Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14

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Lt 221, 1899

Haskell, Brother and Sister [S. N.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 13MR 135-136.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

I have not slept well during the past night; but I am thankful that I am able to write a little, yes, considerable. I think of you, but it is with pleasure, because you are, I believe, and am assured, in your going to America at this time, doing the will of God. May the Lord sustain and bless you at every step. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 1

I have things to send to you in writing that I deem very important, and I think it will be prepared in a form so that many may be benefited by it. I should oft be so pleased to have talks with you upon matters that are intensely interesting to me, that I am trying to write out, in reference to the specifications in Scriptural injunctions in regard to the duties one to another in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. We must just call to our minds those [precepts on] actual, practical missionary work, and work intelligently, and do the very principles of Christianity, the gospel of the Old Testament. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 2

And this some call the Dark Ages. If so, it is not because they had no communication from heaven. [See] Leviticus 25. The Lord was over the whole earth. Every seventh year was a sabbatical year. This would be a wonderful arrangement down in this age of great light. Not only the agricultural processes were to be intermitted, but the cultivation of the soil was not permitted. It lay in its spontaneous growth for the benefit of the poor. All had free access to it—the strangers and the flocks and the herds. This was to invigorate the productive, worn-out soil, and to teach the Hebrew nation that God was the Householder, and the people were His tenants. The land had a sabbath, or yearly sabbath. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 3

Then the jubilee, the fiftieth. The lessons given were to encourage liberality and overcome all stinginess, and to give lessons to all that it was the Lord’s land. He was to be regarded as its owner, that He would make it productive, if they were obedient, by giving them His blessing upon their lands. The lesson given was that the Lord was taking care of the poor, and that He had made provision for them; and every seventh year the spontaneous crops were for them. This is the principle of liberality; a provision was made by special interposition of God. The sixth year, under God’s supervision, the land yielded provision for three years; and it was a constant lesson that God was the Householder, and the land was His. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 4

I cannot write out all that is contained in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. But I think our people in this enlightened age of 1899, if they would go back to the period they call the “Dark Ages” and bring into their practical life the lessons that Christ gave to the Hebrews, they would act out the obedience God required of them. Their hearts would not be so full of selfish principles that when His brethren working in hard fields should ask a favor, that they would close the door of their heart and say, No. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 5

This has been done. I have seen individuals, (I might call by name, but forbear) who asked simple advantages. Seeing they would not help, they would not express their sympathy in the work, or co-operate, only so far as wages was concerned—in a poverty-stricken field, where the poor must be helped in order to help themselves. But they were exactly like those who knew the dire necessities of the case, but passed by on the other side. The people have, when called upon, sent in barrels of goods in cast-off clothing. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 6

Now, the way this matter has been treated has made it a duty for the workers in the Southern Field, [those] cultivating the very hardest part of the Lord’s vineyard (and yet so little bowels of mercy, so little compassion, so little help given the Lord, who has appointed them to this work), are to call direct upon the people who have hearts of compassion, who have evidenced they could feel, in that they gave them money to help the Southern Field—eleven thousand dollars which they have not yet received. I have myself given several hundred dollars of money to that portion where Edson has been working, to relieve the destitute in that field, when every dollar of the means should have been expended in this field where there is so much to be done. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 7

But I am reminded I must close up this matter. I was, a few nights since, presented with some illustration of the Norman great generosity. And it has come out that there are those that may study this as an object lesson and inquire are they disappointing the Lord, as that man has disappointed the General Conference. Is there not something to do in considering these things? We want hearts of flesh; tender hearts; kind, courteous hearts, that will feel the woes of others, and not be blind and deaf and dumb on this subject. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 8

But you will excuse me from writing more, for I am very tried and must rest. Write me (I know you will) from America. Will you, my brother, ask Brother Irwin to let you see his letter, and then you will understand better about the matter. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 9

In love. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 10

[P.S.] I want in the next shipment of books that ten copies of The Review and Herald shall be sent to my address, to be sent to different churches that seldom have a minister. Charge to my account. 14LtMs, Lt 221, 1899, par. 11