Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 8, 1886

Kellogg, J. H.

Steamer Melchior en route for Copenhagen from Christiania, Norway

July 16, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in UL 211; 11MR 299-300.

Dr. Kellogg

Dear Brother:

I have the most tender love for you, and would that it were otherwise with you, that those pursuing you would let you alone. But, my brother, you must bear in mind that these perplexities and annoying things are included in the “all things” that work together for good to those who love God. [Romans 8:28.] The Lord’s eye is upon you, and He beholds those who would falsify you and harm you and tear you to pieces. But if you will keep up good courage, if you will stay your soul upon God, if you will trust your heavenly Father, as a child trusts its parent, and deal justly and love mercy, God can and will work with you. Then amid all your trials you will honor God, and His promise is sure, “Them that honor Me I will honor.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 1

Remember that your experience is not the first of the kind. You know the history of Joseph and Daniel. The Lord did not prevent the wicked plottings of their enemies, but He caused all their devices to work for good to those who kept their faith and loyalty amid trial and conflict. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 2

The furnace fires are not to extinguish, but to refine, ennoble, sanctify. Without these trials we would not feel so much our need of God and His help. We would become proud and self-sufficient. In these trials I see evidence that the Lord’s eye is upon you, and that He means to draw your heart to Himself. It is not the whole but the wounded who need a physician: those who are pressed almost beyond the point of endurance need a helper. Turn unto the stronghold. Learn the precious lesson, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 3

Jesus loves you, and your experience which you have written to me makes me glad, not because you are a sufferer, but because this is evidence to me that the Lord is testing and proving you to see if you will come to Him, to see if you will put your trust in Him, if you will find peace and rest in His love. I am praying for you, that Jesus will teach you precious lessons in coming to Him, the fountain of living waters. This is the experience every one of us must have if we ever dwell with Jesus in mansions He has gone to prepare for us. You have lessons of the highest value to learn in the school of Christ, lessons that will lead you to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 4

If you are prospered, if all men speak well of you, then will be your danger. Be on guard: for you will be tried. My greatest fears for you have been that you would have too great prosperity and fail to learn that your dependence is alone upon God. Your heavenly Father loves you. He is all-powerful. He would draw you to Himself by the very trials that seem to you so severe. You have been placed in a position of great trust and honor, and there has been danger of your becoming dizzy and not realizing your dependence upon God. You have been in a position where you could exert a wide, far-reaching influence, if the eye were constantly <kept> single to the glory of God. While climbing the ladder of progress, if your eye <ever> sees God above the ladder, if you can see the messengers of light, angels of God, ascending and descending this ladder of shining brightness: if you can see the Lord as the source of all power, and you only His humble agent, walking in the ways of the Lord, keeping the truth in the beauty of holiness, then the <distinct> inducement is before you, the precious boon of eternal life—a home of rest, and peace, a crown of glory that fadeth not away, riches that are exhaustless. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 5

I have the deepest interest that you shall enter in through the gates into the city of God, not as a culprit barely pardoned, but as a conqueror. My brother, will you think of this? You will enter if you are <ever> true and humble and faithful in your duty in keeping the commandments of God in this life. As a victor the tree of life is yours; the city whose builder and maker is God is your city. A mansion of the blest belongs to you. Now let your imagination take hold of the things unseen. Let your thoughts be carried away to the evidences of the great love of God for you. In contemplating the object of which you are in pursuit, you will lose the sense of pain which these light afflictions bring which are but for a moment. If you lose heaven, you lose everything. If you gain heaven, you gain everything. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 6

July 17


Paul was a man who knew what it was to be a partaker in Christ’s sufferings. You have no need that I repeat the history of his trials, but let me say that his life was one of constant activity, and yet he was an invalid, subject to infirmities and to the hatred and malice of the Jews which was intense against him. They falsified his words, they were exceedingly bitter against him, and yet we hear his voice sounding down along the lines to our time: “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” [2 Corinthians 4:17, 18.] “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” [Romans 8:18.] Paul had been dwelling upon the privileges and advantages of the Christian life and their value to those who become connected with Jesus Christ. He does not magnify them too highly. I do not speak with hesitancy about this matter; for I know for myself that what he says is true. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 7

He further says: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” [Verses 14, 15.] One of the lessons we are to learn in the school of Christ is that the Lord loves us with a love far greater than that of our earthly parents. We are to rest in His love. As His adopted children we are to believe in God, exercise faith and perfect confidence in Him. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” [Verses 16, 17.] 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 8

May the Lord help you, as a diligent student in the school of Christ, to learn how to lay your burdens upon Jesus. And if you are free in His love, you will look above and away from those annoying trials. See what Jesus has endured for us, and be sure never to forget that it is a part of our Christian legacy to be partakers with Christ of His sufferings, that we may be partakers with Him of His glory. How much better I feel about you when I know that all is not smooth in your pathway. You cannot expect it, and should not be discouraged. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 9

Look at the dream of Nebuchadnezzar as interpreted by Daniel. [Daniel 4:10.] In some particulars it was a beautiful dream. A lofty tree was seen planted in the earth. Flocks and herds from the mountains and hills were represented as enjoying shelter beneath its branches, and the birds of the air built their nests amid its boughs. This is the representation of a prosperous king. Nations were dwelling beneath his sovereignty. Families were blessed with peace. His kingdom was firmly established in the hearts of his loyal subjects. The king too knew his prosperity, and he was lifted up because of it. Human nature in its corruptness was revealed; it prompted the king, notwithstanding the warnings God had given him, to do the very things the Lord had told him not to do. He looked upon his kingdom with pride, and exclaimed, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” [Verse 30.] The instant the words were uttered, the sentence was pronounced which felled the tree and degraded the monarch whom the tree symbolized. The reason which God had given him was taken away; his judgment which he thought so perfect, the wisdom which he prided himself as possessing were removed. The jewel of the mind, which elevates man above the beasts as the head of the body, he no longer retained. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 10

So the Lord will magnify Himself as the true and living God. “I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself as a green bay tree. I passed by, and lo, he was not. I sought him, but he could not be found.” [Psalm 37:35, 36.] The sceptre is no longer held in the hand of a proud and powerful monarch. The mighty ruler is a maniac. He now herds with the cattle, to feed as the cattle feed: he is a companion with beasts. He whose brow wore a coronet is no longer crowned, but disfigured with absence of reason and intellect. The mandate has gone forth: “Hew down the tree, cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruits.” [Daniel 4:14.] Let men become lifted up in pride, and God will not sustain them and keep them from falling. Let a church become proud and boastful, not depending upon God, and exalting His power, and that church will surely be left by the Lord to be brought down. Let a people glory in wealth, intellect, knowledge, or anything but Jesus Christ, and they will soon be brought to confusion. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 11

Now, my brother, remember that this earth is not heaven. Christ has told you in the world “ye shall have tribulation,” but He says that in Him we shall have peace. [John 16:33.] “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12.] 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 12

Jesus has not left you to be surprised and amazed at the trials and difficulties you meet. He has told you all about them, and He has also told you that you should not be cast down and oppressed when trials come. You are to look to Jesus, your Redeemer, and be cheerful and rejoice. The trials hardest to bear are those which come from our brethren, our own familiar friends; but even these trials, if borne with patience, will reflect back upon those who caused them. Jesus is not enclosed in Joseph’s tomb. I wish I could make my voice heard across the broad Atlantic Ocean. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 13

Jesus has risen and ascended into the heavens. We have a living Saviour, who so loved us that He died for us, that through Him we might have hope, strength, and courage, and a seat with Him upon His throne. You have One ready and able to help you whenever you shall call upon Him. He is at your right hand. If you try to carry your burdens alone, you will be crushed under them. You have weighty responsibilities, and Jesus knows all about them; but He will not leave you alone if you do not leave Him. He is honored when you commit the keeping of your soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. He bids you hope in His mercy, believing that He does not desire you to carry these weighty responsibilities alone. Only believe, and you will see the salvation of God. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 14

Do you feel your insufficiency for the position of trust you are in? Thank God for that. The more you feel your weakness, the more you will feel inclined to seek for a helper. “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” [James 4:8.] Jesus wants you to be happy, to be cheerful, to do your very best with the ability God has given you, and then trust the Lord to help you and to raise up those who will be your helpers, in carrying the burdens. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 15

But never forget that Jesus will carry you and your burdens if you will only give yourself to Him. Let not the speech of the people hurt you. Did they not say worse things about Jesus? You are mortal and erring, and may sometimes give occasion, but Jesus, never. He was pure, spotless, and undefiled; then do not expect a better portion in this life than the Prince of glory had. When your enemies see that they can make you feel keenly, they will rejoice, and Satan rejoices. Then look to Jesus, and work with an eye single to His glory. Keep your heart in the love of God. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 16

Whatever persons, even church members, may say or do, move right on, calm and trusting, ever trusting in Jesus, bearing in mind that you are not your own, that you are Christ’s property, the purchase of the blood of God’s beloved Son, and that you are engaged in His work, seeking to bless humanity. It is a great work, a blessed work, and do not let the perversity of even church members move you from firm trust and abiding faith in the promises of God. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 17

It hurts you when one for whom you have done much becomes your enemy, because of having been brought under an influence which was against you. But do you not do nearly the same thing to Jesus? He has been your best friend. He has done everything He could do to win your love. He has invited your confidence. He has invited you to come to Him with all your burdens and all your griefs and has pledged His word, that He would give you rest and peace if you wear His yoke and lift His burdens, which yoke He declares is easy and the burden light. [Matthew 11:28-30.] Show that you do believe. Take God at His word. You never could have stood where you are, bearing the responsibilities you have borne, unless Jesus had given you special help. Acknowledge this. Praise God for the help He has been to you, and trust Him still. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 18

My brother, weave Christ into your life. Do not feel that you are answerable for the wrong course of others, even in the church. There are in the church unfaithful ones who treat Jesus far worse than they treat you. Were He here upon earth, they would insult Him, revile Him, defame Him. “It must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” “It were better that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” [Matthew 18:7, 6.] 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 19

Jesus sees every action of the children of men. He weighs thoughts and motives. You are carrying a heavy load. I wish that every one could feel this as I do, and would be true and faithful to you, not to hinder, not to praise or extol and glorify you, but to look upon you as one whom God is using as His instrument to do a given work, and that they must not bock the wheels, but put [their] shoulder to the wheel, and help rather than hinder. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 20

Again I say, Rejoice in the Lord. Weave Jesus into your daily experience, and rest in Him. His power as a helper you need, and you may have it. Go forward firmly, valiantly, courageously. You may err in judgment, but do not lose your hold on Jesus. He is wisdom, He is light, He is power. He is to you as a great Rock in a weary land. Rest under His shadow. By living faith grasp the arm of infinite power, and hold fast. You are where you need wisdom, and Jesus will give it. Do not be unbelieving. Jesus is true. Let God be true, but every man a liar if need be. The more you are jostled, misapprehended, misstated, falsified, the more evidence you have that you are doing a work for the Master, and the more closely you must cling to your Saviour. Be as undisturbed as possible in your difficulties, be patient, kind and forbearing, not rendering evil for evil, but good for evildoing as did Jesus. Look up to the top of the ladder. God is above it. His glory is reflected upon every soul ascending heavenward. Jesus is the ladder. Climb up by Jesus, cling to Jesus, and you will ere long step off the ladder into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 21

I want you to have heaven. I know of no one who would appreciate heaven more than yourself, who have been engaged here in working to relieve suffering humanity, depriving yourself of sleep, neglecting even to take food, bringing but little enjoyment into your life. At times there does not seem to be much sunshine in your path, but one long continuous shadow. The afflictions you see, the dependent mortals looking and longing for human help, your dealing with humanity depraved, corrupted, while your soul is sick, disgusted with the pollutions of sin, this experience is of a character to undermine your faith in humanity. You must indeed look to Jesus for the glories at the top of the ladder. Have faith in God. Through Christ’s righteousness alone you can make sure of heaven, where all is purity, holiness, peace, and blessedness, where are glories that mortal lips can never utter. The nearest you can come to describing it is to say that it is a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. There is an eternity, a blessed eternity, unfolding new glories throughout the ceaseless ages. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 22

You must be there, Jesus has purchased you an immortal inheritance. Whatever you may lose here, be determined that you will make sure of eternal life. But do not be discouraged. So many times I have seen that the everlasting arms were about you when you did not seem to realize or appreciate the great condescension of heaven. Live for Jesus. You can better work as a physician in the sanitarium if you make Christ your physician-in-chief. And still I say you must seek earnestly for the crown of life. You must make a business of serving God, and it will pay not only in this life, but in the life to come. I feel as deep an interest in you and your wife, whom I love in the Lord, as I do in my own sons and their wives. I want you and your good wife to be among the redeemed, to act a part in the coronation of Jesus Christ. I want so much that you shall come off more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, who gave His life for you. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 23

For this reason, my brother, I have spoken plainly to you. I was so desirous that you should have an eternity of bliss. Your position has been most trying. I have feared that you would lose faith and confidence and courage. But you must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. You must be drawn close to your brethren; be spiritually minded. Whatever may come, do not lose faith in your brethren or in Jesus Christ; and hold fast the truth. Cling to your brethren, and Jesus will cling to you. 4LtMs, Lt 8, 1886, par. 24