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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)

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    Ms 27, 1902

    Instruction Regarding Sanitarium Work


    February 23, 1902 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in MM 175-179.

    Every sanitarium established by Seventh-day Adventists is to be conducted on educational lines. And constantly it is to advance to higher and still higher lines of work. Those who fill positions of responsibility should remember the influence that their words and actions have on those connected with them. They are to labor for the spiritual and physical health of those who are brought in connection with the institution. A far higher work is to be done in this line than has hitherto been done.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 1

    Those who occupy positions of responsibility in a sanitarium, either as manager or matron, should feel the importance of the responsibility resting on them to train those in their charge to do their work thoroughly and quickly. If they are true Christians, they will strive earnestly to achieve the best results for the present and eternal good of the learners. They will not betray sacred trusts by bringing into their instruction sentiments of their own that are not in harmony with the teaching of the Word of God.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 2

    Those who take charge of this work are first to obtain Christlikeness. Daily they are to learn in the school of Christ. Then they will have wisdom to know how to deal with human minds. They will know how to carry on from stage to stage of true knowledge those who come to the institution to prepare themselves for usefulness in God’s service. All our institutions are to be training schools. Especially is this true with regard to our sanitariums. Wise counsel must be given to the youth. Neatness and thoroughness must be required from them. They are to be taught to make their motions as quick as possible as they work. Slowness should be treated as a disease that must be cured.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 3

    Every institution should have wise overseers over the inside and outside work, that the helpers may be trained to guard against shiftless, indolent habits. The matron should select from those under her those who can aid her in teaching the helpers to do their work with neatness and thoroughness. Slowness is never to be encouraged. Every one should try to work quickly and at the same time with neatness and carefulness.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 4

    The matron is to show a motherly care for the girls in her charge. She is to show them the wisdom of putting by each month a portion of their wages, placing it in charge of faithful hands. She is to encourage them in neatness of dress, at the same time teaching them that their dress should always be neat and becoming. She is to discourage vanity and extravagance in any line.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 5

    The one who has charge of the finances should study how much he can save instead of how much he can spend. All needless expense should be curtailed. Let the helpers understand that the consumption must not exceed the production. To waste in a sanitarium is a grave matter. There are so many who have to do with the different lines of work, and it is most essential that they understand the need of economy. Economy is a very valuable science. Many waste much by failing to save the odds and ends. In many a family as much is wasted as would support a small family. All these things are included in the education to be given in our sanitariums.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 6

    Money is a needed treasure; let it not be lavished on those who do not need it. Some one needs your willing gifts. Too often those who have means fail to consider how many in the world are hungry, starving for food. They may say, “I cannot feed them all.” But by practicing Christ’s lessons on economy, you can feed one. It may be that you can feed many who are hungering for temporal food. And you can feed their souls with the bread of life. “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” [John 6:12.] These words were spoken by Him who had all the resources of the universe at His command; by His miracle-working power He supplied thousands with food, but He did not disdain to teach a lesson in economy.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 7

    The workers in our sanitariums are to be trained for the work for which they are best adapted. But when an emergency arises, and help is needed, no worker should say, That is not my work. The helper who has the idea that he is only to do the work assigned him, and no more, who feels no responsibility to help wherever and whenever help is needed, should at once dismiss this idea from his mind. He should never feel that a wrong is done him if in an emergency he is asked to work overtime. When extra help is needed, let the workers assist willingly, in Christian meekness, and they will receive a blessing.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 8

    It may be that some will rebel when they are asked to do the small, common duties. But these are the duties they need to know how to perform. It is faithfulness in little things that prepares us for usefulness in larger responsibilities. The most successful toilers are those who cheerfully take up the work of serving God in little things. Every human being is to work with his life thread, weaving it into the fabric to help to complete the pattern. Those who desire to be useful can always find employment. Time will never hang heavy on their hands.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 9

    Paul could match eloquence with eloquence, philosophy with philosophy. But in his youth he learned the trade of tent making, and while he was with Aquila and Priscilla he supported himself by tent making.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 10

    No one is to spend his time longing to do the impossible, forgetting ordinary, daily duties in a desire to do something great. Round after round, from the lowest round, the ladder must be climbed—it may be by painful effort. But success comes with diligent effort, and the progress made is of great value to the earnest striver for victory.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 11

    Christ gives the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] The yoke is the yoke of restraint and obedience. The work is carrying the burden. The experience is finding rest.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 12

    By their actions those connected with our institutions give proof of the worth, or worthlessness, of their judgment. Those who enter the service of the institution with a spirit of unwillingness to help, who do their allotted tasks with a feeling of compulsion, in sullen submission, who act as if they would gladly escape from the drudgery of the necessary, daily duties, which some one must do, are very little help to the institution. A mechanical obedience may hide the smoldering fire of rebellion, but it is ready to break out at any time against restraint. In the service of such there is no peace or light or love. The atmosphere surrounding their souls is not fragrant. The influence of their words and actions is felt by others, and this influence is a harm even to those who are trying to do their best in any position in which they are placed. Self-pity is deteriorating to the characters of those who cherish it, and it exerts an influence that spoils the happiness of others.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 13

    The one who is placed in charge of such ones should in no case fret or scold. He should not give way to impatience or lose his self-control. Take them by themselves, and tell them that such exhibitions cannot be permitted, that their spirit must be changed. Tell them that to educate themselves to think that they need sympathy is the most foolish thing they can do. Pray with them; then give them their task, as God gives us our tasks. He has given to every man his work, according to his several ability.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 14

    If, after these youth have been fully and patiently tried, they make no change, let them be plainly told that they cannot be retained in the institution. Let their place be given to those who will not be such a burden to the institution.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 15

    Children are as easily interested in useful employment as in play. As children are taught to be helpful, they will understand the duties that belong to them as members of the family firm. The mother is to be queen in the home; the children are the subjects of her kingdom and are to be ruled with kindness and love. Thus they are taught to show the respect which children should always show for their mother. The mother is always to treat her children with courtesy. Her requirements are to be made with reference to their present and future good, and she is to be firm in enforcing obedience to them. Each child is to have his duties to perform, and he is to be taught how to do them with thoughtfulness and care. And when he does well, let the mother express her pleasure. This fills the heart of the child with joy. Let her show her children that she appreciates their efforts to help her. A word of praise will encourage them in well-doing. In thus teaching her children, the mother becomes their companion; and father, mother, and children are bound together in mutual helpfulness.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 16

    This same kind of education is to be given in every institution established among us, only on a broader scale. There is to be no slavery. The service of all is to be cheerful and willing. But those who train the youth in our institutions have one disadvantage to work against. There are many who in the home life have received an imperfect training. Often the mother makes herself the slave of her children, and in so doing, neglects her most important work—the training of her children to wait on themselves, to follow habits of neatness, order, and thoroughness in the little things of life.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 17

    Many children are left to grow up as they will. They are allowed to have their own way. They are allowed to fill the mind with thoughts of amusement. When such children reach the age of responsibility and caretaking, they are unsubdued and undisciplined.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 18

    It may be that they have a desire to enter one of our sanitariums, to take a nurses’ training. They come, but the defects of their home training make their stay at the institution hard for themselves and for those who have charge of their education.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 19

    Let there be in the institution no continuation of the spoiling received in the home. There will be no hope for these poor youth—wronged from childhood by unwise indulgence—if the policy followed in the home is followed in the institution. Let them be wisely and kindly disciplined, and when it is seen that they are trying to improve, trying to make themselves what they ought to be, let words of encouragement be spoken to them. But let them plainly understand that they cannot follow in the institution the course of self-pleasing that they followed in the home. If they are willing to begin at the beginning, if they are determined to master every problem, they will improve. But seldom, if ever, will they completely recover from the effects of their wrong training they received in the home.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 20

    These considerations make it much harder for those under whose charge the youth are placed in coming to our institutions. It is their duty to see that the work is done properly, that nothing is neglected, nothing slighted, nothing left out of place. This gives these youth many opportunities to think that they are hardly dealt with. Poor souls! Their parents’ neglect has made their training much harder than it otherwise would have been. Do not pass by any slighted work unnoticed; but do not blame or scold them. This will not overcome the difficulty, but will embarrass and discourage them. In the most kindly way tell them that the neglect of the past must be remedied, or they cannot be retained in the institution. The need for a reformation must be pointed out. They must be encouraged to change wrong habits and establish right ones.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 21

    Those who sympathize with the one who is causing great perplexity by his lack of determination to remedy the defects of his training are in need of being labored with. Show them that it is their duty to help those who have so much to overcome. Those in a position of responsibility in an institution can spoil young men and young women for a lifetime by unduly sympathizing with them, petting them, and listening to their complaints. Those who do this show that they themselves need to reform before they are prepared to take wise charge of a sanitarium or any other institution in which the youth are receiving a training.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 22

    This is one line of medical missionary work to be done in our sanitariums. And oh, how careful should those in charge be not to make any mistake. Those who, while occupying a position of trust, give wrong advice are counterworking the work of the Lord Jesus.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 23

    Oh, what a work there is before those who are standing in responsible positions in our institutions. A great work is to be done. There are weighty responsibilities to be borne, and they must be borne by men who have a living experience in the things of God, who day by day seek Him with the whole heart. Solemn are the obligations resting on the physicians and managers of our Sanitariums.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 24

    They are to set an example worthy of their claim to believe the truth.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 25

    “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. ... You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight; if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church; whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God, which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” [Colossians 1:9-11, 21-28.]17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 26

    The forty-eighth chapter of Isaiah contains much for us to consider. It is necessary that we study it carefully, and especially verses nine to eleven: “For my name’s sake I will defer mine anger, and for my praise I will refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it; for how should my name be polluted. And I will not give my glory to another. ... Come ye near unto me; hear ye this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me. Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. O, that thou hadst harkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” [Verses 9-11, 16-18.]17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 27

    The Lord has given us His Word. We are to follow it strictly. If we obeyed this Word, we should not stumble at all. We are preparing for the great day of God, and I long to see our people turning to the Word, believing the Word, obeying the Word, and thus following on to know the living God.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 28

    “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” But consider the conditions: “Even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God.” [John 1:12, 13.] It is those whose natural characters have been changed by the Holy Spirit, who by the new birth have been born again, who are accepted as sons and daughters of God. Many who make a profession of religion have never been changed in heart. Christ’s words mean much. They mean that we must be born again. God declares, “A new heart will I give you.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] Have we received this new heart? Are our natural impulses changed? The apostle says, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” [1 Corinthians 2:14.] It is here declared, with a distinctness that should impress every one, that human reasoning is of no advantage to souls when the truth is presented to them. Those who refuse to accept the teaching of the Holy Spirit, because hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong press for recognition, are not able to discern spiritual things. They reason from the natural conditions of the heart and mind. Every soul who does not follow the Lord fully is in danger.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 29

    The Lord is our God. We are to seek Him with fervent prayer. We are to stand on the eternal Rock. Divine enlightenment is given to man, but never apart from the Author and Finisher of our faith. Man is not to appropriate the blessings of God for selfish purposes, using them as if they were independent of God.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 30

    The world is to see God in His followers. Life and immortality are brought to light through those who are one with Christ in God. It is our privilege to have the spirit of light and knowledge that is the wisdom of heaven. All who have this spirit, in whatever position they may be, the highest or the lowest place of service, will reveal in their work the power of this light and knowledge. Then all business matters will be conducted with that higher wisdom which the world calls foolishness.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 31

    Constantly behold Him who lived before men a life of perfect obedience. The more closely we behold Christ, the more nearly we shall resemble Him in character, and the greater will be our efficiency in working for those over whom we have charge. We shall be lifted far above the trials and perplexities of this life and the contamination of worldly schemes.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 32

    We have only a little longer time in which to prepare for eternity. May the Lord open the closed eyes of His people and quicken their dulled senses, that they may comprehend the great truths of the gospel—the power of God unto salvation to them that believe.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 33

    I desire if possible to impress the minds of our physicians and managers with the importance of giving so pure and righteous a representation of God that the world will see Him in His beauty. I desire them to be so filled with the Spirit that dwelt in Him that worldly policy will have no power to divert their minds from the work of presenting to men the grand, wonderful possibilities before every soul who receives and believes in Christ.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 34

    My heart is so full of this matter that sleep departs from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids. Truth alone is to be our watchword. Self is to be hidden. Christ alone is to appear, full of grace and truth.17LtMs, Ms 27, 1902, par. 35

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