Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 32, 1901

Medical Missionary Work


April 16, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in MM 315-318. +Note

The Lord has a special work for His servants to do in the preparation of a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. This work is to commence in our own hearts. We need the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 1

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 2

We are to ask ourselves the question, “How is it with my soul?” A healthy soul in a healthy body makes a man or woman more precious than gold and silver, even as the Lord has said, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 13:12.] 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 3

By the mighty cleaver of truth God has taken us out of the world and brought us into His workshop, that with hammer and chisel He may cut away the rough edges and polish us for a place in His temple. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 4

“What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him, even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, but he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” [1 Corinthians 2:11-16.] 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 5

Grand and ennobling truths have been given us. By the precious economy of grace, the exhibition of divine love, God strives to produce love in human beings. As we look unto Jesus, beholding the glorious spectacle of the love and tenderness of God, there springs up in our hearts a desire to engage in active service for the Master. The riches of the grace of Christ are without limit. They are sufficient to fill every heart with wisdom and sanctified judgment, creating an atmosphere of grace, real and enjoyable. This experience is gained by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. Christ declares, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.” [John 6:54.] 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 6

Christ’s work was to take the things of God and show them to men. Heaven is brought into the home by eating the bread of life, receiving and practicing Christ’s Word. “The flesh profiteth nothing;” He said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [Verse 63.] The Word of God is life, eternal life, to the receiver. As the human elements in the soul are softened and subdued by the lessons of Christ, the great love wherewith He has loved us fills the mind with gratitude, which finds expression in thanksgiving and in praise. To the believing soul the Lord will give His peace and His grace, which cannot be measured. His Word is to be an active element in the family circle. It is a real part of Christ. Its influence is to be diffused to the household. Then the light in the candlestick gives light to all. Not only does it reveal Christ in the home. Its bright rays extend beyond the home to the neighborhood. Through practice the truth becomes spirit and life. The heart is imbued with the Holy Spirit, and the gratitude which springs up must find expression. Loving sympathy is manifested in word and action. Christ is revealed in word and spirit. A Christlike influence is exerted by all who love and serve the Lord. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 7

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” [Isaiah 58:6-8.] 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 8

This is the work that Christ did, and the work that He has placed in the hands of all who believe in Him. His heart was drawn out to the needy, dependent souls around Him. Bible truth was acted and became spirit and life. God’s great love for fallen man is expressed in His gift for the salvation of the human race. The contemplation of the love of God as shown in the Saviour is the means of producing Christlike love in the beholder. In him the glorious spectacle becomes a living principle. He sees and reflects the light of truth, wearing the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 9

What an advantage it is to us to have Christ’s righteousness to go before us. As we follow in His footsteps, what a precious relationship we have to our divine Friend. The impress of God is placed upon our characters. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.” [Verse 9.] “Follow in my footsteps, and you are safe. I am at your right hand to help you.” 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 10

These promises, like all others, are made on condition. “If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou wilt draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones. And thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places, thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” [Verses 9-12.] 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 11

The following words show the specified conditions: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable, and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Verses 13, 14.] 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 12

These definite statements are the Word of the Lord. Those addressed are engaged in elevating the fourth commandment, which has been trodden under foot. The rich promises of God’s Word are for all who are engaged in medical missionary work. A work is to be done for the world. The love of Christ fills the heart with love for the Saviour and for those for whom He has given His life, that through obedience they might become loyal subjects of His kingdom. There is felt an earnest desire to impart the blessings which have been received. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 13

One who believes in Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour is to be a co-worker with Him, bound up with His heart of infinite love, co-operating with Him in works of self-denial and benevolence. He to whom Christ has revealed His pardoning grace will, in practicing the works of Christ, find himself linked up with Christ. God calls upon those for whom He has made such an infinite sacrifice to take their position as laborers together with Him in developing the gracious operations of God’s divine benevolence. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 14

Christ has withdrawn Himself from the earth, but His followers are still left in the world. His church, consisting of those who love Him, are to give in word and action, in their unselfish love and benevolence, a representation of Christ’s love. They are to be the means, by practicing self-denial and bearing the cross, of implanting the principle of love in the hearts of those who are unacquainted with the Saviour by experimental knowledge. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 15

Upon all who believe, God has placed the burden of raising up churches for the express purpose of educating men and women to use their entrusted capabilities for the benefit of the world, employing the means He has lent, for His glory. He has made human beings His stewards. Gladly and generously they are to use the means in their possession for the advancement of righteousness and truth. They are to employ His entrusted talents in building up His work and enlarging His kingdom. Our churches, large and small, are not to be treated in such a way that they will be helplessly dependent upon ministerial aid. The members are to be so established in the faith that they will have an intelligent knowledge of medical missionary work. They are to follow Christ’s example, ministering to those around them. Faithfully they are to fulfil the vows made at their baptism, the vow that they will practice the lessons taught in the life of Christ. Through sanctification of the truth as it is in Jesus they are to plant in hearts the living principles of saving faith. They are to work together to keep alive in the church the principles of self-denial and self-sacrifice, which Christ—His divinity clothed with humanity—followed in His medical missionary work. It is imparting the knowledge of Christ’s love and tenderness that gives efficiency to missionary operations. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 16

The Lord Jesus desires the members of His church to be an army of workers, laboring for Him according to their varied capabilities, and carrying out the principles of self-denial and self-sacrifice, preserving that love for God which drew them away from the world, and which will draw them together, away from separate confederacies, from distant, detached parties. The work is to be one grand, harmonious whole in Christ Jesus. The faith that works by love and purifies the soul is the holy, uplifting, sanctifying agency which is to soften and subdue jarring human nature. The love of Christ is to constrain the believers, causing them to blend in harmonious action at the cross of Calvary. As they live the principles which separated them from the world, they will be bound to one another by the sacred cords of Christian love. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 17

With grace in their hearts, believers are to work the works of Christ, placing themselves, soul, body, and spirit, on His side, as His human hand, to impart His love to those who are out of the fold. Believers are to associate together in Christian fellowship, regarding one another as brothers and sisters in the Lord. They are to love one another as Christ loves them. They are to be lights for God, shining in the church and in the world, receiving grace for grace, as they impart to others. Thus they are constantly kept in spiritual nearness to God. They reflect the image of Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 18

Sanctified love is diffusive, refusing to be bound by the home or the church. It seeks to save perishing souls. Every heart that has felt the love of a sin-forgiving Saviour finds itself allied to every other Christian heart. True believers will unite with one another in working for souls ready to perish. Let not our ministers expend time and energy in laboring for those who know the truth. Let them instead seek for those outside the fold, and each should stimulate the other to earnest action in well-defined, sanctified efforts to save the poor souls who are perishing in their sins. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 19

When our churches will fulfil the duty resting upon them, they will be living, working agencies for the Master. The manifestation of Christian love will fill the soul with a deeper, more earnest fervor to work for Him who gave His life to save the world. By being good and doing good Christ’s followers expel selfishness from the soul. To them the most costly sacrifice seems too cheap to give. They see a large vineyard to be worked, and they realize that they must be prepared by divine grace to labor patiently, earnestly, in season and out of season, in a sphere which knows no boundaries. They obtain victory after victory, increasing in experience and efficiency, extending on all sides their earnest efforts to win souls for Christ. They use to the best advantage their increasing experience, their hearts are melted by the love of Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 20

We shall see the medical missionary work broadening and deepening at every point of its progress, because of the inflowing of hundreds and thousands of streams, until the whole earth is covered as the waters cover the sea. Our ministers are displeasing God by their feeble efforts to let the truths of His Word shine forth to the world. Nothing so strengthens the churches as to see the work progressing in other portions of the vineyard. When the ministers understand the great blessing to be derived from laboring for those who know not the truth, they will leave the churches, after impressing upon them the importance of devising plans and methods whereby they can do within their borders the same kind of work that the ministers of the gospel are doing in the regions beyond. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 21

All can labor for the salvation of those who are out of the ark of safety. When church members stand pledged to the service of God, pledged to do missionary work, when they take hold of the work unselfishly, because they love the souls for whom Christ has died, and are desirous of uniting with the great Medical Missionary, the Lord will come very near to them, to instruct them. Life is full of opportunities for practical missionaries. Every man, woman, and child can sow each day the seeds of kind words and unselfish deeds. The world is not a croquet ground, on which we are to amuse ourselves; it is a school where we are to study earnestly and thoroughly the lessons given in the Word of God. There they may learn how to receive and how to impart. There they may learn how to seek for souls in the highways and byways of life. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 22

How earnestly the games of this world are engaged in! If those who engage in them would strive as earnestly for the crown of life, which fadeth not away, what victories they would gain. They would become medical missionaries, and they would see how much they could do to relieve suffering humanity. What a blessing they would be. What we need is practical education. Ministers and people, practice the lessons Christ has given in His Word, and you will become Christlike in character. 16LtMs, Ms 32, 1901, par. 23