Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 84, 1898

Kellogg, J. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

October 5, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in CD 293-294, 412-414; 8MR 258-259; 11MR 185-186.

Dear Brother:

I received your letter, and will explain as best I can in reference to the meat. The words you mention were in a letter written to Sanford Rogers and some others at the time Sister Chamberlain was at the Health Retreat. I had three letters hunted up. Some letters were copied and some were not. I told them to give dates to the time of the statements made. At that time the meat diet was being prescribed and used very largely. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 1

The light given me was that meat in a healthful condition was not to be cut off all at once, but talks were to be given in the parlor in regard to the use of dead flesh of any kinds; that fruits, grains, and vegetables, properly prepared, were all the system required to keep it in health; but that they must first show that we have no need to use meat where there was an abundance of fruit, as in California. But at the Health Retreat they were not prepared to make abrupt moves, after using meat so abundantly as they had done. It would be necessary for them to use meat very sparingly at first, and finally discontinue it entirely. But there must be only one table, called the patient’s meat eating table. The other tables were to be free from this article. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 2

I would be pleased to inquire the date of these statements. I labored most earnestly to have all meat discarded, but this difficult question must be handled discreetly and not rashly, after meat had been used three times per day. The patients must be educated from a health standpoint. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 3

This is all I can remember on that point. Increased light has been coming for us to consider. The animal creation is diseased, and it is difficult to determine the amount of disease in the human family that is the result of meat eating. We read constantly in the daily papers about the inspection of meat. Butchers’ shops are continually being cleaned out; the meat being sold is condemned as unfit for use. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 4

The light has come to me for many years that meat eating is not good for health or morals. And yet it seems so strange that I have to meet this meat eating question again and again. I had a very close and decided talk with the physicians in the Health Home. They had considered the matter, and Brother and Sister Semmens were brought into very strait places. Meat was being prescribed for patients; even Sister Starr was prevailed upon to eat it. This I did not know. Sister Harlow was under the doctor’s care and a meat diet was prescribed for her. Not understanding this, at all, I consulted with no one; but Sabbath, while at the Australian Union Conference, held at Stanmore, I felt urged by the Spirit of the Lord to take up the case of the Health Home established at Summer Hill, which is only a few stations from Stanmore. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 5

I presented the advantages to be obtained in this sanitarium. I showed that meat was never to be placed on the table as an article of food, that the life and health of thousands were being sacrificed at the altars where dead flesh was being offered up for consumption. I never gave a more earnest and decided appeal. I said, We are thankful that we have an institution here where the flesh of dead animals is not prescribed for any patients. Let it be said that not one morsel of meat has been placed on the tables, either for physicians, managers, helpers, or patients. I said, We have confidence in our physicians that this question will be treated from a health standpoint, for dead carcasses should always be looked upon as not fit to compose the diet of Christians. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 6

I did not varnish the matter one particle. I said that should those in our Health Home bring the flesh of dead animals upon the table, they would merit the displeasure of God. They would defile the temple of God, and they would need the words spoken to them, “Whoso defileth the temple of God, him will God destroy.” [1 Corinthians 3:17.] The light that God has given me is that the curse of God is on the earth, the sea, the cattle, on the animals. There will soon be no safety in the possession of flocks or herds. The earth is decaying under the curse of God. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 7

I then presented before them the necessity of those who were crowded into the cities procuring land in localities far from the cities, where they could cultivate the soil. The cities were growing more and more as was the earth before the flood, and more and more as Sodom, preparing for the fate of Sodom. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 8

I met the doctors and Brother Semmens, talked with them for about two hours, and I freed my soul. I told them that they had been tempted, and that they were yielding to temptation. In order to secure patronage, they would set a meat table, and then would be tempted to go farther, to use tea and coffee, and drugs. I told them that if they began in this line, we would not connect with the Health Home. I said, There will be temptation through the ones whose appetite for meat has been gratified, and if such ones have connection with the Health Home, they will present temptations to sacrifice principle. There must not be the first introduction of meat-eating. Then there will not need to be an expulsion of meat, because it will never have appeared on the table. It would be easier to bring in meat, but they would thus show that they were not health reformers. The Battle Creek Sanitarium will not long continue to patronize meat-eating. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 9

The argument had been used, that they might use meat upon the table until they could educate in regard to its disuse. But as new patients were continually coming, the same excuse would establish meat-eating. No; do not let it appear on the table once. Then your lectures in regard to the meat question will correspond with the message you should bear. Touch not, taste not, handle not. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 10

You see, Dr. Kellogg, that this matter is a serious one, but it is decidedly settled for the present. I have had both Sister Starr and Sister Harlow with me for three weeks, and no meat or butter has been placed on my table. Nothing to drink except cold water appears on my table. All have decided that it is for their health to use as little liquid food as possible. Both Sisters Starr and Harlow slept well. I took them out to ride often, over rather rough roads, and both have greatly improved in health. Sister Harlow was paying twelve shillings a week for room and board in the city. I brought her to my country home, and she has lost her headache. We have had her now about two months. I ask her nothing for board. I want her to get well. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 11

Sister Harlow has been an invalid for some time, in consequence of her internal organs fastening to the backbone. She has been proprietor of a large dressmaking establishment. In this business her difficulties developed. Her head suffered because of stomach difficulties and the trouble I have mentioned. She came to the Health Home and took treatment for a while. All her friends, father, mother, brothers, and sisters are unbelievers. We thought best to have her come to my home. I dared not place her in any other family, fearing that they would not know how to help her, and would allow her to do too much. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 12

Here she rides on horseback and does a little sewing. She is improving in health so much that we have hopes that she will be able to educate a class in school in the science of sewing properly. This is the one who was advised to eat meat and butter. She uses neither. She has plenty of milk and cream from cows which we keep in as healthy a condition as possible. I am raising my own stock. Sister Harlow has not had any kind of medicine but charcoal soaked in water. She drinks this water, and is doing excellently without meat or butter, tea or coffee. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 13

When we get a hospital, we shall have many patients of this kind. The people here send for Sara to prescribe for them, and her fame is bringing her into high repute. She has patients to take care of nigh and afar off. She has complete success. But a hospital we must have. We spare Sara, although we do not know how to do this. She does not ask a penny for her work. The boy whose ankle was cut to the bone with glass was a terrible case, but he was completely cured, and his grandfather, a Catholic, with whom he lives, came yesterday to put him into the primary school at Avondale. We have several students from outside attending the school. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 14

October 6, quarter past two a.m. Now, in regard to the meat diet. I have had workmen clearing land, building houses, breaking up the soil, doing the hardest kind of work, and these have sat at my table; but not a particle of meat has been upon my table in any shape for the last five years. I found that I could take no half and half ground I must be firm and decided in regard to my diet. One thing I do know: all who eat at my table improve in health and flesh. We have two meals only. I do not forbid those who choose from having a cracker and a cup of hot water and milk in the evening, but I find that I am best when I eat nothing after the noonday meal. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 15

If your wife could come to our home, without the inconvenience of the long journey, how pleased we should be. Everyone who comes here is delighted with the place. There seems to be health in the air we breathe. We receive letters of sympathy in reference to the hot summer weather. This surprises us, for we do not suffer from insupportable heat. There are but very few really hot days. Our friends have taken from the papers the report of the great heat wave which passed over Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney. These are crowded cities, and the sun shining upon the glass windows of the buildings makes the heat almost unbearable. We are in a locality surrounded by a variety of gum trees, and there seems to be healing in their fragrance. We have not felt the heat as our friends suppose. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 16

I am pleased to report that my health is excellent. I have been doing a large amount of writing. I have written sometimes twelve, and sometimes fifteen, pages before my breakfast, which is at seven o’clock. I have much writing to do, and I am not disturbed in the morning by visitors or with those who have to consult me in reference to my writings. I find under my door in the morning several copied articles from Sister Peck, Maggie Hare, and Minnie Hawkins. All must be read critically by me. Sometimes I am utterly exhausted; then I cannot read. That may be the reason that you had that statement in regard to meat-eating. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 17

Every article I prepare to be edited by my workers, I always have to read myself before it is sent for publication. I thank the Lord that I am able to do this work. My heart is full to overflowing with Bible subjects. They are constantly flowing into my mind, to flow out; and I am prepared for a fresh supply. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 18

Next week W. C. White, Sara McEnterfer, Minnie Hawkins, accompany me to Brisbane, Queensland. This is my first visit to that place. We go to attend the first camp meeting held in that colony. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 19

W. C. White is in Sydney. During the past week business arrangements have been canvassed and what must be done considered. W. C. White returns today. I am trying to keep from overwork, that my head shall not become confused, because important matters come up in the board meetings, and these are laid before me. Plans were laid to build cottages on the school campus. I was glad I was here at the time that this subject was brought up, for I had something to say. I told them that the grounds were not to be occupied by buildings. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 20

The land is to be our lesson book. After being cleared, it is to be cultivated. Orange, lemon, peach, apricot, nectarine, plum, and apple trees are to occupy the land, with vegetable gardens, flower gardens, and ornamental trees. Thus this place is to be brought as near as possible to the presentation that passed before me several times, as the symbol of what our school and premises should be. Dwelling houses, fenced allotments for families, were not to be near our school buildings. This place must by the appointment of God be a representation of what school premises should be, a delight to the eye. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 21

The open book of nature is to be the student’s study. Schools should be established away from the cities. I have more invested in this land than any other person. I am carrying students through school paying their expenses that they may get a start. This gives me an influence with teachers and learners. The land was laid out in lots. Houses were to be built, as in a village. But I tell them that buildings are not to be crowded upon the land round the school buildings. This is God’s farm, and it is sacred ground. Here the students are to learn the lesson, “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] The work that is done in the land is to be done in a particular, thorough, wise manner. From the cultivation of the soil and the planting of seed lessons in spiritual lines may be learned. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 22

All kinds of industrial employment are to be found for the student. The students are constantly to learn how to use brain, bone, and muscle, taxing all harmoniously and equally. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 23

There is land that is not to be sold, but is to be reserved. There are families that must be helped, that they may get away from the cities. Three families are already settled here. One family, in which there are ten children, I advanced 30 pounds to secure seventeen acres of land. Three of the boys have been clearing it. They have set out fruit trees and have erected a temporary house, the center of which is made of bark from the trees, and the two ends of tents. Here they are preparing a home for their father, mother, and brothers and sisters, who must be students in our school. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 24

I knew that this was the time to save this family. Brother Thomson, the father, is an Englishman, and one of the very finest of carpenters. His eldest son also works at the trade. This was a case about which I felt perfectly clear. I knew that they must have a home where they could sustain themselves. They must be helped to help themselves. They are at a distance from the school, but on the land which was purchased for school purposes. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 25

Brother Robb, who also has a large family, is settled on the school ground. He is an industrious man, a coach builder and painter by trade. But the only work he could find to do in Sydney was cab driving. We encouraged this family to come to Cooranbong, get a piece of land, locate upon it, and send their children to school. I think they have seven children. They have put up a long building, composed partly of wood, and partly of iron roofing, for the time being. They have broken the forest, cleared a spot of land, and planted the ground with trees. Brother Robb finds work on our buildings, and earns money, so that with economy he will have a house of his own in a short time, and will be able to send his children in school. Sister Robb is acting with Sara until the people get to know her. She is sent when persons are sick, and she acts as midwife. Brother Robb also treats cases of sickness, working in the line of a medical missionary. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 26

Still another family, Worsnop by name, have purchased land, and have built a little house. This family I have helped also. We are helping all these families to help themselves, but we need to exercise great wisdom, else we shall make blunders. Men come to look at the place, and they desire to settle here. But we cannot sell large farms. We must keep the land for those who need homes, and who cannot make a beginning. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 27

An excellent family of the first class has just come here. Their name is Argus. The father lost [his] situation because he accepted the Sabbath. They were Christians when the light came to them, and they embraced the truth. They have a little home in Stanmore, but he cannot get work. They are now here for a few weeks. We shall see that they find a place on a few acres of land, and as they are economical, they will soon be in a better condition. He can do any kind of work, and we shall only need to help them at the first. They are trustworthy, and will carry the best of influences with them. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 28

This is the work we are doing in this place, and it is the work God would have us do. Yesterday Sara and I visited a family, Symons by name, who live two miles from “Sunnyside.” In it there are two young men who wish to attend school and get an education in agricultural lines. We have secured a brother from Melbourne who can educate students in this line. But these boys are poor; they have no money. We drove down into the field where they were ploughing, and conversed with them. We found out their wishes. Both are Christians, and their mother and two sisters are keeping the Sabbath. They are converts to the faith since we came to Cooranbong. I told the young men to come to school, and I would defray their expenses. There are also several others whom I am supporting in school. This is our work, and the Lord blesses us in doing it. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 29

In regard to our schools, they should be away from the cities. This was a hard matter for us to carry here; but we have persistently fought the battle under discouraging circumstances. Wonderful changes have been wrought, not only on the land, but in the minds of the people. Our ministers are all convinced that we have correct ideas, and that our school buildings are located where they should be. This battle is gained. We shall now watch keenly how the land should be occupied. Only those shall secure homes who are in need of the advantages through real necessity, for their present and eternal good. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 30

I have written this long letter between half-past two and half-past six a.m. We are a very busy household. Sara came into my room at half-past three this morning, saying that she and Maggie Hare would harness the two horses to the platform wagon, and ride into the country about seven miles for oranges and lemons. This fruit is almost gone. My orange trees are full of blossoms. My peach and apricot trees are laden with fruit. If the Lord prospers us, we shall have fruit in abundance upon our trees this year. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 31

Three years ago the last of this month the trees were planted. Last year and the year before we had the most beautiful peaches and nectarines I ever tasted. Our mandarin trees bore abundantly last season, and are full of blossoms this year. Our passion fruit has borne continually through summer and winter for a year. My navel oranges, planted a year ago, are now in blossom. We have a very sightly flower garden. Some of the plants are in the very height of their glory. I wish you could see these things. This is the work my helpers in the literary line do. They work in the garden. Each has a spot of land, to care for and to beautify. 13LtMs, Lt 84, 1898, par. 32