Lt 19a, 1884

1884

Lt 19a, 1884

Haskell, S. N.

[Walla Walla, Washington Territory]

June 10, 1884

This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 198-201.

[To Elder Haskell:]

[First page missing] ... But as we desire to let our light shine forth to the world, we concluded to put it on a candlestick that it may give light to all that are in the house. We decided to try to get a place in West Portland, if we failed in this, to try East Portland. We learned that we could not get the place in West Portland, so have secured a good, prominent ground in East Portland. We sent Elder [J. N.] Loughborough up to Salem to visit all the church [members] and get the people out to Portland convocation meeting. Bro. Ings was to remain with Bro. Boyd to fit up the grounds and canvass, preparatory to the meetings. Lt19a-1884.1

Elder Loughborough came in this morning at half past five o’clock. The cars were delayed five hours. A long rail road bridge took fire in the center and burned out two sections, but forty hands made quick work in preparing a passage for the cars. Lt19a-1884.2

The enemy is at work through different ones to block the wheels of progress. Elder [W. L.] Raymond has been doing a bad work in complaining of all the leaders and finding fault with the General Conference, the building of churches and schoolhouses. He is a man that can do much harm because he has good traits of character and is of ready tact as a helper. But the Lord understands it all, and He will work for His people that they shall not be confused or confounded. Lt19a-1884.3

Elder Loughborough says these whom Barnes has had an influence over are getting their eyes open. He wrote to the Marion paper that if a man could be sent here, they would sweep in the whole of Milton church. That man will be with Barnes at the camp meeting, it is stated. We shall go straight ahead doing our work and make no reference to these rebels. We hope to see the Lord at work at these meetings and great good done. Lt19a-1884.4

We have the camp located just in the suburbs of Walla Walla. It is a good location, half encircled with a swift-running stream of pure, soft water in a grove of cottonwood trees. There is, Willie [White] states, a much larger turnout than they had last year. Lt19a-1884.5

We may expect Satan will work with might and power to hold the people in darkness, to confuse them with the ideas of men like [W. L.] Raymond, but we hope he will be thoroughly converted before this meeting shall close. Our trust is not in the number of ministers but in the presence of Jesus. Lt19a-1884.6

How my heart has yearned to meet our brethren in their yearly gatherings East. Sometimes I think I must meet with them, then again I am sure it cannot be my duty. The visit East was a financial loss to me. This is nothing, but the book has been hindered, for I have been greatly reduced in strength and could not write as I would. I attended ten days’ meetings in Healdsburg, ten days’ meetings in Oakland, ten days’ meeting in camp in Los Angeles. All these, with my writing, were a great tax. I shall have to remain this side of the Rocky Mountains, and after my book is done, if possible, have a little change in traveling. Lt19a-1884.7

My heart has been bad. A sense of suffocation, of general debility, keeps me where I am obliged to hold on to the promises with all my strength, and hang my helpless soul on Jesus Christ. Were it not for this, I should not venture out to labor at all. At Los Angeles I spoke six times at length, and in the morning meetings. I had the burden of testimony, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me and sustained me every time I opened my lips. Lt19a-1884.8

Brother Haskell, we must pray more in simple, humble contrition of soul. We must exercise faith, teach the people how to have faith. I long to speak to the people in the yearly meetings East. I long to tell them, “Behold Him, behold Him, the Man of Calvary, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” I long to tell the people that all the exalted privileges granted them, all the love and tender mercy of our God, all the warnings of God’s messengers, all the labor and enlightenment of His grace through holy men, will not save one of them. They must save their own souls by their own righteousness. Lt19a-1884.9

All the light of present truth will not prevent them from falling away from their exalted privilege and losing all they have once held sacred and valuable. It is necessary for them to be instant in prayer and to live a life of humiliation and constant, living faith. I want to say to them, “Your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.” [Isaiah 59:2.] Your Maker has not forsaken you; Jesus has linked you by His own body to the Infinite One, and His faithfulness will never fail. His promises are more sure than the everlasting hills. But you have departed from God, you have forsaken the Fountain of living waters, [and] you have distrusted His love. You have had every spiritual advantage. The precious, clear light of truth has shone upon your pathway, but you have not rendered corresponding obedience and kept yourselves in the love of God. This very love which should have been a blessing has become a curse. Lt19a-1884.10

We are to see fearfully trying times, but need not despond. Trust in the living God. They that fear the Lord and work righteousness, He will be to them as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. I would tell them the most precious blessings and the most exalted privileges are prepared for and promised to them that love the truth and obey it in the love of it. Lt19a-1884.11

But how many are transgressing His holy law which they profess to keep! How many do not according to the light given them! The blessings are changed into curses, and they do not know why they do not have spiritual sinew and muscle. They are always without spiritual moisture, dry and sapless. Their testimonies are backslidden reports, mournful recitals. Oh, God would have it otherwise. He has made every provision for them that they should have help and blessings and courage and faith, but they remain away from His presence. They will not come unto Him that He may give them life. Lt19a-1884.12

Oh, how Jesus is grieved with the unbelief, the distrust, the want of gratitude, and the sinfulness of those who profess to be the advocates of the law of God! Will not this people understand [that through] their own course of worldliness, of selfishness, [they] have forfeited the mercies promised to the obedient? In view of the great benefits of the salvation brought to us through Jesus Christ, the whole heavenly host in the plains of Bethlehem broke forth into songs of praise saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14. Why is there not more praise and less complaining? Should not our hearts be filled with gratitude to God? If angels saw cause for anthems of praise, why should not the objects Christ came to save be filled with thankfulness? There “are given to us exceeding great and precious promises that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:4.] Lt19a-1884.13

These precious promises are given us that we might receive and enjoy them. They are not given to us that we may reject them and refuse to accept their fulfilment. The grace of truth revealed to us is that we may be renewed in knowledge and true holiness and glorify God in our bodies and our spirits, which are His. The praise of God is to flow forth from His children and continually extend and increase in the earth. We are, every one [of us,] to know for ourselves that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me, even me, from all unrighteousness. I, even I, may be holy in heart and in life and in all manner of conversation. These privileges were purchased for me by the blood of Christ and presented to me that Christ may not have died for me in vain. Lt19a-1884.14

We cannot, [even] one of us, glorify God, only through the acceptance of the grace given us. We cannot keep His commandments, only as we improve the grace and truth given us for this purpose. Brother Haskell, we must come up upon higher, holier ground. We must lead the people step by step. We must teach the people to improve the talents God has given them. We do not sufficiently impress upon the ministers the importance of ministering as well as preaching. They do not half of them know what duties, what sacred responsibilities rest upon ministers to become acquainted with souls, to labor earnestly by personal effort for their salvation from house to house, coming close to hearts. Lt19a-1884.15

Love for souls that Christ had will lead the minister to pray most earnestly for divine grace, will lead to importunate prayer. There is altogether too much sermonizing and too little ministering. We must work in wisdom, work with hearts imbued with the love of Jesus. Men without one particle of grace may preach a discourse, but men without grace will not be inclined to weep and to pray and seek to lead souls to the Lamb of God. It is this kind of labor the people need. Lt19a-1884.16

We need now men who are acquainted with Jesus, men of faith, men of experience, men who will work for souls as they that must give an account. We have speakers but very few laborers. Teach the members of the church to be workers. Oh, that God would let His convicting, converting power come upon Sabbathkeepers, for many of them by experience know not if there be any Holy Ghost. Self has filled so large a place in their experience they know but little else than its gratification. May the Lord help us to do work—close, faithful, efficient work—for the Master, for all our work will bear the inspection of the Chief Shepherd. He will understand just how we have done our work. He will say, “Well done,” only to those who have done well. [Matthew 25:21.] Lt19a-1884.17

May the Lord bless you in all your labors, is my prayer. Lt19a-1884.18