Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 16e, 1892

Haskell, S. N.

Preston, Melbourne, Australia

February 6, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 443; 4MR 242; GCDB 02/04/1893.

Dear Brother Haskell:

I am still a cripple with rheumatism. I suffer severe pains every time I move my arms, through the shoulders and arms; and every time I move my limbs in any way, through my back and hips and knees, also. I am trying to do a little writing, but think [it] best not to use the nerves. Yesterday we had a visit with Brother Curtis. He came with Willie from teachers’ meeting in the evening and tarried over night. I see an improvement in one respect. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 1

Brother Curtis is seeking to change his discourses and dwell less upon the argumentative and more on the practicable godliness. But how hard it seems to get out of the rut. He also seems to feel a burden to know better how to visit in families and do them, through personal labor, real good. This is an encouraging feature. He speaks in the morrow in Melbourne to our people. They were planning for me to ride into Melbourne and to have two strong men to make an armchair and take me up the long flight of stairs into the meeting hall, but I feel much relieved that this need not be done, on the morrow. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 2

Malaria clings to Fannie and me, and the Lord will break this from us, in His own good time. I am watching and waiting and praying and working with my pen, what I can. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 3

Brother and Sister Starr have been at Adelaide; they are busily at work both of them, visiting, giving Bible readings, and holding all the meetings that they can. If we had fifty of like zeal and spirit, full of earnestness, there would be all the fifty could do, and a call would soon be made for an additional fifty. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 4

Elder Daniells and his wife are at Adelaide. Brother and Sister Starr have been at Tasmania, and tomorrow they will labor in Hobart. Their next move will be to New Zealand. Brother Gates joined them last Wednesday. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 5

This day, Bro. Robert Hare and wife called upon us and spent several hours. They are on their way to Sydney. I was pleased to see that Bro. Hare and wife are trying the burden of visiting. This is the very work that must be done, and is not done because the men laboring in word and doctrine do not feel the burden of making personal efforts. Brother Hare says he kept as close as possible to Brother Starr, that he might learn of him and see how he managed in [the] visiting line. This is what I urged upon them, in our conference in Melbourne. I told him this kind of work could only be done aright through a living connection and abiding with and in the presence of Jesus Christ. He says, “Without Me, ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 6

But there is reason for encouragement if our ministering brethren will only feel the importance attached to this kind of work. I have written something on this subject, hoping to send by the next steamer. There is need of education, the training every one who shall enter the Gospel field, to not only use the scythe and mow the crop, but to rake it, to gather it, to care for it properly. This mowing has been done everywhere and amounted to very little, because there has been so little earnest work done by personal effort to gather the wheat from the chaff and bind it in bundles for the garner. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 7

The union of the stalk with the living vine will result in bearing much fruit. What a remarkable and beautiful representation has Christ given us in the symbol of the vine. All the believers are brought into vital connection with Him, as a branch growing out from the parent stock, sustained and nourished and fed by it. The branch grows from the vine and is a part of the vine, and believers are represented as in Christ—one with Christ, as He is one with the Father. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 8

The branch has a living union with the living vine, and as such the words of Paul are appropriate, “Who shall separate us from the love of God, in Christ Jesus?” [Romans 8:35, 39.] Shall affliction, storm, tempest, persecution, life, or death? Paul says, No, nothing shall be able to do this. The branch derives all its fruit-bearing qualities from the parent stock. The branches do not sustain the vine, but the vine sustains the branches. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” [John 15:8.] Here is the test, the criterion before the world that we are branches of the True Vine. Our profession alone is no proof. The only real proof that we bear to the world that we are Christians is the quality of fruit which we bear. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] Heavenly intelligences never make a mistake. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 9

If we are branches in the True Vine, we will bear fragrant fruit; the Holy Spirit inspires all who are branches in Christ Jesus. We derive our support and strength from Him. If, by our fruit, we show that we are branches of the True Vine, we have the divine credentials; we have the witness that our ways please God. “Every branch,” He says, “that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” [John 15:2.] The Master prunes His true branches, stirs its roots, cleanses, purifies it that it may bring forth more fruit. And the fruit may abide. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 10

I feel most deeply over the little burden many carry for the missionary work in foreign fields, and in home missionary work where there are thousands to be [reached], where the standard of truth has never been raised, where the proclamation of truth has not been heard in America. There are thousands who might enter the harvest field who are now religiously idle and, as the result, go crippling their way to heaven, expressing their doubts whether they are Christians. These need a vital union with Jesus Christ, then it can be said of them, “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 11

I want to say to many, “You are waiting for some one to carry you to the vineyard or to bring the vineyard to you and set you to work, that you will experience no coming in later; you will wait in vain. If you lift up your eyes, you would see that the harvest is white for the sickle whichever way you may look. You will find work close by, and afar off, but to how many will Christ say in the judgment, “Good and faithful servant”? [Matthew 25:21.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 12

I think how the angels must feel seeing the end approaching, and those who claim to have the knowledge of God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent, huddle together, colonize, and attend meetings and feel discouraged and dissatisfied if there is not much preaching to benefit their souls and strengthen the church, while they are doing literally nothing. If they are branches, really and truly, of the True Vine, nourished by the sap which flows through the vine to the branches, they are indeed partakers of the Divine Nature. They have moral power from Christ to overcome sin, and to hate sin, and these cannot be silent. Souls are perishing for the light, for the knowledge to use, to save souls. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 13

If, then, temporal [and] financial prospects are liable not to be as prosperous if they move to localities where the truth has not yet been proclaimed, or where there has been but a glimmer of light, will they not be doing just the work Jesus has done to save them? 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 14

I do not urge any one to change their location to please their own ideas, for Christ lived in our world, all seared and marred with the curse, that humanity might touch humanity to save souls from eternal ruin. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 15

Jesus did not leave the royal throne, the royal crown, and His high command and come to our world to please Himself. “For our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” [2 Corinthians 8:9.] What is the character of those riches? Is it thrones and lands and bank stocks in this world? Or is it that the unsearchable riches of Christ shall be so presented before our minds, [as] to attract their own hearts that they shall accept them and count all things but loss and dross that they may win Christ? 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 16

Brother Olsen, my heart is pained when I think of how little our churches sense their solemn accountability to God. It is not ministers alone, but every man and woman who has enlisted in the army of Christ, as soldiers. As such they are to be willing to receive a soldier’s fare, just as Christ has given them an example in His life of self-denial and self-sacrifice. What self-denial have our churches as a whole manifested? They may have given donations in, but they have withheld themselves. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 17

The heavenly agencies are waiting for co-operation with human agencies in the grand work of reflecting light to the world. Wherever there is a conversion of even one soul on earth, there is a responsive joy circulated through heaven. Wherever one soul is snatched from Satan’s hand and given as a trophy to Jesus Christ, there is joy in the presence of God and Jesus Christ and holy angels because the lost is found. I send my appeal to the churches to “arise and shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” [Isaiah 60:1.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 18

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth much fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” [John 15:16.] O! what a depth of meaning [is] in those words! We can say from the heart, “Truth, Lord!” [Matthew 15:27.] We were not the ones to make the first movement toward Christ. It was our Redeemer who made the movement toward us. “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” [John 12:32.] He touched your heart; by His grace, you responded and drew toward Jesus. Man would not make the first movement; he could not. Christ was lifted up on the cross. It was His love that brought Him to our world, His love expressed for fallen man that led Him to make an offering of His soul for sin. And as the heart responds in gratitude to this unspeakable love, the language of the soul is, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 19

Then what is the duty of every enlightened soul who should feel, as he looks upon the infinite Sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, “that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life?” [John 3:16.] What are you doing by personal efforts to lead souls to believe? There are not many ordained ministers, but this is not necessary before you deny self. Lift the cross and carry the burdens of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 20

Have you tasted of the powers of the world to come? Have you been eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God? Then if ministerial hands have not been laid upon you in this world, Christ has laid His hand upon you and said, “Ye are my witnesses.” [Isaiah 43:10.] “Go trade on the talents I have given you.” [Matthew 25:16.] “Ye are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. ... Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 21

There will be an antagonism between the world and the church, but the church is to shine. Let your selves become consecrated, living channels of light to the world, whatever may be the consequences to you financially. Let those who truly love God step out from where there are large churches of Sabbath keepers, and the cause that they know not, search out. This is work to be done by every branch that has vital union with the Living Vine. It is My Father’s good pleasure that ye bear much fruit. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 22

Where is the fruit borne by the branches in those large churches? “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away.” “If a man abide not in me he is cast out as a branch, and is withered.” “And men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” [John 15:2, 6.] Does not this statement from the lips of the great Teacher alarm you who have taken such an easy position, bearing no burdens, gratifying self, lifting no cross and not following Jesus? 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 23

Let us ask why there are so few martyrs now; what is the reason that Christians and the world confederate together in conferences? Has the world become converted or has the church lost her peculiar, lovely character? The church associated to the world does not come out and be separate from the world, and does not maintain her higher and holy character. The professed followers of Christ feel, many of them, no more burden for souls than does the world. “The lust of the eye, the pride of life” [1 John 2:16], the love of display, the love of ease, has separated the professed Christian from God. And the missionary spirit exists in reality with but few. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 24

What can be done to open the eyes of the sinners in Zion and make hypocrites tremble? The Spirit of truth must become a living principle in the soul. What shall we do that we might work the works of God? is asked by many souls today. The answer comes, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” [John 6:29.] When you have true faith, this will be evident, for your works will show and testify of the fact. You will constantly draw to Christ, exercising your minds to plan and devise means to save perishing souls. You should cultivate love; your work will be done in love, and you will deny self because you love Jesus who died for you. You will shine as lights in the world; you have received light; you will diffuse light. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 25

I have been alarmed for some years because I see the line of demarcation between the church and the world almost obliterated. The design of God in the formation of a church is that the very action of the separation from the world in itself is sufficient to attract attention. The formation into church capacity has a meaning in it which the world can read; they are formed into a distinct power. They are to consider themselves the peculiar people of God and an object to be rendered conspicuous. Detach it from other objects; stand it apart. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 26

Believers are to be as Christ was, one with the Father. The sons and daughters of God are to stand a distinct, pure, holy people from the world. And if these signs are not seen in the members of the church, it is the duty of the church to faithfully investigate the matter, for if there is not a decided transformation of character, from a life of sin to a life of holiness, then, Why? If there is sin practiced in their daily life, there is no real value in all their profession, and they will not act in harmony with God, as His agents in the regeneration of the world. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 27

The children of God will not answer the purpose of God unless they are united. As branches are attached to the parent stock, so will the diverse branches be centered in Jesus Christ, continuing their influence to the conversion of sinners. All believers in truth will shine as lights in the world by union with Christ and oneness with Him. All their works are wrought in God if they really believe in Him whom the Father hath sent. An organized body, allied to Jesus Christ the living Head, will be, through that Head, identified by the universe as the excellence of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 28

The least of all saints, if he believes in Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, is a vital member of the church. With the body he is to be united. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 29

All ye are brethren, as a whole, and individually, to carry with you in all communication with the world an influence, an atmosphere that is to surround the soul which is distinct from the world, and [in] every way superior to the world. What influence for good, as followers of Christ, as believers in the truth, they may have, to improve, refine, and elevate the world through association and positive personal effort put forth, will depend on their vital connection with Christ, on the breadth and distinctness of the line of demarcation which characterizes them as separate from the world, and the perfection of contrast to the world which they reveal in spirit [and] in words. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 30

The world loves not God; the world is disobedient to God; the world is selfish, and acts without feelings of dependence upon God’s will, without reverence and respect to God’s commandments. If professed followers of Christ, even in part, act the same, they may have their names on the church books, but while joined to the church, they are not joined to Christ. Therefore, the same spirit has, to a limited or large degree, a controlling power upon mind, heart, will, and temper. Their standing in the church is that which Christ named hypocrisy—a cause of stumbling to those who, but for them, would have altogether a higher idea of truth and its sanctifying effects in the character. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 31

Christians, in deed and in truth, will have the spirit of Christ. They will naturally develop the mind and spirit which dwelt in Christ. They will contemplate [the] solemn import of the words of Christ, “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me, so shall he be my disciple.” [Mark 8:34.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 32

It is a solemn statement that I make to the church that not one in twenty whose names are registered upon the church books are prepared to close their earthly history, and would be as verily without God and without hope in the world as the common sinner. They are professedly serving God, but they are more earnestly serving Mammon. This “half and half” work is a constant denial of Christ, rather than a confessing of Christ. So many have brought their own spirit—unsubdued, unrefined, their spiritual taste perverted by their own immoral debasing corruptions (symbolizing the world)—with them, in spirit and in heart and in purpose, into the church, confirming themselves in the lustful practices and deception through and through their professed Christian lives, living as sinners and claiming to be Christians. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 33

Those who claim to be Christians will confess Christ who says, Come out of the world and touch not the unclean thing, and to be separate. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 34

This is [a] Satanic policy that is practiced by those who are spiritually blind: that they can mingle safely with the worldly element, confederate with them, be in co-partnership with them. But it will not require a great length of time to discern that they are no longer one with Christ, or place the least value upon being with their brethren. They have left the cool snows coming down from Lebanon, for the muddy streams of the valley. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 35

The words of God are: “Come out from the world, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] The words of the great deceiver are, You will greatly augment your influence if you confederate with the world; your usefulness in receiving of their knowledge will be greatly increased; your popularity by connection with them will be made larger; therefore, you can do a much larger work. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 36

Let all who are not completely deluded pray as never before to be kept from the bewitching snares of Satan to delude unwary souls in these last days. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 37

The work of every Christian has ever been to stain their door-posts with blood, to gather their children unto their houses with them, that the destroying angel might see the mark of blood—the acknowledgment of faith in the only begotten Son of the Father, for “whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 38

The end is near. Every soul will have, in the judgment, just that spirit exactly, and the same tone of character and morals, which they cultivated in this life. Every soul will have in the judgment just that spirit and character they cherished and indulged in their home life, in association with their neighbors, in connection with the members of their own family. And according as they have appreciated the words of Christ, and obeyed them, will be the judgment pronounced upon them by that man Jesus who came into the world to give His life a sacrifice for them. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 39

If they had firm faith in Jesus as One able to save them from sin, if they obey the invitation, “Let Him take hold of my strength, and make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] Then their whole dependence will be in the Lord Jesus. They will show their love for Jesus by doing His words. This is the mark and spirit of all united by vital connection with Jesus Christ. “Give ear, O, ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord; ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of His children; they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not He thy Father, that hath bought thee? Hath He not made thee and established thee?” [Deuteronomy 32:1-6.] 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 40

I lay down my pen and lift up my soul to God in prayer, that the Lord would breathe upon His backslidden people, which are as the dry bones, and they shall live. The end is near, stealing upon us so stealthily, so imperceptibly, so noiselessly, like the muffled tread of the thief in the night to suddenly surprise the sleepers who are off guard, and unready. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 41

May the Lord grant to bring His Holy Spirit to bear upon all hearts that now are at ease, that they may no longer sleep as do others, but watch and be sober. Who will consent, even now, after waiting and wasting much of your lifetime, to give your will, as clay is given into the hands of the potter, and to co-operate with God in becoming in His hands a vessel molded unto honor. Oh, how passive must be the clay in the hands of the potter! How susceptible to receive divine impressions! Standing in the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, no earthly or selfish motive is suffered to live, for if you give it place, you cannot be renewed in the divine image. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 42

The Spirit of Truth must sanctify the soul; it will inspire and it will govern all the life and character. No outward worker may have power over the clay; otherwise, the vessel is marred in unskilled hands and is good for nothing. God is perfect, and said Christ, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] He designs, and has made every provision, to make every creature like Himself, unless man, by his perverse will and earthly, selfish spirit, will not accept the grace so richly provided, and resists His will. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 43

The greatness of this work, which if completed, will bring even the thoughts into captivity to Christ, is beyond our finite comprehension; but thus it will be. Then it is wisdom on our part to cease from putting dependence upon our own works. We must let God work for us. Is there any excellency that appears in our character or in our conduct which originated with the finite human feelings? No, it is all from God, the great center or expression of the power of the potter over the clay. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 44

February 19

Malaria still strong upon me; and I am suffering still with rheumatism, but not quite as severe as it has been. I spoke last Sabbath to a houseful. [I] was carried to the place of meeting in the arms of Willie, and Brother Stockton. Fannie still goes on crutches. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 45

I [received your letter] stating you have the manuscripts I have sent to Elder McC_____. I hope you will not leave California, for they need you there now [words missing]. May the Lord bless you and give you heavenly wisdom, is my prayer. I left this letter, thinking I could write to you more fully, but a great weakness came over me, and I have been unable, for one week, to use my arm or my brain before today. The pain at the base of brain warns me to be careful. My heart has been giving me some trouble. Be of good courage in the Lord. Faint not nor be discouraged. God lives and reigns. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 46

Your sister in Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 16e, 1892, par. 47