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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 67, 1899

    Counsel on Proper Buildings and the Treatment of the Sick


    April 25, 1899

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 2SM 284-285, 347-348; 8MR 258. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    I must write in regard to the way in which we are to work. No slipshod work is to be done on our cottages or school buildings. One month since, I was, in the night vision, passing a building, and I saw distinctly that this building was swaying. I said, “Why is this building swaying thus? What does it mean?” One of divine authority said, “There is not sufficient strong timber laid solidly in the foundation, and there will be a shaking of the building. Make the wrong right, though the work be ever so difficult.” This is an error that should never be made in any building and especially in a school building. Every floor should have double the material in its foundation.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 1

    Then the words were spoken, “You cannot give a correct object lesson in your buildings unless you build correctly. Let not the management of these buildings be left solely to any one man’s mind or judgment. There are men on the ground whose judgments should be combined in the erection of such buildings. You may save one hundred pounds in erecting the building now, but in the end it will cost you a much larger sum. The builders must unite their judgment and wisdom in the putting up of all the buildings that are to be used for school purposes.”14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 2

    Last Wednesday night my attention was called to a two-story building. It was narrow, and rather disproportionate in appearance. I asked, What is that building? The answer was given, That is your hospital building, where you would take your sick for treatment.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 3

    Cannot you see that it is out of proportion? Your first plan was none too large, and your cutting off from it was a mistake. Rooms should be prepared for the ministers who are overworked, and who need some place where they can have change and rest without having constant anxiety as to how they are going to meet their expenses. When the disciples were worn with labor, Christ said to them, “Come ye yourselves apart, and rest awhile.” [Mark 6:31.] The Lord would have arrangements made whereby His servants may have a time in which to rest and recover strength.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 4

    Our sanitariums are to be opened to our hard-working ministers who have labored to the best of their ability to create funds for the forwarding of the work. When the Health Home is in running order, a liberality should be manifested in the use of the facilities God has provided for His worn and overworked servants. God is dishonored when littleness and selfishness is revealed in any of His institutions. In every institution it should be remembered that when they receive Christ’s servants, they receive Christ in the person of His messengers. God requires this at their hands.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 5

    An institution is to be erected for the treatment of the sick servants of the Lord, and none who are ministering in word and doctrine, or laboring in the work of God in any line are to feel that they are beggars, or be treated as such, when they receive the hospitality of those who are in charge. It is such work as this that God looks upon as true and genuine medical missionary work. The souls of God’s workers are bound to Him, and when they are treated indifferently, or charged for any little service, it displeases the Lord.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 6

    There has not been among the medical fraternity a keenness of perception to discern these matters. They do not look at matters as they should. There are some workers who are so situated as to be able to lay by a little from their salary, and this they should do if possible to meet an emergency. Those who act as physicians of sin-sick souls have far greater difficulties to combat than physicians who treat diseased bodies. At every turn, when means are needed, they are called upon to do something to lead out and advance the cause of God, and this leaves them with very little surplus of means. They feel such an intense desire to plant the standard in new fields that they often hire money to help in these different enterprises.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 7

    The building on the school ground is to be convenient and roomy, for it is to be used not merely for the treatment of the sick, but as a resting place for the servants of the Lord. This is the Lord’s way, and it should be carried out in every institution in our land. To take a worn, sick minister, prescribe years of rest for him in order to get well, and then charge him from one to two pounds per week, is not a very encouraging way of treating him. To take our sisters, who have worked untiringly for the advancement of the cause of God, and charge them large sums of money for a short stay for treatment and board, is not God’s way, and His blessing will not attend any such close figuring. The branch of the cause for which these worn-out laborers have worked should show their appreciation of their labor by giving them help in their time of need, and thus divide the burden of expense. We want a clear understanding of these matters before we begin to lay the foundation stone for our Health Home.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 8

    We do not want this institution to pattern after any other medical institution in this country. We want God’s blessing, and His blessing cannot attend the receiving of large prices for treatment, especially from poor people. Those who wear God’s sign are not to take large sums of money for simple operations.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 9

    They are not to charge exorbitant prices for visits and counsel and ministration to the sick. There is to be no robbery. Fair, square dealing is to be revealed in every case. The Lord would have His people wear His sign, as subjects of His kingdom. They are to be distinguished from the world as men who follow in the footsteps of the greatest Teacher and Healer the world has ever known.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 10

    In building our institutions, the less we accept from the people in Cooranbong, the better we shall feel in the future. If you call for money from the poor around, they will receive the idea that by giving now, they win for themselves a life-long right to be treated, nursed, and cared for at the Health Home. Do all you can for them, but do not exact large sums from them. The Lord does not need the pence and shillings of these poor souls. He would have His people help them when sick, but do not publish abroad the fact that this is a free institution, lest they harm themselves by their expectations.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 11

    It is the privilege of every Christian physician to open wide his windows heavenward, and close them earthward. It is essential that the light of God’s living principles illuminate the chambers of the mind and the soul temple. Heavenly love enters the heart that is opened heavenward, and this light irradiates the hearts and minds of others.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 12

    In locating a sanitarium, much consideration should be given to its arrangement. The drawing room and sleeping rooms should have the morning sun. This will prove a great blessing, for there is healing in sunshine. Those who are arranging a private dwelling house, and especially a health home, should remember the benefit to be derived from having sunshine in the rooms. Let those who are making the plans for the Health Home in Cooranbong arrange the sleeping rooms so that they will get the morning sun, which is so beneficial to sick people. The sun is the Lord’s doctor; there is healing in its beams. Faith and works are to be combined. Do all you can to obtain the sunshine of the first morning hours, and then ask the Lord to bless the means you have taken to secure cleanliness, pure air, and daily sunshine.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 13

    Physicians who pray, as well as work to restore the sick make deep impressions upon the minds of those they attend. Our prayer and painstaking effort is not by any means to be confined to those who believe the doctrines we believe to be truth. God will bless the afflicted one, believer or unbeliever. Many not of our faith have often longed to understand what they should do to be saved. The hour of their greatest peril may be the hour of their resolve to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 14

    Ministers and doctors are deficient in this line. We need a much greater dependence on God and His power. We are to co-operate with God by using the simple remedies He has provided, discarding all drugs. The Lord God of Israel has provided for the success of faithful men and women who nurse the sick in faith, without depressing the invalid by referring to the question of money. Nature and nature’s God work together in perfect harmony. An intelligent use of God’s natural restoratives, water, pure air, sunshine, will work wonderful cures.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 15

    In every case treatment is to be accompanied by prayer. Many who are sick have never exercised faith. They do not know how to believe. But if they will look to Jesus, believing that the great Healer can cure the sin-sick soul and the diseased body, they will not be disappointed. God is exalted and honored by him who in faith wrestles in prayer. Our institutions must be fragrant with prayer. Pray, “If it is for Thy glory to do this, heal for Thy name’s sake.” This is not weakening to our faith. “The Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary. There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youth shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” [Isaiah 40:28-31.]14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 16

    It is our privilege to use every God-appointed means in correspondence with our faith, and then trust in God, when we have urged the promise. If there is need of a surgical operation, and the physician is willing to undertake the case, it is not a denial of faith to have the operation performed. After the patient has committed his will to the will of God, let him trust, drawing nigh to the great Physician, the Mighty Healer, and giving himself up in perfect trust. The Lord will honor his faith in the very manner He sees is for His own name’s glory.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 17

    “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” “The way of the just is uprightness: thou most upright doth weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee. The desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night, yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early; for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness.” [Isaiah 26:3, 4, 7-9.]14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 18

    This subject needs to be treated with great caution. We know of instances where the Lord has laid a case of diseased humanity upon the heart of His people, and put within them a longing of soul and they have prayed most earnestly for recovery, and have supposed they had a right to claim the promise, and yet the sick died. The Lord, who sees the end from the beginning, understood that should He work by His power to heal, the divine will would be misunderstood. At times, restoration would not be best, either for the friends or for the church, but would result in wild enthusiasm and fanaticism, leading some to the conclusion that impulse is the ground of our faith. The only safe course is to follow the written Word. After you have done all you can for the sufferer, place the case in the hands of the Lord. It may be that death will be for His glory. The Lord permits some to die who for months and years have lingered in sickness. He sees fit to give His suffering ones rest. “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” [Revelation 14:13.]14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 19

    In regard to spiritual blessings, look for the very blessing you need. The promise is, Ask, and ye shall receive. We are to ask for spiritual blessings, believing that we shall receive. Ask the Lord if it be in accordance with His will to grant your request, believing that He hears, and will answer the prayer you present in such a manner and at such a time as will be for your best good, and His name’s glory.14LtMs, Ms 67, 1899, par. 20

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