Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

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Lt 28, 1895

Haskell, S. N.

Norfolk Villa, Granville, N. S. W., Australia

June 25, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in VSS 402-403; 4Bio 259. +Note

Elder S. N. Haskell
Africa

Dear Brother:

I am informed that the mail for Capetown leaves today. I cannot write you a lengthy letter, but will send you copies of matter that I have written to others. Since I came from Tasmania, I have had a tremendous tax in preparing personal matter for persons at Battle Creek and at other places, and in speaking to the churches. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 1

While in Tasmania, we stopped at the home of Brother and Sister Lacey, who with their large family will move to Cooranbong in a few weeks in order that they may have the advantages of the school. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 2

In writing to Battle Creek my mind has been deeply stirred in regard to the way that finite men have been working out their own will and judgment, and have sought to enforce their opinions upon those who have had experience in the things of God far in advance of what they themselves have. It has been clearly revealed to me that God is not made manifest in this masterly managing ability. I have been drawn out to write very plain things. I do not know how it will be taken, but I could not hold my peace. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 3

On June 8 I spoke in the hall at Petersham. The hall was filled with brethren and sisters from Sydney and suburbs. We have had tents pitched at Petersham, Ashfield, and Canterbury. The Lord gave me a most solemn message for the people, and we had a most excellent testimony meeting. There were souls there who were in the valley of decision, and the next Sunday eight of them went forward in baptism. The outside ministers are filled with a spirit of opposition and intense hatred against the truth. They are stirred by the powers from beneath, and our people have to meet the agent of the enemy, who works in the children of disobedience, and have to breast an opposition that is full of satanic frenzy because of the work that has been and is going forward in and about Ashfield and Petersham. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 4

The last place in which the tent has been pitched has been at Canterbury. The people of this suburb were most ignorant of the Scriptures, and were wholly irreligious. They were not church-going people. For some reason they had no confidence in churches or ministers. The tent has only been pitched a few weeks in Canterbury, but an interest has been awakened that is deep and abiding, though the number that attend the meetings is not large. Nine precious souls have embraced the truth in Canterbury. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 5

Last Sabbath I spoke in Parramatta. The Lord has been giving me His Holy Spirit in rich measure, and I had a message for the church. I called for those who desired to give themselves wholly to the Lord to come forward, and quite a number responded. Our labors continued from eleven o’clock until past two o’clock, but there was good accomplished. But, O, what a task it is to try to lift a church whose individual members do not experience daily conversion! It nearly takes every particle of strength that is in me. The same work has to be done again and again, because the church members do not live in Christ, do not meditate on His Word, and [they] walk apart from Him. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 6

I have far greater influence and much better success in working for unbelievers, however ignorant they may be, than I have in working for those who know the truth and are not being sanctified through the truth. But we are not to fail nor be discouraged. That which I grieve over is the fact that the Lord Jesus is dishonored and that many will lose eternal life, because they do not seek heaven with earnestness, and Satan finds their hearts ready to respond to his temptations. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 7

On Sunday June 23 I spoke under the tent at Canterbury. A general meeting had been appointed, and many of our people were present from Ashfield, Sydney, and Petersham. Several souls were convinced of the truth who had not fully decided to obey. As I entered the desk I could not seem to fasten my mind upon any subject upon which to speak, but as soon as I rose to my feet, everything was clear, and the text given me was the question of the lawyer to Christ, “What shall I do that I may have eternal life?” [Luke 10:25.] The power of God came upon me, and the truth of God was presented by His human agent in a most clear and powerful [way]. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 8

Elder Corliss said that he had heard me speak under almost every circumstance for the last forty years, but that this was the most powerful discourse he had ever heard me give. I seemed to be lifted up and away from myself. It was the Lord’s Spirit that came upon me, and to His name be all the glory. In my next letter to you, I will give the substance of what was spoken. After the discourse we spent about one hour in social meeting. The testimonies borne were excellent, and our meeting closed, leaving a most favorable impression upon the minds of those who were hesitating at the cross, and wondering how they should make a living if they accepted the truth. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 9

Our meeting began at three p.m., and it was nearly dark before we were seated in our platform wagon, drawn by two colts, to begin our homeward journey, a distance of twelve miles. We had in our wagon W. C. White, wife and two children, myself, and Sister Fannie Bolton. Besides attending meetings we had traveled twenty-seven miles during the day, and I returned home very weary. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 10

Next morning I rose about three o’clock and wrote about ten pages. At half past eight, in company with W. C. White and his wife, I was on my way to Brother Corliss’ house to meet with our ministers and workers. At the meeting we had every worker tell what he had been doing and what had been the result of his labors. It was a very interesting recital. After this we counseled together in regard to entering Sydney itself. The dearth of means seemed to be our greatest hindrance. It is expensive to enter halls, and difficult to obtain them, for there are many religious meetings that are held in the cheap halls. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 11

We cannot tell how the matter will develop; but we will trust in the living God, and make a trial of working in Sydney. He can open up the way for us. Then we counseled concerning the matter of working in the suburbs of Sydney where the interest is only developing in some places, and in other places there is need of having decided labor in order to bind off the work that has been done so that it shall not ravel out. We decided to hold fast to the suburbs, and to make a beginning in Sydney also. This will require diligent work. We decided that we would publish two of the discourses that are given in thus opening the work. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 12

One discourse will be printed in the Echo, and the workers will try to sell the paper, and the other discourse will be published in sheet form and given away from house to house. Thus the words of the living preacher will be communicated by the silent messengers, and it is hoped that hundreds who do not come to the meetings will have the subject matter of the discourse brought before them. The matter of meeting the expense for the hall was next considered. W. C. White and myself had consulted concerning this matter and had decided that for three months I would be responsible for the hall rent. After this we shall be able to decide how far we can afford to work the city of Sydney where Satan’s seat is. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 13

We then talked of the preparation we need as laborers. We spoke of the necessity of heart being bound up with heart. No laborer whom God is using is to stand apart from his fellow laborer, and criticize him because he does not labor in exactly the same way that he does. It is not God’s plan for one to set himself off in one corner of the vineyard and think that that is his special plot to work, and that no one else is to enter it. We are not all after the same mold of character, and it would be the greatest of misfortunes if we were all alike. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 14

We have our own individuality, and must work in our own armor. But at the same time we must be very careful that we do not cherish the idea that we cannot make any improvement in our manner of labor, and resent suggestions that may be made to us as to improving our ways and manner of labor. Let no worker entertain the thought that because the Lord counsels him through another worker, pointing out more successful methods of labor than his own, that he is not appreciated, and that he must labor by himself, in order to carry out his own ways. The Lord would have His laborers learn one from another, and gather up every ray of light that God has been pleased to impart to [their] fellow workers. “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness to the upright in heart.” [Psalm 97:11.] 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 15

Let no one think that his way of handling an interest is the only perfect way. Each one might have more success in changing their manner of labor in some respects. It is natural for laborers to form habits that may be exchanged for better habits. The Lord will certainly bless those who are willing to learn, who are willing to receive help from others. One man may grasp certain ideas and see light upon certain portions of the Scriptures, and another man may be impressed with other portions. Both are important, and let one be enlightened by the other’s light. This is God’s purpose. The Lord has never designed that every suggestion should be received as though inspired. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 16

God teaches His laborers to be subject one to another, in honor preferring one another. We read the blessed words from the prayer of Christ with profit. He says, “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee. That they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. ... I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” [John 17:19-23, 26.] 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 17

While we should not put a bit and bridle into the mouth of our brethren in order to guide and rule them, yet the Lord would have us manifest confidence and love one for another. He designs that unity shall exist among the brethren. Every man is to look unto Jesus, and to learn of Him, and when this is done, I am sure we shall have respect one for another, and shall manifest confidence one in another. There will be more of the heavenly fragrance in our life, and more sweet harmony among us. Willie spoke with much clearness and wisdom in regard to these things, and I tried to impress upon our brethren that if we would have the Holy Spirit work with us, we must give ourselves into the hands of Christ, and be willing to be hewed, squared, and polished, according to the direction of the Master Builder. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 18

We are God’s building, and we want the most excellent timber brought into our characters. If it is left for us to make the selection, we shall be anything but a symmetrical temple. We need to submit to God, in order that we may be rightly impressed. Brother Hare led in prayer, and the Spirit of the Lord indited the petition. We need not doubt this at all, for his own heart was softened and subdued. The melting mercy and love of God was among us. After several had prayed, I felt drawn out in more earnest supplication, and prayed that the Lord would bind heart to heart among the workers and remove from every soul all suspicion and distrust one of another so that our love might be without dissimulation. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 19

We thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice for the good spirit of the meeting which we had. Some made acknowledgments as to their lack of confidence in some of our ministering brethren; but expressed themselves as glad that we had had this meeting, saying, “I have been helped and blessed, and I now feel different in regard to these things.” It was then decided that we should have another meeting next Sunday, similar to that of last Sunday’s gathering, and hold it in Ashfield. The subject for consideration will be the building of a church in Ashfield. Willie, his family, and myself had decided to leave Granville for Cooranbong next Wednesday, but the brethren insisted that I must be with them in the general meeting for Sunday, and speak to them on Sunday afternoon. Of course, you know that I could not please myself and carry out our plans of going to Cooranbong when duty pointed the other way. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 20

The brethren at Ashfield have put forth every effort to find a hall where they could hold meetings on Sabbath and Sunday. But no hall is available, and there is no alternative but to build a plain, neat meeting house in this suburb, where those who have embraced the truth in the vicinity may be accommodated. You see, my brother, that this means more expenditure of money; but we cannot tell from what source it may come. I may be able to hire a few thousand dollars in America. Those who have embraced the truth will do their utmost; but we cannot expect any help from the other churches that have been raised up in this colony. The people are in a poverty-stricken condition, and I have to help several families in their extreme want. The Lord does not require that which cannot be provided. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 21

At the present time I am supporting three laborers in the field, paying to each $7 per week. Brother Collins has a family of four; Brother Pallant has himself, his wife, his child, and his father and mother to help support; Brother and Sister Belden have only themselves, but they are constantly assisting others. These brethren cannot sustain themselves. The expense of food and rent eat up all the little wages that they receive. I am doing the best I can for them. They must not go out of this part of the Lord’s moral vineyard. They are doing a good work in awakening an extensive interest by giving Bible readings and holding meetings in different localities. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 22

Brother Haskell, will you inform me whether I can hire the use of a couple of thousand dollars without interest or by paying a small interest? I would be so glad for the use of the money to advance the work at this crisis. I have pledged myself to create a fund for the working of Sydney, and I want all the help that I can get from different sources. The Lord has means for us from some source. I ask you to lay this matter before our brethren in Africa. Let them take the matter to the Lord and ask His counsel, and He will answer their prayers. If they will give this amount, or lend it to me at low interest, I will be greatly relieved. This I send to you in the name of the Lord. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 23

Whenever you need the means you have placed in my hands, will you let me know, for I shall certainly raise it for you. I am surprised that you have not called upon me for it before this. I have invested it in the cause of God, it has served a good purpose, and I know you may consider that it is out to the exchangers. It will be put into your hands whenever you shall call for it. I again extend my invitation to you to come to this field whenever your work is done; your work must not be cut short in Africa. America does not need you as much as Africa does. 10LtMs, Lt 28, 1895, par. 24