Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 73, 1896

Maxson, Brother and Sister

Adelaide, Australia

October 12, 1896

This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 104-118. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Maxson:

Your letter is not that which I wish it was. When you went to the Health Retreat, your appetite was fully educated to demand a meat diet, and therefore you seem to think no blame should be ascribed to you, because you have made no change in this respect. But this is an error. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 1

Because you have not changed, do not entertain the idea that you have no changes to make, that your practices were entirely as they should be. If your habits and opinions are stereotyped, then the Lord cannot lead you to advanced, purifying reforms. You, my brother and sister, have a serious question to ask daily, “What must I do to be saved?” [Acts 16:30.] The Lord Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” [John 10:27.] We are to follow on step by step to know the Lord, that we may know His goings forth are prepared as the morning. “Follow thou me.” [John 21:22.] “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 2

What constitutes the cross? The requirements of Jesus that cut directly across human devisings, human indulgence of appetite, human calculations, human practices and habits. The child of God is to come into perfect relationship with Jesus Christ. We are to be in constant communion, not with our own minds, but with the mind and will of Jesus. To be a practical Christian accepting duties that involve self-denial, cuts across human inclinations and human habits. Instead of seeking to hold our own position upon a subject on which the Lord has spoken decidedly, we are to follow His counsel. But you vindicate your own position. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 3

The Lord Jesus connected Judas with Himself, not because Judas was correct in all his principles, for he cherished selfishness, which is an attribute of the devil; but notwithstanding this, the Lord Jesus consented to <unite> Judas with the other disciples, and give him opportunity to improve in character building through the education and training He would give all His followers. But Judas did not correct his course of action. The painstaking efforts, the many lessons, of the divine Teacher were lost upon him. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 4

The grace of Christ, if received into his heart, would have converted him from his selfishness, working wonderful changes in him, as in John and Peter. I mention Judas, because this was an extreme case. But as he did not receive the words of Christ and improve; there arose in his heart an opposition to the light. He treasured his defects, and held them as if he considered them a precious treasure. The defects poisoned the whole man, in principle, in spirit, in life, in character, until he sold his Lord for a trifling sum of money. This history has a warning for us. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 5

There are many things that need to be refined, changed, overcome in you, my dear friends. Indulgence only feeds the appetite and strengthens the passions. I have no hesitancy in speaking on this question. You have the light in the testimonies; are these testimonies of God or are they from beneath? You do not choose to receive the light. The Lord has spoken plainly in regard to the deleterious effects of a meat diet and its influence upon children. Whenever I have seen children feeding upon flesh meats, since the light was given me from heaven, I have felt that if the parents only knew what they were doing, they would fast and pray for moral courage, and God-given wisdom and grace to do right. All who feel their need of His Spirit to educate and discipline self, and to properly train their children, will deny self, and take up the cross and follow Jesus. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 6

For certain things, fasting and prayer are recommended and appropriate. In the hand of God they are a means of cleansing the heart and promoting a receptive frame of mind. We obtain answers to our prayers because we humble our souls before God. If our appetites clamor for the flesh of dead animals, it is a necessity to fast and pray for the Lord to give His grace to deny fleshly lusts which war against the soul. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 7

The should be far less anxiety as to what we shall eat and what we shall drink to gratify our fleshly appetites; but we may well encourage the appetite of the soul, and pray for especial enlightenment upon the Word of God, and eat and drink that Word. Jesus says, “I am that bread of life.” [John 6:48.] “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give him is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 8

“Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hat eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” Our Saviour explains His lesson, “It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verses 51-57, 63.] 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 9

We must be constantly meditating upon the Word, eating it, digesting it, and by practice, assimilating it, so that it is taken into the life current. He who feeds on Christ daily will by his example teach others to think less of that which they eat, and to feel much greater anxiety for the food they give to the soul. The true fasting which should be recommended to all is abstinence from every kind of stimulating food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has provided in abundance. Men need to think less about what they shall eat and drink, of temporal food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven that will give tone and vitality to the whole religious experience. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 10

A person may be addicted to the use of alcohol or stimulating drinks in some shape, and he has confused his reason. He does not sense his responsibility. What cure would you advise for a person who thus indulges a habit that is rebuked even by the beasts of the field? The Word of God has denounced it. No drunkards shall enter into the kingdom of God. What would you recommend to sure such an appetite? You would not say, “You may use strong drink moderately. Continue within bounds, but never indulge to excess.” 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 11

You would say, “There is no such thing as helping you, unless you co-operate fully with my efforts, and sign the pledge of total abstinence. Your habit is a bad one. You have by indulgence made it second nature, and it cannot be controlled unless the moral powers shall be aroused, and you shall look unto Jesus, trusting in the grace He shall give you to overcome this unnatural craving.” You would say, “You have lost your self-control. Your self-indulgence is not only a moral sin, but it is a physical disease. You are not your own. You are God’s property. He has purchased you with an infinite price, and every faculty is to be employed in His service. Keep your body in a healthful condition to do His will; keep your intellect clear and active to think candidly and critically, and to control all your powers.” 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 12

Let us hear the words of Paul, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” [Romans 12:1-3.] “But let him that glorieth, glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” [2 Corinthians 10:17, 18.] This lesson means you; will you heed it? 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 13

I would call your attention to the following Scriptures. Study them; practice them. 1 Peter 2:2-4; 1:22-25; 2:7-12; Galatians 5:22-26; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 6:19, 20; 3:16-23; 1 Corinthians 2. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 14

Now my dear brother, I have had matters opened to me in regard to many things that have occurred at the institution at Crystal Springs. Think you that your brother by relationship would have disregarded all the cautions and admonitions the Lord has been pleased to give if you had shown that you respected the testimonies God has given, to be a help and blessing to you? Would he have taken the independent course he has, disregarding the counsel of the Board, and following his own mind, as he has done, and making the debt larger, if your ideas had not been so thoroughly made known, so that they had a leavening influence upon him? There has been a lack of wisdom in centering in one institution so many members of one family, and the result of this has left its impression upon the institution already loaded down with debt. If its management is left with you, or with your brother, debts will increase, <buildings will be created,> and the institution will certainly suffer. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 15

It is not the work of either of you to follow your own ideas as superintendent or manager. Your disrespect to the board, your chafing under the proper restraint of appointed counsellors, is borne of the temperament of the man, not of sound, sensible reason. I have withheld these things from you, waiting for a favorable time when may be, you would come to consider that your judgment and opinions were not infallible. I am so very sorry that <one> connected with you as a physician should venture to expend even one dollar without the approval of those who should be <your> counsellors. But this is the result of your precept and example. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 16

You should take more humble views of your capabilities, and be willing that not one mind, or two or three, but several minds shall carefully consider the wisdom of investing means <in buildings.> This is especially important from the fact that in making terms with your guests and patients, you seldom manage to secure returns sufficient to meet the outgoes. The Lord is not glorified by this management. He is not pleased with your desire to pattern your buildings after those at Battle Creek. Your desire to make an appearance, your restive spirit, your unwillingness to be counselled, your course in allowing debts to pile up in that institution is all wrong, decidedly wrong. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 17

When you shall take time to consider, you must see that your great desire to possess every convenience and facility, without regard to the fact that the institution is overwhelmed with debt is not wise. I must speak to you plainly, As a faithful physician your work for the sick is all the responsibility you can carry. Certainly those who consented to make you superintendent did this because you would not consent to go into the Health Retreat on any other conditions. If I had been one of the board, I should have said, “Dr. Maxson, if this is your decision, the matter is settled. We cannot consent to have you, either as manager or superintendent. This is too weighty a responsibility for you to carry,” and you are well aware, that the Lord has thus presented the matter before you. The brethren who composed the board did not have all the light on this point that you have had. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 18

I speak understandingly when I tell you that a great mistake has been made. Your brother should not have been connected with you in any line. There is danger in too much of a family power. But when your brother was linked up with you as vice president and manager, it was a move made in great blindness. The Lord did not sanction this movement. It was not wise, whatever might be the motive. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 19

Let your calculations be in a different line. Study to bind about the supposed necessities. Plan to interest persons in doing something for the institution. Let the managers and the helpers and all combined feel that they belong to the firm. Let them manifest a conscientious interest in it as God’s instrumentality. Let them seek its prosperity, even at the cost of self-denial and self-sacrifice to themselves individually. Then the people would recognize this spirit, which Christ has revealed in His great mission to save the souls of a perishing world. But that Spirit is not exercised. The workers do not co-operate to build up the institution and lessen expenses. They do not have the wisdom and tact to undertake this work. You are not seeking to retrench, but to expand. All this is a reproach to the institution. It is eating up means that might be saved to lessen the debt. Thus the matter has been presented to me as I have been brought where I could look into the inward workings. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 20

Brother Maxson, you have felt at liberty to choose your own men for the board of directors. If there were those whom you thought would stand in your way and oppose your plans and suggestions, you would try <changing them, putting them out,> to secure a board without them. The very ones who would move discretely, cautiously, who would consider your prepositions, and if they saw the result of your plans meant more money out, would oppose your ideas, you have managed to prevent from acting a part. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 21

I counsel you, both, husband and wife, to give up the financial management of the institution. Let this burden rest upon a carefully selected board, not chosen through your influence, but by the judgment of those upon whom the responsibility rests. Let these Directors wrestle with the problem of bringing the expenditure of the institution within the income, and their will be a binding about of the business transactions. The business will not be run wildly in accordance with your mind and your wife’s mind and your brother’s mind. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 22

I may not express this is the way that you shall understand, but I will try to make it plain. You should have been employed with the full understanding that the institution was to be under a faithful superintendent, be other than yourself. From the first you have exercised too much control in all the business matters, and you have not the capabilities to be a wise manager. Our responsible brethren have allowed you to do very much as you pleased. The Lord has given them light in regard to many things. They did not regard the light. Why? Because you were so determined to carry things as you pleased that they let you have your own way. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 23

I could have repeated over and over the light given in regard to this matter, but it would do you no good. Your strong, determined spirit would lead you to disconnect from the Retreat, as you did once before, irrespective of the injury done to the institution. The directors had a forlorn hope that you might understand that you were not qualified to assume the duties of the board of directors, the superintendent, and the physician, but they made a mistake. The Lord’s work is not to be left to haphazard ventures. Too much is involved in this matter. I am instructed that such movements must in no case be made. We are not to gratify any man’s ambitious presumption by giving responsibilities into his hands, when we have reason to know that he will not manage them wisely. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 24

It is not at the option of the physicians to hold the <position> of sole manager. A mistake was made here in the case of Dr. Burke, and also in your case. The directors were influenced by considerations <of necessities> that you created, and they allowed you to move independently and leave Providence to right up matters. But such movements bear not the approval of God. The work of that institution is not to be left to the judgment of one man, or his family connections. Watchmen must be all that the name signifies; they are to watch on the right hand and on the left. On the one hand Dr. Maxson is at liberty to choose his friends to co-operate with him, if there is evidence that they possess qualities that will be a help and not a burden. On the other hand the responsible men chosen of God as sentinels are to make close investigation to see that this choice of the physician is working for the best interest of the institution, making it stand forth as a praise, giving a character to our work as Seventh-day Adventists. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 25

If the managers are swaying the institution away from the principles which it was created to maintain, <which [they] have been doing,> then a change must be made. To let things go on as they have been going is decidedly wrong. The very first thing to be done is to secure harmony of action, to clear away the difficulties and mark out a sphere of action. Christian principles in accordance with our faith must be maintained at any cost. Let us not be met with the statement that the adoption of Christian health reform principles in such an institution is simply impossible. These principles must be adopted and maintained. When this cannot be done, then let the institution be closed. The doctrines of Seventh-day Adventists are not to be sounded in the ears of guests and patients, but the principles which have made Seventh-day Adventists what they are should be lived out, and show a people in everything obedient to our great Leader Jesus Christ. The institution has not been conducted after God’s order. It must return to the principles given in the lessons of Christ. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 26

A health institution is not established to conform to the selfish, intemperate customs of the world in eating or dressing, furnishing tables or rooms in an expensive style. It is to educate after the manner of Christ; so far as possible, it is to convert to correct principles all who shall patronize it. Those who are in responsible positions are not be become converted to the self-indulgent, extravagant principles of the world, for they cannot afford it; and if they could, Christlike principles would not allow it. Manifold teaching needs to be given. “Whom shall he teach knowledge, and whom shall he make to understand the doctrine?” [Isaiah 28:9.] 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 27

The first work specified begins with the child in its mother’s arms, and continues through babyhood, childhood, youth, and manhood. “Whom shall he make to understand doctrine, them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little.” [Verses 9, 10.] Thus the word of the Lord is patiently to be brought before the children, and kept before them by parents who believe the Word of God. “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing; yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little and there a little; that they might go and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” [Verses 11-13.] Why? Because they did not heed the Word of the Lord that came unto them. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 28

This means those who have not received instruction, but have cherished their own wisdom, have chosen to work themselves according to their own ideas. The Lord gives these the test, that they shall either take their position to follow His counsel, or refuse and do according to their own ideas, and then the Lord will leave them to the sure result. In all our ways, in all our service to God, He speaks to us, “Give me thine heart.” [Proverbs 23:26.] It is the submissive, teachable spirit that God wants. That which gives to prayer its excellence is the fact that it is breathed from a loving, obedient heart. God requires certain things of His people. If they say, I will not give up my heart to do this thing, the Lord lets them go on in their supposed wise judgment without heavenly wisdom until this Scripture is fulfilled. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 29

You are not to say, “I will follow the Lord’s guidance up to a certain point that is in harmony with my own judgment,” and then hold fast to your ideas, refusing to be molded after the Lord’s similitude. Let the question be asked, Is this the will of the Lord? no! Is this the opinion or judgment of Dr. Maxson and his wife? Everything must be viewed in the light of the example of Christ. He is the truth. He is the true light that lighteth every man who cometh into the world. Listen to his words, copy his example in self-denial and self-sacrifice, and look to the merits of Christ for the glory in character which he possessed to be bestowed on you. Those who follow Christ live not to please themselves. Human standards are like feeble reeds. The Lord’s standard is perfection of character. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 30

“For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim; he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work: and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now, therefore, be ye not workers, lest your bands be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption even determined upon the whole earth.” [Isaiah 28:21, 22.] Read Deuteronomy 7:6. Read the whole chapter, also chapters 1 and 8. These were presented to me as the words of the Lord. These things are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 31

We are to have only those connected with our institutions who will <hear> the Word of the Lord and appreciate and obey His voice. When a man will plead and urge to have his mind and his judgment to be supreme in any one of our institutions, you can have no greater evidence that that man does not know himself, and is not qualified to manage. He will make mistakes, and injure rather than restore. He does not know what responsibilities are involved in his relation to God or to his fellow men. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 32

“Seeing that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?” [2 Peter 3:11.] Those who walk humbly with God will not be striving to obtain greater responsibilities, but will consider that they have a special work to do, and will be faithful to their duty. In our institutions great good can be done in educating by precept and example in economy in all lines. If you, my brother, had learned in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly in heart, you would always stand on vantage ground. You have not an evenly balanced character. You cannot safely put confidence in your own judgment in all things. Man’s way is to devise and scheme; God implants a principle. Man is striving to make duty soft and accommodating to his own natural character; but life is a battlefield; life is a race which he has to run if he is victor. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 33

Those who would work in God’s service must not be seeking worldly gratification and selfish indulgence. The physicians in our institutions must be imbued with the living principles of health reform. Men will never be truly temperate until the grace of Christ is an abiding principle is the heart. All the pledges in the world will not make you or your wife health reformers. No mere restriction of your diet will cure your diseased appetite. Brother and Sister Maxson will not practice temperance in all things until their hearts are transformed by the grace of God <and they shall wear Christ’s yoke and have Christ’s meekness and lowliness of heart.> 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 34

Circumstances cannot work reforms. Christianity proposes a reformation in the heart. What Christ works within will be worked out under the dictation of a converted intellect. The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed, and always will fail. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 35

Standing as you do, my brother and sister, God’s plan with you is to begin at the very seat of all difficulties, the heart, and then from out of the heart will issue the principles of righteousness; the reformation will be outward as well as inward. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 36

God’s way is to give man something he has not. But you have said, I want it not. God’s way is to make man something he is not. Man’s way is to get an easy place, and indulge appetite and selfish ambition. God’s plan is to set man to work in reformatory lines, then he will learn by experiences how long he has pampered fleshly appetites, and ministered to his own temperament, bringing weakness upon himself. God’s way is to work in power. He gives the grace if the sick man realizes that he needs it. Man is too often satisfied to treat himself according to the methods of quackery, and he vindicates his manner of working as right. God proposes to purify and refine the defiled soul; then He will implant in the heart His own righteousness and peace and health, and man becomes complete in Him. Then the issues of life, proceeding from the heart, are represented as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 37

This is the kingdom of God within you. Day by day men are revealing whether the kingdom of God is within them. If Christ rules in their hearts, they are gaining strength of principle, power, ability to stand as faithful sentinels, true reformers, for there can be no reform unless there is a thorough co-operation with Jesus Christ. Through the grace of Christ men are to use their God-given faculties to reform themselves; by this self-denying action, which the Lord of heaven looks upon with approval, they gain victories over their own hereditary and cultivated tendencies. Then like Daniel they make impressions upon other hearts that will never be effaced. The influence will be carried to all parts of the world. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 38

Men are taking sides, according to their choice. These that are feeding on the Word of God will show this by their practice; they are on the Lord’s side, seeking by precept and example to reform the world. All that have refused to be taught of God hold the traditions of men. They at last pass over on the side of the enemy, against God, and are written, Antichrist. The people of God, who understand our position in this world’s history, are with ears open and hearts softened and subdued, pressing together in unity, one with Jesus Christ. Those who will not practice the lessons of Christ, but keep themselves in hand, to mold themselves, find in Antichrist the center of their union. While the two parties stand in collision, the Lord will appear, and shine before His ancients gloriously. He will set up a kingdom that shall stand forever. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 39

The question for us to consider is, Have we the attributes of Christ? Excuses are valueless. All circumstances, all appetites and passions, are to be servants to the God-fearing man, not rulers over him. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 40

The Christian is not to be enslaved by any hereditary or cultivated habits or tendencies. He is to rule the animal passions, rather than to be held in the bondage of habit. We are not to be the servants of circumstances, but to control circumstances by an inwrought principle learned of the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. The solemn position in which we stand today toward the world, the solemn responsibilities and duties enjoined upon us by our Lord, are not to be ignored until our will and our circumstances are adjusted. The principle of self-denial and self-sacrifice, as revealed in the example of Christ, of John the Baptist, of Daniel and the three worthies, is to pass like a plowshare through hereditary and cultivated habits, through all circumstances and surroundings. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 41

I ask you, Is the kingdom of God within you? God’s people are to be minutemen, always ready, always composed in Jesus Christ. The time is come now when one moment we may be on solid earth, the next the earth may be heaving beneath our feet. Earthquakes will take place when least expected. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 42

Christianity has a much broader meaning than many have hitherto given it. It is not a creed. It is the word of Him who liveth and abideth forever. It is a living, animating principle that takes possession of mind, heart, motives, and the entire man. Christianity—O that all might experience its operations! It is a vital, personal experience that elevates, purifies, ennobles the whole man. Every man is responsible to God, who has made provision for all to receive this blessing. But many do not receive it, although Christ has purchased it for them at infinite cost. They have not grasped the blessing with in reach, and therefore they have retained their objectionable traits of character, and sin lieth at the door. While they profess piety, Satan had made them his agents to pull down and confuse where he thought best. They exert an influence deleterious to the souls of many who need an example that would help them heavenward. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 43

Who are the subjects of the kingdom of God? All these who do His will. They have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The members of Christ’s kingdom are the sons of God, partners in His great firm. The elect of god are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a holy nation, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. They are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are living stones, a royal priesthood. They are in co-partnership with Jesus Christ. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 44

How shall we follow Him to learn of Him who is our teacher? We can search His Word, and become acquainted with His life and His works. His words we are to receive as bread for our souls. In every sphere where man shall be placed, the Lord Jesus has left us His footprints. We do well to follow Him. The Spirit by which He spake we must cherish; we are to present the truth as it is in Jesus. We are to follow Him especially in heart-purity, in love. Self must be hid with Christ in God; then when Christ who is our life shall appear, we also shall appear with Him in glory. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 45

What can I say more than I have said? The Old Testament should be studied most diligently. The New Testament does not present a lower standard than the Old. In His sermon on the mount Jesus set forth the very principles that same from His lips to Moses, to be given to the children of Israel. Christ delineated the duties of man to God and to his fellow men is much stronger lines, because through disobedient men had been confused in regard to God’s claims. Read carefully the sermon on the mount. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 46

By the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Paul the apostle wrote that “Whatsoever ye do,” even the natural set of eating or drinking, should be done, not to gratify a perverted appetite, but under a sense of responsibility. “Do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] Every part of the man is to be guarded; we are to beware lest that which is taken into the stomach shall banish from the mind high and holy thoughts. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 47

“May I not do as I please with myself?” ask some, as if we were seeking to deprive them of a great good when we present before them the necessity of eating intelligently and conforming all their habits to the laws God has established. There are rights which belong to every individual. We have an individuality and an identity that is our own. He one can submerge his identity in that of any other. All must act for themselves, according to the dictates of their own conscience. As regards our responsibility and influence, we are amenable to God as deriving our life from Him. This we do not obtain from humanity, but from God only. We are His by creation and by redemption. Our very bodies are not our own, to treat as we please, to cripple by habits that lead to decay, making it impossible to render to God perfect services. Our lives and all our faculties belong to Him. He is caring for us every moment; He keeps the living machinery in action; if we were left to run it for one moment, we should die. We are absolutely dependent upon God. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 48

A great lesson is learned when we understand our relation to God, and His relation to us. The words, “Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price,” should be hung in memory’s hall, that we may ever recognize God’s right to our talents, our property, our influence, our individual selves. [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] We are to learn how to treat this gift of God, in mind, in soul, in body, that as Christ’s purchased possession, we may do Him healthful, savory service. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 49

Why did Daniel and his companions refuse to eat at the king’s table? Why did they refuse his meats and wines? Because they had been taught that this class of food would keep the mind or the physical structure in the very best condition of health to do God’s service. These youth urged most earnestly that the one who had charge of their food should not compel them to partake the king’s luxuries set before [them]. They begged him to try them ten days only, and then examine them, and decide by their physical appearance whether their abstemious diet would be to their disadvantage. When they came in for examination, the result was decidedly in their favor. It was otherwise with the youth who had eaten of the luxuries of the king’s table, and drank of his wine. The clear sparkle of the eye was gone, the ruddy healthful glow had disappeared from the countenance. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 50

The four Hebrew captives were thereafter permitted to have the diet they had chosen. What effect did it have upon mind and character? They had conscientiously refused the stimulus of flesh and of wine. They obeyed God’s will in self-denial, and He showed His approval. He desired His servants to honor Him by their adherence to steadfast principle in all their habits of life. Their countenances would be a certificate of physical soundness and moral purity. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 51

“And as for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all earning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” [Daniel 1:17.] These youth had the Lord as their educator. The golden links of the chain of heaven connected the finite with the infinite. They were partakers of the divine nature. They were very careful to keep themselves in touch with God. They prayed and studied and brought into their practical life strictly conscientious, humble minds. They walked with God as did Enoch. The Word of the Lord was their meat and their drink. “And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better then all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” [Verse 20.] 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 52

In the light of this scripture history, all the testimony of man as to the advantages of a meat diet, or of a great variety of food, should not have the least weight with any human being. When the children of faith shall with earnest prayer dedicate themselves to God without reserve, the Lord will honor their faith, and will bless them with a clear mind. These who at every step are murmuring and complaining, ambitious for more power and greater responsibility, show that they cannot carry responsibilities; and the Lord has been pleased to tell them this. They have thought it all a mistake, and have been determined to show the Lord that they could be managers of the first class. But God’s Word never returns to Him void, and when He reveals the deep and secret things, He makes no mistake. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. The Lord has said, Those that honor Me, I will honor. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 53

The very flesh in which the soul tabernacles, and through which it works is the Lord’s. We have no right to neglect any art of the living machinery. Every portion of the living organism is the Lord’s. The knowledge of our own physical organism should teach us that every member is to do God’s services, as an instrument of righteousness. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 54

None but God can subdue the pride of man’s heart. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot regenerate ourselves. In the heavenly courts there will be no song sung, “To me that loved myself, and washed myself, and redeemed myself, unto me by glory and honor, blessing and praise.” But this is the keynote of the song that is sung by many here in this world. They do not know what it means to be meek and lowly in heart, and they do not mean to know this if they can avoid it. The whole Gospel is comprised in learning of Christ His meekness and lowliness. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 55

What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. When they begin to praise and exalt God all the day long, then by beholding, they are becoming changed into the same image. What is regeneration? It is revealing to man what is his own real nature, that in himself he is worthless. These lessons you have never learned. O, that you could realize the value of the human soul. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 56

When you understand physiology in its truest sense, your drug bills will be very much smaller, and finally you will cease to deal out drugs at all. The physician who depends upon drug medication in his practice, shows that he does not understand the delicate machinery of the human organism. He is introducing into the system a seed that will never lose its destroying properties throughout the lifetime. I tell you this because I dare not withheld it. Christ paid too much for man’s redemption to have his body so ruthlessly treated as it has been by drug medication. Years ago the Lord revealed to me that institutions should be established for treating the sick without drugs. Man is God’s property, and the ruin that has been made of the living habitation, the suffering caused by the seeds of death sown in the human system are an offense is God. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 57

Men may understand this if they will study deeply. Pray for the Holy Spirit to melt and subdue the proud, self-sufficient heart. If you ever shed tears, weep now, for Christ’s sake weep over your self-sufficient estimate of your own capabilities. When you come to God in lowliness of mind, with heart renewed and cleansed, you will bless and glorify Him that you have learned of Jesus His mercy, the truth, which so many have had to learn through His judgments. These who walk in pride and self-sufficiency God is able to abase. Man will learn that the heavens do rule, and how mighty is our wonderworking God. He will surely control matters after His order and will, if you will only place yourselves under His rule. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 58

I might say much more, but I forbear. You are not prepared to receive even this. The Lord will indite plans and methods for all who will seek Him with the whole heart. I ask you to pray to God with humble hearts, seek Him without delay, make a business of seeking Him, and do not let go until you know yourselves much better than you new do, and have a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 59

The counsels given me of God for the Health Retreat have never been followed. There has been a departure from the ways of God, as you will see by the copy of letters which I send. If I had time I could copy much more of like character. I am in deep earnest that you should come where you can in all things do the will and work of God. 11LtMs, Lt 73, 1896, par. 60