Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers—No. 4
A Sanitarium Chapel
I have received from _____ a letter of inquiry in reference to the building of a chapel for the Sanitarium. I have written him that this proposition appears to me consistent; years ago I was shown that such a building should be erected. The teaching in the Tabernacle is often too strong for babes. It is such advanced truth as is appropriate for those who have progressed step by step, but is not suited to those who have not a knowledge of the truth. The doctrinal discourses are not of a character to melt and subdue the heart. These souls need to be taught of Jesus Christ and him crucified, of the sanctification of soul, body, and spirit, of the amazing love of God. In the simplicity and meekness and lowliness of Christ let the word be spoken. The seekers after truth will inquire to know the reasons of our faith; they will desire that lessons be given upon the Sabbath question, and then the truth can be unfolded to them gradually as they are able to bear it. All who have a knowledge of the truth should realize their responsibility, and be exceedingly careful to make straight paths for their own feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. SpTA04 10.1
The very fact of having a church in connection with the Sanitarium will give character to our work. It will be a testimony that we are seeking the eternal good of all who are brought within the sphere of our influence. The Sanitarium presents a vineyard to be worked; it is God's vineyard, and it needs consecrated ability. Let not pharisaism prevail. There are plenty of subjects to dwell upon to win hearts, and wisdom should be exercised by every teacher. All should remember that they are addressing people who have no knowledge of the third angel's message. It is Greek to them. Let those who have any part in connection with the Sanitarium speak and act circumspectly. SpTA04 10.2
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” SpTA04 11.1
Precious, precious words! Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, which has preserving qualities. Let the believers be sober, and watch unto prayer, and in everything represent Christ, that in the Judgment they may meet the souls with whom they have been associated, and say, I have done for these souls all that I could do. The love of Christ dwelling in the heart will be revealed in the spirit and temper. The heavenly, sanctifying power can be indeed a savor of life unto life, quelling every tumultuous passion, and winning souls to Christ. SpTA04 11.2
O that love, the love of Jesus, might well up in the soul like a stream in the desert, refreshing all, and winning many to the cross of Calvary! “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” Let those who make the outlay of means to build a house for God have proportionate zeal in winning souls to know God and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. SpTA04 11.3
Brother _____, we should give much more labor to the souls that are out of Christ, the souls that have not the truth. Can we not consider that all who are disloyal to God and transgressing his holy law, shall have no place in the paradise of God? How earnest should be the human agent that the truth in all its purity shall be proclaimed in cities, in villages, from the rivers to the ends of the earth God help his people to awake, and give the trumpet a certain sound! SpTA04 12.1
Avondale, Cooranbong, N.S.W., Australia,
August 28, 1895.
You make inquiry in reference to building a chapel for the Sanitarium to accommodate, those who wish to attend religious services. The reasons you give in favor of building a chapel are sound. Years ago I was shown that such a building would be a great help. Your patrons are mostly those not of our faith, and if anything can be done to interest them in religious things, it will be well. While there have been altogether too many buildings piled up at Battle Creek, which has meant simply robbery of other localities, yet I would not discourage the building of a chapel. A Sanitarium, where people come from all parts of the world, is a missionary field in the highest sense, and a place of worship would be the means of drawing in some souls. I cannot see why the erection of such a building would not be to the honor of God, even though years have passed when it should have been done. SpTA04 12.2
True, there is the Tabernacle, which is crowded every Sabbath. Why, some will say, will not that answer for all purposes? Why not let the people out and hear at the place of meeting? I answer that many would not go there at all, and those who might attend occasionally would not hear the things most appropriate for persons who are not of our faith; they do not understand the doctrines presented. If you have a place of meeting connected with the Sanitarium, many will step in to while away the time, and discourses should be given appropriate for those who have not a knowledge of the truth. I have been surprised that such a building was not erected long ago. It is really a missionary enterprise. The chapel connected with the Sanitarium at St. Helena, Cal., has been a great blessing. SpTA04 12.3
But I thought as I read in your letter that such a building would cost only $-----. O, if we could get such a house in some of our cities that have nothing, how glad we would be! But the patronage of the Sanitarium would, it appears to me, justify the investment of means in a house for God's worship where invalids would be accommodated without having to leave the buildings. They would realize much greater good from the services in such a place. I hope that none will consider these words as contradictory to the former testimonies I have borne, and feel at liberty to disregard the light that God has given. This counsel is in harmony with that light. Those who visit the Sanitarium will see that it is a place where God is honored and worshiped, and many souls may hear the word of life, the precious truth of God, that otherwise might never hear the truth. The sick and suffering ones should have every advantage possible in religious facilities, to win them away from the attractions of Satan, to Jesus Christ. In the chapel let the words of truth be spoken, and the Scriptures be opened to the people in simplicity. Reach the people with the gospel where they are. Jesus will be with you to impress minds and hearts. Nothing should be left undone that can be done to relieve these afflicted souls, and win them to Jesus. SpTA04 13.1
Avondale, Cooranbong, N. S. W., Australia,
Augst 27, 1895.