THE WORK OF PHYSICIANS IN THE SANITARIUM

  1. Encouraging the sin sick soul

The physician, who knows that Christ is his personal Saviour, because he himself has been led to the Refuge, knows how to deal with the trembling, guilty, sin-sick souls who turn to him for help. He can respond to the inquiry, “What must I do to be saved?” He can tell the story of the Redeemer’s love. He can speak from experience of the power of repentance and faith. In simple, earnest words he can present the soul’s need to God in prayer and can encourage the sick one also to ask for and accept the mercy of the compassionate Saviour. As he thus ministers at the bedside of the sick, striving to speak words that will bring help and comfort, the Lord works with him and through him. As the mind of the sufferer is directed to the Saviour, the peace of Christ fills his heart, and the spiritual health that comes to him is used as the helping hand of God in restoring the health of the body.  {MH 120.2}

Winning the confidence of the sick by their deportment

God has given a great work into the hands of physicians. The afflicted children of men are in a degree at their mercy. How the patient watches him who cares for his physical welfare! The actions and words, the very expressions of the physician’s countenance, are matters of study. What gratitude springs up in the heart of the suffering one when his pain is relieved through the efforts of his faithful physician! The patient feels that his life is in the hands of him who thus ministers to him, and the physician or the nurse can then easily approach him on religious subjects. If the sufferer is under the control of divine influences, how gently can the Christian physician or nurse drop the precious seeds of truth into the garden of the heart. He can bring the promise of God before the soul of the helpless one. If the physician has religion, he can impart the fragrance of heavenly grace to the softened and subdued heart of the suffering one. He can direct the thoughts of his patient to the Great Physician. He can present Jesus to the sin-sick soul.  {PH066 39.1}

Physician can be confidant to the sick.

How often the physician is made a confidant, and griefs and trials are laid open before him by the sick. At such a time what precious opportunities are afforded to speak words of comfort and consolation in the fear and love of God, and to impart Christian counsel. Deep love for souls for whom Christ died should imbue the physician. In the fear of God I tell you that none but a Christian physician can rightly discharge the duties of this sacred profession, and there must be a decided transformation of character in the physicians employed at the Sanitarium  {PH066 40.1}

  1. Invites the presence of the Lord in the sick room

Knowing the Lord Jesus, it is the privilege of the Christian practitioner by prayer to invite His presence in the sickroom. Before performing a critical operation, let the physician ask for the aid of the Great Physician. Let him assure the suffering one that God can bring him safely through the ordeal, that in all times of distress He is a sure refuge for those who trust in Him. The physician who cannot do this loses case after case that otherwise might have been saved. If he could speak words that would inspire faith in the sympathizing Saviour, who feels every throb of anguish, and could present the needs of the soul to Him in prayer, the crisis would oftener be safely passed.  {MH 118.3}

  1. Demonstrate Piety in his/her life while helping the sick
  2. Neglect of prayer causes the Christian to become weak, to lose self-control, to give rein to impure thoughts and impulses. But in learning of Christ, in looking to Jesus, in depending upon his strength, the physician will be brought into sympathy with Christ; and in treating the sick he will seek God for wisdom. Then instead of placing his dependence upon drugs, and expecting that medicine will bring health to his patients, he will use nature’s restoratives, and employ natural means whereby the sick may be aided to recovery. The Lord will hear and answer the prayer of the Christian physician, and he may reach an elevated standard if he will but lay hold upon the hand of Christ, and determine that he will not let go. Golden opportunities are open to the Christian physician; for he may exert a precious influence upon those with whom he is brought in contact. He may guide and mold and fashion the lives of his patients by holding before them heavenly principles.

Take his work seriously

The physician should let men see that he does not regard his work as of a cheap order, but looks upon it as high, noble, elevated work, even that to which is attached the sacred accountability of dealing with both the  souls and the bodies of those for whom Christ has paid the infinite price of his most precious blood. If the physician has the mind of Christ, he will be cheerful, hopeful, and happy, but not trifling. He will realize that heavenly angels accompany him to the sick-room, and will find words to speak readily, truthfully, to his patients, that will cheer and bless them. His faith will be full of simplicity, of childlike confidence in the Lord. He will be able to repeat to the repenting soul the gracious promises of God, and thus place the trembling hand of the afflicted ones in the hand of Christ, that they may find repose in God. Thus, through the grace imparted to him, the physician will fulfill his Heavenly Father’s claims upon him. In delicate and perilous operations he may know that Jesus is by his side to counsel, to strengthen, to nerve him to act with precision and skill in his efforts to save human life. If the presence of God is not in the sick-room, Satan will be there to suggest perilous experiments, and will seek to unbalance the nerves, so that life will be destroyed rather than saved.  {PH066 36.1}

Dealing with serious matters of eternity

A physician occupies a more important position because of dealing with morbid souls, diseased minds, and afflicted bodies, than does the minister of the gospel. The physician can present an elevated standard of Christian character, if he will be instant in season and out of season. He is thus a missionary for the Lord, doing the Master’s work with fidelity, and will receive a reward by and by. Let the Christian keep his own counsel, and divulge no secret to unbelievers. Let him communicate no secret that will disparage God’s people. Guard your thoughts; close the door to temptation. Do your work as in the sight of the Divine Watcher. Work patiently, expecting that, through the grace of Christ, you will make a success in your profession. Keep up the barriers which the Lord has erected for your safety. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life, or of death.  {PH066 37.1}

  1. Avoid controversy in the sick room

At the bedside of the sick no word of creed or controversy should be spoken. Let the sufferer be pointed to the One who is willing to save all that come to Him in faith. Earnestly, tenderly strive to help the soul that is hovering between life and death.  {MH 120.1}

It is a mistake to think that points of doctrine must first be presented to one who is in error. The first thing to be presented is the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. By the bedside of the sick, the physician has abundant opportunity to call attention to the Saviour of mankind; and shall these precious opportunities be lost? Shall he hide his talents, and fail to bring salvation to the lost one? {PH066 48.1}

As the subject of vital godliness is made essential for salvation, the peculiarities of our faith will appear, distinguishing us from the world and yet no tirade should be made against the doctrines held by others. In our associations with worldly people, the spirit of Christ shown in true modesty, and the true Christian principles lived by those who know the truth, will be a recommendation to our faith. The Sanitarium is indeed a broad missionary field. {PH066 48.2} 

Present the Third angel’s message, present Jesus

I want to say that the third angel’s message is the gospel, and that the health reform is the entering wedge for the truth. There are to be no abrupt declarations of any phase of our faith. Preach the truth as it is in Jesus, and bring all the brightness and special radiance from the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness into the gospel. Those who speak of practical godliness should dwell upon the lessons of Christ. All should have the guidance of the Holy Spirit; and let none be satisfied without it. Let your words express your confidence and love for God. The most simple testimonies borne in a humble spirit, expressing the love of God will touch hearts. Even unbelievers will see that the doctors and nurses and workers are all combined to represent the truth in character.  {PH066 48.3}

  1. Directs patients to the promises of God

The physician has precious opportunities for directing his patients to the promises of God’s word. He is to bring from the treasure house things new and old, speaking here and there the words of comfort and instruction that are longed for. Let the physician make his mind a storehouse of fresh thoughts. Let him study the word of God diligently, that he may be familiar with its promises. Let him learn to repeat the comforting words that Christ spoke during His earthly ministry when giving His lessons and healing the sick. He should talk of the works of healing wrought by Christ, of His tenderness and love. Never should he neglect to direct the minds of his patients to Christ, the Chief Physician. {MH 121.2}

To one who stands trembling with fear on the brink of the grave, to the soul weary of the burden of suffering and sin, let the physician as he has opportunity repeat the words of the Saviour–for all the words of Holy Writ are His: {MH 122.4}
“Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. . . . Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee.” “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” “Fear not: for I am with thee.” Isaiah 43:1-4, 25, 5. {MH 122.5}

Other opportunities of the Physician

In attending the sick, the physician will often find opportunity for ministering to the friends of the afflicted one. As they watch by the bed of suffering, feeling powerless to prevent one pang of anguish, their hearts are softened. Often grief concealed from others is expressed to the physician. Then is the opportunity to point these sorrowing ones to Him who has invited the weary and heavy-laden to come unto Him. Often prayer can be offered for and with them, presenting their needs to the Healer of all woes, the Soother of all sorrows. {MH 121.1}

  1. Educates on Health principles

The true physician is an educator. He recognizes his responsibility, not only to the sick who are under his direct care, but also to the community in which he lives. He stands as a guardian of both physical and moral health. It is his endeavor not only to teach right methods for the treatment of the sick, but to encourage right habits of living, and to spread a knowledge of right principles.  {MH 125.1}

The most exalted part of the physician’s work is to lead the men and women under their care to see that the cause of disease is the violation of the laws of health, and to encourage them to higher and holier views of life. Instruction should be given that will provide an antidote for the diseases of the soul as well as for the sickness of the body. Only that sanitarium will be a healthful institution where right principles are established. The physician, who knowing the remedy for the diseases of the soul and body, neglects the educational part of his work, will have to give an account of his neglect in the day of judgement. Strict purity of language and every word and action is to be guarded. {SpTB15 15.5}

Educate that drugs do not cure

The use of drugs has resulted in far more harm than good; and should our physicians who claim to believe the truth almost entirely dispense with medicine, and faithfully practise along the lines of the principles of hygiene, using nature’s remedies, far greater success would attend their efforts.  {PH066 40.3}

Drug medication, as it is generally practised, is a curse. Educate away from drugs. Use them less and less, and depend more upon hygienic agencies; then nature will respond to God’s physician’s–pure air, pure water, proper exercise, a clear conscience. Those who persist in the use of tea, coffee, and flesh meats will feel the need of drugs, but many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would obey the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used.  {PH066 43.1}

Educate on these themes

Then what is the special work in all our institutions for health? Instead of educating the appetite to indulgence, which is the great cause of disease, knowledge must be imparted in regard to self-denial of appetite and control of the passions. The knowledge of salvation, the knowledge of sin, and of redemption from its fearful woes, its bondage, and its defilement must be plainly stated to all,–high or low, rich or poor, –in carefully prepared lectures.  {PH066 44.2}

Who qualify to do this work?

Passion grows with every indulgences. If evil thoughts and evil practises are in the ascendency, the heart and mind become polluted. Are these things to go on, and the victims be unwarned? Are the youth to be unchecked by any message of enlightenment from Heaven? Are there to be no faithful ones who will present before all who are brought into these institutions, righteous habits in contrast with the defiling practises of this age? Are no lessons to be taught to the very ones who so much need them? Those who are intelligent in regard to these evils should be the ones to fill important positions at our health institutions. All who have knowledge in these things, who know the perils of this time, should feel a burden for the souls and bodies for whom Christ has died, and they should carry the burden day and night.  {PH066 44.3}

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