Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24

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Lt 112, 1909

Board of Managers of the Melrose Sanitarium

Portland, Maine

July 4, 1909

This letter is published in entirety in 7MR 301-312. +Note

To the Board of Managers of the Melrose Sanitarium:

I have words to speak to the employees of the Melrose Sanitarium; for there is a work that needs to be done in and around the sanitarium that they are neglecting. I have been deeply pained as the situation has been presented before me. The physician and the general manager need not expect to receive the especial blessing of the Lord upon the institution while they leave undone the very work that is most essential. I am instructed to say to the men now holding offices of responsibility in the Melrose Sanitarium: A thorough work of conversion needs to be done for you both. You need to realize that your position of responsibility and your profession as intelligent Christians call for heart service rendered in the love and fear of God. You should understand your need of the converting power of the grace of Christ. If as converted men you will work out in your experience the principles of true religion, you will receive the choicest of heaven’s blessings. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 1

It is expected that there shall stand at the head of our sanitariums men who labor in harmony with God because they receive wisdom daily from His Word; men of prayer, men who realize their accountability to guard the religious interests of every young man and woman employed in the institution. It is their duty to endeavor to give to the members of the sanitarium family an earnest, consecrated mold of character. Our sanitariums should be safeguards to our youth. If those in positions of trust will be faithful to the discharge of every religious duty, the younger and inexperienced members of the family will learn to be faithful in meeting their responsibilities. If the leaders will cherish a spirit of faithfulness, using God’s abundant resources to increase their aptitude for their work, if they will understand the value of a Christian education in fitting workers for service in the cause of God, they will see precious results for their labors. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 2

The workers standing at the head of our sanitariums should be prepared to give needed spiritual help to the patients who come to the institution, that these souls may be converted from error to an understanding of the Word of God as it is revealed for this time. They are to do faithful service for God, receiving from Him a sense of their sacred responsibilities. By prayer and earnest effort, they are to be workers together with God for the conversion of souls. By the exercise of faith in God, they are to draw from the source of all power the ability to do the will of God in genuine missionary work. The blessing of the Lord will come in rich measure to the patients through the medium of the sanitarium when the workers in the institution realize their responsibility and act like converted men. The Word of the Lord, if received and believed, will be accepted as yea and Amen by every earnest seeker. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 3

To those who have had opportunity to become trustworthy men, but who have not improved their opportunity, I will say, Unless your hearts are changed, and you sense your great responsibility before God; unless you come to an understanding of your own unpreparedness for service, and accept the discipline of the Word of God, other and better-qualified men must come in to do your work—men who have fitted themselves for positions of trust by grasping the opportunities for spiritual advancement that have presented themselves. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 4

The night after I left Melrose, matters were presented me in this way: I was shown what might have been accomplished for God in this institution if Christ and His service had been regarded as of first importance. Great blessings would have come to the patients through reading to them select portions of the Scriptures and through praying with those who needed comfort and enlightenment. In many ways the workers might have given evidence of their genuine Christianity—not in great demonstrations, but, as children of God, finding for themselves comfort and hope and peace in Christ, and imparting to those to whom they ministered that which they had received. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 5

But what spiritual good, I ask, has been imparted to believers and unbelievers? What effort has been made to exalt the world’s Redeemer? Christ has paid for your redemption with the infinite price of His precious blood. Had you accepted with gratitude this Gift, and appreciated it as you should, you would have sought to uplift Him before others, saying, The Saviour has given His precious life for you and for me. How do you suppose the Lord regards the half-hearted service that has been given Him? The “Well done” [Matthew 25:21] cannot be spoken of imperfect service; the Lord has not been honored in your daily experience. I now entreat of you to take upon yourselves the responsibility that you have not yet accepted of being laborers together with God and fulfil faithfully the duties He requires of you. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 6

In whatever place the believer is, he should remember that as a professing Christian he must reveal that he is striving to keep all the commandments of God. “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” the Saviour said. “Do men gather thorns of grapes? or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 7

“Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many shall say unto Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name; and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 8

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon the rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the wind blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, I will liken him unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the wind blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it.” [Matthew 7:16-27.] 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 9

I present these Scriptures to you for your prayerful study. You need to be soundly converted. You need to educate yourselves to pray and to teach the Word of God in the sanitarium. Unless you are willing to do this, you have no right to accept positions which mean so much to us as a people, and so much to those who are seeking a training for the work of God. I understand now the reason why I had so little freedom to speak words of encouragement to those present; they could not grasp the religious phase of their education. The Lord have pity on that sanitarium which, needing so much the knowledge of the Lord and the strength of prayer, yet fails of seeking help from the only true source. Let all who claim to be servants of God educate young and old to understand that they cannot live without the aid of prayer. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 10

We call upon all who have a part to act in our sanitariums to become Christians, that is, Christlike. Physicians should not be employed in these institutions who cannot conduct worship in the sanitarium family and give religious instruction. If there is any place in our world where prayer is daily needed, it is in our sanitariums. Let the patients and helpers see that you appreciate physical exercise and that you place a high value on spiritual things. A profession of religion amounts to very little unless it is worked out in the home life. It is a serious neglect when those in responsibility fail to bring the family together for worship. This is a sacred privilege and duty, and it means life to the soul. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 11

The Highest Service Required

In our sanitariums there is need of workers with the highest capabilities in order that souls may be influenced to accept Christ as their Saviour. It is not by urging upon sickly men and women the doctrines of our faith, but by learning of Christ from His Word and revealing His teachings in the daily life, that the workers in our sanitariums will minister successfully to souls and render acceptable service to Christ. From the light that has been given me I know that there needs to be more careful work done in selecting our workers for every line of sanitarium work. They should be chosen and faithful. A great mistake is often made in accepting cheap help because you are pressed for means. The loss sustained in having poor, inexperienced help is an all-round loss. It cannot be estimated in dollars and cents. The well-trained mind is of value, and the experienced help is essential in educating those who give promise of becoming efficient workers. The soundly converted soul will be a weighty influence for good in any institution, but a haphazard education is a snare. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 12

There are many who claim to believe the truth for this time, but who act contrary to the teachings of truth because they are not converted. These are not to be encouraged to act a part in our sanitarium; this sacred work is not to be trusted to men and women who are not soundly converted. We are, I fear, becoming lax on this point. There will be more sanitariums established if they are established along the lines of true education. This means that we shall not reject the instruction of the Lord and turn to the teachings of the wise men of the world in order to gain the so-called higher education. It is not in the order of the Lord that our students shall attach themselves to worldly educational institutions and be trained according to worldly methods. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 13

Daily, in the words we speak, in the plans we form, in the acts we perform, we are making impressions for good or for evil upon those with whom we come in contact. In all we do and say we should testify for Christ. There is a great work to be done in a short time, and those who have obtained a knowledge of present truth are called to be laborers in the cause. Said Christ to His disciples, “As ye go preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick. ... Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” [Matthew 10:7, 8, 16.] 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 14

When our sanitarium work was established at Battle Creek, the Lord instructed me that our health institutions should be dedicated to God to become agencies for the dissemination of the principles of health reform. The word was spoken: My Spirit will come into these institutions, making them agencies for the relief of the afflicted and for the spread of the knowledge of the gospel. Give instruction in religious lines; open the Scriptures to the afflicted, and pray with and for the suffering. I will honor the people who will honor Me. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 15

The Bible is to be the educating book; its directions are to be faithfully followed. I am the great Healer of disease. Let the workers labor in harmony with My Word. Let the physicians learn of Me out of the Scriptures and regard My instruction in all their work. Then these agencies will not depart from Me, but will co-operate with Me in giving light and salvation to men. They will not lust after the world’s indulgences, but will prepare foods that will not in any way defile the human body. They will provide fruits and grains, simply prepared foods, unmixed with wine or strong elements that confuse the brain and make the way easy for Satan to lead into sin. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 16

It is the duty of the physician to see that wholesome food is provided, and it should be prepared in a way that will not create disturbances in the human organism. A great variety of foods should not be taken at one meal; for they create disturbances in the stomach, injure the digestive organs, and impair the brain nerve power so that it cannot discern the sacred from the common. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 17

A Lesson From the Experiences of Israel

The Lord gave to the children of Israel a wonderful experience when He delivered them from Egyptian bondage and the temptations of Egypt, and for forty years guided them through the wilderness. He desired to make of them a separate people. He wanted them to reform in their habits of eating. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 18

The preserving power of God went with Israel. They were led by the pillar of cloud and of fire. Christ was their leader and their teacher. When they were brought into straitened places, the Lord wrought miracles in their behalf, providing them when thirsty with pure water from the rock. When they hankered after the flesh pots of Egypt, He gave them manna, angels’ food. Israel had unmistakable evidence that they were being led and protected by a divine power. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 19

The history of Israel, from first to last, should be a lesson to all who in these last days have determined to separate themselves from all idolatry. It should encourage them to free themselves from all hindrances that would confuse mind and conscience, and lead into sin. The people who are preparing for the future, eternal life must learn of God out of His Word. All that would divert the mind from His service is to be recognized and put away. The story magazine, the novel, and the cheap, worthless literature are to be given up. The means thus saved can be spent in buying those publications that will bring heaven’s light to those who read them. Every family should act a part in endeavoring to keep out of the home the worthless productions that are a power for evil to the youth, robbing them of the sense of the preciousness of the Word of God which they should read and understand. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 20

I would that all could have made to them the representations that have been given me concerning the great events of the future and our need of preparation for the times before us. The Lord desires to prepare the hearts and minds of His people, that the blessedness of His way shall make its impression upon mind and heart and character, so that Satan’s plans for spoiling their interest in the Word of God shall not succeed. God’s people need to understand that Satan is working with all his ingenuity to keep minds engrossed with those things that close the door of the heart to things of eternal interest, that men and women and youth shall not be touched by the messages of warning and invitation that are coming to the world in these last days. He is working in every conceivable way to hinder the sanctification of God’s people through a belief of the truth. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 21

I ask you to study the fourth to the eighth chapters of Deuteronomy, that you may understand what God required of His ancient people, that they might be a holy people unto Himself. We are nearing the day of God’s great final review, when the people of this world must stand before the Judge of all the earth to answer for their deeds. We are now in the time of investigation. Before the day of God’s review, every character will have been investigated, every case decided for eternity. Let the words of God’s servant, recorded in these chapters, be read with profit. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 22

The Lord commanded Moses for Israel: “Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to do these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which He sware unto thy fathers; and He will love thee, and will bless thee and multiply thee.” “And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness.” [Deuteronomy 7:11-13, 15.] 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 23

“All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the ways that the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or no. And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know, that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord, doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that as a man chasteneth His son, so the Lord thy God chastens thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to fear Him.” [Deuteronomy 8:1-6.] 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 24

Lessons from Christ’s Ministry

There are precious lessons to be learned from the study of Christ’s ministry to the sick. “Behold, they brought to Him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose and departed to his house. But when the multitude saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” [Matthew 9:2-8.] 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 25

“And it came to pass that as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that He said, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Verses 10-13.] 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 26

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness, and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” [Verses 35-38.] 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 27

It is the Lord’s purpose that in our sanitariums the character of Christ’s work shall be revealed. The physicians should be prepared to exercise a helpful, uplifting influence. Connected with the physician should be men of sound religious experience who will harmonize with him in his work. The manager should be one capable of giving religious instruction. There should be special ministerial help to keep up the interest in the work of preparing a people for the great day of God. Those who minister to the sick should seek to bring to the afflicted the hope of the gospel, laboring in the simplicity of true godliness. Physicians, managers, and workers in every line should become a united force as gospel workers to win the patients to Christ by the power of a godly influence. When the sanitarium workers, in the wisdom of God, shall seek to save the souls that are perishing in their sins with the same faithfulness that they minister to the needs of the suffering body, a holy, sanctified atmosphere will pervade the institution. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 28

In our sanitariums, of all places in the world, we need soundly converted physicians and wise workers—men and women who will not urge their peculiar ideas upon the sick, but who will present the truths of the Word of God in a way that will bring comfort and encouragement and blessing to the patients. This is the work for which our sanitariums are established—to correctly represent the truths of the Word of God and to lead the minds of men and women to Christ. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 29

Let the religious services held each day be short, but educational in character. Present the Bible and its Author, the God of heaven and earth, and Christ the Son. <Jesus Christ was> the great gift of God to the world. Tell the patients how the Saviour came to the earth to reveal the love of God for men. Present before them His great sacrifice in thus coming here to live and die. Let it be known that through faith in Christ every sinful human being may become a partaker of the divine nature, and learn to co-operate with God in the work of salvation. Souls are precious in the sight of heaven. The souls who are rescued from the snares of Satan to belief in Christ as the world’s Redeemer will receive the blessings of heaven in this life, and in the world to come eternal life in the kingdom of God. 24LtMs, Lt 112, 1909, par. 30