No selfishness, no personal ambition, is to be allowed to enter into the work of selecting locations for our sanitariums. Christ came to this world to show us how to live and labour. Let us learn from Him not to choose for our sanitariums the places most agreeable to our taste, but those places best suited to our work.
Light has been given me that in medical missionary work we have lost great advantages by failing to realise the need of a change in our plans in regard to the location of sanitariums. It is the Lord's will that these institutions shall be established outside the city. They should be situated in the country, in the midst of surroundings as attractive as possible. In nature--the Lord's garden--the sick will always find something to divert their attention from themselves and lift their thoughts to God.
I have been instructed that the sick should be cared for away from the bustle of the cities, away from the noise of streetcars and the continual rattling of carts and carriages. People who come to our sanitariums from country homes will appreciate a quiet place; and in
retirement patients will be more readily influenced by the Spirit of God.
The Garden of Eden, the home of our first parents, was exceedingly beautiful. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. In the garden were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. On their branches the birds carolled their songs of praise. Adam and Eve, in their untainted purity, delighted in the sights and sounds of Eden. And today, although sin has cast its shadow over the earth, God desires His children to find delight in the works of His hands. To locate our sanitariums amidst the scenes of nature would be to follow God's plan; and the more closely this plan is followed, the more wonderfully will He work to restore suffering humanity. For our educational and medical institutions, places should be chosen where, away from the dark clouds of sin that hang over the great cities, the Sun of Righteousness can arise, "with healing in His wings." Malachi 4:2.
Let the leaders in our work instruct the people that sanitariums should be established in the midst of the most pleasant surroundings, in places not disturbed by the turmoil of the city, places where by wise instruction the thoughts of the patients can be bound up with the thoughts of God. Again and again I have described such places; but it seems that there has been no ear to hear. Recently in a most clear and convincing manner the advantage of establishing our institutions, especially our sanitariums and schools, outside the cities was presented to me.
Why are our physicians so eager to be located in the cities? The very atmosphere of the cities is polluted. In them, patients who have unnatural appetites to
overcome cannot be properly guarded. To patients who are victims of strong drink, the saloons of a city are a continual temptation. To place our sanitariums where they are surrounded by ungodliness is to counterwork the efforts made to restore the patients to health.
In the future the condition of things in the cities will grow more and more objectionable, and the influence of city surroundings will be acknowledged as unfavourable to the accomplishment of the work that our sanitariums should do.
From the standpoint of health the smoke and dust of the cities are very objectionable. And the patients who for a large part of their time are shut up within four walls often feel that they are prisoners in their rooms. When they look out of a window they see nothing but houses, houses, houses. Those who are thus confined to their rooms are liable to brood over their suffering and sorrow. Sometimes an invalid is poisoned by his own breath.
Many other evils follow the establishment of great medical institutions in the large cities.
Why deprive patients of the health-restoring blessing to be found in outdoor life? I have been instructed that as the sick are encouraged to leave their rooms and spend time in the open air, cultivating flowers, or doing some other light, pleasant work, their minds will be called from self to something more health-giving. Exercise in the open air should be prescribed as a beneficial, life-giving necessity. The longer patients can be kept out of doors the less care will they require. The more cheerful their surroundings, the more hopeful will they 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 song 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 outdoor life; thus their souls will be uplifted. Relief will come to body and mind.
"Out of the cities" is my message. Our physicians ought to have been wide awake on this point long ago. I hope and pray and believe that they will now arouse to the importance of getting out into the country.
The time is near when the large cities will be visited by the judgements of God. In a little while these cities will be terribly shaken. No matter how large or how strong their buildings, no matter how many safeguards against fire may have been provided, let God touch these buildings, and in a few minutes or a few hours they are in ruins.
The ungodly cities of our world are to be swept away by the besom of destruction. In the calamities that are now befalling immense buildings and large portions of cities God is showing us what will come upon the whole earth. He has told us: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it [the coming of the Son of man] is near, even at the doors." Matthew 24:32, 33.
Brick and stone buildings are not the most desirable for a sanitarium, for they are generally cold and damp. It may be said that a brick building presents a much more attractive appearance, and that the building should be attractive. But we need roomy buildings; and if brick is too costly, we must build of wood. Economy must be our study. This is a necessity, because of the greatness of the work that must be done in many lines in God's moral vineyard.
It has been suggested that patients will not feel safe from fire in a wooden structure. But if we are in the country, and not in the cities where buildings are crowded together, a fire would originate from within, not from without; therefore brick would not be a safeguard. It should be presented to the patients that for health a wooden building is preferable to one of brick.
For years I have been given special light that we are not to centre our work in the cities. The turmoil and confusion that fill these cities, the conditions brought about by the labour unions and the strikes, would prove a great hindrance to our work. Men are seeking to bring those engaged in the different trades under bondage to certain unions. This is not God's planning, but the planning of a power that we should in no wise acknowledge. God's word is fulfilling; the wicked are binding themselves up in bundles ready to be burned.
We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trade-unions. We are to stand free in God, looking constantly to Christ for instruction. All our movements are to be made with a realisation of the importance of the work to be accomplished for God.
Light has been given me that the cities will be filled with confusion, violence, and crime, and that these things will increase till the end of this earth's history.