Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)

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Lt 39, 1901

Farnsworth, Brother and Sister [E. W.]

St. Helena, California

May 29, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in CD 210-211; 1MR 291-292. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Farnsworth,—

I was awakened early this morning, the first night I have spent in my home for nearly three months. In the night season instruction came to me to speak to Brother and Sister Kress, and tell them that they are carrying health reform to a point where it will produce much confusion. The ideas thy entertain regarding diet are impracticable. These ideas do not produce a good effect upon themselves. God does not require them to subject themselves to this strict discipline, neither does He give them the message of absolute strictness to give to others. When the Lord requires this discipline, He will let us know, and we shall be prepared to meet it. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 1

All must now be guarded in regard to embracing the most extreme views upon health reform. The Lord desires to lead us all gently and consistently. It is the enemy who seeks to drive us to extremes. He would be pleased to see the conscientious advocates of health reform require that which God does not require. He would be pleased to see them placing on their own tables and on the tables at the Sanitarium food that is not acceptable. Let not those who come to the Sanitarium see that Seventh-day Adventists have lost good common sense. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 2

Our institutions are to discard meat. This is a big step to worldly people. Our patrons and guests are to be given plain, appetizing, wholesome food, which will keep the system in health and remove all excuse for meat-eating. If sensible arguments are properly used, reforms will be many. But if milk and eggs are discarded, what kind of a diet will be represented? 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 3

Let no one consider this question as lessening the necessity for health reform. It is but bringing in the threads and weaving the pattern in such a way that health reform will be rightly represented. As Seventh-day Adventists we have no right now to bring stringent rules to bear upon the people. When that which we place upon our tables becomes injurious to health and life, God will reveal this to us. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 4

The time has come when health reform will be received in its importance by many in high places and in low places. But we are to allow nothing to eclipse the message we have to bear, the third angel’s message, connected with the messages of the first and second angel. We must not allow minor things to bind us in a small circle, where we cannot obtain access to the people at large. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 5

The church and the world need all the influence, all the talents God has given us. All we have should be appropriated to His use. In presenting the gospel, keep out all your own opinions. We have a worldwide message, and the Lord wants His servants to guard sacredly the trust He has given them. To every man God has given his work. Then let no false message be borne. Let there be no straining into inconsistent problems the grand light of health reform. The inconsistencies of one rest upon the whole body of believers; therefore when one goes to extremes, great harm is done to the cause of God. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 6

I cannot say all I would say, because I have but little time. I have just returned from Battle Creek, and have labored at many places on my way home. The Lord has sustained me at every place. We have met large congregations all the way along. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 7

I decided that it was my duty to attend the meeting at Indianapolis. There error was coming in through some apparently devoted believers, who were straining the subject of health reform, making a yoke Christ has not required them to frame for this people. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 8

The carrying of things to extremes is a matter to be dreaded. It always results in my being compelled to speak to prevent matters from being misunderstood, so that the world will not have cause to think that Seventh-day Adventists are a body of extremists. When we seek to pull people out of the fire on the one hand, the very words which then have to be spoken to correct evils are used to justify indulgence on the other hand. May the Lord Jesus keep us from human tests and extremes. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 9

Let no one advance extreme views in regard to what we shall eat and what we shall drink. The Lord has given light. Let our people accept the light and walk in the light. There needs to be a great increase in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. This knowledge is eternal life. An increase of piety, of good, humble, spiritual religion would place our people in a position where they could learn of the great Teacher. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 10

The time may come when it will not be safe to use milk. But if the cows are healthy and the milk thoroughly cooked, there is no necessity of creating a time of trouble beforehand. Let no one feel that he must bear a message as to what our people shall place on their tables in every particular. Those who take an extreme position will in the end see that the results are not what they thought they would be. The Lord will lead us by His own right hand, if we will be led. Love and purity—these are the fruits borne upon a good tree. “Every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” [1 John 4:7.] 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 11

I was instructed to say to those in the Indiana Conference who had been so strenuous upon the subject of health reform, urging their ideas and views upon others, that God had not given them their message. I told them that if they would soften and subdue their inherited and cultivated tendencies, in which there is a large amount of stubbornness, they would see that they need to be converted. “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. ... God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” [Verses 12, 16.] The entire law is fulfilled by him who loves God with all the heart and his neighbor as himself. Peace on earth and good will toward men,—this is glory to God in the highest. The gospel will be satisfied when this great object is achieved. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 12

Human wisdom is to be combined with divine wisdom and the mercy of God. Let us hide self in Christ. Let us work diligently to reach the high standard God has set up for us,—moral transformation by the gospel. God calls upon us to advance in right lines, to make straight paths for our feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. Then will Christ be satisfied. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 13

Brother and Sister Farnsworth, be of good courage in the Lord. Let us not show our distrust by talking on the negative side. With one spirit and one voice let us talk courage in the Lord. Things will not always move steadily. There will be a great shaking about. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 14

There ought not to be a continual sinking of means in our institutuions. I send you and Brother Robinson a copy of a letter written to Dr. Caro and Brother Shannan. I expect that this letter will hurt their feelings, but if it only breaks up the shallow ground of their hearts, a wonderful work will be done for them. In the past Brother Shannan has not put earnestness and zeal and devotion into the work. All indolence is sin. There is abundance of work to be done, and the Lord desires all to work with earnestness and devotion, realizing that unselfish service is required. “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] God desires to breathe into His workers His Spirit and life and salvation. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 15

I cannot, dare not say that it is best for these men to connect with the Sanitarium. I fear that trouble would be ever lurking in the institution, waiting for an opportunity to work. There is in the work of the Lord no place for those who are consumers and not producers. When self is hid with Christ in God, the Christlikeness will appear. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 16

I am a friend and not an enemy to those I have mentioned. They have capabilities, but I am sorry to say that God has been dishonored by their course. They could both have done better. Brother Shannan’s slothfulness is a dishonor to his God. The Lord has seen Dr. Caro’s desire to exalt himself. Display is something God will not sustain. It is an offence to Him. The prodigality in the use of the means so hard to obtain is robbing the cause of means which should be used for its advancement. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 17

But I will now stop. God bless you. 16LtMs, Lt 39, 1901, par. 18