Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 39a, 1898

Advisers of Medical Students

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

October 26, 1898

This letter is published in entirety in 8T 163-165.

To the Advisers of Medical Students:

There is a burden upon my soul. There are young people who are encouraged to take up a course of study in medical lines who ought to be preparing themselves to proclaim the third angel’s message. It is not necessary for our medical students to spend all the time that they are spending in medical studies. Their work should be more decidedly combined with a study of God’s Word. Ideas are inculcated that are not at all necessary, and the necessary things do not receive sufficient attention. 13LtMs, Lt 39a, 1898, par. 1

A Danger to Be Guarded Against

While students are being educated in this way, they are being made less able to do acceptable work for the Master. The taxation that they undergo to obtain an extended knowledge in medical lines unfits them to work as they should in ministerial lines. Physical and mental weariness come because of the overstrain of study, and because the students are encouraged to labor unduly for the outcasts and the degraded. Thus some are disqualified for the work that they might have done had they begun missionary work where it was needed and let the medical line come in as an essential part, connected with the work as a whole as the hand is connected with the body. Life is not to be imperilled in an effort to obtain a medical education. There is danger, in some cases, of students ruining their health and unfitting themselves to do the service they might have done had they not been encouraged unwisely to take a medical course. 13LtMs, Lt 39a, 1898, par. 2

Often erroneous opinions are transcribed on the mind, and these lead to an unwise course of action. Students should have time to talk with God, time to live in hourly, conscious communion with the principles of truth and righteousness and mercy. At this time, straightforward investigation of the heart is essential. The student must place himself where he can draw from the Source of spiritual and intellectual power. He must require that every cause which asks his sympathy and cooperation has the approval of the reason which God has given him, and the conscience which the Holy Spirit is controlling. He is not to perform an action that does not harmonize with the deep, holy principles which minister light to his soul and vigor to his will. Only thus can he do God the highest service. He is not to be taught that medical missionary work will bind him to any living man, who shall dictate what his work shall be. 13LtMs, Lt 39a, 1898, par. 3

Medical missionary work is not to be drawn apart and made separate from church organization. The medical students are not to receive the idea that they may regard themselves as amenable only to the leaders in the medical work. They are to be left free to receive counsel from God. They are not to pledge themselves and their future to anything that erring human beings may outline for them. No thread of selfishness is to be drawn into the web; no scheme is to be devised that has in it one particle of injustice. Selfishness is not to control any line of the work. Let us remember that individually we are working in full view of the heavenly universe. 13LtMs, Lt 39a, 1898, par. 4

A High Standard

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:27.] Just before He left His disciples to return to heaven, Christ declared, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Here we see the standard lifted higher and still higher. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.” [John 13:34, 35.] The disciples could not then comprehend Christ’s words, but after His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, they understood His love as never before. 13LtMs, Lt 39a, 1898, par. 5

Be careful. Take heed. Let God enter to control the work. He will make His combinations and arrangements. The Lord has need of men of intense spiritual life. Are we prepared to do the work for this time? The Lord has declared the Source of the strength of His people. “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Zechariah 4:6.] 13LtMs, Lt 39a, 1898, par. 6

Teaching and Healing

The Lord’s people are to be one. There is to be no separation in His work. Christ sent out the twelve apostles, and afterward the seventy disciples, to preach the gospel and to heal the sick. “As ye go,” He said, “preach, saying, The kingdom of God is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:7, 8.] And as they went forth preaching the kingdom of God, power was given them to heal the sick and cast out evil spirits. In God’s work teaching and healing are never to be separated. His commandment-keeping people are to be one. Satan will invent every device to separate those whom God is seeking to make one. But the Lord will reveal Himself as a God of judgment. We are working under the eyes of the heavenly host. There is a divine Watcher among us, inspecting all that is planned and carried on. 13LtMs, Lt 39a, 1898, par. 7