Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 140, 1898

Kellogg, J. H.


December 20, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 58; 13MR 405-406; 4Bio 427. +Note

Dear Brother:

We are peculiarly situated. On every side we are watched to see what we are purposing to do, to see if our course of action will be different from that of the denominational churches round us. Among those who have attended our camp meeting, there have been many who have come expecting to see a show. But they see a neatly arranged village of tents, each tent occupied. They see neatness and order in and about the tents. These camp meetings, wherever they are held, are a strong witness in favor of the truth. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 1

At our camp meetings, we have always had a large attendance. In the cities large halls are expensive, and as a rule the people will not come out. But these tent meetings, they think, are something worth seeing. On the Sabbath the day is occupied by Sabbath school and preaching service in the morning. The discourse generally bears directly upon the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and thus our camp meetings are the greatest and most efficient mode of witnessing to the truth and making it impressive. The religious exercises of the meetings are a constant confession of the truth. There are also most favorable opportunities in these meetings, which last from two to three weeks, to engage in work for the children. The smaller children are gathered into a large tent, and special instruction adapted to their years is given them. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 2

All these meetings are carried on in an orderly manner, and they have a telling influence. There are always a number of conversions made. But now we see that the effort made after our camp meeting is more effective in holding the people than that which we gain while the meeting is in session. This is gathering up the fragments, that nothing be lost. The after work secures from forty to fifty converts, and the experiences of these converted ones has a great influence upon their friends and relatives. But this is a very meager estimate of the work that has been done by our camp meetings in this country. In every place where a camp meeting has been held, a church has been organized. This is presented to me as one of the best methods we can use to reach all classes. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 3

The two meetings held in Brisbane and Newcastle have been the most interesting and orderly we have ever attended. The children’s meetings have been the means of great good, securing the attention and interest of the parents. If their children can get good [training], they are willing and glad to have them educated. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 4

More camp meetings should be held in our cities during camp meeting season. Then something tangible will be seen in the after work of binding off the interest. This method of working brings before the people the reasons of our faith. As discourse follows discourse, Scripture is seen to be the key which unlocks Scripture. The laws of the kingdom of God are laid out in clear lines, and the messages of warning are brought before church members. The Holy Spirit is present to enlighten and convict, and the testimony is borne in every place, The Bible is a new book to me. I read it as I never read it before. The Sabbath truth, with all its evidences, is brought directly before thousands, and the Word with convincing power is sent home by the Spirit of God. After the ambassadors of God have borne the message of warning to the world in presenting and explaining the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit comes in to send home the truth in its power to mind and heart. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 5

The Lord calls for men who live in close connection with Himself. He will work by His Holy Spirit all who will be worked. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 6

Dear brother, my mind is greatly exercised upon some things, and I have no rest in my spirit. Matters are urged upon me which it is not pleasant for me to write, but shall I refuse to write them? I dare not. I am pressed to say that we might have had much more help from America if those in responsible positions there had realized our situation in a country where Seventh-day Adventists are known by false reports only as a peculiar and fanatical class. But though it has been under difficulties, we thank the Lord that we have advanced. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 7

Your letters in the past have indicated what the medical work should be in this country, just as though your telling what should be done would make it so without our setting the work in operation. If we had the facilities we had in America, we might do many things, but we are only breaking the ground, and laying the foundation in place after place. We hope to do a large, sound work, but things came to such a pass in America through mismanagement and misapplication of means that we have been deprived of the straw with which to make brick. Then I said, The work must not stop; it shall not stop; and I hired money with which to advance. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 8

There is in the continual expansion and gathering in at Battle Creek an investment of the means that should have come to us. And notwithstanding the ability and experience of the brethren we have in this country, we have not been able to advance. When I read your letter in regard to the Gospel Wagon—for you are the only one who has mentioned the matter to me—I thought it seemed a good thing. But after the picture of the wagon came, and I considered it for some little time, I was lost to everything. A scene passed before me like a panorama. I saw the Gospel Wagon, and the first sight was pleasing and flattering. But there was nothing to denote that the solemn work of giving the last warning and making the last appeal to a guilty world was being done. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 9

While we are ever to reveal trust and hopefulness and faith and courage, while everything is to be done that can be done to save perishing souls, there must be solid, sensible movements made in harmony with the grand truth which is deciding the destiny of souls. That wagon investment is a mistake. You have invested money that should have been given to help the mission right where the workers are who have had an experience in entering new fields and building up the work. The light given me is that you are laboring under self-deception in finding so many ways to use means that little can come to this country to do the missionary work that is so much needed. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 10

The message has been given me that the time has not come for my family and Elder Haskell to leave this field. The work might have advanced in direct lines had means come to us as they should have come. But the work has been blocked. We have had to work almost empty-handed as far as facilities were concerned. What we are to depend on now, God knows, we do not. We need a sanitarium. We need facilities which we have not. We are, as it were, in the A B C of our health work. I have procured a little means here and there by strong appeals, but in comparison with that which should be sent, it is but a drop in the bucket. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 11

The light given me is that there is not a proper consideration of what needs to be done and the help that can be given by carrying out the light God has sent in reference to investing all that can be laid hold of in enterprises in Battle Creek and other places in America. We need means now for the school and the hospital which is to be built here. This is the work that should have been entered upon two years ago. We must have another school building. Money has been hired to commence the building, and we know not what to do with the students until it is prepared for occupation. We shall see that this building is finished just as soon as possible, if we can possibly obtain means, but every source has been drawn upon in this country. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 12

Are our people in America asleep that they cannot see that the work is near its close? The work that is done to make extra show and outward attraction is not the work God would have us do. The Majesty of heaven journeyed from place to place on foot, teaching out of doors by the seaside, and in the mountains. Thus He drew the people to Him. Are we greater than our Lord? Was His way the right way? Have we been working unwisely in maintaining simplicity and godliness? We have not learned our lesson yet as we should. Christ declares, Take my yoke of restraint and obedience upon you, and ye shall find rest unto your souls for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 13

In your work you have had special help from God. To Him you are indebted for your physical, mental, and spiritual acquirements. God is proving and testing you, and the example you set now is of much consequence to you and to us here in Australia. That which physicians are teaching now in Battle Creek is sowing the seed for the harvest we must reap in Australia. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 14

I am urged by Brother Irwin to come to America to attend the General Conference. I would do this notwithstanding my age, but I dare not. There are here so many inexperienced ones, who would stagger in unbelief and fail to overcome their sins if there were not those who dare to push against the men who say, “You cannot do it.” “Impossible.” Some have acted like baulky horses. We have to obey the word, “Go forward,” even though it be right into the Red Sea. [Exodus 14:15.] We shall surely come out, for God parts the waters. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 15

I wish our brethren in America would realize that we cannot make brick without straw. While I am in this country, I need every farthing my books bring in. I have made provision to <donate> the royalties on the books sold in foreign countries, <and the money> used in translating. Just as soon as possible I must have that <means> where I can use it <in this country.> We are losing much here because we are handicapped, but we are doing our best. We might have had much more to do with than we have hand if in America there had been a binding about of the desire to make things there the best and first. If we could have the things that you have discarded for better, in your work as a physician, we would be well provided with facilities with which to begin. We need a printing press, that we may be able to print notices, small pamphlets, and leaflets here in Cooranbong in connection with our school. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 16

Our work is new, and if we are aggressive, many places we now have in view will be worked. We are trying to enter Newcastle and Maitland, both important places. The first tent effort is now being made in Brisbane, and I am now consulted by Brother Haskell as to what they are to do. They cannot hold tent meetings any longer, and they have no place in which to meet. They are trying to find a house which they can rent and, by removing partitions, make it a place in which to assemble. But they have failed in this. A humble house of worship must be built there. This work must be done in every city where camp meetings are held. If we cannot secure a house of worship, where those who accept unpopular truths can assemble, we might better not enter new places, for the ministers work under the inspiration of the enemy to counterwork the work of Seventh-day Adventist. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 17

In our necessity we have to move out by faith. I wrote to Elder Haskell that I would pledge £5 to the meetinghouse, but where it is coming from, I know not. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 18

March 12

I thought this letter had been sent to you, but here it is. Since writing the above, three hundred pounds, lacking twenty pounds, have come to me from California. This was from the sale of my house on 28th St., Oakland. Mrs. Scott, who owed me the money, could not, after a time, pay me either principal or interest. Brother Jones presented a way in which I could get my money, by taking shares in the school at Healdsburg. He promised that the brethren would dispose of these shares for me, but they did not meet with success. Now, after much importunity, there comes fourteen hundred dollars to me. One hundred pounds I sent to Elder Haskell, a donation for the meetinghouse. One hundred pounds I placed in the Union Conference, part of which is to be used as a loan for the sanitarium; for they must have facilities. Ten pounds I donated toward a new tent. The rest settles my debts for running expenses, which have been accumulating for months. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 19

So help did come; but not one dollar of this money have I used for my personal necessities. All I have used will be only borrowed. It is dedicated to God. This is how Sister White is getting rich. 13LtMs, Lt 140, 1898, par. 20