Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 24, 1888

Haskell, S. N.

Healdsburg, California

January 24, 1888

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 82; HP 107; 3MR 21-22, 279-280.

Dear Brother Haskell:

We received and read your letter with interest. We feel very sad that your health has not been good. We do not cease to pray for you and for Bro. and Sister Ings. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 1

We have not lost our faith in you or in the work in England. We know that there is a great work to be done. The Lord has revealed to us that by the most simple means He can do wondrously, as in the casting down of the walls of Jericho. His people then were to do as He told them and God would do the rest. God so planned it that His name should receive all the glory. The same God is willing to work by whom He will. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord.” [Zechariah 4:6.] 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 2

We need faithful Calebs in the work at this time. We need Jesus, the Captain of the Lord’s host, to be with us. We need to follow His directions and to have faith in Him. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 3

We are fighting with unseen foes, more formidable than giants. It is hard to conquer the devil. He cannot be overcome with any weapon save the sword of the Spirit. Oh, that there were a larger number who would speak for Jesus anywhere, and always act for Him. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 4

I have not been really sick but rather let down after my constant labor. I find it difficult to confine my mind to writing, but I have had most wearing labor at the Rural Health Retreat. We returned from there a few days ago. We have urged Bro. Rice to resign, which he has done. Bro. and Sister Maxson have closed their labors at the Retreat and will probably go to Ohio. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 5

We find that great evil has been existing at the Health Retreat because of lovesick sentimentalism. It is difficult to weed it out. The evil heart of unbelief and the fascinations and wiles of certain young women have turned the hearts and minds of otherwise sensible men and marred the piety and purity of some who claim to be God’s commandment-keeping people. The services of God cannot unite and harmonize with this element, and that which makes the matter more grievous in the sight of God is that it is those in whom has been reposed sacred trusts who are found guilty and have been overcome by the wiles of Satan. Instead of working out their own salvation with fear and trembling, taking Christ as their pattern, they are working out their own degeneracy to their own ruin. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 6

There has been very close work done at the Health Retreat. During my last visit I spoke to them four times besides being present at their board meetings every day. The Lord helped me to speak with freedom and power. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 7

I know the end is near. Everything betokens this. The set time to favor Zion is about come. There will be a mighty revival of the church of God. I tried to enforce upon the people that sins not repented of are sins not forgiven. Those who think themselves forgiven for sins of which they have never felt the sinfulness and over which they have never felt contrition of soul, only deceive themselves. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 8

They are saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. Now is the time when we must be copying and cultivating the traits of character that will fit us for the society of heavenly angels. We must work with the Spirit and cry as Gideon’s army, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.” [Judges 7:20.] Like Gideon we must be distrustful of self. Our strength lies in our own conscious weakness. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 9

When I am weak, then am I strong. In self-distrust we cry to God for help and work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Casting away all confidence in the arm of flesh, we cling with firm grasp to Jesus. The soul cry will harmonize with that of Moses, “Unless Thou go with us, let us not go up,” and with [that of] Jacob, whose sole urgency was demonstrated in his words, “I will not let thee go unless Thou bless me.” [Exodus 33:15; Genesis 32:26.] 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 10

Bro. Haskell, Bro. Ings, only believe. Cast your souls on God. Substitute for your human weakness, divine power. We must have our faith strengthened. We must not think of defeat, but of victory. However forbidding may be the circumstances, lay hold on the promises of God. They are for us. We are none of us of ourselves adequate for the work. In our connection with God lies our success. Faith, living, active faith, must be brought into our labors as never before. Faith is the medium of connection between human weakness and divine power. Sore temptations and heavy trials will be experienced by every soul that is saved. We must seek to have our faith strengthened. The iniquity that abounds must not for one moment lessen our faith and love for God or weaken our implicit trust in His sure promises, else some mighty storm of temptation will sweep us away from the true foundation. We have a great work to do, and we need a greater faith. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 11

Every Christian will act his part in this great work. If the righteous shall scarcely be saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear? Through communion with God our faith will be strengthened, and the trial of our faith may prove our signal triumph. Our spiritual vision will grow clearer and brighter as we overcome difficulties obstructing our path. There is help for us in God. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 12

Remember we are praying for you. We will test the promises of Jehovah. Not one word that He has promised will fail. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 13

Heaven will never be reached by an easy-going people, merely professing to be Christians. God calls for thorough work on the part of every one of His followers. Shall we be honored by being fellow laborers with God? By resolute self-denial, by constant watchfulness, by earnest prayer, by the diligent use of every means of grace, and by the help of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, we shall come off victorious. The rest in heaven is for the weary; the crown for the brows of the warriors. We have no time to sit down now, no time to devote to self-pleasing. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 14

My brother, Jesus will lift upon you the health of His countenance, if you only believe. As soon as you shall leave England, you must come to California, where there is a good climate. But until that time, believe and trust God and go forward. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 15

Let us have perfect trust and confidence in Him. Everyone can work, expecting to see everything give way before him, because God does the work. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 16

I close this hastily written letter with regret that I cannot say or do something to comfort you. 5LtMs, Lt 24, 1888, par. 17