Letter 1903-10-28 – WW Prescott to JH Kellogg
Battle Creek, Mich. Dear Brother:–
October 28, 1903.
I have received your letter written from Melrose, Mass., and have given it careful consideration. You have doubtless already received my letter concerning the revision of “The Living Temple,” and in response to your letter and request I think I must state more explicitly my view in regard to the revision of this book.
You will perhaps remember that in our talk here I stated to you that my objection to the teaching of the book was chiefly upon three points:
- What seemed to me to be a wrong view concerning God and his dwelling place.
- Such a teaching of religion as seemed to me to set aside any need of the atonement and the work of Christ as our high priest in the sanctuary above.
- A breaking down of any distinction between the sinner and the Christian by teaching that every man is a temple of God regardless of personal faith in Christ.
Incidentally there are other views taught which seem to me to be only a slight variation of the principles of Hinduism regarding the sacredness of animal life, etc.
Now you can readily see that all this can not he corrected by simply a change of terms, and by putting the words “life” or “presence” or “Holy Spirit” in place of the term given.
I think I shall really do you a kindness, although it may not seem that way to you, when I advise you not to attempt the immediate revision and republication of this book. I do not see how it will be possible under the circumstances for you to write clearly and scripturally upon these topics without time for study and meditation.
Acting upon the counsel which I have already given you, I should not feel free to state in the REVIEW that a revised edition of “The Living Temple” will be ready in two or three weeks. I shall certainly be glad to do anything I can to help the present situation; but I think great wisdom is need now, else we shall make a bad matter worse.
I wish to say further that I hope you will not regard any articles which appear in the REVIEW dealing plainly with the wrong principles which have been inculcated during the last few years as being in any sense directed against you personally. Even though those who have been teaching those erroneous principles may entirely change their views, yet there is a great work to be done to prevent the seeds of error which have been sown from bearing a terrible crop. The minds of many of our people have been confused, and it will take much patient effort and careful instruction in right lines to undo the evil which has been wrought. I say this with the kindest feelings; But I regard the situation as extremely serious, and it will be necessary for us to do the plainest kind of work, although I hope it will all be done in Christian love.
I shall be glad to hear from you at any time, and to cooperate with you just as far as I am able in your efforts to set things right.