Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 122, 1901

Kellogg, J. H.

St. Helena, California

September 11, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 87; LHU 229; 12MR 59-60.

Dr. Kellogg

Dear brother in Christ,—

I wish to write you a few lines. Be assured that I feel the same interest in you and your professional work that I have always felt. The matters of which you write to Sister Druillard are of great interest to me. I would have written to you before, but since leaving Battle Creek, I have had no time for repose. I have been urged to labor in different places, and I have ventured far beyond my strength. Again and again I have begun a letter to you, written four or five pages, and then have been called to attend a committee meeting in Healdsburg, San Francisco, or Oakland. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 1

The taxing labor brought upon me does not end with the messages given me by the Lord for those in our important institutions. I am called upon to answer questions regarding details. The whole burden seems to be rolled back upon me when I am called upon to define and explain this and that and the other matter. I have had no time to give rest to my tired brain; and when I have looked for your half-finished letters, they could not be found. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 2

Since my return from the Conference I have been trying to adjust matters at the Sanitarium. But this is the hardest labor in which I have engaged in my entire experience. When it seems impossible to make an impression that will cause the wrong ideas to change, what reform can be hoped for? I have met with the Sanitarium Board, and in the plainest words have told what should be done, presenting the high object for which the institution was established. But still no real reformation is made. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 3

I attended many meetings on my return journey from Battle Creek, and when I reached home, I was so physically and mentally weary that I could not converse with any one. I feared that I had been presumptuous in doing so much. I could not converse with Dr. Sanderson. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 4

But I felt that I must see Dr. Sanderson before I went to the Los Angeles camp-meeting, though I was still in a very debilitated condition. I felt that I could not leave matters in such an uncertain state. Board meetings and council meetings were being held, but no business was brought before me; for my heart pained me if matters requiring taxing thought were presented to me. But I was weighed down as a cart beneath sheaves. I knew that if I attended the Los Angeles camp-meeting without seeing Dr. Sanderson, I should carry the burden of the Sanitarium on my soul throughout the meeting; therefore I must relieve my mind. I went up to the next Board meeting and bore a straight testimony, stating how far short the Sanitarium was falling of meeting the standard God desired it to meet. I said that the spirituality <of many> of those connected with the Sanitarium seemed to be dead; that unbelievers were employed as nurses, and that the influence of this in the Sanitarium is not <at all> profitable. To employ unbelievers as nurses does not please the Lord or fulfil the purpose for which the Sanitarium was established. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 5

I said that unless a decided change should be seen in the spiritual atmosphere of the institution, there must be a decided change in its working. The Lord helped me to present the matter in a clear, straightforward manner, and then I left. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 6

But no change has been made. Dr. Sanderson is and has been the virtual manager. Although he will not acknowledge this, it is nevertheless so. Just what he says is done. He is the underlying power. He keeps a firm, steady, silent hold on everything. His fear is that some one will be brought into the institution who will be above him in control. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 7

When I heard that a resolution had been passed inviting Dr. Mary Sanderson to connect with the Sanitarium as lady physician, I said, This must not be. Dr. Mary Sanderson is not spiritually prepared to be a blessing to the institution. She is authoritative and domineering, and unless she is converted, her services cannot glorify the Lord. She needs a transformation of character. Unless she sees herself as she is and humbles herself before God, unless she overcomes the pride of her heart, she will not honor the Sanitarium. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 8

Our sanitariums are established as places where the sick can be treated without drugs. The physicians connected with these institutions are to be men of sterling principle; men <and women> who feel that they are to act in the stead of the great Medical Missionary to all who come within their reach; men who are filled with an intense desire to serve as God’s helping hand. They are to be men <and women> who realize that our medical institutions require the most judicious workers, who have ability and religious training and experience, and who will give the right kind of education and care to the suffering ones with whom they are brought in contact. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 9

The Bible is to be made the textbook from which is explained in practice the simple theory of Christian instrumentality. Its words are as the leaves of the tree of life to the suffering who believe in Christ, inspiring them with hope. Their treatment is of the highest value to them when they have confidence in those who give the treatment. And the Word of God is the grand instrument which convicts the unconverted, convincing them of their need of the sin-pardoning Saviour. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 10

The plan of salvation combines the holy influences of past and present light. These influences are bound together by the golden chain of loving obedience. Receiving Christ by faith and bowing in submission to God’s will constitutes men and women sons and daughters of God. By the power which the Saviour alone can give they are made members of the royal family, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 11

What a responsibility rests upon the physician! As he sees the sick and afflicted before him, subdued by suffering, it is his duty and privilege to lead them step by step to the great Physician, who gave His life for the life of the world. The character of the physician is to be purified, refined, and sanctified. Constantly he is to strive to reach the high standard of perfection in Christ. If our physicians will see their need of constantly improving, they will, in God’s hands, be the means of leading many to give their hearts to Christ. This kind of missionary work is the greatest recommendation to any sanitarium. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 12

Those connected with our sanitariums should realize that they occupy a position of sacred trust and that God expects them to carry forward the medical missionary work which is to be done in our health institutions. They are to maintain the ennobling Christian principles which are as essential for the saving of the soul as for the saving of the body. Christ enjoins upon them to sow the very best seed. Life, eternal life, is to be kept before every soul, according to his ability to understand. It is to be shown that the affliction of the body may be permitted in order to insure the salvation of the soul. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 13

To love God with all the heart, to be a partaker with Christ in His humiliation and suffering, means more than many understand. The atonement of Christ is the great central truth around which cluster all the truths which pertain to the great work of redemption. The mind of man is to blend with the mind of Christ. This union sanctifies the understanding, giving the thoughts clearness and force. He who is thus united with Christ can do medical missionary work that is excellent in God’s sight. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 14

The world is our field of missionary toil, and we are to go forth to our labor surrounded with the atmosphere of Gethsemane and Calvary. Those in our sanitariums are to take advantage of the opportunities given them to set before the sick and suffering the restoring efficacy there is in Christ for the salvation of soul and body. How carefully should these precious opportunities be improved by nurses, matron, and physicians! They are to hold up the privilege which all have of becoming children of God by surrendering all they have and are to the keeping power of Christ. We have been bought with a price, and what a price!—even the blood of the only begotten Son of God. Shall we not, then, strive to bring our lives into conformity to His will? 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 15

We are losing the great advantages provided in our sanitariums if we permit nurses to <serve who are> cheap in their ideas of the qualifications of those who act as medical missionary attendants upon the sick. By faithful teachers the nurses should be taught how to minister to the physical and spiritual maladies of the sick. Those who give the nurses this instruction must themselves be learners of the Great Teacher before they can teach others how to labor acceptably. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 16

Inefficient, frivolous youth are not fit to be entrusted with the care of the sick. The nurses employed in our institutions should clearly understand that they are to be representatives of the saving truths of the gospel. Realizing that they are laborers together with God, they are to do all in their power to pay the debt they owe to Christ. Let them remember that the patients will carry with them to their homes the knowledge of God they gain in the institution. There are Christian men and women who should become nurses. They have stores of experience peculiar to themselves which they could impart for the spiritual benefit of the afflicted. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 17

I fear and tremble for the Sanitarium on this hillside. It needs a deeper work of grace. The power of the principles of true religion needs to be felt among the workers. Then a pure, holy atmosphere will pervade the institution. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 18

Our sanitariums are medical missionary institutions; and in their behalf there should be enlisted not only the means necessary for their support, but talent and capability of the first class. The physical and spiritual needs of the patients are to be supplied. If those connected with our sanitariums improve the opportunities which come to them, there would be many more conversions to Christ. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 19

There are young physicians here seeking to advance in medical missionary work, who need to be surrounded by the very best influences. I would say to Brother ----- and his son, This Sanitarium is not the proper place for a young physician to receive the finishing mould. It is a solemn thing to be fitted to care for the sick. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 20

There needs to be seen in this Sanitarium that which is not now seen—a deep spiritual experience on the part of the workers, that by the strength of their example they may represent the great Physician. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 21

Many who are living without recognition of God come to our sanitariums to obtain relief from bodily infirmities. O, shall not such find in our sanitariums the light which, shining from God’s Word, enlightens darkened minds? All the workers connected with the Sanitarium should be bright and shining lights. They should be true Christians, skilled in the care of the soul as well as the care of the body, revealing in word and deed the pure and undefiled religion which draws men to the cross. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 22

O that the workers in our sanitariums would appreciate their privileges and opportunities! O that they would strive to understand what they must be in order to be Christ’s helping hand! Let them educate the voice, so that they can raise to God the melody of spiritual joy and encouragement. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Sing forth the honor of his name; make his praise glorious.” [Psalm 66:1.] 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 23

To our young physicians I would say, May God open the way so that your experience shall not be so purposeless that Christ will call you neither cold nor hot. Even more than God abhors infidelity, he abhors indifference in religious matters because religious pretension without genuine religion is a continual stumbling block to sinners. The more cold and formal men are in the religious life, the more they are filled with egotism, and egotism always works against Christ. You may have much knowledge, but unless you are the possessor of true, pure religion, your knowledge is worthless to Christ. He looks upon you and calls you lukewarm. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 24

God forbid that of you should be spoken the words, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” [Revelation 3:15-19.] 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 25

Every soul may become rich in spiritual treasures. Amid the terrible iniquity of this world men may serve God so faithfully that He can bestow on them eternal riches. He will work for those who serve Him faithfully. He can humble the most bitter persecutors of His people, making them friends through a belief of the truth, or removing their power to harm. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 26

The Lord desires His young physicians to unite with the very best influences, that they may reach a higher and still higher standard. Be sure that you are walking humbly with God. Do not think that you can step right into a practice that will bring you a large income to keep up an outside show. Men can read beneath the surface. They place little confidence in aspirations for elegance and ease. Take the Saviour as your example. He was the King of glory, but for the sake of fallen human beings, He stepped from His high command to become a man among men. Yes, for our sakes He became poor, that through His poverty we might come into possession of the riches which will be enjoyed through the ceaseless ages of eternity. Then shall physicians think that in order to have influence they must give the impression that they are well off? Those who think thus make themselves very foolish by their extravagance. God’s people have no time or money to waste on show or pretense. 16LtMs, Lt 122, 1901, par. 27