This letter was initially published in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald in February of 1919, even though it was not initially intended for publication, the editors believing that the greater church would benefit by reading it for themselves. The author, a physician, had been deeply convicted by an article entitled "The Hour of Greatest Danger." He strongly advocated that churches provide hydrotherapy training so that members would be prepared for the next time a similar pandemic hit the planet. We are living in such situation now with COVID-19, but few are prepared to help others. I hope that you will be motivated to learn more about the simple treatments that are possible as a result of reading the letter.
FROM one of our physicians in the West we have received the following letter, expressing the burden of heart which he feels regarding the present situation, and the duty which rests upon the church at this time. He does not send the letter for publication, but we believe it is worthy of passing on to our readers.
"I have just read the article in the Review of January 16, entitled "The Hour of Greatest Danger." I believe this is a most timely message for all our people. I wish every church could hear a stirring sermon of this sort, based upon Luke 21: 20. If I remember rightly, it was only four years from the time of Cestius' withdrawal from Jerusalem until its siege by Titus. The present time of comparative peace cannot be proportionately much longer. How long none can say. It seems to me that this present respite is the only time we shall have to arrange business, finances, etc., so that we shall not be caught with property which at the time of the next great war—the immediate prelude to Armageddon—will be almost valueless and cannot be sold or scarcely given away. We need a sane and sensible realization of the times just before us.
"This influenza epidemic has given us as a people one of the greatest opportunities to gain the confidence of the people that we have ever had. And yet we have not improved it as we should. Here in the southwest, where fads and quackery are so rife, many of our own people have failed to arise to the occasion as they should, and have leaned on the broken reeds of osteopathy, medicines, etc., which in no way tend to give the credit to God or to his rational methods. Here in this place where I am at present, the success of hydrotherapy in influenza and pneumonia is the talk of the town. The family of the Baptist minister uses it. The wife of the Presbyterian minister (who was nursed by my wife) is now going about with a set of fomentation cloths treating influenza patients. Two women of the Brethren Church have also done most valiant service, with the credit given to hydrotherapy. It is distinctly recognized as an agent used by Seventh-day Adventist physi- cians. Some even call for me because I am a Seventh-day Adventist, not knowing me in any other way.
"The day will come soon enough when even rational methods will be powerless before the scourges of the last days; but until then we should study to become more proficient in these methods, and work as we have never worked before. Classes in simple hydrotherapy should be held with every church company. Both men and women should be taught the use of these simple remedies, as they can be used in all homes. This should be done before another epidemic (of whatever sort) comes, so that we shall not be so unprepared as we were in this one.
"Cannot our ministers and the medical secretaries so plan that this instruction can be given at once, even while the present epidemic is still active I No instruction is so helpful as that which is practical and meets an immediate need. While I have used skilled help (nurses) in pneu- monia cases, yet I have used any one and every one in the uncomplicated cases of influenza, and with such marked relief to the patients that their gratitude and faith are almost unbounded.
"This is a little off the subject I began with, but nevertheless it is certainly a part of the preparation we should make. We need to press together, work together, and harmonize our efforts. Let us lay aside our differences and divisions, improving to the utmost the very little time of unhindered labor which is now left us."
Surely the time in which we live and the conditions in the great world constitute a clarion call to the church of Christ to enlarged and more earnest service. Every home today should be a sanitarium; every Seventh-day Adventist a worker in some capacity for the Master. God has given to every man his work. He has intrusted some talent to every believer. Let us be careful that we do not seek to excuse ourselves with the argument that our ability is so small there is nothing we can do, and in this way fall under the condemna- tion of the man with the one talent.—Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 20, 1919