Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 3, 1880

Haskell, [S. N.]

Battle Creek, Michigan

November 17, 1880

Portions of this letter are published in 3Bio 154-155.

Dear Brother [S. N.] Haskell:

I wrote you not long since a letter. I meant to have told you to send me a copy of the same, for I wish to make a similar statement to Brother [B. L.] Whitney. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 1

Father is sometimes much troubled and perplexed in his mind. I am more than ever convinced he had not a real intention to do wrong in not counseling those ministers to go to California, but I think that the enemy put a perverted light upon everything that was done in California in reference to the matter. Satan blinded his eyes that he should not see and sense the matter correctly. His expectations were of going there himself, and he wanted an invitation to come for him, and felt hurt that it did not come. He thought that we at Colorado wanted to crowd responsibilities upon him. This was the power of temptation upon his mind. He feels now that he has lost the confidence of his brethren, and feels that matters are not brought before him, are kept from him. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 2

I think where the past difficulty came in was Willie’s close figuring with his father, which was all wrong, although Willie’s motives were all right. He thought conscientious integrity required that he should deal just as closely with his own father as with anyone else, but he did not take in the matter as it was. God did not design that any such course should be taken toward us. No one has borne the burdens and responsibilities we have borne. No one has made the sacrifices we have made. From the first, the sacrifices were great, our privations great. Our lives are interwoven with the cause and work of God, and these institutions should regard us in entirely different light than they do others. Willie’s figuring up the interest upon the money invested in books and lying idle was all wrong. He thought that if such close dealing was to be practiced toward him, who had let the office have the use of thousands without interest, he would take the means from the office and handle it to improve his condition financially. He had means sent to him in Texas, and is in fair way of losing it all. These things chafe him. He feels that the Lord has taken away his wisdom, and his financial success is not as it once was. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 3

I see my husband has a door of temptation open before him. He has reasoned and turned things over and over until his mind is almost crazed upon these points. Now my husband, since the camp meeting, has been very mild and considerate. He is trying to practice self-control, and he has made decided progress. I see that his mind on Bible subjects is clear and powerful. His foresight and discrimination on the truth was never better. His health is good. He could never serve the cause better than now if he viewed all things clearly. I am satisfied it was a mistake that we did not go East as we talked of when you were here. It would have been the best help my husband could have obtained. He feels that you keep all your matters shut up to yourself, and your propositions and plans are to be published without due consideration and consultation. If you could be together to decide your plans, it would be better. If you would show confidence in my husband, it would help him. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 4

He says he has no courage to write for the Signs. I have not for years felt more encouraged in regard to my husband than now. May the Lord work for him, is my prayer. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 5

We are having pretty close work here in the church. I have borne some plain testimonies. There has been a terrible state of things in the office. The curse which attends the courting spirit has clung to the office like the leprosy. We have had college students, office hands, sanitarium hands together, and the Lord has helped me to talk to them. We have now had several meetings. We are moving slowly, but make big blows at every move. We shall continue this work. There is an element here that is most difficult to handle, but these young chaps begin to think we mean business. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 6

I have had great freedom in speaking twice in the church Sabbath and three evenings to the company specified, those connected with our institutions. A literary society was started which was gotten up by these courting parties mostly, and it was fun and frolic. We put that out at once. We are needed here at the heart of the work for a time, and may the Lord help us. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 7

Last Friday we were sent for to visit Elder Tripp, whom they thought was dying. We talked with him in regard to the precious promises of God. His mind, he said, was so weak he could not fix it as he wanted to on the dear Saviour. As we repeated promise after promise, he would exclaim, “Oh, that is good; that is precious! Golden words. Oh, of what value these words are to me!” They had faded from his mind. He said, “That is what I wanted you to come for, that I might hear both your voices once more telling me of Jesus, the precious Saviour, and to fasten my trembling faith upon the sure promises.” We united in prayer for the dear blind brother, asking our heavenly Father to bring into activity the great moral faculties of the soul: faith, hope, and love, that this dying brother might die in the triumphs of faith. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 8

We did have faith. Faith is the living hand with which the soul takes hold on infinite help. Faith is the medium by which the heart is made to beat in unison with the heart of Jesus Christ. We came in living faith to God in prayer. The veil from the unseen world seemed removed, displaying the glories of paradise. We all felt greatly blessed, that that room was holy. Brother Tripp prayed most earnestly, and he shouted the praise of God while tears rolled from his sightless eyes. His face was shining with the glory that comes from the throne of God. Brother Tripp continued in close communion with heaven till past midnight, praising God for the relief he had obtained. “O,” said he, “I have something good to tell you! All my bad feelings toward my brethren are gone. I love them now; all is right between me and them. I love every one of them.” 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 9

Sabbath morning we visited him again and found that he fell into a sweet sleep and rested better than he had for months. He was happy in Jesus. We prayed with him. Last night we visited him again. He still lingers on the shores of time. We again comforted him with the precious words from the Book of God. We sang to him “Resting Bye and Bye” and “Have You Faith?” We had another precious season of prayer. He was again blessed, and we left him weeping and praising God. We visit him again in a short time. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 10

Much love to you and yours. Tell us what you are doing and how you find things. My health is good. 3LtMs, Lt 3, 1880, par. 11