Manuscript Releases, vol. 19 [Nos. 1360-1419]


MR No. 1366—St. Helena Sanitarium and Other Institutions To Be Denominational; Medical Missionary Training Schools; Poisonous Drugs The Role of Miracles

Report of a portion of a meeting of the Executive Committee of the California Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, held in the St. Helena Sanitarium library, Tuesday forenoon, July 14, 1902. Present: A. T. Jones, W. C. White, A. N. Loper, E. E. Parlin, R. A. Buchanan, W. S. Sadler, L. M. Bowen (members of committee) Mrs. E. G. White, Mrs. J. Gotzian.—A. T. Jones: The next thing before us for consideration here today is carrying on the work in this institution. When we had our annual meeting and elected the new board of the state Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, we did not complete the work of reorganizing the local boards, et cetera, for the coming year, in connection with the sanitarium and the medical work. That comes before us now for the rest of the day, so whatever you might say to us with reference to the work here and its needs would be light to us in reference to our work of reorganization and in starting on a new basis for the year to come. 19MR 38.1

Mrs. E. G. White: I have written much on the work that should be done in our sanitariums. Especially have I tried to emphasize the necessity of maintaining a correct religious influence in our medical institutions. 19MR 38.2

Possibly I could not fully describe the impression that was made upon my mind by the statement that our medical institutions are undenominational. As I was considering this matter in the night season, it seemed as if One stood up in the midst of us and pointed us back to the Israelites as an illustration of a distinct people, denominated of God. That which made them denominational was the observance of God's commandments. In the twelfth to the eighteenth verses of the thirty-first chapter of Exodus their distinguishing sign is mentioned. “Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep,” the Lord declared, “for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.... It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever.” 19MR 38.3

The Israelites were a chosen people, separate and distinct from the world. Speaking through Moses, the Lord declared to them, “Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people: for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the house of Pharaoh king of Egypt” [Deuteronomy 7:6-8]. 19MR 39.1

The Lord wrought mightily for their deliverance, nearly destroying Egypt, as it were, to bring them forth, for the express purpose of worshiping Him. He promised that if they would keep His commandments He would bless them above all other people, freeing them from sickness, and establishing them forever in the land of promise. 19MR 39.2

The Lord ever desires to encircle His people by His protecting arm, blessing them above all other people. He will preserve them in all purity if they remain closely connected with Him. But if they depart from Him, they will share the sorrows of Solomon. 19MR 39.3

Solomon was favored of God. To Him were given not only wisdom, but riches and honor, on condition that he should walk in the ways of the Lord, keeping His statutes and His judgments. But he departed from God. He chose to go to other nations to secure facilities for building the temple, when he could have built it with the facilities that the Lord had provided. 19MR 40.1

We are Seventh-day Adventists. This is a fitting name, for we keep the Seventh-day Sabbath, and look for the second advent of our Lord in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. Even with respect to the name indicating some of the peculiar points of faith distinguishing us from other Christians, we are denominational. In keeping the Sabbath that God declares should be kept holy as a sign between Himself and His people, we show to the world that we are His peculiar, chosen people—a people whom He has denominated. 19MR 40.2

What is the object of saying that our medical institutions are undenominational? God never inspired any man to make such a statement. His people and His institutions are denominational. We are, however, to invite everyone—all sects and classes, the high and the low, the rich and the poor—to come to our sanitariums, where we shall endeavor to do them good. We are not in any way unwisely to press upon them our peculiar points of faith, but we are to give them the benefits of health reform. We take into our institutions all denominations; but as for ourselves, we are strictly denominational. We are sacredly denominated by God, and are under His theocracy. 19MR 40.3

In the days of the early Christians, Christ came the second time. His first advent was at Bethlehem, when He came as an infant. His second advent was at the Isle of Patmos, when He revealed Himself in glory to John the Revelator, who “fell at His feet as dead” when he saw Him. But Christ strengthened him to endure the sight, and then gave him a message to write to the churches of Asia, the names of which are descriptive of the characteristics of every church. 19MR 40.4

The light that Christ revealed to His servant the prophet is for us. In His revelation are given the three angels’ messages, and a description of the angel that was to come down from heaven with great power, lightening the earth with his glory. In it are warnings against the wickedness that would exist in the last days, and against the mark of the beast. We are not only to read and understand this message, but to proclaim it with no uncertain sound to the world. By presenting these things revealed to John, we shall be able to stir the people. 19MR 41.1

The usual subjects on which the ministers of nearly all other denominations dwell will not move them. We must proclaim our God-given message to them. The world is to be warned by the proclamation of this message. If we blanket it, if we hide our light under a bushel, if we so circumscribe ourselves that we cannot reach the people, we are answerable to God for our failure to warn the world. 19MR 41.2

What can be meant by the fallacy that we are undenominational? Why is the third angel's message hidden from the view of the world? Time and again we have stood before large congregations in Battle Creek to proclaim the truth. Time and again we have spoken in the city park opposite the Review and Herald Office, in the churches of other denominations, and in mammoth tents pitched in that city, clearly outlining the distinct points of our faith. Often, by request of the ministers, bankers, and other leading men, I have spoken on the temperance question to large congregations. On these occasions the ministers would pray for victory, and after we had stated fully our position on the temperance question, they would thank the Lord that He had given us the victory. They acknowledged that He had strengthened me and spoken through me. 19MR 41.3

Notwithstanding the plain message that we gave to the people years ago in regard to the Seventh-day Sabbath and other phases of present truth that make us a peculiar people, some have declared that in our institutional work we are undenominational. Those who have pursued this course, linking up with unbelievers, are not following the way of the Lord. He desires us to remain forever a peculiar people, holding “the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” He desires us to stand as representatives of His and of His special message of truth in the last days of this earth's history. How are the people to be warned, unless the very institutions established as agencies for the proclamation of the message, remain true to its principles? 19MR 42.1

These assertions in regard to our sanitariums being undenominational make me afraid of our medical missionary work. In order to gain something—I cannot understand just what—our brethren, like Solomon, have begun to depart from the Lord. 19MR 42.2

Brethren, let us come to our senses. In more ways than one are we departing from God. Oh, how ashamed I was of a recent number of the Signs of the Times! On the first page is an article on Shakespeare, a man who died a few days after a drunken carousal, losing his life through indulgence of perverted appetite. In this article it is stated that he did many good works. Man is extolled. The good and the evil are placed on the same level and published in a paper that our people use to give the third angel's message to many of those who cannot be reached by the preached word. 19MR 42.3

The publication of this article robbed me of my rest last night. I was thrown into an agony of distress. If our brethren have not discernment enough to see the evil of these things, when will they have? Why can they not understand the tenor of such things? We are to stand on the elevated platform of eternal truth. The edge of the sword of truth is not to be dulled. We must take a straightforward course, using the truth as a mighty cleaver to separate from the world men and women who will stand as God's peculiar people. 19MR 42.4

When we give the message in its purity, we shall have no time for pictures illustrating the birthplace of Shakespeare, or for pictures similar to the illustration of heathen goddesses that was used to fill the space on the first page of a recent number of the Review and Herald. We are not to educate others along these lines. God pronounces against [or, “passes judgment on.”] such articles and illustrations. 19MR 43.1

I have a straightforward testimony to bear in regard to them. We are to extol neither idolatry nor men who did not choose to serve God. Years ago reproof was given our editors in regard to advocating the reading of even such books as Uncle Tom's Cabin, Aesop's Fables, and Robinson Crusoe. Those who begin to read such works usually desire to continue to read novels. Through the reading of enticing stories they rapidly lose their spirituality. This is one of the principal causes of the weak, uncertain spirituality of many of our youth. 19MR 43.2