The Spirit of Sacrifice


Chapter 7—Self-Denying Service

[Extract from letter written November 1, 1905, to the manager of a sanitarium, early in the history of the institution.]

From Jesus is our life derived. In Him is life that is original,—unborrowed, underived life. In us there is a streamlet from the fountain of life. In Him is the fountain of life. Our life is something that we receive, something that the Giver takes back again to Himself. If our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall, when Christ shall appear, also appear with Him in glory. And while in this world, we will give to God, in sanctified service, all the capabilities He has given us.... SpTB19 23.1

Christ was the prince of heaven, but he made an infinite sacrifice, and came to a world all marred with the curse brought upon it by the fallen foe. He lays hold of the fallen race. He invites us: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” The offer is ours, and every advantage is ours if we will accept the terms. I am trying to do this most earnestly. We can be an example to others by our cheerful obedience to the will of God. Let us comply with the conditions, and in complying we shall find the rest we crave. SpTB19 23.2

In regard to the proposition made by Brother -----, I look at the matter as you do. We can not afford to start out on the high wage plan. This was the misfortune of the people in -----, and I have something to say on this point. We have before us a large field of missionary work. We are to be sure to heed the requirements of Christ, who made Himself a donation to our world. Nothing that we can possibly do should be left undone. There is to be neatness and order, and everything possible is to be done to show thoroughness in every line. But when it comes to paying twenty-five dollars a week, and giving a percentage on the surgical work done, light was given me in Australia that this could never be, because our record is at stake. The matter was presented to me that many sanitariums would have to be established in Southern California; for there would be a great inflowing of people there. Many would seek that climate. SpTB19 24.1

We see so much help to be given to our ministers laboring in the gospel in every country where messengers are sent. In every place there needs to be a school, and in very many places a sanitarium. In Jesus Christ is our help and our sufficiency to carry the work forward intelligently. God has looked upon the great display made by some who have labored in New York; but He does not harmonize with that way of preaching the gospel. The solemn message becomes mingled with a large amount of chaff, which makes upon minds an impression that is not in harmony with our work. The good news of saving grace is to be carried to every place; the warning must be given to the world; but economy must be practised if we move in the spirit of which Christ has given us an example in His life-service. He would have nothing of such an outlay to represent health reform in any place. SpTB19 24.2

The gospel is associated with light and life. If there were no sunlight, all vegetation would perish, and human life could not exist. Animal life would die. We are all to consider that there is to be no extravagance in any line. We must be satisfied with pure, simple food, prepared in a simple manner. This should be the diet of high and low. Adulterated substances are to be avoided. We are preparing for the future, immortal life in the kingdom of heaven. We expect to do our work in the light and in the power of the great, mighty Healer. All are to act the self-sacrificing part. Every one of us is to learn of Christ. “Learn of Me,” He says; “for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” SpTB19 25.1

All the grand displays that have been made in the medical missionary work, or in buildings, or in dress, or in any line of adornment, are contrary to the will of God. Our work is to be carefully studied, and is to be in accordance with our Saviour's plan. He might have had armies of angels to display His true, princely character; but He laid all that aside, and came to our world in the garb of humanity, to suffer with humanity all the temptations wherewith man is tempted. He was tempted in all points as human beings are tempted, that He might reveal that it is possible for us to be victorious overcomers, one with Christ as Christ is one with the Father. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” SpTB19 25.2

God calls upon Seventh-day Adventists to reveal to the world that we are preparing for those mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those who will purify their souls by obeying the truth as it is in Jesus. Let every soul who will come after Christ, deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Him. Thus saith the Great Teacher. SpTB19 26.1