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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 83, 1902

    Locating Sanitariums


    June 11, 1902 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 7T 88-89. +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.

    Locating Sanitariums: Not Among the Most Wealthy

    Where shall we locate our sanitariums? We who cannot read the future may make plans—which for the present appear altogether consistent in our finite, human judgment—the very plans which should be made. But we cannot discern the future perplexities that may be involved in our selection of a locality. It is best to consider this matter candidly and carefully on all sides, asking counsel of God and exercising great caution; for God weighs all things in His scales of eternal justice.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 1

    In deciding this question we are to choose with the thought ever in mind that we are looking for the restoration of the moral image of God in man. Christ came to our world for this purpose. He came to show [how] we could live in order to secure eternal life. The price paid for our redemption brought the Commander of the heavenly hosts from the royal courts. The infinite sacrifice made by our Father in giving His Son to our world is a lesson we do not fully comprehend. Our minds need to be refined, purified, and sanctified, in order that we may take in this great mystery. God has not yet abandoned the earth. Sinners are to be converted to Him.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 2

    Our institutions are not to be crowded together in any one locality. God never designed that the light of truth should be thus centered and bound up in one place. For a time the Jewish nation was required to worship at Jerusalem. But Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Believe Me, the hour is coming when ye shall neither in this mountain nor at Jerusalem worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what. We know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” [John 4:21-24.] This is the work that is to be done. Truth is to be planted in every place to which we can possibly gain access. God’s truth is to be carried to regions that are barren of truth and righteousness. The reception of the truth as it is in Jesus will make melody to God in the heart. Men will be blessed in receiving the One in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 3

    From the light the Lord has given me, our sick should be cared for away from the bustle of the cities, away from the noise of trams and the constant rattling of carts and carriages. People who come from country homes will appreciate a quiet place, and in retirement patients will be more favorably impressed, and their minds will be more easily influenced by the Spirit of God. It was not in His purpose that people should be huddled together in cities. Sin has marred God’s purposes. Sin has brought into the world all the want and suffering, the care and anguish, that are found in our large cities.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 4

    If possible, locations should be secured for our sanitariums where there is good air and plenty of room, and where ground can be obtained for cultivation. The garden of Eden, where man was first placed, was very beautiful. The flowers were lovely and fragrant. The trees bore their burden of precious fruits for the use of man. On every tree the birds caroled songs of praise. Adam and Eve in their untainted purity delighted in their surroundings and in the glad songs of the birds. Similar sights and sounds are to delight our eyes and ears. They are just the surroundings that God would have man rejoice in today. To locate our sanitariums amid the scenes of nature would be to follow God’s order; and the more closely His order is followed, the more wonderfully will He work to restore suffering humanity. For the educational and medical work, places should be selected where without obstructions the Son of Righteousness can arise and shine with healing in His wings.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 5

    God created mankind for happiness, not to be kept in continual worry. The Lord’s people are to be a joyous people, because they can repose in Him, realizing His goodness, mercy, and love.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 6

    It might seem to be the very best thing we could possibly do to select a site among the wealthy; that this would give character to our work and secure patronage. But this is seeing things only from a human point of view. “God seeth not as man seeth.” [1 Samuel 16:7.] Man looks at the outward appearance, as did Lot. God looks at the heart. The fewer grand buildings there are around our institutions, the less vexation we shall experience. Irreligious and irreverent are many of those wealthy property owners. Worldly thoughts fill their minds. Worldly amusement, mirth, and merriment occupy their time. Extravagance in dress and living use their means. The heavenly intelligences are not welcome to their houses as divine messengers. They want God afar off. Humility is a hard lesson for humanity to learn, and it is so especially for rich, self-indulgent men. Those who do not regard themselves as accountable to God for all the goods they possess are tempted to exalt self, as if the riches comprehended by land and bank stock made them independent of God. Full of pride and conceit, their characters are estimated by themselves and the world according to their wealth. But their riches would be much less if they distributed to the poor and relieved suffering humanity. This would make them of value in God’s sight because they would be rich in good works.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 7

    There are many rich men upon whom God has His searching eye. In their acquirement and use of means, He has seen robbery of Him. They have neglected the great Proprietor of all and have not used the means entrusted to them to relieve the suffering and oppressed. In this way they have been laying up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath; for God will reward every man according as his works shall be. These men do not worship God; self is their idol. They are unfaithful stewards, and every unfaithful steward will surely supplant and intrigue. He will put justice and mercy out of his mind, replacing it with avarice and strife. God says, “Shall I not judge for these things? I love righteousness, but hate iniquity.” [See Jeremiah 5:9; Hebrews 1:9.]17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 8

    God would not be pleased to have any of our institutions permanently located in a community of this character, however great its apparent advantages; for persons of this class have a molding influence upon other minds, and the enemy would work through them to hedge up our way, so that success would not attend the Lord’s work. Evil associations are always detrimental to piety and devotion, and principles that are approved by God may be undermined by unfavorable circumstances. God would have none of us like Lot, who chose his residence without reference to his associations. Lot went into Sodom rich; he left with nothing, led by an angel’s hand, while messengers of wrath waited to pour forth the fiery blasts which were to consume all the inhabitants and blot out the entrancing beauty of that highly favored city and its suburbs, making bleak and bare a place which God had once made very beautiful.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 9

    If our sanitariums are not near the houses of rich men, they will not be led to look on them as an innovation and an eyesore, and to comment unfavorably upon them because it is understood that they receive suffering humanity of all classes. Pure and undefiled religion makes those who are children of God one family, bound up with Christ in God. False reasoning alone is proud, partial, exclusive, favoring only a few. In those who have this spirit, the lowly awaken little sympathy. But Christ binds men to Himself, to God, and to one another. True, sanctified judgment makes all human element in Christ one. It builds up no wall of separation between man and his fellow man. Through Christ men and women have been adopted into the divine family as sons and daughters of God. They are given every advantage of the Saviour’s power and redeeming love.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 10

    In erecting our buildings, we must keep away from the great men of the world, and let them seek the help they need by withdrawing from their associates into more retired localities. Let their attention be drawn to a people who love and fear God. We shall not please God by building our sanitariums among people extravagant in dress and living and who are attracted to those who can make a great display. This use of money, while it displeases God and brings reproach upon the sacred work we are handling, does not make us any happier.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 11

    It is not ostentation, outward show, which gives a correct representation of the work we should do as God’s chosen people who bear His sign, of which no one should be ashamed. All should bear the sign as the Lord’s peculiar people. “Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep,” the Lord declares; “for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” [Exodus 31:13.] The Lord Jesus Christ redeemed Israel from the land of bondage, delivering them with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. He displayed great signs and wonders in Egypt, showing His command over all the natural world and over the powers which the Egyptian oppressors worshiped. He exalted this people by His favor, setting them apart from the world to observe the Sabbath of the fourth commandment as a sign between Him and them. He designed that if they obeyed Him, they should stand throughout their generations as a hope, a light, and a deliverance to the end of time.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 12

    The Sabbath is still the sign which is to distinguish the obedient, commandment-keeping people of God from the disobedient. Those who read their Bible and then misinterpret the Word of God to suit their friends and worldly associates, who transgress the Sabbath command after light has come will be cut off from among His people. Thus God reveals the great law of His divine plan.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 13

    As God’s commandment-keeping people, we must leave the cities. Like Enoch, we must work in the cities, but not dwell in them. We should keep away from the residences of the rich and of the rulers of the land. Men may possess houses and lands of great money value; they may have obtained these honestly or dishonestly, but none of these things can make them happy and contended, sweet-tempered or self-controlled. They may at the same time be estranged from God by sin, their minds controlled by error and superstition. Under a false interpretation of events they think that the calamities that fill the land are the result of Sunday-breaking. Thinking to appease the wrath of God, these influential men make laws enforcing Sunday observance. They think that by exalting this false rest day higher and still higher, compelling obedience to the spurious Sabbath, they are doing God’s service. Those who honor God by observing the true Sabbath are looked upon as disloyal to God, when it is really those who thus regard them who are themselves disloyal, because they are trampling under foot the Sabbath originated in Eden.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 14

    The Lord expects His people to have faith in the living God who made all things. His chosen people will be proved and tried before they are announced good and faithful servants, worthy to inherit eternal life, with its endowment of heavenly riches. “Unto you who believe, He is precious,” the apostle writes, “but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner.” [1 Peter 2:7.] Thus the world, by rejecting the true Authority of all laws and placing their authority above Jehovah’s law, take sides with the great rebel. Those who believe in Christ will be exalted with their great Head. But to those who do not appreciate Christ, He is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. The reason is given—they are disobedient. Addressing the obedient, the apostle says, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praise of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” [Verse 9.] The Lord brought Israel out of bondage, desolating the fertile land of Egypt, to accomplish His purpose, to teach them the first and the highest lesson—that God was their God, the only true and living God, and that in Him they must trust.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 15

    We are to have faith in the living God, who made the world and all things that are therein, and who overrules all events to His own name’s glory. We are to be examples to the world, as those who uphold the everlasting principles of truth, justice, and purity. We are to have faith in Christ, faith in His power to redeem the soul and keep it in perfect peace. The world’s Redeemer will draw us to Himself with the cords of a man, with bands of love. This is riches beyond estimate. This faith must be the great element in the power which rules the characters of God’s people.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 16

    When as God’s peculiar people we take heed to His words, then will every one of us be able to say: “Our soul waiteth for the Lord. He is our help and shield; our heart shall rejoice in Him because we have trusted in His holy name.” “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. ... I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked upon Him and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed.” “Blessed are the people who hear the joyful sound; I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy.” [Psalm 33:20, 21; 34:1, 4, 5; 89:15.]17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 17


    Extracts from Testimony, June 5, 1899, regarding the Sydney, N. S. W., Sanitarium.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 18

    No means is to be spent extravagantly. Every shilling is to be dedicated to the work of providing healthful rooms, healthful surroundings, and healthful food. The furniture is to be comfortable and convenient, but not costly. Men of common sense appreciate comfort above elegance or display. All the surroundings, inside and outside the institution, must be in harmony with the teaching of Christ and the expression of our faith. ...17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 19

    Let all the buildings be prepared for health and happiness, being so arranged that every unnecessary step shall be saved. Let the sanitarium be so located that the patients will have the benefits of the sunlight. ... The rooms should be furnished with comfortable chairs, not all made after the same pattern. The results will be far more satisfactory if the precision of the furniture is broken up. God has given us a plan for this in the variety of form and color seen in the things of nature. Means must be expended to obtain comfortable, restful articles of furniture. Patients will be much better pleased with them than if the furniture were all precisely the same.17LtMs, Ms 83, 1902, par. 20

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