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Counsels on Health

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    A Messenger of Mercy

    [Testimonies for the Church 7:72-75 (1902).]

    The Christian physician is to be to the sick a messenger of mercy, bringing to them a remedy for the sin-sick soul as well as for the diseased body. As he uses the simple remedies that God has provided for the relief of physical suffering, he is to speak of Christ's power to heal the maladies of the soul.CH 351.1

    How necessary that the physician live in close communion with the Saviour! The sick and suffering with whom he deals need the help that Christ alone can give. They need prayers indited by His Spirit. The afflicted one leaves himself to the wisdom and mercy of the physician, whose skill and faithfulness may be his only hope. Let the physician, then, be a faithful steward of the grace of God, a guardian of the soul as well as of the body.CH 351.2

    The physician who has received wisdom from above, who knows that Christ is His personal Saviour, because he has himself 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 with assurance 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. As he stands by the bedside of the sufferer, striving to speak words that will bring to him help and comfort, the Lord works with him and through him. As the mind of the afflicted one is fastened on the Mighty Healer, 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.CH 351.3

    Precious are the opportunities that the physician has of awakening in the hearts of those with whom he is brought in contact a sense of their great need of Christ. He is to bring from the treasure house of the heart things new and old, speaking the words of comfort and instruction that are longed for. Constantly he is to sow the seeds of truth, not presenting doctrinal subjects, but speaking of the love of the sin-pardoning Saviour. Not only should he 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.CH 351.4

    In their earnest, feverish anxiety to avert the peril of the body, physicians are in danger of forgetting the peril of the soul. Physicians, be on your guard, for at the judgment seat of Christ you must meet those at whose deathbed you now stand.CH 352.1

    The solemnity of the physician's work, his constant contact with the sick and the dying, require that, so far as possible, he be removed from the secular duties that others can perform. No unnecessary burdens should be laid on him, that he may have time to become acquainted with the spiritual needs of his patients. His mind should be ever under the influence of the Holy Spirit, that he may be able to speak in season the words that will awaken faith and hope.CH 352.2

    At the bedside of the dying no word of creed or controversy is to be spoken. The sufferer is to be pointed to the One who is willing to save all who come to Him in faith. Earnestly, tenderly, strive to help the soul that is hovering between life and death.CH 352.3

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