Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 142, 1898

Haskell, Brother and Sister

Balaclava, Victoria, Australia

[March 1, 1898]

Previously unpublished.

My dear Brother Haskell:

I would have you fully understand that I cannot be in harmony with the feelings and attitude of yourself and Sister Haskell in regard to all matters connected with the school. As I consented to give up Sister Peck to the school, when I needed her very much, I had done all that I could do. That last morning before I left for Melbourne was a most painful one to me. Sister Haskell repeating so much, one thing over and over again, confused me. I did not know what it meant. It seemed that I could not interpret it. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 1

That night some things passed before me. I decided there must be a work done for Sister Haskell before God would be pleased with the intents and purposes of the heart. It is too large confidence in herself which will mar the work of God. A representation was presented before me of the spirit that controlled her. The feelings that have been cherished in reference to W. C. White were not endorsed of God. The little respect shown to him and his work is not justifiable in this case, any more than it is justifiable in the case of others who have been reproved for their attitude toward Elder Haskell. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 2

W. C. White has not had a spirit of self-righteousness. This is not his weakness. He has simply tried to do his work as a faithful Christian, as one whom the Lord has used from his youth up. Elder Haskell has felt that W. C. White was against him, because he did not voice all his ideas and plans in America. Brother Haskell was not correct in his ideas in some things, and there were expressions made by W. C. White in the matter, which were perfectly correct; but Brother Haskell had taken things wrong, and this matter as he interpreted it, and had hung it in memory’s hall to call up and behold it and ponder over it when he was under temptation. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 3

But the Lord has revealed to me that he would not have W. C. White placed in the position in which you regard him, and in which Brother and Sister Hughes regard him. Neither would He be pleased for W. C. White to give up his own judgment to Brother Haskell and Sister Haskell under the present attitude they assume. God has given him his work, given him judgment, as sound and as correct in the work He has given him to do as the judgment of Brother Haskell and Sister Haskell in their work. The Lord has again and again declared of W. C. White, “I have placed My Spirit upon him, and I will lead him in safe paths if he looks to Me for counsel.” 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 4

There is a test to come upon every soul, and it is whether old hereditary and cultivated tendencies shall obtain the mastery, or whether the Word of the living God shall bear away the victory. Just as surely as God lives and reigns, you have both some things to overcome, else in the end they will overcome you. The Word of God tells you just what you should do, and if you will eat and drink that Word it is spirit, it is life to you. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 5

You accuse W. C. White of influencing me, placing yourself on the very ground, receiving the temptations others have received, and going over the ground others have travelled over. I deny the charge most decidedly. Your own attitude, your own feelings in regard to W. C. White and his work, would discourage some men to death. But he has drawn his soul to his God and the Lord has blessed him greatly. He has kept at the work He has appointed him to do. That does not interfere with or make of none effect the work God has given you to do in connection with the school. The eyes of the mind have not seen things in reference to W. C. White in the correct light. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 6

The Lord has looked upon him and has used him decidedly in His work. He has called him His beloved, because he would not be bought or sold, because he would not be a policy man, because he is true as steel to principle, because he has not a selfish fiber in his character building, because he will place himself in any unfavorable, hard position where he can benefit and advance the work of God, although censured. He has not aimed to stand where he would have been placed as president of conferences, but this he refused. He has walked humbly with his God, and if he has spoken words unadvisedly at any time he would, when he saw this matter, make humble confession. He has not sought in any way to exalt himself. When treated in any way as he ought not to be treated, he has not allowed this to see the light of day, but has kept it to himself. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 7

Knowing him as well as I do, and knowing you both, past, present, and future, as I do, I tell you in the name of the Lord that you are making mistakes in reference to W. C. White. In the name of the Lord I will now seek to set things right, just as verily as I sought to set your case right before those who misunderstood you and did not give you the place and the influence you should have, which God has given you. When your words and your attitude are not favorable toward others as they should have been, even if it is in reference to my own son, I will tear away this veil from your eyes if I can. I am not in harmony with your attitude toward Willie White. I want you both to know that I am not and cannot be, for I know how the Lord regards him. You have not a truer friend in the world than W. C. White. God does not justify your words and your spirit. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 8

The Lord would not have you repeat and go over the same ground that Dr. Kellogg, Elder Butler, and yourself went over [with his father]. It will not have the same influence on W. C. White, because he is not of the same trait of character as his father. While his father was always willing to pardon and forgive, he would misconstrue, the same as you are doing—magnify and misinterpret the spirit and feelings of others, as you are misconstruing the ideas and feelings of W. C. White. God wants you both to stand heart to heart and shoulder to shoulder, but this does not mean that either your own or W. C. White’s judgment or Sister Haskell’s judgment is infallible. You may both make mistakes, but this is not the unpardonable sin. You may err in judgment and the Lord will correct the evil. I am now in a perplexity. I cannot understand what all this means. It is beyond my comprehension. The Lord has opened to me that it is not for His name’s glory that we connect in our work. The perplexities involved would hurt the cause of God. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 9

While Sister Haskell has talents and ability, these talents and ability have been in need of the fragrance and meekness of Christ to make them thoroughly serviceable. There is one line of work that has been strong with Sister Haskell, and that is to discover supposed defects, and to block the wheel. The angels of God present have been grieved at the words spoken to make prominent some trifling difference, to make her opinion distinctive and as possessing superior discernment. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 10

This seeking to stand distinct, as in all things superior in ideas and in judgment, if not overcome, will eventually place her where the Holy Spirit of God cannot work her. There must be a humbling of self. Many words are repeated over and over again to gain some point. Others feel that it was not worth the words so abundantly brought forth, but in her mind they were of value. When the converting power of God comes into that heart, and fashions the mind and character after the divine similitude, there will be far less of self and far more of Christ Jesus. Self-exaltation will be far less. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 11

The words spoken and the position taken in regard to W. C. White’s case have been plainly revealed to be unjust. Incorrect charges have been made and an attitude assumed that was not that which God had inspired. If the ideas and views of both Brother and Sister Haskell had been carried out, W. C. White would have laid off his armor and sunk into nothingness. The Lord has revealed to me that this spirit, which has been a controlling power all through the life of Sister Haskell, that her ideas and plans must prevail as perfect, is not born of God and hurts her usefulness in a degree that she does not realize. God has given her abilities, but He has given others ability and room to work the talents He has given them, which if under the working of God’s Spirit would be a power for good just as much to be appreciated and to find recognition as the talents of Sister Haskell. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 12

We must not pull down one another, to stand at the top. If we are dead, and our life hidden with Christ in God, we shall have His mind and His spirit. Heavenly-mindedness—on what ground is it enforced? Our death to self and resurrection with Jesus Christ. The ambition to be superior and first will be quenched. There will be place made for other gifts and ability and talent. Much heavenly wisdom is needed to guide each one in the difficult way. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 13

Sister Haskell, cease your picking flaws in the plans and methods of others, for you need to consider most carefully, What am I, that I should set myself up as a criterion? I have been grieved at my heart to see your willingness to speak and show your disposition toward W. C. White. Do you suppose I have held my peace because I justified your course of action in these things? No. I thought that things would, and must, come to a true basis soon. Again and again has the matter been presented before me, until now the thoughts are that you may leave for America and the supposition will be that it is because W. C. White and yourselves cannot agree. This is a self-inflicted issue which has not a thread of good in it. It will prove an evil, self-inflicted, injurious, both to yourself and to us, and an injury to the cause of God. I feel that if ever the enemy needs to be cast out, it is right here; and W. C. White and Elder Haskell must come into right relationship as Christian laborers, carrying out in every department of life the spirit and love and tenderness of Christ, which will hallow every relationship of Christian fellowship. God places upon us as workers a solemn charge to be one as He is one with the Father. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 14


March 2

I cannot feel at rest. I am pained. Some things that you propose are not all accepted in a moment as from the lips of one who is infallible. If you would have considered the light the Lord has given you in regard to your impressions, that are not always well founded but which have led you into more trouble than you suppose, you would not be so apt to be going over the same ground again and again, believing the suggestions of the enemy that this brother and that brother is against, and is working to counterwork your supposed wise plans. Then you salt down a large stock of grievances, to refresh your memory by repeating the ill usage you have received. Is there not a possibility of your making a mistake, and that the suggestions of some of your brethren who have had an experience [for] nearly as many years as yourself can be as precious as your own? Is it not possible that they are being led of God and are doing the very work God has fitted them to do? 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 15

There is nothing that is causing you so great suffering as pride of opinion. It has turned you from right channels into wrong many, many times, causing you to turn away from the very help you needed to supply or correct a flaw in your religious life which has caused you just as much suffering as if your imaginary difficulties were real. If you persistently refuse to hear the appeals of the Lord to you on this point you make your friends and yourself very miserable. Is the devil dead, Brother Haskell? Are you so entranced in the sure refuge, Christ Jesus, that you are in no danger? We must have the light which God gives. Your imaginings are not healthful or solid. Satan leads you a chase of his own when you act on the feeling, because your propositions are considered and weighed, that your brethren suppose their opinion, on plans to be laid in some things, may be sound and wholesome. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 16

You must yourself go through a process of education in this matter, else you will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. You will never have a smooth and enjoyable experience until you shall, in nobleness of mind, in generosity of spirit, overcome this great evil of imagination. Because you believe the presentation of Satan, you hurt yourself more than you can possibly hurt others. If others exercise their freedom to express their mind, or any one opposes your work, you are offended. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 17

Your brethren have just as good reason to express their judgment and feelings as you have to express yours, but you repudiate their suggestions, because you suppose your suggestions are without a flaw. It is not right for you to do as you have done. There are suggestions which you think will work wonderfully well, but which, should you try them, would place you in an uncomfortable position. But there is no need of your believing the devil’s lies and making yourself weak when you ought to be strong. When you think your brethren mean to demerit you, it is in many cases because you imagine evil. In some cases, where some have moved unwisely—and yet not more so than you have done in believing falsehoods in the place of truth—has not the Lord vindicated the right in your case? 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 18

Pride of opinion, my brother, is doing you a vast among of evil and is making you wretched. If you will consider that the Lord uses other men in His work to make it a complete work and that He gives them mind and intellect and power of speech as talents to be used, then you will not feel so hurt and your soul so bruised if they do not always voice your opinions. These traits of character have been inherited and cherished, maintained and defended, notwithstanding they are not correct. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 19

Brother Haskell, I now come to you in the name of the Lord to say some things to you. I will not go over the ground, except you desire it, to tell you many things wherein some of your brethren have erred toward you. In doing this I should plainly state some things wherein you have made mistakes and erred. Your past history is not free from many mistakes. Yet the Lord has loved you and entrusted you with responsibilities, and when you are grieved because your enemy the devil put thoughts into your mind, just give the credit where it is due—to his satanic majesty. You can act tenderly and in love toward your brethren, or you can cherish thoughts that they mean to hurt you—and then, though it is all false, you become embittered against them. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 20

There are a few things that have occurred in your lifework which have been wrong—as in the case of Elbert Lane, also D. A. Robinson. These cases differed in their features. Elbert Lane did not follow out the exact program in his work that you designed and purposed he should follow. He acted independently of you and you dropped him and let him have just as hard a time as possible, without giving him your sympathy, without seeking to help him. God saw this and it displeased Him. He could not work with you as He otherwise would have done. And I will not mention some other things. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 21

D. A. Robinson was your mouthpiece and shadow, and God was displeased that his individuality was lost in yourself. You have at times acted a double part—supposedly sustaining one class but at the same time encouraging another class. It was difficult to ascertain your true position. You did not act soundly or healthfully, but the Lord, full of compassion and tenderness and love, has sent you message after message to revive and comfort and strengthen and bless you. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 22

You have at times been exposed to the suggestions of the enemy and have not always stood up boldly, faithfully to act your part in wisdom. You thought to punish others, but every time you have punished yourself more. At the time when the institution at Mount Vernon was calling physicians to that institution you failed in action and Dr. Kellogg severely censured you. You were not clear in that matter, but I urged Dr. Kellogg to write to you a brotherly, comforting letter, and to be in union with you. There are things I will not mention. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 23

There are some few things that have come between you and W. C. White, in the case of your disaffection with Anna Ingals after you were made president of the California Conference. Oh, how much more good you might have done if you had let others’ opinions and others’ judgment been treated with respect! Annie Ingals did faithful, noble service in her work in California. No one could have done better in her place. W. C. White did not harmonize with your judgment in removing her and supplying her place with someone whom you supposed would carry out your ideas. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 24

Your mind, Elder Haskell, is not to work their minds so that their identity will be submerged in you. We must all love as brethren, as Godfearing, God-loving, conscientious, noble, good and charitable Christians. All must reveal a heart susceptible to that love which pervaded the heart, the affections, the life and character of Jesus Christ. All strifes are to be discountenanced. Respect is to be paid to one another. There is the working the mind up into strange exercises, that lead you to strange experiences which do not give your brethren that confidence in your experience that they should have. They are led to think that you are not healthful and sound in your expression of opinion. Thus your feelings that you dwell upon as real and genuine are imaginary. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 25

All these little items seem to swell to such large proportions, when they have so very little to do with character but very much to do with Satan’s schemes to create dissension and uncharitableness among brethren. It makes those for whom the Lord has done so much childish, sensitive, faultfinding and critical. How they narrow and dwarf the Christian life! How they pervert facts, and how seriously they affect vital issues! 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 26

God has been working with you in your experience through the first term of school. The words that were spoken to you were these: “When you shall have less of self and more of true love for your brethren you will find you are in a new world, as it were. Study carefully how to preserve the points of sympathy and how to unite upon points of difference through which Satan is pressing in to divorce brother from brother.” 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 27

Christians must be doers of the Word. We can never become careless of our points of differences, for they are often of a stuff to make great trouble to mind, soul, and affections. The opinions expressed must not be cherished as unalterable prejudices. They are not of value to any character, yet they are often held as precious as the most elevated virtues. Those whose hearts are filled with love and humility will esteem others as in the current of God’s light and God’s love, [they] will recognize that others are in communication with God as verily as they themselves are. Then opinions will have to be discounted in order for love and union to survive and occupy the field of the heart. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 28

As long as the mind is occupied by imaginings which lead to prejudice and alienation, there will be less and less of the Spirit of God. One’s ideas and opinions are not the divine standard, and if anyone cherishes his own imaginings Satan will help him, holding his magnifying glass before him until it touches and withers the vitality of Christian life and character. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 29

Christian unity amounts to a great deal, and will be found of greatest value in laboring for souls ready to perish. The Christian will not make a place for pride to stand upon. God is working with men’s hearts and minds in the formation of opinions of their own, and encouragement must be given to them to form and to express their own opinions. All gifts are not given to one man. Any man who will try to work another man’s mind as he would a machine is not helping that man, even if he does sustain him in all the ideas he may advance, as if all his plans were infallible. That does not raise the man in the estimation of God, for he is voicing some other man’s words, manners, and thoughts. That man who is reflecting himself is thought to be one of the best Christians when he is failing all the time to stand in his God-given accountability. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 30

One of the most deplorable and depressing exhibitions human nature makes of itself is the credulity with which one receives reports of what this one did and that one said. Even though the whole trend and power of a man’s life is one of self-denial and self-sacrifice in a pure, elevating direction, there are those who take the position that if he does not accept of their opinion, if he does not ignore his own personality to take their personality in all things, he is of no possible use to them. Hints will be thrown out in regard to his usefulness, comments will be made and slander and falsehoods passed along, becoming a current of influence against one whom God loves. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 31

July 10

Brother and Sister Haskell:

I address you both. You have both pursued a course that God does not and will not approve. You have hurt Brother Haskell. You do not discern this but you have done this. You have not only kept awake, but have awakened in his over-suspicious mind that which God has been, through His Holy Spirit, seeking to suppress and eradicate, and which is wakened to a resurrection by your words, by your spirit, and your attitude. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 32

I understand you design to go to America. Not now; not now. God calls upon you to suppress every vestige of this kind of imaginings, which have been supposed to be a great something but which is just nothing at all. When you can, both parties, come just where you can pull in even cords because the Holy Spirit works you, then you will know better what saith the Lord as to your future, but God’s hand points not to America now. There is a work to be done at this time that needs all the talent and all the ability and all the strength of Elder Haskell and his wife and Willie White and his mother combined, and the Lord would not have you separate from us at the present time. It is not His will. The Spirit of God has been grieved by the existing state of things, and this state of things is highly offensive to God. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 33

We shall all have plenty of trials without manufacturing them, to cause difference and disunion and disrespect and dissension. As workers together with God we are to bear about with us the spirit and life of God in our souls. As Jesus, in His lonely, suffering, tempted and tried humanity bore about the hidden essential life, so we in this life—frail, sinful, tempted, bruised souls—will be partakers of Christ’s suffering. But we must not manufacture trials that do not exist. The life of the living Head must be enshrined in our lives, concealed with Christ in God, and His love must bind heart with heart. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 34

Your spirit, your words, your conjectures, need much sifting and purifying. We want all this striving to place yourself on ground where you suppose you should stand, Sister Haskell, to be carefully considered in the light of the Word. God has never called you to demerit and make of little account the work of W. C. White. God has accepted his work and given him a position which He would have respected. The Lord calls for unity where there has been variance. When we have the spirit of Christ there will be seen not a vestige of real cause for Sister Haskell’s feelings, or Brother Haskell’s feelings. The Lord has taken this matter in His own hands. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 35

I have had matters laid open before me and I cannot withhold them. I have suggested things to Willie which should be done to relieve Elder Haskell and his wife, and I suppose Elder Haskell thinks that Willie has suggested these things to me. But if Elder Haskell’s confidence in me is of that kind that he supposed I am so easily influenced by any human being as to take their suppositions for facts without positive evidence, the less we can connect in our labors the better. The Lord has shown me that Elder Haskell and Elder Smith and W. C. White and Elder Olsen should stand together, side and shoulder, and advance the work of God. Since we have been in company in this country I have been shown that Elder Haskell and his wife and I should stand together as one, to help one another. But the treatment Willie has received is displeasing to God. Sister Haskell has not felt right and has misjudged. In this respect she has been an injury to her husband, and the Lord cannot sustain and endorse the spirit that has prevailed to have no union with W. C. White. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 36

It becomes Christians to stand together. God is dishonored in your treatment of some whom you have reason to respect. Loyal friendship is of more value than the gold of Ophir. We need more of God and far less of self. We need not make terms with the devil, to tear down that which God bids to stand fast. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 37

I have decided not to go to Queensland. I have the fullest confidence in my son W. C. White as one who is seeking to serve the cause of God with his whole being. I see that Elder Haskell does not enjoy his Christian fellowship. He would much rather he would clear out of his way. But the most offensive thing in the sight of God is just that which Battle Creek has been guilty of doing—attributing that which I may say or do to the influence of Willie White. Elder Haskell has not a semblance of excuse or reason for this. To go to Queensland and think to have God work with us under the impressions now [is useless. I] decline to go for I could have no [assurance that the] Lord would work with us. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 38

I have been through this experience and to have such thoughts entertained by one whom we suppose God is leading is the most painful part of my experience. I have not one particle of confidence in your suspicions and criticisms and the wisdom of your judgment in regard to W. C. White—no more than I had in Elder Butler’s charges to me against him. It is something he will have to meet in the day of final account unless he repents. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 39

I have the most implicit confidence in the piety and consecration of W. C. White, for his course and work are accepted of God—not because he never makes a mistake, but because he is ever ready to confess his faults and humble his soul before God. He has a heart that feels the tender and sympathetic as a child’s. He has been chosen of God to do a special work, and God has kept him by His power. He did not understand all things perfectly when he came back here from America, but he has been with me in the testimonies I have borne in favor of Elder Haskell and his wife. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 40

When the Lord signified that Brother and Sister Haskell should stand by me and help me, He did not mean in this that they should come between me and my son. The Lord has not led you to take the position that W. C. White influenced his mother in any way to sway her judgment from the righteous principles He was setting before her. You cannot be vindicated in taking this ground. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 41

The Lord would have Elder Haskell free from his erroneous imaginings. These suppositions are all real to him, and wholly untrue. The Lord will give our brother cultivated, elevated communion with God if he will turn his face to the face of Christ and not to the enemy of God and man. Your labors, your experience, may be steady, and not a fitful experience. God is willing to supply you with the holy oil, with His rich anointing, which will contribute to your usefulness in laboring in the gospel of Christ Jesus. The life of God in the soul is to be maintained and sustained by the indwelling principles derived from heaven. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 42

But, my brother, the Lord will do just the same for W. C. White. I have been led over his life of self-sacrifice and self-denial, I have seen the subduing of self to place himself in positions not of notoriety—which he has been urged to take—but of positions requiring close, earnest labor in difficult places because someone must be there. I have seen the work that was done through his unselfish labor and his devotion to the cause of God in the most difficult lines not calculated to extol himself but to fill any place that others would not fill. The Lord has led W. C. White, from his very childhood up, in His own way to do His work and his work has been a successful one. Although it has not brought notoriety to him, God has accepted it. 13LtMs, Lt 142, 1898, par. 43