Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 188, 1901

Kellogg, J. H.

Nashville, Tennessee

December 30, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 2BC 993; HFM 54; 11MR 310-311.

Dr. Kellogg,—

I have had matter written for some time, but have not sent you all you should have. I have been in such dread to have the words I should speak come in to contradict your course of action that I have kept still; but since I have been having representations of the vast field, God’s vineyard, it has been distinctly presented before me that you have been bringing in principles that will not be sustained or favored by the Lord. The case of Nebuchadnezzar was presented before me. I must now say I have the matter before me in distinct lines. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 1

My brother, I am instructed to say to you that if you carry on the sanitarium and medical missionary work as you are now doing, you will bring in a state of things that will be according to the wisdom of human minds, but not as God requires His work to be carried on. You must not feel that wherever there is a sanitarium established, it is your work to investigate and criticize and condemn, unless in all respects it meets your ideas. You are not to stand in a position to require everyone to understand and carry out your mind, while you discourage and condemn, unless you choose to favor. The Lord would have the medical missionary work established in different places, and every man is in the fear of God to learn all he possibly can of how to do his work intelligently, and not be harassed with drawbacks, and discouragements. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 2

The work in different conferences is to be taken up in accordance with the light God has given. Let the workers advance in knowledge as they shall become more and more familiar with the work. Let them start in simplicity, and study the Word of God with much prayer, that they may have wisdom to meet the pressing necessities for the time in their own borders. They must make a beginning before there can be anything done at all; that beginning may be rough and the facilities few, and they may not be prepared to do a large and perfect work; but we should encourage and instruct them, not blame them. We must not bring discouragements before the ones who are striving to accomplish something: do not act the Nebuchadnezzar. God has not given you the authority and power over His heritage that you have been exercising. One in your position should be very careful of his words, lest he exalt and magnify himself, even in a good action; but when there is a spirit of supremacy revealed in making laws and pledges for the future, not a pen should sign such a paper in the service of God. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 3

Wherever we may be, we are to be signalized as a peculiar people, chosen of God and precious, and all who preside in any way over this people are to reveal in their course of life the highest Christian principle. While some have not, as you supposed, preserved principle, but have been led astray to obtain advantages unfairly and thus brought confusion, there are those who have kept the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, and have held fast their integrity, and kept their souls in the love of God, unspotted from the world. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 4

Every true child of God will be tempted, but the Lord does not leave His servants to be tempted above what they can bear. There are many true, devoted, loving Christians who make the Bible their guide and close companion through evil as well as good report. The Word of the Lord is to them supreme, the sovereign standard. The Scriptures are to all such their lamp of life. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 5

Thus saith the Spirit: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” [Revelation 3:2-5.] 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 6

Dr. Kellogg, I say unto you, that you are to keep yourself unspotted from financial, worldly enterprises. Your natural ambitions, your extended ideas, will lead you, as they are now doing, to do and say that which will not cause you to ripen for the company of the blessed. While it is your privilege to be daily constrained by the love of God, to rejoice in every opportunity for promoting His cause and glorifying His name, you are to be barricaded on every side, so that you may not repeat many errors that have hurt your record, and not only yours, but that of others who have such unlimited confidence in you that they repeat your mistakes. God would have you make a decided change. You are not to feel that you are the only one who can steer the medical missionary bark into safe channels, that you are the only safe captain and pilot. You have been for years making mistakes, and it is because you grasp altogether too much. You have not sensed that God Himself is the ruler, but have taken the scepter in your own hands. To carry out your plans, to serve the schemes that you suppose are the supreme things to keep the work in motion, you sacrifice the interests of many. You have grasped too much. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 7

As one who has the deepest interest in your case, because it has been kept so much before me, I ask you now not to go any further in the same line you have been going. God has a people upon the earth who are to live a life of personal dependence upon their Redeemer, unsullied by any scheming to deprive one another of any advantages God would have them receive to fit them for His service. By practice one may make his business life of a superior order; he will do unto others as he would like to have them do unto him. Constrained by the love of God, and striving after personal holiness, one may receive added abilities of a superior order, if [he] will learn of God, and become a wise counselor in both secular and spiritual interests. This you are not now. All of God’s stewards can afford to be holy unto the Lord. With sanctified zeal in service, give every soul the very best example in sound, unbending integrity and uprightness. Never, for your soul’s sake, act an untruth. Holy boldness becomes those whom God honors. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 8

Brother John, I tell you your eternal interest depends upon a change in your heart in order that your head may work and plan so that all others may have a chance to accomplish the work, not after your devising, but after the wisdom given them individually by God. The tightness which Christ condemns—the holding of others to your terms—is casting a mold upon your character which must be broken, fully broken. Let all have their chance to work out their own righteousness with fear and trembling before God, for it is God that worketh in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. Let every man put his trust, not in his fellow, to fear and tremble before his assertions and his masterly spirit, but put his trust in the living God, who gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Then can every man say, “He hath drawn me with the cords of his mercy, in his everlasting love, and this great and merciful God shall be my God forever and ever.” “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” [Psalm 73:25.] 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 9

The Lord has a great work to be done in our world. To every man He has given His work for man to do. But man is not to make man his guide, lest he be led astray. This is always unsafe. While Bible religion embodies the principles of activity in service, at the same time there is the necessity of asking for wisdom daily from the Source of all wisdom. What was Joshua’s victory? Thou shalt meditate upon the Word of God day and night. The word of the Lord came to Joshua just before he passed over Jordan, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” [Joshua 1:7, 8.] This was the secret of Joshua’s victory. He made God his guide. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 10

We are living amid the perils of the last days, and you need now to consider how you must leave things should you be called from your labors—what use others will make of your course; by following your methods, what strange things may be brought to pass. These are the things that compel me now to write. You are carrying out your plans zealously, and may bring about things that I supposed the testimonies borne at the last conference would forever place in a different light. You mingle with many good and important interests, the wisdom of your own mind and planning; and who shall in the future separate the erroneous from the true? That testimony borne in regard to a binding power being exercised was just as applicable to you as to those who were doing likewise. You do not seem to discern that God has not given you all the authority that you exercise. In the appropriation of <means for> the health foods, you have not considered whose property you are handling. You are not your own. God has given to many minds jots and tittles <and wisdom>, one here and one there, with tact and ability; and although you have adjusted these gifts entrusted to varied minds so as to compose a large business in health foods, are not others to be privileged to use their God-given wisdom in devising health foods <as well as you>, and have they not the right to use them in a way that will benefit the cause of God, and meet the necessity that exists and will always continue to exist? Why should strong barricades be built up in this manner? The light given me is that no one <person> has been especially endowed with a recipe to make the greatest variety of health foods. The recipes already given have been practiced upon, and in doing this other brains have been aroused, and will continue to be sharp under the training of God. They are not to feel that the door is closed, that no more investigation can be made; because there is to be much more devising and planning of human minds, and no man is to forbid it. The work will be committed to human agencies. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 11

God did not design that this work should be shut up with a few, and the rest of the human family remain in darkness as to the preparation of health foods. The Lord would have people in all parts of the world to become intelligent in regard to <using> the productions of the soil in every locality. The products of each locality are to be studied and <carefully> investigated, to see if they cannot be combined in such a way as to simplify the production of foods and lessen the cost of manufacture and transportation. Let all do their best under the Lord’s supervision to accomplish this. There are many expensive articles of food that the genius of man can combine; and yet there is no real need of using the most expensive preparations. Three years ago a letter came to me, saying, “I cannot eat the nut foods; my stomach cannot take care of them.” Then there were several recipes presented <before me>; one was that there must be other ingredients combined with the nuts, which would harmonize with them, and not use such a large proportion of nuts. One-tenth to one-sixth part of nuts would be sufficient, <varied according to combinations.> We tried this, and with success. Other things were mentioned. One thing spoken of was sweetened crackers or biscuit. They are made because someone likes them, and then many obtain them who should not eat them. There are yet many improvements to be made, and God will work with all who will work with Him. 16LtMs, Lt 188, 1901, par. 12