Those whose affections are set on God will succeed. They will lose sight of self in Christ, and worldly attractions will have no power to allure them from their allegiance. They will realise that outward display does not give strength. It is not ostentation, outward show, that gives a correct representation of the work that we, as God's chosen people, are to do. Those who are connected with our sanitarium work should be adorned with the grace of Christ. This will give them the greatest influence for good.
The Lord is in earnest with us. His promises are given on condition that we faithfully do His will; therefore in the building of sanitariums He is to be made first and last and best in everything.
Let all who are connected with the service of God be guarded, lest by desire for display they lead others into indulgence and self-glorification. God does not want any of His servants to enter into unnecessary, expensive
undertakings, which bring heavy burdens of debt upon the people, thus depriving them of means that would provide facilities for the work of the Lord. So long as those who claim to believe the truth for this time walk in the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement, they may expect that the Lord will give them prosperity. But when they choose to wander from the narrow way, they bring ruin upon themselves and upon those who look to them for guidance.
Those who lead out in the establishment of medical institutions must set a right example. Even if the money is in sight, they should not use more than is absolutely needed. The Lord's work should be conducted with reference to the necessities of every part of His vineyard. We are all members of one family, children of one Father, and the Lord's revenue must be used with reference to the interests of His cause throughout the world. The Lord looks upon all parts of the field, and His vineyard is to be cultivated as a whole.
We must not absorb in a few places all the money in the treasury, but must labour to build up the work in many places. New territory is to be added to the Lord's kingdom. Other parts of His vineyard are to be furnished with facilities that will give character to the work. The Lord forbids us to use selfish schemes in His service. He forbids us to adopt plans that will rob our neighbour of facilities that would enable him to act his part in representing the truth. We are to love our neighbour as ourselves.
We must also remember that our work is to correspond with our faith. We believe that the Lord is soon to come, and should not our faith be represented in the buildings we erect? Shall we put a large outlay of money into a building that will soon be consumed in the great
conflagration? Our money means souls, and it is to be used to bring a knowledge of the truth to those who, because of sin, are under the condemnation of God. Then let us bind about our ambitious plans; let us guard against extravagance or improvidence, lest the Lord's treasury become empty and the builders have not means to do their appointed work.
Much more money than was necessary has been expended on our older institutions. Those who have done this have supposed that this outlay would give character to the work. But this plea is no excuse for unnecessary expenditure.
God desires that the humble, meek, and lowly spirit of the Master, who is the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, shall ever be revealed in our institutions. Christ's first advent is not studied as it should be. He came to be our example in all things. His life was one of strict self-denial. If we follow His example, we shall never expend means unnecessarily. Never are we to seek for outward show. Let our showing be such that the light of truth can shine through our good works, so that God will be glorified by the use of the very best methods to restore the sick and to relieve the suffering. Character is given to the work, not by investing means in large buildings, but by maintaining the true standard of religious principles, with noble Christlikeness of character.
The mistakes that have been made in the erection of buildings in the past should be salutary admonitions to us in the future. We are to observe where others have failed, and, instead of copying their mistakes, make improvements. In all our advance work we must regard the necessity of economy. There must be no needless expense. The Lord is soon to come, and our outlay in buildings is to be in harmony with our faith. Our means
is to be used in providing cheerful rooms, healthful surroundings, and wholesome food.
Our ideas of building and furnishing our institutions are to be molded and fashioned by a true, practical knowledge of what it means to walk humbly with God. Never should it be thought necessary to give an appearance of wealth. Never should appearance be depended on as a means of success. This is a delusion. The desire to make an appearance that is not in every way appropriate to the work that God has given us to do, an appearance that could be kept up only by expending a large sum of money, is a merciless tyrant. It is like a canker that is ever eating into the vitals.
Men of common sense appreciate comfort above elegance and display. It is a mistake to suppose that, by keeping up an appearance, more patients, and therefore more means, would be gained. But even if this course would bring an increase of patronage, we could not consent to have our sanitariums furnished according to the luxurious ideas of the age. Christian influence is too valuable to be sacrificed in this way. All the surroundings, inside and outside our institutions, must be in harmony with the teachings of Christ and the expression of our faith. Our work in all its departments should be an illustration, not of display and extravagance, but of sanctified judgement.
It is not large, expensive buildings; it is not rich furniture; it is not tables loaded with delicacies, that will give our work influence and success. It is the faith that works by love and purifies the soul; it is the atmosphere of grace that surrounds the believer, the Holy Spirit working upon mind and heart, that makes him a savour of life unto life, and enables God to bless his work.
God can communicate with His people today and give
them wisdom to do His will, even as He communicated with His people of old and gave them wisdom in building the tabernacle. In the construction of this building He gave a representation of His power and majesty; and His name is to be honoured in the buildings that are erected for Him today. Faithfulness, stability, and fitness are to be seen in every part.
Those who have in hand the erecting of a sanitarium are to represent the truth by working in the spirit and love of God. As Noah in his day warned the world in the building of the ark, so, by the faithful work that is done today in erecting the Lord's institutions, sermons will be preached, and the hearts of some will be convicted and converted. Then let the workers feel the greatest anxiety for the constant help of Christ, that the institutions which are established may not be in vain. While the work of building is going forward, let them remember that, as in the days of Noah and of Moses God arranged every detail of the ark and of the tabernacle, so in the building of His institutions today He Himself is watching the work done. Let them remember that the great Master Builder, by His word, by His Spirit, and by His providence, designs to direct His work. They should take time to ask counsel of Him. The voice of prayer and the melody of holy song should ascend as sweet incense. All should realise their entire dependence upon God; they should remember that they are erecting an institution in which is to be carried forward a work of eternal consequence, and that, in doing this work, they are to be laborers together with God. "Looking unto Jesus" is ever to be our motto. And the assurance is: "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye." Psalm 32:8.