Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 158, 1902

Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]

Fresno, California

October 8, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in CS 274-275; CL 8; HFM 60; 1MR 394.

Dear brother and sister Burden,—

In the mail just received from Australia, there were letters from you both, and I will answer them as best I can. Brother Burden, it is not wisdom to become involved in debt. You are a wise man and do not need this reminder. A debt is a yoke—a binding, galling yoke. It would not be wisdom to purchase another place near Sydney. You have been pressed almost beyond measure in the effort to build and equip the Wahroonga Sanitarium. It would have been wiser to make the building smaller. I have always thought that it would be best to cut down the building plans still more than they were cut down, and then, when means came in, and if more room were needed, the building could have been enlarged. It would cost much less to furnish a smaller building. When I received the picture of the Sanitarium, the size of the building surprised me. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 1

Our people in America have been drawn upon for means until this is becoming a source of temptation. I must advise my brethren in Australia not to make any more large investments until they have some way of producing means. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 2

Last night your situation was presented to me. You were undecided as to what to do in regard to the food business. My brother, this is a matter that will need careful consideration. You and Sister Burden will be needed in the Sanitarium. Your talent and ingenuity will be needed to make the work of the institution a success. You cannot manage the food business and the sanitarium work. If you try to do this, losses will be incurred that you cannot afford. Let the food factory remain where it is until light comes from God that a change should be made. Strive earnestly to make a success of the sanitarium work, and await the turning of the wheel of providence. As you move forward in the upward path, move carefully. I entreat you not to invest money in extra buildings; and, as far as possible, keep out of debt. You have not men of capability to warrant any further investment. Keep your mind clear and your head cool. And do not attempt to build a tower without first counting the cost. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 3

The very same reason that makes it inadvisable to have a sanitarium in the city of Sydney would make it unadvisable to have a food factory there. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 4

Dr. Caro once drove me up a long, broad street in Strathfield and showed me the grand buildings going up there as the homes of members of parliament, lawyers, and judges. Then he asked me what I thought of a sanitarium site on this splendid street. I said, “You will be disappointed when I tell you that it is just such places as this that you should avoid; for troublous times are before us. The owners of these buildings are not Christians by any means, and the further you get away from their critical observation, the better it will be for your work. Establish the sanitarium in a retired place, and these men, when sick, will soon find it out and will come to it for treatment. God does not want His servants to mingle with the men of the world. By their corrupt practices and pleasures, they have brought the fulfilment of the words, ‘Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth, and he that departeth from iniquity maketh himself a prey.’” [Isaiah 59:14, 15.] 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 5

I told Dr. Caro that it would not be right to build a sanitarium in Sydney. I told him that should our brethren do this, the institution would encounter great difficulties; for Seventh-day Adventists will be hated by the ministers, and these ministers will leaven others with their hatred. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 6

The further we can get from the cities, the more retired our location, the better it will be for our work. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 7

I am now writing to our people, asking for means to advance the medical missionary work in Southern California. And at the same time I am cautioning the brethren in charge of the work there not to make their plans too large. While in Los Angeles, we found that Dr. Moran was engaged in trying to build up a large bakery business. He has erected an immense factory, at a heavy cost, and was planning to put one hundred thousand dollars into the erection of sanitarium buildings, because, when Dr. Kellogg’s counsel was asked regarding this, he said, “You are doing right to build in Los Angeles. Go ahead.” 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 8

But there are reasons why we should not build in the cities. On these cities, God’s judgments are soon to fall. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 9

Brother Burden, make haste slowly, and make no changes in the location of the food factory at present; for changes involve expense. It would not be wise to move the work of the Food Company from Cooranbong now, regardless of the money invested to prepare the buildings there for operation, [because] of the great expense entailed in establishing the work in some other place. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 10

The one who is placed in charge of the food business should be a careful, economical man, who will move forward steadily and yet carefully, binding off the edges and making sure that the business is producing as well as consuming. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 11

Brother Burden, look well to every point. Do not let my words discourage you. I want you to understand that the Sanitarium will certainly need you. If its work is a success, it will be because of careful management and a close following of the Lord’s counsel. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 12

Study economy in the furnishing of the Sanitarium. I received your letter in regard to the purchase of an automobile in which to carry patients to and from the station. My brother, do not make such a purchase. If you should get an automobile, it would be a temptation to others to do the same thing. Lay aside the inclination to spend money needlessly. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 13

I have been deeply stirred as the restaurant question has passed before me, and I have been shown that it has been carried forward in such a way that, instead of accomplishing great spiritual good, it has resulted in injuring the religious experience of many of the youth connected with it. I send you this letter, my dear friends, to guard you against a needless expenditure of effort. Put all your energy and talents into the effort to make the work of the Sanitarium a success. Do not take up work that will bring nothing to show for the effort put forth. Invest your means and strength in work that you know will bring returns for the Lord. Do not overwork. Guard carefully the health of yourself and your family. 17LtMs, Lt 158, 1902, par. 14