Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 46, 1887

Kellogg, J. H.

Basel, Switzerland

April 22, 1887

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 121; LDE 173; 11MR 302.

Dr. Kellogg

Dear Brother:

I have just written to Dr. Maxson and wife again and hope to have a reply as soon as possible. But there are some things I wish to speak to you about with regard to your feelings toward Bro. Haskell. You are in danger of feeling too strong over the supposed injuries he has done you. But, my brother, if he really did you a wrong, cannot you see that he will be the sufferer and not you? I am sure you should act the Christian gentleman in this case and forgive him and not allow any estrangement. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 1

Should not a physician of your tact and your skill discern the pitiful condition of Elder Haskell’s health? You are an overworked man, and this is the reason why these things have so great an influence upon your mind, and it is because of this fact that Elder Haskell feels so. I think you must realize that Elder Haskell is an overworked man and that he is liable to lose his mental and physical powers unless the Lord takes him in special charge. I feel very sad over his case. I know the advancement of the cause is dearer to him than his life, and when I think how hard he has worked in behalf of the cause and its advancement, I feel bad for him. Will my brother remember his own great indebtedness to the Lord and how much he needs His forgiveness and His pity and love? Will he remember that the unforgiving spirit manifested toward a brother, even if there were an injury designed, which I do not believe, but suppose this to be the case, if you forgive not your brother his trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 2

I know Elder Haskell feels much afflicted over this rupture between you and him, and I ask you as a physician to relieve the mind and soul of Elder Haskell by healing this rupture. Let it not live any longer. Anything of this sort wears upon the mental powers and unfits him for usefulness. Elder Haskell ought really not to do any work for one year, but I would not tell him so for I fear he would die if I should, but you are a physician. I bring that case to you to employ your skill in healing a diseased mind if you expect the great Physician to heal you under affliction and difficulty. Will you, my brother, undertake this case? Will you employ your skill in doing all in your power to be in union with Brother Haskell? Write to him as a brother; break down every barrier, and let there be no differences between you. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. I prescribe for you the love of Christ to be taken in large doses, and it will work a great change, for it has wonderful healing properties. Do you not think all heaven would look upon you with pleasure if you should open your heart to the pitying love of Christ? Elder Haskell will brood over this matter, and so will you just as long as this difference shall live and be cultivated between you. But let every root of bitterness be dug up and buried. It is possible that you have mistaken views in regard to Elder Haskell’s real motives. And again you may think and talk and feel more than you should feel, and you misapprehend your brother. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 3

He is in need of sympathy now. Worn physically and mentally, he may make mistakes. He has not always moved perfectly, neither has our good Brother Butler, neither has Dr. Kellogg; and as we need the pitying love of Christ, let us give to others pity and sympathy even when we feel that they have injured us. Satan will be highly pleased to have you cherish an unforgiving spirit instead of drawing together in even cords. But Jesus, who places a high value upon men, is grieved to see division among brethren. I wish we could all be as Jesus has given us an example in His life. He came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. He used His powers to bless, but never to hurt. His words, His bearing, and His work were full of divine tenderness. Nothing could disturb His absolute patience or rouse Him to vindictiveness. Jesus endured patiently the most contemptuous sneers, the bitterest criticism, and the most marked hostility. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 4

My brother, we must be partakers of the divine nature. We must be imbued with the Spirit of Christ. But let us consider what is gained by allowing our feelings to have control. If you rise superior to slights and to supposed injustice and wrong and act calmly and go right along doing your duty without talking of your difficulties, for this only irritates the soul, but leave it all with Jesus, you will gain precious victories and show yourself a man in the sight of God. Show yourself to be a man of tender compassion, one who will practice the virtues of Christ. When you allow these aggravating things to unbalance you, then you injure and wound yourself and others. You can have moral elevation by keeping calm under provocation. Satan and all his emissaries delight to see that you can be plagued and irritated and unbalanced and overborne by the deep-laid plots of Satan. Be at peace with your brother at once. You cannot afford to let a day pass without your doing this. Make no reference to what he has done to you, judge not his motives. Your duty is to be reconciled to your brother, and bring peace and pardon to your own soul, in pardoning a supposed injury done to yourself. I know that will give you vantage ground over the enemy. Let nothing but wise and gentle words escape your lips. Should your brother meet with sudden death and the matter stay unsettled between you—I cannot bear the supposition—I want you to be in fellowship as brethren. I do not think that he intended to harm you, but he has moved unadvisedly. I do not think the course he pursued was right or wise, but can you not see his condition? He is in need of rest, pity, and tenderness. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 5

I realize your situation; I know you need to be treated with tenderness, respect, and frankness by all your brethren, but do not lay it to heart if you are not. Jesus knows all about you; He will never make a mistake, but you cannot be a Christian if you do not forgive men their trespasses. Do it heartily, because you love the business of forgiving. We know a physician has his own troubles, the pressure of care and thinking over the cases of the sick; the opposition and the prejudices you have to meet must be very trying, when you feel assured that you are doing the best you can, then to be misjudged. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 6

I can appreciate the situation. To put on hope and cheerfulness and rein up yourself to speak words of wisdom when you meet a company of sufferers is not always an easy matter and takes your vitality. But I point you to One who knows all in its minutest details, and whose arms are open to receive and comfort you, and who has wise counsel for you. Yoke up with Christ, and do not allow your mind to become depressed. It seems to me you must hear these my words, you must let them affect you for good. Your happiness, health, both physical and spiritual, require you to take this counsel. Do not talk or think of disagreeable things. My heart is very anxious that you shall make a success in perfecting a Christian character. Oh, if you do escape the snares of Satan, if you do fight the good fight, if you do finish your course with joy, then you will walk within the city of God a conqueror, then the work done with an eye single to God’s glory in this great calling as a Christian medical practitioner will bring to you a rich crown of glory. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 7

God is very near you in your work, angels are close in attendance, then let not any feelings or any words or works of human beings overwhelm you. Rise above all these difficulties so trying to human nature. Every day has its own troubles for every soul that lives, then do not in any way, by feeling, word or look, increase the temptations of Satan upon one soul. When tempted to be hasty or passionate, remember Jesus your Pattern. I want you to have the gift of eternal life, and I beg you to seek peace and harmony for your own sake as well as for the sake of these whom God loves, who have devoted their lives to His service. May the Lord help you, strengthen and bless you, is my prayer. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 8

Since I commenced this letter, your last has come, written I think by your own hand. I am glad to read it. It expresses much, and I tell you Jesus will be to you a present help in every time of need. And just look away from the disagreeable things to heaven above. Dwell upon the love and mercy of Jesus, His tender compassion, and be like Him in character. You look on this letter as the essence of simplicity. Well, it is written in the simplicity of Christ, and I speak to you not from your lofty position as a skilful, popular physician, but I speak to you as one of Christ’s children having, meanwhile, no less respect for your calling and for your skill and your honor as a skilful physician. I speak to you as a child of God, as a member of my Father’s family, as one for whom Christ has died to redeem, as one whom He wants to walk with Him in white, because you have followed the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Heaven is our home, and I cannot bear the thought that you will lose it. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 9

My last letter to you was written very hastily, and I fear that I did not explain things as fully as I should have done. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 10

In reference to the hundred dollars you sent for the mission, will you not use it to take yourself and wife to California. You have never visited us there, and I think you ought to do so. I am sure it would do good. Cannot you make arrangements to spend some weeks in California? 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 11

We are having unpleasant weather now. Last Thursday we had a snowstorm upon the mountains, Friday it snowed a little. Sabbath the ground was white with snow. All has disappeared in the valleys, but the mountains are still white. I do not call this a very even climate, for one day it is warm as in June, and the next day it is cold. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 12

I shall be pleased to get back to America. Elder Haskell’s delay I fear will hold us here another year, but the Lord’s will be done. We have no right to say where we shall be or choose a part of the vineyard in which to work. I have left home and all my belongings and will not allow these temporal concerns to trouble my mind. A cow I valued at $100 has died for want of management, but what is this compared with the great work in which we are engaged? If it is God’s will I spend the rest of my life here, His will be done, not mine. It is my work to obey the orders of my Captain, Christ Jesus, and not to please myself. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 13

I cannot feel just right to leave Europe without seeing something done in old England more than has been done. I see more and more what ought to be done. We are trying to set things in order here, but I tell you the crying need here is managers who will give the work the right mold, those who have discernment, who are quick to see and to execute. It would be of the greatest value to have men of right habits and managing ability. This we hope the Lord will send us. The danger is that after a time our American brethren will fall into the slow habits of those in this country, and let things get all jumbled up, no order anywhere. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 14

But improvements are being made. W. C. White is working with the Brethren Whitney to set the work here in order after the American style. Will it stay so? The burden rests upon me day and night, and my soul is pressed as a cart beneath sheaves, not alone for the work in Europe, but the California field and the state of the cause in Michigan, New York, Maine, and Massachusetts. But I keep saying to myself, This is God’s work, this is God’s cause, He has greater interest for all these places and all His churches than any of us poor mortals can possibly have. Jesus stands at the helm, He will ever be sure to guide the ship safely into the harbor. I know we have the truth. I know that every soul who endures faithful to the end will be saved. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 15

Elder Canright has given up, and others who claim to be watchmen are proving themselves wholly unworthy to be entrusted with the care of the sheep and lambs; but we are warned that we may expect just such things, and if we have the truth, such things will come. There will be a shaking of the sieve, the chaff must in time be separated from the wheat. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. It is the very time when the genuine will be the strongest. There will be [a] separating from us of those who have not appreciated the light or walked in it. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 16

I feel a deep, earnest interest that you shall not only win the crown of everlasting life, but that you should have daily as you pass along the comforts of the grace of Christ, that your faith shall hold firmly to Jesus. He will respond to the faith exercised in Him. I do not mean that you will have a happy ecstasy of feeling, but that intelligent faith that reaches things unseen, that simple faith that takes God at His word, and that can say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” [Job 13:15.] I know that the Lord has helped you many, many times. I have the fullest confidence that He has made you a blessing to very many. May the Lord clothe you with His salvation. Walk in the light, press to the light, refuse to look at darkness or talk darkness; talk of things that are calculated to uplift the soul, come close to Jesus, commune with Him. He will be your wisdom, He will preserve you still to do a good work for Him. Satan, you must know, will seek to hinder you in every possible way. He will delight to discourage you and shorten your life. I want your life spared, I do not want the devil to have his way. I want you to be a strong, well-balanced character, because the grace of Christ is given you in large measure. I know it is your privilege to have the blessing of God daily, and you cannot fill your position unless you do have it. May you be of good courage in the Lord. Turn your attention from disagreeable things. By beholding you become changed. Talk of pleasant things, talk hope and courage, and you will have hope and courage. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 17

Yours with much respect and love. 5LtMs, Lt 46, 1887, par. 18