Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 45, 1894

Kellogg, H. W.

Per Ardua, Williams St., Granville, New South Wales, Australia

May 14, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in WM 23-24.

H. W. Kellogg
Battle Creek, Michigan

Dear Brother,

I am glad that you are in the Review office again. I wrote to you some months ago, but received no answer. I write again, and tell you I would be glad to hear from you. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 1

I received a letter from Frank Belden stating that he was not treated right in reference to his books recently published at the office. I could but think how strange is human nature. Here is a man to whom our brethren intrusted large responsibilities as superintendent in the publishing house at Battle Creek. They did not discharge him because of any fraud or dark deeds, <for he resigned his position,> but now that he is disconnected from the office, he <is> apparently uncared for. Those in the office are not disposed to help him, to favor him, or to treat him with confidence. Will brethren in the Review office please to explain wherein they exemplify the mercy and tenderness and love of Christ? 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 2

I could not but bear in mind that in the providence of God, just the treatment which our brother has dealt to his fellows he will himself receive. Those who are merciless, who will not make an effort to help raise up those who are in trouble and perplexity, will reap that which they have sown. By their own merciless course they place themselves on Satan’s ground, exposed to his cruel power. They have rejected the love of God, which would fain shield them from the devices of the enemy. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 3

Is it as God would have it for brother to let brother go to the wall? Here is one whom they had placed in a position of trust; do they now turn from him without trying to help him? What do they mean? What law controls their movements? Do they not know that for every act of injustice, every act of unkindness, they will receive the like in their turn? Of what value is human opinion or human praise? 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 4

When men unite hand to hand, confederating in purposes contrary to the will of God plainly set before them, the Lord leaves them to the working out of their own plans and purposes until they shall recognize the fact that their wisdom is not the infinite wisdom of God. When they shall learn the lesson of the Great Teacher, to die to self, to put no confidence in man, nor to make flesh the arm of their strength, then, as they call upon Him, the Lord will be to them a present help in every time of need. He will guide them in judgment. He will be at their right hand to give them words of counsel. He will say to them, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” [Isaiah 30:21.] But He will not force anyone to obey His Word, to do His will. If any refuse the counsel of God in His Word and in His messages of warning, He leaves them to pursue a course to humble their pride, leading them to see themselves, and to discern that their own wisdom is foolishness. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 5

The unaffected humility taught by the Spirit of God will rebuke self-confidence and will make the human agents willing to learn of the Great Teacher; it will inspire in them a love for the truth and an earnest desire to be doers of the words of Christ. They will be willing to receive the reproof that God sends. It is difficult for the human agents to view things except through their own eyes and from their own standpoint. It is well to know how we appear to other eyes and from other men’s standpoint. Men are greatly in need of Jesus. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 6

All are, to a great extent, under the influence of their own words. They act out the sentiments expressed in their words. Thus the government of the tongue is closely bound up with personal religion. Many are by their own words led to believe that a wrong course is right. Thus in the past it has been in many council meetings. Men are not conscious [of] how much their own words affect their course of action, and many are deceived by their expressions. Thoughts are expressed in their words, and the words react upon the thoughts, and produce words. The influence is felt not only upon one’s self, but upon others. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 7

The Lord God alone can measure the mischievous influence of unwise words. Often an opinion or decision, having been once expressed <in council meeting,> will be acted upon, though it may lead to an entirely wrong course. The iron will changes not, because it would be too humiliating to acknowledge one’s self in error. Thus words hastily spoken, to give vent to strong feelings, produce their evil results in hurting and wounding, bruising souls for whom Christ died. Satan is pleased, God is dishonored, and many souls are ruined by someone’s hastily expressed decisions which he is too proud and self-centered to retract after <more> mature deliberation. He has spoken and will not depart from his word. The evil fruit is borne, and its results God alone can discern. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 8

I would have you consider the case of Frank Belden in the case of his books. Will you please write to me how the matter stands? He is the child of my sister, who had my pledged word that I would have a care for him. I do not want him to be imperiled and lost because of the unadvised course of action that shall be pursued toward him. Please give me a correct statement as to his relation to the office in the publication of his books. How much does he owe the office, and what terms does he wish to make? 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 9

I am aware that strange things have been done in the past. Through the teaching of the Spirit of God I know—and I say it with sorrow—that past injustice has not, in all things, been made right. The books of heaven show a record of unfair dealings. God does not require any man in His service to be unfair, close, or oppressive. If men do act in this manner, the Lord will, in His providence, <permit them to be placed> in a position similar to that of the one whom they treat unjustly. The Lord is gracious, long-suffering, of tender pity, and loving kindness. He is not a partner in any harsh dealing, in any oppression, in any injustice. God’s cause can afford to be fair. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 10

The Lord says, “I hate robbery for burnt-offering.” [Isaiah 61:8.] Close or unfair dealing with any man, rich or poor, high or low, black or white, to enrich the office, will only impoverish it. God will not have His work bear the slightest stain of covetousness or avarice. His favor will not rest on any man or council of men that shall seek to enrich the publishing house by unfair dealings. Let God be true, though every man should be proved a liar. The Lord lives and reigns. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 11

What about the son of Martha Lockwood? Is any one feeling a responsibility for this young man? Is any one seeking to give him work, to save him from working with unbelievers? I have written about this case before. I saw that the Lord’s <eye was> upon him. <The Spirit of God is inviting him.> God is testing His people by this case and by other cases that are brought to their knowledge. He is looking to see what care they have for the souls close by them for whom Jesus has given His precious life. The value of the soul is estimated by the cross of Calvary. The Lord is measuring the temple and the worshipers therein. The great moral standard of His holy law is to decide the quality of every action. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 12

The Lord will welcome into the Holy City those only upon whom He can pronounce His benediction because they have been good and faithful servants of Jesus Christ, doing as Christ would do were He in their place. God has entrusted his goods to human agents for them to trade upon. He will accept of no injustice of man to his fellow man. Everything must be done with the exactness of right and equity and justice. The Lord is not a God of fraud. He is of too pure eyes to view, with allowance, iniquity or injustice in any one with whom He has entrusted His goods. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 13

I have been shown that some who have been connected with the Review office have entertained the idea that sharp dealing is warranted when practiced to promote the prosperity of the office. As the result of this idea, injustice has been done to individuals. No institution that has been established to advance the cause of God will receive the divine favor in one act of oppression, one act of selfish dealing, even with a purpose to advance the interests of the institution. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 14

No institution will bear the divine signet unless it is managed according to the directions given by Jesus Christ. If in any work there is a deviation from the great standard of righteousness, even in a jot or tittle, that work is registered in the books of heaven, weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and found wanting. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 15

Truth, righteousness, strict equity are the attributes of the character of God as expressed in His Holy Law. Every human agent who is engaged in the Lord’s work is to compare each transaction, small or great, with God’s great standard of righteousness. Ofttimes the world’s standard has been followed rather than the Lord’s standard. Every such transaction God stamps with condemnation. The one who has acted a part in such transactions has revealed a character that is condemned by the law of God. According to the sacredness of the work which the human agents are handling is the greatness of the sin against a holy and righteous God. For the actor is not sanctified in heart; he is transgressing the law that God has given to control every business transaction [so] that in no case, large or small, the character of Christ may be misinterpreted. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 16

No man who engages in sharp practice would feel that he has done a commendable work if he could see how God regards the effort to take unfair advantage of any individual, saint or sinner, to advance the interest of the publishing work. This has been done again and again; those who have had a part in these transactions, who have figured to rob, in any sense, the ones with whom they deal, reveal the fact that they do not know the character of the true God, or of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. God will have no partnership in any such transaction. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 17

I have had these things presented to me for years, and I have been shown that the judgment will reveal an account of injustice that will astonish the now benumbed senses of those who have been dealing with the Lord’s goods. In that great day when the judgment shall sit and the books be opened, they will understand that they have been engaged in unrighteous transactions while claiming to do the Lord’s work. The Lord will not be a party to one act of oppression by any living soul against his fellow men. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 18

The Lord has marked the hardheartedness of men who have acted a part in connection with His work. Acts which they have thought sharp and keen, God has pronounced unfair, unjust, and unholy. If men will figure thus in this life while handling sacred things, if they manifest so little sympathy and mercy for their fellow men in a cause that ought to represent the mercy, tenderness, compassion, and sympathy which ever dwelt in the heart of God, they are not to be trusted to enter the courts of the Lord, for he who is unfaithful in the least, will be unfaithful in much. Every soul is deciding his own destiny by the character he develops in this life and by the way he manages the work under his supervision. He is not only to be vigilant and faithful, but good. True goodness is true fidelity and greatness. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 19

All who shall be counted worthy to have an entrance into the Holy City of God will in character be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, so that the lips of Him who is Truth, in whose mouth is no guile, may say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father.” “Thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:34, 21.] Goodness and faithfulness must combine. The Lord has no part in the transactions of men who are connected with His work, but who take pride in their close, sharp dealing, who do injustice after the world’s standard, even in dealing with the men whom they claim as brethren. This is a work that needs thoroughly to be repented of. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 20

There are cold, hard, unimpressible hearts that have not warmed and burned and glowed under the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Message after message has come to them, but they have not heeded the warning to reform in practice. The Lord Jesus, who is to judge every man, will inquire in reference to many hardhearted, unfeeling transactions, “Who has required this at your hands? Such a spirit, such a character, is not at all like the pattern I gave you in my own life when I was in the likeness of sinful flesh. Why have you not denied self, lifted the cross, and followed me? Your character is not after the similitude I gave you. You have formed a character in which the attributes of the arch deceiver are largely developed. Mercy and the love of God have not been cherished, after the divine similitude. Heaven would be imperiled should even one possessing such features of character as you have cultivated, be permitted to enter there. Could you not see that you were not reflecting the character of mercy, of goodness, of compassion, of love, but opposite attributes? 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 21

“I gave you the parable of the lost sheep for your study. The true Shepherd leaves the ninety and nine and goes into the desert, at any expense and suffering to himself, to find the sheep that was lost. He brings it back with rejoicing. How many of the wandering, lost sheep have you sought for and brought back, with heart full of pitying tenderness, forgiveness, and love? How many encouraging words have you spoken to the wandering sheep that has cost you pain and anxiety and much inconvenience? You have cherished a spirit to upraid, to whip, the wanderers, to scold them back. How many have you borne back on your shoulders, speaking soothing words of hope and courage and pardon, in gladness of heart at every step, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, I have found my sheep that was lost’? 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 22

“I have given you the parable of the prodigal son. What influence has this lesson had upon your course of action? Have you felt tender sympathy for the erring one? As you have seen him awakening to a sense of his sin and degradation have you given him words of encouragement of hope? Have you had a sense of his suffering as he saw the years he had lost, and have you wept in sympathy with his penitential tears? As you descried him a great way off, have you gone forth to meet him with pity and gladness and love in your heart for that poor, sinsick, repenting soul, as I went to meet you who were lost? I welcomed you, I took you to My arms, I wept over you. Have you followed My example? Have you welcomed that prodigal to the fold? Have you accepted his repentance, and rejoiced over him? Have you not in almost every respect manifested the spirit of the elder brother, cold, unthankful, and unholy?” 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 23

Look upon the two figures, brethren, and see which you are copying, which you represent. Are you like the self-righteous elder brother, full of jealousy, evil surmisings, and hatred toward the one whom his father received so graciously? Imagine yourselves spectators of the scene in the parable, and see in which class the Lord Jesus places you. These parables have a depth of meaning which many do not discern. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 24

I urge you in the Review office to study the life and character of Christ. There are those whose unconsecrated course has driven the sheep into the desert and you have left it to wander without care on your path. Now let us be Christians in all our practices. What benevolence, compassion, and tender sympathy, Jesus has manifested toward suffering humanity. The heart that beats in union with His great heart of love will give sympathy to every needy soul, for he has the mind of Christ. “The bruised reed will he not break, the smoking flax will he not quench.” [Isaiah 42:3.] 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 25

Every soul that is suffering, from any cause, appeals to the pity and sympathy of other hearts; and all who are imbued with the love, the tenderness and compassion of Jesus will respond. They do not say, “This does not concern me.” They do not act the part of the elder brother. They manifest personal interest; in sympathy, in acts of mercy and love, misery meets with compassion. There will be Christlike action, in going out in search of the lost sheep, obeying the Saviour’s words, “Love one another as I have loved you.” [John 13:34.] Every soul that attempts to retrace its wanderings and return to God needs help from human agents who have the tender, pitying heart of Christlike love. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 26

We are to meet misery and repentance, not with censure, not with reproach, not with suspicion, distrust, [and] jealousy, as represented in the eldest son, but with compassion, with sympathy, just such as Jesus has manifested toward us. He met lost humanity with infinite love. He encircled the perishing, wandering soul with His own human arm, He connected sinful man with His own divine nature, and adopted the child of humanity into His own family. He presents this example before you, and says, “Go thou and do likewise.” [Luke 10:37.] This doing of the words and works of Christ will create joy throughout the unfallen universe; songs of rejoicing will resound through all the heavenly worlds. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 27

Bear in mind that the Lord has committed His goods to your charge, and you are to trade upon them. He has given you in trust the orphans, the widows, and the fatherless in Battle Creek. They need your compassion, your care, your sympathy. Souls have been left to perish—children and youth who need personal labor. The neglect of one soul is entered in heaven’s record as neglect of Christ, for He who has paid the ransom money for every soul represents to the world that He is affected by all that befalls them through the neglect of his professed followers. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 28

Christ identifies His interest with that of suffering humanity. He reproved His own nation for their wrong treatment of their fellowmen. The neglect or abuse of the weakest, the most erring believers, he speaks of as rendered to himself. The favors shown them are all credited as bestowed upon himself. He has not left us in darkness concerning our duty, but often repeats the same lessons through different figures and in different lights. He carries the actors forward to the last great day and declares that the treatment given to the very least of His brethren as commended or condemned as if done to Himself. He says, “Ye did it unto Me,” or, “ye did it not unto Me.” [Matthew 25:40, 45.] 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 29

He is our substitute and surety; He stands in the place of humanity, so that He Himself is affected as His weakest follower is affected. Such is the sympathy of Christ, which never allows Him to be an indifferent spectator of any suffering caused to His children. Not the slightest wound can be given by word, spirit, or action that does not touch the heart of Him who gave His life for fallen humanity. Let us bear in mind that Christ is the great heart from which the lifeblood flows to every organ in the body. He is the head, from which extends every nerve to the minutest and remotest member of the body. When one member of that body with which Christ is so mysteriously connected suffers, the throb of pain is felt by our Saviour. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 30

Will the church arouse? Will its members come into sympathy with Christ, so they will have His tenderness for all the sheep and lambs of His fold? For their sake the Majesty of heaven made Himself of no reputation; for them he came to a world all seared and marred with the curse; He toiled day and night to instruct, to elevate, and to bring everlasting joy to a thankless, disobedient people. For their sake he became poor, that they through his poverty might be rich. For them he denied himself, for them he endured privation, scorn, contempt, suffering, and death. For them He took the form of a servant. This is our Pattern; Will we copy it? Will we have a care for God’s heritage? Will we cherish tender compassion for the erring, the tempted, and [the] tried? 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 31

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.” “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” [Galatians 6:1, 2.] “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things, put on charity (love), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful.” [Colossians 3:12-15.] 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 32

How much of this work has been done? How much left undone? The Lord will work upon the hearts and minds of all who will give Him a chance to work. Will you, my brother, look after the orphans? If they come to you for any favor, do not repulse them as some have been repulsed. Will you consider the case of the son of Bro. Asa Lockwood, who would take hold of Jesus and be indeed His child if personal labor were given him. Find a place for him in the office, turn him not away to obtain work among unbelievers. Treat him in all things as you would treat your own son, and the Lord will bless you abundantly. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 33

I write to you because I believe your heart is not insensible to these things. May the Lord bless you and your wife and children. Give my best respects to Sister Austin, and may you all have the peace of God abiding in your hearts by faith. 9LtMs, Lt 45, 1894, par. 34