Letter 1903-09-29 – A.G. Daniells to WC White
September 29, 1903.
Elder W.C. White,
In your two-page letter of September 23d, you make reference to the teaching of “Living Temple,” and suggest that I request “Elders Haskell and Butler to express themselves through the REVIEW regarding those theories in *The Living Temple* which undermine the pillars of our faith.”
I am in the fullest harmony with you on this point. I have already requested Brother Haskell to do this, and his first article is now being put in type in our office. Professor Prescott and I have been talking this matter over for some time, and it is our desire that these brethren shall have time during our coming counsel to give some studies on this question.
The situation certainly demands that we shall do something. We have dealt with this evil thing in the most careful, considerate manner. Two years ago I first heard Dr. Kellogg teach some of his new philosophy about God. It was at the Berrien Springs Summer school. His teaching was then promptly challenged by some, and labeled “Pantheism.” I did not like the flavor of the philosophy, but tried to apologize to the brethren for it. Later I heard him talk to the young physicians and nurses in Battle Creek. This time his statements were more extravagant, and his position more pantheistic. When he was writing “Living Temple” I felt troubled about the theology he might put into the book, and wrote him a letter, telling him that some of his views would not be accepted by our people, and I earnestly requested him to weed out all that might be challenged. I urged him to submit his MS to some of the brethren for criticism. He agreed to this, but had it all put in type before submitting it for examination. He then placed the proofs in the hands of Professor Prescott and Elder A.T.Jones. Brother Prescott did faithful, conscientious work. At that time we were all on the very best of terms. So Brother Prescott felt free to point out to the Doctor all that he believed was questionable, and that our ministers would criticise. He wrote pages of the most kindly suggestions, and sent them to Dr. Kellogg when we were together in England. I felt that his criticisms were kind, painstaking, and well based.
The Doctor never expressed himself to me regarding them, and he never replied to Brother Prescott, and did not, as far as we know, make a single change in his book in response to those suggestions. He was determined that this new teaching should go to our people, and he pressed the question upon us until, as you remember, we were obliged at the council one year ago, to take an open stand against the book. We tried to do so in a Christian manner. We declined to have any part or lot in disseminating such views, and advised that the book be dropped. You know how furious the Doctor became. He vowed by all that was great that the book should be printed and circulated, and immediately ordered the Review and Herald to print five thousand copies.
Just as it had been put in pages, and had received its final corrections, and was to be run through the press, the fire burned up the factory and destroyed his plates. I hoped then that he would take a lesson; but he immediately sent his copy out, and had the book printed.
Now it is on the market, and he and his associates are doing all in their power to get it into the homes of our people, and to get our young people to sell it to the world.
It has been a year and six months since I began working with the Doctor to keep him from trying to leaven this denomination with what I believe to be veiled heathenism. In all these long months of anxiety I have not once attacked the book either through the press or on the platform. I have feared that I might do harm. But I want to tell you that I have spent many sleepless hours over this thing. I have turned and rolled and sweated on my bed many nights as I have reviewed the situation; and while I have done this, he and his workers have stealthily pushed forward with their work of placing it in the hands of our people. This terrible anxiety I have felt has taken the very life out of my bones and brains, and I am not the only one that has suffered in this way.
It seems to me that silence will now cease to be a virtue. I believe that we should take this bull by the horns. If the ministers of this denomination are not free to deal with such open evils in their midst, what are they for? There are scores of them who know that the teaching of that book is the most subtle heathenism, and their hearts burn to expose it, but they fear they may get out of place and do harm. And all the while the seed is being sown that will produce results that will break the hearts of hundreds of our brethren and sisters.
Before I left Battle Creek one of the most intimate and trusted physicians came to my office and gave me a terrible warning of the work that was being done to our young people; stating how the confidence of young physicians and nurses–apprentices–was being destroyed in this message. I was urged to do something, and to do it at once, to save our fathers and mothers from being thus plundered of their sons and daughters.
One great difficulty we have to meet in this thing is the attitude of such men as A.T.Jones, E.J.Waggoner, E.A.Sutherland, P.T. Magan, and Dr. Paulson. They have championed the book. They endorse the teaching; yet how they can do this is beyond my senses.
Yesterday I came across Dr. Kellogg’s definition of God, as given in the GENERAL CONFERENCE BULLETIN of 1897, page 83. Here are some of his statements:–
“Gravitation acts instantaneously throughout all space. By this mysterious force of gravitation, the whole universe is held together in a bond of unity. . . . We have here the evidence of a universal Presence, an intelligent presence, an all-wise presence, an all-powerful presence, a presence by the aid of which every atom of the universe is kept in touch with every other atom. This force that holds all things together, that is everywhere present, that thrills through out the whole universe, that acts instantaneously throughout boundless space, can be nothing else than God himself. What a wonderful thought that this same God is in us and in everything.”
Again he says:—
“Scientists have been very much puzzled to know how light, which is a vibratory movement, can pass from one of these widely separated atoms to another. To meet this difficulty, the hypothesis of ether has been proposed. But here the same difficulty exists, for the ether, being matter, must also be composed of atoms; and so with ether we have simply matter composed of finer atoms; other ether composed of still finer atoms, and so on down to infinity. There is as great an infinity below us as above us. The mystery of being, even of its simplest forms, is an eternal mystery that can not be solved; it is the mystery of God himself. Scientific men have almost unanimously arrived at the conclusion that this one great force in the universe, this which Mr. Spencer calls the unknowable intelligence, is nothing else than God himself; that matter in all its forms is simply a manifestation of God. What a wonderful thought that this mighty God that keeps the whole universe in order is in us.”
Now if I understand the teaching of “Living Temple” regarding God, the statements made above are the basis of that teaching; and if I understand the definition here given, it is the teaching of the rankest heathenism. We can get cartloads of that kind of rubbish from India and China.
In India it is Hinduism and Brahmanism; in China, it is Confucianism; among the followers of Col. Alcott and Annie Besant, it is theosophy; with. Mrs. Eddy and her followers, it is Christian science; with Herbert Spencer, it is the Unknowable Intelligence; with Dr. Kellogg, it is the ‘‘new philosophy.”
It is that subtle, secret, veiled, evil in the new thought that is now leavening and poisoning the Christian churches throughout the world. In many of these denominations such faithful, earnest men as Moody, Spurgeon, and Arthur J. Pierson, have raised a warning voice, and have denounced the evil thing in no uncertain terms.
But here it has been at work in our midst for years, and we have preserved the most careful and studied silence. This certainly can not go on forever. It must be dealt with, and I believe that the time has come to take hold of it.
You must excuse me if I express myself very decidedly to you. Of course in dealing with this, we must do so in the right manner, and we must have the right parties do it. I have no desire personally to take the matter up. I shall not do so if others more capable, and whose influence will be stronger, will do so. I am heartily in favor of your suggestion to have Brethren Butler and Haskell and other men of age, place the situation before our people. But my object in writing is to let you know how keenly I feel over this, and how certainly I would stand by the side of these men in their efforts.
I do feel that it is essential that our people should know where your mother stands regarding this teaching. Dr. Paulson is making most frantic efforts to get our people to endorse this book. He is sending his letters all over the country, assuring them that this is one of the grandest books the denomination has ever had, and that every point of theology in it can be clearly substantiated from the writings of Sister White. This puzzles our ministers, and throws our people into confusion. They have never seen such teaching in your mother’s books; they can not believe that it can be found in any unpublished Testimonies; “but of course they can say but little. I think Dr. Paulson is taking great liberty to make such statements without permission from your mother. In fact, Dr. Paulson, to my mind, is losing his bearings. As Brother Irwin wrote in his letter, his head seems to be swollen. He seems to be fairly intoxicated with high ideas regarding the great work he is to do in high circles.
He now proposes to put his life into the LIFE BOAT, and is planning to place the circulation at half a million. What are we going to do about this? I have had my secretary examine two years’ files of the LIFE BOAT to see what could be found regarding the coming of Christ or any other special phase of the third angel’s message; and there was not found one single line relating to any special feature of our message; and yet our brethren and sisters and our young people are all being most earnestly and urgently moved upon to circulate this paper.
Last winter when we were trying so hard to get our people to circulate tracts on the coming of the Lord and other features of the Message, Dr. Paulson did not exert a jot of influence as far as I know to assist us in this line of work. All the while we were urging this campaign, he was pulling hard for the LIFE BOAT. Our young people were worked up to a perfect frenzy in some places. You will remember that young women were encouraged to travel across the continent selling this paper. And those who did, were the most widely advertised workers in the denomination. None of our ministers or workers were kept so constantly before our churches as were these young women.
Now we find that traveling about in this fashion is becoming something of a craze among our young people. The other day when Brother Cottrell was on his way to the New York camp-meeting, he landed in Utica in the night. In the waiting-room he found a couple of colored girls, and an intoxicated man. This man was chaffing the girls, and they were replying in a rather frivolous manner. Soon after taking his seat, one of these girls came to him with a LIFE BOAT, and asked him to purchase it. He asked her where it was published, where she lived, why she was selling it, etc., etc. He found that these girls were on their way from Chicago to New York. They had started out to sell the LIFE BOAT, and to pay their way with the proceeds. The reason they were sitting up in the depot all night was because they were entirely out of money, and could not secure a bed; in fact, they did not have money to pay their way on the railway. At Rome they took the train without money, and were put off by the conductor at Utica. I told Brother Cottrell that he ought to write to Dr. Paulson about this, and show him the evil of encouraging our young women to tramp about the country in this fashion. I do not know whether he has done so or not. I think I shall write him a letter myself.
We are now planning to carry on a great campaign this fall and winter, with our tracts that deal specifically and clearly with the third angel’s message in its various bearings. Every one of our brethren and sisters, including our young people, ought to be drawn into this work; but if Dr. Paulson is allowed to carry on his frantic, frenzied movement in behalf of the LIFE BOAT, and is backed up by Luther Warren and other energetic men who have the confidence of our unsuspecting young people, we shall get but little of their services. Their strength and time will be thrown into that journal. While I have no special fault to find with the LIFE BOAT, yet I can not see the real benefit there is in the paper the way it is run. The world is full of just such papers. The Salvation Army are distributing millions of copies of the WAR CRY and other literature precisely like the LIFE BOAT. It is all right for the Salvation Army and other people to circulate such literature; but God has given us a special message for the world at this time. We must give them that message. We can not meet his purpose, nor the object of our existence, by devoting our energies to such philanthropic lines of work, and say nothing about the particular message God has given us.
And here is one great evil in the whole method of the Medical Missionary Association. There is little said regarding the third angel’s message. Take the writings of Dr. Kellogg during the last twenty-five years, and what will you find in his books or journals or talks about the message for this time? Of course he talks about health reform, which is a phase of this message; but he so entirely disconnects this from the third angel’s message which gave the health principles their birth, that the message itself is entirely left out of sight.
I believe God is dishonored by this, and that he would have us now take up the message in all its fullness, including the medical part, and give it with great earnestness to the world.
Well, I have written enough on this point. I am glad of your suggestions, and shall be pleased to receive any further counsel you may have to give us on the points with which this letter deals. I wish you would read this to your mother, or hand it to her to read herself. I would send her a copy, but will trust you to place it in her hands at a time when she is feeling able to consider it. If I am wrong in my views in any respect regarding these matters, I want to be corrected.
Letter 1903-09-29 – A.G. Daniells to WC White