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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Lt 120, 1901

    Sanderson, A. J.

    St. Helena, California

    August 26, 1901

    Portions of this letter are published in MM 39, 49; 2MCP 409, 720. +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.

    My dear brother,—

    In no other line of the work is the truth to shine more brightly than in the medical missionary work. Every true medical missionary has a remedy for the sin-sick soul as well as for the diseased body. By faith in Christ, he is to act as an evangelist, a messenger of mercy. As he uses the simple remedies which God has provided for the cure of physical suffering, he is to speak of Christ’s power to heal the maladies of the soul.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 1

    Through the efforts of the Christian physician, the accumulated light of the past and the present is to produce its effect. Not only is the physician to give instruction from the Word of God, line upon line, precept upon precept; he is to moisten this instruction with his tears and make it strong with his prayers, that souls may be saved from death.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 2

    The physician has precious opportunities for impressing minds with the soul’s great need. He is to bring from the treasure-house of the heart things new and old, speaking here and there the words that are needed. A failure to speak these words will bring great disappointment.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 3

    The physician is never to lead his patients to fix their attention on him. He is to teach them to grasp with the trembling hand of faith the outstretched hand of the Saviour. Then the mind will be illuminated with the light radiating from the Sun of righteousness.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 4

    The mind-cure must be free from all human enchantment. It must not grovel to humanity, but soar aloft to the spiritual, taking hold of the eternal.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 5

    Physicians who have received wisdom from above know how to treat trembling, guilty, sin-sick souls. As their minds are fastened to the mighty Healer, they understand what it means to have the peace of Christ, and the melody of spiritual health and joy is used as the helping hand of God in restoring the health of the body.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 6

    In their work of dealing with disease and death, physicians are in danger of losing the solemn reality of the future of the soul. In their earnest, feverish anxiety to avert the peril of the body, there is danger that they will neglect the peril of the soul. I would say to you, Be on your guard; for you must meet your dying ones before the judgment seat of Christ.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 7

    All can see the physician’s need of personal religion. The afflicted one leaves himself to the wisdom and mercy of the physician, whose skill and faithfulness is perhaps his only hope. Let this physician be a faithful steward of the grace of God. As an evangelist let him exert a saving influence in spiritual things. He is to be a guardian of the soul as well as of the body. The physician who knows that Christ is his Saviour, who has himself been led to the Refuge, can respond to the inquiry, “What shall I do to be saved?”16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 8

    What physicians attempt to do, Christ did in deed and in truth. They try to save life. He is life itself.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 9

    The physician’s mind is to be constantly under the influence of the Spirit of God that he may be able to speak in season words that will awaken faith. The solemn scenes of the death-bed require that the physician shall be as far as possible removed from secular duties which others can perform. His mind is to be prepared to deal not only with the bodies, but with the minds of the afflicted ones.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 10

    If anyone needs a personal Saviour, it is the physician, because the sick and the suffering need the help which God alone can give and the prayers which are indited by His Spirit. The physician who has accepted Christ as a personal Saviour can tell the story of the Redeemer’s love. He can speak savingly of the power of repentance and faith in Christ. As the Christian physician stands by the bedside of the sick, striving to speak words that are appropriate for the sufferer, the Lord will work with him and help him.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 11

    No word of creed or controversy is to be spoken at the bedside of the dying. Point to the Saviour who is willing to receive all who come to Him in faith. There are those who have a genuine sickbed repentance. And it is our duty to do all that can be done for the spiritual welfare of the dying, with a keen sense of what is appropriate when a human soul is hovering between life and death.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 12

    The Christian physician should be an evangelist in every sense of the word. No unnecessary burdens must be laid on him. He should be released from all the cares that it is not essential for him to bear. His soul is to be freed from perplexities, that he may have time to become acquainted with the spiritual needs of the patients. Constantly he is to sow the seeds of truth, not presenting doctrinal subjects, but the love of the sin-pardoning Saviour.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 13

    When it is possible, the physician should occasionally escape from the heavy pressure upon him. The burden of a sensitive evangelist-physician bears with a weight which others do not understand or appreciate.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 14

    Great care should be exercised in regard to criticizing the physician, for criticism places an unnecessary burden upon his mind. He has heavy cares, and he needs the sympathy of those connected with him in the work. He is to be sustained by prayer. The realization that he is appreciated instead of disparaged will give him hope and courage.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 15

    The intelligent Christian physician has an increasing knowledge of the connection between sin and disease. He is constantly striving to perfect his knowledge of the relation between cause and effect. He sees the necessity of educating those who are taking the nurses’ course, to be strictly temperate in all things, because carelessness in regard to the laws of health, a neglect to properly care for the body, is the cause of much of the disease in our world. A failure to care for the living machinery is an insult to the Creator. There are divinely appointed rules which if observed will keep human beings from disease and premature death.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 16

    Drunkards, maniacs, those who are given over to licentiousness—all appeal to the physician to declare clearly and distinctly that suffering is the consequence of sin. How can we know these things and not be more decidedly in earnest to counteract the cause which produces the effect? Constant contact with suffering caused by disease, seeing the continual conflict with pain, can our physicians hold their peace? Can they refrain from lifting the voice in warning? Are they benevolent and merciful if, as they treat bodily disease, they neglect to prescribe strict temperance as an antidote for disease?16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 17

    Study the warning which Paul gave to the Romans: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.]16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 18

    When a physician sees that the ailment which has taken hold of the body is the result of improper eating and drinking, yet neglects to tell the patient that his suffering is caused by a wrong course of action, he is doing the human brotherhood an injury. Present the matter tenderly, but never keep silent as to the cause of the affliction.16LtMs, Lt 120, 1901, par. 19

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