Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 50, 1887

Haskell, S. N.

Battle Creek, Michigan

September 1, 1887

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 20-21; 6MR 34-35, 123-125; 7MR 244-245.

Dear Brother Haskell:

Henry Kellogg came to see me yesterday morning and stated that someone had reported that in Switzerland they had taken the Swiss Mission funds to invest in building private residences in Basel and thus aroused Brother Henry so that he refused to send means to Basel. I told Henry Kellogg this was not the case, that means had not been drawn from the mission for any such purpose, that brethren were hiring money from Steiner to commence to build which I considered highly essential under the circumstances. But the mission money was not drawn upon for any such purpose. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 1

Then there is need for all of our ministers to be careful in regard to the character of the articles they insert in the paper in regard to matters in Europe, speaking as though not much had been done in Europe. Now, my brother, I do not think I could truthfully say this, for I consider that under the circumstances since Elder A’s death there has been a good work done in Europe. I think Professor J. Kunz has not brought a good report, and I think your letters have not given very much courage to send means to support the missions. I think even in England a good work has been done. It must be acknowledged to be a hard and trying field, and not one word of discouragement ought to be spoken. The Lord is at the helm, and if we do not trust in Him to work, naught will be done. There is a good beginning made. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 2

Publications have been and still are doing a good work. Let not one grain of unbelief be sown, for unless we keep a brave front, we cannot expect to inspire others with courage. I am telling everything I can in relation to the mission that will inspire confidence. When I think how slow the work has gone in [New] England and how little done in Massachusetts and Maine and many other places where they have all circumstances in their favor, we need not be discouraged in regard to Old England. The same amount of labor expended on Old England in a wise manner will produce, I believe, good results. May the Lord work, is my prayer. And let us look at every token of good; acknowledge all the Lord has done with grateful hearts. Because you do not see the same results in Old England that you did in Australia, you should not demerit that which has already been gained. There are some precious souls in Grimsby, in Ulceby, and others will be gathered in. There are some good souls in Southampton, and the brother I met at Brother Jones’, and the few who are connected with him, are, I judge, good material. Because they do not see every point just as we do requires wisdom in treating their cases, that we should unite wherever we can and not make the breach any greater between us. That Sister Griffen, I believe, will come to the front if wise management is exercised in her case. Such ones must not be left indifferently, but efforts should be made to bring them into the noble truth. We want that woman as a worker. All such talent, we must understand the faculty of winning to the truth. It is a nice work to hunt up the sheep and to make every exertion to bring them in. It will take time to rid them of all their strange ideas and erratic views, but we must be patient and not drive them from us. God is working with them; and as I look over the past, I see discouragements just as great that we have had to master and still have to contend with as in Old England, notwithstanding the caste of society and the difficulties to reach the higher classes. Now, my brother, be of good heart and notwithstanding the work may move slowly, nevertheless it moves. Thank God for that, but however we may view the work, in no case put in print one single word as though there had not much been done. Do not intimate that it would be better if nothing had been done and you could commence new. I do not thus regard it. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 3

We had on the steamer a pleasant voyage. The very night we landed we took steamer for Fall River. I slept but little that night, arrived at Fall River at seven A.M. and had to wait two hours, then stepped on board the cars for New Bedford, and waited there two hours for Mr. Bradford, and he came and took us to his house till the camp should be arranged. Sabbath it was thought not best for me to go five miles to New Bedford, but I felt that it was my duty; so I rode down to Bedford and went into the work at once. All the Sabbath keepers were not there, but I commenced the work for the seeking the Lord, and we had excellent meetings. All were astonished to see so large an outside interest. Our brethren and sisters talked and showed their appreciation of help and, I believe, advancement. Decided advancement was made. I spoke. I never saw greater need of arrangement of laborers. Eld. Goodrich was in Providence. We had to send for him, but he did not come until Monday. All that could labor were Bro. A. Robinson, Eld. Olsen, and myself. I was so weary I had to refuse to see or talk with any who might come. Had a talk with Professor Ramsay. He was not coming at all; I sent for him by telegraph. I thought every one ought to be there who could lift a finger to help the meeting. He came up Monday, but went to South Lancaster with his wife who came on Tuesday’s boat from Martha’s Vineyard. I talked with him in a very decided manner. He came back Wednesday and I think remained through the meeting. I think he was helped. I talked with Elders Goodrich and Robinson and several others who urged their cases before me. I expected to remain through the meeting, but urgent telegrams came from the Ohio camp meeting for us to come. If we would return answer that we would come, Eld. Farnsworth would start for New Bedford meeting. We looked the whole thing over, and considering Elders Canright and Oviatt’s apostasy, we decided to go. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 4

We left the ground Friday morning and arrived at Cleveland Sabbath morning and spoke that day. Made decided efforts for the people, called them forward, and fully two hundred came forward. The congregation of outsiders was very large. This made a decided impression upon them. They said they never had seen anything like this before. Special labor was given in the different tents for all who came forward. After a season of prayer, I was in the tent from half-past two until half-past five o’clock. Sunday we had the crowd again. The large tent was crowded full. It rained some. Many visited me who had been in the 43 and 44 Movement. Some claimed to be in advance of us in the faith of the restitution of all things, while some others claimed that Christ had come, while still others seemed to be seeking for the truth. It was hard labor in Cleveland because of the want of unity among the ministers. There was a need of the converting power of God to come upon the ministers. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 5

Monday we entered the tent at eight o’clock and did not leave it until three. I spoke three hours, giving most solemn warnings to ministers and people, called the people forward, and the ministers, and gave them time to confess their faults and errors. When they commenced to confess, there was a break, but still I did not see that clear and thorough work I desired. I told them I would not leave the tent until there was a decided movement made. Well, we had a most solemn, confessing, weeping meeting. Tuesday morning I went to the eight o’clock meeting, and I bowed before God and continued my supplication long for the Lord to come in and melt the hearts of the people. Then I felt the assurance that the darkness was clearing away. I told them so, bid them farewell, took the hack for the depot to go to Springfield, Ill., rode from ten A.M. till three, and tarried at Toledo until five, then took the sleeper for Springfield, and without change of cars arrived at Springfield at six A.M. Took a hack for the camp ground. Here we were welcomed to the most perfectly arranged camp ground that I ever witnessed. Everything testified that there were good managers at work. We were much pleased and spoke in the forenoon with much freedom. The outside attendance was good all the way through. I talked from one hour and a half to two hours, and the congregation sat as if riveted to their seats. There, as in other places, I was not let alone, and the burden of constant talking out of the desk nearly unfitted me for talking in the desk. I never saw such persistency as in Ill., to bring their matters before me. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 6

I had much freedom in speaking; Sabbath was a day of close, constant labor. I think I spoke all of two to three hours. Many came forward to prayers, seeking the Lord for the first time, and I never attended a meeting where there seemed to be greater earnestness and tenderness and brokenness of heart. After praying with them, they had meetings in different tents, and they reported excellent meetings. Sunday I noticed a bad sewerage smell on the ground and learned that the wind was favorable for the bringing to us the terrible poisonous odor from a slaughter house. I was in a high fever, and it seemed impossible for me to talk; yet I ventured before the large crowd, and the Lord helped me. I spoke on temperance, and the whole crowd listened as if for life. The Lord helped me. I was sure of that, and I praise and glorify His holy name. Many Methodists, Baptists, and Congregationalists spoke with me after meeting and thanked me for the words spoken. Several said they wished every mother in the land had been present to hear those good words. Oh, how grateful was my heart for the strength given me from God. I thought it advisable to leave the ground that night, take the cars and go direct to Battle Creek. But Brethren Kilgore and Starr just pled with me to stay over Monday. I finally consented. They said they would pray for the wind to change, and they believed the Lord would hear their prayer, and He did; and the wind changed. Again I spoke about two hours on our foreign missions first, then Olsen spoke and he read the papers you gave me in regard to the Mill Yard property, and Seventh-day Baptists spoke of being so delighted with the prospect of this property’s falling into the hands of the Seventh-day Adventists. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 7

This was a very excellent meeting, and the appeals made were the means of raising $2,500 for the missions in Europe. Then I took up the Chicago mission and just at the right moment pledged for it $1,000. Well, $2,500 was pledged to meet that call. We felt well satisfied with the meeting, and then if I could have been let alone, I would have come out all right, but I was urged and almost forced to see and talk with several. This was altogether too much. I feared for my life. Bro. Starr went to the city and came back with a fine white horse and carriage, took in his wife Sarah and me, and we rode three hours until time to get on board the sleeper. We stole from the ground like prisoners escaping from prison, and although I rested well at night, I was completely exhausted. I had spoken twenty-four times in sixteen days, had travelled four nights and three days in that time, and spoken several times three or four hours. In Chicago we took the sleeper, and I lay down all the way to Battle Creek, for I was not able to sit up. Wednesday my two daughters and I were taken out to Bro. Godsmark’s to hide from visitors till Friday. I had been so tired I could not rein myself up to write a line during this constant and hard labor. I am troubled now to think of New York. It will be a hard place and no Bro. Olsen. But who will be there to help of the right sort, I cannot say. I wish I did not have to go, I wish I could be excused. Then to the Michigan meeting. May the Lord help me, is my cry. He has done it, and He will, I believe. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 8


Several asked me how soon Sr. Huntley was going to Europe? I answered not at all. I cannot see that the Lord has called her to Europe. Now I hope you will not give one word of encouragement for Sr. Huntley to go with you in Europe or unite with you in your labors in the cause in any place. Give no occasion for people to talk. Abstain from the very appearance of evil. You have one with you, a young man, and it is as it should be. We want not your good evil spoken of, and from the light God has given me, it were better if you two had had no special connection in the work, and it is not for your or her good to be in any way connected. If you have given her the least encouragement, let it be cut off completely. Wherever she goes, it must not be to unite with you in any way. If she has a work to do, a position to fill, let her do it away from you. I know what I am writing about. Why W. C. White should make the proposition he did in Moss, Norway, I cannot comprehend. If the matter had been urged, I would have taken a more determined stand than I did. For this I will oppose with voice and pen, for God has shown me some things concerning this matter that makes me write as I now do. I will not say more now, for I am exceedingly tired. We shall pray for you that the Lord will open the way for His work to go forward. Be of good courage. Cling to Jesus, hope, work, and pray. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 9

Much love to all dear friends. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 10


You need never have traced those lines. We know that great transformations have taken place. We know that the Lord has wrought wonderfully since we first came to Europe. Praise His holy name. Had you stood where Elder Whitney has stood and where we have stood for the past two years, having to take the work from the state Elder Andrews left it in and then see the great changes wrought through pressing, earnest, soul-weary labor, you would exclaim, What hath the Lord wrought!!! The work is not to be belittled, neither is it to be deprecated, but every step that it has arisen is to be appreciated and still carried forward. The difficulties that existed at first of having in Basel an American not speaking French or German, standing at the head of the work, doing all business through an interpreter, was most discouraging. French and German elements seemed bound to not harmonize, and there were no real regulations and rules. It has taken all the efforts that could be put into action to make things work in harmony. The apprentices were learning. The trades and much care were needed with the elements that composed the working class to have things done with dispatch and correction. This is the same with the offices of publication, and these evils still exist. I know well about this matter. In Basel the additions to the church have been doubled. The church at Chaux-de-Fonds numbered only about six members. Now through Bro. Ertzenberger’s labors, the church increased, having sixteen added. And since that time there have been thorough efforts made by different ones and still more added from the very best class of society, until this is a church numbering 50 members. At Lausanne there was, I believe, only one keeping the Sabbath, and now there is a church of 35 through efforts made by Elders Bourdeau, Conradi, and Ertzenberger. Tramelan has 32 members. These numbers I have obtained through Bro. Paul Roth who knows. Now God has been at work with the people, and let His name have all the glory. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 11

When Bro. Henry reads anything discouraging, he says, “We have sent so much means over there to see nothing accomplished, and we will not send more means.” If you want to close the door to any benevolent impulses, you can talk as if there had been nothing done worthwhile. We think there has much been done. At Zurich there were one man and his wife, and when we left I think there were 20, and these, as a whole, will present as good a front as any company raised up in New England. Talk faith, talk courage, and do not block the way that we cannot make appeals to the people. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 12


I wish to say, Elder Haskell, a few more things. Do not make the remark to any one that it would be better if nothing had been done in England, because this would not be just to the missionaries sent there, neither to our God. There has been a good work done in England, and you should not make any such remarks when you did not make the commencement, therefore cannot see the advance work that has been done. Give all the credit possible to that which has been done, and then be prepared to reach out and make the most of what has been done. Our brethren have worked hard and have not had furnished them the help that you have at the present time. Some things have had to be demonstrated: that was that the most of the English helpers were not the most profitable help and could not do the work in all its branches as the Americans could do it, because of their education and their position in society. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 13

Now, my dear brother, aftersight is better than foresight. And we see many moves that have been made which now we see were not the very wisest. We see no kind of wisdom in moving the office and mission in Grimsby. We think it was a mistake. If it had been in some other location near London, there might now be a very different showing of the work. And yet those who advised this thought they were doing the best thing that could be done. But aftersight leads to conclusion, especially after the plan is worked out. Decisions were made too hastily, and there have been wrong plans and strange ideas that have not proved a success. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 14

Bro. John’s ideas of open-air meetings have made his labors almost a failure during his stay in England. Now if all the workers had counselled together and esteemed one another and moved in faith and in courage, relying less upon what they could and more upon that which God could do for them, had they thought kindly of one another, had they prayed much more for heavenly wisdom and talked less, had they thought well of one another and respected one another, God would have heard their cries, He would have revealed His power, and the work would be further advanced than it is. But I am grateful to God that notwithstanding the workers have not rightly related themselves to God and to the work, yet the work has been steadily advancing under difficulties, and all credit should be given to God. Although there has been just as earnest and determined work under the circumstances as we could expect with the material that was employed in the work, and now to insinuate it would be better if the work had not been entered upon at all is not just, and is not the fact. If there have been mistakes made, if there has been want of judgment and now the errors are seen, let us consider whether the very same mistakes might not have been made in the commencement by any of us had we acted a part in the work. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 15

Now there have been mistakes made, and Satan would make the most of these by perpetuating them, and at this late date, even with the history of the past before us. Let every advantage be taken of the past and consider we might not have done any better than they had we been in their place, and let us turn what may appear a defeat into a victory. God help us to learn constantly of Jesus and not take counsel of our own heart. Brother Haskell, God lives and reigns; we will walk by faith and trust wholly in God who is our helper in every time of need. Let us praise God for what has been done and then try to push the work continually. We are not to become fainthearted, but lean heavily on Jesus. Be of good heart. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 16

A good work has been done in England. The work has necessarily moved slowly; more might have been done. But when we consider there is quite a little army of souls that have been added to the church, let us praise God. In Grimsby there are some precious souls. Some are not what they might be, and yet their influence has done much for the cause of truth. I was made to rejoice while there that a young man teaching the school was under deep conviction and had commenced to keep the Sabbath, but his exercises came upon the Sabbath, and he solicited the prayers of the brethren for wisdom how to manage this matter. He frankly confessed his faith and was favored. God was in this. I know of no more striking circumstance that has occurred in America, showing evidence of genuine conversion. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 17

Then the two sisters who embraced the truth in Grimsby, and their niece there, are precious souls. One lying an invalid, the others doing what they can with their influence and can become useful workers in the cause of God. They have good ability that should be appreciated and brought into the work. There are others also that I might mention in Ulceby. There is the case of Bro. Armstrong and family. The power of truth has come into that family. The father made great sacrifices, and the Lord blessed him greatly. He has no thought of turning back, although he has lost, as a superior baker, much of his custom because he will not furnish bread upon the Sabbath. In Ulceby is a little company, and there is the standard of truth lifted, and all around Ulceby are souls I know who are deeply convicted. The seeds of truth have been sown and will spring up and bear fruit. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 18

There are precious souls in Kettering. And it is a pity all who have embraced the Sabbath are not an honor to the cause because their will had not been brought into harmony with God’s will. Self and selfishness has a controlling power with some showing they have not yet learned the lessons in the school of Christ, but has not it been the same in America to full as large an extent? And is it not now? Are there not unmanageable elements which are constantly causing trouble? Look at this matter, how hard it has been for these persons to receive the mold of Christ, and even after years in the truth they are still like off oxen. We must then look at other persons at different points and thank God for the good work done and go on to perfection. I was sorry that you wrote that you were disappointed that so little had been done in Basel. If you had been there for two years putting in hard labor to put a right mold on the work and seeing it done in a large degree in so many ways as we know it has been done, you would never have traced those lines. 5LtMs, Lt 50, 1887, par. 19