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    The Right Use of Means

    Sanitarium, Napa Co., Cal.,

    March 10, 1907.

    To the Directors of the Nashville Sanitarium and the Southern Union Conference Committee:

    Dear Brethren,

    During the night some matters were brought before me, which I was charged to present to you. We seemed to be in a Council meeting, where certain questions were being considered. One of these questions was the necessary arrangements to be made for the prosecution of the work at Huntsville.SpM 402.1

    A mistake is being made in the use of means in some parts of the field. The workers need to sit down and count the cost of the tower they are building, to know if they are able to finish it.SpM 402.2

    In the past the work in the South has been carried on by earnest effort and with limited means. Now more money than is necessary is being invested in building the sanitarium at Nashville. This will not leave a correct influence on the workers in other parts of the field. At this time, when there is so great need of help in many lines of the work, any extravagance in fitting up the Nashville Sanitarium will leave an impression on the workers and on others that will not be healthful. There is great need of means to support the workers in the field, and the strictest economy should be practised with every advance step that is taken. The tendency to invest large sums of money in the Nashville Sanitarium must be guarded against. There must not be a large showing in one place while very little interest is manifested in other places of great importance.SpM 402.3

    There is a great work to be accomplished at Huntsville, and a large demand for means in order to erect appropriate buildings and carry on a successful work there for the colored people. Again, at Madison help is needed in order to continue the educational work that has been established there. It would be a great advantage to the school in Madison if a food factory were put into operation in connection with the work of the school.SpM 402.4

    The school at Madison has been established in the order of the Lord, and it requires its share of help. Brethren Sutherland and Magan, in their work at Berrien Springs, overtaxed their physical powers, and both need to be guarded against laboring beyond their strength, at Madison. Brother Sutherland needs to guard himself very carefully, and keep near to the great Healer. Both these workers are to be appreciated by their fellow workers.SpM 402.5

    The needs of the different parts of the field should be considered fairly, and proportionate help given to each. It is not right that those who have been laboring under burdens for years, and whose health has been broken by their arduous work, should be left to struggle along almost unaided under a great load of perplexity.SpM 402.6

    The use of means in the sanitarium at Nashville should be considered in a Bible light, not a selfish light. Christian benevolence will lead to a study of the needs of every branch of the work, and a determination that each shall have its proper part. The time is passing, and the work of God in the earth will soon be accomplished. Upon the men who act a leading part in the various branches of the work a large degree of the Holy Spirit must rest in order that the work may be carried to completion in the Lord's own way. The Lord lives and reigns, and he has promised to guide his people with judgment if they will walk humbly with him.SpM 403.1

    The workers in the printing office, in the school, in the food factory, and in the sanitarium, should blend their interests in every other branch. All should realize that every department of these various lines of work is to be conducted according to the principles of the word of God, and that the workers are to labor under the guidance of his precious counsel. Not one thread of selfishness must be woven into the web; for the Lord will not regard with favor anything of this sort. “All ye are brethren;” and the work is one. There is need of daily conversion on the part of the workers if they would feel a true concern for the work as a whole.SpM 403.2

    When you come together for worship and to seek the Lord, it should be your one aim to honor him whose requirements are all equal and just. His will, declared to you in his word, is to be carried out to the letter. The rule of righteousness revealed in the lives of his professing people is to make them conspicuous. We are to live with an eye single to the glory of God, ever seeking to be Christians in every sense of the word.SpM 403.3

    These words were spoken by our Instructor: “You are to be under the control of God. Learn how to harmonize. Love as brethren; be pitiful; be courteous. God's commandments are just and equal. All his workers are to be honored as laborers together with God.SpM 403.4

    The varied interests of the work are to be built up with care. From this time onward responsibilities will rapidly increase. God's will, the perfect rule of righteousness, is to be revealed in your work. Commune often everyday with your God, and listen to the voice that says to you, “Be still, and know that I am God.” As your responsibilities increase with the advancement of the message, temptations will also increase. As the magnitude of the work presses itself upon the soul, humble your hearts before God. Act faithfully your part in the work, and stand faithfully in your individual accountability before God. God is not a respecter of persons. He that doeth righteousness is righteous. A mere profession is of no value, and knowledge is of worth only as it is used righteously.SpM 403.5

    “Murmur not; repine not; covet not; quarrel not,” our Instructor continued. When you are afflicted, look to the great physician. You have need to rejoice, and to humble yourselves before the Lord. By indulging a selfish spirit, men become narrow and shortsighted; and then they fail to read from cause to effect. The word of the Lord is to be your guide in all things. “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.”SpM 403.6

    By the figure of the vine and the branches, Christ illustrated not only the relation that should exist between him and his followers, but also the union between every believer and his fellow believer. The branches of the vine are related to each other; but they are not alike. Each has its own individuality, which can not be merged into that of another, but all have a special connection with each other. The root that supplies nourishment to one branch supplies nourishment to every other branch. Each must depend alike on the vine for sustenance; all must be joined to the parent stalk. The life and growth and fruitfulness of each depend alike on the parent vine. In obedience to the laws of nature, their common hold of the true vine make them one; in their diversity there is unity.SpM 404.1

    The lesson of the vine and its branches holds a deep meaning for the workers in the cause of God. Every worker is to draw his strength from the same Source; and while the individuality of each is to be maintained, unity and harmony is to be preserved. When this spirit of oneness pervades the work, our institutions throughout the world will be united in their interests, while the individuality of any one of them will not be merged into that of any other one.SpM 404.2

    In the past it was urged by some that the interests of the cause would be furthered by a consolidation of our publishing institutions, bringing them all virtually under one management. This the Lord positively instructed us should not be. It is not the purpose of God to centralize in this way, bringing all the interests of one branch of the work under the management of a comparatively few men. In his great purpose of advancing the cause of truth in the earth, He designs that every part of his work shall blend with every other part. The workers are to draw together in the spirit of Christ. In their diversity, they are to preserve unity. One institution is not to be brought under the control of another, but all are to exercise their powers harmoniously. The work of direction is to be left with the great Manager, while obedience to the work of the Lord is to be the aim of all His workers.SpM 404.3

    In the different places where the work is established, it will often be small in its beginning. Then it will grow. This is represented by the prophet Ezekiel under the figure of water issuing from under the threshold of the house.SpM 404.4

    “Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house, and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the outer gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.”SpM 404.5

    These waters signify the gospel of Christ which went forth from Jerusalem and spread to all countries. The gifts and power of the Holy Spirit which accompanied the work caused it to yield great results.SpM 404.6

    “Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea; which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the river shall come, shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come higher; for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh... And by the river upon the bank thereof, one this side and on that, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consume; it shall bring forth new fruit according to its months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary, and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.”SpM 405.1

    There is to be much more extensive work done in the future than has been done in the past. Had selfishness been entirely put away from the lives of the workers, we as a people would stand before God today in large numbers, every one as true as steel to the principles of the word. The Lord now calls upon the men chosen for his work to stand as one man for the advancement of the cause of Christ. In their diversity of gifts and callings there is to be seen the unity represented by the figure of the vine and the branches.SpM 405.2

    Ellen G. White.

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