Ellen G. White Writings

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The Indiana Reporter

May 13, 1908

Sanitarium Work and Our Relation to it

The great medical institutions in our cities called sanitariums do but a small part of the good they might do were they located where the patients could have the advantage of outdoor life. I have been instructed that sanitariums are to be established in many places in the country.

In the country the sick find many things to call their attention away from themselves and their sufferings. Everywhere they can look upon and enjoy the beautiful things of nature—the flowers, the fields, the fruit trees laden with their rich treasures, the forest trees casting their grateful shade, and the hills and valleys with their varied verdure and many forms of life. And not only are they entertained by these surroundings, but at the same time they learn most precious spiritual lessons. Surrounded by the wonderful works of God, their minds are lifted from the things that are seen to the things that are unseen. The beauty of nature leads them to think of the matchless charms of the earth made new when there will be nothing to mar the loveliness, nothing to taint or destroy, nothing to cause disease or death.

In the night season I was given a view of a sanitarium in the country. This institution was not large, but it was complete. It was surrounded by beautiful trees and shrubbery, beyond which were orchards and groves. Scene after scene passed before me. In one scene a number of suffering patients had just come to one of our country sanitariums. In another I saw the same company, but oh, how transformed their appearance! Disease had gone, the skin clear, the countenance joyful; body and mind seemed animated with new life.

I was also instructed that as these who have been sick, are restored to health in our country sanitariums, and return to their homes, they will be living object lessons, and many others will be favorably impressed.

Let no one listen to the suggestion that we can exercise faith and have all our infirmities removed, and that there is therefore no need of institutions for the recovery of health. Faith and works are not dissevered. Since the Lord is soon to come, act decidedly to increase facilities that a great work may be done in a short time.

Why, asks one and another, is not prayer offered for the miraculous healing of the sick, instead of so many sanitariums being established? The Lord has opened this matter before me. Our sanitariums are established to educate in regard to right habits of living. This education every member of the remnant church needs. The light given me was that sanitariums should be established, and that in them drug medication should be discarded, and simple, rational methods of treatment should be employed for healing of disease. In these institutions people were to be taught how to dress, breathe, and eat properly,—how to prevent sickness by proper habits of living.

It is God's purpose that our institutions shall be as object lessons showing the results of obedience to right principles. In the preparation of a people for the Lord's second coming, a great work is to be accomplished through the promulgation of health principles.

It is the duty of every church to feel an interest in its own poor. God has left a work to do in caring for his poor, in comforting the desponding, in visiting the sick, and dispensing to the needy. None whose names are on the church books should be left to suffer year after year from sickness, when a few months at the sanitarium would give them relief and a valuable experience to take care of themselves and others when sick. When a worthy child of God needs the benefit of the sanitarium, and can pay but a small amount toward his expenses, let the church act a noble part and make up the sum. Some may not be able to pay anything themselves, but do not let them continue to suffer. Send them to the sanitarium, and send your pledges and money with them to pay their expenses. In doing this you gain a precious blessing. It costs something to run such an institution, and it should not be required to treat the sick for nothing.

Deny yourselves of something in your houses or in your dress, and lay by a sum for the needy poor. Let not your tithes and thank offering to God be less, but let it be in addition. God does not purpose to rain means from Heaven with which to sustain the poor, but he has placed his goods in the hands of agents. They are to recognize Christ in the person of His saints. And what they do for His suffering children they do for him, for he identifies his interest with that of suffering humanity. By denying yourselves and lifting the cross for Jesus, who for your sakes became poor, you can do much toward relieving the suffering of the poor among us; and by thus imitating the example of your Lord and Master you will receive his approval and blessing.

Ellen G. White.

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