Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 70, 1897

Haskell, S. N.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 3, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 227; 4Bio 289-290, 315. +Note

Elder S. N. Haskell
57 Tory St.
Wellington, New Zealand

Dear Brother:

I am sending you copies of letters that I have written under discouraging circumstances. My left eye is quite weak. I think it is because I have had so little sleep. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 1

Yesterday, for the first time since my return, I spoke in the chamber above the mill. It is a very trying place. The room was full, and I spoke decidedly of what was expected of those who come to this place. Brother Shannon has done a work here that he will not be proud to own in the judgment. He does not know what spirit he is of. The work of Brother Lawrence also, taken as a whole, will not secure to him a reward in this life nor in the life to come. I hoped he would move off, but I believe he is preparing to remain. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 2

We had to have the little house where the twins were born for Willie’s family. It is not large enough, and we proposed to build a kitchen and veranda to the old house. But we found that this would cost £14, according to the builder’s estimate. With some addition to this amount, I can build two rooms fifteen by fifteen to the small building, but without a decided joining. These two rooms can be so built, as regards foundation, that if Willie builds across the road from our cottage, we can move them to the ground selected, and thus every stroke put on this work will be so much of the house building done. We shall have to wait to hear from Willie as to whether he can dispose of his house, and put the money into a cottage to accommodate his family. But the two rooms must be built, and this may answer their purpose without any more building until money comes to warrant the expense. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 3

We have had a great time in reference to Brother Semmens and the establishment of the Health Home. Through prejudice because of our faith, he could not get the houses he had hoped to procure. But recently these large houses have both been offered him, one at one hundred and twenty pounds per annum. This was the largest building but it was old, and had been added to, and its appearance led us to fear that the leprosy might be in the house, so we turned from it. The next place was on higher ground, and although it did not stand so open and alone, it had a large back yard, running through to the next street. There are fruit trees on the place full of apricots and nectarines. The rooms of the house seem wholesome. One hundred and thirty pounds per year was asked for this, but they threw off ten pounds, and they must pay the taxes. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 4

Brother Semmens accepted this, and he and his family have already moved in. The workmen are fitting up the rooms. As he had no money, I furnished him with twenty-five pounds to make a beginning. The house is within five minutes’ walk of the station. This is a convenience, for there will be less money paid out in cab fare. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 5

Brother Baker and family are accommodated with two rooms, for which they pay ten shillings. I have hired one room, which I shall fit up, and for which I pay four shillings. I have hired this room so that when our ministering brethren shall pass through, and stop over night, they will have this room to lodge in, and pay their board to Brother Semmens. Brother Semmens pays ten shillings for two rooms for his family. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 6

You inquire about school buildings. (Dropped asleep.) The first building is progressing well. We have heard of no trouble. The roof is on, and everything moves satisfactorily. I have just written to Sister James for the loan of some money. I meant to have sent before, but other things came in demanding immediate attention, so it was allowed to pass. I shall send [it] on tomorrow morning. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 7

On Sabbath I spoke in the chamber above the mill, but fear greatly that I shall not be able to do this much. It did appear so badly. We had the room full; but there was, well, I need hardly describe it—almost everything but money. I am fully decided that we must have a meetinghouse. Those who assemble can hardly keep their eyes open, so oppressive is the atmosphere. I did not suffer, for I had the wind blowing upon me while I spoke; but the people did not get much air. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 8

I have just written a line to Brother Anderson, telling him that it is not in his line of work to teach the people, for he lacks the faculty to communicate, and should not deceive himself by working in a line for which he has no vocation. He has a dry, spiritless way of presenting the truth, and is very tedious. He is the Brother Anderson who was on Norfolk Island; but he is not called and chosen of God to be a teacher, and never will be fitted for such work. I advised him to take up some other line of work rather than engage in the work of teaching the truth when he could not communicate his ideas in a manner to interest the hearers. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 9

Now, Brother Haskell, I know it is the duty of some one to be in New South Wales. Brother Baker has a knowledge of the truth, but he is so very moderate. He does not make decided points, and call up the people to advance. With others to help him, he could do much more effective work, for they would be efficient where he would fail. I am distressed at the situation. There is need of workers in the various places all around, but more especially in Sydney. If you should decide to visit Africa again, some time should be spent in Cooranbong and Sydney. I cannot carry the heavy load of writing, and also of speaking. I must not put in so much labor. I came very nearly dying this last sickness, and I am afraid to venture. I would be willing to go and connect with yourself, or some one who would take the brunt, and I come in when I can, and bear my testimony. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 10

I want your help here in New South Wales. What a dearth there is! There is only Herbert Lacey, and he needs to be urged forward. After spending three hours in the hardest kind of labor yesterday, he came this morning to see if I would not speak at Dora Creek. I no sooner begin in my feebleness than work is piled on me in abundance. If the Lord will give me strength, I will do all that I possibly can. I am praying day and night for the restoration of my eyes, and they are improving. I am of good courage in the Lord. I would not urge you out of your path of duty. If you feel that the Lord has work for you to do in New Zealand, then I will cease my urging; if not, come back as soon as you feel free to do so. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 11

We were glad to hear from you, but I was so wrought up to write the matter enclosed, that I could not get off the writing I wished to send you on the last boat. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 12

Why are we so weak in faith? Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction, by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God as one family, sons and daughters of God. Genuine faith is life, and where there is life there is growth. The life which Jesus imparts cannot but grow more and more abundantly. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power. He who drinks of the water of life which Jesus gives possesses within himself a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Though it shall be cut off from all created springs, it is fed from the hidden fountain. It is a perpetual spring, in immediate communication with the inexhaustible fountain of life. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 13

The Lord is dishonored when any who profess His name have an emptiness. This misrepresents God. Nothing but Christ manifested in spirit and life and character can reveal God to a world that knows Him not. The soul renewed in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent demonstrates its divine fulness in a living, growing experience—even the fulness of Him that filleth all things. 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 14

The lifeless, professed believer is not a Christian, for such give to the world no correct representation of the Author of truth and holiness. We must have the working of the Holy Spirit, which Christ declares “shall glorify me.” [John 16:14.] We are so faithless, so unbelieving, that the Lord cannot do for us those things which He longs to do. There are doubts in our minds that are very saddening and very difficult to dispel. These doubts that bow down the soul we should each one bravely face, and tell the soul that we must conquer them at once. Make no delay, for there can be no peace where faith is lost. We need not express these doubts, for they may cause some poor soul to stumble. But examine them in the light of God’s Word, then talk them over with Jesus with His Word of promise in your hand, and pray for their removal. Tell the Lord, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” [Mark 9:24.] 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 15

Let not doubt be placed in a comfortable, easy chair. It is a dangerous guest when it is left to rankle in the mind and counteract faith. Come to the great Healer and plead, “I cast my helpless soul on thee. I have the promise, ‘The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way.’” [Psalm 25:9.] 12LtMs, Lt 70, 1897, par. 16