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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)

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    Lt 54, 1903

    Those in Council at Battle Creek, Michigan

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    April 16, 1903

    This letter is published in entirety in SpM 301-303.

    To those in council at Battle Creek, Michigan

    Dear Brethren,—

    The members of the Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association and the responsible men of the General Conference are now to act in concert in regard to the work to be carried on. All must now awake and seek the Lord, lest the powers of the enemy shall obtain the victory. There are much greater depths of spiritual truth to be reached by experience. Christ will lead us to higher and still higher planes, where spiritual perception and spiritual action shall enter into unquestionable discoveries, and where the sacred truths of the gospel shall be understood in all their bearings.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 1

    As God’s Word is received as food for the soul, the character in spiritual lines will correspond to the truths of the gospel that have been eaten and digested. Thus our spiritual strength will be refreshed as we become partakers of the divine nature, having overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. The nutritious properties of the heavenly food may be compared with the strength-restoring properties of the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations. Seek for unity, and seek it in faith. Faith we must have, in order that we may walk by faith.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 2

    My mind is deeply impressed by the Spirit of God. Instruction is given to me in clear lines. Our work is not left in the hands of finite men. God rules, and He will turn and overturn. He will not allow His work to be carried forward as it has been. His medical missionary work is not to be ruled, controlled, and molded by one man, as for some years it certainly has been. The exercise of such a power, if continued, will mar the work and will be the certain ruin of the man exercising control. God will work with the men entrusted with large responsibility, if they will take the Lord’s way as humble, obedient servants, waiting wholly upon Him. But if any man sets himself up as being above God, and takes the work under his finite supervision, the watchmen standing on the walls of Zion must discern the danger and take heroic action to save the man and the cause.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 3

    Yesterday I read the following incident: “A notable painter was adorning the frescoes in the dome of a cathedral. When a certain portion of his work was done, he stepped backward upon the small scaffold of planks on which he stood to admire the effect of his skilful craft. Suddenly a comrade who was with him rushed forward to the picture and with the brush in his hand smeared and spoiled the delicate work so painfully accomplished. Rushing forward, the artist cried angrily, ‘What is that for?’ ‘Look,’ said his companion, ‘one more step backward, and you would have fallen, bruised and mangled on the pavement far below.’” The artist was thankful that his life was spared. Will our brethren in peril consent to be saved from the dangers they are in?18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 4

    In no case does God require His servants to bear burdens that He has not given them. He does not require them to gather to themselves more responsibilities than they can patiently and successfully carry. Those professing Christians who do this dishonor the name they bear and lower the standard of Christianity.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 5

    By the managers of the Sanitarium, and the leaders in the medical missionary work, there has been a binding up with the world, which has led to entanglement. There has been much working upon a wrong policy. One man has embraced so many responsibilities that it is impossible for him to give to each the proper thought that a careful performance of the Lord’s work requires. Men who will carry forward in right lines the work for this time should rally around the leaders of the work, sharing the responsibilities that they are now carrying, and thus encouraging them to stand as counsellors with their brethren, bringing all their plans before their brethren for consideration. Whenever one man devises plans and seeks to carry them out in a manner so determined that his work savors of oppression, there is need of bringing into connection with him other minds that will keep uplifted the high standard suggested by the name we bear.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 6

    Many plans have been devised that God has not ordained. The root from which these plans have sprung is the mind of finite man. God’s watchmen have been blind. They should have been wide awake to see that one man’s mind, one man’s judgment was becoming a power that God could not and would not endorse. To invest one man or a few men with so much power and responsibility is not in accordance with God’s way of working.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 7

    There must be a reorganization. Supreme power must not be vested in a group of men connected with a few large institutions. At the General Conference of 1901 the light was given, Divide the General Conference into Union Conferences. Let there be fewer responsibilities centered in one place.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 8

    Let the work of printing our publications be divided.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 9

    The principles that apply to the publishing work apply also to the sanitarium work. Students should not be crowded into Battle Creek to receive an education in medical missionary lines. It is not best to encourage the gathering together in one institution of so large a company of people as have been gathered together in the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Let medical missionary plants be made in many places.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 10

    The youth who desire to become medical missionaries should not be brought in large numbers to Battle Creek. Provision should be made that they may receive an education out of and away from Battle Creek, in places where there is a different religious atmosphere. By fire the Lord removed the great argument in favor of gathering many students to Battle Creek. He swept away the Sanitarium to prevent the carrying out of the idea that Battle Creek was to be the great center for the training of medical students. To carry out this idea would be out of harmony with the work for these last days and with the plans of the Lord.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 11

    God works by means of instruments, or second causes. He uses the gospel ministry, medical missionary work, and the publications containing present truth to impress hearts. All are made effectual by means of faith. As the truth is heard or read, the Holy Spirit sends it home to those who hear and read with an earnest desire to know what is right. The gospel ministry, medical missionary work, and our publications are God’s agencies. One is not to supersede the other. But you have sought to make the medical missionary work the whole body instead of the arm and hand.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 12

    Let the living gospel be taught in our schools. Let students be educated in its principles, that they may be prepared to impart the truth to others. Let them learn to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of those whom they will meet in their work. By the ministry of the Word, the gospel is preached: by medical missionary work, the gospel is practiced. The gospel is bound up with medical missionary work. Neither is to stand alone, bound up in itself. The workers in each are to labor unselfishly and unitedly, striving to save sinners.18LtMs, Lt 54, 1903, par. 13

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