Many of the patrons of our medical institutions have high ideas in regard to the presence of God abiding in the institution they visit; and they are very susceptible to the spiritual influences that prevail. If all the physicians, nurses, and helpers are walking circumspectly before God, they have more than human power in dealing with these men and women. Every institution whose helpers are consecrated is pervaded by divine power; and the patrons not only obtain relief from bodily infirmities, but find a healing balm for their sin-sick souls.
Let the leaders among our people emphasise the necessity of a strong religious influence being maintained in our medical institutions. The Lord designs that these shall be places where He will be honoured in word and in deed, places where His law will be magnified and the truths of the Bible made prominent. Medical missionaries are to do a great work for God. They are to be wide awake and vigilant, having on every piece of the Christian armour and fighting manfully. They are to be loyal to their Leader, obeying His commandments, including the one by which they reveal the sign of their order.
The observance of the Sabbath is the sign between God and His people. Let us not be ashamed to bear the sign that distinguishes us from the world. As I considered this matter in the night season recently, One of authority counselled us to study the instruction given the Israelites in regard to the Sabbath. "Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep," the Lord declared to them; "for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you. . . . Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever." Exodus 31:13-17.
The Sabbath is ever the sign that distinguishes the obedient from the disobedient. With masterly power Satan has worked to make null and void the fourth commandment, that the sign of God may be lost sight of. The Christian world have trodden underfoot the Sabbath of the Lord and observe a sabbath instituted by the enemy. But God has a people who are loyal to Him. His work is to be carried forward in right lines. The people who bear His sign are to establish churches and institutions as memorials to Him. These memorials, however humble in appearance, will constantly bear witness against the false sabbath instituted by Satan, and in favour of the Sabbath instituted by the Lord in Eden, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.
A spirit of irreverence and carelessness in the observance of the Sabbath is liable to come into our sanitariums. Upon the men of responsibility in the medical missionary work rests the duty of giving instruction to physicians, nurses, and helpers in regard to the sanctity of God's holy day. Especially should every physician endeavour to set a right example. The nature of his duties naturally leads him to feel justified in doing on the Sabbath many things that he should refrain from doing. So far as possible he should so plan his work that he can lay aside his ordinary duties.
Often physicians and nurses are called upon during the Sabbath to minister to the sick, and sometimes it is impossible for them to take time for rest and for attending devotional services. The needs of suffering humanity are never to be neglected. The Saviour, by His example, has shown us that it is right to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. But unnecessary work, such as ordinary treatments and operations that can be postponed, should be deferred. Let the patients understand that physicians and helpers should have one day for rest. Let them understand that the workers fear God and desire to keep holy the day that He has set apart for His followers to observe as a sign between Him and them.
The educators and those being educated in our medical institutions should remember that to keep the Sabbath aright means much to them and to the patrons. In keeping the Sabbath, which God declares shall be kept holy, they give the sign of their order, showing plainly that they are on the Lord's side.
Now and ever we are to stand as a distinct and peculiar people, free from all worldly policy, unembarrassed by confederating with those who have not wisdom to discern
God's claims so plainly set forth in His law. All our medical institutions are established as Seventh-day Adventist institutions to represent the various features of gospel medical missionary work and thus to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. We are to show that we are seeking to work in harmony with heaven. We are to bear witness to all nations, kindreds, and tongues that we are a people who love and fear God, a people who keep holy His memorial of creation, the sign between Him and His obedient children that He sanctifies them. And we are plainly to show our faith in the soon coming of our Lord in the clouds of heaven.
As a people we have been greatly humiliated by the course that some of our brethren in responsible positions have taken in departing from the old landmarks. There are those who, in order to carry out their plans, have by their words denied their faith. This shows how little dependence can be placed on human wisdom and judgement. Now, as never before, we need to see the danger of being led unguardedly away from loyalty to God's commands. We need to realise that God has given us a decided message of warning for the world, even as He gave Noah a message of warning for the antediluvians. Let our people beware of belittling the importance of the Sabbath in order to link up with unbelievers. Let them beware of departing from the principles of our faith, making it appear that it is not wrong to conform to the world. Let them be afraid of heeding the counsel of any man, whatever his position may be, who works counter to that which God has wrought in order to keep His people separate from the world.
The Lord is testing His people to see who will be loyal to the principles of His truth. Our work is to
proclaim to the world the first, second, and third angels' messages. In the discharge of our duties we are neither to despise nor to fear our enemies. To bind ourselves up by contracts with those not of our faith is not in the order of God. We are to treat with kindness and courtesy those who refuse to be loyal to God, but we are never, never to unite with them in counsel regarding the vital interests of His work. Putting our trust in God, we are to move steadily forward, doing His work with unselfishness, in humble dependence upon Him, committing to His providence ourselves and all that concerns our present and future, holding the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end, remembering that we receive the blessings of heaven, not because of our worthiness, but because of Christ's worthiness and our acceptance, through faith in Him, of God's abounding grace.
I pray that my brethren may realise that the third angel's message means much to us and that the observance of the true Sabbath is to be the sign that distinguishes those who serve God from those who serve Him not. Let those who have become sleepy and indifferent awake. We are called to be holy, and we should carefully avoid giving the impression that it is of little consequence whether or not we retain the peculiar features of our faith. Upon us rests the solemn obligation of taking a more decided stand for truth and righteousness than we have taken in the past. The line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not is to be revealed with unmistakable clearness. We are conscientiously to honour God, diligently using every means of keeping in covenant relation with Him, that we may receive His blessings, the blessings so essential for the people who are to be so severely tried. To
give the impression that our faith, our religion, is not a dominating power in our lives is greatly to dishonour God. Thus we turn from His commandments, which are our life, denying that He is our God and that we are His people.
We are to invite everyone--the high and the low, the rich and the poor, all sects and classes--to share the benefits of our medical institutions. We receive into our institutions people of all denominations. But as for ourselves we are strictly denominational; we are sacredly denominated by God and are under His theocracy. But we are not unwisely to press upon anyone the peculiar points of our faith.
In order that men might not forget the true God, Jehovah gave them a memorial of His love and power --the Sabbath. He says: "Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you." Exodus 31:13.
Concerning Israel, the Lord declared: "The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." Numbers 23:9. To us as well as to ancient Israel these words apply. God's people are to stand alone. The observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is to be a sign between them and God, showing that they are to be a peculiar people, separate from the world in habit and practise. Through them God will work to gather from all nationalities a people for Himself.