Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 69, 1898

Burden, Brother

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 29, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in PC 31.

Brother Burden:

I have arisen at two a.m. to write this. The question is asked me, Have you any light in regard to Dr. Gibbs having another trial in the [Rural] Health Retreat? I am somewhat surprised at your question. Several times I have made my mind known on this subject. He was in every way as deserving as Dr. Maxson. In the sight of God his showing was as favorable as that of Dr. Maxson, but prejudice has been created by such men as Dr. Burke and Dr. Maxson himself, because his methods of treating drugs was different from that of the old school practice. There has been a living prejudice in his case, which has not been to the credit of the ones who have zealously held him up as they have done. If he stands now as then, I would recommend that by all means that he have a chance. 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 1

I thought that this surely would be the case when the last G.C.A. [General Conference Association] convened in America, and I have been more than surprised that nothing has been done about it. You are on the ground, and if, after investigating the case, you see no special objection beyond his methods of treating drugs, I would say do not hesitate at all in the matter. 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 2

As to drugs being used in our institutions, it is contrary to the light which the Lord has been pleased to give. The drugging business has done more harm to our world and killed more than it has helped or cured. The light was first given to me why institutions should be established, [and] that is: sanitariums were to reform the medical practices of physicians. This is God’s method. 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 3

The herbs that grow for the benefit of man, and the little handful of herbs kept and steeped and used for sudden ailments, have served tenfold, yes, one hundredfold better purposes than all the drugs hidden under mysterious names and dealt out to the sick. It is a delusion and a farce, and the Lord has revealed to me that this practice would not preserve life, but would introduce into the system those things which should never be there, for they would do a deleterious work on the human organism. 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 4

I have felt it was due Dr. Gibbs, and wrote thus to the directors of the Health Retreat before Dr. Maxson was connected with it the last time, to give Dr. Gibbs a chance. The representations made at that time were of that character. I wrote thus, to whom I cannot now remember without taking time to search my writings. Dr. Gibbs is with you on the ground, and I lay the responsibility from myself upon those who can converse with him and in the fear of the Lord interview him, which it is their duty to do, and after much prayer make your decisions. 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 5

Had he been retained in the place of Dr. Burke, I do not think it would have been wise for himself, and would have given no opportunity for Dr. Burke to have had his last trial. The Lord loved Dr. Burke, notwithstanding his weakness and imperfections, but there was a time when Dr. Burke fell into sin, and he never recovered himself from the snare of the devil. In the place of repentance and confession there was deception, and then just like Satan’s maneuvering there was accusing and falsifying. He had his opportunity; he had everything as Dr. Burke wanted to have it, and he was conceded to until the Lord was displeased with those who ought to have known better than to have let matters take the turn they did. But all this has not taught some the lessons they ought to have learned. The Lord often lets people have their own way to prove them whether they will keep His Word or do those things that are grievous in His sight. 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 6

Prejudice, likes, and dislikes have done great harm to the sanitarium at St. Helena. If Dr. Gibbs is true to Christian principles, if he is sound in the faith, then he will keep the fear of the Lord before him, and he should have another trial. The living connection with the Great Physician is worth more than connection with a world of drugs. The soothing power of pure truth seen, acted, and maintained in all its bearings is of a value no language can express to people who are suffering with disease. 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 7

Keep ever before the suffering sick the compassion and tenderness of Christ, awaken their conscience to a belief in His power to relieve suffering, and lead them to faith and trust in Him, the Great Healer, and you have gained a soul and ofttimes a life. Therefore personal religion for all physicians in the sick room is essential to success in giving the simple treatment without drugs. He who is a physician and guardian of the health and body, God would have [in] every way educated to learn lessons of the Great Teacher how to work in Christ and through Christ to save the souls of the sick. How can any physician know this until the Saviour shall be received as a personal Saviour to him who administers to suffering humanity? 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 8

Religion should be made prominent in a most tender, sympathetic, compassionate way. No one of all the parties with whom he is acquainted can do as much for the sick one as a truly converted nurse and physician. Actions of purity, refinement in looks and words, and above all the sweet words of prayer, though few, yet if sincere, will be a sure anchor to the suffering ones. Of all men, the physician should be the most earnest and sincere, full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and then he can accomplish more than the minister in the pulpit. I can write no more now. 13LtMs, Lt 69, 1898, par. 9