Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Ms 5, 1908

The Medical Missionary Work


February 23, 1908 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 20MR 264-267.

In all our sanitariums the work done should be of such a character as to win souls to Jesus Christ. We have a wide missionary field in our health institutions; for here people of all countries come to regain their health. The best helpers to have connected with our sanitariums are those men who desire to make the Bible their guide, those who will put forth their mental and moral powers to advance the work in correct ways. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 1

Let the workers in the sanitariums remember that the object of the establishment of these institutions is not alone the relief of suffering and the healing of disease, but also the salvation of souls. Let the spiritual atmosphere of these institutions be such that men and women who are brought to the sanitariums to receive treatment for their bodily ills shall learn the lesson that their diseased souls need healing. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 2

To preach the gospel means much more than many realize. It is a broad, far-reaching work. Our sanitariums have been presented to me as most efficient mediums for the promotion of the gospel message. Simple, earnest talks may be given in the parlors, pointing the sufferers to their only hope for the salvation of the soul. These religious meetings should be short and right to the point, and they will prove a blessing to the hearers. The word of Him who founded the world in six days, and on the seventh “rested and was refreshed,” should be effectively brought before the mind. [Exodus 31:17.] God has so clearly specified His claims upon the seventh day that no soul need be in darkness. Jehovah regarded of such importance the knowledge of His law, of which the Sabbath commandment is a part, that He came down from heaven and on Mt. Sinai He proclaimed the ten commandments. God regards His law as a sacred thing, which it is the life of His people to obey. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 3

Publications containing the precious truths of the gospel should be in the rooms of the patients, or where they can have easy access to them. There should be a library in every sanitarium, and it should be supplied with books containing the light of the gospel. Judicious plans should be laid that the patients may have constant access to reading matter that contains the light of present truth. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 4

The work of the true medical missionary is largely a spiritual work. It includes prayer and the laying on of hands; he therefore should be as sacredly set apart for his work as is the minister of the gospel. Those who are selected to act the part of missionary physicians are to be set apart as such. This will strengthen them against the temptation to withdraw from the sanitarium work to engage in private practice. No selfish motive should be allowed to draw the worker from his post of duty. We are living in a time of solemn responsibilities; a time when consecrated work is to be done. Let us seek the Lord diligently and understandingly. If we will let the Lord work upon human hearts, we shall see a great and grand work accomplished. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 5

The medical missionary work done, in connection with the giving of the third angel’s message, is to accomplish wonderful results. It is to be a sanctifying, unifying work, corresponding to the work which the great Head of the church sent forth the first disciples to do. Calling these disciples together, Christ gave them their commission: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and 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. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 6

“Provide neither gold nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves; for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. ... Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” [Matthew 10:5-11, 16.] 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 7

It is well for us to read this chapter, and let its instruction prepare us for our labors. The early disciples were going forth upon Christ’s errands, under His commission. His Spirit was to prepare the way before them. They were to feel that with such a message to give, such blessings to impart, they should receive a welcome in the homes of the people. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 8

Some restraint was placed upon them in this their first experience. They were not to go in the way of the Gentiles, nor enter into any city of the Samaritans; for this would bring upon them trial and perplexity. This first offer of salvation was to be made to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Their deeds of mercy and love, their message of truth, was first to be given to the Jewish nation. In the blessings that they were thus carrying to the people, they were to proclaim: The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 9

Through the first disciples a divine gift was proffered to Israel; the faithful evangelist today will do a similar work in every city where our missionaries enter. It is a work which to some extent we have tried to do in connection with some of our sanitariums; but a much wider experience in these lines is to be gained. Cannot our conference presidents open the way for the students in our schools to engage in this line of labor? There is a grand work to be done in relieving suffering humanity; and through the students, who are receiving a training for medical missionary work, the people living in the cities may become acquainted with the truths of the third angel’s message. At first an experienced man or woman should go out with these young workers, giving them instruction how to labor. When favors of food or of lodging are offered, these should be accepted. This will give opportunity for conversation, for explaining the Scriptures, for singing Bible songs and praying with the family; and all these exercises will prove a blessing. There may be brethren in the faith to whom such labor as this would prove a blessing. The very youth of these consecrated young men and women will often be a source of encouragement and help to the people. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 10

And each worker, as he goes forth to this labor, should realize that he is as surely sent of God as were the first disciples. God’s eye follows them; His Spirit goes with them. To those who accept His great commission, He gives the assurance: “Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty;” the psalmist declares, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence: He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust; His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” [Psalm 91:1-4.] Servants of God, you have great advantages, which you should appreciate. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 11

I am thankful when I think of the advantages enjoyed by the schools that are established near our sanitariums, so that the work of the two educational institutions can blend. The students in these schools, while gaining an education in the knowledge of present truth, can also learn how to be ministers of healing to those whom they go forth to serve. The prayer of Christ includes such work as this: “Neither pray I for these alone,” He said, “but for them also that shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them; and Thou in Me; that they may be made perfect in one: that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me; and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me.” [John 17:20-23.] 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 12

What a glorious request for all who hide their life with Christ in God. What a prospect it opens before the sincere believer. What privileges, what heights and depths of experience it assures to us. We are to become in every sense laborers together with God. Shall we through the perfection that there is in Christ reach this high standard? 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 13

A good education in all phases of the truth means more than many of us realize. Yet with all the knowledge we may gain, we shall never realize the purpose of God for us unless we become partakers of His divine nature. Where is our faith? Where are the works that should correspond with our faith? We should be living each day as in the sight of God, becoming messengers of peace to those who need Him. We have only a little time now in which to receive from God light and wisdom for the souls who are in error. If we will exercise faith in God, our faith will increase. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 14

Again and again I am instructed to present to our churches the work that should be done for the cities. Let us encourage a spirit of consecration and earnest seeking after God in our schools and sanitariums. We need to feel the deep movings of the Spirit of God in our midst. Then humble workers will be encouraged to offer themselves in faith to the service of God. They will do this, not for the wages they receive, but out of sincere love for sinsick, suffering souls. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 15

If ever there was a time when our work should be done under the special direction of the Spirit of God, it is now. Let those who are living at their ease, arouse. Let our sanitariums become what they should be—homes where healing is ministered to sinsick souls. And this will be done when the workers have a living connection with the great Healer. 23LtMs, Ms 5, 1908, par. 16