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Heavenly Visions

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    Guidance in Our Medical Work

    Then, lastly, there is our medical work. Men of the world say Seventh-day Adventists know how to “run sanitariums.” Well, I think everybody connected with the operating of them wishes he knew better how to do it. But the world, looking on, gets the idea that we know how. A millionaire has recently died, who presented us with a sanitarium. We hesitated long about letting him build it for us. We said, “We are Adventists.” He said, “That is all right; I want it to be an Adventist sanitarium.” But our brethren said, “We keep the Sabbath.” He said, “That is all right; keep the Sabbath. I want to build you a sanitarium, and you run it your way.” “Well,” we said, “our sanitariums are vegetarian in diet, not like the world generally.” He said, “I don’t care; make it vegetarian. What I want to do is to give you a sanitarium to run in the Adventist way.” Well, the generous man had his way with us finally. He felt this people knew how to “run” it.HEVI 95.4

    On a ship on the China Sea, going from Manila to Shanghai, I once met a fine businesswomen. She had been a missionary for seventeen years, until her husband’s health failed, and then she had gone into business. She said to me: “How is it that Seventh-day Adventists are the one denomination that is so strong in this health work? You are in this as other churches are not.” Well, I explained to her-we were sitting at the dinner table with people all about us-how the providence of God in the beginning of our work led us into this way; that as Jesus had preached the gospel and had healed the sick, we felt that was our mission also. Well, that would do for a brief explanation in a table conversation; but you know how it came about.HEVI 95.5

    In 1867 Mrs. White wrote in the October 8 issue of the REVIEW: “It was at the house of A. Hilliard, at Otsego, Michigan, June 6, 1863, that the great subject of health reform was opened before me in vision” In that little farmhouse,-I saw it a few months ago when I attended the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Otsego church,-in that little farmhouse in 1863, in vision, Mrs. White had opened before her the whole scheme. Of course, vision after vision must have come later. She began to write, to write about health, temperance, the healing of the sick. By 1866 our brethren were ready to build our first health institution, the little sanitarium at Battle Creek, the old Health Reform Institute.HEVI 95.6

    That was the beginning. From that day to this these institutions have spread all over the earth. The world looking on marvels at it. We know how it came. The world gives this people the credit, but we know that it is the gift of the Spirit of prophecy that has been the chief factor in urging us to this health program in all lands.HEVI 95.7

    How much instruction on right living there is in the column of books pictured in that photograph of books, with Elder Palmer standing by. There is “Ministry of Healing.” A queen in Europe loved that book. The queen, a godly woman, a literary woman, wanted “Ministry of Healing” translated into the language of her country. She volunteered to write an introduction to it. But times of trouble and of controversy with the state church came, and I think the preface was never written. I do not know how the matter went. But this illustrates again how some people of the world regard these books. A Lutheran bishop in Europe said: “Give me that book, ‘Ministry of Healing.’ There is a book that breathes the Spirit of God from the first page to the last.”HEVI 95.8

    How do you account for it, that Mrs. White had a pen that could do such work? She herself said again and again that she never could have done it of herself, but God had given her the help of His Holy Spirit.HEVI 96.1

    I must close. But this guiding gift has wrought wondrously for us in this movement. We have seen times of perplexity, when messages would come from that hand, opening up the way to take, in matters that the writer could never have known. I remember saying once to Elder A. G. Daniells: “Why, Brother Daniells, Mrs. White never in this world could have written that.” And she never could have brought out the truth and counsels in these books, without the special gift of the Spirit of prophecy to help her.HEVI 96.2

    Last summer, I was in a meeting in Germany. Elder H. F. Schuberth was there. In early days he had charge of our work in one institutional center. He said to me: “I will tell you of an experience that has always helped me when the critics have found fault.” About 1894, he told me, when Mrs. White was in Australia, a difficulty arose in the institution, so troublesome that he appointed a meeting for Monday night, to consider the whole matter. Monday morning, when he came into his office, there was an envelope on his desk, bearing Australian stamps. He opened it. Inside was a message from Mrs. White. The message went straight to the heart of their difficulty. That Monday night, when they met, he read that letter. They had a blessed meeting, and everything was settled satisfactorily. I said to him: “Had you ever written to Australia about your trouble?” He said: “No, there was no time to write about it. The letter was on the way from Australia before the trouble ever arose.” It was surely according to the promise, “Before they call, I will answer.” Isaiah 65:24.HEVI 96.3

    Well we have seen these things. And through that gift, that servant of God, through a long life, was carrying burdens for workers and people somewhere or other over all the earth.HEVI 96.4

    We have had many a good woman in this advent movement, good mothers in Israel, just as good Christians as was Mrs. White, I am sure. But not one of them could ever do the things that we saw Mrs. White doing all her life. We have had good mothers in Israel, with literary education, with scholarship equipment; but not one of them ever did, and not one of them ever could do, what Mrs. White was doing continually for seventy whole years of her life. You cannot explain it, brethren and sisters, on natural grounds. There was a special gift placed in the advent movement at the beginning. It has been with us all the way, and still we hear the voice of the Spirit of prophecy in these writings, opening to us the Scriptures and pointing the way to the finished work.HEVI 96.5

    In the exodus movement out of Egypt, the coming of that gift of the Spirit of prophecy was a token that God was actually to lead that movement. We read that when Moses and Aaron had reported to the leaders of Israel what God had spoken, “the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, ... then they bowed their heads and worshiped.” Exodus 4:31. It was a solemn time. So also the coming of this gift in 1844 was a token that the living God was coming to lead a movement. Mrs. White says: “I told the view [the first vision] to our little band in Portland, who then fully believed it, to be of God. That was a powerful time. The solemnity of eternity rested upon us.”-Early Writings, 20.HEVI 96.6

    Brethren, God was coming near, to lead the advent movement of the prophecy. The time came in 1844. The people keeping the commandments came, and the agent for this gift of the Spirit of prophecy was chosen. There is a living God leading the movement. He has made plain our path clear through to the kingdom. With the bright light set up at the beginning of the way, with the experience of God’s leadership along the way, may we walk straight on until the journey’s end. The Review and Herald, January 27, 1938HEVI 96.7

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