Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 58, 1901

A Union of Ministerial & Medical Missionary


July 7, 1901

This manuscript is published in entirety in 14MR 269-272. +Note

A Union of Ministerial and Medical Missionary Work Essential.

In the night season I am laboring earnestly with persons who do not seem to understand that in the providence of God the medical missionary work is to be as the right hand of the body. Some utterly fail to realize the importance of missionaries being also medical missionaries. A gospel minister will be twice as successful in his work if he understands how to treat disease. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 1

Continually increasing light has been given me on this subject. Some who do not see the advantage of educating the youth to be physicians, both of the mind and of the body, say that the tithe should not be used to support medical missionaries who devote their time to treating the sick. In response to such statements as these, I am instructed to say that the mind must not become so narrowed down that it cannot take in the truth of the situation. A minister of the gospel who is also a medical missionary, who can cure physical ailments, is a much more efficient worker than one who cannot do this. His work as a minister of the gospel is much more complete. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 2

For many years I have been gathering rays of divine light on this subject. Let those who are being educated for the ministry receive an education in medical missionary lines. The time has come when the minister of the gospel who expects to go to foreign fields should have a knowledge of surgery, that in cases of necessity he will know how to handle medical instruments. This knowledge will open doors for the presentation of the truth to the higher classes, as well as to the most lowly. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 3

This sacred, solemn trust should be carefully guarded. Those who understand the principles of the gospel and the work of a physician should be encouraged to seek the Lord, believing that He will give knowledge. Nothing will open doors for the truth like evangelistic medical missionary work. This will find access to hearts and minds, and will be a means of converting many to the truth, 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 4

The evangelist who is prepared to minister to a diseased body is given the grandest opportunity of ministering to the sin-sick soul. Such an evangelist should be empowered to administer baptism to those who are converted and desire baptism. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 5

The gospel is the power of God to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. It is God’s purpose that His gospel shall go to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. And medical missionary work is the right, helping hand of the gospel, to open doors for the proclamation of the message. Preaching the gospel to the heathen means much more than the well-filled churches in more favored lands comprehend. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 6

As the medical missionary cares for the sick, if he is well equipped with knowledge and with instruments for putting that knowledge into practice, he will surely break down prejudice. Women should be educated in medical missionary lines, that as they go forth to heathen countries, they may help those of their sisters who need help. In His service the Lord will open doors whereby His Word can find entrance. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 7

Living the gospel, maintaining its principles—this is a savor of life unto life. Doors that have been closed to him who merely preaches the gospel will be opened to the intelligent medical missionary. God reaches hearts through the relief of physical suffering. A seed of truth is dropped into the mind and is watered by God. Much patience may be required before this seed shows signs of life, but at last it springs up and bears fruit unto eternal life. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 8

How slow men are to understand God’s preparation for the day of His power. God works today to reach hearts in the same way that He worked when Christ was upon this earth. In reading the Word of God, we see that Christ brought medical missionary work into His ministry. Cannot our eyes be opened to discern Christ’s methods? Cannot we understand the commission He gave to His disciples and to us? 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 9

The world must have an antidote for sin. As the medical missionary works intelligently to relieve suffering and life, hearts are softened. Those who are helped are filled with gratitude. As the medical missionary works upon the body, God works upon the heart. The comforting words that are spoken are as a soothing balm, bringing assurance and trust. Often the skilful operator will have an opportunity to tell of the work Christ did while He was upon this earth. Tell the suffering one the story of God’s love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] This gospel message, connected with practical missionary work, will be a savor of life unto life. The soul will be saved through a belief in Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 10

Ignorance can appreciate the work of relieving suffering, and minds darkened by prejudice will give way before the God-fearing medical missionary. Thus the gospel will be brought to many souls who otherwise would not be reached. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 11

Let no one consider that the medical missionary work is taking the place of the gospel, for it is the gospel practiced, the gospel adapted to the needs of suffering humanity. It prepares the way for the reception of the truth. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 12

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good.” [Isaiah 52:7.] The gospel of Christ is to be preached in its true bearings, as that which saves to the uttermost all who believe. The doing of loving deeds is a helping hand which opens the door for the living Word, making the wilderness and the solitary place to rejoice and blossom as the rose. 16LtMs, Ms 58, 1901, par. 13