Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Ms 126, 1907

Lessons for Sanitarium Workers


November 11, 1907 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in KC 24-31.

Preparation for Trial

The burden is upon me to write that which will be a help to God’s people in these closing days. A great crisis is just before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require persevering faith. But we may triumph gloriously; not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the enemy. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 1

Christ sought to impart special instruction to the first disciples to prepare them for the trial of faith they must endure in His rejection and crucifixion by the Jews. “The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men,” He said, “and they shall kill Him; and the third day He shall rise again.” “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father, with His angels; and then shall He reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.” [Matthew 17:22, 23; 16:24-28.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 2

“And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart.” [Matthew 17:1.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 3

The Saviour and His disciples have spent the day in traveling and teaching, and the mountain climb adds to their weariness. They follow where Christ leads the way, yet they wonder why their Master should lead them up this toilsome ascent when they are weary, and when He too is in need of rest. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 4

Presently Jesus tells them that they are now to go no farther. Stepping a little aside from them, the Man of sorrows pours out His supplications with strong crying and tears. He prays for strength to bear the test in behalf of humanity. And He pours out His heart longings for His disciples, that in the hour of the power of darkness their faith may not fail. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 5

At first the disciples unite their prayers with His in sincere devotion; but after a time they are overcome with weariness, and, even while trying to retain their interest in the scene, they fall asleep. The Saviour has seen the gloom of His disciples and has longed to lighten their grief with the assurance that their faith has not been in vain. The burden of His prayer is that they may be given a manifestation of His glory that He had with the Father before the world was, that His kingdom may be revealed to human eyes, and that His disciples may be strengthened to behold it. He pleads that they may witness a manifestation of His divinity that will comfort them in the hour of His supreme agony with the knowledge that He is of a surety the Son of God, and that His shameful death is a part of the plan of redemption. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 6

The Saviour’s prayer was heard. He “was transfigured before them, and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. And behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias, talking with Him. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 7

“Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold a voice out of the cloud which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” [Verses 2-6.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 8

Through being overcome with sleep, the disciples heard little of what passed between Christ and the heavenly messenger. Failing to watch and pray, they had not received the light that God desired to give them—a knowledge of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. They lost the blessings that might have been theirs by sharing His self-sacrifice. Slow of heart to believe were these disciples, little appreciative of the treasure with which Heaven sought to enrich them. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 9

When Christ’s predictions came to pass, and the disciples were brought over the ground of test and trial, they failed to endure the proving. Peter denied his Lord before His enemies. Had the disciples remained watching, they would not have lost their faith as they beheld the Son of God dying upon the cross. Amid the gloom of that terrible, trying hour, some rays of hope would have lighted up the darkness and sustained their faith. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 10

This experience of the disciples is recorded that we may learn its lessons. It is just as essential that the people of God today bear in mind how and where they have been tested, and where their faith has failed, where they have imperiled His cause by unbelief and self-confidence. Renouncing all self-dependence, they are to trust in God to save them from dishonoring His name. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 11

God sends trials to prove who will stand faithful under temptation. He brings us into trying positions to see if we will trust in a power out of and above ourselves. Everyone has undiscovered traits of character that must come to light through trial. God allows those who are self-sufficient to be sorely tempted, that they may understand their helplessness. He suffers the deep waters of affliction to go over our souls, in order that we may know Him and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, in order that we may have deep heart-longings to be cleansed from defilement, and may come forth from the trial purer, holier, happier. Often we enter the furnace of affliction with our souls darkened with selfishness; but if patient under the crucial test, we shall come forth reflecting the divine character. When His purpose in the affliction is accomplished, “He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” [Psalm 37:6.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 12

“Watch ye, and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” [Mark 14:38.] Watch against the stealthy approach of the enemy, watch against old habits and natural inclinations, lest they assert themselves; force them back, and watch. Watch the thoughts, watch the plans, lest they become self-centered. Watch over the souls that Christ has purposed with His own blood. Watch for opportunities to do them good. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 13

How to Be Great

Later the disciples were taught another lesson. On the journey through Galilee, Christ again tried to prepare their minds for the scenes before Him. He told them that He was to go up to Jerusalem to be put to death and to rise again. The disciples did not even now comprehend His words. Although the shadow of a great sorrow fell upon them, a spirit of rivalry found a place in their hearts. They disputed among themselves which should be accounted the greatest in the kingdom. This strife they thought to conceal from Jesus, and they did not as usual press close to His side, but loitered behind, so that He was in advance of them when they entered Capernaum. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 14

Jesus read their thoughts, and He longed to counsel and instruct them. But for this He awaited a quiet hour, when their hearts would be open to receive His words. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 15

When He reached Capernaum, and had entered a house, the disciples came to Him, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:1-3.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 16

Very tenderly, yet with solemn emphasis, Jesus tried to correct the evil. He showed what is the principle that bears sway in the kingdom of heaven, and in what true greatness consists as estimated by the standard of the courts above. Those who were actuated by pride or love of distinction were thinking of themselves and of the rewards they were to have, rather than how they were to render back to God the gifts they had received. They would have no place in the kingdom of heaven, for they were identified with the ranks of Satan. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 17

Before honor is humility. To fill a high place before men, Heaven chooses the worker who, like John the Baptist, takes a lowly place before God. The most childlike disciple is the most efficient in labor for God. The heavenly intelligences can co-operate with him who is seeking, not to exalt self, but to save souls. He who feels most deeply his need of divine aid will plead for it; and the Holy Spirit will give to him glimpses of Jesus that will strengthen and uplift the soul. From communion with Christ he will go forth to work for those who are perishing in their sins. He is anointed for his mission; and he succeeds where many of the learned and intellectually wise would fail. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 18

The Lord has lessons for us all to learn regarding the position we should occupy toward each other and toward Him. Let no pharisaical pride come into our ranks, but let us move humbly and wisely, putting from our hearts and minds every injurious thought and feeling. The spirit of selfishness that would lead a man to set himself above his brethren is evidence that he does not see the necessity of being a humble learner in Christ’s school. The precious Word of God is to be faithfully studied if God’s professing people are to find a place among the redeemed. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 19

“And whosoever receiveth one such little child in My name,” the Saviour continued, “receiveth Me.” And “whoso shall offend one of these little ones ... it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were drowned into the depths of the sea.” [Verses 5, 6.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 20

The “little ones” are not children in years, but those who are young in the Christian life. Those who have newly come to the faith are to be treated with love and tenderness. They are to be instructed by precept and example in the way of the truth. “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you, That in heaven, their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.” [Verses 10, 11.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 21

O how different are the standards by which God and man measure character. God sees many temptations resisted of which the world, and even near friends, never know—temptations in the home, in the heart. He sees the soul’s humility in view of its own weakness, the sincere repentance over even a thought that is evil. He sees the whole-hearted devotion to His service. He has noted the hours of hard battle with self—battle that won the victory. All this God and angels know. A book of remembrance is written for them that fear the Lord and that think upon His name. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 22

Not in our learning, not in our position, not in our numbers or our entrusted talents, not in the will of man is to be found the secret of success. Feeling our inefficiency, we are to contemplate Christ; and through Him who is the strength of all strength, the thought of all thought, the willing and obedient will gain victory after victory. And however short our service or humble our work, if in simple faith we follow Christ, we shall not be disappointed of the reward. That which even the greatest and wisest cannot earn, the weakest and most humble may receive. Heaven’s golden gate opens not to the self-exalted. It is not lifted up to the proud in spirit, but the everlasting portals will open wide to the trembling touch of a little child. Blessed will be the recompense of grace to those who have wrought for God in simplicity and faith and love. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 23

Care for the Erring

“How think ye,” the Saviour said, “if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and goeth into the mountains and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, Verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more over that sheep than over the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father that one of these little ones should perish.” [Verses 12-14.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 24

My brethren and sisters, read this whole chapter, and let its instruction tender your hearts and help you to understand your duty toward those who need your help. In every place angels of God are watching to see what kind of spirit is exercised in behalf of souls. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 25

If the lost sheep is not brought back to the fold, it wanders until it perishes. And many souls go down to ruin for want of a hand stretched out to save. These erring ones may appear hard and reckless; but if they had received the advantages that others have had, they might have revealed far more nobility of soul and greater talent for usefulness. Angels pity these wandering ones. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 26

Angels weep, while human eyes are dry and hearts are closed to pity. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 27

There are many who err and who feel their shame and folly. They look upon their mistakes and errors until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. When one has to swim against the stream, there is all the force of the current driving him back. Let a helping hand then be held out to him as was the Elder Brother’s hand to the sinking Peter. Speak to him hopeful words, words that will establish confidence and awaken love. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 28

Thy brother, sick in spirit, needs thee as thou thyself hast needed a brother’s love. He needs the experience of one who has been as weak as he, one who can sympathize with him and help him. The knowledge of our own weakness should help us to help another in his need. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 29

It is fellowship with Christ, personal contact with a living Saviour, that enables the mind and heart and soul to triumph over the lower nature. Tell the wanderer of an almighty hand that will hold him up, of an infinite humanity in Christ that pities him. It is not enough for him to believe in law and force, things that have no pity, and never hear the call for help. He needs to clasp a hand that is warm, to trust in a heart full of tenderness. Keep his mind stayed on the thought of a divine presence ever beside him, ever looking upon him with pitying love. Bid him think of a Father’s heart that ever grieves over sin, of a Father’s hand stretched out still, of a Father’s voice, saying, “Let him take hold of My strength, and make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 30

As you engage in this work, you have companions unseen by human eyes. Angels of heaven were beside the Samaritan who cared for the wounded stranger. Angels from the heavenly courts stand by the side of all who do God’s service in ministering to their fellow men. And you have the co-operation of Christ Himself. He is the restorer; and as you work under His supervision, you will see great results. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 31

Physicians, nurses, and helpers, in all your dealings with the sick, let yours words and actions be controlled by the Spirit of God. Precious words of comfort from the Word of God may be spoken to the sick ones who come to our sanitariums and earnest prayers be offered in their behalf. Hopeful words and cheerful countenances and helpful acts will reveal to the patients the love of God. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 32

All the religious exercises of the home life should be of a cheering and encouraging nature. The physician or nurse who is easily offended, or who cherishes a jealous or suspicious disposition, is not prepared to take responsibilities in our institutions for the sick. Such influences will counterwork the best efforts that can be made to bring in a cheering and uplifting atmosphere. Our sanitariums are to be regarded as sacred places; the spiritual interests of the patients are to be carefully watched, and any influence that should injure should be removed. The men and women who care for the sick should be truly converted; then they will speak words that will help and uplift. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 33

My fellow workers, keep your spiritual perceptions clear. Cherish the simplicity of the Word of God. By the love of Jesus that is in your own hearts, draw these patients to the feet of Christ. One soul saved is of more worth in the sight of God than all the sanitarium buildings in the world. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 34

Co-operation Between Our Schools and Sanitariums

I have been shown that there are decided advantages to be gained by having our schools located near our sanitariums, that the students may receive the benefits of the instruction given to the nurses, and may witness the results of faithful work done for those who need help and counsel. The benefits of hearty co-operation extend beyond physicians and teachers, students and sanitarium helpers. When a sanitarium is built near a school, those in charge of the educational institution have a grand opportunity of setting a right example before those who all through their lives have been easy-going idlers and who have come to the sanitarium for treatment. The patients will see the contrast between the idle, self-indulgent lives that they have lived, and the lives of self-denial and service lived by Christ’s followers. They will learn that the object of medical missionary work is to restore, to correct wrongs, to show human beings how to avoid the self-indulgence that brings disease and death. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 35

There is a great work to be done by our sanitariums and schools. Time is short; what is done must be done quickly. Let those who are connected with these important instrumentalities be wholly converted. Let them not live for self, for worldly purposes, withholding themselves from full consecration to God’s service. Let them give themselves, body, soul, mind, and spirit, to God, to be used by Him in saving souls. They are not at liberty to do with themselves as they please; they belong to God; for He has bought them with the lifeblood of His only begotten Son. And as they learn to abide in Christ, there will remain in the heart no room for selfishness. In His service, they will find the fullest satisfaction. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 36

The Lord would have His work move forward solidly. Let light shine forth as God designed that it should from His institutions, and let God be glorified and honored. This is the purpose and plan of heaven in the establishment of these institutions. Let physicians and nurses and teachers and students walk humbly before God, trusting in Him as the one who can make their work a success. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 37

With Singleness of Heart

Christ is calling all who claim to believe in Him to reveal by their own example of self-denial and temperance in all things the virtues of His character. He asks them, by an example of obedience to the truth, to bind souls to Him. The Saviour’s example of self-denial and self-sacrifice is to be kept before the patients in the most attractive light. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] The Saviour’s sacrifice in taking human nature, His rejection by the people whom He came to bless, His uncomplaining sufferings, and especially His daily life of self-denial are to be kept constantly before their minds. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 38

In the work of restoring the moral image of God in man, everything depends upon the conversion of every power of the being to God. The saving grace of Christ is able to accomplish this for every soul. Those who would be soul-winners must study Christ’s methods of reaching souls. Satan and his agencies are seeking to keep men and women in rebellion against God and the truth. When the workers in our sanitariums realize this as they should, every possible influence for good will be brought to bear upon those who come for treatment and rest. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 39

If our institutions are rightly conducted, they will be the means of bringing us in touch with the workers in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Many of these noble souls in this organization need to learn that obedience to the fourth commandment is an experience that they need in order to perfect a Christian character. When they will yield their will to His will in this matter, God will make their efforts more effectual to the saving of soul, body, and spirit to Himself. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 40

My fellow workers, keep on the armor of Christ’s righteousness. Pleasant words, faithful attendance, a desire to relieve suffering will win a way for you to turn the mind to the never-failing source of healing, the One who died to pay the ransom price for lost and ruined men. The enemy will press the battle to the gates, but keep the armor on. Remember that every one converted to the faith adds to our efficiency to give the truth to the world. The grace of Christ is promised us as we seek to turn souls to obedience to the commandments of God. We should be willing to undertake whatever He calls upon us to do. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 41

In the Power of the Spirit

The Spirit of God is to be our efficiency in the work laid upon us. We must now move forward courageously; for we have no time to lose. Those who strive will win the victory. In His mediatorial work Christ gives to His servants the presence of the Holy Spirit. This means power and efficiency that will enable the human agent to represent Christ in the work of soul-saving. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 42

God has instructed me that our workers need to experience the deep moving of the Spirit of God; many are in need of a fuller conversion. On the day of Pentecost, in response to the continued prayers of the disciples, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven with the sound as of a rushing, mighty wind. For ages the heavenly influences had been held in restraint; but in response to the fervent prayers of these humble men, they descended with power to co-operate with human agencies. Then what confessions came forth from human lips, what humiliation of soul was manifested! And what songs of praise and thanksgiving mingled with the voice of penitence and confession! All heaven bent to listen to the lowly seekers after God. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 43

Through the grace of Christ, and under His direction, we can accomplish a grand and far-reaching work. Through the power that the Holy Spirit will impart, we can bring souls who are now living in rebellion to God, to see their need of Christ, and, accepting the provision made for them, become laborers together with God in the work of saving others. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 44

God will withhold nothing from the soul who gives himself to Christ for service, but will give him ability to accomplish a work, the results of which will be as measureless as eternity. The wounded hands of Christ are His pledge that grace sufficient will be given to every soul to work out the will of God. All power in heaven and in earth will co-operate with Him. Acting as Christ’s instrumentality in the earth, day by day man becomes a partaker of the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. The church on earth, having united with it the power of the church in heaven, will come off more than conquerors through the blood of the Lamb and the word of its testimony. 22LtMs, Ms 126, 1907, par. 45