Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 34, 1875

Haskell, S. N.

Oakland, California

October 12, 1875

See also Lt 1, 1875. Portions of this letter are published in LDE 22; 8MR 215.

Dear Brother Haskell:

We received your letter last night and I have arisen this morning to write to you by lamplight. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 1

I will write you a dream I had during our camp meeting in New York. I arose at [three o’clock] in the morning and under tent wrote out the dream which I copy. While in camp meeting at Rome, New York, I was much troubled in regard to the low organized state of things in this state. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 2

Sunday we had a large and respectful audience. We had freedom in speaking to the people. Sunday night I had a dream which made a deep impression upon my mind. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 3

I dreamed that a man of noble appearance (the same one that has often appeared to counsel and inform me of important matters) appeared in my room, after I had been speaking, and addressed me thus, “You have called the attention of many hundreds of people to important truths. These things are to them strange, new, and to many intensely interesting. Shall all these words I give you, and strength in labor, be lost upon the public mind? The laborers have done all they can do in the short period they have in these large gatherings. Some have had ears to hear and hearts that hunger for a better understanding of Bible truth. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 4

Inquiry has been raised in minds that have never heard these strange things before. But unless there is a more thorough effort to fasten the truths spoken upon the minds and hearts of those who hear, these efforts will prove nearly useless. Satan is ready to catch away the good Word of God sown in the hearts. The cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word. And the many new and attractive scenes, which the enemy of truth and righteousness is creating, engage the mind, please the fancy, and are more agreeable to the carnal heart than the truth, Bible truth, which is unpopular with the masses and which involves a cross. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 5

The world is filled with ministers who soothe and pet and quiet the consciences of sinners with pleasing fables, crying, Peace, peace, excusing and petting fashionable indulgences and darling sins. They please the appetite and religious taste with these fables but leave their characters all spotted, their consciences unaroused. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 6

There are but few, very few, faithful watchmen who stand at their post feeling their responsibility as faithful sentinels to warn of danger and cry to the people the time of night. There are but few men on the walls of Zion to lift up their voice and cry aloud and spare not, showing “My people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1.] 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 7

The voice of God’s servants must be heard to give the trumpet a certain sound, words of warning and alarm must be given by the watchmen with no whispered tones, no sleepy minds, but in earnest, solemn warning, crying, The morning cometh and also the night. The people must be warned. Men and women must be aroused. Important truths applicable to this time must be presented before the people in the clearest manner which will agitate, stir and arouse them from their peace and safety slumbers to inquire for themselves the time of night. While the false prophets are crying, Peace and safety, and are seeking to soothe the consciences of men, saying to the sinner, Don’t be alarmed, it shall be well with thee, the voice of God’s faithful servants must be heard to arouse them that are asleep, crying, Sudden destruction cometh upon every soul of man who is not watching, awake and watching and waiting for the appearing of their Lord in the clouds of heaven. The third angel’s message in power will go forth and the earth will be lightened with his glory. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 8

There might be very much more accomplished if there was more reading matter furnished for those who will pay for them or accept without money and without price. The efforts of the faithful ministers who preach the Word would be very much more effective if backed up by reading matter. Tracts and pamphlets should be prepared and our bound books explaining the Scriptures, all ready to be used at our large gatherings. There are many who will consider it a privilege to pay for publications upon present truth. It is far better for them to do so if they will, but we should not wait at this time for this. Many see no special importance in the unpopular truth applicable to these last days, and it is hard for them to feel any interest or see any occasion for the earnest efforts which would arouse them and call their attention to this subject. While they would turn their ears from the truth to enjoy pleasing fables, they would spend their money for that which is not bread and their labor for that which satisfieth not. Money is lavishly expended for the gratification of indulgence of perverted appetite in alcoholic liquor and tobacco stupefying the senses and bringing upon themselves and their loved ones inexpressible misery. They would not pay out their money to obtain light upon the truth—the saving, sanctifying truth which would elevate, ennoble, and sanctify them and give them a right hold of the better life. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 9

But notwithstanding this deplorable condition of things, even some of the hardest cases of this class will accept the truth if their attention can be arrested. Many have become disgusted with the popular religion and if they can be convinced that they had found real truth, real genuine religion, will fall in love with it. They have been fast becoming infidels because of the inconsistent lives of professed Christians. There is too great fear of being repulsed. There should be a sowing beside all waters. There should be greater zeal and perseverance in making the most of favorable opportunities. There should be a seizing of the opportunities and pressing in the rays of light upon present truth judiciously, cautiously, and yet earnestly. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 10

Publications must be multiplied. Precious opportunities are passing and not much advantage taken of it. The light God has given in regard to the circulation of publications has not been carried out. Much might have been done in improving opportunities and present privileges which have been lost because not appreciated. An effort made might have resulted in the salvation of many souls. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 11

Now is the very period to go out in the highways and hedges and compel them to come in. This does not mean that we shall force the truth upon those who utterly refuse to hear, but that these discouraging cases are not to be left as hopeless. They are to be followed with prayer. We must not think of giving up souls although they may seem to be unimpressible. Persevering labor in preaching followed up with publications and prayer, pleading with souls, praying with them and living out the faith, will make impressions and be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. If these efforts do not save, they will condemn. Publications should be sent everywhere, scattered like the leaves of autumn, which are designed to follow close upon the interest aroused by hearing the living preacher. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 12

There should be special ones who should have this department of the work as their branch of labor. Those who engage in this work should be men of judgment, men of good address who have winning manners, who will not repulse or be repulsed. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 13

At every camp meeting and large gatherings should be men consecrated to the work of God, earnest, live men who will become missionaries, laboring with decided zeal to circulate tracts and papers which is seconding the efforts made in the desk. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 14

As a people to whom God has entrusted great and important light in regard to His law, you are not doing one-twentieth part of what you might do. Impart knowledge and let the light shine forth to those who are in darkness. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 15

There is much time wasted in seeking to make our publications perfect before giving them to the readers. Much time is lost and opportunities are not improved in getting reading matter before the people which would tell in some cases with the best results. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 16

There are subjects already written out, made ready to hand, which might be used without waiting to improve or make them perfect, before handed out. Time is precious. Time is short. When you give the best you have, it will answer for the present emergency until you can present publications which will be fitted for the critical eye. But this class are not the ones who will receive the truth. They read to find fault. Those whose minds are susceptible to the influences of the Spirit of God, who are thirsting for knowledge, will not look for perfection in style and stop to criticize as some writers suppose. While there is a waiting to originate new matter or make perfect that which has been in circulation, the people are being deprived of the light which would do them good if it were given to them. A great amount of light has been permitted to shine through those whom God has used as channels of light. This light has been given not all at once, but one ray after another, which is to be given to those in the darkness of error, leading them along step by step, giving them their portion of meat in due season. Time is too short to admit of long delays. Those who may be brought to the knowledge of the truth may be beyond our reach while we are delaying to prepare matters with greater perfectness. Give to the people that which God has been giving you for years back. It is just what they need. Give them the best you now have. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 17

There are many who wait to have the truth. There is hope of them. While their minds are aroused and convicted, and they have a disposition to investigate, present truth prudently, as wise generals prepare for the issue. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 18

Publications upon all subjects of vital importance should be placed before the minds. This can be done much more understandingly at large camp meetings, that they may more fully know our position. Every step which they shall advance toward the truth, Satan will be on the watch to oppose with determined effort. He has his agents everywhere engaged as canvassers, as colporteurs, as missionaries in doing his work to cover up the truth of God with sophistry and with deceptive, lying words. Tracts and pamphlets explaining your position, carrying them to the Word of God for proof of the truth you believe, will be placed, I have been shown, in their hands—weapons to meet their enemies and defend themselves against their attacks and misrepresentations of what you do believe and teach as Bible truth. Wisely work to obtain favor of publishing, giving short articles. God will raise up men of opportunity to sow the seed of truth beside all waters. God has given great light upon important truths which are [not] half understood or half appreciated by those who believe them. The light God has given in regard to redemption and the fullness of salvation in Christ is important matter to be brought before the minds of all our people and the world that can be reached. Here is where we as a people have been deficient and are not understood and are misrepresented. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 19

Agitate, agitate, agitate the public mind. There must be no spiritual stupor now. Bring out important points of truth bearing directly upon genuine conversion—tracts of a few pages—and multiply copies for circulation. This will be at some expense if they are given away, but that should not deter or hinder the great work of spreading the truth. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 20

Pamphlets and books should be prepared containing subject matter upon important points of present truth in English, German, French, Swedish, Danish, and Italian. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 21

Men of other nations and tongues should be educated as missionaries, translators, and publishers. This will call for means; therefore no dollar should be spent needlessly. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 22

The message of warning must be carried to every nation upon the globe. The work should move forward with alacrity. Satan is already astir to hedge up the way. We must be wise or he will prevail. What we do must be executed with greater promptness. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 23

Publications must be multiplied in regard to health reform from a small to a large number of pages, [and] should be printed and passed through our churches for their use to arouse the suffering humanity. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 24

Gluttony and intemperance lie at the foundation of the great moral depravity in our world. Satan is aware of this and he is constantly tempting men and women to indulge the taste at the expense of health and even life itself. Eating, drinking, and dressing are made the aim of life with the world. Just such a state of things existed before the flood. And this state of dissipation is one of the marked evidences of the soon close of this earth’s history. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 25

Cheap literature is circulated everywhere, which excites and pollutes the imagination, and this fruit of reading is brought into Sabbathkeeping families. A similar state of things existed before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We see notices and handbills [posted] on houses and shops and fences to attract the minds, also printed scenes which attract the eye and corrupt the imagination [like that] prior to the destruction of these wicked cities. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 26

There is enough to been seen and excite and demoralize everywhere we may look. There is a great lack of zeal in those who have a sense of the polluting influence of these things in seeking to counteract them as far as possible. The tide of moral evil is setting so strong toward perdition. Many who feel this deplorable state of things think that it is so little that they can do to press back the flood of moral darkness, they do but little if anything. If each would do the little they can in the fear and strength of God, very much might be accomplished in saving those in blindness and error. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 27

[Sister Haskell,] God calls upon yourself and husband to give more of your time to preparation of works that should come to the notice of the people. God has given you both great light. 2LtMs, Lt 34, 1875, par. 28