Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 25, 1900

A Physician’s Opportunities

NP

April 8, 1900 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in KC 41-43.

Every physician should be a Christian. In Christ’s stead he is to stand by the suffering, working as Christ worked, ministering to the needs of the sin-sick soul as well as to the needs of the diseased body. The physician should look to his Saviour, saying, “I sanctify myself through the grace freely given me, that those to whom I minister may also be sanctified.” 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 1

An atheist or an irreligious man should never take up the work of a physician. The godless physician watches with human sympathy the sufferings of the afflicted; but he cannot do that which he might do did he realize that the One who gave His own life for the sufferer, even the Son of God, is watching the case with intense interest. How inconsistent for a physician to stand by the side of the suffering if he cannot point them to a sin-pardoning Saviour. How terrible not to be able to tell them of the Mighty One who can heal not only every physical disease but every spiritual malady. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 2

The physician should look higher than himself. In simple, soothing words he should speak to the sufferer of the great Physician. He who cannot do this loses case after case which he might save if he were a Christian. If he could speak to the sufferer words that would inspire faith in the sympathizing Saviour who feels every throb of anguish the crisis would be passed safely. The sufferer would be strengthened to look and live. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 3

The physician who has no practical knowledge of the great needs of the soul will look upon his patient merely from a scientific standpoint. He will trust to his own skill. If the patient recovers, he takes the praise, entirely forgetting the One who said, “Live, for I have taken pity on you, and will spare you that you may become acquainted with me and believe on My name.” 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 4

Would that physicians might understand the greatness of the service they could render to humanity if they were able to speak simply and tenderly of the love of Jesus and of His willingness to save souls, even at the last hour of life. Many physicians fail to see what a noble influence they might exert by accepting Christ and laying hold of eternal interests. They continue to live a hopeless life, a life in which God is not recognized. They refuse to be illuminated by the Light of the world, and are in a far worse condition than the one who is suffering from physical disease. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 5

Great opportunities are given to the guardians of the sick. Knowing the Lord Jesus, it is the privilege of the Christian physician to introduce Him to the sickroom as the One who can speak peace to the soul and give strength to the body. He can point the sufferer to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. The Lord will give such a physician great wisdom in his work. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 6

The physician should be a man of earnest prayer, that he may impart to others the light and hope and faith which he receives. He should himself possess the hope which is sure and steadfast, the hope that Jesus is a very present help in every time of trouble. He should reverence the Word of God. This Word is exceedingly precious to the receiver, for it sanctifies the soul. The Christian physician studies the Word of God, and is prepared to soothe those who are tossed by doubt and fear. He knows the value of the Redeemer’s love and presence. He can speak with assurance to the soul hovering between life and death. Who knows but that in these last moments faith and hope may spring up in the heart and give inspiring energy to the apparently dying one? Who knows but that the compassionate Saviour may speak the word, “You shall live to sound forth my praises”? 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 7

The physician needs to have a very close connection with God. Never is he to lose his hold of God’s helpful, strengthening power. The fact that the physician acts so important a part in bringing relief from suffering will naturally place him where he will be regarded with feelings of love and gratitude by those whom he has helped. Let him not take the praise and glory to himself. Let him hide self in the Saviour, pointing to a Christ as the One who is to receive all the praise. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 8

When the sick are restored to health, the glory is often given to the physician, when it was the divine touch and healing balm of the Saviour that gave relief and prolonged life. If the one who has been restored gives the praise to the physician, it is the physician’s duty and privilege to point him to the compassionate Saviour as the One who has spoken to him the Word of life and given him a new lease of life, to be used for a high and holy purpose. The Lord is the Worker; the physician is only the instrument. “Without me,” Christ declares, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] He says to the faithful physician, “I will stand by your side. And as you tell those for whom you work that Christ is all and in all, that He died for their sins in order that they should not perish, but have everlasting life, I will impress their hearts.” 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 9

Jesus is interested in everyone who is in need of His healing, vitalizing power. “Are not five sparrows sold for a farthing, and yet not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” [Luke 12:6, 7.] 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 10

What a blessing the Christian physician can bring to the sin-tortured soul! What peace comes to the [sufferer] as he accepts the Saviour! What melody is awakened in the heavenly courts when Satan loses his prey! 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 11

The physician who is acquainted with Christ, who realizes the preciousness of pure and undefiled religion, is indeed a representative of the great Physician. The physician who tells the sick and suffering of the love that Christ has for them is a true teacher of righteousness. He bears to the afflicted the very balm of Gilead. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 12

What a sacred work is this, and how earnestly should those who are preparing as physicians labor to fit themselves for it! They should make it their first business to become personally acquainted with the great Physician, that when in the sickroom they may recognize His presence and receive His counsel. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 13

To us as a people God has given advanced truth, and we are to seek to gain access to souls, that we may give them this truth. As the physicians and nurses in our sanitariums hold out to the patients the hope of restoration to physical health, they are also to present the blessed hope of the gospel, the wonderful comfort to be found in the mighty Healer, who can curse the leprosy of the soul. Thus hearts will be reached, and He who gives health to the body will speak peace to the soul. The Lifegiver will fill the heart with joy that will work miraculously. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 14

Those thus born again will go from our institutions prepared to speak to others of the power of Him who has done so much for them. Jesus says of them, “Ye are my witnesses.” [Isaiah 43:10.] God grants them a renewal of life and health that they may impart to others the knowledge they have obtained. They go forth as new-born souls, converted and enlightened, knowing that by being temperate in all things and depending on Him who gave His life for them, they may work for God. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 15

*****

Our sanitarium is to be established in harmony with God’s appointment. Those who act a part in connection with this institution are to be themselves buildings for the Lord. Writing by the Holy Spirit the apostle declares, “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] God requires symmetry of character. His workers are ever to remember that self is to be hid in God. They are not to look to the men of the world for their strength, supposing that to gain a crumb of praise from them is something worth relating, even though those who give this praise are trampling God’s commandments under their feet. When the great men of the world speak a word in toleration of the Author of Christianity, what they say is repeated as though worthy of being immortalized. But words are cheap. They cost nothing. The Lord is honored only by those who love and obey His commandments. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 16

*****

Physicians should not suppose that it is right for them to make appointments or to travel on the Sabbath. Not only by precept but by example they should honor the true Sabbath, which is to be immortalized as the evidence that God created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh. God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, placing the command concerning it in the very bosom of the Decalogue. It is to be sacredly observed. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 17

Common, every-day treatment should not be given on the Sabbath. Let the patients know that physicians must have one day on which to rest. Often it is impossible for physicians to take time on the Sabbath for rest and devotion. They may be called upon to relieve suffering. Our Saviour has shown us by His example that it is right to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. But physicians and nurses should do no unnecessary work on this day. Ordinary treatment and operations which can wait should be deferred till the next day. 15LtMs, Ms 25, 1900, par. 18