Statements of Dr. J. H. Kellogg
Regarding Ellen G. White and Her Work

In the preface to Ellen White’s Christian Temperance, Dr. Kellogg wrote in 1890:

“Nearly thirty years ago there appeared in print the first of a series of remarkable and important articles on the subject of health, by Mrs. E. G. White. These articles at once commanded earnest consideration by those who were acquainted with Mrs. White's previous writings and labors. Thousands were led to change lifelong habits, and to renounce practices thoroughly fixed by heredity as well as by long indulgence. So great a revolution could not be wrought in a body of people without the aid of some powerful incentive, which in this case was undoubtedly the belief that the writings referred to not only bore the stamp of truth, but were endorsed as such by a higher than human authority. This is not the proper place for the consideration of the grounds upon which this belief was based, but the reader's attention is invited to a few facts of interest in this connection:

“1. At the time the writings referred to first appeared, the subject of health was almost wholly ignored, not only by the people to whom they were addressed, but by the world at large."

“2. The few advocating the necessity of a reform in physical habits, propagated, in connection with the advocacy of genuine reformatory principles, the most patent and in some instances disgusting errors."

“3. Nowhere, and by no one, was there presented a systematic and harmonious body of hygienic truths, free from patent errors, and consistent with the Bible and the principles of the Christian religion."

“ Under these circumstances, the writings referred to made their appearance. The principles taught were not enforced by scientific authority, but were presented in a simple, straightforward manner by one who makes no pretense to scientific knowledge, but claims to write by the aid and authority of the divine enlightenment."

“How have the principles presented under such peculiar circumstances and with such remarkable claims stood the test of time and experience? is a question which may very properly be asked. Its answer is to be found in facts which are capable of the amplest verification. The principles presented have been put to the test of practical experience by thousands; and whenever intelligently and consistently carried out, the result has been found in the highest degree satisfactory. Thousands have testified to physical, mental, and moral benefits received. Many of the principles taught have come to be so generally adopted and practiced that they are no longer recognized as reforms, and may, in fact, be regarded as prevalent customs among the more intelligent classes. The principles which a quarter of a century ago were either entirely ignored or made the butt of ridicule, have quietly won their way into public confidence and esteem, until the world has quite forgotten that they have not always been thus accepted. New discoveries in science and new interpretations of old facts have continually added confirmatory evidence, until at the present time every one of the principles advocated more than a quarter of a century ago is fortified in the strongest possible manner by scientific evidence.”

“Finally, the reformatory movement based upon the principles advocated so long ago has lived and prospered until the present time, and the institutions developed by it have grown to be the most extensive and the most prosperous establishments of the sort in the world; while other efforts, looking somewhat in the same direction, but contaminated by error, have either abandoned the principles of truth, and been given over to error, or have fallen into obscurity. It certainly must be regarded as a thing remarkable, and evincing unmistakable evidence of divine insight and direction, that in the midst of confused and conflicting teachings, claiming the authority of science and experience, but warped by ultra notions and rendered impotent for good by the great admixture of error,—it must be admitted to be something extraordinary, that a person making no claims to scientific knowledge or erudition should have been able to organize, from the confused and error-tainted mass of ideas advanced by a few writers and thinkers on health subjects, a body of hygienic principles so harmonious, so consistent, and so genuine that the discussions, the researches, the discoveries, and the experience of a quarter of a century have not resulted in the overthrow of a single principle, but have only served to establish the doctrines taught."

“The guidance of infinite wisdom is as much needed in discerning between truth and error as in the evolution of new truths. Novelty is by no means a distinguishing characteristic of true principles, and the principle holds good as regards the truths of hygienic reform, as well as those of other reformatory movements. The greatest and most important reformatory movements of modern times have not been those which presented new facts and principles, but those which revived truths and principles long forgotten, and which have led the way back to the paths trodden by men of by-gone ages, before the world had wandered so far away from physical and moral rectitude.”


Dr. David Paulson reported (circa 1913) a conversation with Dr. Kellogg, as follows:

“Dr. Kellogg asked me in New York City twenty-two years ago if I knew how it was that the Battle Creek Sanitarium was able to keep five years ahead of the medical profession. I did not know. Then he told me.
“ He said when a new thing is brought out in the medical world he knew from his knowledge of the spirit of prophecy whether it belonged in our system or not. If it did, he instantly adopted it and advertised it while the rest of the doctors were slowly feeling their way, and when they finally adopted it he had five years the start of them.
“ On the other hand when the medical profession were swept off their feet by some new fad, if it did not fit the light we had received he simply did not touch it. When the doctors finally discovered their mistake they wondered how it came that Dr. Kellogg did not get caught.” (E. G. White Publications Document File 45.)

On December 2, 1900, Dr. Kellogg wrote to Mrs. White:

“There is no place in the world where you would receive a more hearty welcome than at the Battle Creek Sanitarium and no place where your work is more appreciated. Your writings have been used as textbooks in our classes here for years and the family has received, every Sabbath morning at eight o'clock, special instruction from the Testimonies. This is the custom every Sabbath morning and has been for the last four years. There is always a good turnout. Miss Parkinson who has charge of our little children here was telling me this morning how much impressed they were with the instruction she is giving them. She reads them some passages from Early Writings every morning and talks about you and your work, and they are wonderfully interested and anxious to see you.” J. H. Kellogg correspondence, Ellen G. White Publications vault.

Early in 1903 Dr. Kellogg, in a letter to Ellen G. White,
included the following paragraph:

“I wish to say here and to put it in writing over my signature so that you may have it to make any use of that you may feel that circumstances require, that I have the utmost confidence in your sincerity as a Christian woman: and more than that, that I still believe as I formerly believed and as I have believed for more than thirty-five years that the Lord has made you the leader of the great movement for the promulgation of truth which Seventh-day Adventists are carrying forward, has made you the channel of truth for this people, and has given you special wisdom for instruction and reproof such as none others have. I know that this instruction and the special light which the Lord has given you has been like a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day to this people, and has been especially so to the particular department of the work in which I have been engaged.” (E. G. White Publications Document File 45-h.)


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