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    August 14, 1907

    “The ‘Why’ of the Religious Phase of the Sanitarium” The Medical Missionary, 16, 33, pp. 259-261.


    I HAVE been asked by patients in the Sanitarium to speak upon “the Religious Side of the Sanitarium and Its Work,” and to tell the “why” of it. While we have no disposition to push this matter offensively or obtrusively upon the attention of anybody, we are always happy to tell it all to any who want to know it.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 259.1

    The original and fundamental “why” of this is because of the Bible’s being the Word of God to us. The Sanitarium was founded by Christian men for Christian purposes, and the Bible as the Word of God is the basis of all that is Christian.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 259.2

    The Bible comes to us as the Word of God. And it will prove itself to be the Word of God to every one who will receive it as the Word of God.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 259.3

    As certainly as it is the Word of God, it is final in all matters of which it speaks. For when God has spoken, there can not possibly be anything beyond. As certainly, therefore, as we profess to receive the Bible as the Word of God, it must be to us the final information and authority in all that it says. If it is not allowed to be in all things final to us, when it is not the Word of God to us, whatever we may profess.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 259.4

    When God has spoken, and I have His word, what room can there possibly be for opinions or views of my own, that shall be different from just what that word says. No man needs a revelation from God, in order to think his own thoughts. Therefore, when the Word of God comes to us, our own opinions must be laid entirely aside. When the thoughts of God are expressed, our own thoughts must be abandoned, if we would learn from Him. “Be still, and know that I am God.” “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts.... For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We are not to come to the Word of God, to think our own thoughts; but to get the thoughts of God with which to think.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 259.5

    However, it is asked, How shall we know that the Bible is really the Word of God so that we can confidently accept it as the Word of God? Many say, prove to me that the Bible is the Word of God, and I will accept it.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 259.6


    Very good. There is abundance of proof. Yet, bear in mind that the proof is the Word itself, and can not possibly be anywhere else. If I make to you a statement, and you require proof of it, I must present something in which you can have more confidence that in my own statement, I must cite authority that is higher authority than my own word. So, to ask proof outside of that Word itself that the Bible is the Word of God, is to call for authority that is superior to the authority of God. But in the nature of things there can not be any authority higher than that of God; nor can there be any more authoritative statement than that of the plain Word of God. Therefore, it is impossible that there could be cited a statement of greater weight, or worthy of more confidence than the Word of God. As certainly as it is the Word of God, it is ultimate. And it is the essential characteristic of only ultimate truth, that the proof is in itself.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 259.7

    But it is said, There are other books that profess to be the Word of God. Yes, that is true. And this test will successfully apply to every one of them. Does it prove itself? And the certain test that of all the books that profess to be the Word of God, the Bible is the only one that can prove itself to be in truth the Word of God, lies in this truth: The man who has the most of the religion of the Bible is the most peaceable and harmless, while of the religions of all other books, those who have the most are the most dangerous.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.1

    The Bible, then, is the Word of God to the Sanitarium management. The aim of the Bible is holiness. And health and holiness are inseparable. Let me make this plain by the Word of the Bible. “Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.2

    That tells us that both physical and spiritual purity are essential to holiness. But this truth of health and holiness being inseparable stands plan in our own native language. The word “health” is an abstract noun from “whole,” not from “heal.” The real meaning of the word “whole” is “hale, sound, entire, complete.” The original sense of the word “whole” is “hale,” which signifies, “in sound health.” This is illustrated in the words of Scripture, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.3


    It is a most remarkable fact that the first “statute and ordinance,” the very first set instruction, that God gave to His people after His mighty deliverance of them from Egypt, was instruction in the way of perfect health, and the revelation of Himself as “the Lord that healeth thee.” I read it: “There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, and said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:25, 26.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.4

    I am glad to be able also to make plain the valuable truth that this relationship between sin and disease, and health and holiness, is recognized beyond the walls of this Sanitarium and even outside of the Sanitarium system as such. In many places and by many hearts this splendid truth is recognized and loved. It has been most excellently expressed by a physician who is editor of one of the leading medical journals in the United States. I will read it to you in his own words:—MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.5

    “The relationship of sin and disease has been recognized by all great philosophic minds.... It is an old trick of the mind to rid one’s self of difficulties and responsibilities by denying the existence of facts. He who silences his conscience by denying sin, only adds another sin to his individual burden, and another sinner to the burden of the world.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.6

    “Let us therefore assume as beyond discussion that atheism is unscientific, and that God lives, and that sin is opposing and not furthering His biologic work in the world....MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.7

    God is a true physician, working for final normality. He may cauterize in order to cure, and prefer amputation rather than necrosis. His patient is the entire future body and soul of humanity, not the individual members now and here existing. The wise ones of the world, the philosophers and the prophets, the leaders of men to better living, have been those who saw the far and subtle lines and laws of causation running back from disease and untimely death to the sources of ignorance (which is also sin), of selfishness, and of wrong-doing. This is the text of all preaching and prophecy, the burthen of all tragedy, the plot of all literature. And it is the heart of medicine! ... As physicians we must work to cure and prevent disease. If, as we have seen, disease is always more or less dependent upon sin, we must in a scientific prophylaxis try to stop the sin that partly or entirely generates or allows the disease....MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.8

    “Science, it is plain, has outrun morality; we know how to lengthen the average human life by many years, with a proportionate reduction of all the suffering and expense, but we are powerless to do it, because, simply of sin. There is no doubt that sin alone prevents a reduction of the death-rate and sickness by one-half, and a lengthening of life to 50 or 60 years. And we have nearly or quite reached the limit so far as the art of therapeutics is concerned. We can never cure a much greater proportion of the sick until we have better bodies and souls in the patients. The great progress of the future in medicine will be prevention...MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.9

    “There is no prevention of disease without stifling the cause of disease. Wherever sin exists, its works itself out finally in sickness and death. The man who says his sole duty is to cure disease, not to both about sin or society, is a bad physician and a poor citizen. In a hundred ways he can influence his neighbors and his nation, to lessen disease and death, besides by what the text-books calls therapeutics. The best therapeutics is to render therapeutics unnecessary.”MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.10

    This idea of the forgiveness of sins as an element in the true treatment of disease does not in any sense sanction the quackery of the so-called faith-cures. Undeniably, faith is in it; because forgiveness of sins is received and known only by means of faith. But it is the “faith which works;” not an airy, figmentary “faith” that prays and “believes” and then lies down or sits around and does nothing. It is the faith which upon the Word of God and the love of God teaches the forgiveness of sins and then works most vigorously to reduce fever, to eliminate poisons, and diligently to search for the physical causes of the sickness, in order that these causes shall with the sins be forever abandoned, and the true way of true health, which is inseparable from holiness, be faithfully followed in the future.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.11

    Upon this principle the philosophy of the forgiveness of sins is studied in order to know how, as a matter of practical knowledge, the forgiveness of sins enters as an element into practical medical science. And in this direction there is not far to go to find at least one important truth as to how this is. Here it is: “Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Isaiah 19:21.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.12


    The peace of God which comes to man in the forgiveness of sins and the restoration of the soul to righteousness is a distinct element in recovery from sickness and is a right way to health. And there is not an intelligent physician in the world, even though he be an avowed atheist who will not say that a disturbed mind, a troubled heart, a perplexed life, is a positive hindrance to whatever may be done to bring a person back from sickness to health; while, on the other hand, peace of mind and quietness and rest of heart are a positive aid. And that sound medical principle, which every physician recognizes, is declared in the Bible as a medical principle; and is given by the Lord directly as a medical prescription to the wick: “Peace, peace ... saith the Lord; and I will heal him.”MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.13

    And yet this is but an instance in illustration of the essential virtue and power of the word of God to heal. It is written: “He sent His word, and healed them.” (Psalm 107:20). And of the medicinal virtue of His word as such, it is written: “My son, attend to My words, incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health [margin, Heb. “medicine” to all their flesh.” It is the flesh that disease takes hold of. But the words of God received into the heart, and treasured in the life, and allowed to be indeed the spring of the life—that is “health to all the flesh.” It is the Divine Physician’s own prescription for health, and the Divine virtue is in it for all who will take the “medicine” thus prescribed. The prescription is repeated in Exodus 15:26, and in Deuteronomy 7:12-15.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 260.14

    And yet all this is but a part of the expression of the Lord’s supreme wish with respect to the health of mankind. For he says, “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health.” (3 John 2). Indeed, He puts His wish for the prosperity of the health of man exactly on an equality with His wish for the prosperity of the soul of man. “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” And this is but the repetition of the mighty truth already touched upon, that, as the opposite of sin and disease being inseparable, health and holiness are inseparable.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 261.1

    Thus emphasized in the Bible and its philosophy throughout, and rooted and imbedded in the very language in which we speak, is the truth as a medical principle that health and holiness are inseparably combined. Therefore, in every Christian these must also be inseparably combined; else how can we be truly and intelligently Christian? And of all things these two—health and holiness—must be inseparably combined in the physician; and only less so in the preacher. The preacher who separates them, fails to preach the principles of true holiness; and the physician who separates them, fails to practise the principles of true health. And what God has so inseparably joined together, how can any person do well in putting asunder?MEDM August 14, 1907, page 261.2

    This is sufficient to show that health and holiness are absolutely inseparable. The aim of the Bible is holiness. Holiness and health, as it is written, “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”MEDM August 14, 1907, page 261.3

    The Sanitarium adopts that much for all people, and undertakes as far as it can do, so to see it fulfilled in things spiritual and physical. As the gospel contemplates the complete restoration of the lost in soul and body, it becomes the duty of every gospel agency to work for the entire man.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 261.4

    And this is the “why” and “wherefore” of the religious phase of the Sanitarium as relates specifically to health.MEDM August 14, 1907, page 261.5

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