Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17

403/469

Ms 154, 1902

Instruction to Men in Positions of Responsibility

NP

October 24, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 42; MM 165; 2BC 1026; SpTB #13 3; 1MR 228; 4MR 274-275; 7MR 211-213; 9MR 172.

Our Opportunity to Work in the Cities of America

The work in foreign fields is to be carried forward earnestly and intelligently. And the work in the home field is in no wise to be neglected. Let not the fields lying in the shadow of our doors, such as New York City, be passed over lightly and neglected. This field is just as important as any foreign field. The cities in the South also are to be worked. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 1

God’s encouraging message of mercy should be proclaimed in the cities of America. Men and women living in these cities are rapidly becoming more and still more entangled in their business relations. They are acting wildly in the erection of buildings whose towers reach high into the heavens. Their minds are filled with schemes and ambitious devisings. God is bidding every one of His ministering servants: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1.] 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 2

Let us thank the Lord that there are a few laborers doing everything possible to raise up some memorials for God in our neglected cities. Let us remember that it is our duty to give these workers encouragement. God is displeased with the lack of appreciation and support shown our faithful workers in our large cities by His English-speaking people in our own land. The work in the home field is a vital problem just now. The present time is the most favorable opportunity that we shall have to work these fields. In a little while the situation will not be so favorable as it is now. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 3

Providential Openings for Sanitarium Work

At this time, when there are persons, even among worldlings, who are willing to concede favors to us, let not the brethren of responsibility at the center of the work be slow to acknowledge the good work begun. Let them encourage the efforts of their fellow workers to plant the seeds of truth in new soil. Let them not be negligent or slack in sustaining these workers. When the Lord opens ways to establish small institutions in different places, let the men in positions of trust help their brethren to take advantage of these offers by advancing means to them and giving them words of good cheer. Let not our leading brethren discourage God’s servants from entering these providential openings. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 4

Let God’s people be ready to discern His wonderful workings in their behalf. Let us, brethren and sisters, keep so wide-awake that when He has prepared the way before us, we shall be ready to follow His leading. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 5

The New England Sanitarium

The Lord in His providence has opened the way for His workers to take an advance step in New England—a field where much special work should be done. Through the manifest providence of God, the brethren there have been enabled to arrange to change the location of the Sanitarium from South Lancaster to Melrose, a place much nearer Boston, and yet far enough removed from that city to give patients the most favorable conditions for recovery of health. The transfer of the New England Sanitarium to this place, so convenient to the city of Boston, is in God’s providence. When the Lord sets His hand to prepare the way before us, God forbid that any one should stand back, questioning the wisdom of going forward, or refusing to give encouragement and help. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 6

The removal of the New England Sanitarium from South Lancaster to Melrose has been presented to me as being directed by the Lord. The buildings are of a character to recommend our medical missionary work, which is to be carried forward not only in Boston, but in many other unworked cities in New England. The Melrose property is such that conveniences can be provided that will draw to that Sanitarium persons not of our faith. The aristocratic as well as the common people will visit that institution to avail themselves of the advantages offered for restoration of health. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 7

Let all who are connected with the New England Sanitarium labor to make it a model institution, where the living principles of righteousness shall prevail. All our institutions for the care of the sick and the suffering are to stand upon the elevated platform of truth. They are to carry out the eternal principles of equity and righteousness. Those who are working in them are to weight their actions in the scales of justice, and practice strict equity. God desires every man and every woman in His service to stand before Him in purity and truth, obedient to all His commandments. Cleanness of spirit must be preserved wherever the light of truth is to shine forth. All the workers in our sanitariums should ever remember that they are laboring in institutions dedicated to the Lord. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 8

Unselfishness in the Establishment of New Sanitariums

In planning for the advancement of medical missionary work, we should use sanctified judgment. We should not attempt in any place to erect a mammoth sanitarium so extensive and so expensive, that we have nothing left with which to provide institutions in other parts of the Lord’s vineyard to carry out the same benevolent designs of our heavenly Father, as were specified when the first Sanitarium building was erected in Battle Creek. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 9

God’s purpose in giving the third angel’s message to the world is to prepare a people to stand true to Him during the investigative judgement. This is the purpose for which we establish and maintain our publishing houses, our schools, our sanitariums, hygienic restaurants, treatment rooms, and food factories. This is our purpose in carrying forward every line of work in the cause. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 10

The Lord God of heaven will not allow to pass unnoticed one scheme to take advantage of the workers in any of our sanitariums in order to obtain more property and occupy more ground. God is looking upon every movement made. From the East to the West, from the North to the South, let no one engaged in sanitarium work so manage that large revenues will be absorbed and many advantages used to upbuild the work in any one place. A large amount of means should not be used in selfishly building up an immense institution in one part of the country, to the neglect of other parts of the field that are just as much in need of similar facilities. Large sums would be required to furnish the rooms, many helpers would be needed, and heavy expenses would be incurred in carrying on such large interests. In doing this supposedly great work, our brethren would be losing sight of the real work that our sanitariums are established to accomplish. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 11

The Lord’s plan is to have small sanitariums established in many places, so that the greatest number of people, East and West, North and South, can be reached through this means. These institutions should be located where they can be easily managed and where the conditions are best adapted for sanitarium work. Let us preserve these institutions in their original simplicity, ever bearing in mind that other places are just as much in need of similar facilities for the treatment of disease. We must not allow ambition to lead us to rob a neighboring field or a sister institution in order to upbuild our own. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 12

It is not the largeness or the grandeur of an edifice that impresses hearts, but the principles of righteousness, of justice and equity, practiced within. Pronounced Bible principles must prevail in every one of the Lord’s institutions. Thus those who are handling sacred responsibilities will reveal that their characters are sanctified by the truth that they claim to believe. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 13

Let us forbear to weave the threads of selfishness into any line of our work; for if we should act selfishly, the Lord would surely humble us. He desires every plant to have a chance to live and to accomplish the good and excellent work that it was appointed to do. We should remember that all these years many of our medical institutions have not been doing the missionary work that God designed they should do. In them God’s truth has not always been revealed in the power of the Holy Spirit. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 14

Management of Sanitariums

Our health institutions are of value in the Lord’s estimation only when He is allowed to preside in their management. If His plans and devisings are regarded as inferior to plans of men, He looks upon these institutions as of no more value than the institutions established and conducted by worldlings. God cannot endorse any institution unless it teaches the living principles of His law and brings its own actions into strict conformity to these precepts. Upon those institutions that are not maintained according to His law, He pronounces the sentence, “Unaccepted. Weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and found wanting.” [See Daniel 5:27.] 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 15

The man at the head of any work in God’s cause is to be a man of intelligence, a man capable of managing large interests successfully, a man of even temper, Christlike forbearance, and perfect self-control. He only whose heart is transformed by the grace of Christ can be a proper leader. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 16

Those who act as managers and overseers in our sanitariums are not to make the world’s policy their criterion; for the sign of God, as defined in (Exodus 31:12-18), is to be revealed in all its comprehensive meaning. The proper observance of the Sabbath day by all connected with our sanitariums will exert an untold influence for good. Every medical institution established by Seventh-day Adventists is to bear God’s sign before the world prominently, without disguising the facts in any way. We are to voice the message of the third angel flying in the midst of heaven with the everlasting gospel to proclaim to the world. We are to bear aloft the banner on which is inscribed the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 17

The men in positions of trust should regard the means they handle as God’s revenue and use it in an economical manner. When there is an abundance in the treasury, they are not to invest it in adding building to building in places already provided with memorials for God. Hundreds of other places are in need of this money, that they, too, may have something established to represent the truth. All parts of the Lord’s vineyard are to be worked. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 18

The power to use and disburse the Lord’s money is not to be left to the judgment of any one man. An account must be given for every dollar expended. God’s means is to be used at the proper times and in the right places, that it may be a blessing, and also an object lesson of how He works in accordance with principles of equity, justice, and righteousness. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 19

No one man is ever to set himself up as a ruler, as a lord over his fellow men, to act out his natural impulses. No one man’s voice and influence should ever be allowed to become a controlling power. Those who oppress their fellow workers in our institutions, and who refuse to change their manner of treating the helpers under their charge, should be removed. As overseers, they should have exerted a superior, refining influence for the right. Their investment with power makes it all the more necessary for them to be models of true Christianity. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 20

I am instructed by the Lord to say that position never gives a man grace or makes him righteous. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 111:10.] Some men entrusted with positions of responsibility entertain the idea that position is for the aggrandizement of self. Let no manager think that all minds must be subjected to his mind, that all wills must be subordinate to his will, and that all methods must be laid aside for his methods. Greater injury cannot be done to any institution than by allowing such a man to remain in his position after proper test and trial. It is a sin against God to permit unfaithful stewards to remain in positions of trust; for the Lord’s people are liable to be mislead by their unfaithfulness. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 21

The day is sure to come when the evil works of every unjust steward will be made manifest. Those who have no regard for justice, judgment, and equity; those who seek to gain control of the Lord’s means and to secure power of influence for selfish purposes, are corrupting the Lord’s sacred principles. Through power of position men may for a time claim the right to exercise prerogatives that the Lord never intended them to exercise; but their course imperils the souls of God’s people, and if they refuse to heed the counsel of their brethren, and persist in following their own way, the Lord will vindicate His principles of righteousness and save His cause from reproach. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 22

A Lesson from Solomon’s Life

Men entrusted with high positions in God’s service would learn much of value to them from the record of Solomon’s experiences. The Lord declared that He would be with Solomon so long as he obeyed God’s law: 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 23

“The days of David drew nigh that he should die; and be charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man; and keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: that the Lord may continue His word which He spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said He) a man on the throne of Israel.” [1 Kings 2:1-4.] 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 24

Solomon’s prosperity and kingly influence was of God and would never have been taken from him if he had continued to obey all the commandments of the Lord. Let us read the record of his consecration: 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 25

“In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before Thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with Thee; and Thou has kept for him this great kindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, not hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.” [1 Kings 3:5-15.] 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 26

It would be well for us carefully to study Solomon’s prayer, and to consider every point on which depended his receiving the rich blessings that the Lord was ready to give him. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 27

“And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all Solomon’s desire which he was pleased to do, that the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as He had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put My name there forever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually. And if Thou wilt walk before Me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep My statutes and My judgments: then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. But if ye shall at all turn from following Me, ye or your children, and will not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for My name, will I cast out of My sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people.” [1 Kings 9:1-7.] 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 28

Power placed in the hands of any man is, beyond a certain limit, a snare, and often will ruin his soul. The Lord’s word to Solomon is applicable to every man who consents to assume responsibilities in any place in the Lord’s work. Strength of character is to be honored by those who claim to keep the commandments and statutes of God. 17LtMs, Ms 154, 1902, par. 29