Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)

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Lt 8, 1901

Kress, Brother and Sister

St. Helena, California

November, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in HP 318; SD 272; 3BC 1151-1152, 1160. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Kress,—

I very much wished to see you before you sailed for Australia, but it may be in the providence of God that I did not; therefore I shall not complain. I wish now to write you a few lines, which in the end may be more than a few lines. I am much relieved to know that you are in Australia, to take part in the work of our Sanitarium. Brethren Sharp and Caro are bearing heavier responsibilities than they have ability to carry forward solidly. Both need instruction. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 1

I know of no one who could stand in the Sanitarium, to give the work there the character it so much needs, as well as yourselves. Your experience will be of great value. You are to hold the fort and be guided by the Lord. Do not let any one plan for you to commence a new work in Sydney. Our brethren are not ready for this. Let the work on the Sanitarium building be advanced as quickly as possible. And let the work in this new building begin on well-established principles. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 2

Orphan asylums and similar enterprises, which will draw upon the funds, should not be established now. The work in this line, which was started by Dr. Caro, was premature. He entered into it without consulting his brethren, and at a time when he had all the work in other lines which he could possibly do. The work of making the Sanitarium a success required all there was of him. It would be altogether out of place to attach an orphan asylum to the Sanitarium. The correct management of the Sanitarium will require all the tact, ingenuity, and ability that can at present be brought into the work. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 3

Sanitariums are not to be rushed into existence, while as yet the Sydney Sanitarium is in need of facilities with which to carry forward successfully its work of building. Let all the energies of our people be bent to the establishment of this institution. I earnestly hope that in the providence of God our people will be stirred to make a success of this work. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 4

Light was given me that the Retreat should take over the Hamilton Bath Business. Dr. Rand can do a good work if he will allow himself to be influenced by the Holy Spirit. God has given me these words to speak to Dr. Caro and Brother Sharp: “Keep your hands off Dr. Rand. He is not to be under your control. He has a work to do for the Master. He must look to the Lord and trust in the Lord. He has a deeper and higher experience to gain in health reform, especially in regard to the question of diet. He will surely mislead minds in regard to diet unless he is converted in this respect and obtains a deeper and higher experience in regard to the proper food to be eaten. But he must never, never be left to the dictation of people who care but little for his success. He must not be left to struggle alone with difficulties and become discouraged.” 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 5

What our physicians in Australia need is to heed the Saviour’s words, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What are the conditions? “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Christ promises to give rest to all who will comply with the conditions. These lessons are large with important results. As they are brought into the daily life, the learner finds rest. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 6

Christ’s yoke is a yoke of restraint from self-exaltation and evil practices. Those who wear it find that it does not gall the neck and that the burdens the Saviour imposes are not heavy. And those who continue to wear this yoke and to learn Christ’s meekness and lowliness, looking to Him and practicing His lessons, will constantly grow in grace. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 7

The great danger of physicians is in feeling competent to do anything they please. When they cherish this feeling, the divine principles of strict integrity are not brought into their daily practice. The work for these last days is a very sacred, solemn work, and into it not one thread of selfishness is to be drawn. Physicians, nurses, and all who shall act a part in the Sanitarium are to learn of Christ. O, how much farther advanced we should be if we would only walk humbly before God, in meekness and lowliness of heart, wearing Christ’s yoke, not a yoke of our own manufacturing. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 8

Medical Missionary Work

Who are standing as decidedly as they should under this banner, especially under the missionary phase of it? Those who take the name of medical missionaries pledge themselves to work in humility, mercy, and the love of God, to be His helping hand in restoring the divine image in humanity. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 9

But God is not pleased with many of the things that have been done and are being done under the name of medical missionary work. Too often the work is contrary to the name assumed. At times our physicians may be seized with a desire to be liberal, to do benevolent deeds. Then again, if this does not suit them, they are oppressive and exacting, manipulating matters in a way directly contrary to the Lord’s command. It is the fashion among the physicians of the world to charge any price they please for operations. In many cases these charges are exorbitant. This fashion has been followed by our physicians in Australia. This kind of work is falsifying to the name of medical missionary. There is in it no true missionary spirit. I have been shown that many things have been done of a character to hurt our position as Seventh-day Adventists. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 10

We are not to give one occasion to the enemy to point out to the world and the popular churches the inconsistency of our bearing the name medical missionary. Let us never give our enemies the slightest excuse for saying that the missionary part of the name is a blind to secure practice. The Lord would not have us inscribe the words Medical Missionary on our banners if we cannot do it truthfully. When we lift the standard on which these words are engraved, we should carry out in our practice all they signify, or else we should choose a name which corresponds to our practice. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 11

I can see, through divine enlightenment, one straightforward, conscientious, righteous principle to be carried out in our work for this time. We are not to follow the practices followed by worldly physicians for gain. Every physician either has or has not the good hand of the Lord with him. God will not serve with physicians who charge exorbitant prices for operations. The plea “It is customary” is not the least excuse in His sight. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 12

God is not deceived by the plea that worldly customs have been conformed to for the sake of obtaining patronage and gaining a standing. He is attentive to the real necessities of all physicians, but He will not bless any physician who demands a heavy reward for a few minutes’ work done to relieve a suffering fellow being. He has not given any man license to rob another man of his money because he can do this under the name of medical missionary work. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 13

How terribly inconsistent it is to take the name medical missionary and then work contrary to Bible principles. I am distressed beyond measure to see the stamp of the world being placed on our medical work in Australia. Too often the name, instead of being medical missionary, might better be medical robbery and extortion. I know that greed and selfishness have been shown by those who have stood under the banner of medical missionary work. Deeds have been done that will not bear the test of the judgment. Exorbitant fees have been charged, fees which have dishonored the work. There is not a vestige of medical missionary work in many of the transactions done under this name. And people are not so easily hoodwinked as many suppose. Think you that they cannot read fraud in many of the actions of those who profess so much? 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 14

Medical missionary work means much more than is represented by the service of many. If medical missionaries are not going to do work that will correspond with the name, let them, for Christ’s sake, leave out the word missionary. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 15

The truth of God for this time is testing character. The time has come when the lives of all are to be examined in the light of God’s law. Those who are following the example of men who are not following the example of Christ will have to meet a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in the day of final accounts. Those who have trusted in their own righteousness, who have thought they could be a law to themselves, who have refused to submit to God’s will, will find themselves weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found wanting. God calls upon all to meet His standard of righteousness. All must bow to His authority. Fathers, ministers, physicians, men in authority, those who have positions of responsibility, will be held accountable for the influence their position gives them over other minds. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 16

When Christ abides in the hearts of His people, they will discern far more clearly the meaning of true missionary work. He whose heart is enlightened by God’s grace will not detract from the value of His gifts by subjecting them to the criticism and scorn of obdurate and rebellious worldlings. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 17

If there were more prayers ascending to God that our physicians and ministers might understand spiritual things, it would be wholly appropriate. Before the heart can be accepted by God, it must be cleansed from all impurity. In order to understand the mercy and love of God, the heart must be enlightened by divine grace. Every motive and every word must be examined in the light of the Word. We must be cleansed in the fountain opened for all uncleanness. Let us pray with unfeigned lips, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. ... Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” [Psalm 51:10, 7.] 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 18

When the lawyer came to Christ with the question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life,” the Saviour laid the burden of the answer on the questioner. “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” He asked. The lawyer answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” “Thou hast answered right,” Christ said; “this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 19

This instruction is for every individual. Only by complying with these conditions can we gain eternal life. Supreme love for God and unselfish love for our neighbor, this is the foundation of all true godliness. The greatest in the kingdom of God are those who love the Saviour too well to misrepresent Him, who love their fellow men too well to imperil their souls by setting them a wrong example. To do good to all, to encourage and strengthen instead of discouraging and weakening, this is true missionary work. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 20

Please read attentively the sixth chapter of Micah. “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” [Verses 6-8.] 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 21

God does not ask us to purchase His favor by any costly sacrifice. He asks only for the service of a humble, contrite heart which has gladly and thankfully accepted His free gift. The one who receives Christ as his personal Saviour has in his possession the salvation provided by Christ. And he is never to forget that as he has freely received, so he is freely to impart. When there is a failure to appreciate the necessities of humanity, an unwillingness to be God’s helping hand, the most costly offerings, the grandest display of liberality, are abominable in His sight. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 22

Fraud in any business transaction is a grievous sin in God’s sight; for the goods men are handling belong to Him and must be used to the glory of His name, if men would be pure and clean in His sight. The religion that carries in its hand the scant measure and the deceitful balance is an abomination in the sight of God. He who cherishes such a religion will be brought to confusion; for God is a jealous God. The end of all things is at hand. If we walk humbly before God we may claim the promise, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 23

Christ was the Majesty of heaven, the Commander of the angelic host. But He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown; and clothing His divinity with humanity, He humbled Himself to become a helpless babe, to be born in a stable, to be brought up in the despised town of Nazareth. Thus at the very beginning of the gospel age, God sought to teach His church not to rely on worldly rank or grandeur, not on outward appearance or display, but on the Lord God of Israel. And again and again in the history of the Israelites, by long periods of humiliation, God sought to teach His people this lesson. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 24

The words and works of the Lord harmonize. His words are gracious and His works bountiful. “He causeth grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man.” [Psalm 104:14.] How liberal are the provisions He has made for us. How wonderfully He has displayed His munificence and power in our behalf. Should our gracious benefactor treat us as we treat one another, where would we be? Shall we not strive earnestly to follow the golden rule, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” [Matthew 7:12.] 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 25

Our physicians who come from America and profess to know how to treat the sick without drugs are watched closely by other physicians. Jealousy comes in to rule them out and to prevent them from obtaining standing room. If they do not show the true missionary spirit, if their prices do not correspond with their profession, but with worldly policy, their claim to be medical missionaries is an injury to the third angel’s message. Let us remember the words, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] He is too wise to err and too good to do us harm. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 26

Let ministers and physicians and all who have received the light of present truth contemplate the wonders of redeeming love. What marvellous condescension the Saviour showed in His work! How graciously, without prejudice or partiality, He received all who came to Him, rich or poor, white or black. With Him there is no caste. “God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.” [Acts 10:34, 35.] “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” [Romans 2:28, 29.] 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 27

God sent Christ to our world to redeem man, to bring him back to his highest excellence, to restore in him the perfection which Adam lost. The love which is shown in this gift defies all computation, and should bind us to God with cords of gratitude. In this gift God has given His people an unfailing pledge that they have a very present help in all their trials and difficulties. Christ will watch over and guard them; for to Him has been given all power in heaven and earth. When men turn from the Source of their strength to confederate with worldly power, they have what they have chosen, the help of erring human beings. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 28

Varied were the circumstances and needs of those who besought Christ for aid. One came in behalf of his son, another in behalf of his daughter. A generous, compassionate master came to ask help for his servant who was stricken with the palsy. He had done all he could for him, but he saw that there was need of a healing power which he did not possess. He came to the great Physician saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.” [Matthew 8:6.] Christ did not turn the earnest petitioner away. His great heart of infinite love responded to the anxious interest and compassion evinced by the master. He is always pleased to see that the superior position of the master has not led him to neglect those connected with him in service. He needed no further entreaty, but gladly responded, “I will come and heal him.” [Verse 7.] 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 29

Did we individually plead with God with the earnestness and fervency shown by the nobleman in behalf of his servant, think you that our petitions would not be heard and answered? It is no marvel that we do not receive rich endowments of spiritual blessing; for we do not take the trouble to ask. How much wholesouled earnestness and entreaty do we put into our petitions? We have not, because we ask not. We ask and receive not, because we ask amiss. Oh, how little genuine faith we possess! 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 30

O that we poor unworthy creatures, sick unto death, might learn that there is life in Christ. From His heavenly home the Redeemer beheld humanity in suffering and misery, and coming to this earth to be one with us, He found a ransom for us, even through great humiliation and sacrifice. The Lord of glory sacrificed His life to save us. In our behalf He submitted to scorn, derision, and rejection. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.] 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 31

With this example before them, why do our physicians deny Christ by following their own devising and the policy of the world. Under the plea of trying to reach the higher classes, why do they put on outward show and appear as physicians of the world? I am filled with distress as I see physicians exalting themselves and departing from the principles of godliness. 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 32

They have the Word of God in their possession, yet they live lives widely separated from the life of Christ. By their works they say to the Saviour, “We want not thy way, but our own way.” 16LtMs, Lt 8, 1901, par. 33