Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 14a, 1898

Haskell, Brother and Sister

Balaclava, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

March 3, 1898

Previously unpublished.

Brother and Sister Haskell:

I have many things to say to you, my Brother and Sister Haskell, but I have waited, hoping that you would both be in a receptive frame of mind, so that I could broach the subject to you. I have hoped that through the Holy Spirit of God working upon your mind you would understand that God has not given you a work to do where the opinions of your brethren should have no influence upon you. The Lord has a special work for each of His servants to do. You are not the only actors in the binding-off work for these last days. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 1

Elder Haskell, you were especially presented before me as one who could help me in helping the school, because you had had a knowledge of the work from the beginning; but your taking the responsibility of the work, with the idea that you alone were capable of carrying it, led me to false conclusions in this matter. For years the Lord has been teaching that the greatest evil was liable to occur in our work through one or two persons feeling themselves sufficient to be a complete whole. You have thought, What need is there of a school board? My wife and I can carry all the responsibilities of the school. And when the work in Stanmore was to be bound off, the same feeling was indulged. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 2

Instead of linking up with your brethren, letting them help you, and you helping them, and feeling a unity of sentiment, you took the whole burden of work. This the Lord did not lay upon you. You represented that your brethren were to help you, but you gave them little chance to work. Now, the Lord could and would have used them in positions varying from yours, but you represented that they could not fill the office, and I accepted the representation. This representation, if all true, showed that they needed instruction and training. If they were with you at all, they should not have been left to speak only now and then, while you carried all the important meetings. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 3

The light given was that they were to be your fellow laborers, and if Brother Starr was not concentrated and connected in presenting his subject, you would have been the man to help him, to kindly speak with him, as brother speaks with brother. You should have studied with him, and kindly instructed him. As these men have been carrying responsibilities, they should have had a share in all the work in Stanmore. Today there is no better nor as good a showing, as [to] the numbers and condition of the church, [than] if your brethren had been entrusted with the responsibilities, which were certainly their due. They were out of their place in so largely leaving the churches and coming to hear you preach. Their help was needed in building up the waste places in Zion. It was a mistake on your part to feel that no one but yourself could carry the Sunday meetings. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 4

The Lord has opened the matter before me, and I have some things now to say. You can instruct and help your brethren, but let them have a chance to get hold, and learn to work out the truths which you have taught from the Scriptures. When you are so sensible of the defects of the preaching of your brethren, you reveal this by your words and plans and actions. They must have a chance to work by your side, as they have not had. You are to bring them up to your ideal as far and as fast as possible by trusting to them the responsibilities that will perfect them through the Lord’s working them. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 5

You cannot always bear the strain and gather the responsibilities into your own hands. Others are to stand by your side and share those responsibilities. They must impart the precious things they are receiving from the Word. You embrace too much, and leave little for your associate laborers to do. If you are in advance of them in experience and knowledge, it is because you have educated yourself by practice. There is a chance for your brethren as well as yourself to learn from the great Teacher, and to impart what they receive from the great reservoir of power. If any are deficient in some lines, they are not to be ignored, but helped, not to be criticized and made a subject of remark. It is not the Lord’s plan to give one man, or two or three men, power to do all the work. Help every man whom God has chosen, not the ones who will help you alone, not merely the ones who please you. No minister is to be made an errand boy for you or any other minister. There are men who have not ability to open the Scriptures to others, but they can do good service in secular lines; let them do this work. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 6

You should yoke up with your brethren, and esteem them, and not feel that you are so far above them that you cannot permit them to share the responsibilities, but take them all yourself. What profit is it for these ministers to sit and hear you preach, when the preaching talent is needed in other places? I labored that these brethren should connect with you in the work, that everything that could be done should be done. Again I plead for the same thing. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 7

Your brethren feel sensibly the slight you put upon them. It hurts them. You do not put yourself in their place. How would you feel to be treated thus? You feel hurt at the least supposed indifference or slight to your ability; and other men have the same aspirations as yourself. They are not slow to feel that they are regarded as unqualified to preach the Word. In these things you have been extremely sensitive. Cannot you put yourself in their place, and think how you would feel under similar circumstances? You should not do all the work of preaching, for fear that your brethren would not interest the people. If the people are supposed to have a preference for one man, and are foolish enough to say so, that should not lead us to depart from a correct course of action and break down principle. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 8

The Lord can work other men just as verily as He has worked you. He is much displeased when any of His ministers obtain the idea that they are the only ones whom God works. These are things that need to be corrected. The ones who sanction everything you do, and echo every suggestion you make, are thought to be your very best helpers; thus brother links up in fast confidence with brother, but the union is not a right one; it is not for the good of either. You need to be, it may be often, entreated as a father, for there are in you things that need to be corrected just as much as in your younger brethren. You have traits of character that God does not approve, and you as verily as other men need to be shown yourself. But it must be done in tender, pitying love. We are to unite ourselves one with the other, remembering that just as we treat the case of our brethren, God will treat our case. As we judge, we shall be judged. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 9

As the Lord permitted me, I heard the remarks made by yourself and your wife in regard to W. C. White. I was referred to the case of Miriam and Aaron. This history should lead us to guard sacredly the interests of one another. A course similar to that of Aaron and Miriam will meet the signal displeasure of God. On the Stanmore campground I was burdened in regard to the disrespect shown to Brother Haskell because it was supposed that he had made some mistakes. I stood in his defense. The Lord led me to do this, for there was a wrong state of things coming in. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 10

But what other ministers have done to him, he and Sister Haskell have done to other ministers, only in a much greater degree. If we could see ourselves as God could see us, it would put an end to this spirit of criticizing, much of which is borne of evil surmising and seeking to be first. And just as you judge others in little things, so God will judge you in the things you have done which dishonor His name. The Lord requires that those who occupy positions of responsibility shall be doers of His Word in little as well as large things. In regard to this practice of criticism, you were to take warning. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 11

Brother and Sister Haskell, I must leave it to yourselves, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to think out this matter, just as you try to get the thought of the Bible. We must not be weighed in the balance and found wanting. Be sure that you are wholly out of sympathy with God and angels when you feel at liberty to give loose rein to your tongues in criticizing and condemning your brethren. You are not at liberty to put your estimate upon any one of God’s messengers. You are not to disparage their work, to cut away the influence God has appointed they should have with His people. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 12

Whenever you, Sister Haskell, are disposed to look with contempt upon any of God’s servants, or to criticize their missionary work because they are not working exactly after your plans, consider that the leaven of Pharisaism must be purged out of your heart before God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:23.] You need as verily as did the Pharisees to have the leaven of criticism and accusing purged away from you. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 13

The Lord saw fit to reprove Brother Herbert Lacey, but your treatment of his case did not please the Lord. Brother Lacey was not a stubborn, wilful sinner. His error was small in comparison with the error which both of you have committed. Did you think of it in this light? You have had a large experience, and he was a mere youth when he left Australia for America. He supposed that he was doing right in receiving counsel from those in America to whom he had been recommended. But if you saw in him one jot or tittle that was not of the right order, you became impatient. You did not carry out the light given, to take him into all your counsels, and to instruct and help him. When the Lord reproves anyone, it is not because He hates him, but because He loves him, and desires to save him. He says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” See Revelation 3:19-21; Hebrews 12:3-7. 13LtMs, Lt 14a, 1898, par. 14