Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11

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Lt 71, 1896

Maxson, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

August 12, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 1MR 286-287. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Maxson:

There are things of special importance that I wish to write you. I must tell you the truth. I have told you the truth, but you have not taken the words of the Lord to yourself and believed them. The testimonies that have pointed out your defects of character that you might make decided reforms, were misconstrued and perverted. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 1

Cain chose not to bring an offering of the appointed kind to God. He decided to follow his own will. The whole of God’s requirements upon us are just this—that we shall become as little children. God requires of you, my brother and sister, that you should lay aside your own will and follow implicitly the dictates of the will of God. He knows, and would teach you; you are not to work the Holy Spirit. He knows; you do not. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 2

Enough has been told you to serve all purposes; and had you consecrated yourselves, soul, body, and spirit, to God, the past showing of the sanitarium would be entirely different than is the present revealing. Should the Lord enter into more explicit specifications, they would be meaningless to you. That which God required of you was to believe, to accept by faith that which he has set before you. You have allowed your ideas and opinions to eclipse the light shining from heaven, and your influence has led others to disregard the light. You have said, as many are saying today, Why, they do not believe and practice the truth. This I do not understand; it does not commend itself to my mind and judgment. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 3

You may believe that God lives and reigns, and that all we have comes from Him. But you yourselves have been held in abeyance to self. Your ways, and not God’s ways, have led to sure results. You have worked yourselves. Cain refused to do what the Lord told him to do. He refused to shed the blood of a lamb for an offering because he could not understandingly accept the requirement. He brought a very nice offering to God; not an exception could be taken to it; but he left out the only thing that made it of any value. It was the specific requirement of God: Bring a lamb for a burnt offering. The slain lamb was to represent the Lamb of God, whose blood, shed to save a lost world, was to be prefigured in every offering made to God. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 4

Cain followed the direction of his own understanding. He would not receive counsel and slay the lamb. The sure result followed of men leaning to their own understanding. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 5

The Lord looked upon the sacrifice of Abel with pleasure, and accepted his offering. With fire from heaven God consumed Abel’s offering, but in Cain’s offering, Adam’s transgression, which made the offering of God’s only begotten Son for the sins of the world a necessity, was perpetuated. Cain’s beautiful offering would likewise been acknowledged by God had he followed the directions of God, and presented the offering typifying the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 6

When the fire was not kindled under the offering of Cain, he was exceedingly wroth, not with himself, but with Abel and the Lord. The hot fire of passion burned in his heart. Condescending to come down to his level, the Lord met Cain, and said, “Why are thou wroth? and why is they countenance fallen? If thou doest well, (obey the word of the Lord) shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” [Genesis 4:6, 7.] 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 7

Cain had many things to say against Abel, and against the Lord, but nothing against himself. He justified his course of action. He talked with Abel, his brother, and slew him. He refused to mingle the blood of the Lamb, according to the Lord’s specification, with his offering. This neglect led to the death of his brother. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 8

I do not present this to give the idea that you are like Cain; but to show you the danger of taking the first step in disobedience to God, and following your own ideas, and your own reason. In this early history of the human family, God has given lessons which we do well, as students to God’s Word, to pay heed to. The Lord’s words to Cain were to be repeated to the close of this earth’s history. If they refuse to obey my requirements, if they will place their own judgment against mine, and choose their own way, and their own will, and honor their own imaginations, the tempter will take possession of the mind and lead whiter they did not contemplate going. Thy own will followed will blend with the will of Satan, and he will master and control the mind and judgment. Do my words, saith God, and give no place to the devil, and he shall not rule over thee. The second curse was pronounced upon the earth because Cain disobeyed God, and killed his brother. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 9

I have been permitted to have something to do and say in regard to your case for years back. But that which the Lord has bid me say to you has not been received into your heart. I have been reined up to tell you the truth. You have qualifications of character which disqualify you to be a manager. While you have persistently denied this by your words, you have been just as persistently determined to manifest that which the Lord has presented before you of your capabilities—how you could make a success in certain lines, and how you could make a failure by seeking to be a superintendent of a health institution. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 10

Should I present all the reasons before you, they would not be reasons to you; you would not see them as such; and you would have that confidence in yourself of being an all-round man, that you would enter into managing; and difficulties would surely be the result; because you are a superficial thinker and work largely upon the surface. You have not the qualities of mind or character to go deep and thorough in any line connected with managing. It has been your constant desire to show that you were efficient in qualifications you did not possess. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 11

The one lesson that you have not yet learned is to be straight-forward in words and in practice. You say, and do not. You change your ideas after you have expressed them. You take things upon yourself that belong to the Board of Managers. They have felt compelled to let you have your own way; but it has been wrong for them to do so, for if ever a man [has] needed a Board of Directors, you have. They have needed a deeper thinker, a better executor than yourself. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 12

You have supposed that your plans and management were superior, but you are inclined to leave matters at loose ends, and to take upon yourself responsibilities, which, if any one meddled with, you become thoroughly dissatisfied, and are not at all delicate about letting them understand this. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 13

When you attend to your work as a physician, and do not grasp the managing part, which you cannot carry, there will be far less money expended. Many leakages will be stopped; the debts will begin to wear away. The Lord has presented this matter before me more than once. After I have laid these things out clearly before my brethren, and they have allowed you to have your own way, and have suffered things to go according to your planning, when it is not your place to be director, I have laid down the burden, and have had nothing to say. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 14

I have felt greatly concerned for Dr. Maxson and his wife, for both are of one mind in cherishing their own ideas as faultless. Dr. Maxson needs to keep himself out of the managing. When the institution is placed under a wise, deep-thinking, discerning man who is given authority to manage and say what principles shall govern a health institution, a sanitarium, then the Lord will bless those who co-operate with him. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 15

God sees that much thought and great carefulness must be exercised to ensure success in managing a large responsibility as a health institution. The powers of evil and good are in constant activity in such a place. Jesus is looking upon it all. He sees the characters of men and women plainly revealed. There are strong points and weak points in every human being. To every man God has given his work. You are not alone in the world. Your thoughts, put into action, mean good or evil to those with whom you associate; therefore you are not to think unwisely, or in a rambling manner, for the thoughts are carried out in action. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 16

I must tell you that your thoughts expressed, your planning and devising, is not always wise. Therefore you should not be left to your own judgment. That which may appear to you as the right thing to do after you have taken a hasty, superficial view of the matter, when acted out, and the result is seen, you shrink from acknowledging that you were the father of the matter. You do not think and act deep enough to convince yourself of your unwise plans and suggestions. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 17

Of all places, health institutions should not depend chiefly upon the physicians as directors. They need all-sided men, of impartial judgment, to plan and execute. The board is not to let things go in a haphazard way, for something results from all our movements. There must be a manager at the Health Retreat, or it will become demoralized. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 18

All-round persons are so much needed for the Lord’s work, persons who will not exalt or honor self, but glorify God, our Redeemer. No person is strong on all points. Some are not strong on any point, only to magnify their own ideas. All are to strive to enter in at the straight gate. Whether they bear pain or humiliation, they must give up all for Christ, in order to be workmen of whom He is not ashamed, who look unto Jesus, not to selfish indulgences, who make most earnest efforts to be approved of God. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 19

Brother and Sister Maxson, you need a decided reformation in the texture of your character. But just as long as you feel it to be your prerogative to work your individual selves, according to your own impulses and ideas, you will not meet the approval of God. You are not what God would have you to be in the Health Retreat. In some things you walk contrary to God, counter-working His will and His way. Your eyes are blinded; you cannot discern your own defects. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 20

God will have His work kept clean from the unsanctified devising of men. The work God would have you do in the Health Retreat has not been done at all times. Whatever defects others may have, you must see your own in a more distinct light, and you must elevate the standard after the divine similitude. Never have so much care as to what others are, or what they may do. Do your duty; make straight path for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 21

My brother, you have ofttimes given wrong counsel, and made prescriptions after your own habits, appetites, and tastes, when you should have been following the light God has given by living up to the correct principles of health reform. You might, by precept and example, have corrected habits of eating and drinking which are corrupting brain, bone, and muscle; but by your prescriptions, made according to your own mind, you have sent persons away with their wrong appetites confirmed, appetites which lie at the foundation of the disease from which they were suffering. What excuse will you make to God in the judgment for thus counteracting His work of temperance? Have you not had abundant light? Has it not shone upon you and been disregarded? 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 22

The Holy Spirit will guide into truth. If men are willing to be molded by it, they will be guided by our great Leader. There will be a sanctification of the whole being, soul, body, and spirit. You both need the spirit of understanding; then you will have the Holy Spirit, and you will discern it as it is—your Counsellor. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 23

O how much burden was lifted from Moses when the spirit of counsel was given to the seventy elders, making them safe counsellors to help Moses in his responsible work. What work was done under the Holy Spirit’s guidance! The spirit of knowledge was also given in regard to building the tabernacle. Thus God was their great Teacher. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 24

All skill is God’s gift. The spirit of wisdom is from God. The spirit of obedience is from God. All power of body or soul comes from God, and is to be used aright. Every worker who co-operates with God will be successful. He will reveal fruit in daily actions. He will have the grace and peace of Christ. “If any man hath not the Spirit of God, he is none of his.” [Romans 8:9.] Moral perception and living principles abide together. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 25

O there is so much anxiety lest self shall not have full recognition! All this fear is needless. The value of mind, of solidity of thought, and wisdom of action, will make for itself a place and name. There is nothing to be afraid of except that we shall not strive to enter in at the strait gate, and that we shall not have the approval of God. Faithfully living for Christ takes in much more than you suppose. Much more can be done in saving the souls of those who come to the sanitarium. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 26

In the preparation of the food, the golden rays of light are to be kept shining, teaching those who sit at the table how to live. This education is also to be given to those who visit the Health Retreat that they may carry from it reformatory principles. Physicians are not employed to prescribe a flesh diet for the patients, for it is this kind of diet that has made them sick. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 27

Brother and Sister Maxson, seek the Lord. When you find Him, you will be meek and lowly of heart. Individually, you will not subsist on the flesh of dead animals, neither will you put one morsel into the mouths of your children. You will not prescribe flesh, tea, or coffee, for your patients; but you will give talks in the parlor, showing the necessity of a simple diet. You will put away injurious things from your bill of fare. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 28

To have the physicians of our institutions educating, by precept and example, those under their care to use a meat diet, after years of instruction from the Lord, disqualifies them to be superintendents of our health institutions. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 29

Did Christ claim too much for His own teaching when He said, “I am the light of the world”? [John 8:12.] Christ is dealing with our individual hearts. We must be “laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] The Lord has a higher standard for you to reach. He wants you to think deeper; to contemplate His requirements more earnestly, and have a scrupulous regard for righteous principles. Every principle which the Lord has given in His Word is to be respected, sustained, and carried out. The Lord requires a loyalty so supreme and undivided that the most sacred relationship is to be subordinate to it. He claimed of all men’s service, absolute devotion, not for the wages that they should receive, but for mere love to Him, personal reverence evidenced by keeping all His Words, with no prospects of reward except that which He would give them in His heavenly kingdom. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 30

“We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [Verse 9.] I tell you, in the name of the Lord, that if you had possessed sanctified ability, and had kept your place as a physician, leaving the managing for others capable of deeper penetration, and more fitted to plan, devise, and counsel, everything would present a different showing. But you wanted to magnify yourself, honestly believing yourself capable of managing. But you have not the qualifications necessary for a manager. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 31

There are things you can do in a religious line, but you may neutralize the influence of truth by your self-indulgent practices, and by counter-working the principles of health reform so that they have little power for good. Self-indulgence in appetite, in one in your position, is most inconsistent. You know that the principles of health reform have the highest authority and a wider sphere than has yet been given them by many who profess present truth. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 32

Dear Brother and Sister Maxson, I am so sorry that the light which the Lord has given me for the last years has not been received by you as superior to your own ideas and opinions. Had you believed and acted upon the light given, what changes would have taken place in you. But the strong idolatry you have manifested for your own opinions, your own customs and practices, has effectually closed the door of your heart to the entrance of light, and the reproofs and warnings of God. You have largely pursued your own course, as if determined to make the messages from the Lord untrue. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 33

Had you believed the light given in regard to your inability, and your lack of qualifications to bear the responsibilities as superintendent or manager, and had kept to your duties as physician, the showing of the institution would be far different from that which now presents itself. The Lord does not give light on health reform that it may be disregarded by those who are in positions of influence and authority. The Lord means just what He says, and He is to be honored in what He says. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 34

One week should not have passed at the Health Retreat without a competent superintendent to arrange prices for the patients and guests, and to regulate the diet. Those who have always lived on meat should be restricted in this line. But if the leading physician and his family are not reformers in this line, they cannot educate others to give up the practice of meat eating. Light is to be given in this line upon all these subjects. It is the diet question that needs close investigations, and prescriptions should be made in accordance with health principles. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 35

For the last twenty-five years I have borne testimonies on this subject. My heart is pained because you will cling to your established habits and practices, refusing to reform. How long can you have clear, sound perceptions in regard to the requirements essential in health reform? You do not look deep enough into this subject, or think enough of it. It is your refusing the counsel and light on these things, when the Lord would have you make decided reforms, that makes you unwilling to accept the self-denial. Your influence in these things is not praiseworthy. 11LtMs, Lt 71, 1896, par. 36