Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Next Pub.» Forward»

Report of Progress

September 15, 1908

To the President of the Florida Conference

Dear Brother,

I have just read your article in the Review, and also your letter of June 18 to my son, regarding a place which you have found near Orlando where there is land and building that seems to be suitable for a sanitarium. I have no hesitancy in saying that I believe the time has come for Florida to have a sanitarium, so that the light which our sanitariums are established to reflect, may shine forth to the people of Florida, and to the many health-seekers who come from the Northern States.

Our time is short in which to do the important work of giving the last gospel message to the world. Therefore if there is opportunity to purchase at a moderate price, buildings suitably located and well adapted to the work we wish to do, let us improve the opportunity, and save ourselves the time, the care, and the anxiety that would be required in the work of erecting the buildings ourselves.

I hope that this property which you have described, and which seems to have been brought within your reach by the providence of God, will become the means of strengthening the work in Florida, and that it will become an important center of influence from which many well-trained medical missionaries shall go forth with the message of mercy to the unworked parts of the Master's great harvest-field.

Not long ago I wrote a letter to our people in Indiana regarding their effort to establish a sanitarium in Lafayette. I will send a copy to you, because I desire our people in Florida to have the same encouragement and counsel.

Mrs. E. G. White

September 15, 1908

Importance of the Sanitarium Work

I have a message for our people in Indiana, and trust that it will be read to our brethren and sisters in every church in the conference. My heart is made glad as I hear of the efforts being made to establish a sanitarium in Lafayette. If the churches will unite heartily to carry to completion this good work that has been begun, very many will be benefited thereby.

The blessing of the Word will come to God's people as they perform acts of self-denial and self-sacrifice in order to establish a place where the sick may be healed, and where they may also become acquainted with the principles of health reform. The Lord would have these suffering ones have every advantage of learning the truths concerning this subject.

The message given to all our people regarding the “Extent of the Work,” as published in Testimonies for the Church 7:51 - 59, I here repeat to you. Also a few words from page 62:

“God has qualified his people to enlighten the world. He has entrusted them with faculties by which they are to extend his work until it shall encircle the globe. In all parts of the earth, they are to establish sanitariums, schools, publishing houses, and kindred facilities for the accomplishment of his work....

“Christ co-operates with those who engage in medical missionary work. Men and women who unselfishly do what they can to establish sanitariums and treatment-rooms in many lands will be richly rewarded. Those who visit these institutions will be benefited physically, mentally, and spiritually,—the weary will be refreshed, the sick restored to health, the sin-burdened relieved. In far-off countries, from those whose hearts are by these agencies turned from the service of sin unto righteousness, will be heard thanksgiving and the voice of melody. By their songs of grateful praise a testimony will be borne that will win others to allegiance to and fellowship with Christ.

“The conversion of souls to God is the greatest, the noblest work in which human beings can have a part. In this work are revealed God's power, his holiness, his forbearance, and his unbounded love. Every true conversion glorifies him, and causes the angels to break forth into singing.

“We are nearing the End of this earth's history, and the different lines of God's work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than is at present manifest. The work for these last days is in a special sense a missionary work. The presentation of present truth, from the first letter of its alphabet to the last, means missionary effort. The work to be done calls for sacrifice at every advance step. From this unselfish service the workers will come forth purified and refined as gold tried in the fire....

“The Lord has signified that his work should be carried forward in the same spirit in which it was begun. The world is to be warned. Field after field is to be entered. The command given us is, ‘Add new territory; add new territory.’ Shall we not as a people, by our business arrangements, by our attitude toward a world unsaved, bear a testimony even more clear and decisive than that borne by us twenty or thirty years ago?

“Upon us has shone great light in regard to the last days of this earth's history. Let not our lack of wisdom and energy give evidence of spiritual blindness. God's messengers must be clothed with power. They must have for the truth an elevating reverence that they do not now possess. The Lord's solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed in the most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities,—in every place where the light of the third angel's message has not yet dawned. To every one is to be given the last call to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

“In proclaiming the message, God's servants will be called upon to wrestle with numerous perplexities, and to surmount many obstacles. Sometimes the work will go hard, as it did when the pioneers were establishing the institutions in Battle Creek, in Oakland, and in other places. But let all do their best, making the Lord their strength, avoiding all selfishness, and blessing others by their good works....

“Medical missionary work is the right hand of the gospel. It is necessary to the advancement of the cause of God. As through it men and women are led to see the importance of right habits of living, the saving power of the truth will be made known. Every city is to be entered by workers trained to do medical missionary work. As the right hand of the third angel's message, God's methods of treating disease will open doors for the entrance of present truth.”

“We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work. The world is a lazar-house filled with victims of both physical and spiritual disease. Everywhere people are perishing for lack of a knowledge of the truths that have been committed to us. The members of the church are in need of an awakening, that they may realize their responsibility to impart these truths. Those who have been enlightened by the truth are to be light-bearers to the world. To hide our light at this time is to make a terrible mistake. The message to God's people today is, ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’

“On every hand we see those who have had much light and knowledge deliberately choosing evil in the place of good. Making no attempt to reform, they are growing worse and worse. But the people of God are not to walk in darkness. They are to walk in the light, for they are reformers.”

Self-Denial and Vigilance

Erroneous opinions, arrived at because of faulty education in the home, have been handed down by children to children's children, and habits of indulgence have been fostered which have resulted in ruined health to thousands. Our sanitariums are to be places where correct education can be given to many on matters that pertain to life and health. The habits of eating should be carefully guarded, that none shall make themselves sick by indulgence of appetite. The Lord is not pleased when his people, bought by the sacrifice of his beloved Son, thoughtlessly injure themselves by wrong habits of living. As we pass through this world, we should seek to instruct all who will be taught how to avoid and how to overcome self-indulgent practices.

If we are believers in Jesus Christ, we shall seek to become intelligent as to how to keep the brain clear and active, that not a tittle of our influence be lost. We should seek to become laborers together with God by keeping the system in such a condition that it can render perfect service. It is poor policy indeed to ill-treat the digestive organs, upon which the happiness of the whole being so largely depends. When the stomach is disturbed, the mind is disturbed, and the brain nerve power is weakened. It therefore becomes a religious duty with every soul to learn the science of healthful living, to keep the question of diet in mind, and to treat the matter conscientiously.

The apostle Paul declares to us that we are not our own, that we are bought with a price. If we truly love the One who gave his life for us, we shall feel under solemn obligation to avoid disease. There is a solemn responsibility resting upon all, and especially upon our ministers and their families, to set a right example in the matter of healthful living. If our ministers would combine physical labor with their mental efforts, they would find great improvement in health and mental clearness.

The strength of the temptation to indulge perverted appetite can be measured only by the long-suffering of Christ in his long fast in the wilderness. Christ knew that in order to carry out the plan of salvation, he must begin the work of redemption just where the ruin began. Adam fell on the point of appetite. Christ took up the work of redemption just where the ruin began. The same is true of our experience. We are to begin the work of reform just where the work of degeneracy is so keenly felt.

To teach us how to overcome the temptations of appetite, Christ has given us the record of his own experience of nearly six weeks of fasting, followed by his wonderful victory over the power of Satan. In this experience Christ broke the power of appetite for all who will accept the aid of the divine power on which he relied. He made it impossible for Satan to destroy the human race through indulged appetite, and made it possible for men and women in his strength to live a Christian life. Those who believe in Christ must, like him, guard the appetite.

Study again and again the counsel given in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, regarding “God's Design in Our Sanitariums.” From pp. 224, 225, I copy the following:

“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. The people are to be instructed in regard to the needs of the physical organism, and the value of healthful living as taught in the Scriptures, that the bodies which God has created may be presented to him a living sacrifice, fitted to render him acceptable service. There is a great work to be done for suffering humanity in relieving their sufferings by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided, and in teaching them how to prevent sickness by the regulation of the appetites and passions. The people should be taught that transgression of the laws of nature is transgression of the laws of God. They should be taught the truth in physical as well as in spiritual lines, that ‘the fear of the Lord tendeth to life.’ ‘If thou wilt enter into life,’ Christ says, ‘keep the commandments.’ Live out my law’ as the apple of thine eye!’ God's commandments, obeyed, are ‘life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.’

“Our sanitariums are an educating power to teach the people in these lines. Those who are taught can in turn impart to others a knowledge of health-restoring and health-preserving principles. Thus our sanitariums are to be an instrumentality for reaching the people, an agency for showing them the evil of disregarding the laws of life and health, and for teaching them how to preserve the body in the best condition. Sanitariums are to be established in different countries that are entered by our missionaries, and are to be centers from which a work of healing, restoring, and educating shall be carried on.”

Mrs. E. G. White

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Next Pub.» Forward»