Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 34, 1892

Kellogg, Brother and Sister

Preston, Melbourne, Australia

September 16, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in MM 300-301; 5MR 130-131; 7MR 46. See also CH 503-508.

Dear Brother and Sister Kellogg,

I have read with deep interest your letters to me and have read them to others who I knew would have an interest in the subjects you dwelt upon. I am much perplexed in regard to many matters concerning the education of men and women to become medical missionaries. I could wish that there were one hundred nurses in training where there is one. It ought to be thus. Both men and women can be so much more useful as medical missionaries than as missionaries without the medical education. I am more and more impressed with the fact that a more decided testimony must be borne upon this subject, that more direct efforts must be made to interest the proper persons, setting before them the advantages that every missionary will have in understanding how to treat those who are diseased in body, as well as to minister to sin sick souls. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 1

This double ministration will give the laborer together with God access to homes and will enable him to reach all classes of society. An intelligent knowledge of how to treat disease upon hygienic principles will gain the confidence of many who otherwise would not be reached with the truth. In affliction many are humbled in spirit, and words in favor of the truth spoken to them in tenderness by one who is seeking to alleviate physical sufferings may touch the heart. Prayer, short, weighted with tenderest sympathy, presenting the suffering ones in faith to the Great Physician, will inspire in them a confidence, a rest, and trust that will tend to the health of both soul and body. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 2

I have been surprised at being asked by physicians if I did not think it would be more pleasing to God for them to give up their medical practice and enter the ministry. I am prepared to answer such an inquirer: If you are a competent physician, you are qualified to do tenfold more good as a missionary for God than if you were to go forth merely as a preacher of the word. I would advise young men and women to give heed to this matter. Perilous times are before us. The whole world will be involved in perplexity and distress, disease of every kind will be upon the human family, and such ignorance as now prevails concerning the laws of health would result in great suffering and the loss of many lives that might be saved. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 3

While Satan is constantly doing his utmost to take advantage of men’s ignorance, and to lay the foundation of disease through improper treatment of the body, it is best for those who claim to be sons and daughters of God to avail themselves while they can of the opportunities now presented to gain a knowledge of the human system and how it may be preserved in health. We are to use every faculty of mind which God has given us. The Lord will not work a miracle to preserve anyone in health who will not make an effort to obtain knowledge within his reach concerning this wonderful habitation that God has given. By study of the human organism, we are to learn to correct what may be wrong in our habits, and which, if left uncorrected, would bring the sure result, disease and suffering, that make life a burden. The sincerity of our prayers can be proved only by the vigor of our endeavor to obey God’s commandments. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 4

Evil habits and practises are bringing upon men disease of every kind. Let the understanding be convinced by education as to the sinfulness of abusing the powers that God has given and degrading them to serve passion and lust. Let the mind become intelligent, and the will be placed on the Lord’s side, and there will be a wonderful improvement in the physical health. But this can never be accomplished in mere human strength. With strenuous efforts through the grace of Christ to renounce all evil practices and associations, and to observe temperance in all things, there must be an abiding persuasion that repentance for the past, as well as forgiveness, is to be sought of God through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. These things must be brought into daily experience; there must be strict watchfulness and unwearied entreaty that Christ will bring every thought into captivity to Himself; His renovating power must be given to the soul, that as accountable beings we may present to God our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him, which is our reasonable service. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 5

Will those who claim to believe the solemn, sacred truth for this time arouse their sluggish energies and place themselves in the channel where they can gather to their souls every ray of light that shines upon their pathway? God calls upon all who claim to believe advanced truth to exert every power to the uttermost in gaining knowledge. If we would elevate the moral standard in any country where we may be called to go, we must begin by correcting their physical habits. Virtue of character depends upon the right action of the powers of the mind and body. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 6

Guilt rests upon us as a people who have had much light, because we have not appreciated or improved the light given upon health reform. Through misunderstanding and perverted ideas many souls are deceived. Those who teach the truth to others and who should be shepherds of the flock, will be held accountable for their willing ignorance and disregard of nature’s laws. This is not a matter to be trifled with, to be passed off with a jest. As we approach the close of this earth’s history, selfishness and violence and crime prevail as in the days of Noah, when the old world perished in the waters of the Flood. As Bible believers, we need to take our position for righteousness and truth. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 7

As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions. For their own sake, they should, while they have opportunity, become intelligent in regard to disease, its causes, prevention and cure. And those who do this will find a field of labor anywhere. There will be suffering ones, plenty of them, who will need help, not only among those of our own faith, but largely among those who know not the truth. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 8

The shortness of time demands an energy that has not been aroused among those who claim to believe the present truth. There is need of solemn impressions of the truth in every family, in every church. There is need of personal religion, of repentance, of faith and love. I plead that there be a general awakening among us as a people. In the strength that Christ imparts, we should be able to teach others also how to wrestle with those passions which the light of heaven shows them must be mortified. Let there be constant watchfulness and unwearied prayer for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and let us avail ourselves of all the help and light that God has given. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 9

In almost every church there are young men and women who might receive education either as nurses or physicians. They will never have a more favorable opportunity than now. I would urge that this subject be considered prayerfully, that special effort be made to select those youth who give promise of usefulness and moral strength. Let these receive an education at our sanitarium at Battle Creek, to go out as missionaries wherever the Lord may call them to labor. It should ever be kept before them that their work is not only to relieve physical suffering, but to minister to souls that are ready to perish. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 10

It is important that every one who is to act as a medical missionary be skilled in ministering to the soul as well as to the body. He is to be an imitator of Christ, presenting to the sick and suffering the preciousness of pure and undefiled religion. While doing all in his power to relieve physical distress and to preserve this mortal life, he should point to the mercy and the love of Jesus, the Great Physician, who came that “whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 11

Workers are needed now. The very many who might work, but who do not seek to obtain knowledge that they may impart it, are not the ones who will receive the benediction from Him who has purchased us at so infinite cost, “Well done good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” [Matthew 25:23.] As a people we are not doing one fiftieth what we might do as active missionaries. If we were only vitalized by the Holy Spirit, there would be a hundred missionaries where there is now one. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 12

In every large city there should be a corps of organized, well disciplined workers, not merely one or two, but scores should be set to work. But the perplexing question is yet unsolved, how they will be sustained. I have been shown that in our labor for the enlightenment of the people in the large cities the work has not been as well organized or the methods of labor as efficient as in other churches that have not the great light we regard as so essential. Why is this? Because so many of our laborers have been those who love to preach (and many who were not thoroughly qualified to preach were set at work) and a large share of the labor has been put forth in preaching. More attention should be given to training and educating missionaries with a special reference to work in the cities. Each company of workers should be under the direction of [a] competent leader, and it should ever be kept before them that they are to be missionaries in the highest sense of the term. Such systematic labor, wisely conducted, would produce blessed results. Something has been done in this line, but too frequently the work has dwindled down, and nothing permanent has been accomplished. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 13

There is need now of earnest labor. The young men who go forth in the employ of the General Conference are to understand that they are not merely to preach, but to minister, to act like men who are weighted with solemn responsibility to seek and to save that which is lost. It should not be the object of the laborer to present a large list of sermons he has preached, but what has he done in the work of saving souls, of training workers? This requires earnest labor in personal effort. It requires that the workers shall be often with God in earnest prayer, and that they seek wisdom through diligent searching of the Scriptures. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 14

But where are the missionaries? Has not the truth for this time power to stir the souls of those who claim to believe it? When there is a call to labor, why should there be so many voices to say, “I pray thee, have me excused”? [Luke 14:18, 19.] In this country the standard of truth is to be established and exalted. There is great need of workers, and there are many ways in which they can labor. There is work for those in the higher as well as in the more humble positions. But we want none to come out to this field who have not a high sense of what it means to be a missionary. Individually all need a heart work. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 15

A good work cannot be done by a human agent alone. For the full development and efficiency of the intellectual as well as the spiritual powers, there must be a vital connection with God, a communion with the highest source of activity. Then with the soul all aglow with the zeal for the Master, we can be a blessing to others. Jesus said, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” [John 4:14.] Those who become partakers of the grace of Christ will guide others also to the living stream. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 16

Is it not a privilege to be thus copartners with Jesus? Is it not an honor to be connected with the grand work of saving souls, acting the part assigned us by our Saviour? And none can impart a blessing to others without receiving benefit himself. “He that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Proverbs 11:25. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 17

After the close of the conference at this place last December, Brethren Steed and Hare began labor at Parramatta, a beautiful town not far from Sydney. About twenty-five have accepted the truth there as the result of their labors. These are no mean citizens, but of excellent families, and possessing some means. Now they seem determined to have a house of worship, and I trust they will accomplish it, though it is a large undertaking for so small a number. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 18

Some of our brethren in California [gave] a donation of forty-five dollars as a token of sympathy, expressing a desire that I would buy me a good comfortable chair. I have appropriated that gift to this church. I told those who presented the gift that I wished them to have something invested in this missionary field. True, I needed as comfortable a chair as I could possibly get, but I will wait, hoping that the Lord will restore me to health. I hope not to need easy chairs long, though I am still under the hand of affliction. I rejoice to see the truth gathering souls who will show forth the praises of Him that hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 19

I feel deeply the necessity of exerting a right influence in these missionary fields, that the work accomplished may be enduring, not needing to be patched up. I see that we must walk with God, moment by moment, that we may teach others the way of life more perfectly. We ourselves must first receive counsel from Christ. The words of Isaiah are comprehensive and full of meaning: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” [Isaiah 9:6, 7.] 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 20

May the Lord’s spirit move upon His people in Michigan, where our large institutions are established. The words of the prophet are descriptive of their state: “This people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.” “For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” [Isaiah 29:13, 10.] Here is described a time of dense darkness; but in this time those who have cherished truth that has sanctified the soul are to shine. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 21

What spiritual and temporal blessings are bestowed upon us, more and greater than have been given to any people before us. But although heaven has given us every advantage, we do not render corresponding obedience. These great blessings ought to have made us wise and humble and holy. But have they done this? In some cases they have; but oh, how many have misinterpreted the gifts of God. How many have misapplied their privileges, and pleased themselves. The light has not flashed through them to others, and by non improvement of the light they have become spiritually blind. I look about me and inquire, Where are the self-sacrificing, self-denying workers together with God? The night cometh, the shadows are fast gathering upon us, when no one can work. 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 22

The apostle Paul felt constrained to give thanks unto God always, for the converts of a single church, that a small number of Thessalonica had “turned from idols to serve the true and living God.” [1 Thessalonians 1:9.] What then should be our joy to see souls in many places turning to God. And yet how little we have done to achieve these great victories. “Not unto us, but unto thy name give we glory.” [Psalm 115:1.] 7LtMs, Lt 34, 1892, par. 23