us that we should be content with nothing less than the best and highest character, a character formed after the divine similitude. When such a character is possessed, the life, the faith, the purity of the religion is an instructive example to others. “Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.” [Proverbs 14:34.] 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 9

“The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the gift of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of this world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, things which are not, to bring to nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; that according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” [1 Corinthians 1:18-31.] 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 10

“I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” [2 Corinthians 11:3.] 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 11

“You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ; ... and hath raised us up together; and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” [Ephesians 2:1-9.] 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 12

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil; for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; and above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” [Ephesians 6:10-17.] 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 13

At the beginning of my work I had the mind-cure science to contend with. I was sent from place to place to declare the falseness of this science into which many were entering. The mind-cure was entered upon very innocently—to relieve the tension upon the minds of nervous invalids. But, how sad were the results. God sent me from place to place to rebuke everything pertaining to this science. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 14

I wish to speak plainly to you. You have entered upon a work which has no place in the work of a Christian physician, and which must find no place in our health institutions. Innocent though it may appear, this mind-cure, if exercised upon the patients, will in its development be for their destruction, not their restoration. The third chapter of second Timothy describes persons who accept error, such as one mind exercising complete control over another mind. God forbids any such thing. The mind-cure is one of Satan’s greatest sciences, and it is important that our physicians see clearly the real character of this science, for through it great temptations will come to them. This science must not be allowed a particle of standing-room in our sanitariums. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 15

God has not given one ray of light or encouragement for our physicians to take up the work of having one mind completely control the mind of another, so that one acts out the will of another. Let us learn the ways and purposes of God. Let not the enemy gain the least advantage over you. Let him not lead you to dare to endeavor to control another mind until it becomes a machine in your hands. This is the science of Satan’s working. Thus he works when he entices men to sell the soul for liquor. He takes possession of body, mind, and soul, and it is no longer the man, but Satan who acts. And the cruelty of Satan is expressed as the drunkard lifts his hand to strike down the wife he has promised to love and cherish as long as life shall last. The deeds of the drunkard are an expression of Satan’s violence. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 16

Now, my brother, I consider you to be in positive peril. I present this because I know that you are in great danger of being seduced by Satan. We are living in a time when every phase of fanaticism will press its way in among believers and unbelievers. Satan will come in, speaking lies in hypocrisy. Everything that he can invent to deceive men and women will be brought forward. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 17

Just in proportion as men lose their sense of the need of vital religion, so they become filled with common, earthly ideas, which they exalt as wonderful knowledge. Physicians who lose their hold on Christ become filled with ideas of their own, which they look upon as some wonderful science to be brought into the medical profession as something new and strange. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 18

I have been awakened at the early hour of twelve to write out these things. Let me tell you plainly that you are in an uncertain condition of mind, and that the efforts you put forth to rescue yourself are in vain. No man can serve two masters. If you try to serve the world and the Lord at the same time, the result will be that worldly policy and worldly schemes will become supreme in your life. Why? Because the Word of God will become uncongenial; for the heart is not committed to the moulding and fashioning of the Holy Spirit. The will is not given up to God, and therefore enmity to God is revealed. The natural impulses of the heart, ministering to the natural man, are chosen to control. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 19

If, realizing your danger, you would humble yourself before God, you would see that circumcision is an inward work of the heart, “in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” [Romans 2:29.] 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 20

You need, as verily as did Nicodemus, to be born again. You are a man with a diseased mind, having an egotism which gives a very feeble representation of the saving power of the godliness which is the fruit of heart holiness—heart wholeness to God. This egotism is not a virtue, but an evil which needs to be discerned and thoroughly forsaken. We do not need the vanities of men, but we all need insight into character. The best sentiments of egotism are at times apparently interesting, but they have no depth of virtue, and the material from which the egotist draws his supply soon becomes exhausted. He has only his own experience and feelings to use, and those with whom he communicates soon become weary. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 21

A man must have good material from which to draw in order to refresh other minds by his ideas. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 22

Egotism is a weariness, because the egotist has no sense of discrimination in estimating the value of things. He has not the power of self-measurement. He thinks that his ideas are of the highest importance, and he disparages those who do not think in harmony with him. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 23

My brother, while you cherish your own suppositions as truth, God cannot enlighten you. With your present phase of character, you are not capable of understanding the best course to pursue in introducing principles which rest upon a solid basis. Your greatest consideration is, “Is my proper position recognized? Am I called upon as I should be to decide matters?” 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 24

Your selfish ideas must never become the ruling power in any sanitarium. You are to blend with other men and women who have understanding. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 25

My brother, I wish you would take time to look yourself squarely in the face. You claim that you are not responsible for all that takes place, that the failures made are chargeable to the influence of someone else. If the enterprises with which you are associated prosper, you think it is because you would not allow certain conditions; if they fail, you think it is because you were not allowed to manage, because your ideas were not carried out. This is the way in which matters have stood for years at the Sanitarium here. But if you will look at yourself in the mirror of God’s Word, you will see there the reflection of a character that God does not commend. You yourself have shaped the policy of the institution so that the men and influences that stood in your way were ruled out. The lessons you might have learned, you have not learned, because Dr. Sanderson was standing in his own light. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 26

The Lord wants Brother Sanderson to be converted. He wants him to be honest with himself and with every line of work connected with the Sanitarium. My brother, so long as you deceive yourself, you deceive others, and you fail to cherish the truth that works by love and purifies the soul. Without the truth abiding in your heart, you are an unsafe, unwise guide. You must not regard your judgment as supreme. Christ is the Rock upon which we are to build. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 27

If you only had a sense of how greatly you need a new heart, a new mind, you would search God’s Word with diligence. You would not trust your own mind, your own ideas. You would study the Scriptures carefully and prayerfully, and would build upon the sure foundation. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 28

O what a work you need to have done for your poor mind by the virtue of a living belief in Christ. What good sense there is in the Lord Jesus, whose praise is not of men, but of God. What higher education can the human family find than that contained in the gospel. The more fully you yield your mind to the divine light of the gospel, the more earnestly you study the truths uttered by the Holy Spirit, the less satisfied will you feel with your deficient experience. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 29

Our physicians must not rest content with a half-conversion. They need to place their whole trust in Christ. Then the healthy beats of the new heart will change the atmosphere surrounding the soul. Make sure that you are accepted by Christ because you rely on the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. His righteousness must be your righteousness. He wrought it out for you, and when you receive it, you stand justified in the presence of God. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 30

You are in danger of being satisfied with an atmosphere of worldliness. In your religious exercises you are inclined to be tame and unmoved. Brother and Sister Sanderson, the truth must be presented in the spirit and power of the gospel with such earnestness that sinners will realize that they cannot longer delay seeking the Lord. Put on zeal as a cloak. Take yourselves to the Lord just as you are. Humble yourselves before Him. Show a lively interest in the precious truth—an interest revealed by words spoken with an earnestness proportionate to the object of which you are in pursuit—life, life, eternal life. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 31

It is the converting power of God that you both need. Never suppose, my brother, my sister, that it is not best to show that the heart is touched by the Spirit of God. The Lord takes no pleasure in your ideas of stoicism. He desires the heart to be softened before Him. Let the soul melt in tenderness as the truth is spoken. Let light flash from the inspiration of the Spirit of God. The messengers of truth, God’s workmen, are to be revived and quickened by His Spirit. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 32

At this time tame, weak work will not succeed. The Lord calls men to do a special work. In order to do this work, they must hide themselves in Christ. Let Him who is mighty to save appear as the One altogether lovely. Let the heart be imbued with the love of Him who was ever meek and lowly, although He knew that He was the Son of the Most High. Never exalt self. Walk in humility of mind and be teachable. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 33

I am glad that the Sanitarium can have the labors of Brother Taylor. We hope that he will be a great blessing, both to the helpers and to the patients. Unite heartily with him. Show the believers and unbelievers in the institution that you are in harmony with this brother who is God’s worker. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 34

The Lord speaks to human beings in imperfect speech, in order that the degenerate senses, the dull, earthly perception of earthly beings may comprehend His words. Thus is shown God’s condescension. He meets fallen human beings where they are. The Bible, perfect as it is in its simplicity, does not answer to the great ideas of God, for infinite ideas cannot be perfectly embodied in finite vehicles of thought. Instead of the expressions of the Bible being exaggerated, as many people suppose, the strong expressions break down before the magnificence of the thought, though the penman selected the most expressive language through which to convey the truths of higher education. Sinful beings can only bear to look upon a shadow of the brightness of heaven’s glory. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 35

We need to know how to pray. It is not tame, spiritless prayers that take hold of the divine attributes. Prayer is heard by God when it comes from a heart broken by a sense of unworthiness. Prayer was instituted for our comfort and salvation, that through faith and hope we may lay hold on the rich promises of God. Prayer is the expression of the desires of a soul hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Any human being who prides himself upon his calmness, his unmoved tenor of mind, when conversing with God, who does not in his petitions breathe forth an intensity of desire, needs to have a new heart, a heart conscious of all that is included in approaching to God. “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 36

I will not dwell longer on these matters. But I desire to say that he who strives for eloquent language when praying is entirely out of place. The eloquence that God accepts is the earnest, longing cry of the soul which feels that it must have help. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 37

Long prayers are not essential. Those who labor in the right spirit will pray in the right spirit. He who labors as Christ labored will be in earnest when he prays. And the Word of God assures us, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” [James 5:16.] 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 38

Open your heart to God. Commit the keeping of your soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. I would be pleased to say more, but I am brain-weary. My brother, my sister, I pray that you may both take the right course. Make this time a time that will be long remembered. Take your stand firmly that you will be laborers together with God. 16LtMs, Lt 121, 1901, par. 39