Lt 15, 1892

1892

Lt 15, 1892

Haskell, S. N.

Preston, Victoria, Australia

June 25, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in 1SM 158; SD 248; 6BC 1116; LDE 92, 173; 1MR 176; 5MR 334-335.

Dear Brother:

Evening after the Sabbath we received our mail from America, but no letter from you. I was disappointed because your letters are very welcome, and you give me particulars more fully than do others. In my last mail, which you will not receive for two or three weeks, I sent you such a long letter that I thought I should have nothing to say in this mail; but I am drawn out to write to you. Lt15-1892.1

I received a letter from Sister Ings in which she stated that the ministers were so busy, she feared I would not receive information from them by this incoming steamer. When I found you had not written, I thought it was because of cares and responsibilities, and I feared you were working too hard. Be careful on this point. I send many cautions to Eld. Olsen, but fear he does not heed my anxieties on his account. Lt15-1892.2

But you are well aware that we have few experienced workers left to testify as did John: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” [1 John 1:1-4.] Lt15-1892.3

The recounting of the past dealings of God will revive faith [and] encourage hope in the hearts of the people of God. “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” [Verses 5-7.] Lt15-1892.4

This is the testimony we are to bear, and it is an uplifting testimony. It is the testimony the people need everywhere. The many argumentative sermons preached seldom soften and subdue the soul. The workers who have been laborers together with God have had an experience of highest value, and this experience is needed at this very time. The churches everywhere need the message that was borne by John. It should be borne to them by men who understand the reason of our faith, men who have had a practical experience in the past history of Seventh-day Adventists, and who have a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord. We shall have no dark, shadowy testimonies to bear if we walk in the light, as He is in the light. Lt15-1892.5

I tell you, we need to present the leadings of God in the past, to recount His wondrous works in behalf of His people. We need to “Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great flight of afflictions.” [Hebrews 10:32.] “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon thee, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye are the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” [Deuteronomy 7:6-9.] Lt15-1892.6

Those who have had long experience in the work and cause of God should be very precious in the estimation of their brethren, and their counsel should be regarded as of great value. There has been a drifting away from the pillars of the faith. It should be the burden of every messenger to set forth the fullness of Christ. When the free gift of Christ’s righteousness is not presented, the discourses are dry and spiritless; the sheep and lambs are not fed. Said Paul, “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” [1 Corinthians 2:4.] There is marrow and fatness in the gospel. Jesus is the living center of everything. Put Christ into every sermon. Let the preciousness, mercy, and glory of Jesus Christ be dwelt upon, for Christ formed within is the hope of glory. Lt15-1892.7

The Lord would have us look away from self, cease to depreciate others. Let us gather together that which our own experience has revealed to us of the excellence of Christ, like precious gems that sparkle and shine. Thus will the sinner be attracted to Him who is presented as the chiefest among ten thousand and the one altogether lovely. The cross of Calvary is to us the pledge of everlasting life. Lt15-1892.8

Faith in Christ means everything to the sincere, true believer. The merits of Jesus blot out our transgressions, and clothe us with the robe of His righteousness, woven in the loom of heaven. The crown of life is presented before us as the honor to be given at the end of the conflict. These precious truths must be set forth in living characters. The Holy Spirit’s work is to open them to the mind. Jesus said, “He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” [John 16:14.] Has not this promise been verified in our experience? Lt15-1892.9

The Lord is soon to come. There must be a refining, winnowing process in every church, for there are among us wicked men who do not love the truth or honor God. There is need of a transformation of character. Will the church arise and put on her beautiful garments, the righteousness of Christ? Soon it is to be seen who are the vessels unto honor. “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” [Revelation 18:1, 2.] Lt15-1892.10

“Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings.” [Malachi 3:18-4:2.] Lt15-1892.11

Here are brought plainly to view those who will be vessels unto honor, for they will receive the latter rain. Every soul who in the light now shining upon our pathway continues in sin will be blinded and will accept the delusions that come from Satan. We are now nearing the close of this earth’s history. Where are the faithful watchmen on the walls of Zion who will not slumber, but faithfully declare the time of night? Christ is coming, to be admired in all them that believe. How painful it is to contemplate that the Lord Jesus is being kept in the background. How few magnify His grace and exalt His infinite compassion and love. There will be no envy, no jealousy, in the hearts of those who are seeking to be like Jesus in character. Lt15-1892.12

The gospel is now resolutely opposed on every hand. Never was the confederacy of evil greater than at the present time. Spirits of darkness combined with human agencies set themselves firmly against the commandments of God. They confederate together to make of no effect the law of God. Traditions, falsehoods, are exalted above the Scriptures; reason and science above revelation; human talent above the teaching of the Spirit; forms and ceremonies above the vital power of godliness. We now need the divine touch. Lt15-1892.13

My heart goes out after God day by day, but much more intensely night after night when, because of suffering nerves, I cannot sleep more than two hours through those long Australian winter nights. But I do often feel the comfort of His promise. “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” [John 14:27.] Never during my experience have I realized the preciousness of the Saviour as in this long trial of suffering and unrelieved pain. Lt15-1892.14

Our Redeemer is a “Tried Stone.” [Isaiah 28:16.] The experiment has been made, the great test applied, and with perfect success; in Him is fulfilled all the purpose of God, in the saving of a lost world. Never was a foundation subjected to as severe trial and test as this. The Lord Jehovah knew what this Foundation Stone could sustain. The sins of the whole world could beat against it and be piled upon it. The Lord’s chosen were to be redeemed, heaven’s gate to be thrown open to all who would believe; its untold glories were to be given to the overcomer. Lt15-1892.15

“A tried stone,” tried by the perversity of man, thou, O Saviour, hast taken the burdens, Thou hast given peace and rest; Thou hast been tried, proved, by believers who have taken their trials to Thy sympathy, their sorrows to Thy love, their wounds to Thy healing, their weakness to Thy strength, their emptiness to thy fulness; and never has one soul been disappointed. Jesus, my tried Stone, to Thee would I come, moment by moment. In Thy presence I am lifted above pain. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Lt15-1892.16

I enjoy sweet communion with God. Precious to me is His atoning blood, precious is His justifying righteousness. “Unto you therefore which believe He is precious.” [1 Peter 2:7.] Lt15-1892.17

When I meditate upon this fountain of living power from which we may freely draw, I mourn that so many are losing the delight they might have in considering His goodness; to be sons and daughters of God, growing into an holy temple to the Lord, “no more strangers and pilgrims, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God:” “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone”—this is our privilege. [Ephesians 2:19, 20.] Lt15-1892.18

How is heaven amazed at the present condition of the church that could be so much to the world if every stone were in its proper place, a living stone to emit light. A stone that does not shine is worthless. That which constitutes the value of our churches is not dead, lusterless stones, but living stones, stones that catch the bright beams from the chief corner stone, even the Sun of Righteousness—the bright glory in which are combined the beams of mercy and truth that have met together, of righteousness and peace that have kissed each other. Lt15-1892.19

If we are indeed followers of Christ, we must reach a higher standard. Heaven looks with pleasure upon one who worships God in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness. All heaven is employed in seeking to save that which is lost. They are far from spiritual; they have lost the presence of God, lost the true ideal of character, and they copy the human instead of the divine. Lt15-1892.20

All heaven is active in seeking to surround man with light—to give opportunity to present the highest motives that men shall return to the service of God. The Redeemer of the world has the lofty design of translating all who serve Him in spirit and in truth to His heavenly temple above. In Christ’s school we are ever learners; human customs and authority are not to be a controlling power, for the lessons of Christ are spirit and life, and there are no limits to the rich mines of truth to be explored. Lt15-1892.21

Are we Christians in deed and in truth, or are we such in name only? Christians are growing up, a holy temple unto the Lord. But “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” [2 Corinthians 6:16.] This represents a constant growth in Christian character, growth in spiritual mindedness. Lt15-1892.22

The church of Christ in the world is to be a powerful people, a name and praise in all the earth. Jesus has done everything to accomplish this. Now there need to be earnest, deep, sincere efforts to redeem the past unfaithfulness. Time, precious time, has been lost in wanderings and backslidings from God. Every character is to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary; if the moral character and spiritual advancement do not correspond to the benefits, opportunities, and blessings bestowed, wanting is written against the name. Lt15-1892.23

The Light of the world is our Leader, and the path has been growing brighter and brighter as we have advanced in the footsteps of Jesus. O that we may keep close to our Leader, and He will fill every heart with His divine love—love to God, and love for one another. How long shall entreaties and warnings be given before they will be valued sufficiently to be heeded? Why not now put away all selfishness, all sin through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? Many are not on safe ground. They have not a clear title to an inheritance among the sanctified. And while the atoning blood is presented in our behalf, why not make earnest, thorough work, and seek to be complete in Christ Jesus? Lt15-1892.24

All who claim to be children of God should seek daily to understand why they believe, by searching the Scriptures for themselves. They, who with humble hearts study the character of Jesus, will come more and more to reflect His image. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the church is looked forward to as in the future, but it is the privilege of the church to have it now. Seek for it, pray for it, believe for it. We must have it, and heaven is waiting to bestow it. Lt15-1892.25

Many fail to meet their responsibilities and high privileges. O, how long will this deadness and insensibility continue? How long will differences rend the church? The Lord Jesus is our spiritual Head, and where are the members of His body? The church is represented as “Speaking the truth in love, growing up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ; from whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” [Ephesians 4:15, 16.] Lt15-1892.26

I think I never saw so much meaning, so much power and brightness, in these representations as during my sickness. I hope never to forget them. I hope that these truths, with all their rich fulness, will ever be vividly before my mind. I want these elevated ideas of the church to remain always with me. Why? That I may present to others the light in which I view the sacredness of the church, that I may set before them that the divisions in the church are manifest to the world, greatly dishonoring God and pleasing Satan. Lt15-1892.27

Elder Haskell, cannot we pray over this matter more earnestly, that the Holy Spirit of God may quicken the discernment of His people to see that by putting away envy, evil-surmising, jealousy, they may answer the prayer of Christ, that His disciples might be one, as He is one with the Father? Is it so, that the sensibilities of those who claim to believe the truth are paralyzed? Do they not see that they deny Christ, scatter from Him, in acting as though it was a light matter to disagree and engage in controversies? Brother looks coldly upon brother, minister mistrusts minister. The church seems to have lost the blending attributes of love, and its members unite no better than ropes of sand. And yet the great crisis of the day of God is at hand. Lt15-1892.28

What is the reason of all this selfishness, this bigotry? What means this self-satisfaction, this disposition to tear down, and not build up? The truth is not sanctifying the soul, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Many cling to their independence, choosing their own way, but not the way and will of God. The truth believed in theory, but not received in the love of it, leaves the heart as cold as an iron wedge. Those who are sanctified through the truth will be one in Christ Jesus. The cleansing blood of the Lamb of God cements their hearts together. The branches are united with the Vine. Lt15-1892.29

Trials are to come upon God’s people; the tares will be separated from the wheat. But let not Ephraim envy Judah any more, and Judah shall no more vex Ephraim. Kind, tender, compassionate words will flow from sanctified hearts and lips. We must make it appear essential to be united, not that we are to require others to come to our ideas; but if all are seeking the meekness and lowliness of Christ, they will have the mind of Christ; then there will be unity of spirit. Lt15-1892.30

Monday, June 27

This morning the postman brought three letters from Elder Haskell; being sent to Preston, they did not reach me quite as soon as the other mail. These letters I find full of interest. Thank you for writing them. As I have already written you quite fully, I will add but little more. I am pleased that Dr. Maxson and his wife have decided to take hold earnestly at the Health Retreat. This is as it should be, and if they remain humble, the Lord will bless them. Lt15-1892.31

I am sure there should be no mincing the matter now in regard to Dr. Burke. I was surprised to see the remarks made in the Health Journal in regard to his leaving. It looked to me like the work that was done in the case of D. M. Canright. It is daubing with untempered mortar. After they have the facts which I have placed in the hands of the leading men in California, then if any of our people give their influence and sympathy to the smooth-tongued Dr. Burke, who has proved a traitor the second time, they show that they are on the enemy’s side of the question. I have no flattering hopes for the man. He has for the second time betrayed the holy trust, and shall those who have the light follow this man as in ancient times men followed Korah, Dathan and Abiram? Will any now show as great blindness and deception as was shown in that case of rebellion? Lt15-1892.32

May the Lord give His people wisdom that He may teach their fingers to war, but not on the enemy’s side. It is time that those who have had light take their position, and that speedily. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” [Joshua 24:15.] “If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” [1 Kings 18:21.] It is this halfhearted work that brings the frown of God upon those who claim to believe the truth. Let not Satan triumph. Lt15-1892.33

I am glad you feel that it is time to call things by their right name. I am glad you are in California and holding positions where you can exert an influence. Now cling to Jesus. God calls for the faithful Calebs to come to the front. Dr. Burke’s smooth words and fair speeches will deceive many, to their ruin; but this need not be. The history of the rebellion of Dathan and Abiram is being repeated, and will be repeated till the close of time. Who will be on the Lord’s side? Who will be deceived, and in their turn become deceivers? Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. There are times when there is a special necessity of standing stiffly for the truth, and such a time has fully come in California. Through the influence of E. P. Daniels, Dr. Burke, and others, many have been unsettled and, like children, tossed to and fro. Let these poor, unsettled, wavering souls place their feet upon the eternal Rock, and cease from man. It is time for some one to bear a straightforward, living testimony, but as it is in Jesus. Let there be no mingling of self, no harsh, denunciatory spirit, but speak plain truth, just as it is, without daubing with untempered mortar. Lt15-1892.34

Well, I must close. God bless you in your work. Lt15-1892.35