Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 4a, 1879

Fairfield, Brother; Sprague, Brother

Denison, Texas

January 12, 1879

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 20.

Dear Brethren Fairfield and Sprague:

Some things were shown me in my last vision which alarmed me in regard to Dr. Kellogg. He carries three men’s burdens and works day after day, thus taxing his energies to the utmost. There is a neglect of caretaking and lifting responsibilities on your part. You can both bear heavier burdens if you will, and thus relieve Dr. Kellogg. He has not made one word of complaint to me of either of you. Dr. Kellogg is a Christian gentleman. But while you do not press to the front and tax your memories and show decided thoroughness and caretaking, he is killing himself by overlabor; and unless he has a change speedily, you will have no Dr. Kellogg. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 1

I am a mother of boys; I have a very great interest in you both, and have watched your progress, step by step, with all the solicitude which a mother can have for her sons. I rejoice that you are making efforts to be men in every sense of the term; and yet I must say to you that you are both aiming too low. You are not caretakers. You fail to lift the burdens when and where they need to be lifted; and as the consequence, these burdens fall upon Dr. Kellogg with crushing weight. He has to bear the burden of your neglects and failures. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 2

In a special manner is this applicable to Dr. Fairfield. He is not a man whom Dr. Kellogg can rely upon as a fellow helper. He fails here and again there. A knowledge of these repeated failures keeps Dr. Kellogg in anxious, troubled, perplexed state of mind. He dares not trust many things to you that he would be glad to, because of your lack of thought and caretaking. If I did not think you would be able to change this order of things, I would not write at this time. I know that you can make a decided change for the better. But you must have no divided interest. Your whole soul must be thrown into your work, or you will never be a thorough and efficient man for your responsible position. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 3

You should, Dr. Fairfield, cultivate pleasant, affable manners. You are frequently abrupt and cold and unsympathizing. You need pitying tenderness and true courtesy. You have not realized your defects. But now that they are presented before you, let there be no delay in making a reformation. You are absent minded and do not put thought and patient, persevering thoroughness into what you undertake. These defects will as surely ruin your usefulness as they exist, unless you make a decided change. In the strength of God, you may do this; and Dr. Kellogg may know that in you two, he may realize all the help that you are able to render him. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 4

God has a position of duty for each one of you. He requires you to be not only faithful sentinels, but thorough workmen. Never become uninterested, never careless and inactive; never sleep at your post, and never fail to perform your exact duty in accordance with your position of trust. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 5

There is need of alacrity, promptness, earnest energy, deep interest, and unwavering fidelity. You should learn to spring to the work at the call of duty. How long will be our allotted time to work, we know not. This is a secret with God and, for wise purposes, withheld from us. But what time we have to labor, let us employ it as those who must give an account. Oh, think earnestly, and in view of eternity, how much there is to be done in our world to arouse the minds of the careless, inattentive, and ignorant to become acquainted with the laws of God, and make them feel the necessity, for their own good and God’s glory, of obedience to these laws. For transgression brings not only great suffering, but loss of life in this world and immortal life in the next world. You should consider this matter thoroughly, and feel how much the bliss or woe of men and women is dependent upon you. Faithfulness on your part may save many souls, while negligence and carelessness may result in the loss to your fellow creatures of both the present and the future life. You can prevent much misery and much transgression of God’s law by your fidelity by being wide awake at your post of duty. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 6

This view of your responsibility should inspire you to labor with disinterested benevolence, feeling the same interest that Dr. Kellogg feels which amounts to an agony in his intense desire for the welfare of his fellow men. He is constantly studying and planning how he may set instrumentalities to work, to open channels for good to humanity, while he shall close the avenues of error and press back the moral darkness that Satan is forcing in upon the children of men. We must arise as one and, in the power and strength of God, open our senses to the demands of the present time. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 7

Brethren, you are two-thirds asleep. Cry to God in faith, that He may pour out His light and His grace through the channels which He has appointed for good to those who are suffering for want of knowledge. While you pray and watch with earnest diligence to suppress wrong and stand guard against dissipation and fashionable errors, lay hold by living faith of the strength which may be yours to bless all your labors. You may gather light, knowledge, and power; and your influence may be diffusive. And it is impossible for you to set the boundaries to the influence for God which you may exert in this institution. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 8

Young men, gather to yourselves responsibilities; for every responsibility you bear will fortify and strengthen you to make renewed efforts and push forward the work successfully. Be faithful in the little duties. Do not soar above the little responsibilities of life. If you are inattentive to these, you will be called by the Judge of all the earth “unprofitable servants.” 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 9

I entreat you to save Dr. Kellogg. You may do this by faithful attention to your duties. Never forget; it is a sin to forget. God has given man the powers of memory, that he may not forget; and I beg you to task your memories and lift responsibilities. Let the Doctor feel assured that you will see what needs to be done, without his specifying everything. You can see, you can sense your duties as well as to wait for him to see and mark them out for you. Go to God in humility, and plead with Him for wisdom, for grace to overcome your deficiencies and neglect. God will help you; plead His promises. You may have close connection with God; you may at last wear a starry crown. You may win immortal glory through faithful continuance in well-doing. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1879, par. 10

Ellen G. White.