Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 134, 1903

Butler, G. I.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

July 1, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in 1NL 141-142; PM 177.

Dear Brother Butler,—

I have begun several letters to you. But each time, before I have been able to finish them, some one has brought to my attention a matter that must be attended to, and I have laid your letter aside unfinished. Then when my room was set in order, the letter would be picked up with other papers and put away. I have written to Elder Haskell and will send you a copy of the letter. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 1

Our Saviour never used His power to make His own life less taxing. He went about doing good, healing the sick and preaching the gospel. In our work today the ministry of the Word and medical missionary work are to be combined. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 2

Luke is called “the beloved physician.” [Colossians 4:14.] Paul heard of his skill as a physician, and he sought him out as one to whom the Lord had entrusted a special work. He secured his co-operation in his work. After a time he left him at Philippi. Here Luke continued to labor for several years, doing double service as a physician and a gospel minister. He was indeed a medical missionary. He did his part, and then besought the Lord to let His healing power rest upon the afflicted ones. His medical skill opened the way for the gospel message to find access to hearts. It opened many doors for him, giving him opportunity to preach the gospel among the heathen. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 3

Christ understood the work that needed to be done for suffering humanity. As He was sending out the twelve disciples on their first missionary tour, He said to them, “As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:7, 8.] The fulfilment of this commission by the disciples made their message the power of God unto salvation. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 4

It is the divine plan that we shall work as the disciples worked. Connected with the divine Healer, we may do great good in the world. The gospel is the only antidote for sin. As Christ’s witnesses we are to bear testimony to its power. We are to bring the afflicted ones to the Saviour. His transforming grace and miracle-working power will win many souls to the truth. His healing power, united with the gospel message, will bring us success in emergencies. The Holy Spirit will work upon hearts, and we shall see the salvation of God. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 5

In a special sense the healing of the sick is our work. But in order to do this work, we must have faith—that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 6

The great Teacher delegated power to His servants. “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,” He said. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 7

The lapse of time has wrought no change in Christ’s parting promise. He is with us today as He was with the disciples, and He will be with us “unto the end.” [Verse 20.] Christ ordained that a succession of men should proclaim the gospel, deriving their authority from Him, the great Teacher. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 8

In our work we meet with many discouragements. But we shall not gain a particle of strength by dwelling on the discouragements. By beholding we became changed. As we look in faith to Jesus, His image is engraven on the heart. We are transformed in character. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 9

Judge Arthur makes a very discouraging representation of the financial standing of the Review and Herald Publishing Company. If the case is indeed as he represents it, we have enough to feel sad about. But I am not going to be sad. I am determined to be cheerful. I was shown some things before the Review and Herald fire, and I am not going to take the burden now. Let us not keep our eyes fixed on the ruins of a condemned office. We shall get no inspiration from such a sight. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 10

My brother, I do not want you to worry about finances. The Lord knows what we need. The gold and silver are His. Tell Elder Haskell that he must swallow his disappointment in regard to means. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 11

Brother Butler, you must not take on yourself burdens that will wear you out. We have a great work before us. You and Brother and Sister Haskell are to be very careful of the strength that God has given you. Do not overwork. To do this is to work unwisely. Be of good courage in the Lord. He sees and understands your necessities. 18LtMs, Lt 134, 1903, par. 12