Lt 10, 1899

1899

Lt 10, 1899

Kellogg, J. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 14, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in Te 258; 2MR 32-33; 10MR 296. +Note

Dear Brother:

The American mail went yesterday, and yet I am not at rest. I am held to the point. I am talking with you, Dr. Kellogg, with my pen, as I was talking with you last night in the visions of my head upon my bed. I was in a company of several men and women, and Dr. Kellogg was one of the party. We were talking of the work to be accomplished in Australia. I was saying, Dr. Kellogg, it is necessary for you as a physician to see some things before you can comprehend them. After you see, you will understand. Walking side by side with you, we came to the building called the Health Home. The doors of several rooms in it were open for your inspection. You said, “Some of these rooms are larger than is required; others are altogether too small. Having two or three bedsteads in one room is all a mistake. Privacy must be respected.” Lt10-1899.1

Thus you went from room to room, speaking of the mistakes in each room. When you came to the bathrooms, your face grew white, as though you were going to faint. You could not find words to express your disgust. You said, “This is calculated to counteract all the good that this institution might do. We are workers together with God. Does not God look with abhorrence upon such rooms? They are not fit to take patients into. How can any one put his religion into his work with provisions as are made here?” Lt10-1899.2

As we left the building Dr. Kellogg said, “I see things in a new light. I am condemned. I did not have the slightest conception of the disadvantage you were working under. Yes; things might have been made every way different. I thought I was trying religiously to do my best; but while I made an effort to act from the principle, Love God supremely and thy neighbor as thyself,” I was in all my plans setting things in operation in a way that neither showed supreme love to God or that love Christ has expressed we should have for our neighbor. Lt10-1899.3

“I have been covetous and selfish, and I knew it not. I have been practicing a species of idolatry for the work I was handling. I should have thought and planned unselfishly, taking into consideration the necessities of the work in Australia. Then my eyes would have been opened to see that had I loved the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength, I would have prepared less abundantly for the sanitarium in Battle Creek, and would have shared with my brethren in Australia who were toiling and struggling in an effort to create something that would enable them to exercise their natural tact and acquired ability, and develop into able, trustworthy men, as laborers together with God. Lt10-1899.4

“I have felt in some respects too much like Nebuchadnezzar. I am in positive danger of thinking, Is not this the wonderful work that J. H. Kellogg has done? Have I not power above any other man to carry out my will and my purposes? Am I not exalted? Even in the great work of doing good to the oppressed, I have expressed selfishness and covetousness. I have planned so that all profits, as far as possible, should be retained where they would be under my own management. This is not self-denial or self-sacrifice. Yes; you have stated the matter correctly. I might have helped; I might have seen and known that God required me as His entrusted steward not to rest until institutions were established in Australia that would correspond better with the greatness of the work. Lt10-1899.5

“The Lord has known the thoughts of my heart. Every design, every plan, to keep matters within my own oversight has been covetousness. The Lord has made me His steward, and I should have been interested to see my part of the work thoroughly done in establishing a sanitarium in Australia, without loss of time. I should have seen that it was so equipped that the workers could work to advantage. Then God’s servants in Australia could have carried forward the medical missionary work successfully. They needed this help; it was their due. Lt10-1899.6

“God is not partial. In His providence He has made some men successful managers, not because they are any more virtuous than their brethren. They receive their talent of wisdom and tact from God. If God could have been better glorified by our placing a portion of the abundance entrusted to us to carry on the work in another part of the Lord’s great vineyard, that all might have a fair chance, we should have considered it our privilege to do this. I have not exercised my mind as thoroughly as I should have done. I am as a man awakened out of sleep. I have treated my opportunities and privileges as though I had created them. It remains with us as brethren, as servants whom the Lord has called, to hear His voice and obey it. Lt10-1899.7

“I am determined to crucify self and be a worker together with God. I am determined to let other men have a chance in their dire necessity to handle some of the goods God has entrusted to me in their behalf. I believe I am converted. Christ is a Saviour for the whole world. It is the bounden duty for those living where the work that was first established by self-sacrifice has become abundant to help those who are struggling to plant the standard in new fields.” We are not to continue to build and increase our facilities year by year, while those who are in other parts of the Lord’s vineyard are struggling, pushing, planning, in order to make a foundation that will properly reveal the character of the work, and their calling as God’s stewards. Lt10-1899.8

“We are to be divested of all selfish ambition. Then we shall be able to overcome temptation. We shall understand the mysteries of Christ’s work. Every branch of the living vine will bear the fruit of the parent stalk. We cannot comprehend the fullness of Christ. We cannot measure the length, breadth, height, and depth of His work. After we have put every nerve and muscle to the stretch in an effort to do this, we shall find there is an infinity beyond. Lt10-1899.9

“I am coming to my senses. In the past I have given you really no chance. Brethren, let us now plan a building. We shall wait no longer. We will kill this avaricious, covetous desire to handle all the means, forgetting that others as well as ourselves can magnify the truth by showing what correct principles can do. I have had everything poured into my hands, while my brethren who are just as well qualified as myself, and who have just as deep a religious experience, have been left with such scanty provisions that they have been obliged to pinch and study economy in every line. They have had such meager facilities that what they have done cannot possibly give character to the work. Lt10-1899.10

“It is God we have robbed by not supplying the necessities of our brethren from the rich treasure over which God has made us stewards. It shall be so no longer. I have had no stinted Saviour to present to the world, but I have taken glory to myself for the prosperity He has given me. I have allowed you in Australia to work in narrow lines, but how narrow I never knew until my eyes were opened. Now I will not rest until I have redeemed my mistake. By wrong calculations I have hindered the work, when God made me His steward to see and relieve the necessities of those struggling to find a standing place. Lt10-1899.11

“‘All ye are brethren.’ [Matthew 23:8.] We stand in the harness together. We who are in America will not require and retain everything, while our fellow workers have nothing, and the cause of God is estimated by its manifest poverty. Christ loves the workers in Australia and other portions of the field, as He loves those whom He has made His stewards in trust in America.” As Dr. Kellogg spoke these words his face was pale, and he spoke as under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Lt10-1899.12

The Lord has a work for all to do. He sees the weakness of every worker. He sees that only a few reach the highest standard. Christ came to represent the Father. The Father hides Himself in thick darkness, but He sends us His representative, Christ Jesus, who “being found in fashion as a man, humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”—the cruelest, the most painful and degrading death. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” [Philippians 2:8, 9.] Philippians 2:1-7. Lt10-1899.13

God is revealed in Christ. The Saviour lived a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice, and this life all His followers must live. This is necessary for the transformation of character. Work for those who are ready to perish. Keep the truth before people as you are given opportunity in camp meetings. The influence of camp meetings exerts an influence for good. The laborers themselves first drink of the water of life, and conviction comes to souls through the Holy Spirit’s working. Establish the work done by these meetings if you would do justice to the souls you are seeking to save. Lt10-1899.14

Truth must be presented in regions where the truth is unknown. The work specified in (Isaiah 58:9-13) must be done. Sin is not to be cloaked as a matter of little consequence. It is to be presented as guilt against the Son of God, <depriving Him of the glory that should be given Him.> The exceeding sinfulness of sin is to be held before the people just as it is. Then show them the uplifting Saviour, telling them that immortality comes only through belief in Christ, through receiving Him as a personal Saviour. Immortality is found in Christ alone. Lt10-1899.15

In order that it may act most effectively, the truth must be often repeated. The world, with its activities, its pleasures, its bribes, hides a man from seeing himself as he is. Satan holds constantly before the seeker for truth those who profess to believe in Christ but who testify by their fruits that they know Him not, for they manifest selfishness and covetousness and bring these attributes into the church, saying as an excuse for sharp practices and dishonorable methods of dealing, “It is the Lord’s cause.” Lt10-1899.16

Some cultivate selfishness by striving to make their part of the work a success. But the apparent success gained by retaining that which should be freely imparted to help the work in other places is not true success. God’s people will not be excused for working in accordance with worldly policy. The gospel of Christ calls for individual work. The fruit of this work is seen when consecrated workers show that they realize that to them has been committed the sacred oracles of God, and that they are not merely to speak the truth, but to be doers of the Word of God. Lt10-1899.17

“Hear, ye that are afar off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” [Isaiah 33:13-17.] The Lord God is not asleep. Lt10-1899.18

“Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also as the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things will he stand.” [Isaiah 32:1-8.] Lt10-1899.19

The Lord knows us by name, as verily as He knew Cornelius. Let us all realize that He is acquainted with each one of the human family. He put His estimate upon Cornelius, calling him, “a devout man, and one that pleased God, with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” [Acts 10:2.] The heavenly angels are wide awake and ready for action. They knew that Peter was living by the seaside, lodging with one Simon a tanner. Nothing is hidden from God. This chapter opens before us the necessity for divine and human cooperation. The Lord designs that under His direction humanity shall instruct humanity. Every opportunity should be improved to bless humanity. God works to unite man with his fellow man to accomplish his appointed work. The greatest privileges and blessings are granted to those who will be co-workers with Christ to sustain and encourage each other. Lt10-1899.20

Christ has included the whole of the human family in His great purpose of redemption. He feels an untold solicitude for human souls. To as many as receive Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believe on His name. Not only does the Lord blot out sin and transgression, but as man works out his own salvation with fear and trembling, God works with him, to will and to do of His good pleasure. Lt10-1899.21

“Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] The spiritual powers God has given man are to be exercised. Sin, reigning in the mortal body, has kept man working at cross-purposes with God, but the man who accepts Christ has consecrated his highest powers to God for the benefit of his fellow men. The Holy Spirit was given to call into exercise the higher powers entrusted to man, and he who yields himself to the control of His Spirit lays hold of Christ with the living grasp of an earnest, definite faith, an intensity of love that nothing can quench. His life is bound up with Christ. His religion is not made up of selfishness and covetousness. His study is, Where does the kingdom of God need building up most? Is it not where God’s stewards are struggling the hardest to establish the work on a solid basis, that they may receive to impart? Lt10-1899.22

The highest character is given to the gospel of our Lord and Saviour by winning souls to Christ, to receive and glorify God through the truth, to become acquainted with the mystery of godliness as expressed in the words: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath appointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:1-3.] Lt10-1899.23

The mediatorial arm reaches from the highest heaven to places of the deepest woe and corruption. Christ, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, came to this earth, clothing His divinity with humanity that humanity might touch humanity and also link itself with divinity. Thus men and women may become laborers together with God. Whatever may be the nature of our woe, there is a balm in Gilead, there is a physician there. Lt10-1899.24

The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into His vineyard. What a work was Christ’s as the people followed Him into the retired places to hear Him preach. All day He spoke to them, warning them in regard to repentance and faith, self-denial and self-sacrifice. In this country the fields are ready for the sickle, ready to be garnered. Were Christ on earth today, He would say, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” [John 4:35.] The Lord calls upon those in America to come to our aid. For your own good, arouse, and work on the principles which have the Word of God for a foundation. Lt10-1899.25

The whole heavenly universe is calling for men who will work unselfishly, men who will see what they can do to establish the work in this very field, Australia, that the workers here may be placed where they can co-operate with you in America in giving the last warning message to the world. This is the principle that we must work upon, and that we should have ever have worked upon. No side issues should have been brought in. One-quarter of the buildings now piled up in Battle Creek are all that should have been centered there. Twenty years ago centers should have been made in other cities, and the banner of truth uplifted. Light has been centered too much in one locality. Had we been provided with means and workers in Australia, the work done in different cities would now have become a telling memorial. We would have been enabled to have worked in the same lines as has been followed in America. Lt10-1899.26

God would have the churches in America study their Bibles and look over the neglected portions of the Lord’s vineyard that have not been worked. Principles are to be carried out that have not been acted upon. A portion of the abundant facilities in America should have been used to establish the work in Australia and England, countries where the least expense is entailed in advancing the work. The Lord is displeased by the selfishness manifested by leaving His servants in such destitution. One hundredfold more could have been accomplished in London than has been accomplished, if the workers had been provided with some of the abundance seen in America. Lt10-1899.27

Men who can help to bear responsibilities are needed here. Christ is at work to redeem and restore, and this is a time of special grace. It is essential that the efforts made to advance the work in America be made to advance the work in Australia and England. With facilities we can do much to reach the people. With added forces rallying round the standard, men can be prepared to go into regions beyond, to foreign countries. People need the truth. All over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls hungering for the light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. There is a great work to be done. Souls are perishing in their sins. It is time that the Lord's people awoke from slumber. Lt10-1899.28

In every place the temperance question is to be made more prominent. Drunkenness, and the crime that always follows drunkenness, call for the voice to be raised to combat this evil. Christ sees a plentiful harvest waiting to be gathered in. Souls are hungering for the truth, thirsting for the water of life. Many are on the very verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in. Cannot the people who know the truth see? Will they not hear the voice of Christ saying, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest.” [Verse 35.] Then came the pitiful lament from the lips of the Saviour, “The laborers are few.” [Matthew 9:37.] Lt10-1899.29

It requires sanctified ability, tact, and skill to gather in the ripe sheaves. He that winneth souls is wise. We want men who believe the truth for this time, who are doers of the Word. Souls are perishing out of Christ. Many are weary and heavy laden with sin. They do not feel safe in their religious faith. Pray for them; teach them how to believe, how to claim the promises. It is the privilege of every worker first to talk with God in the closet and then to talk with the people as God’s mouthpiece. We must receive light and blessing, that we may have something to impart. Men and women who commune with God, who have an abiding Christ, make the very ground they walk on holy because they are cooperating with holy angels, who minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, are needed for this time. We need the melting power of God, the power to draw with Christ. The deep love of God must be expressed in words of encouragement, in words of intercession. Lt10-1899.30

Many, many all about us in this section of the country are aroused in the most wonderful manner. Now is our time to work. We are to win souls, not drive them. We are to persuade them in Christ’s stead to be reconciled to God. Personal labor is needed, visiting from house to house, opening the Scriptures to them who do not comprehend them. The Lord Jesus calls for soul winners, and those who go forth to gather the sheaves should have the prayers of the whole church, that they may go as sharp sickles into the harvest field. There are more sheaves to gather in than we can possibly know now. Laborers for God, those who travail for souls, are few. Lt10-1899.31

The Holy Spirit, attending the worker together with God, enables him to gather in the sheaves. It is not learned men, not eloquent men, who are to be depended upon to do the work now needed, but humble men, who are learned in the school of Christ, who are meek and lowly in heart, who will give the invitation to the supper, “Come, for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.] Those who beg at midnight for loaves to feed the hungry souls, will be successful. The law of God is that as we receive we are to impart. All the churches in our land need the self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit of Christ. God’s people are no longer to continue in sin, they are to lay hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. If human hands have never been laid upon them in ordination, there is One who will give fitness for the work if they ask for it in faith. In the name of the Lord I entreat you, Ask and receive the Holy Spirit. But this Spirit can only be received by those who are consecrated, who will deny self, lifting the cross and following the Lord. Lt10-1899.32

Who will be on the Lord’s side? Let this question ring out in America, in Australia, in England, and in every foreign country. We need bold, sanctified soldiers, men who have purity of knowledge because they are doers of the Word. They will be able to see what must be done to gain life, life, eternal life. We must have purity of character. This is now, as it ever has been, our only safeguard in the formation of character. As we walk in close companionship with Christ, we shall be brought into conformity with the divine likeness. “Nearer my God to thee, nearer to thee, e’en though it be a cross that raiseth me.” In Christ is our completeness. We must put away sin, or we are worthless servants. We are to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. We must raise the standard of character, or we shall never see God. Lt10-1899.33