Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 25, 1894

Haskell, S. N.

“Norfolk Villa,” Prospect St., Granville, New South Wales, Australia

August 3, 1894

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother:

I received your letter, and was glad to hear that yourself, Brother Smith, and his companion Wilton, were in usual health. We have had a remarkably mild winter in New South Wales. It is now midwinter, and for a few weeks past the weather has been a little colder than usual; but we have had no rain in this section. We have been in our new home, which is a large two story house, for five weeks, and we shall be very glad to welcome you, Brother Smith, and Wilton, or any of our American brethren to our home. We certainly think that you should not return to America without visiting Australia and New Zealand. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 1

We are much better pleased with this country than we were with Melbourne and vicinity. We have seldom been obliged to kindle a fire. Fruit is cheap in the market. Last week oranges were sold in the market for nine pence a bushel. Farmers get so little for their fruit that they are not paid for their trouble in cultivating, picking, and preparing their products for the market. At Kellyville there are many orange, lemon, and mandarin orchards. They also cultivate passion fruit and persimmons. Fruit is abundantly cultivated in this section, and as a consequence, the markets are glutted in fruit season, and the fruit growers receive very little in return for their labor and expenditure. This makes money very scarce. If the fruit brought in a good price, it would be very much better for the farmers. If they cultivated grains and vegetables, as well as fruit, there would be some prospect of better times for them; but they do not make the best use of their land in cultivating that which would bring most profit to them. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 2

We have purchased fifteen hundred acres of land on which we hope to locate our school. All who have visited the place are much pleased with it. Elder Wilson, Elder Corliss, and Brother Teasdale visited the school grounds this week, and were highly delighted with the location. Bro. Rousseau is to visit the ground next week. I intend to make my home on the school ground, and if possible save expense by so doing. It now costs me $155 per month to pay my rent, and board my workers. House rent is a little less than six dollars per week. This sum of expense does not include the expenditure for horse and carriage, firewood, and oil. So you see it would be far better for me to go to some place where I could either board for myself, or live with less expense than I can here. The grounds upon which the school is to be located can be cultivated so as to produce good crops. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 3

At present I am not able to write much on The Life of Christ. There is much other work to do. Letters of appeal constantly come in to me from persons who are in want and under oppression. Some make complaints even of hunger, and many think that the conference does not treat them in a Christian manner. O, how long shall we have these things to meet? The Lord does not bring oppression, it is another power that makes souls cry out to Him for redress with tears and woe. Oppression of brethren by their brethren is a consequence that results from the action of those who are unsanctified in mind and heart, and thus brother wounds brother, but the Lord will judge for all these things. I am not able to sleep at night because I am called upon to ponder over the painful thought that wrong is practiced by brother upon brother, and actions are performed that are inconsistent with our faith. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 4

How can those who profess to believe the truth, practice oppression, when they know that every work will be brought into judgment? O, the hardness of the human heart! How it grieves me, and causes me to weep between the porch and the altar, and to cry, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.” [Joel 2:17.] Selfishness and stubbornness of heart, avarice and covetousness prevail to an alarming extent. Robbery is found even in the courts of the Lord’s house. Those who are engaged in the most sacred work pollute the temple, so that the courts are in need of cleansing. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 5

Were Christ upon the earth, the indignation of His soul would be made manifest in the same manner as when He was in the temple at Jerusalem. Divinity would flash through humanity, and with a voice of authority, He would exclaim, “Take these things hence.” “It is written, My house should be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” [John 2:16; Matthew 21:13.] As Christ wept over Jerusalem, He saw not merely the retributive judgment of God about to fall upon that apostate nation, but His prophetic eye beheld Jerusalem as a type of the whole world, and He saw in her inhabitants those who professed godliness from her day to ours, and who practiced the evil doings of the ungodly. The seething rebukes that fell upon Jerusalem are applicable to all those who practice injustice, who are greedy of gain, and who feel at liberty to oppress their fellow men. They also are they who have despised His counsels, who have desecrated His temple court, and who, if they do not repent, will meet the retribution of God. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 6

Jesus Christ is to be our pattern in everything. We are ever to look to Him and imitate His virtues. God has not withheld His only begotten Son. In His great love for the world, in His great compassion toward sinners He gave Him up freely for us, and laid help upon One who was “mighty to save.” [Isaiah 63:1.] He expects a response from every one who believes in Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. He expects those who love Christ to manifest the same tenderness, sympathy, compassion, and love towards their fellow men as God has manifest toward them. Every species of oppression, every disregard for the want, the suffering, and woe of our fellow men is a manifestation of our ingratitude toward God. Those who do not feel a keen interest in the welfare of others prove themselves unworthy of mercy and compassion and love. Indifference to others misrepresents the character of God, and when it is indulged by those who claim to be serving Him, it brings dishonor to His name. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 7

The promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus. God never fails to keep His promises. Satan works upon the mind of the human agent in such a way as to thwart the will and purpose of God. The enemy works through the inherited and cultivated objectionable traits of character so that God is not honored, faith in His power is not increased, and His name is not magnified. Man interposes himself between God and the souls of his fellow men, and turns aside the mercy and the goodness of God, which should come through His human agents. This is the reason that suffering, want, and woe are so prevalent in our world. But those who have received the riches of the grace of God, who have been blessed with great light from His Word, should manifest great gratitude, and reveal “grace for grace.” [John 1:16.] The hard hearts of men should melt and break; but many forfeit the freedom that God designs they should have, because they fail to make a right use of the blessing that God gives them, and do not bless others. They fail to break every yoke, and to let the oppressed go free. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 8

God has favored human agents, by admitting them into the circle of His divine compassion. Shall any of God’s people insult His love, make of no effect His goodness and mercy by manifesting the spirit and action toward their neighbors that is exactly opposite to that which is Christlike? Christ has manifested great condescension toward us in permitting us to enjoy God’s rich gifts and blessings. But it is expected that we shall mete out to others that which has been measured to us. It is expected that we shall bestow upon our fellow men that which God has bestowed upon us. If we fail to do this the rich grace of God will be removed, and His precious gifts will be bestowed upon those who will make a right use of them. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 9

He who is unmerciful, he who closes his heart to pity and compassion and love, is always working away from Christ’s example and giving unmistakable evidence that he is not fitted for the family of God above. He reaps the result of his own actions in the formation of a character in which are inwoven the attributes of Satan. He is found with a critical exacting spirit, a selfish, hard unimpressable mind, that cannot discern and approve the things that are excellent. He does not represent in character the principles of the love and mercy of God, and there is for him no place in the heavenly courts. As Christians we are to reflect the image of Christ. We are to manifest His meekness, goodness, tender compassion, deep and earnest love. Those who are sons and daughters of God will manifest the Spirit of Christ toward their fellowmen, and as they exercise grace, more grace will be given, even “grace for grace.” [Verse 16.] 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 10

The grace of God has been bestowed upon us in an unlimited degree. All our unfaithfulness toward God is blotted out, all our debts are cancelled, by our Substitute and Surety. But if we do not keep the heart with all diligence, if we do not permit the sweetness of the grace and righteousness of Christ to fill the soul, so that the image of Christ will be reflected in our character and life, the soul will lose the divine impression, and the inheritance of grace will not be for us. We shall represent the character of the adversary and become lifted up in self. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 11

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house, when thou seest the naked that thou coverest him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take way from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.” [Isaiah 58:6-11.] 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 12

Brother Wilson leaves today for Melbourne from this place. Since writing the foregoing, the postman has brought me a card from W. C. White who is in Melbourne. You will be glad to learn that the one thousand dollars has come to the Echo office, and Willie says that he will bring the money with him. I thank the Lord that it has come, for we need it very much. I believe that my pledges are now all paid. [To] my wages from the conference, after paying tithe upon it, I added enough, to pay the $1,000 pledged for the school land. Outstanding debts are being paid so that I shall be out of debt with the exception of the $5,000 that I owe the Review and Herald office. [Omitted on some copies: “You speak of sending me $300 more. Now I beg of you not to do this. I am in debt to you $1200 now, but I shall be able to pay you this money at any time when you shall need it. I am thankful for this $1000 which must go to pay the money that has been borrowed to pay for the school land. We will use the money for a short time.”] We have been terribly hard up for means, and have borrowed money from different persons so that we could pay $5,000 on the land. I think you will feel better now when you see that your efforts to obtain the $1,000 for the cause in this field have not been in vain. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 13

I feel very sad at times when I see how shortsighted are our brethren in America. They only see the necessities that are nigh. I hoped that much would result from Elder Olsen’s visit to this country, but I think that his eyes were holden or that he was deceived by some power, and could not take in the situation as it was. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 14

I hear that there is a dearth of means in the treasury, and this is the reason that two dollars per week have been cut off from my wages, and one dollar per week from Willie’s. But if ever there was a time when the work done deserved all that we receive and more, it has been during the time we have spent in this country. 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 15

Willie has struggled on alone. For about three years he has not seen the faces of his motherless children. He suffers in silence. I often find him weeping. He overworks all the time. He does not spend money in traveling to gratify himself. He denies himself everything in order to use the means as the cause of God demands it. If he keeps on laboring as he has done for years, I fear he will break down and become a physical wreck. He has yoked himself with the care of duty, and nothing can turn him aside from the path of obedience. He keeps himself in the attitude of one who is listening for the Saviour’s voice. “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock.” [Luke 6:47, 48.] 9LtMs, Lt 25, 1894, par. 16