Lt 7, 1875

Lt 7, 1875

Abbey, Brother and Sister

Oakland, California

February 23, 1875

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Abbey:

I have commenced writing to you several times, but other matters have come in to press me so closely that I have not been able to complete one letter. We still feel a great interest for you and your children. But we understand your weakness, and see where your dangers are. Brother Abbey, your only safety is in letting everything like spiritous liquor alone. You are so very sensitive to anything of a stimulating nature. Sister Abbey has some knowledge of your weakness and notwithstanding this, she has had from time to time, and I might say quite frequently, spiritous liquor to use as a medicine or for outward application. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 1

Brother Abbey deserves pity. He has a strong will and moral influence. The love of the [words missing here] has kept him from disgracing himself and his family long ere this. He has, several times, come very near utter ruin through his appetite and the gratification of his passions that were not held under the control of reason. When he indulges in stimulants, he sacrifices reason as surely as did Nadab and Abihu. He would, while reason is perverted, do as strange and sinful things as they did. He has dishonored his own body, and dishonored God’s cause, and has lowered himself to the level of the beast in the indulgence of debased passion. Yet God has not wholly left Brother Abbey. He would never have been left to do as he has done if he had not let go his hold upon God, and done many things in his own strength. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 2

He became independent, self-confident, and elevated in his own eyes. In many things he did not move in union with the judgment of his brethren, but according to his own judgment. Selfishness, which he had critically watched and condemned in others, did appear in his life and acts. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 3

His treatment of Dr. Kellogg was all wrong. Dr. Kellogg was not right; but he saw Brother Abbey’s danger. He made some very strong statements in an improper manner. But Brother Abbey took strong dislike to Brother Kellogg, and he felt wrong toward him. He determined that Brother Kellogg should not come into the Institute. One reason for this was [that] he had exposed before him his own weakness, and did not feel comfortable and free in his presence. He felt that he would be critically watched. The doctors united with Brother Abbey and they abused Dr. Kellogg. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 4

In view of Brother Abbey’s weakness, Dr. Kellogg’s remarks were not so very extravagant. He knew that while Brother Abbey was handling horse medicines mixed with liquor, he was in constant danger. Hence the remarks in reference to drugs. He knew, also, that unless strict boundaries were preserved, there would be indulgence of stimulants, more or less, by Brother Abbey, which would ruin him and disgrace the Institute. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 5

A course was taken by Brother Abbey and the doctors to crowd out Brother Kellogg and to drive him to desperation. When his courage is gone, he is weak in moral power. When he lets go of faith and hope and trust in God, he is desperately foolish, and does very foolish things. The course pursued toward him by those at the Institute, made him jealous of them, and jealous of my husband. He felt that he would not give influence to the Institute. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 6

You are responsible in a great measure for the course Brother Kellogg pursued which injured us, and yourself more, and which has reacted upon himself and destroyed his usefulness. A proper course of courteousness and true brotherly love would have gained his confidence and placed him where we could have helped him and strengthened him in a right course where his influence would have resulted in much good. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 7

Your course and Addie Chamberlain’s toward Sister Dr. Chamberlain was not courteous, nor calculated to give her that influence due a woman of her position and years. You would not allow her a room that was in accordance with her position. But how as it with yourself and your wife? You occupied an excellent room, one of the very best. Your wife had no special connection with the Institute. This may have been all right. But why not have placed Sister Chamberlain in as respectful a room as yourself, or you have taken the very chances you would have her take? 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 8

You and others had considerable to say in reference to Josie Chamberlain’s having a good room at the Institute. You thought her influence not good. You knew that Josie was reproved for her deportment at the Institute; and she was finally separated from the Institute. Both Sister Chamberlain and Josie were reproved for selfishness. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 9

It was thought best to have your wife go to the Institute with you. This brought Lillie there. A room in one of the twin cottages was given to Lillie, and her piano was moved to it. This room would command a high price. Lillie was doing things positively against the rules of the Institute, and she was indulged in regard to eating, more than Sister Chamberlain ever indulged her daughter. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 10

In short, it was a selfish piece of business from beginning to end. The Institute has been cursed with this dissolute state of things from the first. Had you been right with God, you would have seen that what you condemned in others you allowed in your own family. God is not pleased with any of these things which savor of selfishness. Your course in these matters is censurable. God does not approve of it. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 11

You have both been deceived in Lillie. She does not scruple at deception and falsehood to blind your eyes and deceive you. She is in a condition where God cannot accept her as His, for her heart is deceitful and wicked. She has told you many a falsehood to screen herself, and to enlist your sympathies. She has related to you things which have transpired at the Health Institute, has greatly exaggerated matters, and written them to you, which has stirred you up and embittered your feelings. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 12

Rosetta has done the same thing. Neither of them have known what they were about in this. Had they known facts which have been opened to me of your sad condition, your fearful departure from your integrity, they would have been humbled in the dust, and would have felt like putting on mourning while they lived, rather than maintaining a spirit of proud defiance. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 13

I have some more to say, but cannot say it now. Look these things over and write me. I have to say a few words more. For your soul's sake, for your family's sake, refuse to have one particle of cider or wine, or anything of a stimulating character in your house, or on your premises. Your eternal interest is at stake. Your life is even now in the balance. The course you shall hereafter pursue will decide your destiny. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 14

God is merciful. He has pity for you, and will pardon your transgression if you will now return unto Him with full purpose of heart and repent of your backsliding. He bears long with the children of men. Jesus still pleads His blood for you. You may, even now, be converted and be saved, if you will lay hold of His promises in humble, repenting faith. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 15

Whatever course others have taken is no excuse for you. You have had light. You have not lived up to it. If you carry out your convictions and do what you know to be right, you will then not walk in darkness. Unless you do change your course entirely, you will yet be as a proverb of reproach in the land, and you will drag others down to perdition with you. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 16

The requirements of God to you are plain. Will you obey? Or will you go on, as you have been going, to your ruin? Life or death is before you. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 17

In great haste. 2LtMs, Lt 7, 1875, par. 18