Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)


Dealing with an Infatuated Doctor and His Nurse

Wednesday, January 18, she used her pen to trace words of warning and appeal to a physician of her acquaintance who had become infatuated with one of the nurses in the institution where he served as chief physician. She wrote: 5BIO 383.1

My Brother, I have a few words to speak to you. In the past you and your wife have been very happy together. You have loved your wife and have treated her very kindly. She has not lost her love for you, because she has loved you sincerely; and for years the heavenly angels bent over you, pleased at your unity. But you have lost the balance of your mind, and you will be inclined to write and speak unjustly, and to say and do that which, were you in your right mind, would greatly shock you. You have lost your wisdom and judgment. 5BIO 383.2

It is time that you placed yourself in a right position. Through the grace of God, I have been the instrument, by means of the testimonies given me, of saving several, yes, many, who were passing through an experience similar to that through which you are now passing. Do not try to work out some plan by which you can escape the reproach which, unless you change, you will be the cause of bringing upon the work of God. Only by falling upon the Rock Christ Jesus can you escape this reproach.—Letter 27, 1905. 5BIO 383.3

She warned in no uncertain terms: 5BIO 383.4

Talk no more of love to any woman besides your wife. Such a love is base. It has in it nothing of true love. Love is too sacred a word to be used in such a connection. Lust is the word, not love. It is the lust of the mind, the fruit of corrupt thoughts.

I shall call things by the right name. For Christ's sake, for your own soul's sake, and for the sake of those who would cheapen themselves to respond to your expressions of love, I send you this warning. I ask you to read and study the fifth chapter of First Thessalonians.... 5BIO 383.5

A strange spell is upon you. You cannot reason correctly, and you need help. I am instructed to say that the Lord will heal your soul of its disease if you will make thorough work for repentance, and forever rely upon His power and grace. Do not imperil your soul by continuing in Satan's snare, under his instruction. The principles of the Christian religion call upon you to break away from your sins, and place yourself under the influence of the Holy Spirit.— Ibid. 5BIO 384.1

To the young woman who made no effort to resist what was taking place, she wrote a most earnest five-page letter of appeal, making a number of points: “How could you,” she asked, “give the least encouragement to familiarity to a married man, one whose wife was doing a noble work as a physician, in connection with her husband?” “This is no trifling matter,” she declared, and she reminded her that “we must one day individually give an account of our actions to Him who reads the heart. You cannot afford to transgress God's holy law.... In no case are you justified in receiving the affections of a man who is married to another.”—Letter 33, 1905. She continued: 5BIO 384.2

I ask you now to cut the last thread that binds you to Dr. ---. You should endeavor to realize how such a course of action as you have been following will affect you in the future. What kind of an influence do you think you could exert spiritually? Your course would ever be a weight to keep you from any advancement in religious lines.... 5BIO 384.3

I say to you, my sister, that you are entirely wrong in accepting the love which belongs to another. Are we to conclude that the truth has lost its power over you? Will you not break away from this satanic snare, confess your sins to the Lord and to those whom you have so deeply wronged, and will you not turn to God with all your heart? He is of a great compassion, and He will abundantly pardon.— Ibid. 5BIO 384.4

In words of encouragement she wrote: 5BIO 384.5

God will pardon you, if you now step out of the path in which Satan has been leading you. But your work and that of Dr. --- must ever be in different places, that this temptation may forever end. Never again should you work in the same institution. God knows the weakness of the resolution of a man who has once been led astray. Yet Dr. --- is a man whom God loves, a man to whom He has given power to do a good, pure, and solid work in connection with our institutions. He desires us to do all in our power to save this man for whom Christ has died, from making a shipwreck of faith....

And the Lord has not rejected you. He pities and loves you, and He calls you now to come to Him and receive His spirit of purity and holiness and His everlasting love. Cast aside every suggestion that you are unworthy to be called a child of God. Come just as you are to Jesus, make a true heart-work of repentance, receive His forgiveness, and never again be led to repeat such an experience as calls this letter from me.— Ibid. 5BIO 385.1

A copy of this letter of appeal was sent to the infatuated doctor. 5BIO 385.2

But the writing of letters was not her main concern. Book manuscripts were in preparation: “We are very busy just now,” she wrote to Elder and Mrs. E. W. Farnsworth in England, “with Ministry of Healing. I am so glad that this book will soon be ready to place in the hands of the many who will appreciate its contents.”—Letter 63, 1905. 5BIO 385.3

There had been the hope that the book would be ready by the opening of the General Conference session in Washington, D.C., on May 11, 1905, but just a month before this date she reported, “I have just finished reading over the proofs of Ministry of Healing.... The work on my book goes very slowly.”—Letter 109, 1905. 5BIO 385.4

It was published in August. 5BIO 385.5