Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 47a, 1895

Kellogg, Brother and Sister [J. H.]

Avondale, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 27, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in TM 239-245. +Note

Dr. and Mrs. J. H. Kellogg
Battle Creek, Michigan, U. S. A

Dear Brother and Sister:

I received your letters with much pleasure, for they contained valuable information. I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Sister Prescott and her son and niece. W. C. White and Professor Prescott came to Avondale to make a short visit, remaining less than three full days. Professor Prescott appears to be in better health than I have ever seen him enjoy before. He seemed pleased with the outlook here. While here he spoke twice to the students of the Manual Training School. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 1

These students are doing their best to follow the light God has given, to combine with mental training the proper use of brain and muscle. Thus far the results have exceeded our expectations. At the close of the first term, which was regarded as an experiment, opportunity was given for the students to have their vacation and engage in whatever work they chose to do. But everyone begged that the school might be continued as before, with manual labor each day, combined with certain hours of study. The students did not want to give up the present opportunity of learning how to labor and how to study. If this is their choice under the most disadvantageous circumstances, what influence will it have when the school buildings are up, and there are more favorable surroundings for the students? 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 2

The building they now occupy, the only one at all fit for the purpose, was an old hotel which we rented and are using to its fullest capacity. Four tents pitched in an adjoining paddock are also occupied by students. Every morning at six o’clock the members of the school are called together for morning worship and Bible study. These occasions have proved a blessing. I was invited to attend them, and with Willie I walked across the paddocks by moonlight, a little more than [a] quarter of a mile from the Lacey cottage where we were then staying, to the school building. It was midwinter, and the walk in the cool, bracing air, and beautiful moonlight was a pleasant one. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 3

I spoke to the students eight mornings. The Lord Jesus was indeed in our assembly. The congregation averaged from twenty-six to thirty. In the first meetings the spirit of intercession came upon me, and all were sensible that the Lord heard our prayers. Then I spoke about thirty minutes, and the Lord gave me words for those assembled. These seasons were most profitable; the testimonies of the students following gave evidence that the Holy Spirit was giving to all, glimpses of the things of God. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 4

The spiritual impressions became more marked as the meetings progressed. The divine presence was with us. The sympathies and sentiments of those present became inspired with power and fervor. Hearts were susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit, and decided changes were wrought in minds and character. The Spirit of God was working upon human agents. I praise the Lord for the encouraging influence of His Spirit upon my own heart. We all felt that the Lord was co-operating with us to lead us to will, to resolve, and act. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 5

The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. This is our proper work. As soon as we earnestly enter upon the work, God’s grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to co-operate. The Holy Spirit works the human agent, to work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:13.] 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 6

I never had a deeper sense of the precious truth and its power upon human minds than when addressing those students in the early meeting. Morning after morning I felt charged with a message from God. I also had special freedom in speaking twice upon the Sabbath. At every meeting several unbelievers were present, and they were much affected as the truth was presented. If we had a suitable place for meeting we could invite the neighbors to come in. But our long, narrow dining room, crowded as closely as if packed, is not a very suitable place for worship. I am assigned a little space in the corner of the room, and am packed up close to the wall. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus is in the assembly. We know it. Some souls are thinking very seriously now upon the subject of the truth. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 7

We all know that the most severe and intense soul struggles belong to the hour of the great resolve to act out the convictions upon the human heart. The consecration of the soul to God is committing the keeping of the soul to One who has purchased its freedom at an infinite price, and then we are to follow on to know the Lord, that we may know His goings forth are prepared as the morning. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” [1 Samuel 15:22.] The whole work of the Christian is comprised in willing and doing. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 8

The students work hard and faithfully. They are gaining in strength of nerve and in solidity as well as activity of muscles. This is the proper education, which will bring forth from our school young men who are not weak and inefficient, who have not a one-sided education, but an all-round physical, mental, and moral training. The builders of character must not forget to lay the foundation which will make education of the greatest value. This will require self-sacrifice, but it must be done. The physical training will, if properly conducted, prepare for mental taxation. But the one alone always makes a deficient man. The physical taxation combined with mental effort keeps the mind and morals in a more healthful condition, and far better work is done. Under this training, students will come forth from our schools educated for practical life, able to put their intellectual capabilities to the best use. Physical and mental exercise must be combined if we [would] do justice to our students. We have been working on this plan here with complete satisfaction, notwithstanding the inconveniences under which students have to labor. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 9

I came to this place and began work on my place so earnestly that it inspired all with fresh zeal, and they have been working with a will, rejoicing that they have the privilege. We have provoked one another to zeal and good works. The school workers were afraid I would plant the first trees, and now both they and I have the satisfaction of having the first genuine orchards in this vicinity. Some of our trees will yield fruit next year, and the peaches will bear quite a crop in two years. Mr. Moseley, from whom we bought our trees, lives about twenty miles from here. He has an extensive and beautiful orchard. He says that we have splendid fruit land. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 10

Well, the school has made an excellent beginning. The students are learning how to plant trees, strawberries, etc.; how they must keep every sprangle and fiber of the roots uncramped in order to give them a chance to grow. Is not this a most precious lesson as to how to treat the human mind, and the body as well—not to cramp any of the organs of the body, but give them ample room to do their work? The mind must be called out, its energies taxed. We want men and women who can be energized by the Spirit of God to do a complete work under the Spirit’s guidance. But these minds must be cultivated, employed <to do thorough work,> not lazy and dwarfed by inaction. Just so men and women and children are wanted who will work the land, and use their tact and skill, not with a feeling that they are menials, but that they are doing just such noble work as God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden, who loved to see the miracles wrought by the divine Husbandman. The human agent plants the seed, and God waters it and causes His sun to shine upon it, and up springs the tiny blade. Here is the lesson God gives to us concerning the resurrection of the body, and the renewing of the heart. We are to learn of spiritual things from the development of the earthly. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 11

We are not to be put about and discouraged about temporal things because of apparent failures, nor should we be disheartened by delay. We should work the soil cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in her bosom rich stores for the faithful worker to garner, richer than gold or silver. The niggardliness laid to her charge is false witness. With proper, intelligent cultivation the earth will yield its treasures for the benefit of man. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 12

The spiritual lessons to be learnt are of no mean order. The seeds of truth sown in the soil of the heart will not all be lost, but will spring up, first the blade, then the ear, and then the corn in the ear. God said in the beginning, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit.” [Genesis 1:11.] God created the seed as He did the earth, by the divine word. We are to exercise our reasoning powers in the cultivation of the earth, and to have faith in the Word of God that has created the fruit of the earth for the service of man. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 13

The cultivation of our land requires the exercise of all the brainpower and tact we possess. The <unworked> lands around us testify to the indolence of men. We hope to arouse to action the dormant senses. We hope to see intelligent farmers, who will be rewarded for their earnest labor. The hand and head must co-operate, bringing new and sensible plans into operation in the cultivation of the soil. We have here seen the giant trees felled and uprooted, we have seen the ploughshare pressed into the earth, turning deep furrows for the planting of trees and the sowing of the seed. The students are learning what ploughing means, and that the hoe and the shovel, [the] rake and the harrow are all implements of honorable and profitable industry. Mistakes will often be made, but every error lies close beside truth. Wisdom will be learned by failures, and the energy that will make a beginning gives hope of success in the end. Hesitation will keep things back, precipitancy will alike retard, but all will serve as lessons if the human agents will have it so. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 14

In the school that is started here in Cooranbong, we look to see real success in agricultural lines, combined with a study of the sciences. We mean for this place to be a center, from which shall irradiate light, precious advanced knowledge that shall result in the working of unimproved lands, so that hills and valleys shall blossom like the rose. For both children and men, labor combined with mental taxation will give the right kind of all-round education. The cultivation of the mind will bring tact and fresh incentive to the cultivation of the soil. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 15

There will be [a] new presentation of men as bread winners, possessing educated, trained ability to work the soil to advantage. Their minds will not be overtaxed and strained to the uttermost with the study of the sciences. Such men will break down the foolish sentiments that have prevailed in regard to manual labor. An influence will go forth, not in loud-voiced oratory, but in real inculcation of ideas. We shall see farmers who are not coarse and rough and slack, careless of their apparel and of the appearance of their homes; but they will bring taste into farm houses. Rooms will be sunny and inviting. We shall not see blackened ceilings, covered with cloth full of dust and dirt. Science, genius, intelligence, will be manifest in the home. The cultivation of the soil will be regarded as elevating and ennobling. Pure, practical religion will be manifested in treating the earth as God’s treasurehouse. The more intelligent a man becomes, the more religious influence should be radiating from him. And the Lord would have us treat the earth as a precious treasure, lent us in trust. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 16

Close by our present school building lives a family named _____ who have many children and are very poor, but their home is a pattern of neatness and cultivated taste. There is heard no coarse language, no quarreling, or scolding. They are Catholics, but four of the older children attend our Sabbath school and meeting, and seem to be deeply interested. They are promising subjects to work with. On little farms scattered in the forests we find intelligent, noble-looking people. We love to see their healthy-looking faces. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 17

The Catholic element is not very strong in this locality. There is a Catholic school here, but they have few students. The people seem friendly to us. Every time we call upon families, they make an earnest request for us to come again. I shall put my books into their hands. Already some have read them, and speak highly of them. Some are really interested in the truth. As soon as we can get a place to accommodate them, we hope to have quite a congregation. The neighbors far and near should be visited. I think we are in the right locality, and the Lord does indeed bless His people. Praise His holy name. 10LtMs, Lt 47a, 1895, par. 18