Ellen G. White Writings

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The Medical Missionary

January 1, 1891

The Christian Physician as a Missionary

By Mrs. E. G. White

“They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.” Dan. 12:3.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8.

Those who have Christ abiding in the heart will have a love for the souls for whom he died. Those who have true love for him will have an earnest desire to make his love comprehended by others.

I feel sad to see so few that have any real burden for their fellow-men who are in darkness. Let not any truly converted soul settle down as a careless idler in the Master’s vineyard. All power is given to Christ, in heaven and in earth, and he will impart strength to his followers for the great work of drawing men to himself. He is constantly urging his human instrumentalities on their Heaven-appointed ways, in all the world, promising to be always with them. Heavenly intelligences—ten times ten thousand and thousands of thousands—are sent as messengers to the world, to unite with human agencies for the salvation of souls. Why does not our faith in the great truths that we bear, kindle a burning ardor upon the altar of our hearts? Why, I ask, in view of the greatness of these truths, are not all who profess to believe them inspired with missionary zeal, a zeal that must come to all who are laborers together with God?

Christ’s work is to be done. Let those who believe the truth consecrate themselves to God. Where there are now a few who are engaged in missionary work, there should be hundreds. Who will feel the importance, the divine greatness, of the work? Who will deny self? When the Saviour calls for workers, who will answer, “Here am I, send me”?

There is need of both home and foreign missionaries. There is work right at hand that is strangely neglected by many. All who have “tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,” have a work to do for those in their homes and among their neighbors. The gospel of salvation must be proclaimed to others. Every man who has felt the converting power of God becomes in a sense a missionary. There are friends to whom he can speak of the love of God. He can tell in the church what the Lord is to him, even a personal Saviour; and the testimony given in simplicity, may do more good than the most eloquent discourse. There is a great work to be done, too, in dealing justly with all and walking humbly with God. Those who are doing the work nearest them, are gaining an experience that will fit them for a wider sphere of usefulness. There must be an experience in home missionary work as a preparation for foreign work.

How shall the Lord’s work be done? How can we gain access to souls buried in midnight darkness? Prejudice must be met; corrupt religion is hard to deal with. The very best ways and means of work must be prayerfully considered. There is a way in which many doors will be opened to the missionary. Let him become intelligent in the case [care] of the sick, as a nurse, or learn how to treat disease, as a physician; and if he is imbued with the spirit of Christ, what a field of usefulness is opened before him!

Christ was the Saviour of the world. During his life on earth, the sick and afflicted were objects of his special compassion. When he sent out his disciples, he commissioned them to heal the sick as well as to preach the gospel. When he sent forth the seventy, he commanded them to heal the sick, and next to preach that the kingdom of God had come nigh unto them. Their physical health was to be first cared for, in order that the way might be prepared for the truth to reach their minds.

The Saviour devoted more time and labor to healing the afflicted of their maladies than to preaching. His last injunction to his apostles, his representatives on earth, was to lay hands on the sick that they might recover. When the Master shall come, he will commend those who have visited the sick and relieved the necessities of the afflicted.

The tender sympathies of our Saviour were aroused for fallen and suffering humanity. If you would be his followers, you must cultivate compassion and sympathy. Indifference to human woes must give place to lively interest in the sufferings of others. The widow, the orphan, the sick and the dying, will always need help. Here is an opportunity to proclaim the gospel,—to hold up Jesus, the hope and consolation of all men. When the suffering body has been relieved, and you have shown a lively interest in the afflicted, the heart is opened, and you can pour in the heavenly balm. If you are looking to Jesus, and drawing from him knowledge, and strength, and grace, you can impart his consolation to others, because the Comforter is with you.

You will meet with much prejudice, a great deal of false zeal and miscalled piety; but in both the home and foreign field you will find more hearts that God has been preparing for the seed of truth than you imagine, and they will hail with joy the divine message when it is presented to them.

But there must be no duplicity, no crookedness, in the life of the worker. While error, even when held in sincerity, is dangerous to anyone, insincerity in the truth is fatal.

We are not to be idle spectators in the stirring scenes that will prepare the way of the Lord’s second appearing. We must catch the enthusiasm and ardor of the Christian soldier. Everyone who is not for Christ is against him. “He that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.” Inactivity is registered in the books of heaven as opposition to Christ’s work, because it produces the same kind of fruit as positive hostility. God calls for active workers.

The more clearly our eyes behold the attractions of the future world, the deeper will be our solicitude for the inhabitants of this world. We cannot be self-centered. We are living in the time of special conflict between the powers of light and those of darkness. Go forth; let your light shine; diffuse its rays to all the world. Christ and the heavenly messengers, co-operating with human agencies, will bring the unfinished parts of the work to a perfect whole. Not to fill our place because we love our ease, because we would avoid care and weariness, is not to shine; and how terrible the guilt, how fearful the consequences!

There should be those who are preparing themselves to become Christian missionary physicians and nurses. Doors will then be opened into the families of the higher classes as well as among the lowly. All the influences that we can command must be consecrated to the work. From the home mission should extend a chain of living, burning light to belt the world, every voice and every influence echoing, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

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