Letter from Merritt G. Kellogg to brother
John H. Kellogg


Typed from the handwritten letter signed by M. G. Kellogg with spelling corrections. Original page numbers are in brackets.



Healdsburg, Calif. Aug 1, 1906
J.H. Kellogg MD
Battle Creek, Mich.

Dear Brother John,

It is some time since I have had a letter from you and I began to be anxious to hear how you were holding up under the pressure that's been brought to bear on you. I met Dr. Belknap at the Oakland S.D.A camp meeting last week and learned from him that you appeared well and happy. This was quite a relief to me. I attended the camp meeting from first to last. It lasted ten days. The ministers who preached, were Knox, President of Cal. Con. Cotterel, Geo. Thompson, member of the Gen. Con. Committee, Haskel, Corliss, Gardner, and Mrs. E. G. White. There were a number of other ministers present I think! This was the best camp meeting I ever attended, although Thompson and Haskel each preached one Sab. [2] in which the Battle Creek rebellion was the issue. Sister White also referred to it several times in her discourses.

Haskel took the position that the Sabbath is the test for the world and Mrs. White's testimonies the test for the Church. He even affirmed that they who reject the testimonies of Mrs. White cannot be saved. Thompson had most to say about the position occupied by A. T. Jones. Sister White's remarks were against the idea of having the S.D.A. send their children and youth to B.C. to be educated.

The burning of the Pacific Press seems to have sobered all of them. All three of these speakers referred to the testimonies as the foundation of the third angels message. No names were called yet Jones was referred to as following exactly in the footsteps of Satan in his rebellion in heaven, while you were referred to as one used by Satan to remove foundation plank from the platform of the faith of S.D.A. [3] It was painful to listen to these three persons when B.C. was the theme of their talk. I think the idea is quite prevalent here that you and Jones have both gone to the devil and taken the Sanitarium with you. Of course it is not best for me to say anything here for it would be of no use. I am too small a man. It would only hurt me and do others no good.

The brethren at the camp meeting all treated me with great kindness. The first time I spoke in one of the general social meetings, Elder Knox introduced me as the person who introduced our work in California. He also inquired concerning my finances and called a council consisting of himself, Cotterel, Thompson, Corliss and W.C.W. (Willie White) to consider my case.

The California Conference, the Pacific Union Conference, and the General were all represented in this Conference. I fully explained to them my financial circumstances told them that my home was [4] mortgaged for $400, at 8 percent due, Aug 31, 1907, that my poultry business had yielded me only enough income to pay its own expenses giving me nothing for labor. That my eyesight was so bad that I could not obtain employment of any kind, that my living expenses were met by the California Conference and yourself, the Conference allowing me $13.33 per month you making up the balance.

When I had told him this, they asked what I needed. I told them that if they would give me $8.00 per week I would be able to get on and pay off the mortgage with what you were willing to help me. Elder Knox then moved that I be allowed $9.00 per week. This was adopted, to commence Aug 1st as I suppose. The Sanitarium Health Food Co have been sending me $40.00 per month since you so ordered them. I do not know as you can afford me this, but if you can I shall be able to pay off the mortgage when due. [5]

Now about moving to Battle, Creek. There are many reasons why I hesitate, about going before next spring. 1st I am confident that I can sell my place here to better advantage later on than to try and force a sale just at present. 2nd My wife prefers to have me wait until spring. 3rd If I leave Cal. I would probably cut myself off from assistance from those who are rightfully under obligation to help me, as thy would doubtless claim that I had gone over to the enemy. 4th No opportunity has yet offered to exchange any place for a place in B.C. of about equal value, and I do not want to go in debt. 5th I feel influenced to go a little slow and let the Lord open the way before me.

God has never failed me yet and I still feel inclined to ask him to direct me in all my ways. [6]

Now about my position as to the testimonies of Mrs. E.G. White. I think that in much of her writings we have clear evidence that the Spirit of God guided her thoughts as she wrote, but her inspiration came to her through the Holy Scriptures contained in the Bible. The Bible has been her constant study and has been the source of her inspiration.

Her early vision was the result of an abnormal nervous condition and the subject of the visions were the result of her conceptions of things when in a normal condition. Her dreams may be accounted for in same manner. Of this I am full convinced.

I send you here with the opinion of Dr. Moere concerning my eyes. He was recommended to me by the Governor of California whose father was a skillful oculist, and an old friend of mine. The Gov. also was a skillful oculist. I wrote him for advice as to whom to apply for examination. I send here with the Governor's reply (my) eyes are worse.

Your Brother

Signed: M.G. Kellogg


Dr. M. G. Kellogg wrote this letter regarding Ellen White's health condition to his brother J. H. Kellogg on June 3, 1906.

In 1868, after talking with Dr. Trall, I began to suspect that Mrs. White's visions might not be what we had thereunto supposed them to be, and from that time onward I have been studying both Mrs. White and her visions, dreams and testimonies...

I have seen Mrs. White in vision quite a number of times between 1852 and 1859, in every instance she was simply in a state of catalepsy. In each instance she was suddenly seized, fell unconscious, and remained unconscious during the full time the fit lasted; every vital function was reduced to the lowest point compatible with life; pulse almost stopped and very infrequent breathing so slight as to be imperceptible except when she uttered short sentences; pupils dilated to great width, sense of hearing blunted; in fact all her senses so blunted that she could neither see, feel, nor hear; in fact was wholly unconscious, yet her mind was acutely active, the action being automatic and wholly involuntary, the whole vision being a conglomerated mental rehearsal of previous conceptions, scenes, meditations, and suggestions so vividly reproduced on her mind as to be to her a living reality. Catalepsy assumes many forms in its various victims, but in her case some phase of all forms was produced. I have seen many cases. Mrs. L.M. Hall's description of Mrs. W's condition in vision agrees with mine.

Robert K. Sanders, Founder and Editor of Truth or Fables, 1997–2012
Life Assurance Ministries assumed ownership of Truth or Fables in 2012
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