Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 149, 1899

Kellogg, J. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

September 25, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 1MR 231-232. +Note

Dear Brother:

I received your letter dated May 30, 1899. I am sorry that I cannot see you, and converse with you, for I think I could relieve your mind. I did not suppose that you would understand the things written to the sanitarium as addressed to yourself. You, individually, have not been presented to me as selfish and covetous; but I have been shown that there was too much reaching out in medical missionary lines, that this work was swelling to such large proportions that there was danger of making the General Conference bankrupt, as it almost is now. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 1

The erection of the Boulder Sanitarium has called out large sums of money from the General Conference, and in order to run this institution, there will be continual calls for means. This move was not a wise one. It is not the way of the Lord to draw so largely from the treasury for enterprises which the world can and will sustain if called upon to help. There are few wealthy men among Seventh-day Adventists; for the most part they are poor, and if the men who have been foremost in this movement had put their talents to work to secure the support of worldlings, they would have acted a far more sensible part. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 2

Unwise management has often been manifested by those who have erected school buildings and sanitariums, when the General Conference was already involved many thousands of dollars in debt. Had these men possessed sanctified eyesight, they would have seen that the money used in these enterprises was needed in foreign fields. These matters call for careful consideration. There are fields all white to the harvest, and yet the standard of truth has never been lifted in them, although the need has been kept before the people. The vineyard takes in the whole world, and every part of it is to be worked. God’s workers must view matters sensibly, and with eyes anointed with heavenly ointment see things afar off in destitute fields as well as in America. When they do this, they will be impressed with the work that is needed to be done. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 3

The words which I have addressed to the sanitarium managers I have not addressed to you personally, Dr. Kellogg; but you have come in and taken to yourself all that was spoken to the sanitarium as an institution. Stand from between me and the managers of the sanitarium, and let the appeals of God come direct to them. Your name has been mentioned, because if I had written to the managers and not to you, you would have felt that everything should have come to you. I supposed that you would lay these matters before the sanitarium managers, that your sensible, intelligent mind would see our necessities, and that you would all unite in binding about the means which is being absorbed in different enterprises. I supposed that you would send us some of this means to help in the work which is dragging so heavily. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 4

I asked nothing but what was perfectly just and reasonable. The medical missionary work is just as much a necessity in this part of the world as it is in America. If we had one quarter of the money here that you have <had to handle> in Battle Creek, we could place those who have received an education in medical lines where they could work to good advantage. The General Conference, at the solicitations of Dr. Kellogg and A. R. Henry, established an institution in Boulder, which cost, I am informed, eighty thousand dollars. Twenty thousand dollars would have erected a sanitarium here, and the brethren in this field would have given to the extent of their ability to furnish the building. This would have placed us several years in advance of where we now stand. <God sees all this.> 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 5

The Lord does not work with partiality. There is a work to be done in Australia which you have neglected in order to multiply your advantages in America. God says to you <in America,> Bind about your spreading interests. Share your facilities with those who need your help in establishing the work in the needy portions of the vineyard. This is a the message God gives me for you, who are pushing the work so heavily in one line to the neglect of other fields which stand ready to be worked. There are not funds enough among Seventh-day Adventists to sustain so large a work. The workers in other portions of the world need the means, that they may prepare to work still other parts. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 6

It is God’s design that those fields which have abundant facilities shall share their advantages with more needy fields. This is the principle ever to be observed in all our institutions. God requires that there shall be less planning and devising for buildings in <America and in> Battle Creek, and that the means shall flow into fields where there is nothing to rely upon, where the work is carried on under great disadvantages for want of facilities. But the spirit of selfishness has been manifested <in centralizing so much.> Into the fields where there is already an abundance of facilities, the workers have gathered <from> every possible resource. Again I would say to those who have influence, Do the work that has been neglected. Here there are very few who have means, and they do not know the blessing of imparting what they have received. But they are learning, and we expect them to do according to their ability. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 7

You told me that you had furnished the Gospel Wagon from your own pocket. You need not have done this, Dr. Kellogg. It was not a wise investment. I was shown that some of the young people connected with this work would be spoiled, and in their turn would spoil others. Their example was not a sanctified, humble, self-denying example, but a hurtful one. Your money has gone forth to do many such things, which the Lord’s voice was saying to you, Who hath required this at your hand? Medical missionary work is not to stand between me and the work to be established in Australia, which is a world in itself. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 8

We need means with which to make a beginning. We desire to keep the medical missionary work as the right arm of the body, as a part of the gospel ministry in every place where a church is established. I have been at work with all the power of influence I possessed to make a beginning. I am borrowing money, and giving my note for the same. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 9

The Health Retreat in Cooranbong is now being finished. This is not a large building, but it is the best we can afford. It is neat and plain. We cannot do the plastering until we obtain the means. When the plastering is finished, we shall furnish a few rooms where we can treat the sick. We will wait for means to build the verandahs and furnish the rest of the building. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 10

The sanitarium in Sydney is full to overflowing, and if our Retreat were finished, Dr. Caro would send the patients here. But we have used all our means and can go no farther. Yesterday we went over to the building and called the workers together to consult as to what could be done with the orchard connected with the hospital. W. C. White and I consented to take the work in hand, and send our hired man with a plough to attend to the land. We have a large debt still unpaid, for at the last conference, when money was being raised for the sanitarium, we would not bring the hospital up for consideration. This required great self-denial, for the sick and wearied ones have to be cared for at our home. But the Lord knows all about this matter. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 11

Our sanitarium must go up at once. We are looking for a site, but land is so high that we cannot purchase, for we have only the limited sum raised at the union conference. The word of the Lord comes to us, Advance; but to obey seems like going into the Red Sea. As yet, I have received but very little from my books. I was heavily in debt at both offices, and therefore have nothing to draw upon. To build our church in Hamilton, Newcastle, I donated two hundred and fifty dollars, but after hiring two hundred pounds for the land, we refused to go any deeper in debt. The tent had to be kept up through the winter until we obtained means to build. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 12

John Wessels is here, and he is pleased with the place. We hope to have his help in erecting our sanitarium. He is receiving interest from his money, but the principal is tied up in buildings recently erected in Cape Town. Although an earnest appeal was made to him two years ago to come and help us build a sanitarium, he was persuaded to stay in Cape Town. At that time he had his means, but after he decided to remain, he invested them in buildings there. He is now trying to get his money, but there seems to be little hope of his doing so. The war that is threatening there makes it almost an impossibility. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 13

I will leave this matter with you now, Dr. Kellogg. We shall do all we can, and leave what we cannot do with the Lord. I write in haste. 14LtMs, Lt 149, 1899, par. 14