Manuscript Releases, vol. 4 [Nos. 210-259]


MR No. 243—Medical Missionary Work

Every minister who preaches the gospel to the people should study the laws of physical health. He should carefully consider what effect eating and drinking have upon the health of the soul. By precept and example, by a life of obedience to nature's laws, he can present the truth upon this subject in a forcible manner.—Letter 73a, 1896, pp. 7, 8. (To Dr. and Mrs. Maxson, August 30, 1896.) 4MR 370.1

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, 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. 4MR 370.2

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.... 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 the church in [Michigan Conference]. See if the breath of life will not then come into these churches.... 4MR 370.3

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 in 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. I do not think they will find them dwarfs in religious experience. See if, in this way, you cannot bring some of heaven's vital current into the churches.—Letter 42, 1898, pp. 1, 2, 6. (To G. A. Irwin, May 19, 1898.) 4MR 371.1

Why do you not cooperate with those who are carrying forward the medical missionary work? ... Is it for you, who have the example of Christ before you, to stand off and criticize? ... 4MR 371.2

Can those who believe the gospel of Christ not see that the work now being done in medical missionary lines is the very work Christ commanded should be done? What is clearer than that those who are doing this work are fulfilling the Saviour's commission? Brethren, do you believe the word of God? Would you know how you can best please your Saviour? It is by laying aside your self-assumed dignity, and learning in the school of Christ how to wear His yoke and carry His burdens. 4MR 371.3

The world needs evidence of sincere Christianity. Spurious Christianity may be seen everywhere. When the power of God's grace is felt in our churches, the members will work the works of Christ. Their natural and hereditary traits of character will be transformed by the Spirit that dwelt in the greatest Minister that ever trod the soil of this fallen world. The indwelling of this Spirit will enable them to reveal Christ's likeness, and in proportion to the purity of their piety will be the success of their work.—Letter 54a, 1898, pp. 1, 3, 4. (To “The Ministers of Our Conferences,” June, 1898.) 4MR 371.4

I speak to my brethren in America: Why do some of our ministering brethren manifest so little interest in health reform? We were greatly burdened after the Ashfield camp meeting to see ministers who did not receive and practice the light on health reform, and who were making no advancement in spiritual growth. The messages given on this great and needful subject seemed to be distasteful to some of our ministers. They would put forth some faint efforts to reform, but because they had no mind to practice it, they lapsed into an indifference upon the subject. Then, in order to vindicate their own course of action, they began to pick flaws in the men who advocated this reform. If they could find any excuse for remaining away, they would not attend the meetings where health reform was presented. These men became its bitterest enemies. They were displeased with those who gave it their attention and presented it to the people. Thus those who should have been the first to advocate the principles of health reform in every line of their work, by precept and example, showed that they were not in harmony with it. 4MR 372.1

What then? They visited with their brethren, and at the table revealed their principles by eating meat and drinking tea and coffee. Then they would make some remark in regard to their not being so “straight-laced” as some of their brethren and sisters. These men were not making that progress in divine things that would make them safe teachers. They were opposed to health reform because instruction on temperance in all things was opposed to their practice of self-indulgence. This was the great stumbling block in the way of our bringing the people to investigate and practice and teach the truth of health reform.—Manuscript 103, 1898, 1, 2. (“A Word to Our Ministers in Regard to Health Reform,” typed August 23, 1898.) 4MR 372.2

The Lord has given Dr. Kellogg his work. It is a fact that our ministers are very slow to become health reformers, notwithstanding all the light which the Lord has given upon this subject. This has caused Dr. Kellogg to lose confidence in them. Their tardy work in health reform has created in him a spirit of criticism, and he has borne down on them in an unsparing manner, which the Lord does not sanction. He has belittled the gospel ministry, and in his regard and ideas has placed the medical missionary work above the ministry. I have seen that in the censuring of ministers remarks have been made which have not been to the honor and glory of God.—Manuscript 175, 1898, 4, 5. (Diary, “Medical Men and the Ministry,” January, 1898.) 4MR 373.1

The words that some have spoken against the chosen ministers of God have been spoken against Christ. The sarcastic references made by physicians to those ministers who did not entertain the same ideas as they themselves with reference to the so-called medical missionary work, have had their influence. God will work in His own time and in His own way to counteract the leaven that has thus been introduced; but at what a cost has this influence been exerted! The effect of this influence will not be fully known until the judgment sits and the books are opened. Then it will be seen that souls who might have stood firm as overcomers were confused and led into crooked paths. The sacred truth for this time has been covered with disrespectful statements. Principles have been presented which are entirely contrary to the teaching of Christ. Statements have been made which have confused minds with regard to the truth of God's word; and some will never disentangle themselves from the seductive error into which they have fallen. They will never see the true bearing of the last closing message. Their influence is lost to the cause at the very time that it is most needed.—Letter 3, 1901, pp. 6, 7. (To Dr. E. R. Caro, January 3, 1901.) 4MR 373.2

The Lord is not pleased with a division between medical missionary physicians and gospel workers. By some, strange walls have been built up. We should study to reach the unity of the faith. Truth will bear away the victory on every point.—Letter 172, 1907, p. 2. (To Prof. P. T. Magan, May 15, 1907.) 4MR 374.1