Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


The Medical and Surgical Sanitarium, And the Use of Meat

In June she reported, “The Health Home is full.... We see a large number of people who are destitute of a knowledge of how to take care of themselves. We feel a great desire to advance the work.”—Letter 56, 1898. In July she observed, “The Health Home is the means of reaching many souls that would not otherwise be reached.”—Letter 58, 1898. Then came a report indicating progress, published in the Union Conference Record of July 15. 4BIO 355.5

Those of our people who read the Herald of Health will have noticed that the Sydney “Health Home” has changed its name. Henceforth this institution will be known as the “Medical and Surgical Sanitarium” of Summer Hill. 4BIO 355.6

Nor is this a change in name alone. The entire institution has been placed upon a higher scientific plane; in fact, a sanitarium plane. 4BIO 356.1

A physician has taken charge of the medical and surgical work.... A thoroughly competent chemist and microscopist is at the head of a new complete laboratory of investigation. Medical gymnastics and other special facilities are being added to assist in the recovery of the sick. 4BIO 356.2

While at the session of the New South Wales Conference held in the Stanmore church, Ellen White attended an early-morning meeting on Monday, July 25, to discuss the dietary program of the new sanitarium. Drs. E. R. Caro and S. C. Rand, newly come to the institution, were present; also A. W. Semmens, W. C. White, and G. B. Starr. In her diary she reported what took place: 4BIO 356.3

The consideration was in regard to the meat question. Shall the Sanitarium maintain the principle of nonmeat eating for the patients who have not been instructed in a vegetarian diet? The question was, “Would it not be well to let them have meat at first, educate them away from the appetite by lectures, and then bring them where they will be instructed by the lectures on the evil of meat eating?” 4BIO 356.4

I replied that to condemn meat eating and show its injurious effects and then bring the injurious article and give it to the patients, and prescribe it for some of the patients as some had thought best to do, was a denial of their principles and would not be in accordance with the teachings of our people on this question of health reform. We felt there must be no drawing back on this question.—Manuscript 184, 1898. 4BIO 356.5

She pointed out that the increase of disease in the animal kingdom was a strong argument in favor of her position. The subject in various aspects came up in formal and informal discussions at the conference on both Monday and Tuesday, and Ellen White noted: 4BIO 356.6

We are to be sure that we commence the work in right lines. No tea, no coffee; avoid drugs. We are to take our position firmly in regard to the light given us that the consumption of the dead flesh of animals is counterworking the restoring of the sick to health. It is not a safe and wholesome diet.... 4BIO 356.7

However great the goodness of God and however abundant His promises to any people, continued transgression of the laws of God in our nature brings disease. Therefore we cannot present meat before the patients.—Ibid. 4BIO 357.1

The impact of the discussions and Ellen White's firm position were reflected in the resolutions passed at the session, two of which read: 4BIO 357.2

3. Resolved, That in the prosperity attending the work of the “Health Home,” which has now grown into a “Medical and Surgical Sanitarium,” we recognize the blessing of God upon right principles in dietetic reform, and the use of rational, or nature's remedies in the treatment of disease; ... 4BIO 357.3

4. Resolved, That we pledge our support of these principles by our practice and our influence, and with our means.—UCR, August 15, 1898. 4BIO 357.4

A few days after returning to Cooranbong, Ellen White wrote: 4BIO 357.5

We greatly hope that our physicians in the Health Home may be soundly converted to correct principles in health reform. I was glad that up to the present time flesh meat has not found its way upon the tables at the Sanitarium, and we hope it never will disgrace the health-reform tables.—Letter 180, 1898.