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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 63, 1899

    The Work of Christian Physicians

    Hamilton, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

    April 22, 1899

    This manuscript is published in entirety in 15MR 29-42.

    Yesterday Miss McEnterfer and Miss Maggie Hare accompanied me to Newcastle. This morning I arose at half past three, thankful for a night’s rest. I slept well, for which I thank the Lord.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 1

    Traditions and customs have become so interwoven with the belief of the medical profession that physicians need to be taught the very first principles of the way of the Lord. The physician ministers to the body in healing, yet all the work is the Lord’s. He must co-operate with the physicians, else there cannot be success.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 2

    Please read carefully the fifteenth chapter of Exodus. The Lord gave Moses a message of encouragement for the children of Israel. They did not deserve the good He had done and was doing for them, yet He made a covenant of mercy with them, saying, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” [Verse 26.] Read also the seventh, eighth, and twenty-eighth chapters of Deuteronomy.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 3

    The Lord had a lesson to teach the children of Israel. The waters of Marah were an object lesson, representing the diseases brought upon human beings because of sin. It is no mystery that the inhabitants of the earth are suffering from disease of every stripe and type. It is because they transgress the law of God. Thus did the children of Israel. They broke down the barriers which God in His providence had erected to preserve them from disease, that they might live in health and holiness, and so learn obedience in their journeying through the wilderness. They journeyed under the special direction of Christ, who had given Himself as a sacrifice to preserve a people who would ever keep God in their remembrance, notwithstanding Satan’s masterly temptations. Enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, it was Christ’s desire to keep under His sheltering wing of preservation all who would do His will.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 4

    It was not by chance that in their journey the children of Israel came to Marah. Before they left Egypt the Lord began His lessons of instruction, that He might lead them to realize that He was their God, their Deliverer, their Protector. They murmured against Moses and against God, but still the Lord sought to show them that He would relieve all their perplexities if they would look to Him. The evils they met and passed through were part of God’s great plan, whereby He desired to prove them.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 5

    When they came to the waters of Marah, “the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the water, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, and said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” [Exodus 15:24-26.] Though invisible to human eyes, God was the leader of the Israelites, their mighty Healer. He it was who put into the tree the properties which sweetened the waters. Thus He desired to show them that by His power He could cure the evils of the human heart.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 6

    Christ is the great Physician, not only of the body, but of the soul. He restores man to his God. God permitted His only begotten Son to be bruised, that healing properties might flow forth from Him to cure all our diseases. Physicians are to act in Christ’s stead. Every physician who has planted his feet upon the Rock of Ages draws from the great Physician His restoring power. Christ’s plans are to be carried out more definitely by the Christian physician. As Christ was about to leave His disciples, those who were to represent Him to the world, He gave them a new commandment. “A new commandment I give unto you,” He said, “that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.” [John 13:34, 35.] That love they knew not until they saw the suffering and death of Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 7

    The new commandment of love was given in behalf of the weak, the wretched, the helpless. To the heart of Christ the very presence of trouble was a call for help. The poor, the sick, the desolate, the outcasts, the discouraged, the desponding, found in Him a compassionate Saviour, a mighty Healer. “The broken reed will I not break, the smoking flax will I not quench, until I send forth judgment unto victory.” [See Matthew 12:20.] Christ identifies His interests with those of suffering humanity, and He tells us that whatever we do to relieve a sufferer, we do for Him.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 8

    God has declared that it means much to discard the Word of the living God, and accept the assertions of those who seek to change times and laws. “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily, my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generation, that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you; everyone that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 9

    “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:12-17.]14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 10

    Those who in the face of these specifications refuse to repent of their transgressions will realize the result of disobedience. Individually we need to inquire, In observing a day of rest, have I drawn my faith from the Scriptures, or from a spurious representation of truth? Every soul who fastens himself to the divine, everlasting covenant, made and presented to us as a sign and mark of God’s government, fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise. He shows that he regards God’s Word as above the word of man, God’s love as preferable to the love of man. And those who repent of transgression, and return to their loyalty by accepting God’s mark, show themselves to be true subjects, ready to do His will, to obey His commandments. True observance of the Sabbath is the sign of loyalty to God.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 11

    There are great lessons to be learned by all who minister for Christ. The Sabbath mark must be placed upon God’s commandment-keeping people. The Sabbath, if kept in the spirit of true obedience, will show that all God’s commandments are to be practiced, “that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” [Verse 13.]14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 12

    The Lord has His eye upon every human being, and He has His plans concerning each one. He would have His commandment-keeping people a distinguished people, who practice the holy precepts specified in His Word. He would have the members of the medical profession expel from their practice everything which has been brought in by selfishness, avariciousness, injustice. He has given wisdom and skill to physicians, and He designs that nothing savoring of robbery and injustice shall be practiced by those who make the law of Jehovah the rule of their life. By His own working agencies He has created material which will restore the sick to health.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 13

    If men would use aright the wisdom God has given them, this world would be a place resembling heaven. God has given them light, educating them and endowing them with capabilities and with ability to choose the path of holiness, the path of obedience to the divine requirements. But the transgression of Adam and Eve has been perpetuated from generation to generation.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 14

    Men have chosen to follow the suggestions of Satan, instead of the directions of God, and they have become active workers in the enemy’s service, making void the law binding upon every member of the human family. They have exalted Satan’s principles above the principles which rule in the heavens. By working contrary to God’s commandments they have united with the great deceiver, and have brought unrighteousness into the world. God has given men a Sabbath, ordained and founded by Himself, but they have changed the rest day which God sanctified in Eden, which bears the mark of His government, placing in its stead a spurious sabbath, which bears the mark of the man of sin.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 15

    Sin is the transgression of the law, and God has stated plainly the penalty which must fall on those who abuse their freedom by choosing Satan’s path of self-gratification. Is it not important that we know whether we bear the mark of God’s government or the mark of the kingdom of rebellion? By observing a spurious rest day, we acknowledge ourselves subjects of the kingdom whose mark we bear. God’s Word is before us, and those who carefully study it will see that they have made a mistake in accepting the first day of the week as the Sabbath.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 16

    We all need a far higher, purer, holier trust in God. Every physician should be true and honest. He is not in any case to defraud his patients. If he performs a simple operation, he is to charge a simple price. The charges made by other practicing physicians are not to be his criterion. The diseased bodies over which he works are God’s property. He has said, “Ye are not your own ... for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your bodies and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] The exorbitant price charged by physicians in this country when called upon to attend suffering humanity is robbery, fraud.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 17

    God gave physicians their wisdom and skill. It is not man who saves life; it is the great Restorer. But poor men are often charged for services they never received. Many physicians merely speak a few words to the suffering fellow being they are called to visit, doing nothing to relieve his suffering, and then charge a large fee. This is dishonesty before God. They should go vigorously to work, as did the good Samaritan. God is not glorified as a Restorer when physicians demand such large sums for their services.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 18

    God calls for physicians who will make reforms in the methods of treating the sick. He calls for physicians who will co-operate with Him. He calls for righteous judgment among medical practitioners, who are acting in His stead. The physician who loves his brother as he loves himself will not charge exorbitant prices. A change must take place. It is just as essential that there be reforms in medical lines as in other business lines. There is grave overreaching in the charges made by lawyers and doctors. The Lord views all these things. No tradition, custom, or practice condemned by God must be followed by the believing physician. He is God’s servant, working in Christ’s stead, as His representative, and his work, his weights and measures, pass in review before God. The commandments of God must be the physician’s standard. He must measure his daily life by the principles of the law.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 19

    Christ rebuked the Pharisees and doctors of the law because of the dishonest practices which they had brought into the temple courts. These men influenced the buyers and sellers to purchase cattle at the lowest prices, and then to sell them for a high price to those coming from a distance, who could not bring their offerings with them and were therefore compelled to buy them in Jerusalem. As these men sat at the table, counting the money they had gained by robbery and extortion, Christ stood before them. His eye flashed with indignation as He saw the fraudulent transactions which were carried on. Picking up a scourge of small cords, which had been used to drive cattle to the temple, He drove out those who sold and bought, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, saying, “It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” [Matthew 21:13.]14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 20

    Then the Restorer practiced His medical missionary work. “The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.” [Verse 14.]14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 21

    The market places, the merchandise stores need cleansing. Courts of justice, lawyers’ offices, the medical fraternity, need purifying. Shall we say that the medical missionary work needs cleansing? Christ, who came to our world to reveal the Father’s heart of tender compassion, has shown us the methods which Sabbathkeepers are to follow in their work. These are plainly specified in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. God will not be a party to any dishonest transaction. The soul who keeps the Sabbath is stamped with the sign of God’s government, and he must not dishonor this sign. By closely examining the Word of God, we may know whether we have the King’s mark—whether we have been chosen and set apart to honor God. Please read Deuteronomy 6:4-9; and Ezekiel 20:12-20.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 22

    Men have broken God’s laws, and despised and trampled on His Sabbath. Thus they have broken their contract with God, and He cannot work in their behalf. The Lord tells us in words too plain to be misapprehended that metal of the faith of His once chosen people is corrupted. They have a spurious faith. They have changed leaders, and no longer bear the King’s sign. They cannot be trusted in time of test or trial; for they will act the traitors part. They do not draw from the Lord’s foundry. God will never, never allow any man to pass through the pearly gates of the city of God who does not bear the signet of the faithful, His government mark. Every soul who is saved will cherish pure principles, which proceed from the very essence of truth. He must fasten himself by golden links to the everlasting power and love of the God of truth. He must be loyal to the principles of God’s Word, loyal to the everlasting covenant which is a sign between man and his Maker.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 23

    Righteousness, high and elevated, is to control the conduct, strength of mind, learning, power of influence, will not give man his eternal life insurance papers. God weighs the action. Each must form an individual character after the likeness of Christ. He must have a conscience taught of God. He must see behind every promise the All-powerful One, with whom he must work as an agent to do His will. If man will not take this position, he will make shipwreck of faith. God will never insure a man for everlasting life whose anchor is not securely fastened to heaven’s unalterable law. He must reveal the Christ working in him, in his doctrinal precepts, in his practical obedience.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 24

    The soul that converses with God through the Scriptures, who prays for light and opens the door of his heart to the Saviour, will not have evil imaginings, worldly scheming, or ambitious lust after honor or distinction in any line. He who seeks for the truth as for hidden treasure will find it in God’s means of communication with man, His Word. David says, “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] This does not mean those who are weak in intellect, but those who, whatever their position, have a true sense of their need of conversing with God as did Enoch.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 25

    The Word of God will ennoble the mind and sanctify the human agent, enabling him to become a co-worker with divine agencies. The elevated standard of God’s holy law will mean very much to him, as a standard of all his life practice. It will mean holiness, which is wholeness to God. As the human agent presses forward in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, as he receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, he will feed on the Bread of life. The Word is Spirit and life, and if it is brought into the daily practice, it will ennoble the whole nature of man. There will be opened to his soul such a view of the Saviour’s love as portrayed by the pen of Inspiration that his heart will be melted into tenderness and contrition.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 26

    We are to see and understand the instruction given us by the great apostle, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,” in perception, in likeness to the character of Christ. [1 Peter 2:2.] Development of character, growth in knowledge and wisdom, will be the sure result of feeding on the Word.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 27

    We present to all our workers, our ministers and physicians, the necessity of careful consideration in all their work, perfect and entire obedience to the precepts of the Word of God. Carefully inquire at every step, how would my Saviour act in this line of work? What impression will I leave upon the people? I am to yoke up with Christ in the work as a restorer of health to the body, the mind, the heart, the soul. How careful should every physician be to represent the Master!14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 28

    In this country the greatest fraud is practiced by the physician. He receives a call to go twenty-five miles. He steps into the cars, and in one or two hours is at his post of duty. He comes in, looks at the patient, tells him to go to the hospital, or perhaps gives him a little liquid in a bottle, and for this charges the patient from five to ten pounds. This is extortion and robbery of the afflicted and is directly opposed to the precepts of the law of God. This physician could not have loved God supremely and his neighbor as himself. He buried principle, and in its place revealed selfishness and an avaricious spirit. The Lord cannot be pleased or His name exalted by any such practice. Every physician who has the sign of God is represented in Exodus 31:13, 17. These are a distinct and holy people unto the Lord.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 29

    We have come to a time when God’s sacred work is represented by the feet of the image in which the iron was mixed with the miry clay. God has a people, a chosen people, whose discernment must be sanctified, who must not become unholy by laying upon the foundation wood, hay, and stubble. Every soul who is loyal to the commandments of God will see that the distinguishing feature of our faith is the seventh-day Sabbath. If the government would honor the Sabbath as God has commanded, it would stand in the strength of God and in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints. But statesmen will uphold the spurious sabbath, and will mingle their religious faith with the observance of this child of the papacy, placing it above the Sabbath which the Lord has sanctified and blessed, setting it apart for man to keep holy, as a sign between Him and His people to a thousand generations.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 30

    The mingling of churchcraft and statecraft is represented by the iron and the clay. This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing the church with the power of the State will bring evil results. Men have almost passed the point of God’s forbearance. They have invested their strength in politics, and have united with the papacy. But the time will come when God will punish those who have made void His law, and their evil work will recoil upon themselves.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 31

    It is time for the people of God, those who wear the sign of His kingdom, and whose authority is derived from “It is written,” to work. The world is the field of our labor, and we are to strive to give the last message of mercy to the world. Our every action is being watched with jealous eyes. Be on guard as physicians. You can serve the Lord in your position by working with new methods and discarding drugs.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 32

    As reformers we are to reform the medical practice by educating toward the light. Our work is to be done in the full recognition of God. We are to practice the strict principles of mercy and justice. Our work is not to be as a garment put together with basting threads. We must imitate God’s perfection. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] We are to make the foundation of every building thorough and solid, as for eternity. Nothing must be done carelessly or shabbily. Do not put two timbers where there ought to be three.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 33

    Christ, the risen Saviour, possessed no haphazard habits. His work was not marred by disorder. He carefully folded the napkin that was about His head. Our work must be done just as we wish our character to appear. It is to be built so that it will stand the test of trial. The Lord help us to work solidly.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 34

    No one need to spend sleepless moments in regard to his life insurance papers. His title deed as heir of God and joint-heir with Jesus Christ [is] to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. God is responsible for every soul who wears the sign of His government, who is loyal and true to the Sabbath, and through obedience to the Sabbath, true to every principle in the Decalogue. “He that keepeth my words, loveth me,” Christ said. [John 14:23.] Thus faith and works are combined, the inward working of the Holy Spirit, and outward demonstration of practical godliness. The proof of heart-love is obedience to God’s commandments. All who love God will study His words. They will eat His flesh and drink His blood, living and acting in constant submission to His will.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 35

    These words must be heeded. Medical missionary work means the eternal law of right in daily practice.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 36

    “At that time the Lord said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words which were in the first tables that thou breakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in my hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the Lord gave them unto me. And I turned myself, and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made, and there they be, as the Lord commanded me.” [Deuteronomy 10:1-5.]14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 37

    God has preserved His commandments, written the second time with His own finger. We are to understand and obey them. The promises of God are to be repeated again and again. Read the second chapter of Deuteronomy. Here are presented before us the blessings of obedience, the warnings against disobedience. We should have more to say on the subject of transgression and disobedience.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 38

    Build for eternity. Christ’s lessons are before us. We are to do carefully, neatly, and with exactitude whatever is to be done. We are to study economy in every line of work. Builders, gather up the fragments. Let nothing be lost. In all that there is to be done, in planting and building, imitate God’s perfect ways. Nurses and physicians, think of Jesus. How careful He was of the remnants of food left after feeding the five thousand. By His thoughtful care He would teach us order and economy. The great work of redemption weighed constantly upon His soul.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 39

    As He was teaching and healing, all the energies of body and soul were taxed to the utmost, yet He noticed the most simple things in human life and in nature. His most instructive lessons were those in which He illustrated the kingdom of God by the simple things of nature. He did not overlook the needs of the humblest of His servants. His ear heard every needy cry. He was awake to the touch of the afflicted woman in the crowd. His divine nature, combined with the human, was so finely wrought, that the least touch of faith brought a response. When he raised from the dead the daughter of Jairus, he turned to the parents and reminded them that she must have something to eat.14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 40

    The little things become great in accordance with the attention given them. The one talent is not to be wrapped in a napkin and hidden in the earth. Do what you can for the Master. “He that is faithful in that which is least” will be “faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] The Master will use every talent that we consecrate to Him. Your worth is determined by the faithfulness with which you do the little things. Every one needs in the details of daily life to learn to build for time and for eternity. Then at last there will be written against his name in the books of heaven the most precious commendation, “Ye are complete in him.” [Colossians 2:10.]14LtMs, Ms 63, 1899, par. 41

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