Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 16d, 1892

Haskell, S. N.

Preston, Melbourne, Australia

May 7, 1892

See Lt 6, 1892 for a variant portion. Portions of this letter are published in ChL 36; GCDB 02/04/1893.

Dear Brother Haskell:

I am trying to write a little. The rheumatism is still upon me. In some respects I am physically better. I think the malaria has been mastered, for the present. I have great difficulty in using my hands; for my arms and shoulders are full of soreness and the pain I suffer with sciatica in hips and my knees makes them stiff and painful. Yet I do not lose my courage; I will trust in the Lord. I am so thankful that we have a living Saviour in whom we can trust, and Who has promised to be a present help in every time of need. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 1

Wakeful nights, suffering with pain, I pray much and think much, and let me tell you, there certainly is much to be done in Australia. They need more efficient and experienced hands, and more devoted piety to carry forward the work from point to point. Nothing, comparatively nothing, is being done in these large cities. You and Elder Corliss advised us not to locate in Melbourne. And I am puzzled to know why the Echo office was located in North Fitzroy. Now, if we [are to] have a molding influence on the work, we should be at the center at the very heart of the work. If Willie is connected with the Echo office it will make it necessary for us to be subjected to the objectionable climate of Melbourne, for I cannot well be separated in my present state of health from Willie, and if my health was the best, we should compose one family. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 2

The work in Australia, and my work, if I can do any, demands that we are together. All say that I must seek a dryer climate, especially for winter, and talk of my going to Adelaide. Well, I am at present very helpless; and for Willie to be in Melbourne, as Eld. Tenney thinks he should be, and I and one or two of the others go to Adelaide, we are at a disadvantage every way. We cannot consult together, or work together. I see more need of our help right here in Melbourne than any other place. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 3

The fact is, there are not the very best kind of leaders in the office. There is not the spirit of love and of blending together, and how this order of things is to be changed seems difficult to determine. One thing I am thoroughly settled upon, that a great mistake was made in locating the office where it is. Brother Tenney and many others say it is a disreputable part of Melbourne, but what can be done now remains to be seen. The school should not be located in Melbourne. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 4

I cannot explain why I have been so sick here when my testimony is, I know, needed so much. I think it must be a trial of my faith, and if I come forth from the furnace purified and refined, thank the Lord for the furnace fire. I am not discouraged, but I have felt many times that I have made a mistake in this move; but I am here now and will do all I can. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 5

I cannot see in Eld. Tenney the right man to have the best uplifting spirit and influence in connection with the workers. He needs much that he has not, but the Lord knows all this. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 6

We are to have some decided meetings as soon as possible after Willie returns. He will be here next Wednesday. Then I will have some things to say and a testimony to bear in regard to the spirit of love and sympathy and kindness that should be exercised in the management of the things in the office. It requires a leading man who can make rules and educate; and [who] would mingle with this management tact and skill, and a sympathetic, loving heart that will not willingly wound and bruise the soul of one of the workers, for they are the purchased property of Jesus Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 7

The words of Christ are applicable to every church who claims to believe the truth. “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen;” the losing of love out of the heart is pronounced by Christ as a fall, a moral degeneracy. “And repent and do the first works, or else I will come and remove the candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:4, 5.] 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 8

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: these things saith He that hath the seven spirits of God, and seven stars, I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come in as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:1-3.] 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 9

The love of Jesus Christ has been left to die because it has not been cherished by watchful, persevering effort. There are men better, far better, calculated to till the soil than to deal with human minds; they are not sensitive nor sympathetic. Those who would do the best and highest service for Jesus Christ must copy the Pattern in all their associations, in business deals, and in spiritual things. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 10

God sees, as men do not, the result of this hardness of heart toward one another. It is an offense to Him and dishonors His holy name and places Him, “the Lord God full of compassion, of loving kindness, and abundant in mercy,” in a false light. Professing to be Christians, they drop out the soft pencilings of character and make wonderful blunders in their example and in their process of molding other minds. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 11

Discipline must be maintained in all of our institutions, and if the gentleness of Christ is [not] revealed in the process, if there is seen in the leading men in any of our institutions an impelling hardness of heart, critical [and] exacting, any injustice done the workers, they cut them loose from them where it is impossible for them to love or respect them. Then their influence is not what it should be if these men occupy their positions. This spirit of failing to put themselves in the place of others whom they are dealing with disqualifies the men for their position. There never will be sweet accord, harmony, and love. The Lord would have those who lead feel the importance of being learners. Now, Eld. Haskell, this is about the measure of things, in every respect, in every place where we have any knowledge here in Australia. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 12

There is needed ability in talents in the office combined with thorough consecration which will be evidenced by the meekness and lowliness of Jesus Christ. There must be a steady, earnest, decided, firm holding to the right and keeping the great Example in view. But I do not hope much from the men now in positions of trust unless there is brought in an element which does not exist here now. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 13

When we first came, there was a seeking to draw us out to contrast the believers here in Australia with those in America for capabilities, for intelligence, for consecration. I told all who presented things in this light, “judge not from appearance.” [John 7:24.] But even in appearance I see nothing superior or in advance of our believers in America. But I do see a people here with proper agents working disinterestedly for the Master who may be molded and made vessels unto honor. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 14

There is such a stock of independence, of every one set to have his own way, and feeling fully competent to do their own business without the help from America, that the prospect is [that] less can be done with them that are abiding, than the same labor put forth upon our believers in America. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 15

Human pride is a terrible element to come into our churches, or into any part of the Lord’s vineyard, for it hinders, it destroys more than it builds up. Leaders in this work cannot be men who throw off responsibility and become as children in understanding. Oh! that all in responsible positions may be fully qualified with symmetrical characters for the great, glorious work to which they are called, cherishing simplicity, yet with Christlike dignity in harmony with sacred truth. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 16

Now, if a man has not the piety and the dignity combined, what can we expect will be the characters of the youth and the workers in connection with him in the work. We want more men of real, genuine common sense, putting forth their highest energies to press on and attain a high moral and spiritual elevation, that all who are brought in contact with them will respect them. They are convicted that they are on solid ground, and their judgment and council may be depended on because they seek counsel of God. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 17

The Lord will work in this country. And if the living agents who claim to believe the truth refuse to become missionaries and co-operate with the heavenly forces with Christ at their head, “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” [Matthew 3:9.] But what a loss will the indolent, professed Christians sustain; what a precious experience they might have obtained had they yoked up with Christ, had they lifted His burden. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 18

Oh! that those whom the Lord has blessed with the treasures of truth would awake and say from the heart, “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?” [Acts 9:6.] Light is increasing to brighten every soul who will diffuse the light to others. God will have His witnesses, [even] if one refuses, if one hardens his heart, if he falls from his first love, if he does not quickly repent, his candlestick will be removed out of his place, and the light which he has enjoyed go out, [and] the heart grow hard and selfish in contact with the world. Indulgence of self, selfish pride, the following of inclination is not at all in harmony with the life and character of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 19

We do want men and women to settle in Australia who have a solid Christlike influence. The burden of this work should not rest upon the conference wholly. Many can come to this missionary field and improve in health, not by following the customs of the people here, but careful and prudent and sensible to respect and act in reference to the laws of life, and of health. And they can be educating others; they can have a molding influence. Oh! that many may be uprooted from where they are to become workers with Jesus Christ. What can be done to make every believer feel that the heavenly intelligences are waiting for the consecration of the human, living agents to carry the truth of God where it is not known? 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 20

My heart is full of this matter. The Lord is going to raise me up and restore me in His own good time. I mean to be patient and cheerful and talk faith and act faith. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 21

Unbelief, like the pall of death, is surrounding churches because they do not exercise the talents God has given them by imparting the light to those who know not the precious truth. The Lord Jesus calls for pardoned souls, those who rejoice in the truth to make known the truth to others. The truth is seeking to lay its molding hand upon our youth; but the living agents are needed to communicate the light of truth, and the result will be [that] those who are now ignorant of the truth will through the grace of Christ become precious in the sight of the Lord. Redeemed humanity is to exert an influence to the glory of God. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 22

I trust that you will keep the matter agitated. Those who wish to sacrifice for the truth’s sake, let them answer to the call, “Whom shall I send?” [Isaiah 6:8.] The truth is soon to triumph gloriously, and all who will triumph with the truth must be laborers together with God. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 23

Time is short, the night cometh in which no man can work. We must do what is possible for us to do now, in earnest effort. “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” [Matthew 5:14.] Believers, we not only have lessons to learn for our own benefit, but in our improvement of the grace of Christ, bestowed in privileges and opportunities, we are helping others to follow our example. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 24

I feel a deep interest that the old standardbearers shall abide with the army in active service as long as possible. Then let them place themselves in positions where their influence will tell without sacrificing themselves. Be careful of your strength. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 25

I thank you for the trust you repose in me in the note sent. I will not disappoint you. I will respond to the first intimation of your need of means, but the Lord will help us, I believe. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 26

I must now close this letter. It is larger than I meant to write, pardon me. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 27

Fannie is sick and I cannot get this copied. I hope you can read it. Love to yourself and wife. I hope and trust the Lord will make plain your duty, that you may know just what to do. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 28

The Lord bless and comfort you, is my prayer. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 29

Your sister in Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 16d, 1892, par. 30