Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 12, 1898

Hare, Metcalfe


January 21, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 155-156. +Note

Dear Brother Hare:

I am more sorry than I can express for the course you have pursued. I know, and you might have known had your heart been right with God, that the Lord was working in a special manner during the school term. When I see you so dull spiritually that you cannot comprehend when and where the Lord is manifesting His presence and His power, how He is leading and guiding His servants in their work, I am afraid for you. I am afraid for your board. Correct judgment is not manifested. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 1

It has hurt my heart sorely to see you manifest so little respect for Elder Haskell and his wife. There has not been that respect shown to them that their experience in the work of God demands. As matters now stand I cannot counsel them to go into the school. I was glad that you were present at that meeting in the reception tent on the campground when I read the articles and said what I did in reference to Brother Haskell. I then said that the Lord had designated Brother and Sister Haskell as the two persons who should be my helpers and take their position in the school. But your jealousy was not cured as I hoped it would be. The Lord cannot trust decisions with you in the interests and management of the school until your heart shall come into harmony with the mind and will of God. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 2

Under the present circumstances, I cannot see any light in my having the least connection with the school. To see those of the faith acting as though it were praiseworthy to be at variance one with another would bring upon my soul such grief and sadness as would imperil my life. As matters now stand I should feel relieved were I one thousand miles from this place. Just as long as the spirit of the adversary is cherished, I have nothing further to do beyond telling the reasons why I feel discharged from all responsibility of the school. When those who are leaders make manifest that they do not follow the great Leader—which I know they are not doing, for He never leads in a wrong course—what good could I do in this place? I would much rather be situated in some retired place among unbelievers, for they have not had the light and evidence that you and others have had. You have resisted light. You have set yourself against light to follow your own judgment. God cannot work for you until you humble your heart before Him. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 3

There has been nothing to call forth criticism or complaint from you or any one of those who have found fault with Brother and Sister Haskell. Brother Skinner needs the converting power of the Lord upon his heart. If he does not experience this, he will not walk with God, he will not be found worthy. If this spirit is brought in at the second term of school, it will fall far short of the first. I have hoped and prayed that you would come to your senses; but as there seems to be no change on your part, I am compelled to withdraw myself from the school. I dare not connect with it in any way. During the last term of school, the Lord opened things before me night after night, and I have presented the same to the school. I now lay down the burden. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 4

Your great danger, Brother Hare, is self-will. If you could see these matters as they are in truth, you would not repeat the experience of the past few months. You have not been awed by the testimonies you have received; neither have you been allured into safe paths, into straight lines of duty. You have not rested satisfied with what the Lord was doing. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 5

You have had no ground for displeasure. God says to you, as he said to Jonah, “I have set mine hand to prosper the workmen in building a house for me, and the time has come that for the good of the people, and for my own name’s glory, the house be put up with dispatch. Who are you displeased with? What ground have you for your displeasure: Shall I not do what I will with mine own?” Jonah was very angry because he did not have matters his own way, and according to his will. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 6

The Lord is not pleased to have you go on in this way. You are not advancing spiritually; you are retrograding. You need to understand the perversity of your own heart, and be made sensible of your deep need of a Saviour’s grace to pardon, cleanse, and purify. I cannot bear to see you unhappy. From the plant of selfishness proceeds the root of bitterness. Man seeks to have his own perverse way, to be pleased with his own devising; but from this principle proceeds disobedience, rebellion, discontent, murmuring. This means opposition to God. We must all come into willing obedience to Him. It is a terrible thing for a man to have his own way, and I beg of you to stop right where you are, and ask yourself, “Is this the way of the Lord?” 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 7

What is self-will? It is a contest between man and his God. Which will prevail? Shall man, finite man, have God give up His plans and come over to the will of man? Let us not quarrel with the Lord. He has wrought for His own name’s glory. His work went on just the same, although you set your will against the will of God. At the time of the dedication of His house, when your voice should have been heard in approval, when your soul should have been filled with gladness and joy, you manifested no gratitude, because everything did not go in accordance with your way and will. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 8

My brother, Jesus invites you, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of men, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] O, if you had only been satisfied with the ways of God. The will of God is to do us good, and only good. He came to answer the prayers of His people as He promised He would. With His holy angels He came to favor His people who were following the plan He had marked out. If you had humbled your heart before Him, and, even if you could not do one stroke of work, cheered the others, revealing that a right spirit was within you, you would have been raised to vantage ground. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 9

There is nothing to justify your course of action. Your God will not let you have your own way, for it would be to your injury. His providence thwarts you. The way in which you would manage if left to yourself would not be the right and safe way. And because the Lord is not pleased with your way, He reproves you. You see almost everything in a perverted light. The more efforts are made to please you, the more you will not be pleased. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 10

The Lord wants you and me, and every member of the church, to strive together for unity. He exhorts us, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” [Ephesians 6:10-13.] 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 11

The Lord would bless you abundantly if you would seek for that preparedness of heart which all must have who would enter heaven. Why should your influence be weakened by the faults and mistakes you think you observe in others? You must put yourself under a careful examination and see the reason why you are not drawing in even cords with your brethren. You can be a man of sterling worth if you will not pet yourself; but if you do this, you will fall into grievous blunders. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 12

Who in your board meeting proposed Sister Hughes as matron in the place of Sister Haskell? Those who cannot discern more clearly than this, should not be so ready to propose. Sister Hughes is not strong enough for such a position. If we wanted to sacrifice her, we would say, Go in as matron. But we know, and you should know, that she has not managing ability. It needs experience and firm decision to meet and deal with human minds. It needs a person of firm determination, of justice and mercy blended, to handle such elements as we had in the school last term. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 13

Large responsibilities require peculiar traits of character which but few possess. But Brother Skinner, yourself, and others did not understand the duties of a matron. Had the managing been left with Brother Skinner, it would have been uneven. He would have been sometimes sunshiny, at others cloudy, first up and then down. This would have brought about a demoralizing condition of things. Those who do not know how to deal with human minds may be ready to propose how things should go. They do not know how to manage their own individual selves, but they can criticize, they can take note of little items, and make a world of an atom, and an atom of a world. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 14

It is entirely contrary to your education to give honor to a woman in office. Your position was not that of matron, and on this point you became confused and displeased. If all would come to their senses, take hold of the work, and sustain each other in their several positions of trust, if they would help and strengthen and lighten each others burdens by unity and co-operation, there would be a different atmosphere in connection with the school than existed during the last term. Those who come in touch with the work of God must be noble-minded and benevolent. Let the heart burn with the love of Jesus, and there will be freedom from criticism. An upright, kindly spirit will be cherished, to sustain all who carry heavy loads of responsibility. It will lead them to esteem those whom the Lord has selected to stand in difficult places. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 15

The Lord knows whom to appoint to positions of trust. He does not need to come to man to ask his opinion. He knows whose temperament can bear the heaviest strain; and when the burden-bearers are seeking the Lord most earnestly for wisdom, He gives them what they ask from His own resources. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 16

If all, students, teachers, and managers, will bridle the tongue which is so easily set in active exercise to complain, the angels of God will walk in the midst of His people. An unruly, accusing tongue can do a great work on the devil’s side of the question; and if the students are encouraged to talk about those things that should not be mentioned to others, there will be roots of bitterness springing up. One tells his small complaint, another tells some little thing, of which he makes a large matter. God looks upon this as bearing false witness. It is the infirmity of some souls to talk out all that is in them. Others catch up the matter to marvel and disapprove. Thus the seeds of doubt and criticism are sown, which do harm to the reporter and the hearer, creating enmity in the mind. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 17

Silence is eloquence. If the talkative ones had the grace of God in their hearts, they would overcome their infirmity. The very ones to whom the ready talkers open their hearts dare not make these persons their equal confidants. They are afraid that if they repeat their words they will be taking up a reproach against their neighbor. How lamentable it is that there are no barriers to confine the mischievous tongue. Let those who talk so readily be invited to preserve silence, or to go to the one of whom they talk, and tell them the great burden of their soul. I am afraid to visit, I am afraid to associate with the ready talker, for in many words there wanteth not sin. How much more pleasing to God would it be to have these students take themselves in hand, and see if they cannot overcome their unchristlike characters, and become vessels unto honor. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 18

This school has been appointed of God. God has said, “I will be in your midst.” Then should not every student be careful what he says and what he does? Should he not strive to maintain order and discipline in the school? Will the students do, as some have done—make the boast that, notwithstanding the vigilance of the teachers, they associated with the young men by stealth? Is that something of which to be proud? Is it not rather something of which they should be ashamed before the universe of heaven? We are establishing a school as a place where missionaries can form characters not of levity, but sobriety. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 19

The minds of men and women must be worked by the Holy Spirit in order to understand the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth, and truth is “all and in all” for this time. [See Colossians 3:11.] Every Christian student will help the teachers who carry the load of responsibility. They will not see how far they can go in breaking the rules of the school. This brings in the spirit of error and perversity; and they seek to please only their own unruly attributes! 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 20

These things are developing, and who can carry the burden of responsibility if we as Christians do not unite and do all in our power to preserve order and harmony in the school? We established the school for the purpose of making most diligent efforts to reach the higher education, of which Christ spoke in His prayer to His Father. “And this is life eternal,” He said, “that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] This is the knowledge it is essential that students, teachers, and managers obtain, that they may through their knowledge and belief in Christ come into possession of eternal life. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 21

The question is, Will all who have any connection with the school interests exercise their sanctified ability on the side of Christ? Will they keep their eternal interests in view, exercising all the influence God has given them to draw with Christ, to draw with the teachers, and win souls to Christ? Will they seek to upbuild, elevate, and ennoble every precious soul with whom they are brought into contact? In doing this, they will co-operate with Jesus Christ, and by their words, their spirit, their attitude, they will help every soul to resist temptation. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 22

God help you, my brother, to unite in this work with your whole soul and mind and heart, for your own sake, and for Christ’s sake. If heaven is worth anything to us, it is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. If we lose heaven, we lose everything. 13LtMs, Lt 12, 1898, par. 23