Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 65, 1903

Kellogg, J. H.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

April 19, 1903

This letter is published in entirety in BCL 68-71. +Note

Dr. J. H. Kellogg

My dear brother,—

I wake in the night, and my heart is drawn out after you. I ask myself, “Should his life end suddenly, would I be guiltless if I do not now do all in my power to lead his mind away from the world?” I find myself sitting up in bed, sending heavenward the petition, “Lord, open his eyes, that he may see wondrous things out of Thy law. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [See Psalm 119:18; 19:7.] 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 1

I have a sense of your danger, and you need to have a sense of it. If we should sustain you in a wrong course, we would ourselves be committing sin. You may have the confidence and approval of men, but the praise of human beings is no evidence of the approval of God. It furnishes no evidence that they see as He sees. Those who trust to the praise and approval of men will end their lives without having obtained a preparedness to meet God. 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 2

My brother, I have the deepest interest in you, knowing the value of the human soul, and I entreat you to turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart. In the night season I am pleading with you to heed the Scripture, “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?” [2 Corinthians 13:5.] I am waiting and longing to hear from you in regard to your individual experience. It is not feeling, but genuine faith and works, that lay hold upon unseen realities. True faith is substantiated by a sure “Thus saith the Lord,” by the word, “It is written.” 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 3

The instruction that Christ gives in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew is the very best education that you or I can ever obtain. “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” [Verses 1-4.] 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 4

Who needs, then, to err? Who needs to be in darkness, when Christ has spoken words so simple and so easily understood? Will you not show, in your daily experience, that your dependence is in God? Will you not show that you are not seeking to be first? Will you not esteem others better than yourself, because the word of Inspiration declares that you should do this? It is not by taking the position that Christ has declared we should take that you will give evidence that you are a true child of God. 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 5

You are inclined to exalt yourself, to cherish a spirit of censoriousness. You show contempt for those who are chosen of God and precious, because they differ with you in some things. It is in the order of God that in some things they should differ with you. But because they do not agree with all your plans, you sometimes feel that you want nothing to do with them. Do you realize the danger of despising Christ in the person of His saints? God is light, and when He gives instruction to human beings that does not please them, shall they regard with scorn and contempt the messenger who, as a faithful steward, has had the courage to speak to them the truth? Will you, my brother, become the enemy of the Lord’s messenger, and say many things that are untrue of the one who has told you the truth? 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 6

O that you would sit as a humble learner at the feet of Christ! Then you would reveal a character that God could approve. What a change there would be in the atmosphere surrounding your soul! You need so much the softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit. It is for your present and eternal good that you become soundly converted, through the sanctifying influence of the truth as it is in Jesus. Examine and prove yourself. Do not let any man deceive you. However highly a man may appreciate you, he cannot read your heart. Pray now, without delay, that you may not deceive yourself or be deceived by others. 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 7

I tell you the truth; I lie not. You need a renewed heart. Pray that your eyes may be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, that you may discern the true character of your religious faith and experience. Have you that faith which works by love and purifies the soul? Are you striving to reach the standard that God has set before you? If you choose, you can make the Word of God of no effect to many souls, leading them away from the safe path. But I want you to stand on vantage ground before God. I want you to sit at the wedding feast clad in the wedding garment—the righteousness of Christ. 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 8

You have had many, many opportunities to become acquainted with the truth as it is in Jesus. Will you not hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end? Will you not look to Jesus as your pattern in character building? Then the structure that you rear will not be weak and imperfect, but solid and symmetrical. Study carefully the life of Christ. Constantly compare your way of viewing things with the way in which they are viewed in the Word of God. Do not in character misrepresent the character of Christ. Never, never depart from the way of the Lord; for “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 9

There are many who dishonor Christ by their unsanctified lives. But there are men who have lived with their eyes fixed on the Saviour. There are faithful ones who have served the Lord with uprightness of heart. Their lives have borne witness to the truth of the words: “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold; yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” [Psalm 19:8-10.] 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 10

One who knew by blessed experience the value of God’s law thus expressed his thanksgiving: “How sweet are Thy words to my taste; yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” “Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee?” “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous, and shout for joy, all ye upright in heart.” [Psalm 119:103; 73:25; 32:11.] 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 11

This may be your experience if you will separate from you all that is marring your character. I beseech you to make an unreserved surrender to God, and to make it now, just now. When you make this surrender, you will have an experience entirely different from the experience that you have had for many years. Then you will be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.” [Philippians 3:8.] “I delight in the law of God, after the inward man.” [Romans 7:22.] 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 12

Every privilege is opened before you. Christ presents His loveliness of character for you to copy. When you make Him your example, your pride and self-assurance will be removed. You are becoming weak in spiritual power through cherishing an unforgiving spirit and indulging wrathful feelings that place you under the control of Satan. These things are bearing sorry testimony against you. When you are converted, your masterly spirit, which leads you to judge and condemn and censure, will be changed. 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 13

Will you not accept the invitation, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Christ’s life, from beginning to end, was a life of meekness and humility. He was the Majesty of heaven, yet He came to our world to take His position at the head of the fallen race, and in human nature to reveal the character that all must form who are admitted into the city of God. He came to show the power of the sanctification of body, soul, and spirit that we must possess if we gain the life that measures with the life of God. 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 14

Christians must exemplify before the world, before angels, and before men the keeping power of the grace of Christ. You are intelligent in regard to the capabilities of body and mind and in regard to the victories that may be gained over the appetites and passions. You are a prominent member of the Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association. What you say and do carries a weight of influence. This influence should ever be exerted on the side of obedience to Bible truth. You should ever point the way heavenward, giving those whom you seek to educate the gospel remedy for pride and self-exaltation. This you can do by exemplifying in your life the virtues of Christ, the great Healer, the Medical Missionary sent by God to reveal the power of the grace that God’s tried and tempted children can have in this life, preparatory to entering into the city of God, to take their place as little children in His kingdom. We are given opportunity to be learners of Christ here below, that we may be His students in the courts above, learners of Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. 18LtMs, Lt 65, 1903, par. 15