Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 7, 1886

Kellogg, J. H.

Torre Pellice, Italy

April 26, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in ChL 45-48; 3Bio 342.

Dr. Kellogg

Dear Brother:

Your two last letters I have received, and was grateful for them. I have had much writing to do which at times has taxed me too severely, but I am much better in health now than when I wrote you before. My eyes have improved, notwithstanding I have used them almost constantly in writing. I was a cripple for some time, but am better now. Although I feel some infirmities, yet I am grateful that the Lord is so good and merciful to me. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 1

You made some inquiries in your first letter which I did not answer, and as your last two letters are not with me here, I fear I shall not remember the points and give you the answers you desired. I appreciate your difficulties in your position, but if you were altogether right in your management in all things, you would be something more than finite. We must then admit our fallibility. And although it may appear to you difficult to disentangle yourself from responsibilities which others cannot take, it is your duty to train others to stand in responsible positions that should you need a change and rest, which is your due, you can have it. I think you and your wife should visit California. And again you have worked intensely upon the high pressure plan. God has spared your life, but you are not immortal, and you may die as others have died before you who have lived two years in one. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 2

For several years as the matters of the sanitarium have been opened before me, I have been shown that you were loading down yourself to your injury, and in thus doing were depriving others of an experience. Those connected with you so closely in the sanitarium are ready to assent to every move you may make, and to any proposition, saying, yes, but without using their individual judgment and without taxing their minds to hard thinking that they may have sound opinions and clear ideas, not borrowed, but their own. Men in responsible positions have qualified themselves in this direction by just such a process as you and others have had to go through to be fitted for just such work. Now if you relieve these persons from this responsible part of the work, they are only your machines. Your head plans, devises, turns the crank, winds them up to run down, to be wound up again. This is one of the reasons why we have so few brain workers today; and this is the reason why brain workers are dropping out of our ranks into their graves, because they are brains for others. I tell you plainly as a mother would a son, you have made a decided failure here. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 3

I cannot now attempt to specify all these mistakes, but there is with you a love for supremacy whether you see it or not; and had it not been cherished, you would have had by your side men who would have been developing as useful physicians, men who would be constantly growing, and upon whom you could have depended. But you have not given them all the advantages which you yourself would have claimed had you been in their place. They needed, and the case demanded, that you should do more for them when they came to a certain point than you gave them to perfect them in the work. You have, whether you designed it or knew it or not, bound them to come thus far and no further. This is not justice to them or to you, neither is it justice to the sanitarium that so much depends upon one man. It ought not to be thus in any of our institutions, because it is not God’s way. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 4

In some cases not one half has been done for the patients that should have been done in its time if at all. The simple assurance at the right time is everything. It is not right to have all look to you to do this work, while you, being subject to the frailties of humanity, and not having trained others to bear the responsibilities, the work is left undone, and then you blame your helpers. Your head sometimes refuses to act, and you are ready to cast the blame on those who disown it. You lose control of your own spirit. Your health of judgment, your discrimination may seem to you to be without any dimming of the edge; but brother, I must tell you the truth; there is certainly a change because of wear and strain, and weakness will as surely follow as it has in others. You are mortal, and you will become more sensitive of any reflections of differences of ideas and opinions from your own; you will feel, if any shall not at once adopt your plans, and if they question your ideas, that they mean to choose their own judgment and undermine your influence, and you will not care to have any connection with them. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 5

Now, my brother, I feel the deepest interest for you, else I would not write you as I have done. But with me I must be faithful. I tell matters just as they are; and while I would have all united in the sanitarium in perfect bonds of union, I would not have the union of that kind and quality that you will be mind and judgment for every one of them, and they consider every proposition and plan, word, and action as without error and fault. Among a multitude of counsellors there is safety. God would not have many minds the shadow of one man’s mind. God has given men brains to use, intellect to cultivate, to employ to His glory; and He would be the One to mold, control, and fashion the minds after His own impress. Men are only men whatever may be their work. The more responsible the position, the more important that the one who stands in this position have no more honor or exaltation given him than is for his good. In fact, people are ruined through praise and honor bestowed upon them, as though they were infallible. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 6

While due respect should be given to those whom God has intrusted with more than ordinary talents, that man thus endowed needs to walk more humbly and closely with God as he advances. All the influence that these capabilities give him will make him a better, holier, more meek and humble man, or it will lead him to think as others have thought: I am not a common man, and I may do things that others cannot do, and it will be no sin. This is a common error, but it is a destructive error. That man needs to learn daily important lessons from the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. Christ must dwell in that man’s heart, just as the blood must be in the body and circulate there as a vitalizing power. I cannot on this subject be too urgent. I cannot press it home to you too strongly that you shall not trust in self. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 7

There is a panoply for you which is truth, and you need to be reinforced that with Christ as a Helper, you can do all things. Without Christ you can do nothing as it ought to be done. The only dishonor to any man in any work or any position is sin, and to separate God from him. And if you would resist the temptation which assails you from without and from within, you need to make it the purpose and object of your life to be wholly on the Lord’s side, that the truth in the heart will be a faithful sentinel, sounding the alarm and summoning to action against every sin and every evil of this time. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 8

With the grace of Christ in the soul, you may be mighty through God, beating back the powers of darkness. No power but truth will keep you steadfast, having the glory of God ever in view. Those who are closely connected with you have solemn responsibilities. You repose confidence in them, and it is their duty to cling to God, and have an eye single to His glory, hanging firmly upon the arm of Omnipotence, not trusting in or relying upon any human arm. They should make the most of their own God-given faculties, for they must give an account of the same to God; they are to be constantly growing; they are never to cease to progress. But all the aids that can be brought to them as soldiers of Jesus Christ in this holy warfare should be enlisted. All knowledge that the apostle would acknowledge as true science, as far as possible, should be acquired. Everything that can strengthen or expand the mind should be cultivated to the utmost individual power. And notwithstanding all this may be the privilege of those connected with you, but few are now making the standard, and there is danger of their being deceived in their own acquirements. They will be falling back if not growing, and you will be also under delusion unless the wisdom that cometh from God be interwoven into yours as well as their daily experience. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 9

Now, my brother, I cannot say or mark out what course you should take under all circumstances, but I do invite you to heed every ray of light that God has been pleased to give you. Do not become discouraged; do not go forward without heeding counsel; but pray, heed, and know that you can make changes for the better, or the warnings would never come to you. Be grateful to God that He is looking upon you in mercy. He wants you to be true to Him. He wants your heart to be cherishing faith, to become better acquainted with Jesus. Light from God must be received and heeded. You must speak and act, work and study to the glory of God. You are not your own, and the Lord has something to say about how you shall use the powers lent you in trust. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 10

I must urge home upon you the necessity of pursuing such a course, that you will not violate the laws of your being or the laws of God, and that the education shall be going to others more thoroughly, that they shall bear the burdens essential. They may not meet your mind in every particular, but this is not positive evidence that they cannot meet the mind of God and become responsible men. If they have a mind and a will to do, God will help them. Your reasons, my husband has repeated again and again, are not of sufficient weight to venture to do the opposite of what God has said. I want you to so live that you may reap the effects of your labor and have the sweet peace of Christ abiding in your heart. You have worked hard, and I want your life to be spared as God’s own worker, one whom God can trust. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 11

I have thought of your reasons for your not trusting responsibilities upon your workers; but you have not been as greatly disappointed as our Redeemer has been grieved and disappointed with our bungling work. We have shown so little fidelity to Him who has bought us with His own blood. I am pleased with every bit of interest that you show in religious things. The way to become great and noble is to be like Jesus, pure, holy, and undefiled. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 12

The honor that you may receive of medical and great men is not of much value as I view it, but the honor you receive of the Lord is of the greatest value. I want that you should not be almost an overcomer, but a conqueror, and more than conqueror through Him that hath loved you and given His own life to save you from ruin. You want more and greater trust in God daily. I want you to be the happiest man that is in heaven. I want you to be at peace with God here and have heaven hereafter. You have to fight the fight of faith in order to overcome skepticism and infidelity. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 13

Your brother Willie needs special help to break the spell of infidelity in which he stands entrenched. He may be saved, but his wicked unbelief is dishonoring to God, and the last ray of light will finally depart from him unless some special efforts are made in his behalf. You can do something here, but it will not be an easy job because he has been left alone too long. But his soul is in immediate peril. He has a wife who needs help. He has a prayerless home. Jesus is not invited by him into the home as an honored guest. He knows not what he is doing, denying the only Lord God who has bought him with His own blood, who offers to him an eternal weight of glory for a life of humble obedience. Oh, come to the fountain of light and truth yourself, and from your own experience talk of the Saviour’s power to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. May the Lord strengthen and bless you; may the Lord so manifest Himself to you that you can reveal Him to others. Talk faith, act faith, and that which you sow you will also reap. I want you to share the eternal reward. I want you to have that life, that honor, that glory, which await all who love and honor God in this life. My heart is tender and true to you. I yearn over you as I yearn over my own children, and I want so much that you shall enter the gates of the city of God a conqueror, as one who has fought the good fight, finished his course, kept the faith, and to whom will be awarded the blessed benediction of “Good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:23.] The Lord loves you. The Lord would have you as wholly His. But time is short; the period of character building is short for the future eternal life. God help you to build wisely. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 14

The lower you lie at the foot of the cross, the more clearly will you distinguish the charms that in my Saviour dwell. I want that Jesus should be to you all that He can be to mortal man; for the light you receive from Him you can and will reveal to other souls. Precious, precious Jesus! His great heart of love embraces you. My soul hungers and thirsts in your behalf. You must come in closer relation with God. You can build for time and for eternity. These words will not seem foolish to you, for they come from a heart that is deeply concerned for you. Will you give to Jesus your undivided heart? He can be more to you than He has been in your past experience. Fasten yourself decidedly to Christ as the branch to the living vine, and bear much fruit to the glory of God. I hope and trust this earnest heart-yearning for you is of the Lord and that this letter will not be in vain. I now go to Lousanne, and this must close my visit here. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 15

May 3, 1886

Lousanne, Switzerland

Our meetings here are ended. I have spoken three times in the hall in this place where our brethren have been holding meetings for about three months. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 16

I spoke for the first time in Lousanne Sabbath forenoon, followed by two interpreters Brother Bourdeau and Brother Conradi. After the sermon, we had an excellent social meeting. There were four bore testimony they were keeping their first Sabbath. Two stated they could not close up their business, having workmen under them, but they would arrange the coming week to keep the Sabbath. These were French and German. I had spoken from the 58th chapter of Isaiah, which seemed to take hold of the people. Excellent expressions were given. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 17

Twenty have already decided to obey the truth, and there are quite a number who are deeply interested. The Bible readings have awakened an interest among the higher classes, and several families are studying the Scriptures like the noble Bereans to see if these things are so. Some have come from the Methodists, some from the Baptists, and some from other churches. They seem to be men and women of good intellect, and some of them have been lively workers in the Methodist church, and with experience may do good in leading others to the truth. I felt bad as I saw the people sitting on benches with no backs because they dare not take the means for greater conveniences. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 18

I spoke twice on Sabbath, or rather once evening after Sabbath, to French, and to Germans Sabbath forenoon. Sunday evening I spoke to the French, and most of the Germans could understand the French. On Sunday evening we had an excellent congregation of intelligent hearers. I had a talk with the workers here, and now in a few hours we leave to return to Basel. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 19

The work moves slowly in Europe. When there is an interest awakened in a place, many ministers are called in to get up revivals and make a decided move to attract the attention of the people. They urge and lay commands upon the people not to attend these conferences, as they call them, of those who bring to them errors and delusive doctrines. It is wonderful how the people heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. Heaps of teachers are on hand where an effort is commenced. Nevertheless some do take their position upon the truth. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 20

In Italy I spoke seven times. Twice in Torre Pellice, twice five miles out at Villar, up near Bobbio. One week ago yesterday the people could not get into the hall. We had the seats taken out into the yard, and those who could not get seats stood. There were between three and four hundred. The Waldensian women peasants wear white bonnets to distinguish them from the Catholics. And as young and old sat before me with their snow white bonnets and neat blue calico dressed, it was at least a new sight to me. They listened with the deepest interest. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 21

The ancient or elder of the church was present and wanted, before the commencement of the meeting, the privilege of presenting some ideas. I told A. C. Bourdeau that since they would not let us into their churches, to give them our congregation—who had come, many of them, from the highest points of the mountains to hear what we had to say—would be very unwise. Brother Bourdeau told the messenger that he must first have an interview with him and then he could better tell what to do; but he would not have the interview, so our meeting passed off pleasantly. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 22

It is considered an offense, subjecting one to be dealt with by the law, if he opens his lips in a congregation to oppose without permission. I had much freedom in speaking, and the people wept. My own heart was warmed with the love of God, which was the theme of my discourse. There were about two hundred who were standing, and all was quiet except now and then when new ones would come and try to find a place to hear; then there was a little stir. These people have to begin with their ABC’s. They seem to be dull of comprehension in regard to what constitutes true Christianity. After they have attended meeting once on Sunday, they think that is all there is to it; then they can buy, sell, work, or play. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 23

This work must necessarily go slowly. May the Lord bring these people out from the errors and darkness that now enshroud them. If the Vaudois ministers see any one deciding to keep the truth, they are at once on their track and tell them that they will not get any work if they keep the Sabbath, and then they hold out inducements that will help them financially; and to a people who have not felt the importance of obeying the truth at any cost to themselves, who have hitherto relied upon their ministers, it is a great temptation to have a bribe offered to them. But every barrier is erected to prevent the truth’s finding access to the people. We would certainly be discouraged if we had not faith to believe that the Lord had ways and means to reach souls that we do not always discern. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 24

I spoke at St. John’s three times to good audiences. There were several educated men and women who could understand English. I felt much freedom in speaking to the people in this place, but it was hard on me. The meetings did not commence till eight o’clock, and we had to ride three miles home, so we did not get to bed till about midnight. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 25

Last Thursday, April 29, we left Torre Pellice for Geneva. We had a favorable journey. The scenery was very fine. I spoke in Geneva Friday night to an intelligent audience. These were assembled in Brother Bourdeau’s house. I had special freedom here. Quite a number spoke English. Sabbath morning we came to this place. In two hours we shall take the cars for Basel. I have spoken twelve times in about fourteen days, and I am tired and want to rest. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 26

There have been many anxieties connected with this journey that have wearied me much more than speaking—considering fields of labor, bearing the plain testimony where I see it is needed, counseling and advising the workers. Sometimes I am much exhausted, but I gird up and, trusting in the Lord, I move forward, and the Lord sustains me. I find that I have help in every time of need. I should be surprised if the Lord should fail me once. I do not expect it. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 27

I thank you, my brother, for your interest that I should have a horse and carriage. I have one. I was enabled to hire money in England, and I invested it in this horse and carriage. It was a positive necessity, for I cannot walk much. My lame ankle becomes at times very troublesome. At times the limb seems stiff somewhat, but I can walk some without limping. This is a blessing. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 28

I thank you for your liberality, but I need not draw upon you. If I were under real necessity, I would not hesitate to accept your very liberal offer; but there are means enough in my hands if they can only be brought out of places where they are invested. I believe God will open my way in His own time, and I will hire until then what means I will have to use. The Lord is good. I trust Him with my whole heart. I am His property. All I have and am are His, and I will not dishonor Him so much as to have any fears or distrust. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 29

I have a good, gentle horse, afraid of nothing. Four years old. I can drive him myself anywhere. I had to pay $175 for him. The harness was $40; and the carriage, which was secondhand, but strongly built and very nice, we got for $110. It is so arranged that we need only to grease it twice or three times a year. It is a very comfortable carriage. I think they said the first cost was $300. The owner wanted a lighter one. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 30

May 4

Basel, Switzerland

We arrived at home last evening at eight o’clock. We were glad to get home again. We were gone two weeks and a half. We left a good interest in Lousanne. We are glad so many are accepting the truth there. When we consider how hard it is to make an impression on the minds of the people in Europe, we consider that twenty, coming into the truth, is a success under the special blessing of the Lord. I feel deeply grateful if one soul in this country is truly converted, for that one will become a channel of light to others. The Lord will work for this people here. Twenty could be more easily reached in America than one here. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 31

We have been made sad that Brother Ertzenberger has been obliged to leave his field of labor. He had an attack of malaria. I am quite sure that if he could have had someone to give him treatment, he need not have been nearly two months from his work. He has a determination of blood to the brain. Willie gave him some treatment. We prayed for him, and he returned to his field of labor last Sunday; but I am troubled on his account for his health. He is a good speaker, both in German and French. The Lord is with him. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 32

I have had much hard labor with Brethren Bourdeau. They will listen to me, but to no one else. We work and pray for them, and they are certainly in a much better condition to receive counsel than ever before. It is difficult to get organized and to have those who have no experience in our manner of working get into working order, to act harmoniously, and to counsel together. Each seems to be inclined to be an independent company of his own, building barriers about his own individual work as though no other worker should have any interest in the work he does; and it has to be line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. May the Lord teach us that we may correctly instruct others, is my earnest prayer. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 33

The greatest and most difficult lesson to teach these new converts is that the state of the heart regulates the life and character. When we instruct them in regard to the claims of the law of God, there is need of having the spirit of the law in the heart; and unless you can succeed in impressing them with its far-reaching principles, as Christ taught in His sermon on the mount, your labors will be lost. We see the Lord is working with our efforts; and when we have accomplished the work we desire here, we will be most grateful to sail across the waters to America. I do not allow myself to become homesick. I put my whole soul into the work and write and speak to the people, and my counsel and labors are not in vain in the Lord. There is cheerfulness, peace, and joy to bring into our work here. We have blessedness here below. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 34

The knowledge, the fear, and the love of God are its fountain head. We have peace with God through Jesus Christ. The adding of grace to grace daily will restore the image of God to man. It is our lifework to answer the prayer of Christ; to be one as He was one with the Father; to sanctify our souls through obedience to the truth; then our example will have a sanctifying influence upon all who are around us. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” [1 John 3:2.] 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 35

Now is our time for humbling ourselves. A little in the future will be God’s time for exalting the very ones who were the most meek and lowly of heart. God is our light, and He will be in the future; and not only our light, but our honor and glory, our exceeding great reward. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 36

I feel the deepest interest in you and in your wife. I love you both, and I long for you to have a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ. I know what He has been to me; I want He should be the same to you, the Chief among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely. His service is my joy. I know in whom I have believed, that He will keep that which I have committed to His trust against that day. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 37

May the Lord bless you, my dear children. Permit me to call you thus. 4LtMs, Lt 7, 1886, par. 38