Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 66, 1896

McCullagh, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Avondale, Cooranbong, Australia

March 25, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 278. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister McCullagh:

Fannie tells me that you do not think it advisable to come to our place. I should not have asked you had I not wished you to be differently situated from what you have been, for unless there is an entirely different atmosphere in your home life, you will not obtain that spiritual efficiency that will enable you to do the work you have been doing. There is too much haphazard work in your home. With regard to your visiting South Australia and then returning to New South Wales, I cannot speak advisedly, but this I know, there has been in your family a great want of management and a great lack of proper cooking. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 1

A thorough transformation is essential for every member of the family if you are fitting for the companionship of the saints in light. As a family, you are a long way from meeting the similitude of God. There is great need of genuine, daily conversion with us all, that we may learn the very things we need to know to understand spiritual things. Sister McCullagh needs so much the transforming influence of the Spirit of God. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 2

I asked both of you to come here because you need help, you need change, you need the very lessons you will hear at this meeting. You need to place yourselves in the channel of light, you need so much to drink of the waters of Lebanon. Instead of this, you have little religion in your home. Little things of inferior character are sufficient to crowd Christ out. How can you expect the blessing of God, how can you expect the light of the Sun of Righteousness to shine upon you with its clear, bright, healing rays, when you will not seek God, but let this thing and that thing crowd Jesus out? This is no time for any of us to have a circumstantial religion. Faith and hope and courage we will have if we seek for it, if we have soul-hunger, for religion. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 3

Your wife needs rest; she needs change. You need change. It would be better if, for a time, your wife could be relieved of the burden, if some one else could take it and care for you; but I cannot see how to arrange this matter. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 4

I will board Brother Semmens and Brother McCullagh if they will come, because if Brother Semmens would come to the meeting, I would feel sure that Brother McCullagh would be in good hands. I would give him that diet I should think best for him, the very best we could get up. Meat I do not consider the best thing for him, neither do I think tea or Java coffee would be best for him, but I will do my best to provide simple food. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 5

From the light given me of the Lord, you do not really understand what health reform is, and it may cost you some breaking up of bad habits to understand how to live. I am now sixty-eight years of age, and my life is spared because I have practiced health reform. If both you and your wife come up, you are welcome to our fare; if Brother McCullagh comes alone, we will do the best we can for him, and expect him to improve and become stronger; but this will not be through the ministration in diet of Sister McCullagh. Her child is permitted to live by impulse, and is fitful in her eating. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 6

Eating suppers creates a feverish state of the system and indigestion. This destroys her appetite for breakfast. All things are turned out of their natural order. The child should arise in the morning with sweet breath and a good appetite for breakfast; but the meal of the night before has done its work in debilitating and unfitting the stomach for food. Then at the noon meal there is over eating, when the digestive organs would do much better work if nothing passed the lips until the next morning. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 7

I have gone over this program with my children and myself, and I testify to the fact that the third meal of the day, if taken at all, should be strictly confined to simple crackers and homemade coffee. To dispense with the third meal entirely would be better for your family. You have not treated your stomachs wisely. As I reason with mothers about this, they say, I was just as my child; I could not take breakfast. No; for there lay in the stomach the food eaten just before retiring, and it was not digested. Of course, there was no appetite for breakfast. Too much was taken for the noon meal, and supper was eaten before the food previously placed in the stomach had been disposed of. Thus we go on, if we will, in a blind, heedless state, not studying from cause to effect; and the effect is miserable health. Tea is doing the work for the stomach and also for the head. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 8

These things I would not agree to give either of you. I have disciplined myself strictly, because I greatly desired my mind, my memory, my stomach [to be] in the best possible condition to preserve, to receive the molding of the Holy Spirit of God, that I might co-operate with Him, and not work contrary to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We may follow impulse and the imagination of our own human wisdom independently of the light which God has seen fit to give us, and we will reap the consequence in disordered digestive organs, clogged liver, and disturbed bowels. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 9

I did not ask you to come here to hurt you in any way, but to change the order of things, which your wife will not properly do unless the Holy Spirit of God shall mold and fashion her character. When this is done she can be a much greater help to her husband, spiritually and physically, than she ever has been; and you will have order and system in your family management. The lessons in home education now being given to your daughter by your own precept and example are not after the similitude of heaven, and there will be results which you will not care to meet. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 10

I do not ask you to come here to wound or bruise you in any way. I ask you to come that you may learn all you possibly can in every line where improvement is so much needed. I write you this because I want to do you good. The sickness of Brother McCullagh has alarmed me, and I have no hope of his recovery if a decided change is not made. If he could go away from his home for six months, and not see his family for that time, it would be a blessing to him. The many little home worries as well as the church worries, should not touch him. If he could be perfectly free in mind and have an entire change away from the cities, taking exercise in horseback riding, it would be a blessing. But I do not want to force him to do this, although I know it to be the right thing to do. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 11

I am writing you this to let you know that you are bringing suffering upon yourselves by a wrong course of eating and wrong practices. I wanted both of you to come here, hoping to see favorable change in you, spiritually and physically. You need have no fear that I shall express to others what I have written to you. I am working for your present and eternal good. If you decide to come, my offer remains as I made it. Your child I prefer not to have, for I have no place for her, and I would not want her influence in educating the children with whom she would associate in my family. I must be plain with you, for I know that neither of you know the character of your own child. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 12

I do not write you what any one has told me, but what I know from a higher source. Unless a change shall take place in your home management, she will control you both in a little while. Her way, her will, her wishes, will be the ruling principle in your home. The Lord is not at all pleased with the character-building of your daughter. I have this warning to give, and I have all tenderness of heart to you both. If you could place your child under the firm, even discipline of some person who has tact in managing children, you might even now see a change for the better; but I have little hope of any under the training she now has. I cannot now say all that I may have to say to you, but I write you this because I have a great desire to help you and your child, whose faults her mother is largely responsible for. 11LtMs, Lt 66, 1896, par. 13