Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 26b, 1889

Maxson, Brother and Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

March 2, 1889

Variant of Lt 26a, 1889, which is published in entirety in 13MR 174-178. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Maxson:

I have anxiously waited, hoping that during this revival in your midst you would have something to say in reference to your leaving the [Rural] Health Retreat, your connection with Elder Rice, and your taking sides with him, and his deceptive influence over you, which led you to take the steps you did. At that time, Elder Rice did us all the hurt he could. You did not then see all things in their true light, and acted under wrong impressions. I had very clear evidence that it was your duty to connect with the Rural Health Retreat, and I have never felt that your leaving was in the order of God, but was the work of the enemy. This movement, from first to last, has cost me much labor. All the time that Elder Rice was working against the Retreat, he was working against the purposes of God. Light was constantly coming to me in reference to this matter. For a time after you left the Health Retreat, you were working in one direction and I was working in another to counteract your work. I strenuously opposed the erection of a rival institution in Fresno. Dr. Burke, in his course of action, did us all the injury he could; and your course in connection with Elder Rice, to this day is perfectly unexplainable to me. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 1

Elder Rice withdrew from the Retreat all the means which he had there invested, and then went to Fresno and invested largely there, and began to do the same work of leavening in the churches which <some had been doing> in the East. He began dissecting the visions, telling what portion was inspired and what portion was not inspired, so that Brother Church and many others had the lesson well learned. Elder Rice stated to me in his confession that he had been full of bitterness and revenge, and had I not followed him up continually, he said he would have done worse than Canright had done. Now will you see how much the management of Elder Rice hurt the institution? 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 2

He says he lied about it, and I know that he did. He followed his own mind, hired money, and by taking advantage of his official position, by imposing on the confidence placed in him, he so arranged the notes that he could control about three thousand dollars of the money which Sister Miller supposed she was loaning to the Health Retreat. She had no intimation of such a thing as that he would wish to use any part of it for his own personal business. Yet he demanded that this three thousand dollars be handed over. The letter was a most godless affair. He has confessed all this, but we should feel that he was meeting the mind of the Lord if he would show forth fruits meet for repentance. Why does he not seek to cure the wound he has made by incurring so heavy a debt just for the purpose of carrying out his stubborn, set will? Why does he not try to bring means into the Health Retreat to lift the terrible financial pressure that he has made? Is there nothing required of you in this line to build up that which, in leaving just as you did, you injured? 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 3

The providence of God has been turned aside at the Health Retreat. The Lord was working, as you well know, through His servant to set things in order, to develop the true inwardness of the workings at the Retreat, but you barred the way. The Health Retreat has struggled against disadvantages. The responsible ones at the Retreat, as you know, have set a bad example—an example of licentiousness, hardheartedness, want of sympathy, and firm resistance of anything that would correct, reprove, rebuke, or work a change. There has been more than common battles to fight. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 4

Dr. Burke pursued the course he did, but if Elder Rice had not opened everything objectionable to him in its worst form in regard to Dr. Gibbs, he would have taken steps toward harmony. Obstacles which need not have existed were made to appear as wholly insurmountable, but under the bright beams of heaven they would have disappeared had you resolved to do your part until the Lord released you from the service. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 5

After your journey East, the letters you wrote to Brother Church, and the representations that you made, I cannot harmonize with truth and righteousness. Your desperate efforts to erect an institution at Fresno, your expressed willingness to join with M. J. Church and connect with his head and will, seemed to me such a strange proceeding that I could account for it only on the ground that in your haste, your zeal was not prompted by the Spirit of the Lord. You were actuated by the same spirit that prompted you to leave the Retreat in the manner in which you left it. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 6

In the highest sense these institutions for health are important missionary fields. Shall physicians believing present truth be at variance? There is not a place in the world wherein religion is more needed to be a ruling principle than in an institution for the treatment of those who are suffering. The physicians have solemn responsibilities resting upon them, and [they] should have a realizing sense of eternal things. There must be great wisdom exercised to give due attention and prominence to the interests of the soul; therefore the necessity of close and continual connection with God, having a sense of the value of the soul for whom Christ died. The physician is in need of personal religion. The truth should be an abiding principle in the soul. Then there will be a larger opportunity for doing good. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 7

None but the Christian physician can discharge to God his highly responsible duty in his profession with energy and ambition. Unless he has the fear of God before him, he will fail of his high obligations. Every motive of his profession, all life, should be in subservience to the interests of the higher life that measures with the life of God. Selfish plans and motives should not come into the physician’s life. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, must be made your example in all transactions of business, and His example must be copied. The heavenly Physician can accomplish that which the physician of earth can only attempt to accomplish. They only seek to prolong life, but Christ is the Life-giver. Jesus, the Mighty Healer, is Physician-in-chief, and favored indeed is the physician who has learned of Him, the Head Physician, how to watch for souls, while he works with all skill in his profession to heal the bodies of the sick. To fear God and walk with Him in this life is the privilege of every physician. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 8

God has a work for you both to do of a high order. I have been shown that Satan presses his temptations with greater force upon the physicians who are among our people than upon those outside of our faith. It is Satan’s work to create ambition, pride, selfishness, and love for supremacy, that he may pervert the strong, brotherly union that should exist, which would give vigor to their purposes, their plans, and to the execution of them. It is very essential that physicians in all our institutions who believe the truth should strive for harmony. There should be no rivalry. Rivalry among our physicians is even more offensive to God than it is among those who claim to be called to the ministry, for the godly physician is Christ’s ambassador to hold forth the Word of life to suffering ones who are letting go their hold of this life. If words are spoken in wisdom to lead the soul to rely on Jesus, the physician may be the instrument in the hands of God of saving a soul from death. How pure in motive, how firmly garrisoned should be the soul of the physician, that no impure, common, sensual thought should find a lodgment in his heart. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 9

I have been shown that much is lost because the physicians of our faith draw apart. I have been shown that there must be physicians’ meetings, where all those of our faith in the medical practice shall have opportunity for counseling together, and in love and harmony talk together and exchange ideas, and form a strong force, and lay plans whereby there can be union in their work. All selfish interest and all rivalry should be laid aside. Physicians should have noble, elevated purposes. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 10

In the treatment of the sick, the practice of giving drugs should be avoided all that is possible. You should so learn the laws of life that you can less and less administer drugs, not increasing their use, but rather decreasing them, until you can drop drugs out of your methods. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 11

The Lord formed man for companionship, and He designs that His children shall be imbued with the kind, loving nature of Christ, and by association, be bound together in close companionship and relationship as children of God, doing work for time and for eternity. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 12

On one occasion Christ tried to prepare the minds of His disciples for the suffering future that was before Him, but their minds became sad and they did not comprehend that which He was trying to tell them. He told them that He should be betrayed into the hands of His enemies and should be put to death and should rise again the third day. But even in this time of sadness, Jesus read their hearts; they loitered behind, while Jesus was in advance of them. As He came to Capernaum He called His disciples and inquired of what they were disputing in the way. They knew that Jesus had not heard what they had said, and He now gave them evidence that He could read their hearts. He called a little child, and setting him in the midst of them, He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:3, 4.] 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 13

Let the physicians, in the love and fear of God, have a council and talk up the best ways and means whereby they can give best service to the Lord. Let them be united; let all their intelligence and skill be brought together that they may be mutual assistants to one another and bind their forces together. I know that there can be ways and means devised, and methods adopted, so that there will be harmony of action, and no one will be left to follow out his own independent judgment. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 14

When Dr. Chamberlain came to the Health Retreat, she buried all her knowledge and experience <and went into> the practice of hygiene. [She] gave homeopathic doses for almost every ailment, and our people, who had been taught to avoid drugs, were receiving a different education from her practice than that which God designed they should have. I had to tell her that her dependence on drugs, giving medicine either in large or small doses, was not in harmony with the principles of hygiene. In His providence, the Lord had given light in regard to the establishment of a sanitarium where the sick could be treated upon the basis of health reform, and that the people were to be educated to depend on, and have increased faith in, the Lord’s natural remedies—pure air, pure water, and healthful foods. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 15

Every effort made for the physical and moral health of the people should have moral principles for its foundation. The advocates of reform who are laboring with the glory of God in view will plant their feet firmly upon the principles of hygienic methods, and there will be a correct practice. The people need true knowledge. The wretched manner in which men and women live, and endeavor to alleviate their condition in this generation, is bringing upon themselves untold suffering. Physicians have a work to do to bring about reform through educating the people, that they may understand the true laws which govern their natural life. They should know how to eat properly, to work intelligently, to dress healthfully, and [to] have all their habits in harmony with the laws of life and health, that they preserve themselves in health and strength, and be free from suffering that they bring upon themselves through improper habits. There is a great work to be done. True principles of health reform carried out will indeed be as closely allied to the third angel’s message as is the hand to the body. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 16

Why is there so much dissension? Why is there so much independent action? Why so much selfish ambition in this great missionary field? Why is there not concentrated action needed as much in this branch of the work as in other branches of the work? Physicians of the same faith will be, if they move in God’s way, linked together in a strong brotherhood, counseling together, aiding one another with all their powers to the highest standard, devising means to enlighten the people, not in the use of drugs, but away from drug medication, teaching them how to prevent disease. Teach the people with whom you come in contact to cease rebelling against nature’s laws, and give nature a chance to put forth her very best efforts to set things in order by removing every obstruction. Nature must have a fair chance to put forth her healing resources. Let the people be taught by lectures, by educating them on these themes, that they must render obedience to the laws of health. We must make an effort to reach a higher platform upon the methods of healing the sick. If the light God has given me prevails, if truth overcomes error, there will be advanced steps taken upon health reform. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 17

You have a part to act in connection with the Rural Health Retreat. Temptation took you away, and now let the Lord lead you back again. I felt pained beyond measure when you and Brother Church combined together to establish an institute in Fresno, for I knew that the right way was to unite with the institution already established that needed just such help as you could give it. Physicians and our institutions should work in harmony. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 18

Satan has weakened our institutions by wrong management, when, if all has been in harmony, they could have helped one another to build up and not tear down. Has not man had things his own way long enough, and shall not the Lord now have things after heaven’s order? 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 19

The very same energy and wholeheartedness, the same devotion manifested in the cause of building another institution, if put into the cause of the Retreat, would have achieved success for the institution, for the blessing of God would have been upon such devotion in efforts to build up the instrumentality He has established. Will you please carefully read over the letter which you wrote to Brother Church from the East, and see how it now looks to you? I desire only that the Lord’s name be glorified and your own souls fitted up for the work that must be done in these last days; but crooked paths must be made straight. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 20

Yours in love. 6LtMs, Lt 26b, 1889, par. 21