Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 112, 1897

Steed, Brother; Haskell, S. N.; Farnsworth, Brother

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 18, 1897

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brethren Steed, Haskell, and Farnsworth:

I am very sorry to write you that which I feel it to be my duty to write in reference to Brother and Sister Lawrence. We know you will be disappointed. We expected that they would be the right kind of help in Gisborne, that they would be efficient in religious meeting, and would encourage and strengthen others. We now have positive evidence that they would prove a failure. Their habits are fixed; their lives are narrow and self-centered. They have not educated themselves to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 1

We know that Brother Lawrence cannot take charge of any church interest, either to speak or to hold Bible readings. From his own lips I learned that he has not the qualifications necessary for one who leads meetings. He is so dull and slow and tedious that if he should attempt to lead, he would be of no benefit. With regard to his wife, I really think she is not in her right mind. She must be unbalanced. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 2

Therefore, by request, I write you this. I send you these copies that you shall not in any wise be misled. You cannot be more disappointed than we have been in this matter. Where the missionary work done by Brother and Sister Lawrence shall come in remains to be seen. Sister Lawrence seldom speaks in meeting, and then it is only a very few words. She asked me if it would not be best for her just to read a verse in the Bible in meeting, and say nothing. She has a very large gift of talking upon unimportant, temporal matters, but her tongue is not educated or disciplined to be a witness for Jesus Christ. She talked at random last Sabbath in meeting, when we hoped there would be a break. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 3

Brother Lawrence did his duty. The Holy Spirit is working upon his mind. He sees some things, but they are like “men as trees walking.” [Mark 8:24.] He has many things to see in an altogether different light. His life has been narrowed down to small items. He has not expanded or ennobled under the influence of truth. The word given to me was, Brother Lawrence is parsimonious. The dictionary will give you the meaning of this word. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 4

Brother Lawrence and Brother Shannon have both watched for the mistakes made by Brother Hare. The mill business has been a problem and an expense, yet we have not felt that it could be given up, for it is impossible to get lumber except from Sydney or Newcastle, and then it costs much. The mill machinery has not been of sufficient force to carry all parts of the work. I cannot explain this, as I have not had any conversation with Brother Hare. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 5

I will explain other matters in another letter. Brother Haskell, we need you here without delay. I have carried the burden as long as I can. Brother Lawrence may be saved if he can have help now. The Lord is working with Brother Lawrence. But he needs help from some one else besides me, one who understands business lines. I was much in hopes of Brother Lawrence, but his wife is a great talker, and she would confuse his mind, and cause him to return to his old lines of working and dealing. She is pharisaical. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 6

In the night season I was in a little company, and Brother and Sister Lawrence were there. One, the Lord’s Watcher, our Counsellor, came into our midst, and laying his hand on Brother Lawrence’s shoulder, said, “You will not see His face, (Revelation 22:4), unless you realize that you are parsimonious.” The dictionary gives the meaning, close, covetous. You will not know what this means without a thorough conversion, in your maxims and in your customs and in every phase of your character. “And there shall be no more curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him.” [Verse 3.] Have you not served your own personal interest all your life? But a little period of your probation remains. You have not a moment now to lose. If you lose heaven, you lose everything. Those who serve God, and love Him supremely, and their neighbor as themselves, perform the principles of the law of God. They keep the first four, and the last six commandments. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 7

“And they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads, and there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.” [Verses 4, 5.] 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 8

All who are saints in heaven will first be saints upon the earth, in connection with the human family. This will be their test—to love God with their whole heart, mind, and strength, and their neighbors as themselves. This has not been done by you. You plan and figure for yourself, and in this you have forsaken the counsel of God. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 9

I have written in haste a part of what I have. I must have Brother Haskell here. I never should have been left alone as I have been. 12LtMs, Lt 112, 1897, par. 10