Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 36, 1899

Irwin, G. A.; Prescott, W. W.; Waggoner, E. J.; Jones, A. T.


February 21, 1899

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brethren:

All in responsible positions, every minister in the Conference, are to be true yoke fellows of Dr. Kellogg. All who know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent should acknowledge that Dr. Kellogg has been instructed by the mighty Counsellor. They should feel that the Lord has used him as a man of opportunity, to do a work in medical lines which would bring Bible truth to the notice of the world. The Lord has sustained him in a remarkable manner, correcting him when erring, and enabling him to do a special work which caused the light of truth to shine upon thousands who would never have heard the truth had it not been that Dr. Kellogg and those connected with him were worked by the Holy Spirit of the Lord. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 1

The message of truth has gone from the sanitarium at Battle Creek to all parts of the inhabited world. This sanitarium is God’s instrumentality, and it must be managed by men whom God has appointed to do a special work. It is not necessary that men with reasoning capabilities be continually assured that this is God’s work, that Dr. Kellogg has his appointed lot and place. Had the overgrown church in Battle Creek heeded the word of the Lord, they would have scattered themselves throughout the waste places of the earth, to make known the truth they had received. They would have seen what other sects were doing in Christian Temperance work, and would have taken up lines of work with them in every church. Thus they would have made known the truth, not by controversy, but by their deportment and spirituality. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 2

God is with the meek and lowly and those who are of a contrite heart. Those who have crowded into Battle Creek, as into their Jerusalem, might have settled their families in places where the truth has not yet found access. By seeking counsel of God they might have wrought in a humble way to present Bible principles. The Word of God just as it reads would have been presented. Inquiry would have been awakened. The truth would have shown forth as a tiny jet of light till another jet would have been added, and still another. But the work that should have been done has not been done. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 3

Self-indulgence has held back those who could have been anchor workers, and by other churches the Seventh-day Adventist faith is regarded as a delusion. How will they ever know otherwise unless a spiritual work is done by Seventh-day Adventists in cities and among all nations? Then the other sects will see that they have made a mistake. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 4

The world must have the light. Medical missionary work gives opportunity to communicate light and to present our faith to those of all classes and all grades of society. This work ought to have been done, and would have been done if God’s people had been converted to the truth, if they had studied the Word with humble hearts, if they had reverenced the Creator of the world instead of exalting themselves and seeking, as many have done, to counter-work Dr. Kellogg’s influence. They did not see the work as it is. The elements of truth might have been woven as threads into the fabric, yet so silently that no offense would have been given. Had they done the work God would have had them do, Francis Willard would have been converted as Sister Henry has been. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 5

Would that there were men who had the same zeal for the Master, the same courtesy, the same love for the truth of God, that Dr. Kellogg has. He has not betrayed his trust. The Lord has wrought with him in surgical operations, giving him wisdom and success that the world marvels at. Men not of our faith feel that although Dr. Kellogg is a Seventh-day Adventist, yet he has wisdom and knowledge and a wide influence. They feel that it would be the height of folly to ignore this. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 6

If Dr. Kellogg will continue to walk humbly with the Lord, God says to His servant, “Them that honor me, I will honor.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] He must not feel annoyed by the conduct of those who he thinks do not act in harmony with the great and good work God has permitted him to do, neither must he be influenced by men’s appreciation or disparagement of the work. If he is yoked up with Christ, the work will surely advance, and nothing can stay its progress. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 7

I know that when admonitions and warnings have been given, Dr. Kellogg has not despised these warnings and set them aside. He has not worked in order to get rich. The work that is done to relieve suffering humanity is of more value to him than a world of gold. He has gathered in all the outcasts he can, that they may be uplifted and reformed and see God as their Restorer. God approves of his work in this line. Let the brethren appreciate this work. Christ is still saying, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” [John 12:32.] The greatest missionary work that can be done in our world is work in ministerial lines combined with medical missionary work. The truth is going forth from the sanitarium at Battle Creek as from no other center in our world. Those who have stood up to criticize should instead have participated in the work, showing that they have been enabled by the Holy Spirit to understand that the Lord has used Dr. Kellogg as His man of opportunity to do a great and good work. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 8

Dr. Kellogg needs the help of those who will co-operate with him, who will counsel with him. He has these now, but those who do not accept the light God has given on health reform, who subsist on the flesh of dead animals, who use narcotics and stimulants, cannot represent the truth to others. Those who are looking to Jesus as the author and finisher of their faith will be model men. We are living in an age when history is rapidly being made. Men today who are without faith in Jesus Christ are mere fragments of men. What they might have been had they improved to the best of their ability the talents lent them it is impossible for us to say, but one thing is certain, there is one perfect Model for the child, the youth, the young man, and the man of mature years, the man Christ Jesus. He is our Example in all things. He is willing to provide all-sufficient help for the development of character. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 9

I am now compelled to say that there are tares among the wheat in the medical missionary work, and in the ministry of the Word—tares which look much like the wheat. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 10

There is an objectionable kind of morality and piety in our world. Daily the soul needs to be purified. Study then we must to show ourselves approved unto God. Let us try to imitate the life of Christ, and inquire our duty solemnly, humbly, with hearts mellowed by the beholding of the meekness of the Saviour. Let us follow Christ. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 11

Let no man think it is his prerogative to plan the way in which Dr. Kellogg shall work. To every man is given his work. If every man will do his best in his line, Dr. Kellogg work will be made very much easier, for his soul will not be weighed down by those working at cross-purposes with him. Neither Brother Moon nor any other brother need suppose that God has laid upon him the burden of setting Dr. Kellogg in right methods of work. To put him in Dr. Kellogg’s place would be like placing an inexperienced man in command of one of the large ships that cross the ocean. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 12

There are difficulties to be met and adjusted, and decisions made which change methods. If in the change made to prevent an evil another evil is created, who is to blame? It is difficult, when large and multitudinous responsibilities are managed by men of varied temperaments and different minds, to so draw the threads that a perfect fabric is made. Some threads will not fall into place, and then the pattern is spoiled. There are many men who act as if they had no purpose in life. They may be so far changed in habit and practice as to “Cease to do evil,” but in vain we look for them to “learn to do well.” [Isaiah 1:16, 17.] 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 13

All these evils a man in Dr. Kellogg’s position has to meet. It is not enough for him to seek to avoid evil, but he must put to the tax every nerve, every muscle, to seek to do active good. He must take advantage of circumstances to master every difficulty. This is the work God has given D. Kellogg, and he is to have helpers. Those upon whom he relies should cultivate those qualities which will give value to all that they do. If they are determined to perfect a Christian character, they may do this by keeping their minds stayed upon God. Thus they can obtain a practical knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, and they will have the approval of a good conscience. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 14

We are all to be individual toilers. I would have all who read these lines understand that character cannot be bought or sold. Character is formed by patient, continuous effort. Much patience is required in the striving for that life which is to come. We may all strive for perfection of character, but all who come into possession of it will earn it step by step, by the cultivation of the virtues which God commends. Let none seek to make over the character of some one else. If they will themselves set a right example, God will bless them and make them channels of light. The righteousness of Christ will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. Let there be no divisions among you. The Lord would have His ministers walk humbly before Him. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 15

I feel deeply over the case of Dr. Kellogg. I would not have any unnecessary burdens fall upon him. Through the Lord’s help he has accomplished a good work. His talents as a physician have given him a place in the world that few have reached. As he has walked in the way of the Lord, the Lord has looked upon him and said, You are a laborer together with God. He has made many of those who were supposed to be his enemies to be at peace with him. It is the privilege of every youth and every man to set his mark high. The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge. 14LtMs, Lt 36, 1899, par. 16