Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Lt 320, 1906

Haskell, Brother and Sister

St. Helena, California

October 14, 1906

Portions of this letter are published in ML 152; 7MR 404.

Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

I was very desirous of going to Oakland last Friday to keep my appointment. But for three or four days previous, I was very sick. I do not understand what brought this on: it may have been sitting in the church on Sabbath, while I was in a perspiration after speaking, or it may have been caused by some grapes that I ate. While in Oakland last week I could not sleep, and since returning home my sleep has been very much broken. I have suffered severe pain in my right side. For several days I have been able to eat but little, but today I am feeling better and hope that I have reached the end of the sickness. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 1

I am hoping to receive a letter from you today; for I feel a deep interest in your work. I trust that your health is good. Let us unite our petitions that there may be in Oakland a rich spiritual harvest. We desire to see the power of God manifested in an ingathering of souls. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 2

Evening after the Sabbath, I went downstairs and united with the family in worship. Sister Caro and her little flock met with us. We were glad to see them, but the youngest little one seemed to feel that she was not at home and was anxious to get back into the little cottage. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 3

Often in the night season I seem to be entreating some who know the truth, but into whose life experience the truth has not been brought. What can we do to arouse these souls? Those who have manifested a spirit of domineering must seek for a change of heart before the Lord can use them to His name’s glory. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 4

I have thought sometimes that it may yet be my duty to bear my testimony once more in Battle Creek. The other day a telegram came from W. C. White, saying that Elder Daniells would go to Battle Creek this week and intimating that a letter would follow. I wish that while Elder Daniells is in Battle Creek, I might be present. The enemy is at work on every side, and we must have the whole armor on. We need the power of God every moment. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 5

My mind has been dwelling upon the subject of prayer. Little groups should gather and seek the Lord earnestly. We are, as a people, sadly neglecting this means of grace. Christ declares—and the words were spoken after His resurrection—“All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” And because of this power, He adds the great gospel commission: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 6

Our duty is to speak the words of truth, as coming from the lips of Christ. We have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto we do well that we take heed. As church members we need to separate sin from the heart, we need to learn the meekness and lowliness of Christ. Then will be an end to all the terrible dissensions and the disunion among God’s people. Every Christian should seek to perfect in his heart the love of Christ; for without this love we cannot be what Christ desires us to be. His decided command is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:27.] All discordant elements, every root of bitterness is to be uprooted. Unless every fiber of the roots is taken out, the plant will again spring into life and spoil the life experience. So long as there remains a trace of unsubdued, unsanctified self, an unchristlike spirit will spring forth and will reveal itself in evil words and actions. Thus the character will be marred. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 7

We have the assurance that Christ “loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.” [Ephesians 5:25-27.] 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 8

We all need, through the blood of Christ, to seek earnestly for cleansing from sin, from impure thoughts, from natural appetites and all unholy desires. We must be careful that we do not take into our systems such food as will cause worriment and irritation; for it is in such a condition that we are especially likely to reveal unchristlike dispositions and to speak harsh words. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 9

Elder Haskell, you and your wife are engaged in a most excellent work. The study of the Bible prepares the mind and judgment to submit to its claims. Humility of mind and heart is of great importance. We are cheerfully to submit to the will of God as expressed in His Word. The mind and heart will be sanctified by the reception of truth. As self is surrendered, there will be a delight in doing the will of God. There will be a spirit of willing obedience. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 10

The education that Christ gave to His disciples qualified them to write out the story of His life. When our will is brought into harmony with the divine will, faith in Christ will impart strength for obedience. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [Romans 10:10.] The whole mind, the whole soul, is brought under the cleansing virtue of the blood of Jesus Christ. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 11

How can a man who has this experience be rude or discourteous or impolite, even toward those whom he thinks to be in error? Those who act in an unchristlike manner are not fitted for the work of saving the erring from the evil ways. “This is the love of God, that ye keep His commandments.” [1 John 5:3.] The keeping of God’s commandments will not make a man harsh or disagreeable. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 12

Under the influence of meekness, kindness, and gentleness, an atmosphere is created that will heal and not destroy. If the mind is filled with discontent, this will manifest itself and irritate other minds. Let every one seek to set his own house in order. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 13

There are some who are so constituted that if authority is given them, they will not exercise that authority wisely, but will set themselves as lords over God’s heritage, even though their own character is faulty and needs to be sanctified through the truth. Such an exhibition has done great harm to many souls. The lips and the pen should be converted. Reproof cannot be wisely given by those who themselves need conversion. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906

When once a course of anger and faultfinding is entered upon, it is impossible to be just. The mind becomes perverted as harsh words are spoken; and unless there is a restraint, there will be a manifestation of passion. Such methods will never help one who is in error. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 14

The Lord would have those who are united in the work in Oakland love as brethren. Exhort all to be pitiful and courteous. Praise and deserved commendation are health to the soul. To express an unselfish interest in our brethren and sisters, and to desire their help, will brighten our Christian experience. Blessings are both received and bestowed. May God help us to help one another. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 15

God’s people need an increase of energy and zeal. With too many there has been a cold, calculating policy, unmixed with the love of Christ. Often a rashness is mistaken for zeal. There is now need for a general seeking of the Lord and a humbling of the heart. 21LtMs, Lt 320, 1906, par. 16