Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 10, 1887

Kellogg, J. H.

Basel, Switzerland

February 23, 1887

Portions of this letter are published in CW 127-128; TDG 62; BCL 8-10.

Dr. Kellogg

Dear Brother:

Your long communication written upon the cars and in the depot was welcome to us. It was written in so plain a hand that we could read it as readily as we could read print. I think I can understand you and sympathize with you in your difficulties and your perplexities. I was not aware that we had a sympathizing listener in five-year-old Ella May White. The tears stood in her eyes and with pitiful voice she said, “Doctor says he is hungry. Why does he go hungry?” We tried to explain to her that the doctor had so many things to do in caring for sick people that he could not find time to eat. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 1

My brother, it is this very thing that ought not to be. You are engaged in a great and good work, and in this constant strain the physical, mental, and moral powers are taxed to the uttermost and ought not to be because the future demands of your tact, your experience, and your practical knowledge. It comes to me with force at times the great violence you are doing to yourself when you have knowledge of just the result that you must shorten your life, and I feel intensely over this matter. For it will not make the matter one whit better. I have learned if you go calmly along trusting in God, committing the keeping of your soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator, you will be able to preserve the calmness and ease, a peace that cannot be marred that will astonish you. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 2

It is these men who feel so intensely as James White, J. N. Andrews, and yourself, that wear and are bruised in spirit. Now if they would heed counsel and educate and train themselves to endure what cannot be cured, and just lean more heavily and continuously upon divine power, then the wear and the friction would almost entirely cease, the peace of Christ [would] come into the soul. God means we shall trust in Him and enjoy His goodness; He lays it day by day before us, and we must have eyes and perceptive powers to take these things in. However great and glorious the full and perfect deliverance from evil we shall realize in heaven, it is not all to be kept for the time of final deliverance. God brings it into our present life. We need daily to cultivate faith in a present Saviour. Trusting in a power out of and above ourselves, exercising faith in unseen support and power which is waiting the demand of the needy and dependent, we can trust amid clouds as well as sunshine, singing of present deliverance and present enjoyment of His love. The life we now live must be by faith in the Son of God. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 3

The Christian life is a strangely mingled scene of sorrows and joys, disappointments and hopes, fears and confidence. There will be much dissatisfaction with self, as he views his own heart so deeply stirred, surged with passion that seems to bear all before it, and then follows remorse and sorrow and repentance, followed by peace and deep-hidden joys, because he knows, as his faith grasps the promises that are revealed in God’s Word, that he has the forgiving love of a longsuffering Saviour. And that Saviour he seeks to bring into his life, weave into his character. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 4

It is these revealings, these discoveries of God’s goodness, that make the soul humble and lead it to cry out in gratitude, “I live, yet not I, for Christ liveth in me.” [Galatians 2:20.] We have reason to be comforted. Severe outward trials may press around the soul where Jesus lives. Let us turn to Him for the consolations He has provided for us in His Word. The nether springs of hope and comfort may appear to fail us, but the upper springs which feed the river of God are full of supply and can never be dried up. God would have you look away from the cause of your afflictions to Him who is the owner of soul, body, and spirit. He is the lover of the soul. He knows the value of the soul. He is the True Vine, and we are the branches. We shall have no spiritual nourishment only as we draw it from Jesus who is the true life of the soul. “Ye believe in God, believe also in Me,” says Jesus. [John 14:1.] It is the will of Jesus that we shall be full of hope, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, and love. It is not God’s will that we should remain in sorrow and discouragement. While it is His will that we should know and see ourselves, it is His will that we should discern His love and His matchless mercy. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 5

Remarkable dream.—I dreamed I saw Christ curing a distempered person. I immediately applied to Him for my own healing. He asked me in what respect? I answered, “I want a spiritual healing and forgiveness of sin.” He seemed to doubt whether I truly desired it. I fell on my knees and besought Him earnestly, on which He said with a gracious look, “Thy sins are forgiven thee. Go and sin no more.” I was transported at the words, and wept tears of joy and great gratitude. My reflection on waking was that I had just as full assurance from the Word of God of the remission of sins, and as plain a command to sin no more, as if it were spoken to me by a voice from heaven or by Christ Himself in person. “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” [Luke 16:31.] 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 6

There is only one way for you, and that is to save your own life by laying burdens on others, that you may live to save the lives of many. We prize your superior scientific skill. We need it. We do not want to lose it. And we ought to have some power of influence to control your course of action lest you will become a man of an unbalanced mind, and the precious skill you have will lie buried in a ruined casket. I do not write to burden you. I feel deeply for you, and you must change your course of action. You are living two years in one, and I utter my protest against this. You understand this taxation, this pressure of the living machinery cannot continue without a giving out of some of the fine works and then, oh, my brother, then what? Death, which would be far worse than living without power to do it all. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 7

I thank God for that which you have been to the cause of God. I thank my heavenly Father for the light which He has reflected through you, and for this reason I want you to live and continue to be a source of light. I see in the plans you have devised light and wisdom, and if these will help you to practice temperance in your labor, you have through the wisdom of God been wise; but if notwithstanding you will keep dragging and pushing the whole load, which others connected with the institution could and should do, then your only future is to be crushed under it. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 8

The Lord has sustained you. I do not for a moment question this. You say you have asked your brethren to select men to come into the sanitarium to be educated and trained to bear responsibilities. Cannot you see that the men your brethren would think might do you might count a failure and be tried at the stupidity of your brethren? There is not one who would venture this. I would not dare do it myself. I knew that in Dr. Gibbs there was real ability, but it was not recognized at the sanitarium. He is a man of valuable qualities, but he needs counselors that are wise. He is sincere, openhearted, frank, and he is conscientious, God-fearing. Elder Waggoner gravely told me after he had employed him that he was a failure. I said, Elder Waggoner and Dr. Waggoner, I have followed the light that God has given me. I have done all I could to have Dr. Gibbs become more thoroughly informed in the ways of hygiene at the sanitarium. And if this fails, I shall try again; but I do not take your word. Appearance may be against him, but he has a true, tender, and frank heart as we ever find in men. Yet he has some drawbacks. He is not perfect. You are neither of you perfect. I know of no man on this earth who is perfect; but I have faith that God will work on this rough, coarse material hewed out from the quarry of the world, and will make them polished stones for His temple. I fear, my brother, you expect to find men with power of brain, with the power of endurance, and aptitude that you have; but you will have to be satisfied with something less, and you will have to select your own men. I am sure that no living person will venture to do this for you. It will not answer to criticize too closely, but to educate. Not to hold off at arm’s length, but to draw men nigh, and try to pour light into their darkened understanding. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 9

I wish that Dr. Maxson and his wife were connected with the health institution at St. Helena. I received an invitation from her and others to this effect before coming to Europe, but I did not give it the least encouragement. We have not one lady physician, and we are greatly in need of one. Sister Maxson wrote me many months ago, nearly one year ago, that her husband and herself desired greatly to work in the missions somewhere, but I have not responded one word because I was afraid I might not be doing right to give my advice. I was surprised when I heard they had left the sanitarium, because I had not had a hint of this matter. I am thinking they will try to get them into the Ohio institution. I hear that an invitation has been extended to them to engage or take charge there from the brethren in Ohio. Now I write this to you in confidence. I fear to have them do this. I fear the results with you and with them. But will you please tell me what you think of my making a proposition to them to go to the Health Retreat? I do not want to do anything without laying the whole matter before you. Let us unselfishly counsel together, for we are interested in the same work, and these institutions are God’s instrumentalities to do the same work—to relieve the suffering, to advance reform. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 10

I learned that Elder Waggoner had recommended that the Health Journal published in the interest of the Health Retreat be discontinued and the Good Health take its place. I hastened to respond, and said to Elder Loughborough, No, no. There must be a coming up from the simple beginning. The Good Health is a journal that will do its work east of the Rocky Mountains, but will not do the work demanded in the interest of the Health Retreat and on the Pacific Coast in its present infancy. They must have matter prepared very much after the same manner that the Health Reformer started out on, and just as much better ability as we can put into the work, but it must be monthly instead of quarterly ere long. The Good Health places the crib too high to meet the demands of uninformed men and women. There must be greater simplicity, and we must make that journal a living thing, full of interesting matter, to do its work on the Pacific Coast. The sanitarium is large. It can embrace and does embrace a large amount. But the Health Retreat must be a branch of the sanitarium at Battle Creek, but must not be swallowed up by it. The Lord would have the journal of health live, and it shall live. Because Elder Waggoner has ceased to edit it, it shall not die. He may criticize it as much as he pleases, as Trall criticized the Health Reformer; nevertheless, it shall live. The efforts at first will not be perfect, and we will keep at work to make that Health Retreat what it should be. God would have these two institutions work together in perfect harmony, and I think they are doing this; but there are narrow minds that can only center on the one thing that they have an interest in and go no further. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 11

We meant that Brother and Sister Sawyer should be connected with the institution, and their returning to Michigan disappointed us. Now if Brother and Sister Maxson could take their places and work on the Pacific Coast, I would be pleased to have it so. But if it cannot be done without unhappy feelings existing, then it shall not be. It is altogether too late in the day for unhappy differences. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 12

We must labor earnestly to help each other. Will you please write me at once in regard to this matter? I do not want they should go to Ohio, for I fear the consequences. But I think they will fill a good place in the Health Retreat, and cannot in any way work there to the detriment of the sanitarium, and I do not think they would do this; although I am entirely uninformed in regard to this in Ohio. I am inclined to think it a good idea to have another sanitarium in another state; for if there are no men reliable to act as responsible men in the medical profession in connection with the sanitarium, it might well be better to have a place where there will be still another interest in the same good work of health reform and not crowd in so large a number upon the sanitarium at Battle Creek. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 13

I hope the Lord will spare your life and give you courage and faith and hope. Be assured that you have not only my sympathy, but my prayers. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 14

Love to your wife. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 15

Monday I spoke upon health reform, pure air, pure water, pure houses, pure premises. It is something new to the people here, but they all seem to have the fullest confidence in my mission and in the testimonies of the Spirit of God. And the way is prepared to make advance moves upon health reform. I shall bring in testimonies as often as I can consistently upon this subject. We desire to lead them step by step, cautiously but thoroughly, until there shall be a decided change in the habits and customs of the people. We see a decided change for the better in many respects since our last conference. There is an increase in numbers and improvement every way. There is a coming up on a higher plane, elevated, ennobled through the truth. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 16

In much love. 5LtMs, Lt 10, 1887, par. 17