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Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]

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    MR No. 1298—E.G. White Materials Cited in “Dietary Advice and Practice of Adventists in the Nineteenth Century” by Ronald Graybill. Available from the General Conference Health and Temperance Department

    MR No. 1299—Locating Sanitariums Away from the Cities; Health-Care Workers to be Deeply Spiritual

    (Written March 14, 1902, at “Elmshaven, California.)

    In the visions of the night I have been writing letters, and I dare not put off longer the work to be done. Night after night I am awakened at eleven, twelve, and one o'clock with a message from the Lord, and I arise at once and begin to write, fearing that if I do not, I shall forget the instruction given me.17MR 348.1

    Thus it was when I was at Los Angeles. In the night season I was in a council meeting, and the question under consideration was the establishment of a sanitarium in Southern California. One brother urged that it would be best to have the sanitarium in the city of Los Angeles, and he pointed out the objections to establishing the sanitarium out of the city.17MR 348.2

    There was among us One who presented this matter very clearly and with the utmost simplicity. He told us that it would be a mistake to establish a sanitarium within the city limits. A sanitarium should have the advantage of plenty of land, so that the invalids can work in the open air. For nervous, gloomy, feeble patients, out-of-door work is invaluable. Let them have flowerbeds to care for. In the use of rake and hoe and spade, they will find relief for many of their maladies. Idleness is the cause of many diseases.17MR 348.3

    It need not be thought that there will be any disadvantage in establishing a sanitarium outside of the city. The establishment of a sanitarium ten, twenty, or even thirty miles from a city can not fail to be an advantage in every way, not a drawback. The patients can visit the city when they wish, but they are not obliged to remain in its smoke and dust and noise.17MR 348.4

    When a sanitarium is established in the country, the sick can breathe the pure air of heaven. As they walk among the flowers and trees, joy and gladness fill their hearts. It is as if the smile of God were upon them, as they look upon the beautiful things He has created to bring joy to their sad hearts.17MR 349.1

    Life in the open air is good for body and mind. It is God's medicine for the restoration of health. Pure air, good water, sunshine, beautiful surroundings—these are His means for restoring the sick to health in natural ways.17MR 349.2

    The fact that in the country all these advantages can be obtained is a powerful incentive to the establishment of a sanitarium in the country. There the institution can be surrounded by flowers and trees, orchards and vineyard. The effect of such surroundings is, as it were, an elixir of life.17MR 349.3

    It is worth more than silver or gold to sick people to lie in the sunshine or in the shade of the trees. And whenever opportunity offers, let those in charge of them draw lessons, teaching the love of God from the things of nature, from the lofty trees, the springing grass, and the beautiful flowers. Every opening bud and blossoming flower is an expression of God's love for His children. Point them upward to Him whose hand has made the beautiful things of nature.17MR 349.4

    Christ points us to the things of nature, saying, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not; neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” From the trees, the running brooks, the stones, there are lessons to be learned.17MR 349.5

    Whenever it is possible parents should have a piece of land connected with the home, that the children may learn to cultivate the soil. How many beautiful and valuable lessons may be drawn from preparing the ground, sowing the seed, and tending the growing plants. In learning these lessons, parents and children are benefited and blessed.17MR 350.1

    The plagues of the last days are to be poured out on the inhabitants of the world who have shown marked contempt for the law of God. God's people should seek to reach the people of the world, proclaiming the truth as it is found in His Word. But the time will come when they will have to move away from the cities, and live in small companies, by themselves.17MR 350.2

    If our people regard God's instruction as of value, they will move away from the city, so that they will not be pained by its revolting sights, and that their children will not be corrupted by its vices. Those who choose to remain in the cities, surrounded by the houses of unbelievers, must share the disaster that will come upon them.17MR 350.3

    When the Lord was about to smite Egypt with hail, He said to Moses, “Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been seen in Egypt since the foundation thereof until now. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast that shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die” [Exodus 9:18, 19].17MR 350.4

    And before the destroying angel was sent to slay the firstborn of Egypt, Moses was told to say to the children of Israel, “Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two sides posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until morning.17MR 350.5

    “For the Lord will pass through the land to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two sideposts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you” [verses 21-33]. The blood on the door was to be the sign that the Israelites were God's people. He who failed to obey would suffer with the Egyptians. The Lord could not spare him.17MR 351.1

    Candid consideration is to be given to the matter of establishing a sanitarium in southern California. One thing is certain: This sanitarium is not to be established in the city. This I have said repeatedly. Establish it where there is ground for cultivation, where the patients can have opportunity for healthful exercise. Outdoor exercise, combined with hygienic treatment, will work miracles in restoring health to the sick. It is not according to the Lord's will to establish our sanitariums in the city. It may sometimes be necessary to begin the work in the city, but in such cases it should be carried on in rented buildings until a suitable location can be found outside the city.17MR 351.2

    In Eden each day's labor brought to Adam and Eve health and gladness, and the happy pair greeted with joy the visits of their Creator, as in the cool of the day He walked and talked with them. Daily God taught them His lessons.17MR 351.3

    The fruit of the tree of life in the garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote for death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality. But through man's disobedience death entered the world. Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which he had been forbidden to touch. This was his test. He failed, and his transgression opened the floodgates of woe upon the world.17MR 351.4

    The tree of life was a type of the one great Source of immortality. Of Christ it is written, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” He is the fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving, vivifying power that gladdens the soul. Through sin man shut himself off from access to the tree of life. Now, life and immortality are brought to light through Jesus Christ.17MR 352.1

    Christ declares, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” “Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.... As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.... The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” “To him that overcometh will I grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”17MR 352.2

    Why deprive the patients of the health-restoring blessing to be found in out-of-door life? I have been instructed that as the sick are encouraged to leave their rooms and spend time in the open air, tending the flowers or doing some other light, pleasant work, their minds will be called from self to something more health-giving. Open-air exercise should be prescribed as a beneficial, life-giving necessity.17MR 352.3

    The longer patients can be kept out of doors, the less care they will require. The more cheerful their surroundings, the more hopeful they will be. Surround them with the beautiful things of nature, place them where they can see the flowers growing and hear the birds singing, and their hearts will break into song in harmony with the songs of the birds. Shut them in rooms and, be these rooms ever so elegantly furnished, they will grow fretful and gloomy. Give them the blessing of out-door life; for thus their souls will be uplifted, unconsciously and, in a large sense, consciously. Relief will come to body and mind.17MR 352.4

    This return to God's original design is infinitely better than drug medication. All this was opened before me last night. I was awake from nine o'clock. Finding that I could not sleep, I dressed and asked the Lord to help me write out the instruction He had given me.17MR 353.1

    I was referred to Ezekiel's vision of the mighty river. “These waters issued 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 every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: ... And the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine” [Ezekiel 47:8, 9, 12]. Let all physicians be wise to learn.17MR 353.2

    Grave mistakes have been made in establishing sanitariums in the city. I was instructed that our sanitariums should be established in the most pleasant surroundings, in places outside the city, where by wise instruction the thoughts of the patients can be bound up with the mind of God. Again and again I have described such places. But it seems that there has been no ear to hear.17MR 353.3

    Last night in a most clear and convincing manner the mistakes now being made in our sanitarium work were presented to me. Again and again I have been shown the advantage of establishing our institutions, especially sanitariums and schools, outside the city. To place our sanitariums where they are surrounded by ungodliness is to counterwork the efforts made to restore the patients to health. Many times in the past this has been presented to me.17MR 354.1

    Our Redeemer is constantly working to restore in man the moral image of God. And although the whole creation groans under the curse, and fruit and flowers are nothing in comparison with what they will be in the earth made new, yet even today the sick may find health and gladness and joy in field and orchard. What a restorative this is! What a preventive of sickness! The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the believing, repenting children of God who avail themselves of the blessing to be found in tree and shrub and flower, even marred as nature is by the curse.17MR 354.2

    Great care should be exercised in regard to the food given to the patients in our sanitariums. Condiments, spices, flesh-meat, destroy the desire for pure, wholesome food, and create an appetite for liquor. By the use of tobacco and strong drink, men are not only destroying themselves, they are robbing God, and they are leading their fellow men to follow their life-destroying practices. They are committing gradual but sure suicide, for the life-forces cannot always bear the strain of such violation of nature's laws. Sinew and muscle and nerve lose their power. The reasoning faculties grow weaker and weaker.17MR 354.3

    The drunkard destroys himself, soul and body, and brings unhappiness and degradation to his family. His perceptions are deadened by self-indulgence, and he cares not that his children are loathsome in the sight of heavenly angels and in the sight of human beings. He cares not that they are unfed, ragged, and ignorant. With a lavish hand the Lord has bestowed His blessings upon human beings. But drunkenness is depriving thousands and thousands of that which the Lord desires them to enjoy.17MR 355.1

    How much suffering would be saved if the highly seasoned food and a great variety of food were changed for a simple diet of grains and nuts and fruits. Such a change could not fail to restore health to those who have made themselves sick by overeating.17MR 355.2

    By returning to the food provided for man by God in the beginning—the fruits and grains produced by the earth—man's mind is made clear, and he is filled with an earnest desire for a knowledge of the Word of God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, by receiving and believing His words, he grows to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus.17MR 355.3

    I could say much more on the subject of the location of our sanitariums. We have not yet learned all that is to be learned in regard to the establishment of sanitariums. God calls for a reformation. We are to locate our sanitariums in places more favorable to sanitarium work. So far as possible, medical institutions should be established in quiet, secluded places, where opportunity will be afforded for instructing the patients concerning the love of God and the Eden home of our first parents, which through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be restored to man. It is the expressed will of God that our sanitariums shall be established as far from cities as is consistent.17MR 355.4

    We should make decided efforts to heed the directions the Lord has given in regard to the care of the sick. They should be given every advantage possible. All the restorative agencies that the Lord has provided should be made use of in our sanitarium work.17MR 356.1

    If we are to go to the expense of building sanitariums in order that we may work for the salvation of the sick and the afflicted, we should locate these institutions where those we desire to help will be favorably situated. They pay their money for the healing of their bodily diseases; but I am instructed that while we are to do all in our power to heal the body, we should make the healing of the soul of far greater importance. Those who come to our sanitariums as patients are in these institutions to be shown the way of salvation, that they may repent and hear the words, “Thy sins are forgiven thee; go in peace, and sin no more.”17MR 356.2

    Those in charge of our sanitariums do not show wisdom when they take upon themselves so many responsibilities and engage in so many business enterprises that they neglect to educate and train the helpers in their religious lines. There is danger of the workers carrying about them an impure spiritual atmosphere. In word and in deed they often reveal that their characters are unsanctified, unholy, impure.17MR 356.3

    In the country, the education of patients and nurses can be carried on with far less labor than in the city. The atmosphere surrounding the soul will be more healthful. Through His workers, the Life-giver will present to the sick the leaves from the tree of life. The Lord has not abandoned the guilty, disobedient race. He is long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. His invitation of mercy is still sounding. The sick and suffering may come to Him and find life.17MR 356.4

    The Lord has presented to me the great advantage to be gained in building our sanitariums outside the cities, in the most favorable locations. The time is not far distant when every city will be visited by the plagues of God. Those who suppose that the patronage to be gained in the congested cities would be of great advantage, do not reason wisely. In this respect their reasoning is not inspired of God. Men should have less confidence in their finite wisdom.17MR 357.1

    The time has come when those who will be most benefited by our institutions understand by experience that a city is not the best place in which to establish a sanitarium. Then again, the outlay for buildings is to be far less than men in their own judgment would decide. Offers of buildings at a low price will be received from men of the world who are favorable to medical missionary work. All these things should be taken into consideration. Take advantage of favorable offers. Often there are offered at a low price country places on which are buildings that could be utilized for sanitarium work. If the grounds are extensive, and if the surroundings are beautified by ornamental and fruit trees, we should secure such places for sanitarium work.17MR 357.2

    In attempting to advance the interests of the sanitarium in Los Angeles, Dr. Moran has recently made unwise movements. He has moved in accordance with his own judgment and the judgment of his immediate friends. But this hasty movement on his part is to be carefully considered, lest others should follow his example.17MR 357.3

    Christ's instruction is to be strictly followed: “Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand. Or else, while the other is a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace” [Luke 14:27-32].17MR 357.4

    Dr. Moran has in view the building of a sanitarium, but he has not taken into consideration where the funds will come from to carry on his building enterprise. It is easy to work on suppositions, but it is not best to do so. It is not wise to launch out so suddenly. The bud must develop gradually into the full-blown flower.17MR 358.1

    In the first place, let all connected with the establishment of this sanitarium make a most thorough study of the object for which it is to be established. Is it to be in every sense a memorial for the Lord? Is it to be a means of awakening conviction in regard to the nature of sin? Is it to be a means of saving souls from death—souls who through conversion will show a reformation in the life-practice, thus answering the question, “What shall I do to be saved?”17MR 358.2

    Our first work is to be converted. We are individually to be born again. We are to be able to represent in character the new life in Christ. The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He sent is of primary importance, for Christ declares that it is eternal life to the believer. Those in positions of responsibility in our sanitariums should make sure that their lamps are trimmed and burning. Men and women who are engaged in any line of God's work are to heed Christ words, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” In building up a sanitarium this is the first work to be done. The foundation is to be laid in Jesus Christ.17MR 358.3

    Let all the men in responsibility in our medical institutions search themselves honestly, thoroughly. Let each one inquire, “What is my relation to God? Do I love Him with my whole heart and soul and mind and strength? Can I give substantial evidence that I have entered the fold of Christ?” Let every one dig deep, laying a sure foundation upon the solid Rock. It is not enough to feel now and then a sense of self-satisfaction. Have you the faith that works by love and purifies the soul from every defilement? Can you in word, in practice, in disposition, bear the Bible test of character? Is your influence fragrant? Do you in your association with others in the daily life show that you have been regenerated?17MR 359.1

    In His interview with Nicodemus, an influential member of the Sanhedrin, Christ struck down deep to foundation principles. He said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The new birth is the beginning of a new life, a new shining forth of light because of a change in the character. The old life of selfishness has died, and the Christ-life is revealed. This is the first preparation essential for men and women who desire to be laborers together with God in medical missionary work.17MR 359.2

    God has assured us that it is possible to serve Him in holiness: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, ... to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He sware to our father Abraham that He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life” [Luke 1:68-75].17MR 359.3

    In Genesis the record is: “The angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice” [Genesis 22:15-18].17MR 360.1

    God fulfills His promise in such a way as to bring the highest glory to Himself and the greatest good to His people. In order to be righteous in His sight, we must not only believe in Christ, but we must depend upon Him for the realization of our highest hopes of success and of salvation, observing all His commandments and ordinances, and discharging with fidelity all the duties that devolve upon us as stewards of His grace. We shall be judged by the fruits that we bear. We do not strike deep enough, taking root in the best soil, the Word of the living God, that we may grow in strength and bear the fruits of the Spirit. In spirit, in word, and in action it is our privilege to be rich in good works.17MR 360.2

    We are to remember the exhortation, “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.” By creation and by redemption we are the Lord's property. God gave His Son as a sacrifice to save the human family, that they might live—not the life of Satan, but the life of Christ; for in Christ the divine nature was united with human nature. The Word who “was in the beginning with God,” “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Christ was God manifest in the flesh. “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”17MR 360.3

    The Lord requires those who stand under His blood-stained banner to be faithful representatives of Him in character. He requires that those who undertake to fill any office in our sanitariums shall be of the number that are designated as His peculiar people. Concerning His children He says: “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” [1 Peter 2:9-12].17MR 361.1

    Let those who contemplate the establishment of a sanitarium be subject to the molding and fashioning of the Spirit of God. Such men will not misrepresent Christ in character building. Let all who are in positions of trust use the holy oil of grace in spirit, in word, and in action. Let them do thorough work in purifying the soul temple, that they may have an understanding of the work that they contemplate undertaking, and that they may be able to sow seeds of truth in many hearts. In one hand they are to carry the gospel for the relief of sin-burdened souls, and in the other hand they are to carry remedies for the relief of physical suffering. Thus they will be true medical missionaries for God.—Manuscript 41, 1902.17MR 361.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    October 1, 1987.

    Entire Manuscript.