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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900) - Contents
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    Ms 24, 1900

    Words of Instruction to Physicians and Nurses


    April 3, 1900 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in SpTB #15 16-23. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    The Lord has instructed me to present the following Scriptures to our physicians: “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk, and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. ... For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know now to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.” [1 Thessalonians 4:1, 3, 4.] “As ye have therefore received the Lord Jesus, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” [Colossians 2:6-8.]15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 1

    Physicians are placed where peculiar temptations will come to them. If they are not prepared to withstand temptations by the practice of the principles of truth, they will fall when Satan tempts them. There are ministers of the gospel who are too weak to resist temptation. They may long have preached the gospel, and with marked success; they may have won the confidence of the people, but when they think they are strong, they show that they cannot stand alone without being overcome. Unless they govern their habits and passions, unless they keep close to the side of Christ, they will lose eternal life. If ministers are in such danger, physicians are even more so.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 2

    The perils surrounding physicians have been opened before me. The physicians in our sanitariums must not allow themselves to think that they are in no danger. They are in positive danger; but they may avoid the perils which surround them if they will walk humbly with God, taking heed not to be presumptuous. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” [1 Corinthians 10:12.] A power higher and stronger than human power must hold the fort in our medical institutions.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 3

    Connected with each sanitarium should be a man and his wife of mature age, who are as firm as a rock to the principles of the truth, who can act as guides and counsellors. The education of men and women in a sanitarium is a most important and delicate work, and unless physicians are constantly prepared for this work by the power of God, they will be tempted to look upon the bodies of ladies with an unsanctified heart and mind.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 4

    There should always be connected with our sanitariums women of mature age, educated and trained for the work, who are competent to treat lady patients. At whatever cost they should be employed; and if they cannot be found, persons having the right disposition and traits of character should be educated and prepared for this work.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 5

    Physicians must avoid all freedom of manner toward ladies, married or unmarried. They should ever be circumspect in their behavior. It is better that our physicians be married men, whose wives can unite with them in the work. Both the doctor and his wife should have a living experience in the things of God. If they are devoted Christians, their work will be as precious as fine gold.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 6

    Souls are always in peril. Even married physicians are subject to temptations. Some have fallen into the snares Satan has prepared for them. We are none of us safe from his wily, seductive power. Some are alive to their danger; they realize that Satan is making masterly efforts to overcome them, and by earnest prayer they brace themselves for duty. While in this lower apartment, the world, they are kept by the power of God. By trial they are fitted for conflict. They are cleansed from sin in the blood of the Lamb.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 7

    No physician is secure who stands in his own strength. Physicians must not enter upon their work with careless, irreverent thoughts. Moment by moment they are to trust in Him who gave His life for fallen humanity, and who respects His purchased inheritance. Thus doing, they will rightly regard the purchase of the blood of Christ. They will gird on every piece of the heavenly armor, that they may be protected from the assaults of the enemy. This is a safeguard against sin of which the physician must avail himself if he would be successful in his work.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 8

    Our bodies belong to God. He paid the price of redemption for the body as well as for the soul. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are his.” “The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, 13.] The Creator watches over the human machinery, keeping it in motion. Were it not for His constant care, the pulse would not beat, the action of the heart would cease, the brain would no longer act its part.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 9

    The brain is the organ and instrument of the mind, and controls the whole body. In order for the other parts of the system to be healthy, the brain must be healthy. And in order for the brain to be healthy, the blood must be pure. If by correct habits of eating and drinking the blood is kept pure, the brain will be properly nourished.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 10

    It is the lack of harmonious action in the human organism that brings disease. The imagination may control the other parts of the body to their injury. All parts of the system must work harmoniously. The different parts of the body, especially those remote from the heart, should receive a free circulation of blood. The limbs act an important part, and should receive proper attention.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 11

    God is the great Caretaker of the human machinery. In the care of our bodies we must cooperate with Him. Love for God is essential for life and health. Faith in God is also essential to health. In order to have perfect health, our hearts must be filled with love and hope and joy.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 12

    The lower passions are to be strictly guarded. The perceptive faculties are abused, terribly abused, when the passions are allowed to run riot. When the passions are indulged, the blood, instead of circulating to all parts of the body, thereby relieving the heart and clearing the mind, is called in undue amount to the internal organs. Disease comes as the result. The mind cannot be healthy until the evil is seen and remedied.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 13

    “He that is joined to the Lord”—bound up with Christ in the covenant of grace—“is one spirit.” “Flee fornication.” [Verses 17, 18.] Do not stop for one moment to reason. Satan would rejoice to see you overthrown by temptation. Do not stop to argue the case with your weak conscience. Turn away from the first step of transgression.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 14

    Would that the example of Joseph might be followed by all who claim to be wise, who feel competent in their own strength to discharge the duties of life. A wise man will not be governed and controlled by his appetites and passions, but will control and govern them. He will draw nigh to God, striving to prepare mind and body to discharge aright all the duties of life.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 15

    I wish to impress upon the minds of physicians the fact that they cannot do as they pleased with their thoughts and imaginations, and at the same time be safe in their calling. Satan is the destroyer; Christ is the Restorer. I desire our physicians to fully comprehend this point. They may save souls from death by a right application of the knowledge they have gained, or they may work against the great Master Builder. They may cooperate with God, or they may counterwork His plans by failing to work harmoniously with Him.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 16

    All physicians should place themselves under the control of the Great Physician. Under His guidance they will do as they should do. But the Lord will not work a miracle to save physicians to recklessly abuse His building. As far as possible, physicians should observe regularity in their habits of eating. They should take a proper amount of exercise. They should be determined to cooperate with the Great Master Worker. God works, and man must come into line and work with Him, for He is the Saviour of the body.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 17

    Physicians, above all others, need to realize the relation human beings sustain to God in regard to the preservation of health and life. They need to study the Word of God diligently, lest they disregard the laws of health. There is no need for them to become weak and unbalanced. Under the guidance of the heavenly authority, they may advance in clear straight lines. But they must give the most earnest heed to the laws of God. They should feel that they are the property of God, that they have been bought with a price, and that therefore they are to glorify Him in all things. By a study of God’s Word they are to keep the mind awake to the fact that human beings are the Lord’s property, by creation and by redemption. They are to say, I will do all in my power to save the souls and bodies of those for whom I work. They have been bought with a price, even the blood of Christ, and I must do all I can to help them.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 18

    The instruction I have for our physicians is that they must study the Word of God with earnestness and diligence. God says, “Come out. ... and be separate, and touch not the unclean.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] Obey this Word, at whatever cost to social position, worldly honor, or earthly wealth. Trust in the Lord. Walk in all humility of mind before Him. Holding by faith to His Word, you may go forward.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 19

    No physician is to trust to outward display, his elegant furniture, or stylish equipage to give him the favor and exalt the truth. Physicians who trust in these things are moved by a power from beneath. It is not the grandeur of the house, the elegance of the furniture, and outward display of any kind, that will gain for our sanitariums a true standard. Physicians who are bound up with God will do all in their power to crush out the inclination to vanity and display.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 20

    The instruction the Lord has given me for the physicians in our sanitariums is, Do not suppose that your reception of visitors will give you influence or prosperity. You may make an effort to present an appearance which is not a true representation of the financial standing of the institution; but this will not give you influence. Modesty in poverty is much more commendable than an effort to keep up an appearance which is of no value to the institution. In order to have true success, our physicians must have a firm hold on God, ever moving onward and upward.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 21

    Humility, self-denial, benevolence, and the payment of a faithful tithe, these show that the grace of God is working in the heart. The greatest Teacher, the greatest Physician, the world has ever known gave many lessons on the need of humility. These lessons his followers are to bring into the practical life. They are to live lives of self-denial and self-sacrifice. To many this will be a new experience, but on it their salvation depends. “He that will come after me,” Christ said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] Following Christ produces the virtues of Christ’s character. Humility is a precious grace, peculiarly pleasing to God. Christ says, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Those who follow Christ will overcome temptations, and will receive the glorious reward of eternal life. And to Christ they will render all the praise and glory.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 22

    To the young men and young women who are being educated as nurses and physicians, I would say, Keep close to Jesus. By beholding Him you will become changed into His likeness. Remember that you are not training for courtship or marriage, but for the service of Christ. You may have a theoretical knowledge of the truth, but this will not save you. You must know by experience how sinful sin is, and how much you need Jesus as a personal Saviour. Only thus can you become sons and daughters of God. Your only merit is your great need.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 23

    Those selected to take the nurses’ course in our sanitariums should be wisely chosen. Young girls of a superficial mold of character should not be encouraged to take up this work. Many of the young men who present themselves as desirous of being educated as physicians have not those traits of character which will enable them to withstand the temptations so common in the work of a physician. Only those should be accepted who give promise of becoming qualified for the great and sacred work of imparting the principles of true health reform.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 24

    The young ladies connected with our institutions should keep a strict guard over themselves. In word and action they should be reserved. Never when speaking to a married man should they show the slightest freedom. To my sisters who are connected with our sanitariums I would say, Gird on the armor. When talking to men, be kind and courteous, but never free. Observant eyes are upon you, watching your conduct, judging by it whether you are indeed children of God. Be modest. Abstain from every appearance of evil. Keep on the heavenly armor, or else for Christ’s sake sever your connection with the sanitarium, the place where poor, shipwrecked souls are to find a haven. Those connected with our sanitariums are to take heed to themselves. Never, by word or action, are they to give the least occasion for wicked men to speak evil of the truth.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 25

    There are only two kingdoms in this world, the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan. To one of these kingdoms each one of us must belong. In His wonderful prayer for His disciples Christ said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” [John 17:15-18.]15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 26

    It is not God’s will that we should seclude ourselves from the world. But while in the world we should sanctify ourselves to God. We should not pattern after the world. We are to be in the world as a corrective influence, as salt that retains its savor. Among an unholy, impure, idolatrous generation we are to be pure and holy, showing that the grace of Christ has power to restore in man the divine likeness. We are to exert a saving influence upon the world.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 27

    “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” [1 John 5:4.] The world has become a lazar house of sin, a mass of corruption. It knows not the children of God because it knows Him not. We are not to practice its ways or follow its customs. Continually we must resist its lax principles. Christ said to His followers, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] It is the duty of physicians and nurses to shine as lights amid the corrupting influences of the world. They are to cherish principles which the world cannot tarnish.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 28

    In order for the church to be healthy, it must be composed of healthy Christians. But in our churches and institutions there are many sickly Christians. The light which the Lord has given me is plainly expressed in the third chapter of Philippians. This chapter should be carefully read and studied. The lessons it contains should be practiced.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 29

    He who cooperates with the Great Physician will keep nerve, sinews, and muscles in the best condition of health. In order to do its work properly, the human machinery needs careful attention. The harmonious action of the different parts must be preserved.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 30

    So it is with the soul. The heart is to be carefully watched and guarded. “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] Christ must abide in the heart by faith. His Word is the bread of life and the water of salvation. Truth in its fulness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 31

    Paul’s prayer to God for the Ephesians was, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with all might by his spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fulness of God.” [Ephesians 3:16-19.]15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 32

    The blessing of grace is given to men that the heavenly universe and the fallen world may see, as they could not otherwise, the perfection of Christ’s character. The great Physician came to our world to show men and women that through His grace they may so live that in the great day of God they can receive the precious testimony, “Ye are complete in him.” [Colossians 2:10.]15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 33

    Physicians are to reveal the attributes of Christ, steadfastly persevering in the work God has given them to do. To those who do this work in faithfulness angels are commissioned to give enlarged views of the character and work of Christ, and His power and grace and love. Thus they become partakers of His image, and day by day grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. It is the privilege of the children of God to have a constantly enlarging comprehension of the truth, that they may bring love for God and heaven into the work, and draw from others praise and thanksgiving to God because of the richness of His grace.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 34

    We have reason for everlasting gratitude to God in that He has left us a perfect example. Every Christian should strive earnestly to follow the footsteps of the Saviour. We should offer grateful praise and thanksgiving to God for giving us such a mighty Helper, a safeguard against every temptation, against every species of impropriety in thought, word, or deed.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 35

    Our only security against falling into sin is to keep ourselves constantly under the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, at the same time engaging actively in the cause of truth and holiness, discharging every God-given duty, but taking no burden which God has not laid upon us. Physicians must stand firmly under the banner of the third angel’s message, fighting the good fight of faith perseveringly and successfully, relying not on their own wisdom but on the wisdom of God, putting on the heavenly armor, the equipment of God’s Word, never forgetting that they have a Leader who never has [been], and never can be, overcome by evil.15LtMs, Ms 24, 1900, par. 36

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