Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 9, 1887

Kellogg, J. H.

Basel, Switzerland

April 15, 1887

Portions of this letter are published in CD 105-106, 345; 2MR 142-144; 5MR 23-25.

Dr. J. H. Kellogg

Dear Brother:

I received your letter and read it with much interest. I have the tenderest feelings of sympathy for you and do not cease to present your case before God in my prayers. I have faith that God is helping you and that He will continue to be with you. I intended to write you ere this, but there have been many things that required my special attention, so that I have had no time. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 1

I have been laboring to set things in order in this building. One week ago last Sabbath evening we had a meeting with the families in the house to talk up certain things in regard to the food that should be prepared for boarders and the influence that should be exerted in the families who board the workers. The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I bore a plain, decided testimony. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 2

I had presented much more upon general principles, but that did not set things right. The idea was so riveted in their minds that their own way was perfect, that the very ones who need to reform did not take hold of the matter at all. I was obliged to say decidedly, as did Nathan to David, “Thou art the man.” [2 Samuel 12:7.] It made a decided stir in the camp, I assure you. I told them that the preparation of their food was wrong, and that living principally on soups and coffee and bread was not health reform; that so much liquid taken into the stomach was not healthful, and that all who subsisted on such a diet placed a great tax upon the kidneys, and so much watery substance debilitated the stomach. I was thoroughly convinced that many in the establishment were suffering with indigestion because of eating this kind of food. The digestive organs were enfeebled and the blood impoverished. Their breakfast consisted of coffee and bread with the addition of prune sauce. This was not healthful. The stomach, after rest and sleep, was better able to take care of a substantial meal than when wearied with work. Then the noon meal was generally soup, sometimes meat. The stomach is small, but the appetite, unsatisfied, partakes largely of this liquid food, so it is burdened. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 3

The salads are prepared with oil and vinegar, fermentation takes place in the stomach, and the food does not digest, but decays or putrefies; as a consequence, the blood is not nourished, but becomes filled with impurities, and liver and kidney difficulty appears. Heart disturbances, inflammation, and many evils are the result of such kind of treatment, and not only are the bodies affected, but the morals, the religious life, are affected. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 4

I told them that unless they should change their diet, physical, mental, and moral degeneracy would surely be the result. Plain, good, substantial food must be given to our bodies, else there will be a poverty of the blood. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 5

I then dwelt upon the influence surrounding the soul, and the importance of elevated conversation at the table, and whenever they had intercourse with one another. Well, I talked many things, and I am now waiting for them to recover from the shock they have received before I give them another portion. I felt deeply moved upon this subject. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 6

Do you remember Mary Roth, a girl about sixteen years old, whom you met in Tramelan? Her father and brothers are tailors, and another one is a baker. They say that you visited them in Tramelan. I think you found Mary not well. I went there three time to labor. The water closets are in the house. The whole house is poisoned by the polluted air. I called the family together and talked this matter strongly to them. One daughter died in that house, of consumption; others are sick. I was sick, I told them, three weeks with malaria after my first visit there, poisoned very much, as I was at the time of my husband’s sickness. I feared that I would die. I told them all about this, and they receive everything I tell them as being so indeed. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 7

Mary has been an apprentice in this office, but has not been well for some time. The blood is mostly in her head. Sara McEnterfer has been treating her for months—fomentations, foot-baths, sponge-baths, rubbings, and so on. A physician was called to give her an examination. He says her case is a complicated one, and she must leave the office. Her parents were afraid to have her come home, because I had set before them the poisonous atmosphere in the house which they were inhaling all the time. I saw that the precious child would not get well here, so I finally proposed that Mary should go to America, to the sanitarium. I knew that they had not means, for they are in debt, and I told them if they would pay her fare, I would pay for her treatment at the sanitarium. They consented to let her go. Now I wish you to tell me if this is not the best thing to be done. The physicians here do not know how to take a case without drugging. They commended the way that she had been treated, and recommended her to go to an institution in Basel, under the care of the physician that attended Edith Andrews. The treatment is all given by men with masks on. Mary is a modest young woman, and she would not go there, she said, if she died. What do you think of my sending her to the sanitarium? She has had a hard time the past winter—her feet cold as ice, room not properly heated. Her ankles swell very badly. She came down unable to do anything. I could not spare Sara. She would work over her hours at a time, and I thought I would better be to the expense of her treatment at the sanitarium than have Sara take care of her here without conveniences whatever. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 8

They intend to leave here sometime in May. Will forward you the examination paper. I sent for it some time ago to send to you. Her father sends one of her brothers to attend the college. I promised to pay his tuition and board. He gives this young man to the cause. He was raised up from what they feared would be his deathbed. The father made a vow that if the Lord would spare his life, he would give him to the cause of God. He is an excellent young man. I have devoted all the royalty on foreign books to be used in the foreign missions. I thought I would place a fund in the office to be used for the purpose of educating choice young men to become laborers for their own countrymen. This young man will come with his sister. They are a nice family. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 9

You sent me one hundred dollars to be used in missionary work. I felt that you ought not to have done this and have not appropriated it yet. You have so many ways for your means. I tried to think what I had written, fearing that I might have written something that led you to think that I appealed to you for means, but I did not think of such a thing. Whatever I wrote was not with a thought to invite you to do anything of this kind. I thank you, my brother, for your liberality, but feel hardly free to use it. If you will use the hundred dollars to help defray your own and your wife’s expenses to California, I should be much pleased. We want you to visit us there. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 10

I report, in regard to myself, good health. At times I feel infirmities seize me, but I cannot yield to them. I just pray most earnestly; I tell the great Physician all about the matter, and then I do not wait to feel better; I just go to work, and I know that my prayers are heard; for relief comes. These things give me hope and courage, and strengthen my faith. I know the Lord has wrought for me in a special manner. His name shall have all the glory. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 11

Many things trouble me, so that I pass many wakeful hours; but relief comes in committing all to God as unto a faithful Creator. I feel sad about St. Helena. I learn that Dr. Burke became dissatisfied, because he was not made first, and therefore resigned and set up an institution in St. Helena. Dr. Gibbs is worried about his home matters and has worked early and late at night, and not long since he was found insensible in his office, standing against the wall, grasping the lounge for support. It was some minutes before his heart resumed its action—thus it was reported by letter. I am so anxious that Brother and Sister Maxson go at once to St. Helena. I cannot write more at present. God bless you, is my prayer. 5LtMs, Lt 9, 1887, par. 12