Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 10, 1892

Haskell, S. N.

Preston, Melbourne, Australia

April 6, 1892

See variant Lt 10a, 1892. Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 35, 38.

Dear Brother:

The coming of the mail is a great event with us. Last month we saw by the papers that the steamer reached Auckland two days earlier than usual, and we expected to receive the mail Wednesday or Thursday; but, on account of a stormy passage from Auckland, the boat was delayed and we did not receive our mail until Sabbath. Some letters we did not read until about ten o’clock in the evening, because they were held for additional postage. But we were so glad to hear from the other side of the broad waters. If our friends only knew how precious are words from them, I think we should receive more communications. But it is a little amusing that nearly all our correspondents assume that others have written all particulars. I thank you for your full letters and that you do not disappoint my expectations. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 1

I was surprised at the check which your letter contained. I am surprised still, the more I think of it, for it seems to me you need this. Our expenses have been quite large and yet our rooms look as if we were campers. I cannot see the wisdom of investing much money in furniture and carpets when we shall remain in this country so short a time and when money is so scarce. We have purchased only second hand furniture, and for that we paid more than we would have to pay for first class in America, but we bought only what we must have. The money you sent I will reserve for the purpose of getting out my books. I will thankfully accept the loan of it and will pay you for the use of it, if you will let me know when you need it. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 2

Willie is now in New Zealand attending the conference, and I am left behind. I am unable to move hands or limbs without pain. My arms are so painful, the writing I have done for the last few months has been in constant suffering. For the last two weeks my arms have been more helpless, and I may be compelled to lay down my pen until the Lord in His mercy sees fit to restore me. I am worn out for want of sleep and nature refuses to be cheated longer; I fall asleep in my chair, fall asleep while trying to write. I have felt very much depressed at times over this condition of things, but then the Lord comforts and blesses me. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 3

I manage to speak Sabbaths. Stephen Belden and Byron, or some other brother, is at hand when my carriage drives up to the hall, and one on each side helps me to the hall and up the steps onto the platform to my chair. I have spoken seven times in this fashion; it is quite a humiliation to me, but the Lord does give me words for the people. I am blessed myself and the congregation is blessed. I spoke last Sunday afternoon to our sisters on dress reform. We had a good attendance and I hope the words spoken will enlighten some befogged minds. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 4

I tell you, Brother Haskell, we need some able, responsible men here. Should the truth be attacked, we need an apt, skillful, devoted man of piety, trusting alone in Jesus, to defend it. You speak of Elder Corliss. I had thought many times I wish he was here to push things, for they need pushing. But there are drawbacks to this proposition. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 5

We are looking forward with anxious expectation to the coming of Brother and Sister Rousseau and whoever shall accompany them. But little has been done to extend the truth here in Melbourne. Oh, what a vast number of people who have never been warned, and until there is a company of workers instructed to labor, not in a fitful manner, but after Christ’s order, who will not fail nor be discouraged, but little can be done here. But very little has been done in the educating and training of workers for the reason that there are not the right kind of educators in this missionary field. Is it all right that such a superabundance of opportunities and privileges should be provided for the work in America while there is such a destitution of the right kind of labor here in this large field? Where are God’s missionaries? Where are the men who will go without the camp and bear the reproach which Jesus has borne for them? If families should come and settle in the churches, persons that are devoted Christians, who have the knowledge of the truth, they could accomplish a good work though they should never preach a discourse. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 6

We found the brethren here anxious to send forth as licentiates and ministers young men who could not, by precept and example, teach the precious principles of truth as they should be taught. They had not a sacred sense of the truth themselves. We hope and pray that instruction of a divine character may come to this people, that those who shall accept the responsibility of becoming teachers may not be novices in understanding the Scripture or in piety and devotion. We have been cursed with deficiencies in this respect through our churches, and the standard of truth is left to trail in the dust. Thank the Lord that efforts are being made for the training of our missionaries, that schools or institutes are established for the education of ministers. The great work demands this. Opposition of every sort will have to be met now in a more decided manner than ever before. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 7

There is home missionary work to be done and we hear the plea, So long as there is so much wickedness and such need of labor in our own country why manifest such zeal for foreign countries? I answer, Our field is the world. Wickedness abounds to an alarming extent everywhere. The Saviour directed His disciples to begin their work in Jerusalem, and then pass on through Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Only a small proportion of the people accepted the gospel. But the messengers bore the message rapidly from place to place, passing from country to country, lifting the standard of the gospel in all the near and far-off places of the earth. But there was a preparatory work. The Saviour’s promise was, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me.” [Acts 1:8.] Those who do not follow their own will and desires, but seek counsel of the Lord, will not be dull scholars, for the Lord will teach them. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 8

Although thousands at home shall neglect this great salvation and prove themselves unworthy of eternal life, let zealous efforts be put forth for those who are in the midnight darkness of heathenism. God will speak to the unenlightened. This light is to shine amid the moral darkness. “I have set thee to be a light to the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” [Acts 13:47.] While there are so many to be sought for, so many that are in gross darkness, shall we not cry aloud and spare not? 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 9

How much more is needed, how much wise, well-planned effort, to send the truth by publications and the living preacher. Many, we are happy to say, are doing much, opening new fields, and broadening the work everywhere; but there are many ways in which we can personally do much more than we have done by practicing self-denial, living not to please ourselves. Every soul who has accepted the truth should make personal efforts for the salvation of friends and relatives and neighbors. Individual cases should be presented as subjects of our prayers to our heavenly Father. Let us imitate the life of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 10

How much means is spent for things that are merely idols, things that engross the thoughts and affections, little ornaments that require attention to be kept free from dust and placed in order. The moments spent in arranging these little idols might be employed in speaking a word in season to some soul, awaking an interest to inquire, What shall I do to be saved? These little things take the time that should be devoted to prayer, seeking the Lord and grasping by faith the promises. How decided are these words, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:9.] There is a joyous tide of spiritual health that comes from these souls who have Jesus formed within. Now, if we should have a testimony in regard to the much money needlessly expended for ornaments and picture making, a large revenue would flow in by many rivulets to swell the riches of the treasury. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 11

When I see how much might be done in such countries as I am now in, my heart burns within me to show those who profess to be children of God how much money is wasted upon dress, on expensive furniture, on selfish pleasures, in excursions merely for selfish gratification. All this is embezzling the Lord’s goods, using to please self means which is wholly His and which should be devoted to His service. Souls are perishing right within the shadow of our own doors, and in foreign countries, because the money that God purposed should carry the light to others did not flow into His treasury; because those who professed the truth did not love the truth and bring it into the inner sanctuary of their souls, bringing every thought into captivity to Jesus Christ. Souls professing godliness are as destitute of the love of Christ in the heart as the veriest sinner. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 12

We want missionaries who will venture to lift the standard of truth in the cities and in the highways of Australia and New Zealand. It needs families who are not self-centered; it needs those who can work in different capacities and who will not faint at the prospect of self-denial, who will work anywhere, take up the work right at hand and do it as for Jesus, and then reach forward for other lines of work. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 13

I never wish to see a new country furnished with such inefficient workers as, with few exceptions, are here in this country. New Zealand must be looked after. Ministerial labor is needed there; the churches need a shepherd who feels the burden of caring for the flock of God, one who can say by precept and example, “We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” “For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ... Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” [1 Corinthians 4:5, 6, 10, 11.] The truth we have accepted is exceeding precious, fully able to make us wise workers with Christ. It refines, purifies, elevates, and ennobles the receiver, cutting away the fleshly lusts, and its gracious influence, filling the soul, brings every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 14

Again I ask, Where are God’s servants? Where are the missionaries for God? We want converted men and women in this country. I am encompassed with infirmities and cannot do much, but be assured I will do all in my power. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 15

Elder Grant is here in Melbourne; but should he make a raid against our people, there are no laborers in this country, unless a miracle were wrought upon them, who could honor the Lord any better than by keeping out of all controversy. The Lord has been put to open shame by some who have tried to meet the sharp opponents. Was it because, in their inefficiency, they felt self-sufficient and the Lord could give them no victory? I do not know as these opponents should be met at all. Perhaps it is best to go right along, saying nothing that can be interpreted as a challenge, and labor humbly, with contrite hearts, leaving this work for the Lord to manage. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 16

We need a deeper work of grace in our own hearts. As a people keeping the commandments of God, we are to be separate and distinct from the world. We are joined to the Lord by an everlasting covenant, engaged to live for Him and none else. Jesus is to be our all and in all. But is there not a seeking after pleasure and strange vanities? Have we not left the cool snow waters of Lebanon to drink of the turbid streams of the valleys? Have we not forfeited the exalted privileges which have bound us to God in a peculiar sense as His chosen, in whom He delights? 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 17

My heart is yearning for the people of God to awaken and to see how the work has been hindered, even in this country, by want of brotherly love. Envy and jealousy and self-uplifting will drive Jesus from the heart. It is best for God’s people to be doers of His words, to educate and train their souls to love one another, to put away their criticisms, to be kindly affectioned one toward another, to be free from the least taint of jealousy. Evil surmising has cursed the church long enough. We want now to let the tender, pitying love of Jesus into our hearts, and let mercy and compassion abide with us. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 18

How quickly self is touched, how quick men are to imagine that they are slighted. Now, hearts filled with the love of Jesus will not feel thus. They are reaching for the completeness in Christ Jesus. They will have confidence in their brethren. They will often bow in prayer with them. They will plead the promise, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 18:19.] They can cling to that promise; their hearts need just this kind of discipline in order to blend together. But if Satan is allowed to come in between brother and brother, there is weakness and not strength. Shall we not labor most decidedly for unity, for love? 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 19

Considering our advantages, in that the light of truth has so long been shining upon us, we are under condemnation because our works and character have not corresponded to the truth. We shall be judged by the light given us. Is it not time in this our day to come out of the cave and stand with God and hear what the Lord will say unto us? Is it not now high time that we sought with all our capabilities to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples may be one as He is one with the Father? Let us press this upon our own souls, let us urge it upon the church. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 20

I am alarmed as I see the self-sufficient, independent atoms that compose our churches. The voice from heaven that I have heard for the last forty years has been, “Press together, press together. Be one with Christ as Christ was one with the Father.” Shall we better not heed that voice? In unity there is strength; in division there is weakness. I want our people to see the sinfulness of their lack of tenderness and affection for one another. I want them to be sensitive on this subject and to realize that they are on trial; God is proving them to see if they can become members of His family in heaven. If they do not love one another in this life, they will not be prepared to exercise love in the future immortal life. Now, just now, is our fitting-up time; will we improve it? If we love Jesus we shall love those for whom He has died; and when this love pervades the church we shall see scores of laborers, missionaries, going to those countries where their help, their experience, is so much needed. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 21

What more can I say? My heart is filled to overflowing. Only those are fit for this work who are imbued with the Holy Spirit. The light has come; the light which will lighten the earth with its bright rays has been shining from the throne of God. Shall we fail to appreciate the most precious privileges that are brought within our reach? Shall we go on in our own weakness? Will we walk in the sparks of our own kindling? The Lord means that these privileges and opportunities shall do a special work for us. Will we walk in the light? Will we flash this light upon the pathway of others? How long shall we disappoint Jesus by a cold, half-hearted life destitute of love? Must the candlestick be removed out of its place? Christ declares it will be, unless we “repent and do our first works.” [Revelation 2:5.] Who is making the efforts demanded to meet this warning? What are we doing for a world lying in wickedness? What excuse can we offer to God for this gross negligence? 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 22

O, I beseech the people of God who shall hear these lines read to work for the Master wherever they can. Try to enlighten souls. Try to show them the truth. Your own heart must be in the love of God, then angels will be round about you. How will you answer Jesus, the Judge of the living and the dead, when He shall ask why you did not give the light He had given you to other souls just as precious as your own? How could you meet them day after day, let them go and come, and yet not open your lips to tell them of the riches of the grace of Christ? Will their blood not be charged to you for this sinful neglect? 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 23

Brother Haskell, I present this to you that you may present it to others. O that the Lord would convert and convict souls, that the light now shining may not be removed from us because we do not walk in the light and lead others out of darkness. I feel intensely over this deadness and paralysis of God’s people. I beg of them to rest not until their souls shall be all aglow with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Those who make no use of the light which they have will not only fail to receive greater light, but they will lose that which now shines upon them. Like Capernaum they have been exalted to heaven in point of privilege; unless they respond to the light they will be left in complete darkness and will not know at what they stumble. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 24

I tell you, God is testing us now, just now. The whole earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. That light is shining now, and how hard it has been for proud hearts to accept of Jesus as their personal Saviour; how hard to get out of the rut of a legal religion; how hard for them to grasp the rich, free gift of Christ. Those who have not accepted this offering will not understand anything in regard to that light which fills the whole earth with its glory. Let every heart now seek the Lord. Let self be crucified, for rich and glorious blessings are awaiting all who shall maintain contrition of soul. With them Jesus can abide; they will let nothing interpose between their souls and God. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 25

I long, O so much, to see the people of God elevated, ennobled, sanctified by the truth, manifesting in all their labors that intense, earnest faith and hope which is proportionate to the value of the object they are in pursuit of. Life, eternal life, is worth a persevering, untiring, lifelong effort. Never be weary in well doing; never be discouraged. Jesus lives; Jesus pleads for us; Jesus will not leave us, not a moment, if we will only commit the keeping of our souls to Him. Be of good courage in the Lord. Look up, ever look up, and behold Him who is your eternal reward. 7LtMs, Lt 10, 1892, par. 26