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Experiences in Australia

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    The Avondale Health Retreat.

    Talk Given by Mrs. E.G. White, July 20, 1899.EA 263.1

    (283) I want to say that I am very thankful that the movement to erect a health retreat here has been made. My heart has been deeply pained as I have seen parents who did not know what to do when their children were sick.EA 263.2

    This institution is to be a place where instruction will be given in right principles of health reform, so that those who receive help in it will go forth with an understanding of how to take care of themselves, and thus prevent sickness, and also how to treat sickness if it should come upon them. They should be taught by example how to take care of themselves in regard to diet. Men and women need an intelligent knowledge of how to care for the sick wherever they are, and how to give rest from suffering.EA 263.3

    In the night season I was looking at a building. “What is this?” I asked. “The building in which you shall take care of the sick and suffering.” “But,” I said, “I did not know (284) that we had such a building.” “No,” was the answer; “but you must have it.” This building presented was very nearly like the building now being erected here <in Cooranbong>.EA 263.4

    The building is so placed that it will get all the sunshine possible, not only in the sleeping rooms, but in the rooms where the patients sit. The sun is God’s doctor, which brings health and strength, purifying and giving color to the blood, and we must have it. It was objected that the building would be askew with the road. “Askew let it be,” I said; “that building must be where it will get the sunshine, in whatever position it is.” The building is just right as it now is. It will get the sunshine, and I am well pleased with it.EA 263.5

    When in the night season the building was standing before me, I said, “We have no money; how can we put up such a building?” I was asked, “Where are you going to put your wearied, worried, worn-out ministers? Are you going to let them go wherever they can find a place?” I said, “We are going to take care of them.” The answer was, “You need a building fully as large as this in which to take care of them, and you need another building in which the very sick can be accommodated.”EA 263.6

    (285) This is the work that must be done, and we must move carefully, so that we shall not incur a heavy debt.EA 263.7

    I never have seen such carelessness in regard to the health, as I have seen in this community. We need to educate, educate, educate. If human beings are worth all that has been paid for them, should they not be uplifted? For us the Majesty of heaven, the King of Glory, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity. This He did that humanity might touch humanity, and divinity lay hold of divinity; and thus the help that sick and suffering need be brought to them. As we follow Christ in doing this work, we shall awaken an interest in the God we love and serve. We shall find that this is the successful way to save soul and body. Medical missionary work is the entering wedge to the work of saving souls.EA 263.8

    You will remember the poor paralytic who has brought to Christ. This man had heard that the Saviour was healing the sick, but he did not know how to get to Him. His friends decided to take him to Christ, but when they reached the house where He was teaching, there was so great a crowd that they could (286) not get even to the door. Christ saw them bringing that man to Him. He saw them leaving their home, and His heart went with them at every step.EA 263.9

    As the sick man’s friends stood around the house where Christ was speaking, unable to get in, Someone suggested that they take off part of the roof, and let him down at Christ’s feet. The priests had told this man that his sins were the cause of his sickness, and they could give him no hope that there was any way that he could be saved from sin. With this burden of sin upon him, the poor paralytic was let down before Christ. The Saviour knew just where to commence His work for the sufferer. He knew that he was longing for help, and He said, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” Hope sprang up in the man’s heart. But the wrath of the priests was roused, and they said, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”EA 264.1

    “When Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts! Whether it is easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins (He saith unto the sick of the palsy), I say unto (287) thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own hose, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things today.”EA 264.2

    I am glad we have a health retreat here. It is not ready for use yet, but it soon will be. We are going to move out by faith. We have already moved out by faith by putting this building on the ground. God knows all about it. I would ask you all, instead of investing your means in something you can do without, help us in furnishing our health retreat. We desire that everyone shall become interested in this institution, where an education is to be given in the science of healing. Every student in the school is to understand that he is to be economical in everything, in dress, in time, that he may have something to divide with the suffering poor. If those to whom the Lord has entrusted means use their money to glorify themselves instead of helping suffering humanity, they dishonor their Maker. God has entrusted men with His goods, His capital, and they are to use this capital aright, for it is the Lord’s (288) money.EA 264.3

    This institution is to be a blessing to the afflicted and suffering. There are souls to be saved. Christ left His home in glory in order to do this work. He came as a man. Unless He had come thus, He could not have reached the suffering ones. Satan held the field, and he was doing all he could to keep men and women in affliction.EA 264.4

    Christ is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Why was He poor? Why did he not come to our world with outward display, with splendor and power? Because He wanted to bring to every human being the test that all must bear. Humanity must be touched with the sufferings of humanity, that men and women might learn how to show tenderness, kindness, and pity, and thus a Christlikeness of character be developed in humanity. In this way they were to be fitted to be missionaries. This is the work that is to be done everywhere.EA 264.5

    God declares that in the last days there will be only two parties, one on the right hand and one on the left. To those on the left hand He says, “I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, (289) and ye took Me not in; naked, and ye clothed Me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.” They have no part with Him; for they know nothing about Him. They could not enjoy life in His kingdom, and He says to them, “Depart from Me.”EA 264.6

    They are surprised. They did not think that they had done anything particularly wrong. “Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered?” they ask; “or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?” Christ answers, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of these least of these, ye did it not to Me.”EA 264.7

    To those on the right hand Christ says, “Come, ye blessed of my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.”EA 265.1

    These also are surprised. They did not think they had done anything worthy of commendation. “Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed thee?” they ask; or thirsty, and gave Thee (290) drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? or when saw we Thee sick or in prison and came unto Thee?” Then the King shall answer and say unto them, “Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”EA 265.2

    They have been coworkers with Christ. They believed and lived the words, “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” This responsibility rests upon each one of us. The students in this school are to daily strive to form characters for the future, immortal life. God is testing us, to see whether we will prove worthy to enter in through the gates into the city.EA 265.3

    Why are we here? It seems strange to everybody what we should be located in the woods. We do not want our students to be near the city. We know that even though we bring them into the country we cannot escape from all evil. We have a public house here, and not long ago a man left this public-house drunk. As he was crossing a bridge, he fell from his horse and was killed. Thus through intemperance Satan worked to destroy. (291) But in the country the youth are less exposed to temptation. They are away from the sights and sounds of the city. We desire to take the students away from the foul atmosphere of the city. It is true that Satan is here, but we are trying to do all we can to place the students in the very best circumstances, in order that they may fasten their eyes on Christ. In the country they are away from the temptations of horse racing and cricket matches. Once in Sydney I saw a great multitude in one of the streets. Hundreds, I might say thousands, were gathered together. “What is the matter?” I asked. “It is because of the cricket match,” Was the answer. And while men were playing the game of cricket, Satan was playing the game of life for their souls. We decided to locate our school where the students would not see cricket matches and horse races. We are just where God wants us to be, and, many conversions have taken place in this school.EA 265.4

    The work of education must begin in the home. <We are working and praying and believing that many more may be converted.> It must be carried on in the school room. Parents and teachers must unite in doing all they can in order to place the youth on vantage ground. Children have hereditary tendencies to wrong, which must be overcome. (292) Christ came to restore the moral image of God in man, and if parents and teachers will do all in their power, with prayer, working to bring their children into a right position, God will bless them.EA 265.5

    Missionary work is to be done on this ground; for this is missionary soil. Efforts are to be made to save body and soul. In order that the soul may be saved, attention must be given in sympathy to the sufferings of the body. This morning I was reading the nineteenth psalm and the psalms following, and I thought, What beautiful lessons these psalms teach. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” What is the matter with us? We have lost sight of God. The world has lost the knowledge of God. Our work is to bring this knowledge within the reach of all we possibly can. Our message is, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” EA 265.6

    In the word of God is found the education of God. This Word tells what Christ will do in behalf of everyone who will cooperate with Him. This book should be our lesson book, for it contains the higher education. Christ prayed, “And this is (293) life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” Do we not all wish to learn how to gain eternal life? It is gained by knowing God and Jesus Christ. We are to make our teaching in regard to this as plain and clear as possible, and then students will fall in love with it.EA 266.1

    The history of Joseph and Daniel contain lessons which all should learn. How full their lives are of patience, of noble sanctified independence. What better instruction could be given to the youth than this. How was it with Daniel. God gave him knowledge and understanding in all visions and dreams. He strengthened Daniel’s mind, increasing his power and ability; and the record states, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in his realm.”EA 266.2

    Let us place ourselves where we may gain the very best knowledge in regard to our accountability to God and to the souls (294) for whom we must give an account. As we <labor for> these souls to reach a higher standard, God will help us.EA 266.3

    Dare to be a Daniel,
    Dare to stand alone;
    Dare to have a purpose firm,
    Dare to make it known.”
    EA 266.4

    This is what the youth should be taught to do. We need to catch the inspiration of God’s spirit, and then work with all the power. He has given us to cooperate with Him in restoring the moral image of God in man. When we have done this, we shall feel indeed that we have not lived in vain.EA 266.5

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