Manuscript Releases, vol. 20 [Nos. 1420-1500]


MR No. 1428—Early Days at the Sydney Hospital; Cautions on Drug Medication

(Written to “Dear Son Willie,” August 5, 1897, from Summer Hill Health Home, [Known today as the Sydney Adventist Hospital.] Sydney, N.S.W.)

I left my fountain pen at home and it is a sad mistake for me. But then I have been overtaxed with writing and my head refuses to work, so it is not much writing I can do. All day yesterday was spent in sydney and we were very tired when we returned home. 20MR 35.1

We met Brother Davis in Sydney. He has worked very interestedly to get petitions before the council, but they carried out their determination. The most influential among them told those who presented their petitions that their arguments were unanswerable but, notwithstanding, the majority ruled and carried the people. Thus it will be to the end. God will not forsake His people. He will be their shield and buckler and their exceeding great reward. 20MR 35.2

There is not much progress in the sanitarium. I do not think there are the elements in Brother Semmens to manage the matter. The Lord has men that can make a success of this work. He cannot do it. I have ever been of this opinion, but hoped we would be happily disappointed. We feel encouraged in regard to the school. Sister Haskell says they have room for only one more student and that a girl. But a woman and a young lad will be at the school this week from Sydney and they will have to have room somewhere. 20MR 35.3

The burden is upon me, Arise and build. We must have a meetinghouse on the school grounds opposite Hansons’, somewhere there, and that will be more central for all. We have but very little outside attendance. Brother and Sister Haskell are doing good work, and both are excellent workers. Brother Haskell takes right hold, not only directing but working with the workers. 20MR 35.4

The last rain washed away the bridge made between the Sunnyside home and the school, but it has been built again. The lawyers you and I visited did our business in Sydney; said they would send the documents direct to you. We gave them your address and our address here in Summer Hill. 20MR 35.5

We are now where we can spare K. I think he has no special religious influence and I shall feel relieved when he is disconnected with the place. In many things he is, when he chooses, very useful in taking care of horses and cows, but there is not any aptitude in him as manager. He has been a continual worriment to me. I think our brethren, many of them, feel as I do in the matter. If he has ever been converted, he certainly has not stayed converted. 20MR 35.6

Sara and I have had the planning to do and we are very willing to lay it down. Your house is built. You have a good cistern full of water. We need you here very much, but do not want you to come until your work is done. Another boat has gone down between Gisborne and Auckland; only two persons lost. 20MR 36.1

In regard to the book on Christian temperance, that portion that was expressed in reference to drug medication as though it was recommended by me is not according to the light that I have been given to present to the people. I must, if I made this statement, have done so in expressing the idea of working away from the use of all drugs concocted at the apothecary. We have no use for them. We should not vindicate the use of drug medication. I did not wish to prejudice the medical fraternity that I could not in my writings approach them, therefore have kept quite silent in reference to the sharp points which I can express. If it is thought that the sentence will not misstate my position, let it stand. But if, knowing of my true position in reference to drug medication, any statements in the book contradict it, would be making me to say Yea, and Nay. I do not know as that expression will do any particular harm, but would rather it would have been left out. This is a reform which will be made by Seventh-day Adventist practitioners. I feel deeply over every matter on which warnings have been given us. 20MR 36.2

I have written to the doctor in reference to this matter. When the young, inexperienced doctors begin their work as practitioners, they feel generally it is no great harm if life is sacrificed in experimenting.—Letter 195, 1897. 20MR 36.3

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

January 22, 1989.

Entire Letter.