Record of Progress and An Appeal In Behalf of the Boulder-Colorado Sanitarium

Chapter 6—Caution and Advice

Sanitarium, Napa County, Cal.,

Octomber 2, 1905.

To the Promoters of the Canon City Sanitarium:

Last Thursday night, September 28, light was given me that the testimonies written out and sent to Elder Irwin to be read at the camp-meeting in Denver were being made of no effect by some who are not pleased with the instruction that the Lord has given in regard to the undertaking of private sanitarium enterprises in Colorado.

I saw that in the company formed for the management of the Canon City Sanitarium enterprise, it is not alone the unbelieving elements that are objectionable. Some of those connected with this movement, who profess to believe the truth, are not qualified to carry out their ambitious purposes. It is in mercy that the Lord, who knows the end from the beginning, sends His warnings to these brethren, not for their discouragement, but that they may be kept from making mistakes that would lead them away from Him. SpTB05 44.1

God desires every man to know His will. He sees that often men are not of themselves sufficient to decide what should be done, and He sends cautions to save those who are in danger of making grave mistakes. Those only who heed His warnings will know of a certainty that they are walking in the way of the Lord. The heart and the life must be right if we would understand His purposes, and walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. SpTB05 44.2

Many are deceived in regard to their own experience. A deception in the heart will lead to the doing of strange things which God has not directed. But whatever may be the pretensions, God reads the heart as we would read an open book. Warnings are sometimes given to prevent those whose past experience has been defective, and who are prone to go contrary to the will and word of God, from taking a course that would bring reproach upon His cause. SpTB05 44.3

In the testimonies sent to the Denver meeting, the Spirit of God dictated a message that should have prevented the carrying out of plans which would result in disappointment. If our brethren should persist in carrying out their plans regarding the proposed enterprise, they would be going contrary to the expressed will of the Lord. God does not at one time send a message of warning, and later another message encouraging a movement against which He had previously given warning. His messages do not contradict one another. Cautions have been given that should cause our brethren to stop and consider their course. All the reasons for these cautions were not given: for this would not have been for the present and future good of those who were urging this matter. SpTB05 45.1

But I am now instructed to say that those who contemplate the establishment of a large medical institution in Canon City are not guided in this movement by the Lord. They are endeavoring to establish a work which they are not competent to carry forward after the Lord's order. SpTB05 45.2

Christ is saying to His servants today, as He said to His disciples: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” But men are as slow now to learn the lesson as in Christ's day. God has given His people warning after warning; but the customs, habits, and practices of the world have had so great power on the minds of His professed people that His warnings have been disregarded. SpTB05 45.3

For more than thirty years the Lord has been giving instruction to His people regarding the establishment of sanitariums, and the manner of conducting them. Our sanitariums are to be founded and conducted on Bible principles, as the Lord's instrumentalities, and in His hand they are to be agencies for giving light to the world. Our sanitariums are to be schools in which people of all classes shall be taught the way of salvation. SpTB05 46.1

The institutions established by God's people today are to glorify His name. They are to represent to the world the character of God, as it was revealed to Moses. In all their departments, our sanitariums should be memorials for God,—His instrumentalities for sowing the seeds of truth in human hearts. This they will be if rightly conducted. But selfishness introduced into our work is a violation of the law of God. SpTB05 46.2

God has committed to us a special work, a work that no other people can do. He has promised us the aid of His Holy Spirit. The heavenly current is flowing earthward for the accomplishment of the very work appointed us. Let not this heavenly current be turned aside by our deviations from the straightforward path marked out by Christ. SpTB05 46.3

Shall we enter into confederacy with the world because some of our brethren in their spiritual blindness are linking up with unbelievers, and because men who are known to be transgressors of God's law are given a place as counselors in regard to the working of the institutions that were established for the express purpose of proclaiming to the world the last message of mercy?—God forbid. Can we not see what is coming upon the world? Shall we allow ambitious projects to take the throne?—Never, never. We are not to bind up with those who have no faith in the truth for this time. SpTB05 46.4

Our sanitariums are to be under the supervision of men who are controlled by the Holy Spirit, men who will carry out, not their own plans, but the plans of God. SpTB05 47.1

Now and ever we are to stand as a distinct and peculiar people, free from all worldly policy, and unembarrassed by confederacy with those who have not wisdom to discern the claims of God, as plainly set forth in His law. SpTB05 47.2

Upon us as a people rests the solemn obligation of taking a more decided stand for truth and righteousness than we have taken in the past. The line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not is to be revealed with unmistakable clearness. SpTB05 47.3

Will our brethren now submit their will and way to God, and perform joyfully the Lord's bidding? There is no bondage in such an experience; for God writes His precepts upon the heart, and engraves His own principles on the mind and soul of every one who is converted to Him. “The love of Christ constraineth us.” SpTB05 47.4

It is wrong for men to undertake, in their ambitious zeal, to carry on a work that they can not manage after the Lord's order. Those who attempt to conduct a sanitarium should be men of God's choosing. The combination of men purposing to establish a sanitarium at Canon City is not one of the Lord's forming, nor are they the men qualified to carry forward the work in harmony with the principles laid down for the conducting of our sanitariums. They may be able to reap financial profit to themselves by such an enterprise, but they are not prepared to represent properly the work of God. Our brethren should see and understand that in undertaking a work of their own devising they are out of line. SpTB05 47.5

Our sanitariums should be controlled by those who are under the control of the Holy Spirit. Those whose minds are easily disturbed by passion are not to be selected to fill a position where they would exert a moulding influence upon human minds; for they would misrepresent the character of the work. God would have in prominent places men who will take hold of His strength. They may labor under inconveniences, but this need not spoil their experience. Every manifestation of passion is sin. SpTB05 48.1

If at times a man works himself up into a strong passion; if he is inclined to cherish hatred for those who do not conform to his judgment; if in his likes and dislikes he reveals the natural tendencies of the human heart, he is always in danger of making grave mistakes, which will injure the souls of others. SpTB05 48.2

In the management of the Lord's institutions, genuine godliness is required. A sanitarium under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be an honor to God, and will bring glory to His name. But the fewer sanitariums we have that are not conducted after the Lord's pattern, the better off we shall be. SpTB05 48.3

Let our brethren be careful not to incur the displeasure of God by hindering instead of helping in His work. Those whose religious experience is counterfeit may do great harm by counterworking with their own ideas and their faulty judgment the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a great mistake to connect with our sanitariums men who are not fitted for such a position, though they may think that they are. SpTB05 48.4

In all our sanitariums we need to lift the standard higher and still higher. The Lord would have every worker in His institutions firmly assured that he is united with Christ. The spirit of the workers in our sanitariums should be in perfect harmony with the witness of the Holy Spirit. SpTB05 49.1

I would that every soul had a sanctified intelligence. The Lord God of heaven knows who will honor Him, and who will dishonor Him. When He makes known His will, those who regard lightly His testimony place themselves on the side of the enemy of truth. SpTB05 49.2

I must state plainly that the one who has led out in the proposed sanitarium enterprise has not the qualifications that would fit him to be a safe guardian of youth, or to carry out in a sanitarium the principles of heavenly origin. The Lord would have for such positions, solid, godly men who will not hold a grudge against a brother who refuses to exalt them. God calls for men who stand firmly on the platform of eternal truth, men who, as God's medical missionaries, will carry a weighty influence in their words and in their life practices. SpTB05 49.3

There is to be a continual dependence upon the Lord. The sick and suffering should see in our sanitarium workers a revelation of the grace of God. Those who come to our sanitariums for treatment are to be brought in touch with the great Physician of soul and body. SpTB05 49.4

We need to take a higher spiritual view of the work of God. Great care should be taken in the selection of young people to connect with our sanitariums as nurses. We can not afford to accept every one who is ready to come. Great injury is done to our medical institutions when there are connected with them those who do not understand what it means to do service to God. SpTB05 49.5

Frivolous young people are not to be chosen to act a part in the Lord's work. No one is to be accepted merely to favor relatives or acquaintances. Those who have charge of the cooking should thoroughly understand how to prepare wholesome, appetizing food. And those who carry the trays are to realize the influence they should exert on those whom they serve. Those only should be selected for any branch of the work who will exert a sanctified influence. SpTB05 50.1

To our sanitariums all classes of sick people will come, and by our physicians and nurses they are to be led to realize that they need spiritual help as well as physical restoration. They are to be given every advantage for the restoration of physical health; and they should be shown also what it means to be blessed with the light and life of Christ; what it means to be bound up with Him. They are to be led to see that the grace of Christ in the soul uplifts the whole being. And in no better way can they learn of Christ's life than by seeing it revealed in the lives of His followers. SpTB05 50.2

Jesus came to our world to give to human beings a perfect example of service. In His day there were no sanitariums for those who needed physical help, but He, the greatest medical Missionary the world has ever known, went from place to place, ministering to the afflicted and teaching the way of life. SpTB05 50.3

“Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan?” SpTB05 50.4

Of the work of Christ the prophet Isaiah declares: “Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street [in contention]. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench; He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for His law.” SpTB05 51.1

Our Saviour did not seek to make a great display, or to undertake a work that called for a large outlay of money. He will not sanction self-exaltation. Those who seek to honor themselves will not be honored by Him. He desires men to place themselves where they may receive His precious grace, and be sanctified through belief of the truth. Let every one empty himself of the spirit of self-importance and receive the meekness of Christ. SpTB05 51.2

“All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; ... but the word of our God shall stand forever.” As God Himself is true, so surely will His word be fulfilled. SpTB05 51.3

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
Get thee up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings
Lift up thy voice with strength;
Lift it up, be not afraid;
Say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God!
Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.”
SpTB05 52.1

With the majesty of an omnipotent King, our Saviour unites the gentleness and tender care of a shepherd. His power is absolute. The heart of man only is able to withstand His working. He can be hindered by no obstacle save the perverse, sinful hearts of those who refuse to yield to His control. The hardness of the heart of man is the only obstacle that hinders the work of grace in the soul. By a determination to carry out his own ideas, irrespective of the warnings and entreaties of God, man separates himself from the blessing that God longs to bestow. SpTB05 52.2

Yet God's purpose can not be thwarted. In regard to the way and means or the men by whom His purposes are to be carried out, His understanding is infinite. He can not err, nor be in perplexity. He will not alter the word that He has spoken. His goodness and truth are eternal, and He will honor those who will walk humbly with Him. SpTB05 52.3

Those who will study the life and the lessons of Christ will walk in humility before Him. O, that men would feel the importance of seeking the Lord most earnestly, that they may be free from every selfish purpose. The Lord who knows the hearts of all will bless abundantly those who faithfully represent His life and character. SpTB05 52.4

Ellen G. White