Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 31, 1897

Managers of Sanitariums

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 20, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in AH 381; 1MR 69-71.

The position which Dr. Burke insisted upon holding was that of superintendent or manager. Here the mistake was made. This office should never have been given him. His time and labor, devoted to his patients, is all that one physician is capable of carrying. He has thought that he should stand as Dr. Kellogg has had to stand in the Sanitarium. But if he does his work faithfully in instructing and educating the workers, in treating the sick, and in answering the calls which will certainly be made upon him from outside patients, and which it is the duty of every physician to attend to, if he ministers to the suffering ones, this is all that he can manage. The business and financial management should not come upon him, for things will be neglected that ought to be done, and others devised and entered into which should be left alone. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 1

The superintendency is a work that should stand by itself. A judicious superintendent should be secured, who will have the supervision over everything in business lines. He should have power, after consulting with the board of directors, to scrutinize the business management in the bills made out for the guests. There has been a mistake made in this line. Strange movements have been made in these matters. There has not been altogether wise dealing in this respect, and the institution has had to suffer in consequence. There should be a complete understanding of the outgoes and incomes. A bookkeeper, one who is not a physician, should be engaged to keep the books. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 2

The wages offered should be such as will secure the best kind of help. Nothing will be saved in narrowing in this line. Loss will be sustained if inexperienced men become superintendents or managers in the business lines of the institution. It would have been wisdom if there had been an all-round man in business matters to work in the Health Retreat, one who would be prepared to do outside work and answer the calls made. Then Drs. Maxson and Sanderson could have filled their proper positions as physicians, and left the work of managing to those better calculated to do that class of work. Thus thousands of dollars that have been expended might have been saved. This devising and planning of men, and running the institution after their own ideas, has increased the enormous debts upon the institution. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 3

The inventive powers of Dr. Maxson have been exercised to keep everything under his supervision. This must come to an end. Dr. Maxson has been too anxious to expend money in the erecting of imposing buildings. The propositions in this line should not have been allowed for a moment. It is a sin to add building to building and thus accumulate debts which they have no prospects of discharging. The Lord would have His people educate them in lines of strictest economy, in the place of consuming every dollar in improvements, especially when they have before them as institution already crippled with debt, and sick in consequence of former mismanagement. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 4

Let one take hold of that institution who has had an experience in business lines, one who conscientiously loves God, and who can give time to consider the various propositions made by physicians to eat up the means which should go to lessen the great debt under which the institution is a reproach. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 5

Let all who have a burning desire to ape the institutions at Battle Creek, to build, build, make the most of what they have already. Let them help to relieve themselves by going out among the people and presenting the case of the institution before them as it is in its great need, and create a sympathy for it. Let them raise funds to relieve the embarrassment already upon the institution. If there are two physicians, send one out to awaken an interest, and attend the sick cases that call. There is much that can be done in this line. Let their restless zeal extend to relieving the sick outside the institution, and not in doing a work they have no right to do, and by which they have not brought means into the institution. Let their zeal in managing lines take this turn, and then they will not entertain so earnestly the ambitious projects of incurring more debts in the place of lessening the debts already made. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 6

The work and experience of Dr. Kellogg has been of a different character. He could serve in several lines. But he has been warned that he should not carry the responsibilities that he has carried in the past, not because he has not capabilities to do this, but because the work is so large, because it is increasing in importance, and the delicate and responsible business of dealing with suffering humanity is overwhelmingly large. For him to thus occupy his mind and his time so largely in common business lines is heavy work for a man who is already burdened too heavily. Yet he has not seen how he could withhold from making plans that would advance the work, and his counsel is sought making plans that would advance the work, and his counsel is sought largely in lines that another should have wisdom to carry forward. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 7

But Dr. Maxson has been repeatedly told that he is not fitted to be a superintendent of the health institution. His mind is not molded to take that responsibility. He has not sufficient breadth or depth of mind to take in and discern all its liabilities, and prepare wisely for them. If the institution were crowded with patients, that would not help it to success, unless every outgo was carefully guarded, the bills made out after careful consideration, and economy practiced in every line. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 8

The Lord is displeased with those in responsible positions. As members of the board they should feel the burden devolving upon them to closely investigate and see what is being done to lessen expenses. The work should not be left to be done in a bungling manner. The best and most capable business manager should be found, and employed to take the responsibilities as superintendent and manager. Then he should call to his assistance men who will be true as steel, who will do the work which is positively essential to be done. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 9

Use economy in the table provisions. This has consumed much means which wise judgment might have saved. The sanitarium [at] Crystal Springs has been managed very much as if it were a large hotel, while hotel prices have not been demanded to meet the outgoes. There is need of religion in eating, religion in dressing, religion in every jot and tittle of the principles of physicians and managers. There is need of economy, and those who have connected themselves with the institution, and yet cannot discern its crippled condition, those who will plan after their own impulse, are not to be trusted as superintendents or directors. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 10

This was the counsel given in a most impressive manner, by One whose authority is to be respected in all your councils. After a patient examination of the situation had been made, the way was opened to obtain an insight into the special work to be done in our colleges and printing establishments. But that I will not include here. The counsellor said, “The Lord has been dishonored. The religious interest must be of a deeper type. It must lead to an inward work of the heart before the outward work will be correct. The lessons of Jesus Christ are to be carried into every phase of practical life. Economy is to be practiced in all things. Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost. There is a religion that does not touch the heart, and therefore becomes a form of words. It is not brought into practical life. Religious duty and the highest human prudence in business lines must be commingled.” 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 11

The Word carefully studied, and eaten as the Bread of life, will be digested properly. That Word contains the lessons that every soul will need to learn if they would walk and work with discretion. Cultivated fancies and tastes cannot be indulged and yet the human agent be a co-laborer with Christ. The revelation of the attributes of Christ will be unmistakably revealed in those who are His followers. The invitation must be heeded, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 12

It is in humbly working by the side of Jesus that we find rest. Men who feel themselves sufficient to take upon themselves responsibilities that they cannot manage, do injury to themselves and to the cause of God. Yet they are so blind that they cannot discern but what they are fully competent to undertake any thing. Although the Lord has warned them, they do not “take heed,” but retain their own ideas that they are just the men to manage and superintend. And the men in responsible positions who have thus allowed incompetent men to do this work are responsible for these things. They have not been faithful at their post of duty, firm as a rock to principle. In thus giving away the work and cause of God, in order to keep peaceable feelings, fearing the consequences if they should do according to what [they] know to be right, dishonor the Lord, and leave the work of God to become embarrassed by unwise management. When will men be wise? 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 13

It is very difficult for a man to discern his own weak points of character. He supposes himself to be capable to do things that he has not been qualified by the Lord to do. If he will keep humble before God, and work in the lines where he can work, God will work with him, and in thus co-operating with God, and not trusting to his own imperfect notions and theories, he will be counted a wise man, because God is his wisdom. I have spoken these things to Dr. Maxson and his wife several times before; and if he had only believed that God had given him counsel, he would have been relieved of difficulties and perplexities that the Lord does not want him to bear. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 14

“Whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:17.] And still the apostle’s charge comes closer, “Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] This is the fruit that is always borne upon the tree that has its roots in Jesus. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 15

The truths of the Bible may be repeated; but are these truths eaten, do they become a part of our spiritual sinews and muscle, our desires, our appetites and passions? The great truths are brought into immediate contact with the smallest things in our habits and practices. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 16

There must be the implanting of a new nature and the influence of grace through eating the Word of the Lord. Thus we shall be daily strengthened, and renewed more and more after the divine image of the life of Christ in humanity. That humanity was perfect. It was a life of completeness. When we individually eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, there will be much greater meekness and lowliness of heart revealed in the character. This exhibition of character is a representation [of] all who are seeking for glory and honor and immortality—eternal life. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 17

But the high ideas and ambitions, the plans and great desire to make a show, are an evidence that the soul is not eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. Their words, their demeanor, their conduct in little things reveal that the Word of God is not their counsellor, their food, the current circulating through their religious life. There is need of the power of conversion in a higher sense in those who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ, before they will reveal in character the rich cluster of fruits which will satisfy the Lord God of heaven. All who exalt themselves shall be humbled, and those that humble themselves shall be exalted. 12LtMs, Ms 31, 1897, par. 18