Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 53, 1903

Physicians and Managers of Our Medical Work

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 15, 1903

This letter is published in entirety in SpM 297-300. +Note

To the physicians and managers of our medical work,—

I address you as men upon whom the Lord has bestowed great blessings. I must tell you that some of your business transactions are not pleasing to God. Some of your ways of working He cannot endorse. In order to secure advantages for certain lines of work, unsanctified, ambitious projects have been resorted to. But the carrying out of these projects will bring a heavy retribution to those responsible for them. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 1

The Lord calls upon you to work in holy, upright lines, in every transaction following the pure, elevated principles given in the Word of God. No business that will misrepresent God and harm His people will bring a particle of honor to you or to the cause which you love. The less you have to do with plans and documents drawn up in accordance with the policy of lawyers, the better it will be for you. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 2

In business transactions you have complied with the customs of the lawyers whom you have employed, arranging matters in a way that you think will guard the work in which you are engaged against the possibilities and probabilities that might occur. Ought you to be surprised, then, that the watchmen that God has placed on the walls of Zion should also endeavor to fulfil their God-given responsibility, seeking to make all pertaining to our institutions perfectly secure? The word was spoken by my Instructor: “God’s watchmen, who should have been wide awake, who should have understood the condition of our institutions, have been blind as to how things were being carried on by our medical missionary workers in responsible places.” 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 3

God calls upon our pastors and teachers to be wide awake and not stand as blind watchmen. Let them obtain from Christ the eyesalve that will enable them to see all things clearly. Then let them examine the foundation timbers of our institutions. Not all pertaining to our work is being carried forward in an elevated, upright way. God wants His people to have a clear understanding of all the important transactions pertaining to His cause, that they may know that they are following a course that He can approve. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 4

Business transactions should not be veiled with so many technicalities that the real bearing of the agreement is not clearly understood. For years one thing after another has been brought into the Medical Missionary Association—business propositions that are received as fair and just, but which are not. These propositions may prove to be a pit of disappointment for certain ones who did not know that there was the least danger. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 5

There certainly must be a careful investigation of the foundation of our institutions, especially of the sanitariums. We must not stand by any unfair proposition or allow advantage to be taken of the ones whose money is received in our institutions. Better far would it be to suffer disappointment in our plans than to have means to use as we please and lose the crown of the overcomer. Better far the cross and shattered hopes than to sit with princes and forfeit heaven. “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 6

We seemed to be assembled in a meeting. Our Instructor looked upon the doctors present, and said, You are not all faithful stewards, else there would have been brought into the medical missionary work only that which will build up its reputation, only that which is in harmony with its high title. Those who have the living truth in their hearts will not accept some of the documents which you have approved. Long documents, filled with blind specifications and technical conditions, may serve to place men where, if they wish to take unfair advantage, they can do a work that God cannot approve. These papers may be worded so as to be difficult of understanding, and the common people may be deceived. It may appear that provisions have been made to secure from loss those of whom means are solicited, while at the same time the means may be bound up in such a way that it cannot be obtained without great difficulty. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 7

You have been very particular to have things securely bound about, so that no undue advantage should be taken of the institution. Is it not right that those who in good faith place their means in the institution should have just as good security on their side, that no unfair advantage can be taken of them? 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 8

The Word of the Lord is our guide under all circumstances. It points out our duty to God and to our fellow men. It is the standard for all. It is perfectly adapted to our necessities. It is the light placed in our hands to guide us to the heavenly home. It tells us that in order to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, we must obey the commands that God has given. Any group of men, whatever their standing or position, however high their profession of godliness, who follow practices that God disallows, cannot be approved of heaven. The Lord cannot accept the service of those who are grasping and selfish in their dealings, like men of the world who have no acquaintance with the things of God. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 9

The Lord’s people are not to follow the customs of worldly men, taking advantage of circumstances to gain advantage for themselves or for the work which they represent. Neither are they to follow an unfair course of action. Christ said: “Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. ... Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” [Luke 11:46, 52.] 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 10

God says to every minister of the gospel, to every medical missionary worker, to every other worker in His cause, Take your stand on the elevated platform of truth and justice. God will not serve with any man who draws threads of selfishness and unfairness into the web, by his example leading others astray. Our ministers and doctors are to put on the garment of Christ’s righteousness. They are to wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 11

He who has lost his sensitiveness of character is in danger of losing his soul, and with it an eternity of joy. God will not be trifled with. He will not sanction the least approach to underhand dealing to secure advantage for any branch of His work. The actions of our medical missionaries are to be as clear as the day. These workers are to do all in their power to proclaim the gospel message. They are not, by following a misleading, scheming course, to assure the worldly man that under certain circumstances his course of unjust dealing is justifiable and advisable. Compliance with customs founded on a false basis is to be shunned by every medical missionary. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 12

We are preparing for a life that measures with the life of God. Never should a Seventh-day Adventist medical missionary do anything that will dishonor the name that he bears. Every medical missionary is to show to the world, to lawyers, to doctors, to the church, and to the gospel ministry that he is a Christian, bound by a solemn covenant to be upright in word and action, to follow a course free from all deception and subterfuge. His life is to be holy. He is to respect his God-given talents, using them in a way that will honor the One who gave His life to redeem humanity from all iniquity and to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. There must be in his life no taint of dishonesty, no perversion of the holy principles of truth. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 13

In the world men are tried by the standard of wealth and position. Men worship men who meet this standard. But is this the true standard of character? No, no. It is not riches, but purity of heart and life, that will gain for human beings entrance into the city of God. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 14

To all our medical missionary workers the Lord says, Lift up the standard of truth higher and still higher. Hold fast to your integrity. Let your lives bear a good report regarding your Saviour’s keeping power. Keep no position at the expense of conscience. Smile not at falsehood. Consent not to any dishonest practice. Say to the tempted, Get thee behind me, Satan; and say it with so much meaning, so much decision, that he will see that you have emptied your soul of every falsehood. Do not rest satisfied until you are a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Go to the Word of God to find out your duty as medical missionaries, else you are not worthy of the name. You are to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] Those who combine these three essentials are on safe ground. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 15

Let every minister, every doctor, every medical missionary worker remember that he is not to put his conscience to the rack to favor any business transaction that is not straightforward on the part of any man. Whatever his calling or profession, a man is not a Christian unless he follows the example of Christ, by His grace holding fast to his integrity. He who works for God is to be filled with a spirit of love and humility, not of boasting and parade. His life is to show that he has accepted the invitation, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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.] 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 16

One is our Master, even Christ. We have pledged ourselves to live to His name’s glory. God grant that the veil that separates us from Him may be drawn aside, and that we may accept Him as our Companion and Teacher. We are not to look upon ourselves as gods, able to carry out our own will, our own devising. We are to remember that in order to be successful in our work, we must be sustained by God, we must have the power that Christ gives to all who believe in Him—the power to become sons of God. We are faithfully to discharge the duties enjoined on us in the Word of God, shunning everything that would make us in character like the archdeceiver. 18LtMs, Lt 53, 1903, par. 17