Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Ms 14, 1904

Duties and Privileges of the Physician


February 3, 1904 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in MM 40-41.

Christ, the Son of God, was appointed by the Father to come to this world as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the great Medical Missionary. He was not only to heal the sick, but was also to take away sin and raise the dead. He came as the Life-giver. How much He will do for the sick and suffering who come to our medical institutions if the physicians and nurses point them to Him as the great Healer, telling them that if they will commit themselves to His keeping, He will take away their suffering of mind and give them rest and peace. 19LtMs, Ms 14, 1904, par. 1

In no work is a closer fellowship with Christ needed than in medical missionary work. The physician is to stand in Christ’s stead, bearing to the sick the gospel of physical and spiritual healing. As he stands at the bedside of a sufferer, how greatly he needs an intimate acquaintance with Christ. The one to whom he is ministering may be losing his hold on life. Can he, with tenderness and simplicity and with the assurance of certain knowledge, speak to him of the One who died that He might say to every sinner, “Thy sins be forgiven thee”? [Matthew 9:2.] 19LtMs, Ms 14, 1904, par. 2

In order to be truly successful, the physician must live in close relation to Christ. He must cherish a constant sense that he is one of the Lord’s chosen instruments, appointed to bear to the sick the Word of life, to declare to them that if they receive Christ as a personal Saviour, they will be given power to become sons of God. It is in the power of every physician, in his work for the sick, to be a gospel teacher, bearing to those to whom he ministers the sure cure for sin, pointing them to the Lamb of God, who alone can make successful the physical treatment given. In the simplest of language he is to speak of the Saviour, his heart filled with a longing for the salvation of the one to whom he is speaking. 19LtMs, Ms 14, 1904, par. 3

Our physicians need a deeper insight into the evangelistic work that God expects them to do. Let them remember that if they do not work for the healing of the soul as well as for the healing of the body, they are not following the example of the great Medical Missionary. Let them study the Word of God diligently, that they may be familiar with its promises and may be able, in tenderness and love, to point sinners to the great Healer. It was to bring spiritual as well as physical healing to the sick that our sanitariums were established. 19LtMs, Ms 14, 1904, par. 4

The physician is to be a constant receiver of the grace of Christ. He is to remember that the God-fearing physician is authorized to regard himself as a laborer together with God. The Saviour is willing to help all who call upon Him for wisdom and clearness of thought. And who needs wisdom and clearness of thought more than the physician, upon whose decisions so much depends? 19LtMs, Ms 14, 1904, par. 5

The Lord would have our physicians co-operate with Him in their treatment of the sick, showing more faith and using fewer drugs. Let us rely upon God. Our faith is feeble, and our hearts remain unchanged. God would have a change take place. He says, “A new heart also will I give you.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] When this promise is fulfilled to the people of God, the condition of things will be very different from what it now is. 19LtMs, Ms 14, 1904, par. 6

Into the medical missionary work there must be brought more of a yearning for souls. It was this yearning that filled the hearts of those who established our first medical institution. Christ is to be present in the sickroom, filling the heart of the physician with the fragrance of His love. When his life is such that Christ can go with him to the bedside of the sick, there will come to them the conviction that He, the compassionate Saviour, is present, and this conviction will do much to restore them to health. 19LtMs, Ms 14, 1904, par. 7

In word and deed the physicians and nurses in our medical institutions are to say, so plainly that it cannot be misunderstood, “God is in this place,” to save, not to destroy. Christ invites our physicians to become acquainted with Him. When they respond to His invitation, they will know that they receive the things they ask for. Their minds will be enlightened by wisdom from above. Constantly beholding the Saviour, they will become more and more like Him, till at last it can be said of them in the heavenly courts, “Ye are complete in Him.” [Colossians 2:10.] Christ has pledged Himself to give His disciples what they ask for in His name. As they labor in harmony with Him, they can ask Him to aid them in every time of need. 19LtMs, Ms 14, 1904, par. 8