Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 71, 1897

Haskell, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 5, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

Sister Wilson has been conversing with me in reference to Sister Robertson. I cannot advise Sister Robertson to go to Western Australia. I had a conversation with Brother Robert Hare in regard to this matter; but that night instruction was given me to watch for souls as they that must give account. There is need of constant discernment. We need the quickening, vivifying influence of the Holy Spirit, that makes every one in the service of God wise unto salvation. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 1

No haphazard work must be done. To every human being is given a work in personal labor for God. The varied trusts are proportionate to our varied capabilities. Every member of the church is in possession of some trust, some talent, to be used in the service of God. From the lowliest and most obscure to the highest, in the church and in the world, all are entrusted with the goods of heaven, physical, moral, and spiritual. Time, reason, unimpaired intellect, the tender ministry to which some are adapted, these are the gifts of God. None are to make light of the smallest gift. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 2

Some are better fitted for a certain work than others. Therefore the conclusion should not be reached that every one can be a canvasser. Some are so constituted that if they took up this work, they would make a most miserable track wherever they should go. Others are willing, but have no special adaptability for special lines of work. They are not to be set down as faithless and unwilling. The Lord is not unreasonable in His requirements. The church is as a garden in which are a variety of flowers, each one with peculiarities of their own. They are all plants and flowers, but they are different in appearance. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 3

God does not expect that with their varied temperaments His people will be prepared for any and every place. Some can fill one place, while another can do service in another place, while he could not do the work someone else could aptly do. Therefore, let us all remember that there are varied trusts. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 4

In regard to Sister Robertson, if the Lord has marked out her course to the distant field of Western Australia, she will have light in regard to her duty. Sister Robertson is of a peculiar turn of mind. At times a depression comes upon her that makes her wild. Her imagination becomes highly wrought upon. She is then in despair and has little faith for herself. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 5

Those who go to Western Australia should have health, both of mind and body. Flattering inducements should not be presented to Sister Robertson in regard to nursing in Western Australia, with prospects of high wages. The journey to that place will cost her quite a sum, and if she has not the courage and strength to take up the work and carry it through under disadvantageous circumstances, she will be disappointed. She has a delicate constitution, both in mind and body. She could not endure a rough life. She could not endure the responsibilities that would necessarily come upon her. Then her unbelieving friends would make it unpleasant for those who encouraged her to take these responsibilities. Tests are to be made in this case. God will take this sister under His own care if she will submit to His guidance and not be in a hurry. This is the light given to me in regard to the case of our sister. I do not feel it wise to encourage her to go to Western Australia. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 6

In regard to the workers in Sydney, those who are strong and well may do a good work. But I think they should be paid a stated sum, as is any other intelligent worker in others lines of the work. If those at the head of the work are willing to risk everything and walk by faith, they may require it of the workers. If they will risk the price they require for the board of the workers, they may ask the workers to risk something. But to require a certain sum for board, bringing no faith into this matter, and then ask the workers to exercise faith, is not right. Pay the workers a decided sum to meet their living expenses, that there may be equity and justice. In no case accept workers that are not trustworthy. But do not allow the inexperienced workers to do all the sacrificing and all the walking by faith. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 7

I have in mind some workers that labored hard in Melbourne, selling papers and giving Bible readings. All acknowledged that they did a good work. By one young woman’s labor several were brought into the truth. But while there were men teachers who were decided as to what they should do, there were not many who acted as fathers. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 8

These girls came to the Ashfield camp meeting in a most destitute condition in regard to clothing. They were not tidily or becomingly clad. Why did not those in charge of the work where these girls were working act as fathers and mothers to them, and show their faith by loving their neighbor as themselves? Some of our sisters had abundance of clothing for themselves. They could have bought less for themselves and expended some money on their destitute sisters. But while these girls were doing hard work, wearing out their clothing and shoeleather, there were those who did not work one half as hard, and who had not the motherly solicitude or the sisterly discernment to see the necessities of their sisters, and love them as they loved themselves. Pride compassed some about as a garment in regard to their outward appearance. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 9

These girls were doing a good work, but it could be seen that they were becoming more and more destitute of clothing. Their brethren and sisters needed to have the selfishness cut away from their hearts. They needed that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 10

I made inquiry, and found that these sisters were in a destitute condition. Then I began to understand how those who had been giving these sisters instruction had neglected to see that they were well cared for. We had to purchase clothing and shoes for these girls before they were respectable or comfortable. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 11

Blessed are the eyes that see the necessities of others as well as their own. I have become thoroughly distressed over the methods that lead some to leave others to exercise faith, while they close their eyes, that they may not see the faith that works by love, which they themselves should have. Let us do straightforward work, for the light which the Lord gave me in regard to those who so manifestly neglected their duty toward these sisters was that they neglected the Lord Jesus in the person of His saints, and the blessing of God could not rest upon such neglect. The whole principle was wrong from the first arrangement. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 12

The Lord has not appointed men who will leave matters at such loose ends, to carry responsibilities. The Lord deals not with partiality. But with men, while some are rewarded abundantly for their work, others, regarded by God, are left in uncertainty. Those with whom they are connected have not interest in them to investigate the cases of the individual workers, to see if they are receiving sufficient to supply their individual necessities. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 13

The Lord Jesus has a special interest in every member of His family. Those who follow Him and are entrusted with a special line of work are to be as carefully and interestedly looked after by those at the head of the work as if they were members of their own family. It is this careless neglect and unfulfilled daily duties toward those who are doing service in the love of Christ that brings the displeasure of God upon His stewards. He cannot impart His Spirit to these neglectful ones. He will arraign them before His bar, saying, “I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. ... Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” [Matthew 25:42, 43, 45.] 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 14

We have had great light, great privileges, great opportunities to learn of the ways and works and attributes of Christ. We are left without excuse if we fail in our duty to our brethren and sisters who need encouragement in word and action to strengthen their faith. We glorify God when, by acts of self-denial, kindness and mercy toward our brethren and sisters, we show that we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. In this we show the work of the Spirit of Christ upon our hearts. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 15

The living Christian is not absorbed in self. Neither does he take a fancy to certain persons, praising and exalting them, while he leaves others just as deserving out of his notice. The true Christian constantly endeavors to glorify God by his unselfish traits of character. He bears a living testimony to those who are observing his deportment that he is looking unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of his faith, and that by beholding he is becoming changed into His likeness, that His goodness, wisdom, mercy, love, and tender sympathy is being woven into his practice. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 16

How thankful we should be that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, character, (the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. “Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [John 1:14, 16.] This means that as we receive grace, we are to bestow the same upon those with whom we associate cheerfully employing all our powers and capabilities in God’s service. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 17

Those who cultivate the false motives and spurious principles, which make an appearance only of kindness and charity and love, need to be converted and baptized by the Holy Spirit. Goodness in appearance only counts nothing with God, who reads the secrets of every heart. The converting power of God must cleanse the heart of its love of pretense, love of praise and applause, which excites to action. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 18

The worker for God must have a sense of his duty toward his Maker and a firm, pure, loving spirit of obedience to the precepts of Jehovah, because he loves them. They are the truth which abideth forever. But if these principles are neglected, the workers are not provoked to holy endeavor and sincere love one for another. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 19

God sees not as man sees. He looks at the disposition of the heart, from which the actions flow. But into every institution in our world, under the supervision of those who claim to believe the most solemn message ever given to our world, has come the leaven of selfishness. In lines that some least suspect, this spirit is leaving its impressions of partiality and selfishness. God cannot bless the workers as He longs to do, because by their course of action they separate themselves from Him. In some lines the work of God has become tinged with selfishness. The influence of this sin is destroying the love that Christ has commanded we cherish for one another. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 20

Pure religion is a rare jewel. It is because it is so rare that the Holy Spirit’s operations in their quickening efficiency are not seen upon human hearts. Its holy aims are sure to bring the human agent into sacred, covenant relation with God. When in Christ he becomes linked with God. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 21

The work to be accomplished in Sydney must be carried on in right methods, else in the name of the Lord I will raise my voice in protest. I will not stand unmoved while things go wrong in our institutions and while laborers are employed upon no settled basis, so that they are made subject to want, and are therefore tempted and subject to be swayed from the truth. One thread of selfishness must not be woven into our plans and methods of doing service for God. We are not to seek for the success of certain actions, caring not from what principle they flow. God looks directly at the very heart of every purpose. We must arise and expel the enemy, in whatever form he may come, that those who in susceptibility and discernment are blinded, shall not, by evil suggestions, lead minds away from purity of action. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 22

Silent envy is to be guarded against. God condemns secret slander and injurious surmises. Undue self-esteem is certain to bring the sure result. God humbles the man. God, who seeth and readeth the heart, will judge every man’s work of what sort it is. He only is safe who keeps the Lord ever before him, whose constant plea is, “Search me, O Lord, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked thing in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” [Psalm 139:23, 24.] 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 23

I can write no more on this point. What I have written I know you will harmonize with. I have had an experience which has burned its way into my soul. I am unable to write more now, but I shall write on these subjects more fully. I pray the Lord that many souls who have peace in their present religious state may be stirred to inquire, What manner of persons ought we to be if we would be prepared for the coming of the Son of Man, who shall judge every man’s work, and reward every man as his work shall be? 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 24

In love. 12LtMs, Lt 71, 1897, par. 25