Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Lt 146, 1909

Kress, Brother and Sister [D. H.]

St. Helena, California

November 28, 1909

This letter is published in entirety in 7MR 102-106.

Dear Brother and Sister Kress:

You have asked me some questions regarding your work that I cannot answer; for the Lord has not instructed me specifically regarding your relation to the sanitarium under present conditions. This matter should be decided by the brethren who understand the situation, brethren who are on the ground and who have been appointed to deal with such matters. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 1

But there are some things regarding which I have received instruction. The Lord is calling for our cities to be worked just as verily as He is calling for work in foreign countries. The Lord has approved of your labors in connection with Brother and Sister Starr in New York City, and I cannot feel that it would be wise, even if you were to leave that work, that Elder Starr should also be taken away. If you should not connect with Elder Starr as you did last summer, we should endeavor to find some one else to connect with him as you have done. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 2

Light was given me that Elder Starr had a work to do as an evangelist in city work, and that there should be connected with him and his wife another man and wife; that these two families would, if they made the Lord Jesus their counselor, accomplish a good work. This was before you went to New York City to labor with Brother and Sister Starr. When I heard of the move you had made, I was well pleased; for I felt that they and you would strengthen each others’ hands. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 3

Elder Starr as an evangelist and Dr. Kress as a physician connected with the sanitarium in Washington, working in harmony with each other, have done a good work in New York City, and there have been favorable results. If others have been found who can in your absence carry the medical work at the sanitarium, I believe it would be pleasing to the Lord for you to continue to labor with Brother and Sister Starr or some other evangelist in some of our large cities. It may be necessary for you at times to be called to the sanitarium as a counselor, but in your absence others must necessarily take largely the burden of the work there. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 4

I am certain that Elder Starr and his wife are needed in the field, and that his work can be strengthened if you and your wife will stand with him as physicians. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 5

Christ declared, “I and My Father are one.” [John 10:30.] All the workers in our sanitariums should seek to labor in a similar unity with their brethren. This should be true of the physicians who stand in responsible positions. They should exercise a God-given tact, to show that in dealing with the sick and the suffering they are carrying on the very same work as are their brethren who are laboring in the ministry of the Word. Christ has given us an example. He taught from the Scriptures the gospel truths, and He also healed the afflicted ones who came to Him for relief. He was the greatest Physician the world ever knew, and yet He combined with His healing work the imparting of soul-saving truth. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 6

And thus should our physicians labor. They are doing the Lord’s work when they labor as evangelists, giving instruction as to how the soul may be healed by the Lord Jesus. Every physician should know how to pray in faith for the sick, as well as to administer the proper treatment. At the same time he should labor as one of God’s ministers, to teach repentance and conversion and the salvation of soul and body. Such a combination of labor will broaden his experience and greatly enlarge his influence. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 7

The physician should reveal the higher education in his ability to point to the Saviour of the world as one who can heal and save the soul and the body. This gives the afflicted an encouragement that is of the highest value. The ministry to the physical and the spiritual are to blend, leading the afflicted ones to trust in the power of the heavenly Physician. Those who, while giving the proper treatments will also pray for the healing grace of Christ, will inspire faith in the minds of the patients. Their own course will be an inspiration to those who supposed their cases to be hopeless. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 8

This is why our sanitariums were established—to give courage to the hopeless by uniting the prayer of faith with proper treatment and instruction in physical and spiritual right living. Through such ministrations, many are to be converted. The physicians in our sanitariums are to give the clear gospel message of soul healing. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 9

Our sanitariums and our churches may reach a higher, holier standard. Health reform is to be taught and practiced by our people. The Lord is calling for a revival of the principles of health reform. Seventh-day Adventists have a special work to do as messengers to labor for the souls and bodies of men. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 10

Christ has said of His people, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] We are the Lord’s denominated people, to proclaim the truths of heavenly origin. The most solemn, sacred work ever given to mortals is the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages to our world. In our large cities there should be health institutes to care for the sick and to teach the grand principles of health reform. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 11

Unless a special conversion is experienced by many, we shall not see all that we might see in the healing of the sick, both bodily and spiritually. We need daily the converting power of Jesus Christ that we may serve God intelligently and under the sanctifying grace of the Saviour. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 12

Now, my Brother and Sister Kress, regarding the responsibilities each one should carry, I cannot mark a definite line. I cannot specify the precise degree of authority that your position entitles you to. But let each cherish the spirit and practice the meekness of Jesus Christ. When we shall exalt Him as the chiefest among ten thousand, and the One altogether lovely, then there will be no difficulty in determining who shall bear the responsibility of the work in the field and in all our institutions. One thing I know: the greatest work for our physicians is to get access to the people of the world in the right way. There is a world perishing in sin, and who will take up the work in our cities? The greatest physician is the one who walks in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 13

There is a work to be done in all our cities, and those who will work and walk humbly with God, striving daily to be overcomers, will gain precious victories day by day. The work that is done in humility will bear the divine credentials. Let us hide in God. That which I see most clearly is the necessity of men and women being united in doing the work that needs to be done in our cities. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 14

Unless this work is entered into most earnestly, Christ cannot say of many, Ye are the light of the world. Instead, the sentence will be given, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.] This great work has only been touched, and soon it will be too late. Satan is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. Self has come in and has been a great hindering power to the work that should have been done. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 15

Of those who are formed in His image, Christ requires conformity to His character. Mothers, fathers, ministers, physicians, hear the word of the Lord: “If his children forsake My law, and walk not in My judgments; if they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.” [Psalm 89:30-32.] 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 16

The Lord bears long with men, and He calls earnestly for every one to repent. Will the ministers, will the physicians take up this work that has been scarcely touched? May God help us to be faithful and to do the very work that is now most essential. 24LtMs, Lt 146, 1909, par. 17