Testimony To the Brethren in Western New York

Matters in Battle Creek

The work which might have been done at B----- C-----last summer, was not accomplished because Satan was determined to defeat the purposes of God, by using unconsecrated ones to hedge up our way. Our time was employed with the very persons who professedly came to B----- C-----for the purpose of helping us and aiding the cause, but who had yielded to the temptations of Satan and were working against our efforts. PH104 14.1

The prosperity of the Health Institute was in peril. There was a lack of system and of harmony there existing that could not be charged upon one or two. Had the superintendent, directors, and physicians been faithful in the discharge of their duties, the state of things we found there would not have existed, and much sickness and several deaths might have been avoided. PH104 14.2

This careless inattention to the management of the Health Institute and its surroundings, has told fearfully against it, and a number of lives have been lost. Health reformers profess to believe in the hygienic agencies of pure air, pure water and strict cleanliness. These are the most efficient remedies for disease. The duty devolving upon the physician has been grossly neglected, notwithstanding repeated warnings and reproofs. The physician's duty is to have a care for all the surroundings of the Institute. In consenting to become physicians there, they assume the responsibility of taking in their hands the health and lives of the patients. It is their duty to take a deep interest in those who are placed under their care, to patiently advise and instruct them, to give them proper treatment and to guard them against every hurtful influence, and to banish from the institution or its surroundings everything detrimental to health. PH104 14.3

The sanitary condition of the Health Institute was greatly neglected. The physicians knew that girls were working over a sink that sent forth a deathly odor, yet they allowed this thing to go on. While they were professedly treating the sick, they were asleep to the matter of the surroundings of those whom they had in their care. Physicians, directors, and superintendent knew that the drainage was not such as to carry off impurities. Every day they would see before them, upon the surface of the ground, dressing spread out to enrich it, that was poisoning the air and making it unfit to breathe. This was in plain sight of all visitors and the close scrutiny of spies. PH104 15.1

It was the physician's duty to see that everything in the surroundings was conducive to health. They well understood the influence of these impure substances that were loading the atmosphere, to be taken into the lungs and corrupt the blood. They were greatly to blame. Proper treatment of their patients, as well as the dictates of common cleanliness, should have enjoined upon them a suppression of such evils. They should have set zealously about the work of purifying the premises of the Health Institute, and making it attractive and healthful, in keeping with its name. PH104 15.2

The sufferings and death of several there are chargeable, in a great degree, to the physicians. They should have felt that they were responsible for the result of injurious influences which they had power to control. Had they been diligent to remove every deleterious substance from these premises, everything that offended the senses, God would have blessed their efforts. But he does not design to work a miracle to preserve life and health against man's careless neglect of the work left for him to do. PH104 16.1

The superintendent failed in thoroughly doing his duty, the directors failed to do theirs, and the physicians failed to do their duty, when they allowed a state of things to exist which was imperiling life and health. PH104 16.2

Physicians at our Health Institute should be constantly advancing in knowledge, refinement, and excellence of character. But they have been moving in a narrow groove, selfishly watching their own interests and and fearfully neglecting the responsibilities which have a direct bearing upon the life and health of those entrusted to their care. This course has not tended to widen and strengthen the influence of the institution. Those in charge have narrowed down their own work and limited their responsibilities, and have thus injured the enterprise it was their duty to uphold. PH104 16.3

The Hebrews were especially commanded by God, through the mouth of Moses to allow no impurity to remain near the encampment, lest the Lord should pass by, and, seeing their uncleanness, refuse to go forth with the armies to battle against their enemies. God has not changed since that time. The directions given to ancient Israel, bear with equal importance upon the Israel of the Lord today. How could a pure and holy God regard the impure surroundings of the Health Institute? PH104 17.1

The Health Reform is a branch of the work connected with the third angel's message, as the hand is united to the body. Those engaged in this branch of the work have been neglectful of their duty, and God has marked their careless inattention and positive uncleanness. This disgusting appearance has been laid open to spectators, and the cause of Health Reform, as connected with the great truths we advocate, has been placed, in their minds, on a level with the outward condition of the surroundings and grounds of the Institute. The truth that we profess has been brought into disrepute because of the loose state of things that has existed there. PH104 17.2

In ancient times God was displeased if his people allowed impurities to remain within the camp, and refused to be their strength and give them success in battles. This being true, we may be sure that like consequences will follow like sin, in these days. God will not bless the efforts of men, who, although zealous in some matters, positively disregard any of the special directions contained in the word of God. The Lord is great and holy. He must not be trifled with, obedience of all his injunctions is plainly required of us. PH104 17.3

The success of the Health Institute depends upon the thoroughness and entire faithfulness of every one connected with it. People come to the Institute from all parts of the country. They have learned from report that the establishment is conducted by Seventh-day Adventists, a people of peculiar faith, who dress plainly and seem to be out of joint with the world in many matters. They view with critical eye the deportment of superintendent, physicians and helpers. They naturally judge us by what they see revealed, and by that which is developed during the progress of their early acquaintance with us. Many, therefore, seeing the premises in so careless and really disgusting a condition, have turned away with decided dissatisfaction, pronouncing it a second or third grade institution that they would not patronize. PH104 18.1

From the same stand point they have also judged our faith to be equally objectionable and defective. God designed that the Health Institute should be a clear recommendation of our faith, and a powerful means of converting souls to the truth. But those who love order and neatness cannot but have become disgusted with the Institute and more or less prejudiced against Health Reform in consequence of this. PH104 18.2

In enjoining the importance of cleanliness upon the Hebrews, God did not design to exhibit his arbitrary power, by giving those definite commandments; but, knowing that the physical and spiritual prosperity of his people depended upon their conforming to natural laws, he compelled obedience to them, and showed, by the penalty he attached to those laws, the great importance with which he regarded them. If men do not obey the requirements of God they must expect to suffer in consequence. Those who inhale a deleterious atmosphere do it at the risk of health, and even life itself. But they who not only incur this danger themselves, but cause others to be exposed to the injurious effects of an impure atmosphere and unhealthy surroundings, are doubly reprehensible in the sight of God. PH104 19.1

In the testimony given me one year ago last January, I was shown that the Health Institute was not in a prosperous condition. In some matters, Bro. G_____ might fill the position of superintendent, while he is deficient in many respects. He has not a retentive memory, nor is he careful and painstaking. He is willing to occupy responsible positions, but is unwilling to bear the necessary burdens of his post with faith and patience. Such responsibilities rest lightly upon Bro. G_____. He has much pride and self-confidence, and makes more effort to please and gain favor, than to bear the real burdens of the work in which he is engaged. PH104 19.2

The spiritual condition of the Health Institute is not likely to improve under the superintendence of Bro. G_____, for he himself lacks the true spirituality that should lead him to follow closely the directions of the Lord. It is easier for Bro. G_____ to say, Do this, or that, than for him to say, Come let us do this or that, and take hold of the work heartily himself, thereby encouraging all those connected with the institution to do their duty. In some matters he tries to redeem the failures of others, and improves upon their example, but he fails to see his own defects and correct them. PH104 20.1

The Health Institute should be elevated much above what it now is. All connected with it should trust implicitly in God and walk humbly before him, doing his will and keeping his law. He has given us reasoning minds that we may learn from his word and from our daily experience and observation, how to live and how to act with regard to every duty. Especially should an institution designed for the accommodation of invalids, be as perfectly clean and healthful as skill, pains-taking labor, and means wisely employed can make it. PH104 20.2