(Written July 26, 1898, from Sydney, Australia, to Dr. J. H. Kellogg.)
What a satisfaction it would be to me to see and talk with you. We are at Stanmore, where our N. S. W. conference convened.
As far as we have knowledge, the sanitarium is doing good work. We have just come to the point of the vexed meat question: Should not those who come to the sanitarium have meat on their tables and be instructed to leave it off gradually? One physician, Dr. Caro, and another, Dr. Silas Rand, as in the case of Dr. Maxson, have prescribed a meat diet for the patients, and in one case the large use of butter, even as high as three pounds per week. I knew that these prescriptions were not in the order of God, but that if a change should take place, and we meet one difficulty, a worse state of things might be created.
Years ago the light was given me that the position should not be taken to discard all meat, because in some cases it was better than the desserts and dishes composed of sweets. These are sure to create disturbances. It is the variety and mixture of meat, vegetables, fruit, wines, tea, coffee, sweet cakes, and rich pies that ruin the stomach and place human beings in the position where they become invalids, with all the disagreeable effects of sickness upon the disposition. The character becomes perverted, a depraved appetite is established, and a diseased religious experience is the result. The words of the apostle to the Romans should be repeated to all the churches and to all
families: "I beseech you therefor, 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 mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" [Rom. 12:1, 2].
The perfection of Christian character is attainable. As we approach the close of this earth's history, we will find that the whole world is becoming a lazar house of disease, and transgression of the law of God is bringing the sure result.
[Deut. 4:1-9, quoted.]
In the fifth chapter of this book, the commandments of God are repeated. (Verses 6-21.) The whole chapter is very definite. Read verses 29-33. Again, the requirements of God are given in the eighth chapter, verses 1-15.
These requirements were to be framed into song, and sung in the congregations of Israel, lest they should forget them. (Chapters 10:12-22; and 11:26-32.) The entire chapter contains the expressed will of God.
I present the word of the Lord God of Israel. Because of transgression, the curse of God has come upon the earth itself, upon the cattle, and upon all flesh. Human beings are suffering the result of their own course of action in departing from the commandments of God. The beasts also suffer under the curse.
Meat eating should not come into prescriptions for any invalids from any physician from among those who understand things. Disease in cattle is making meat eating a dangerous matter. The Lord's curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beasts, upon fish in the sea; and as transgression becomes almost universal, the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the
transgression. Disease is contracted by the use of meat. The diseased flesh of these dead carcasses are sold in the market places, and disease among men is the sure result.
The Lord would bring His people into a position where they will not touch nor taste the flesh of dead animals. Then let not these things be prescribed by any physician who has a knowledge of the truth for this time. There is no safety in eating the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cow will also be excluded from the diet of God's commandment- keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. Those who take God at His word and obey His commandments with the whole heart will be blessed. He will be their shield of protection. But the Lord will not be trifled with. Distrust, disobedience, and alienation from God's will and way will place the sinner in a position where the Lord cannot give him His divine favor.
All heaven is working to resist Satan's power, to bind the strong man. The angels of God are working to put restrictions upon the power of the enemy until man shall be fully tested and tried. Hear the gracious invitation made to every soul: "He that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." This is not a bodily movement, but the submitting of the human will to the will of supreme wisdom. The human agent does not have to go into heaven to bring God down, or into the deep to bring Him up. He is not far from every one of us. "In Him we live, move, and have our being."
No bodily movement is required to bring us near to God. Neither is a violent exercise of the mind necessary. But the Lord invites every human agent to meet Him on the ground of the great atoning Sacrifice. A man is required to
give a cordial assent to the terms of salvation, and be reconciled to the will of God, to do all His commandments, and walk in obedience and fellowship with God. The word of God gives the conditions, testifying. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
The invitation is gracious, full, and free to all who receive Christ as their personal Saviour. To all such He gives power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in His name. Christ's dying love is the pledge we bring to the Father for reconciliation with Him, and to all who advance toward Him He gives a hearty welcome. We may take God at His word. There is a oneness between man and his God. Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. Fallen man may place himself under his Father's protection. The prodigal may be covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness, and given a place at His table.
Again I will refer to the diet question. We cannot now do as we have ventured to do in the past in regard to meat eating. It has always been a curse to the human family, but now it is made particularly so in the curse which God has pronounced upon the herds of the field, because of man's transgression and sin. The disease upon animals is becoming more and more common, and our only safety is in leaving meat entirely alone. The most aggravated diseases are now prevalent, and the very last thing that physicians who are enlightened should do is to advise patients to eat meat. It is in eating meat so largely in this country that men and women are becoming demoralized, their blood corrupted, and disease planted in the system. Because of meat eating many die, and they do not understand the cause. If the truth were known, it would bear testimony it was the flesh of animals that have passed through death. The thought of feeding on
dead flesh is repulsive, but there is something besides this. In eating meat we partake of diseased dead flesh, and this sows its seed of corruption in the human organism.
I write to you, my brother, that the giving of prescriptions for the eating of the flesh of animals shall no more be practiced in our sanitarium. There is no excuse for this. There is no safety in the after influence and results upon the human mind. Let us be health reformers in every sense of the term. Let us make known in our institutions that there is no longer a meat table even for the boarders, and then the education given upon the discharging of a meat diet will not be only saying but doing. If patronage is less, so let it be. The principles will be of far greater value when they are understood, when it is known that the life of no living thing shall be taken to sustain the life of the Christian.
In this country we see the necessity of our words and deeds harmonizing. I had a decided talk with the physicians just at the right time, and I think now the question will be settled with them.
I spoke Sabbath upon this subject, and the church was full of believers and unbelievers, so these will now know our position without mistake. Of course, there must be an abundance of fruit and well-cooked grains. We are setting the example of making out-of-door ovens, and baking our own bread. Three families use our brick oven, and it is a great blessing to us all. I continue my two-meal system, and I eat very sparingly, and seldom ever know what it means to be hungry. Although at times circumstances compel us to be unable to eat our meals at regular periods, yet I am never hungry.
I consider myself in good health. I shall be 71 next November. The Lord is good. I praise His holy name. During the meeting I have spoken and read important articles four times, and this morning early I go to speak for the last time before returning to Cooranbong.--Letter 59, 1898. Ellen G. White Estate Washington D. C. Jan. 22, 1988. Entire Letter.