Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 55, 1901

Words of Instruction


July 1, 1901

This manuscript is published in entirety in 13MR 208-214. +Note

I look at the various conferences of America to see what the presidents of these conferences have been doing, and I ask myself, What work have they been engaged in? 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 1

Souls are perishing in sin because those who have been appointed as shepherds of the flock are not <all> laborers together with God. They neglect to do the very work that should be done. Why are those set apart for the work of the ministry placed on committees and boards? Why are they called upon to attend business meetings at a great distance from their field of labor? Why are not business matters placed in the hands of businessmen? The ministers have not been set apart to do this work. The finances of the cause are to be properly managed. Managing ability is to be brought into the work. But ministers are set apart for a higher work. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 2

Ministers of the gospel are not to be called hither and thither to attend board meetings to decide common business questions. This has been done in the past, but this is not the work in which the Lord wishes them to engage. Let men who have not been set apart to the sacred work of the ministry take the management of financial matters. Too many financial burdens have been placed upon our ministers. When this is done, the great gospel commission is neglected. God looks upon this as a dishonor to His name. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 3

The Lord’s great vineyard demands from men that which it has not yet received—earnest, persevering labor for souls. The ministry is becoming weak and feeble, and under their tame service, the churches also are becoming weak. The ministers of our conferences have very little to show in the conversion of souls as a result of their labors. These things are depriving God of the glory which belongs to Him. The truth is not carried into the barren places of the earth. God calls for workers who will be producers. There is a world to be warned. Why are the ministers who should be laboring earnestly <in special service> to open new fields and raise up new churches, hovering over the churches which have already received great light and many advantages <which they do not appreciate>? 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 4

During the night season I was speaking in a large congregation. We have been instructed by the Lord that the medical missionary work is to be to the work of the third angel’s message as the right hand to the body. The right hand is used to open doors through which the body may find entrance. This is the part the medical missionary work is to act. It is to largely prepare the way for the reception of the truth for this time. A body without hands is useless. In giving honor to the body, honor must also be given to the helping hands, which are agencies of such importance that without them the body can do nothing. Therefore the body which treats indifferently the right hand, refusing its aid, is able to accomplish nothing. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 5

In Australia we found that the medical missionary work breaks down prejudice and opens the way for the truth to go with power. And I have now come to America to see if my words will have more power than my letters have had in leading my brethren to a proper appreciation of medical missionary work. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 6

God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed, and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” [Genesis 3:15.] There is much work to be done in the vineyard of the Lord. Never are God’s workmen to accuse one another. Time is short; the end of all things is at hand. Our work is not to repress and hinder, but to encourage and restore. All who will co-operate with the Redeemer in bruising the head of the serpent will be doing the work which the Lord has appointed them. But God has not given men the least intimation that they are to bruise their fellow men. Their warfare is to be directed against the power of Satan. Those who co-operate with Christ will give no place to the devil, but, uniting under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, will repress every evil word and work. They are never to use their power to weaken the influence of those who are trying to work for God. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 7

All through this country a work must be done that has not yet been done. The medical missionary work must be recognized. Those who go forth to engage in the work of the ministry must be intelligent upon the subject of health reform. Those men, who after many years’ experience, have yet no appreciation of the medical missionary work, should not be appointed to preside over our churches. They are not walking in the light of present truth for this time. Those who love the truth and appreciate the question of temperance in all its bearings should not be placed in [the] charge of a minister who has not heeded the light God has given <upon health reform>. What help can a man be to a church if he is not walking in the light? 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 8

In new fields no work is so successful as medical missionary work. If our ministers would work earnestly to obtain an education in medical missionary lines, they would be far better fitted to do the work Christ did as a medical missionary. By diligent study and practice, they can become so well acquainted with the principles of health reform, that wherever they go they will be a great blessing <[to] impart information so much needed> to the people they meet. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 9

For <forty> years the necessity of health reform has been held before our people. By the practice of its simple principles, the sick and suffering are relieved, and fields otherwise unapproachable become most interesting fields of action. The seeds of truth, cast into good ground, produce an abundant harvest. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 10

“They shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord; men shall call you the Ministers of our God; ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion; therefore in their land they shall possess the double; everlasting joy shall be unto them. For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” [Isaiah 61:4-11.] 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 11

Medical missionary work brings to humanity the gospel of release from suffering. It is the pioneer work of the gospel. It is the gospel practiced, the compassion of Christ revealed. Of this work there is great need, and the world is open for it. God grant that the importance of medical missionary work shall be understood, and that new fields may be immediately entered. Then will the work of the ministry be after the Lord’s order; the sick will be healed, and poor, suffering humanity will be blessed. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 12

Begin to do medical missionary work with the conveniences which you have at hand. You will find that thus the way will open for you to hold Bible readings. The heavenly Father will place you in connection with those who need to know how to treat their sick ones. Put into practice what you know regarding the treatment of disease. Thus suffering will be relieved, and you will have opportunity to break the bread of life to starving souls. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 13

It is the duty of Christians to convince the world that the religion of Christ disrobes the soul of the garments of heaviness and mourning, and clothes it with joy and gladness. Those who receive Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour are clothed with His garments of light. He takes away their sin and imparts to them His righteousness. Their joy is full. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 14

Who has a better right than Christians to sing songs of rejoicing? Have they not the expectation of being members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King? Is not the gospel good tidings of great joy? When the promises of God are freely and fully accepted, heaven’s brightness is brought into the life. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 15

While we are to be sober, while we are never to relax our watchfulness to become light or frivolous, still we are always to be cheerful. We are to express our appreciation of the Christian’s hope by joyous songs of praise and thanksgiving. Heavenly angels join in these songs. They cannot be silent. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 16

He who is truly converted will be so filled with the love of God that he will long to impart to others the joy that he himself possesses. The Lord desires His church to hold forth to the world the beauty of holiness. She is to demonstrate the power of Christian religion. Heaven is to be reflected in the character of the Christian. The song of gratitude and praise is to be heard by those in darkness. For the good tidings of the gospel, for its promises and assurances, we are to express our gratitude by seeking to do others good. The doing of medical missionary work brings rays of heavenly brightness to wearied, perplexed, suffering souls. It is as a fountain opened for the wayworn, thirsty traveller. At every work of mercy, every work of love, angels of God are present. Those who live nearest to heaven will reflect the brightness of the Sun of Righteousness. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 17

Our Saviour allowed nothing to hinder Him in His work of opening the Scriptures to His disciples and the multitudes. Going forth from the wilderness of temptation, “He began to preach and to say, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.” [Matthew 4:17-24.] 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 18

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, ... And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever, and it left her; and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ, the Son of God. And he rebuking them, suffered them not to speak; for they knew that he was Christ. And when it was day he departed and went into a desert place; and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore am I sent.” [Luke 4:16-18, 38-43.] 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 19

Read the Scriptures carefully, and you will find that Christ spent the largest part of His ministry in restoring the suffering and afflicted to health. Thus He threw back upon Satan the reproach of the evil which the enemy of all good had originated. Satan is the destroyer; Christ is the restorer. And in our work as Christ’s co-laborers, we shall have success if we work on practical lines. Ministers <should call to their aid helpers.> Do not confine your <labors always> to giving Bible instruction. Do practical work. Seek to restore the sick to health. This is true ministry. Remember that the restoration of the body prepares the way for the restoration of the soul. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 20

When one goes out as a physician, gospel teacher, and canvasser, he should be fully empowered to do the work of a minister. When under his labors souls accept the truth and give evidence of true conversion, he is to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And such workers should have the sympathy and co-operation of those who remain at home. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 21

There is much work to be done in foreign fields, but let us not forget the heathen at our own door. The colored people in the Southern States of America have been cruelly neglected by Christians. The great need of this people demands our help. In the shadow of our own doors they are living in sin and degradation. God calls for earnest medical missionaries, who will put the whole soul into the work of saving sinners. Make Christ’s work your example. Constantly He went about doing good, feeding the hungry and healing the sick. No one who came to Him for sympathy was disappointed. The commander of the heavenly courts, He was made flesh and dwelt among us, and His lifework is an example of the work we are to do. His tender, pitying love rebukes our selfishness and heartlessness. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 22

God pitied the Israelites in their slavery in Egypt, and breaking the yoke of their bondage, He placed Moses at their head to lead them through the wilderness to the promised land. God has placed in our midst a people who in one sense have been freed from slavery, but who are still in the slavery of ignorance because men and women more favored have not taken the pains to lift them from their degradation. He who pitied the Israelites in Egypt is not indifferent to the suffering of the colored people in America. He calls upon those who name His name to take up the work they have neglected. 16LtMs, Ms 55, 1901, par. 23