Larger font
Smaller font
Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5) - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Prayer for the Sick, and Operating Sanitariums

    Earlier chapters have revealed Ellen White's intense interest in the development of sanitariums in southern California and her earnest hope that they be so established as to do the most effective work. She carried this burden continually, and it was to intensify throughout 1905. In late January a letter was received at Elmshaven from Elder E. W. Farnsworth, an old New Englander now working in Great Britain. He had read in the church papers of the Melrose Sanitarium fire on January 1, and he wondered “if God is not trying to teach us a great and needed lesson in these calamities.” He asked:5BIO 385.6

    Are we not as a people drifting into the idea of depending on sanitariums for the healing of the sick, more than we are depending on God to do that work? ... My mind leans heavily toward the healing by divine power.—E. W. Farnsworth to WCW, January 20, 1905.5BIO 386.1

    When Ellen White read this letter, she wrote in reply:5BIO 386.2

    Dear Brother and Sister Farnsworth: Your interesting letter was handed to me today, and I will begin a letter to you at once, lest other matters come before me, and I forget.... We are very busy just now with Ministry of Healing....

    I wish to write particularly about one point in your letter. You speak of the burning of the Melrose Sanitarium, and ask why the sick should not be healed by the prayer of faith, instead of there being so many sanitariums established. There is more to this matter than at first strikes the mind. The Lord has given instruction for years that sanitariums should be established, and that advantage should be taken of opportunities to purchase at a reasonable price desirable properties out of the cities. The Lord has shown me that there should be sanitariums near many important cities.5BIO 386.3

    When we have shown the people that we have right principles regarding health reform, we should then take up the temperance question ... and drive it home to the hilt.5BIO 386.4

    Suitable places must be provided to which we can bring the sick and suffering who know nothing of our people, and scarcely anything of Bible truth. Every effort possible is to be made to show the sick that disease may be cured by rational methods of treatment, without having recourse to drugs. Let the sick be separated from harmful surroundings and associations, and placed in our sanitariums, where they can receive treatment from Christian nurses and physicians.5BIO 386.5

    Should all the sick be healed by prayer, very few would improve their opportunities to become acquainted with right ways of eating, drinking, and dressing. Those connected with our sanitariums should realize the duty resting upon them to give the patients an education in the principles of healthful living.5BIO 386.6

    The sick have their lesson to learn. They must be denied those preparations of food that would retard or prevent their recovery to health. They must learn the science of self-denial, eating simple food prepared in a simple way. They should live much in the sunlight, which should find its way to every room of the building. Lectures on health topics should be given. These lectures will open the blinded understanding, and truths never before thought of will be fastened on the mind.—Letter 63, 1905.5BIO 387.1

    She elaborated on these matters in a letter written to Elder J. A. Burden, who was pushing ahead with the establishment of the Glendale Sanitarium near Los Angeles:5BIO 387.2

    The remark is often made, by one and another, “Why depend so much on sanitariums? Why do we not pray for the miraculous healing of the sick, as the people of God used to do?”5BIO 387.3

    In the early history of our work many were healed by prayer. And some, after they were healed, pursued the same course in the indulgence of appetite, that they had followed in the past. They did not live and work in such a way as to avoid sickness. They did not show that they appreciated the Lord's goodness to them. Again and again they were brought to suffering through their own careless, thoughtless course of action. How could the Lord be glorified in bestowing on them the gift of health?5BIO 387.4

    When the light came that we should have a sanitarium, the reason was plainly given. There were many who needed to be educated in regard to healthful living. A place must be provided to which the sick could be taken, where they could be taught how to live so as to preserve health. At the same time light was given that the sick could be successfully treated without drugs. This was the lesson that was to be practiced and taught by physicians and nurses, and by all other medical missionary workers.—Letter 59, 1905.5BIO 387.5

    Then she discussed at some length the work that was to be done in sanitariums:5BIO 387.6

    Our sanitarium work is not to be done in mammoth buildings in a few places. Every large city should if possible have a small sanitarium, in the outskirts, where the air is not contaminated by the smoke from many chimneys, and where the noise and confusion of the streets cannot be heard.5BIO 387.7

    The nurses connected with these institutions should be prepared to exert a soul-saving influence. Those who are not rooted and grounded in the truth should not be employed. Let them first become established in the truth. Then let them learn to be ever on guard, ever seeking to make the right impression on the minds of the sick. We need to study the true science of healing....5BIO 388.1

    Nurses should have regular Bible instruction, that they may be able to speak to the sick words that will enlighten and help them. Angels of God are in the room where the suffering ones are to take treatment, and the atmosphere surrounding the soul of the one giving treatment should be pure and fragrant. In the lives of the physicians and nurses the virtues of Christ are to be seen. His principles are to be lived. Then by what they do and say, the sick will be drawn to the Saviour. We need the saving grace of God.5BIO 388.2

    It is to save the souls, as well as to cure the bodies of men and women, that our sanitariums are at much expense established. God designs that by means of them, the rich and the poor, the high and the low, shall find the bread from heaven and the water of life.5BIO 388.3

    I will thus explain the reason why we have sanitariums. It is to gather in a class of people who will become intelligent upon health reform, and will learn how to regain health and how to prevent sickness by following right habits of eating and drinking and dressing. As a part of the treatment, lectures should be given on the different points of health reform. Instruction should be given regarding the right choice and preparation of food, showing that food may be prepared so as to be wholesome and nourishing, and at the same time appetizing and palatable. These lectures should be diligently kept up as a means of teaching the patients how to prevent disease by a wise course of action. By means of these lectures the patients may be shown the responsibility resting on them to keep the body in the most healthful condition because it is the Lord's purchased possession.— Ibid.5BIO 388.4

    In the following definitive statement Ellen White presents the role of the Christian nurse:5BIO 389.1

    An experienced Christian nurse in the sickroom will use the best remedies within her knowledge for restoring the sufferer to health. And she will pleasantly and successfully draw the one for whom she is working to Christ, the healer of the soul as well as of the body. The lessons given, line upon line, here a little and there a little, will have their influence....5BIO 389.2

    Those who have no love for God will work constantly against the best interests of soul and body. But those who awake to the responsibility and solemnity of living in this present evil world will be softened and subdued. Tenderness and love for Christ will fill their hearts. Christ imparts His wisdom.... He is their Friend. In many cases the realization that they have such a Friend means more to the suffering ones in their recovery from sickness than the best treatment that can be given. But both lines of ministry are essential. They are to go hand in hand....5BIO 389.3

    I think that I have answered the question, “Why do we not pray for the healing of the sick, instead of having sanitariums?’” The education of many souls is at stake. In the providence of God, instruction has been given that sanitariums be established, in order that the sick may be drawn to them, and learn how to live healthfully. The establishment of sanitariums is a providential arrangement, whereby people from all churches are to be reached, and made acquainted with the saving truth for this time.5BIO 389.4

    It is for this reason that we urge that sanitariums be established in many places outside of our cities.— Ibid.5BIO 389.5

    The points set forth in these letters pervaded Ellen White's thinking as she earnestly engaged in opening sanitariums in 1905.5BIO 389.6

    Larger font
    Smaller font