Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 116, 1898

Kellogg, J. H.


December 1, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in MM 79-81; MMiss Extra 05/1899.

Dear Brother:

I find some things worrying my mind. I am troubled in regard to our workers having difficulty with the lungs. In the night season I was instructed that as a people who believe the truth and are laborers together with God, we must not forget that we are mortal. The Lord has not willed that useful men and women should be cut off in the midst of their efforts to obtain an education in medical missionary lines. There is not that care and consideration for the students that should be exercised. They should be educated to be careful of their health and strength. They should be so instructed to observe physical laws that they will be able in body and intellect to testify to the value of health reform. There are exposures and dangers that should be carefully guarded against, that the life which is a God-given talent may not be treated capriciously. 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 1

From the light that God has given me, Brother Rousseau acted presumptuously. He lost his life by over-doing that which, if handled wisely, would have been in some cases a benefit. The words of Christ are to be heeded. His cautions are to be carefully cherished. I have had presented before me the fact that in your class of medical missionary students there are those whose first work should be to understand themselves, to count the cost, and know when they begin to build whether they are able to finish. Let not God be dishonored by breaking down the man in the process of educating him, for a broken down, discouraged man is a burden to himself. To think that in any work that he may plan to do God will sustain him, while he piles upon himself studies, and subjects himself to exposures that imperil health and life, and violate the laws of nature, is contrary to the light that God has given. Nature will not be imposed upon. She will not forgive the injuries done to the wonderful, delicate machinery. 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 2

The pale, weak student is a continual reproach to health reform. Far better would it be for <students> to go outdoors and work in the soil. Exercise is good. God designs that all parts of the human machinery shall be worked. There should be regular hours for working, regular hours for eating, without studying the exact cost of every article of food and providing the cheapest kind. Procure those articles of food that are the best for making steam to run the living machinery. There is no extravagance in providing these articles of food that the system can best take in and digest, and send to every part of the living organization that all may be nourished. 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 3

This is the first duty of every student. No one is to measure out what he supposes his fellow student is capable of doing. Let every student reason soundly regarding what he can endure. Each has an individuality that no one can handle as successfully as himself. No one can submerge his identity in another. He must know himself, a favorable chance to come forth with an unbroken constitution, with a clear mind, with well-balanced nerves, and a good digestion. With these, he will be fitted to do the work he has qualified himself to do. If he disqualifies himself by imprudence, by eating hurriedly, because he has little time to spend, he is unfitting himself for ever doing sound, wholesome work. 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 4

This matter is worthy of consideration. We should keep the words of Christ ever before us: “Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] The first and highest and most acceptable missionary work that the student can do is to obey God in all he does, in every action of the wonderful machinery God devised in the formation of man. He is not to treat himself indifferently, he is to know himself, and work with an intelligent knowledge of what he can do, and do safely, and what he should avoid in eating and in working. 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 5

The Lord give you all understanding, is my prayer, that you who are laborers together with God may not give the impression by an appearance of ill health that you have mistaken your vocation. Unless human agents use wisdom in the exercise of brain, bone, and muscle, and treat themselves as under the jurisdiction of God, as God’s property, as God’s husbandry, as God’s building, they will make grievous mistakes, and lie down in an untimely grave. “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” [1 Thessalonians 5:5, 6.] A disordered stomach means a disordered mind. 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 6

I would say to each student, You need to take yourself in hand, and let no one whip up your tired nerves and muscles to meet their individual measurement. You are God’s workmanship, and under a full sense of your accountability to God, you are to treat yourself aright. Give yourself proper time to sleep. They who sleep give nature time to build up and repair the weary waste of the organism. “Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” [Verses 8-10.] 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 7

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written. He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” [1 Corinthians 1:26-31.] 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 8

“We are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. And let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon; for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. ... Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” [1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16, 17.] 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 9

Study carefully the first chapter of Ephesians, and let your understanding become enlightened. If you would build for time and for eternity, obey the laws of health. Place yourselves in right relation to God as His property, caring for the wonderful husbandry and building of God. In no wise is this to be neglected. 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 10

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ... Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:1-10, 19-22.] 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 11

You can do the very best home missionary work by taking care of God’s temple, not defiling it by gross indulgence of human passions, not imperiling it by neglect, by undue wear and overwork. Do not presume to overtax this wonderful machinery, lest some part give way, and bring your work to a standstill. 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 12

I am pained as I have presented to me students who are being educated to work for the salvation of souls and bodies of those perishing around them, but who will themselves perish before they can accomplish that for which they are striving so earnestly. Will all teachers and students learn before they go any further how to treat themselves that they may intelligently cooperate with God, to bear His message, to do His work, and not be cut off at the very time when they are most needed? 13LtMs, Lt 116, 1898, par. 13