Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 223, 1905

Burden, J. A.

Takoma Park, Maryland

June 2, 1905

Portions of this letter are published in UL 167; MM 87; PC 237-239; 3MR 343. +Note

Dear Brother Burden,—

I am much encouraged by the letters that I have received from you regarding Loma Linda. From your description of the place, I believe it meets the representation which I have seen of what we should seek for as sanitarium locations. Such a place was presented to me a few miles from an important city. The city has recently been built up. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 1

I have tried to place before our people there presentations given me regarding sanitariums in the country, and I have urged upon them the necessity of establishing our sanitariums outside of the cities. I have had repeatedly presented to me the advantage of securing locations some miles out of the cities. Those who follow the counsel of God in providing places where the sick and suffering can receive proper treatment will be guided to the right places for the establishment of their work. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 2

Let our sanitariums be located where there is an abundance of land. I can see the advantage of such a place as Loma Linda. The Lord worked to help us to secure this property. The work of this institution is to be carried forward on pure, elevated lines. It can be conducted in such a way that the truth will be presented as the rock upon which to build. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 3

In order that our institutions shall teach right lessons, there must be connected with them men of such simplicity that they are willing to learn of the great Teacher. “To you it is given,” Christ said, to the people who keep My commandments and do those things that I have presented in My Word, “to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” [Luke 8:10.] 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 4

We are to proclaim the truth to the world, for thus the great Medical Missionary has commanded us. What ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house top; for there is nothing hid that shall not be made known. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and keep His commandments. [See Matthew 10:26, 27; Psalm 25:14.] “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” [John 1:12.] 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 5

The church of Christ is dependent on Him for her very existence. Only through Him can it gain continued life and strength. The members are to live constantly in the most intimate, vital relationship with the Saviour. They are to follow in His steps of self-denial and sacrifice. They are to go forth into the highways and byways of life to win souls to Him, using every possible means to make the truth appear in its true character before the world. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 6

The truth is to be presented in various ways. Some in the higher walks of life will grasp it as it is presented in figures and parables. As men labor to unfold the truth with clearness, that conviction may come to their hearers, the Lord is present as He promised to be. As they go forth on their mission, teaching all things whatsoever Christ has commanded, the promise will be fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] Those who are honest in heart will see the importance of the truth for this time and will take their place in the ranks of those who are keeping and teaching the commandments. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 7

All that can be done to make clear the mystery of godliness is to be done. The earthly has its place in illustrating the heavenly. All nature is a lesson book, a teacher to every one who will learn. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 8

In His wonderful sermon on the mount, Christ used the lilies of the field in their natural loveliness to illustrate a great truth. His language is adapted to the opening intellect of child-life. The great Teacher brought His hearers in contact with nature, that they might listen to the voice which speaks in all created things; and as their hearts became tender and their minds receptive, He helped them to interpret the spiritual teaching of the scenes upon which their eyes rested. The parables, by means of which He loved to teach lessons of truth, show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He delighted to gather spiritual teaching from the surroundings of daily life. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 9

The birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the sower and the seed, the shepherd and the sheep—with these Christ illustrated immortal truth. He drew illustrations from the facts of life, facts of experience familiar to the hearers—the hid treasure, the pearl, the fishing net, the lost coin, the prodigal son, the houses on the rock and on the sand. In His lessons there was something to interest every mind, to appeal to every heart. Thus the daily task, instead of being a mere round of toil, bereft of higher thoughts, was brightened and uplifted by constant reminders of the spiritual and the unseen. The Lord Jesus would have the true philosophy of nature’s great lesson book opened before the mind. Parents, take time to teach your children to distinguish between the genuine and the artificial. Christ points us to the lily of the field, telling us to learn from it a lesson of simplicity and trust in God. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 10

A departure from the Lord’s plans of simplicity to the artificial plans of the world has destroyed in many minds the harmony that God has said should exist. They are to be led back from the artificial to genuine Bible religion. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 11

We need workers who will gain breadth of mind by studying the book God has opened before us of His created works. Angels co-operate with those who proclaim the truths represented by the things of nature. These things are not God, but they are specimens of God’s handiwork. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 12

The Lord has a work to be done that has not yet been carried forward as He designs it to be. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a people that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God.” [Isaiah 58:1, 2.] 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 13

The Lord would have every means put in operation to arouse the people and bring them to their senses. To you it is given, He declares, to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. He desires to show us things that will awaken the understanding of the people. I will open My mouth in parables, he says; I will utter things that have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 14

God calls upon us to arouse to our responsibilities. He calls upon His people to awake from their slumbers and make use of every advantage possible for gaining the attention of those who know not the truth. But caution is to be exercised, that in the proclamation of the message, expense shall not be incurred that would embarrass the cause at a time when it should be going steadily forward. But I have no reproof for Elder Simpson. He has not worked too fast or too decidedly. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 15

Our medical workers are to do all in their power to cure disease of the body and also disease of the mind. They are to watch and pray and work, bringing spiritual as well as physical advantages to those for whom they labor. The physician in one of our sanitariums who is a true servant of God has an intensely interesting work to do for every suffering human being with whom he is brought in contact. He is to lose no opportunity to point souls to Christ, the great Healer of body and mind. Every physician should be a skilful worker in Christ’s lines. There is to be no lessening of the interest in spiritual things, else the power to fix the mind upon the great Physician will be diverted. While the needs of the body are to be strictly attended to, while all efforts are to be made to break the power of disease, the physician is never to forget that there is a soul to be labored for. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 16

God would draw minds from the conviction of logic to a conviction deeper, higher, purer, and more glorious, a conviction unperverted by human logic. Human logic has often nearly quenched the light which God would have shine forth in clear rays to convince minds that the God of nature is worthy of all praise and all glory, because He is the Creator of all things. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 17

Christ illustrated character building by a house built on a rock, against which storm and tempest were powerless, and the house built on the sand, which was swept away. We are living in perilous times. Amidst the changing scenes, with heresy and false doctrines coming in that will test the faith of all, the house built on the solid rock cannot be shaken. But when storm and tempest come, the house built on the sand will fall, and great will be the fall of it. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 18

Let us take heed then how we build. Let no one build unwisely. The Word of God is our only foundation. Every semblance of error will come upon us. Some of these errors will be very specious and attractive, but if received, they would remove the pillars of the foundation that Christ has established and set up a structure of man’s building. There are those who seeing, see not, and hearing, hear not, and under Satan’s guidance they prepare false foundations for human minds. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 19

Christ’s lessons should be studied by every one. The truth is solid, substantial. This truth is to be presented to all; for Satan will come in with his pleasing sentiments, which make nothingness of God’s Word and turn aside minds from the truth to fables. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 20

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Christ said, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born again when he is old? ... Jesus answered, Verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. ... Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:3-5, 7, 8.] 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 21

I have been instructed that just such experiences will come in our work. There will be those who are awakened and convicted, and yet held by influences as was Nicodemus. Christ did not enter into controversy with Nicodemus, so our workers today would manifest wisdom in not going away from the great questions involved. Christ presented to Nicodemus new light which brought him in contact with all light, instead of leaving him where doubt would be strengthened. He desired Nicodemus to carry away some practical points, showing that it was not learning that he needed, nor controversy, but the truth and a new heart. Until a man’s heart is changed, his reasoning upon points of difference in regard to Christ’s message will produce no saving results, but will strengthen the spirit of resistance. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 22

The way in which Christ dealt with Nicodemus teaches a lesson that God’s workers today are to study and practice. When men desire to enter into controversy, we are to keep to the affirmative. In the efforts that are now being made in Los Angeles and in the efforts that will be made in other places in the future, let not the advocate of truth allow himself to be led away by his opponents into controversy on false theories. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 23

Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knoweth not these things? Verily, verily I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven. 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 24

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of man be lifted up; ... that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” [Verses 14, 16-21.] 20LtMs, Lt 223, 1905, par. 25