Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5

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Lt 55, 1887

Gibbs, Dr.

Stockholm, Sweden

June 1887

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dr. Gibbs:

Your mind is diseased. You center it upon that which does not bring you mental or spiritual soundness. You need a change of heart. Then your thoughts will flow in a higher channel. You think too much of the society of girls and women. This is a snare to you. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 1

A physician stands in a difficult place, <strong temptations will come to him.> Unless his mind is continually directed to God, that which he hears and sees in his work will impress him in a way that will certainly pollute his soul. His heart should be constantly uplifted to God. The Lord should be in all his thoughts. This is his only defense against the temptations of the enemy. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 2

The physician who takes advantage of his position to give loose rein to passion is casting up for himself a reckoning that he will not care to meet in the judgment. God’s Word declares, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] As the tree is known by the fruit it bears, so the heart is known by the actions. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 3

In my dreams I saw you with your head bowed on the table, almost unconscious. The word was spoken to you, Put away the medicine that you have in your hand. Do not place yourself under its influence; for it will not bring you peace or rest. What you need is a heart refined and elevated, cleansed by the grace of God from all defilement, a heart that takes hold upon the Divine. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 4

It is well that you <are> connected with the Health Retreat. This was God’s plan for saving your soul. Had you kept your thoughts flowing in a healthful channel, you would greatly have improved physically and morally. You would have grown in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 5

You are losing time. Satan tempts you to do desperate things, but the watchcare of angels has preserved you from yourself. Stand in your God-given manhood. Lift the cross lying at the entrance of the narrow way. Turn your thoughts from the channel in which they are now flowing. Respect your marriage vow. Be a man. Call your wife to your side. In the hands of the Lord, you will be the means of saving her, and she will be the means of saving you. Hold the truth in righteousness. Be controlled by the Spirit of God, and you will have peace. Be God’s instrument for the uplifting of humanity. Then you will at last rank with those who come into possession of all things, even the eternal weight of glory. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 6

There is an animal that strikes the arm with feebleness the moment that it touches it. So the thoughts, when permitted to run in certain channels, paralyze the spiritual energies. Direct your affections in right channels, else they will become impure, tainting your character and estranging your heart from God. Who can handle that which pollutes, and yet remain pure? Who can be pure and strong while breathing the atmosphere surrounding those who have no purity or nobility? Contact with evil steals the heart from God, and the spiritual life droops and dies. The tent is pitched too near Sodom for the dwellers to breathe the atmosphere of heaven. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 7

Every violation of one of God’s precepts does violence to the spiritual nature. Give yourself unreservedly to God. Present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, to Him. This is your reasonable service. Then you will find the Word of God a pleasant and profitable guide. Then trouble, perplexity, even poverty, will not discourage you, because you are abiding in Christ. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 8

Christ’s invitation to you is, “Come unto Me.” [Matthew 11:28.] Have you accepted this invitation? Is God’s will your will? If it is, you will have peace and rest. If you seek wisdom from the Lord, if you place yourself in His hands, to be guided by His Spirit, your work will tell for the saving of the souls and bodies of the afflicted. O for physicians who are so imbued with the Spirit of God that their godly example, their Christlike efforts, will roll back the reproach from the truth of God! Countless are the opportunities that a wise and skilful physician has for winning souls to God, for cheering the discouraged, for relieving the despair <that comes to the soul> when the body is tortured with agony. Oh, there are wonderful lessons for every physician to learn. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 9

My brother, you are too easily led away from the duties resting on you as a physician. You must not allow your attention to be diverted from your work. Neither must you confine yourself so closely to your work that your health will be injured. It is your duty, in the fear of God, to be wise and careful in the use of the strength God has given you. Do not disregard the means the Lord has provided for the preservation of health and life. Obey the laws of your being. To trifle with these laws is to trifle with the law of God. Bow to the authority of God’s law. Bring under the control of sanctified reason every power that God has given you. Christ declares, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” [Mark 12:30.] If by misuse you enfeeble your powers, you place yourself where you cannot render God perfect service. By your inefficiency, brought on you by a disregard of physical laws, you rob and dishonor God. You place yourself where you cannot work with tact and skill. You wrong the patients; for they do not receive from you the attention they naturally expect from the physician-in-chief. <You do not speak the cheerful, uplifting words that inspire hope and courage.> 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 10

I urge you to take this matter into consideration. Discipline yourself. Bring yourself into order. Put all the time and energy you have into your work, and preserve your strength by proper rest and recreation. Take regular hours for rest and sleep. This will give you power of endurance to bear the taxing burdens of your position. God will help you in every effort you make in the right direction. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 11

Let the thought that there is not <any> action of your life, not even a motive of your heart, that is not open to the gaze of Him with whom you have to do, humble you to the dust. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 12

My brother, I have tried to write out the words I heard addressed to you. I sincerely hope that in your work as a physician you will make an effort to meet the expectations of Jesus Christ. If you will fix your thoughts upon Christ, praying in faith for help and guidance, the Spirit of God will impress your heart. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 13

The way to the throne of God is always open. You cannot always be on your knees in prayer. But your silent petitions may constantly ascend to God for strength and guidance. When tempted, as you will be, you may flee to the secret place of the Most High. His everlasting arms will be underneath you. Let these words cheer you, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white; for they are worthy.” [Revelation 3:4.] 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 14

Have you clung to your confidence in God as a drowning man clings to the rope thrown to him to save him from the <boisterous> waves? “Hold that fast that thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” [Verse 11.] You need Christian manhood. The Word of God must be your standard. You must live a life of continual dependence on God. Personal holiness must be cultivated. The faith of others cannot save you. Their hope cannot give you courage. Their repentance, however acceptable to God, cannot avail for you. You must have personal religion. You need a deeper experience in the things of God. Put away from your life everything of a trifling character, and draw near to the great Physician. The time you spend in long talks that do no one any special good should be devoted to searching the Scriptures and to earnest prayer. This would give you vigor of mind and stability of character. To a deep religious experience would be added ability of a superior order, which would greatly aid you in your profession. God expects you to bring into your work sagacity, a soundness of faith and doctrine, and the unbending integrity that enabled Joseph and Daniel, in the corrupt courts of heathen monarchs, to live lives of unsullied purity. When Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, you will be well balanced. You will not be changeable, but will rise above the influences that discourage, discompose, and ruffle the minds of those who are not stayed on Christ. You will be enabled to prove that it is possible to be <in your calling esteemed as> a wise, successful physician and an active Christian, serving the Lord in sincerity. Godliness is the foundation of true dignity and completeness of character. 5LtMs, Lt 55, 1887, par. 15