Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 56, 1889

Hall, W. H.

Battle Creek, Michigan

October 25, 1889

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 41.

Dear Brother W. H. Hall:

I have desired to present some things before you. Dr. Kellogg has enough responsibilities, and I will write to you. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 1

Dr. Kellogg has made statements of this character, that if we would select promising young men from any parts of the old country and send them to Battle Creek to study and obtain a knowledge how to treat the sick, they would take every pains to educate and train them that they should return to the old country to educate and treat the sick in hygienic methods. This I repeated and emphasized and spoke decidedly in regard to the advantages to be gained in coming to Battle Creek. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 2

I have paid the expenses of Paul [Roth] at the College. His father gave him to me in a very solemn manner as Hannah gave Samuel to the Lord. I have felt exceedingly anxious both for Mary and Paul. Sara paid Mary’s expenses across the ocean, for she could not have come unless she had done this. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 3

Paul has never made a word of complaint to me, but when I learned that he was set to nursing a typhoid subject, I was not pleased with this because he is too young and inexperienced to take charge of persons with contagious diseases. He would not know how to avoid taking their breath, how to preserve himself from contracting the disease, and I felt as solicitous about Paul as if he were my own son. I urged that he come away at once for I thought if those having charge had no more discretion than this, I would not trust him there, for should he be sick and die, I must bear the responsibility; and all the sacrifice made by his father, his mother, his sisters, and brother would be for naught. All that I had expended, which is but a mite, would be lost, and a promising young man would be cut off whom we were laboring to fit for a missionary to Europe to do much good. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 4

Brother Leon also came to the sanitarium to be helped along as I had told them they would be, to obtain knowledge as fast as possible to the very points essential for him to know in the treating of the sick. I am not pleased with the way you have used Leon. He did not leave his home in Europe to come across the broad waters to learn to carry trays or to wait on the tables. If my brethren have no more discernment in reference to the youth from a foreign country who are anxiously looked for to return to fill positions of usefulness in the cause and work of God, then we will understand the matter and tell all to make no more sacrifice to cross the broad ocean. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 5

Brother Hall and all concerned, I want you to view matters in a different light than you have done in reference to youth or men from a foreign country. They are not supposed to come here to America to Battle Creek to help the sanitarium, but to be helped by the sanitarium which is a missionary work, and I did not suppose it was necessary to specify every item in reference to these persons. I supposed you would take in the situation at a glance and know that these are not to be treated as you would any learners that come from places in America. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 6

When Brother Ertzenberger came to this country, we took him to our home. We fed him. We clothed him; we hired those who could instruct him. We considered we were doing the highest kind of missionary work. We felt it was a sacred, solemn work we were engaged in, and when I compare this way of treating those who were to be men useful in their own country with the management of the ones that have come to the sanitarium to learn, I am not pleased. I feel burdened and distressed over the matter. If you do not feel at liberty to board these youth without their being obliged to wait on the table, please say so in plain terms, and I will board them. If you cannot depart from your prescribed plans in such cases, then I will see what I can do for the Master in this respect, for I would be ashamed to have the report go back to the old country, if the circumstances were told, that would discourage the very ones I have tried to get to come here to perfect an education in these essential branches which will qualify them for the Master’s work. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 7

I do not want Brother Leon to go back with the impressions which he must have, should he now return. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 8

Brother Ottosen from Copenhagen, Denmark, is with you. He is a retiring man, but one of great promise. He is highly appreciated in his own country and beloved by all as a Christian gentleman. His family are all unbelievers, opposed to the truth; but they are wealthy. I hope he will receive special attention for he deserves it. I hope you will not neglect him or treat him as a stranger although he is a stranger in a strange land. I honored and respected him in Denmark. He may not show what he is in this strange place. He may be diffident in speaking the language. But I entreat of you to do just what that institution was brought into existence to do. Take these strangers and put them under the most favorable circumstances, giving them every advantage possible, encouraging them, helping them, educating them for God’s work. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 9

Europe is in suffering need of the knowledge that it is [in] the power of that sanitarium to give them. I have an interest, a large interest, in the sanitarium and I urge you to be wise, to be discerning as to how these cases shall be treated. They are here in America to help you and for you to help them in every possible way to fit them for practical workers when they shall return to their own country. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 10

We are at great expense sending missionaries in every part of the world to educate, to train men and women to become workers, and when these men come to your own doors soliciting that knowledge they long to obtain, do not treat them as you would any other case that is common in your midst. I know that great good can be done by encouraging these souls from a distant country, and I am puzzled to know what has led you to the course of action toward these learners or students. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 11

Why could you not discern the situation? Why could not Sister Hall, who is generally so thoughtful, take in the situation? I know the institution is fully able to give the board and rooms to these men and let the work they do be in a line which is carrying them forward and upward to attain that knowledge they came to obtain. This is the duty of everyone who is responsible in that institution. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 12

If you question the propriety of thus doing as I have suggested, we will submit it to the board and relieve you of the responsibility. But I think it is want of consideration on your part. I have dreaded to speak, but I dared not hold my peace any longer. There is such a thing as being altogether too economical in such matters as requiring a certain round of duties to be performed by such special cases, which is losing time for the learners, robbing the people in Europe of the help they hope to obtain as soon as possible, and great loss being sustained by carrying out set rules that will be set down as a loss in the record books of heaven. Have you iron rules that must be carried out at all hazards? If so, break them all to pieces, and then start anew. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 13

There were several who were designing to come from Europe, but when the state of things was reported to them, they decided not to come to America for their advantages would not be of that order to warrant the outlay of means to attend college or to obtain the knowledge they had hoped to gain by spending some time at the sanitarium that they might impart it to others. So that door is closed by the management of some at the sanitarium. And what does all this mean? Is it because there is no discrimination with the ones in responsible positions? Is it because you want to exact every jot and tittle that you think you have a right to do in every case? What is our work in this world but to do as Christ has done, not once and again occasionally if you are disposed, but to have the perseverance and untiring earnestness to do good, to help persons by every possible means to obtain every benefit possible that they may become God’s workmen, channels of light? 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 14

Any selfishness exhibited by the managers of the sanitarium in their prosperity will bring the disfavor of God. What are a few dollars invested in these souls who come to learn that they may teach others also? We know how hard it is to educate those of foreign countries out of old established habits and customs. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 15

I put my whole soul into this work. I did not pity myself in feebleness. I did not spare money, but left two thousand dollars in that country. I am investing hundreds of dollars yearly to place them where the truth can shine forth from them to others. This is a missionary work in the highest sense. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 16

Two men, one from New Zealand, another from Germany, we have encouraged to come to Battle Creek. My money from royalty on books carried them through at Healdsburg and will defray their expenses here. They are in our family now. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 17

One of them [is] a promising young man [who] went to the sanitarium according to Dr. Kellogg’s invitation. He waited six hours to see the Doctor and then had only about two minutes’ time to give him. I am not surprised at this because I know his burdens are great, his time fully occupied. He wanted, I think, some treatment or conversation about his own case. He took dinner at the sanitarium and was charged fifty cents for his meal. The one who took the money afterward came to him and said he made a mistake in taking the money, but as he had taken it, it would not be best to hand it back to him. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 18

I am feeling distressed that things are so managed, that impressions are left upon minds in regard to the sanitarium that will not be as readily effaced as that they are made now. I have an interest in that sanitarium and I do hope that nothing will be done to leave disagreeable impressions on minds to go to other countries. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 19

Now I have written to you because I feared I could not see you. You stand in a responsible position. You can mold things in a different shape if you will be so disposed, and my heart aches to think of impressions that are being made upon minds that may hinder souls from embracing truth or that will place our work at Battle Creek in an unfavorable light. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 20

God wants us to move in all wisdom. He wants that the blessings given the sanitarium in prosperity shall be in their turn imparted judiciously, freely, gladly to others. If you fear that you will lose something to the sanitarium, I would rather you would treat these from foreign countries not as you ordinarily treat those in America, but with special favor and charge all extra demands to me, and the credit shall remain yours of doing generously, courteously, and dealing, just as you would like to be done by were you in their place in a foreign country. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 21

It pays to do this towards all, but I cannot sanction the course that was pursued by Dr. Stewart toward the Dahl sisters. I cannot support many things that I know is done at the sanitarium, and I want that all should learn to be Christlike and not be weary in well doing. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 22

All sharpness and close dealing with our European brethren is a terrible mistake, and you will find it thus recorded in the register books in heaven, for every transaction is there registered. I know that in such an institution there are great perplexities, [a] great many things to worry and perplex the mind, but is it not best to be sure and be on the safe side which is Christ’s side always? Is it not wise to work as Christ worked, to have His grace abounding in the heart that you may see things through the mind of Christ? 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 23

May the Lord help us to abide in Christ that Christ may abide in our hearts and that we may have the mind of Christ at all times, in all places, and then angels can work with our efforts continually. 6LtMs, Lt 56, 1889, par. 24