Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5

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Lt 27, 1888

Haskell, S. N.

Reno, Nevada

May 29, 1888

Portions of this letter are published in TSB 155; VSS 344; 3Bio 383.

Dear Brother Haskell:

I did not think I would attend this camp meeting, but try to get rested. I labored six weeks in the southern part of the state and was exposed to malaria and was obliged to work most earnestly to break it up, and by the blessing of the Lord, I was successful. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 1

We decided to take Mary [White] to Burrough Valley, thirty-five miles from Fresno, and here she would be protected from the strong winds. We have had unusually cold weather this spring and very changeable. Mary has not improved as I hoped she would, and we left St. Helena. W. C. White could not accompany Mary and attend the Reno meeting and then the Oregon meetings, so he said if I could go to Reno, he could accompany Mary to Fresno and thirty-five miles up in the mountains. I am therefore here and have just received a letter from Mary that she endured the journey well. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 2

Was about two days getting to the valley and, although they have had rain day and night since arriving, there seems to be no chilly dampness and Mary feels no worse for going. She left her little Mabel in St. Helena with her niece. Sister McOmber accompanied her. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 3

I intend to go to Burrough Valley in a few days after the close of this meeting and remain until the last of July and do up some writing. I have had but little time to write since coming from Europe. It has been one succession of meetings that have called forth labor from me. I do want to rest, for I need it so much. The perplexities that we have had to meet in St. Helena, Fresno, and other places have taken all joy out of my heart, and I have thought perhaps this work would continue till we reach the end. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 4

The labor I have had with Dr. Burke, Elder Rice, Brother and Sister Heald, Dr. Maxson and wife, and Brother Church has called forth much writing and many personal testimonies, and this individual independence to go ahead just as one pleases without the least thought or care how it would result in its influence upon the cause of God, or whether the church could harmonize with them, has cost me sleepless nights and midnight hours employed in earnest work. But I will not dwell upon this. Brother Church I fear will lose the balance of his mind. He is reading books and laying plans to invest his money which he expects to be paid him from the ditch. He talks and talks, and if Dr. Maxson and wife had not urged him up to go on a wrong track, he might have been managed, but I expect he will not submit to counsel. But this case, like many others, will have to be left to develop. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 5

We had a private meeting where humble confessions were made by Elder Rice and Brother and Sister Heald. Dr. Burke has confessed in a general sort of a way but has not made clean work, and I fear for him that he will delay too long. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 6

My heart was made sad to learn of the apostasy of Brother Ramsay; but you know I was expecting this by the letters I wrote to him. I am sorry for every soul who gives up running the race for the crown of life. I feel sure that another will take his place and win the crown he has lost. The only course we can take is to keep working faithfully and earnestly and humbly, trusting not in our own power, but in the Lord God of Israel. The sweet and sure benediction is to be given to those who do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life. I am not the least bit discouraged, but I am so sad and almost heartbroken as I see the abominations in our midst. I do indeed feel remorse of soul and sigh and cry for the abominations in our very midst. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 7

It has been one continual scene of labor and distress. I have not been able to sleep but a few hours at night, waking up at two o’clock or a little after, and many, many nights have been burdened with writing. I could not do anything at all on Volume 4 [The Great Controversy], although I tried; but the weight upon my spirits was so great that I could not work upon the book. I saw so many dangers, so great evils, such plottings of the enemy, that no sooner would we fence him off in one direction than his workings would be revealed in another. I praise the name of the Lord that He has wrought in my behalf. I tell you frankly, I do not know what I should have done had it not been for the sympathy and prayers of Brother and Sister Lockwood. I seldom have any help from W. C. White. He is away so much. Oh, how my heart longs for one with whom I can counsel; and it may be in the order of God that there is not a soul to help me at all to carry my burdens, except it be Brother and Sister Lockwood, who are ever kind, sympathetic, and true. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 8

Well, the Lord lives. I have had a hard battle and some precious victories gained. Elder Rice is clothed and in his right mind, humble, tender, and broken before God—humble as a child. I see no way but to keep bearing the plain testimony in love, in patience. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 9

For four weeks back I have worked mostly in St. Helena with the exception of speaking Sabbath and Sunday in Healdsburg. I attended meetings first in [the] St. Helena meetinghouse. There was upon the Sabbath a full house. I labored right to the point to cure the division in the church made by Dr. Burke. He was present. I read to all the light I had received in Europe and arose at two in the morning to write and send to them [that] which they had set aside as nothing more than a letter. It made so deep an impression upon all who heard it, even Dr. Burke himself, that he told Elder Rice he could not think the communication sent him was the same, but he went home and with his wife read over the counsel and reproof received and found it the same. Well, the church was so confused they could say nothing, especially those who had been talking and creating division. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 10

I appointed a meeting for the next Sunday to continue the same work in St. Helena. Dr. Burke was present. I read still other communications that laid out distinctly their dangers and the course they might pursue to avoid everything that has taken place because they did not respect the counsel given them but set it aside as “Sister White’s opinion,” which was of no more weight than their own ideas and judgment. They did not care to critically read and take in the words of warning to see if there was any danger, but they went on blindfolded by the devil until they had done all these things the Spirit of the Lord had opened before me that they would do unless they should humble their hearts before God greatly and be converted that He should heal them. After carefully reading the testimonies, I held them up and said, Are these warnings from above or from beneath? Many responded, “From heaven.” 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 11

Then Dr. Burke made a break and said he saw matters in altogether a different light, and he would state to all present that he recognized that Sister White had spoken by the power of God to them both on Sabbath and this Sunday afternoon. He had been blinded by the devil. He would not dare to resist the convictions of the Spirit of God which was making loud calls to his soul. He said that he took his position on the testimonies, all of them, and if he had not been blinded by the devil he would have seen them and acted upon them. He surrendered then and there. Other confessions were made in regard to the spirit of prejudice against the work the Lord was trying to do through Sister White while she was in Europe. Elder Rice labored hard for them and the Spirit of the Lord did come in. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 12

Sabbath in the afternoon after speaking in St. Helena I also spoke at the retreat to over one hundred, and here the Lord gave me a message for the comfort and encouragement of the sick and afflicted ones. Many hearts were deeply touched and many precious testimonies were borne, well wet down with tears. Certainly the presence of Jesus was there. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 13

I was obliged to return to Healdsburg and remain there over one Sabbath and Sunday. I spoke both days to the church and the Lord was very nigh us. Several friends of believing Sabbathkeepers visited them from a distance, and in the place of remaining at home to visit with them, they persuaded them to come to the meeting. I had a message for the people and gave opportunity for all who desired the prayers of God’s servants to come forward. Many responded, and many hearty confessions were made. I spoke Sunday evening for the benefit of the outsiders at the request of many of the citizens. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 14

The next Friday Brother Lockwood, Sister Chinnock, and I went over with my team to St. Helena. Again I spoke in the church in town and bore a close yet earnest testimony upon unity, the necessity of co-operating with Jesus Christ, and carrying in their daily practical life the prayer He made to His Father that His disciples might be one as He was one with the Father. I again spoke to another congregation at the retreat in the afternoon, and again we were all broken down, and the tender, melting Spirit of God was softening and subduing hard hearts. It was a very precious occasion to many souls. We knew that we had indeed had a manifestation of the power of God in our midst. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 15

On our way to St. Helena, we left an appointment at Calistoga for Sunday afternoon. We rode nine miles to our appointment and found the little new church filled with our people and outsiders. I had here a precious speaking upon Christ riding into Jerusalem. There were several men of noble appearance with grey hair who felt deeply and wept freely. It was indeed a respectable congregation of intelligent-looking people. I was earnestly entreated to come again, which I shall do. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 16

This church of thirty members has been raised up during our absence to Europe, and this was the first time I had spoken to them in Calistoga. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 17

Tuesday Mary and Sister McOmber started for Burrough Valley and Sara McEnterfer and I started Wednesday for this meeting. I have now spoken five times. Sunday I spoke upon temperance. There were present, unknown to me, several temperance workers. They said they never heard anything like it before and begged me to come and speak to them in their hall. Afterwards they decided that they could not get a full attendance at hall. Wednesday was Decoration Day, and they said if I would speak in the evening in our tent, many more would come out. This just suited us, so tonight I speak on temperance again to the outsiders—anything to bring them to the tent and remove their prejudice. We want to get the ears of the people to hear what we have to say to them, and we are getting hold some here. I dreaded this meeting for I knew it meant hard labor for our own people, but I have tried to keep as much as possible the burden upon the people and not let it crush out my own soul. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 18

The bell is ringing for morning meeting. It is five o’clock. I have been writing some hours. I must attend this meeting. I have wanted to write to you time and again, but it is impossible for me to explain or make anyone understand that every day I have written and worked so that it seemed that I must break down under the pressure upon me, doing these things that had to be done for different ones on this Coast to prevent the deep working of Satan and to keep many of our people from becoming demoralized and some from apostatizing. I have said day after day, I can do no more. I have gone to the very extent of my strength. Anxiety, remorse, and burden of soul for those who were going wrong and those who were working in an underhanded way to bring about certain results I knew would be for the injury of the cause of God have nearly worn my heart out. But there are many encouraging things, and I feel deeply humbled in view of the goodness and mercy of God to me. I will not cease to praise His holy name. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 19

After morning meeting: 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 20

We have had an excellent meeting. I dwelt upon the blessed privilege which was ours of coming to God with full assurance of faith. This is that which will bring us into close connection with God. God has taken man into copartnership. What an excellent privilege to be laborers together with God! This condescension on the part of God, this divine compassion calls for returns on our part that we should pledge ourselves to dedicate ourselves to God, soul, body, and spirit, with the devotion of a martyr and the courage of a hero. I sought to have them contemplate what might have been accomplished for the salvation of souls in our world had the church individually a mind to work, putting forth personal efforts. God calls for hearty co-operation on the part of every member of the church. He has a right to expect it of us. I know that there is a piety and earnest devotion to be exemplified to promote piety and earnest, active co-operation from every member of the church. The influence of true Christian character will be a clear, steady, shining light to those who are in darkness. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 21

We must awake, we must put forth positive efforts, and we will increase in general efficiency and Christian accomplishments in proportion to our practically exercising what grace we have in proportion to our growth in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many excellent testimonies were borne, and we hope to see the hearts more deeply stirred yet. Purity, holiness, and usefulness should be the burden of every sermon, the burden of every prayer. Let the children be instructed line upon line and precept upon precept. Let them have piety that Jesus can abide in our homes. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 22

I hope that you will have health and strength that your faith may increase and grow stronger and stronger. I want constantly patience to wait and trust and trust and wait for our Lord’s return from the wedding. We must work as well as wait. Now my dear brother, I hope you will be of good courage in the Lord and consider that the work is the Lord’s and that you are only an instrument in His hands, and it is your business to do your best always, and that is all any of us can do. We are almost home and our toils and trials are almost ended; then do not let us lose hope or faith or assurance. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 23

In much love. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 24

P. S. Evening of the 30th. We had a full tent last night, and I occupied one hour and three quarters in talking to the people on Christian temperance, and they listened with great attention; and when I asked how long I had spoken and said I must close, they said, “Go on, go on,” so I told them I had much more to say but would speak again on the same subject. 5LtMs, Lt 27, 1888, par. 25