Testimonies, Vol. 7
It might seem to us that it would be best to select for our sanitariums places among the wealthy; that this would give character to our work and secure patronage for our institutions. But in this there is no light. "The Lord seeth not as man seeth." 1 Samuel 16:7. Man looks at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. The fewer grand buildings there are around our institutions, the less vexation we shall experience. Many of the wealthy property owners are irreligious and irreverent. Worldly thoughts fill their minds. Worldly amusements, merriment, and hilarity occupy their time. Extravagance in dress and luxurious living absorb their means. The heavenly messengers are not welcomed to their homes. They want God afar off. Humility is a difficult lesson for humanity to learn, and it is especially difficult for the rich and the self-indulgent. Those who do not regard themselves as accountable to God for all that they possess are tempted to exalt self, as if the riches comprehended by lands and bank stock made them independent of God. Full of pride and conceit, they place on themselves an estimate measured by their wealth.

There are many rich men who in God's sight are unfaithful stewards. In their acquirement and use of means He has seen robbery. They have neglected the great Proprietor of all and have not used the means entrusted to them to relieve the suffering and the oppressed. They have been laying up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath; for God will reward every man according as his work shall be. These men do not worship God; self is their idol. They put justice and mercy out of the mind,

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replacing them with avarice and strife. God says: "Shall I not visit them for these things?" Jeremiah 9:9.

God would not be pleased to have any of our institutions located in a community of this character, however great its apparent advantages. Selfish wealthy men have a molding influence upon other minds, and the enemy would work through them to hedge up our way. Evil associations are always detrimental to piety and devotion, and principles that are approved by God may be undermined by such associations. God would have none of us like Lot, who chose a home in a place where he and his family were brought into constant contact with evil. Lot went into Sodom rich; he left with nothing, led by an angel's hand, while messengers of wrath waited to pour forth the fiery blasts that were to consume the inhabitants of that highly favoured city and blot out its entrancing beauty, making bleak and bare a place that God had once made very beautiful.

Our sanitariums should not be situated near the residences of rich men, where they will be looked upon as an innovation and an eyesore, and unfavourably commented upon, because they receive suffering humanity of all classes. Pure and undefiled religion makes those who are children of God one family, bound up with Christ in God. But the spirit of the world is proud, partial, exclusive, favouring only a few.

In erecting our buildings, we must keep away from the homes of the great men of the world, and let them seek the help they need by withdrawing from their associates into more retired places. We shall not please God by building our sanitariums among people extravagant in dress and living, who are attracted to those who can make a great display.