Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 59, 1905

Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 4, 1905

Portions of this letter are published in MM 174-175; 7MR 378-379; LLM 77-78; 5Bio 387-389. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Burden,—

I often think of you and of those connected with you. I did not while in Los Angeles find opportunity to talk with either of you as much as I desired. I was hoping that we should have opportunity to counsel more at length about the work. But an opportunity will come. We shall see you sometime, perhaps in our own home, which you vacated for us. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 1

I am doing as well as could be expected. I have had very little opportunity to go out riding since returning from the Mountain View meeting. We have had rain, rain, rain; and it is a blessing which God has sent us, for which we ought to praise His holy name, and be thankful. The rain has fallen softly and steadily most of the time, but some days it has been heavier. Today the sky is cloudy, but no rain is falling. I was pleased, when I rose this morning, to see the stars; but it may rain again soon; for the sky is very cloudy. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 2

I long to be where I can bear my testimony to the people, but I dare not be presumptuous. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 3

The remark is often made, by one and another, “Why depend so much on sanitariums? Why do we not pray for the miraculous healing of the sick, as the people of God used to do?” In the early history of our work many were healed by prayer. And some, after they were healed, pursued the same course in the indulgence of appetite that they had followed in the past. They did not live and work in such a way as to avoid sickness. They did not show that they appreciated the Lord’s goodness to them. Again and again they were brought to suffering through their own careless, thoughtless course of action. How could the Lord be glorified in bestowing on them the gift of health? 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 4

When the light came that we should have a sanitarium, the reason was plainly given. There were many who needed to be educated in regard to healthful living. A place must be provided to which the sick could be taken, where they could be taught how to live so as to preserve health. At the same time light was given that the sick could be successfully treated without drugs. This was the lesson that was to be practiced and taught by physicians and nurses and by all other medical missionary workers. Drugs were to be discarded; because when they are taken into the system, their after effect is very injurious. Many suffering from fever have died as the result of the drugs administered. They might have been alive today had they been given water treatment by those competent to administer it. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 5

Another point presented to me was that by careful watching and proper dieting, patients may be prepared for the thorough treatment that is required in fevers. However severe the fever, in most cases it can be mastered without once administering drugs. Some of our physicians are in need of being converted to the use of simple healthful treatments without the use of drugs. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 6

Our sanitarium work is not to be done in mammoth buildings in a few places. Every large city should if possible have a small sanitarium, in the outskirts, where the air is not contaminated by the smoke from many chimneys, and where the noise and confusion of the streets cannot be heard. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 7

The nurses connected with these institutions should be prepared to exert a soul-saving influence. Those who are not rooted and grounded in the truth should not be employed. Let them first become established in the truth. Then let them learn to be ever on guard, ever seeking to make the right impression on the minds of the sick. We need to study the true science of healing. Nothing should be administered that will be in any way injurious. Our nurses should thoroughly understand how to give simple remedies that will prove effectual. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 8

Nurses should always be pleasant and cheerful and should show thoughtful consideration. They are ever to strive to do their work wisely and well, realizing that they are serving the Lord, and that in the discharge of their duties they are to live out before unbelievers their faith in the truth for this time. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 9

Great care should be shown in choosing young people to connect with our sanitariums. Those who have not the love of the truth in the soul should not be chosen. The sick need to have wise words spoken to them. The influence of every worker should make an impression on minds in favor of the religion of Christ Jesus. Light has been given me that the young people chosen to connect with our sanitariums should be those who have evidence that they have been apt learners in the school of Christ. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 10

They are to be truly converted; then they will be prepared to speak, and work, with true wisdom. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 11

Nurses should have regular Bible instruction, that they may be able to speak to the sick words that will enlighten and help them. Angels of God are in the rooms where the suffering ones are to take treatment, and the atmosphere surrounding the soul of the one giving treatment should be pure and fragrant. In the lives of the physicians and nurses the virtues of Christ are to be seen. His principles are to be lived. Then by what they do and say, the sick will be drawn to the Saviour. We need the saving grace of God. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 12

It is to save the souls, as well as to cure the bodies of men and women, that our sanitariums are at much expense established. God designs that by means of them the rich and the poor, the high and the low shall find the bread from heaven and the water of life. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 13

I will thus explain the reason why we have sanitariums. It is to gather in a class of people who will become intelligent upon health reform and will learn how to regain health and how to prevent sickness by following right habits of eating and drinking and dressing. As a part of the treatment, lectures should be given on the different points of health reform. Instruction should be given regarding the right choice and preparation of food, showing that food may be prepared so as to be wholesome and nourishing, and at the same time appetizing and palatable. These lectures should be diligently kept up as a means of teaching the patients how to prevent disease by a wise course of action. By means of these lectures the patients may be shown the responsibility resting on them to keep the body in the most healthful condition because it is the Lord’s purchased possession. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 14

“Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 15

An experienced Christian nurse in the sickroom will use the best remedies within her knowledge for restoring the sufferer to health. And she will pleasantly and successfully draw the one for whom she is working to Christ, the healer of the soul as well as of the body. The lessons given, line upon line, here a little and there a little, will have their influence. The older nurses, whether they be men or women, should lose no opportunity of calling the attention of the sick to Christ. Those who care for the sick should be prepared to blend spiritual healing with physical healing. Let the nurses in our sanitariums show that in the solemn work of caring for the sick, they do not rely on drug medication, but on the power of Christ and the use of the simple remedies that He has provided—the application of hot and cold water and simple, nourishing food, without intoxicating liquor of any kind, with judicious exercise, and a putting away of all injurious practices. In treatment such as this there is health for the sick. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 16

The sick may look to the great Healer for health as they do all that is possible to be done in their part, co-operating with Him who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He who would be healed must cease to transgress the law of God. He must cease to choose a life of sin. God cannot bless the one who continues to bring upon himself disease and suffering by violating the laws of heaven. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 17

But the Holy Spirit comes as a healing power to those who cease to do evil and learn to do well. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 18

Those who have no love for God will work constantly against the best interests of soul and body. But those who awake to the responsibility and solemnity of living in this present evil world will be softened and subdued. Tenderness and love for Christ will find their hearts. They know that He is their friend. In many cases the realization that they have such a friend means more to the suffering ones in their recovery from sickness than the best treatment that can be given. But both lines of ministry are essential. They are to go hand in hand. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 19

The Lord says to the physicians in our sanitarium, Prepare to use to the utmost all your resources in winning souls to eternal life in the kingdom of God. Place only chosen helpers in positions of responsibility. One who cares for the sick should live in close communion with God; for a bright religious experience is of the highest value to the unconverted. He should move carefully and intelligently, speaking words that Christ can use to impress the mind. As he speaks words that are helpful and appropriate, and as he offers prayer for the sinsick soul, the Lord Jesus will make the application. God speaks through human lips. The heart is reached. Humanity is brought into touch with divinity. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 20

The souls thus saved are trophies of divine grace. They are seals of Christ’s ministry—living epistles, known and read of all men. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 21

There is medical missionary work to be done for the saving of souls. The Lord will give those who watch unto prayer a rich experience. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy path.” [Proverbs 3:5, 6.] 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 22

I think I have answered the question, “Why do we not pray for the healing of the sick, instead of having sanitariums?” The education of many souls is at stake. In the providence of God, instruction has been given that sanitariums be established, in order that the sick may be drawn to them and learn how to live healthfully. The establishment of sanitariums is a providential arrangement, whereby people from all churches are to be reached and made acquainted with the saving truth for this time. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 23

It is for this reason that we urge that sanitariums be established in many places outside of our cities. The physician who is connected with a sanitarium should at all times carry himself circumspectly. He should be a truly converted man so that he can minister to the sin-sick souls of the patients. He will meet all classes, rich and poor, high and low, and he is to work for their salvation. The work placed in his hands—the care of the soul as well as of the body—calls for constant preparedness by the Holy Spirit. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 24

The highest standard is held up before those who connect with our sanitariums, whether they be physicians, nurses, superintendents, or business managers. To all such I would say, Never think that you are out of danger. Satan is laying his snare for souls. Remember that you are carrying weighty responsibilities. Your work brings you into association with the Lord Jesus. He is saying to you, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Christ calls you. You have been chosen to do a sacred work in our sanitariums. Your conversation and attitude is to be seasoned with the grace of Christ, such as will place you on a high plane, as medical missionaries, working in union with a pure, holy God, carrying forward the greatest work ever entrusted to mortals. Those whom God has called out from among men to stand in our sanitariums as His medical missionaries are to cultivate integrity and purity of character, showing those with whom they come in contact what true Christianity means, and throwing a cheering, sanctifying light upon minds. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 25

May the Lord bless you all and give you courage and hope and faith. May all who are connected with the Glendale Sanitarium consecrate the powers of body and mind and soul to the service of God, in singleness of purpose. “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” [Matthew 6:22.] 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 26

May God bless you all is the prayer that I offer for you at our family worship. 20LtMs, Lt 59, 1905, par. 27