Spalding and Magan Collection


Life in Medical Missionary Work

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong,

May 19, 1898.

Dear Brother Irwin,


I hope that now, as never before, you will all, ministers and church-members, come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. But I have written so much matter that I need not write largely to you. I will inquire why some of our ministerial brethren are so far behind in proclaiming the exalted theme of temperance? Why is it that greater interest is not shown in health reform? There are many who nourish and keep alive a constant prejudice against Dr. Kellogg. He is doing a large work. Why do they not fill their places in the ministry as well and as zealously as he is filling his place? Why do not the ministers of our churches do the very work that ought to have been done years ago? I am glad that someone has taken up the work which has been so neglected. SpM 122.3

The complaint comes, Dr. Kellogg has gathered up all the young men he can get, and therefore we have no workers. But this is the very best thing that could be done for the young men and the work. To you, as President of the General Conference, and to Brother Evans, as President of the General Conference Association, and to Brother Durland, as President of the Michigan Conference, I would say, continue to work with tact and ability. Get some of these young men and young women to work in the churches. Combine medical missionary work with the proclamation of the third angel's message. Make regular, organized efforts to lift the churches out of the dead level in which they have been for years. Send out into the churches workers who will set the principles of health reform, connected with the third angel's message, before every church in Michigan. See if the breath of life will not then come into these churches. SpM 122.4

There are too many today who are merely human moralists. A new element needs to be brought into the work, God's people must receive the warning, and work for souls right where they are; for people do not realize their great need and peril. Christ sought the people where they were, and placed before them the great truths in regard to his kingdom. As he went from place to place, he blessed and comforted the suffering, and healed the sick. This is our work. God would have us relieve the necessities of the destitute. The reason that the Lord does not manifest his power more decidedly is because there is so little spirituality among those who claim to believe the truth. SpM 123.1

There are in our world many Christian workers who have not yet heard the grand and wonderful truths that have come to us. These are doing a good work, in accordance with the light they have, and many of them are more advanced in knowledge and practical work, than are those who have had great light, great opportunities. SpM 123.2

The indifference among our ministers in regard to health reform and medical missionary work, is surprising. Even those who do not profess to be Christians treat the subject with greater reverence than do some of our own people, and they are going in advance of us. The word given to me for you is, “Go forward.” “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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 commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” SpM 123.3

The message has been given to those in Battle Creek to move into places where they could do this work, in connection with their temporal business. Had they moved out by faith, they would have obtained a rich experience in the things of God. But they thought they would find things a little less taxing in Battle Creek than elsewhere. Many crowd into Battle Creek who get no good there, because they do not make use of the knowledge they receive. They do no good in Battle Creek, and are only swelling the number who need conversion. They have no spirit of sacrifice. They have a great deal of self and a little bit of Christ, a little faith, and a few good works, and they think that they have religion. But it all amounts to nothing. SpM 123.4

What do we read in the seventeenth chapter of John? “I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely (by experimental knowledge) that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” Please read this chapter; for it is full of richness. “As thou hast sent me into the world,” Christ continued, “even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” Are we voicing the words of Christ? Are we sanctifying ourselves through obedience to the truth? SpM 123.5

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which 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 me; 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; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” SpM 124.1

Apply these words to the members of our churches, and see if they are teaching the plan of salvation as Christ has appointed. Are they seeking for that perfect oneness that Christ prayed they should have? Have they indeed kept the words of the living oracle of God? I tell you, my brother, that there is a work to do beside preaching,—the work of ministering, which has been strangely neglected. SpM 124.2

When any one in Battle Creek or in any place shall speak words which depreciate the medical work, ask them what they are doing to perform the work of God has given them to do. Let them take up the work just where they are, and cease this criticizing. SpM 124.3

Brother Irwin, take hold of the work of health reform. If any of the ministers have the idea that the medical missionary work is gaining undue preponderance, let them take the men who have been working in these lines with them into their fields of labor, two here and two there. Let the ministers receive these medical missionaries as they would receive Christ, and see what work they can do. See if, in this way, you can not bring some of heaven's vital current into the churches. See if there is not a class who will grasp the education they need so much, see if they will not hear the testimony, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (not aside from Christ), (by grace are ye saved): and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places (not in independent atoms) in Christ Jesus.”.... SpM 124.4

Mrs. E. G. White