Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 257, 1899

Kellogg, J. H.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 235-236; 1MR 242; 11MR 309; 12MR 1.

Dear Brother:

Your last letter expresses the thought that I have lost confidence in you. I do not know just how to reply to this statement. I am certainly deeply concerned for you, and it is most difficult to say anything, because you do not take the matter as you should. I know that the Lord is your true Friend, and He has presented your case before me as not directing the work correctly. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 1

Every man who has large responsibilities to carry should be a daily learner in the school of the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. Jesus Christ made the world, and every human being is amenable to Him, and should be very modest, lest he assume the place of Christ as leader. Every man is to be educated in Christ’s school. Are you a daily learner in the school of Christ, that you may have that sanctified discernment which shall make you in every respect a safe teacher and adviser? Are you not in danger of weaving into your instruction sentiments and principles that are not in Christ’s lines—ideas and impressions which will be carried away by others wherever they shall go to engage in the work? Thus others will make mistakes which will have to be corrected, and still others will be mislead who will have to be set right. All our work is now to be critically done in Christ’s lines, that the world may be prepared for the closing scenes of this earth’s history. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 2

Every influence will be set in operation by satanic agencies, to divert minds from the genuine work that will place men as laborers together with God. All, who do not aggressively labor in the warfare where Christ, the mighty General of armies, leads, will be in the opposite party, composing the armies of the prince of darkness. They will lead the people away from the living issues that should occupy their minds and hearts and prepare them to distinguish between the voice of the world and the voice of Jesus Christ. We must ourselves be very watchful and prayerful, that we may be able to understand the voice of the deceiver from the voice of Him who always speaks the truth. Those who are worked by the Holy Spirit are not led by a feeling of enthusiasm, which soon goes out in darkness. The spell of Christ’s influence is abiding. “Be still and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] This is a solemn, abiding quietude in God. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 3

There is danger that all of us will have too much zeal, and too little of Christ’s sound wisdom and unquestionable prudence. Every one must stand individually as an active, working agency for the Master, beholding His work as it is given in His Word for our practice. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 4

Individually, they must think for themselves. With an open Bible before them, they must study under the influence and presence of Jesus Christ, inquiring and knowing for their individual selves what is the way of the Lord. They must catch His spirit; they must be partakers of His divine nature. Then they need never be in doubt, they need never develop the spirit of criticism; but they will daily heed the inspired Word, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? ... Now I pray God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be ‘(looked upon)’ as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” [2 Corinthians 13:5, 7, 8.] 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 5

I am seeking to carry the work just as Christ directs. Can you not see and understand that I have had to stand in the strength and name of the Lord against great opposition? I have words to say to you, my brother. You have had some experience in this work in meeting strong, opposing spirits. You should have more confidence in the work which God has given me to do. Should I be considered your enemy because I will not hold my peace when the Lord instructs me to tell you that you need a work done for yourself, which will give you an altogether different experience from that which you are now having? 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 6

You have had a work, large, taxing, and responsible. But the burdens which you have assumed, which have become more weighty as you have borne them, you did not receive from the hand of Christ. You gathered and attached to yourself responsibilities that you were not competent to carry. The sanitarium was your work, and to give to that the care necessary to make it just what God designed it should be was, even with wise men connected with you, a sufficiently large burden for your part of the work. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 7

But you assumed the care of other institutions and other interests which embraced large proportions, and gathered thousands upon thousands of God’s entrusted capital of means. This money should have been used to set in operation other sanitariums to do a similar work, and give character and prominence to the truth for this time. This work would bring to the sanitariums many who, but for these memorials and representatives of advanced methods in medical lines, would never understand the Bible truth, or even have their attention called to it. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 8

At the very time when, with the money placed in your hands—money which was not yours to do with as you have done—you could have helped other destitute countries which were wading through every difficulty in their efforts to spread the truth, you were investing this money as though you were a millionaire. This is that which God does not approve, because with it a much greater work, exerting a much more extended influence, would have been the result. While this was being done, the very work that demanded your keenness of perception, that required much time for prayer and quiet reflection—for this is not a small matter that you are handling—has been neglected. The anxiety caused by the precarious condition of the sanitarium, the schools, and the Review and Herald office, is not restful, but very wearing. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 9

The work of the sanitarium demands your clearest judgment, your most matured thought, and God’s instruction at every step. If this institution is prosperous, it will be because diligent work that God approves is done in it. To manage such a large responsibility you need a wisdom above your own. The educating of students was enough to connect with your work. God has not piled all these others things upon you. The sanitarium needs more than it is possible for you to give it. And unless you greatly diminish your various lines of work, you will be where I cannot write to you, because I would not be free to tell you even that which for years has been presented to me concerning you. After all your unremitting labor, you cannot bear to have the facts appear as they are in truth. You have not done the best thing, and you feel hurt when the Lord points out the things that you should not do. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 10

The sanitarium will be a memorial for God if it is conducted in all lines as it should be. Many who come to the sanitarium will receive their impression of the truth, as did Sister Henry. She was one of God’s precious ones, and through your skill, which has been given you of God, His truth was magnified. This is as it should be. All the influence you can give to the sanitarium is none too much. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 11

The medical missionary work might better be named the Missionary Health Restoration Work. The powers of darkness, which have long been watching for a chance to come in and counteract the Lord’s work, have found no better open door than this work which has done some good, but O! so limited an amount in comparison with the outlay of effort and means! There is no field in this world so ripe to have a work done in it as this field, where are at work the Lord’s servants who have acted a part in establishing the work in America. Your own ideas have been followed in centering largely in America. This was self-glorification. The need in this country was a hundredfold greater. O, the ignorance existing here is marvelous! It is terrible! And yet I have never seen a people who responded so fully to medical missionary work as they do in this country. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 12

The gospel of Christ and health reform in its true relation to the gospel have a common Head. A great work might have been done that has not been done, and, in doing which, America would have suffered no loss. I was instructed to set the situation before you in America and call for means from the sanitarium. I was instructed to call upon the responsible men, men who were managing the sanitarium, to awaken in them an interest to give to this field facilities to place the Missionary Health Restoration work where it could set the true principles of health reform before the people in this need world. But large schools buildings and sanitariums in abundance have been and are still being planned, while we have been here something like nine years and have not so much as one building erected for a sanitarium proper. We feel handicapped. We cannot yet furnish our Health Retreat, though donations have come to it from yourself and from me. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 13

You need to be counselled and to receive this counsel as a blessing, not as a curse. You are wearing out your powers. I need you to encourage and to help me in bearing the straightforward testimony which God has given me. The discouragement which you think I have brought upon you is not to be charged to me, for I have given you the source of my message. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 14

The Lord loves you, and after setting in operation so many great enterprises, He says to J. H. Kellogg, You are selfishly carrying the work in America, and using God’s money in various lines in buildings and institutions, when this destitute field to your certain knowledge needs something of this very work started and advanced that you consider so essential to be done in America. You could and should bind about, in the future, your large plans to center so largely in America, when many places have not for years had any money or facilities to do the same kind of work in a much humbler way—work which would have advanced the truth largely in many places. This is as the Lord has represented it. 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 15

“And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes that see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear and have not heard them.” [Luke 10:23, 24.] The Lord God of Israel would have His light and glory advanced in other parts of the world. “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Here a most decided question is presented—“What shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Verses 25-27.] 14LtMs, Lt 257, 1899, par. 16