Lt 187, 1899

1899

Lt 187, 1899

Haskell, S. N.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 16, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in TSA 96-97; 13MR 291.

Dear Brother Haskell:

My mind has been deeply stirred. Things are brought to my remembrance with such decided power that I must no longer hold my peace. Matters in regard to Africa have been opened before my mind. It has seemed singular to the Wessels family that for so long Sister White has been reproving, exhorting, and encouraging them. Lt187-1899.1

Tuesday night I could not sleep past twelve o’clock. I dressed and tried to write, touching as lightly as possible on that which was troubling me, to see if this would not bring relief. But this would not answer. Yesterday, Wednesday morning, I was unable to write. Last night I was again passing through great trial of mind. I seemed to be in council meetings, speaking to those who had dishonored God by their wrong, selfish course of action. Lt187-1899.2

Brother Miller and his wife were not the proper persons to send to Africa as missionaries. Others were sent to that country who were no more qualified to do righteousness and justice than were those who have never known the truth. They were filled with selfishness. Lt187-1899.3

In the past I have not ventured to refer to these objectionable things, lest I should do harm, and yet I knew of them. But the General Conference has done great injury to the cause by sending to Africa persons who were wholly unfitted for the work there. Had the work in South Africa been properly carried forward, what a change would have been seen there and in the regions beyond! Lt187-1899.4

The Wessels family know that proper persons were not sent to South Africa as workers. As a family they had great confidence in their brethren in America. How disappointed they have been! I have written words of encouragement to Philip and Peter Wessels and others, and then some one of the workers sent from America has greatly discouraged them. As the Lord has presented these matters to me, I have said, God pity those who had no more judgment than to send to Africa workers who had been reproved for their wrong treatment of students in Battle Creek. Lt187-1899.5

Brother Miller’s course and the spirit he manifested in Battle Creek has done great harm in the schools in America and in Africa. His heart was not right with God. He was not emptied of self. The way in which he has handled money showed that he had not a correct influence and could not be trusted with finances. He cannot stand clear before God until he makes confession, if he cannot make restitution of the money which he used in such a way as to prove a great injury. The selfishness manifested by Brother Miller and his wife shows that neither of them had learned the lesson of meekness and lowliness at the feet of Jesus. Lt187-1899.6

Did our brethren in America think that if a man happened to have talent in some things, he was sure to be fitted for the work in South Africa? Did they think that it would not matter whether the workers they sent there were sanctified or unsanctified, for Africa had plenty of money? The unprepared workers who were either encouraged to go to South Africa, or who encouraged themselves to go, have left such an impression that, in regard to many of the workers, the people would rather they had never left America. Some had no missionary spirit in them. Lt187-1899.7

These things have been as a millstone to drag down the work in Africa, to confuse instead of making clear. Who encouraged Sister Griggs to go to South Africa? I was instructed that this young woman was not prepared to deal with human minds in America. She was not prepared to teach a church school in America. Lt187-1899.8

It is a solemn, serious matter to select missionaries for foreign countries. The men whom God will accept for this work must be as true as steel to principle. They must be men who are emptied of self, men who give evidence that they are wearing Christ’s yoke and manifesting His meekness and lowliness of heart. The very best talent is required in such fields as Africa and Australia. We have to work in and through Christ, and in some places with the consent of the corrupt churches, although we cannot respect their claims, wherever the church is managed by the state. We have to use wisdom in representing the truth. Our speech must be tempered, else we cut ourselves off from gaining access to those who need help. The wisdom of angelic agencies must be imparted to human instrumentalities, else the door will be closed to the message the people need. “Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” [Matthew 10:16.] Lt187-1899.9

Talent and money have been largely diverted from South Africa, a field which should have had both these things to employ good workers to enter the destitute fields. God entrusted money to the people of South Africa to be invested in places where there was the greatest need for medical missionary work. This money should not have been transported to America, to enrich a field which had abundant facilities that were growing too weighty to be properly carried. There are missionary fields where the standard of truth has never been uplifted. The Lord calls for new territory to be added to His kingdom. Let the managers of His great work ask Him for sanctified hearts and for abiding wisdom, that they may take into consideration the necessities of the field and their relation to one another in God’s great plan. Lt187-1899.10

But I have not time to write much more. It is now eleven o’clock, and in two hours we start in our phaeton for Maitland, twenty-seven miles away, to stay over Sabbath and Sunday. We prefer to drive rather than to go by rail. Lt187-1899.11

Let those in America, who suppose the voice of the General Conference to be the voice of God, become one with God before they utter their opinions. The Word of God is to be lived as well as preached. It is to be brought into every phase of the Christian work done in this world. The men God has appointed to do His work must be emptied of self. Let Jesus in. Open the door of the heart to the heavenly Guest. Let no man be looked up to as God. When those who come nigh God in service are consecrated, cleansed, and purified, approaching nearer and still nearer the divine benevolence, they can voice the commission of God, and be respected. Lt187-1899.12

The obeying of the Word of God will lead to a state of things vastly different from that which now exists. There will be the putting away of fleshly lusts and greed for gain. That this sin has existed could not be better demonstrated than by the grasping for large wages by those who were professedly acting in Christ’s stead, claiming to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works. God is displeased that His work is not advancing in new territories. Lt187-1899.13

I wish to say that a very poor example has been set the Wessels family by the workers sent to Africa from America. Some of these workers had never learned the lesson of wearing Christ’s yoke and bearing His burden. God designs that men shall be drawn constantly upward by the strong moral attraction of that which is above. Had the workers in Africa remembered this, they would have done a great work by their God-fearing, unselfish attitude. Those in Africa would have been inspired to use their physical and mental capabilities for God. The work would have gone forward among the Dutch and other people. Publications containing the truth would have been circulated everywhere. Ministers and rulers would have been converted to the truth. The war now going on would not have been. Lt187-1899.14

Those who have to work in the South African field must understand the bearing of the situation. Their connection with their African brethren is a reciprocal one. There are men of talent in Africa, and if the workers from America knew how to pocket their self-importance and recognize the ability and talent possessed by their African brethren, much more good would be done. Those who love God and obey His Word are to be closely united. They are to work together, using their talents in various ways. Lt187-1899.15

There was no need of so many workers going to South Africa. Those in Africa who possessed capabilities should have been united with their American brethren. If the brethren and sisters from America had united with the African believers, songs of joy would have been heard among the heavenly angels, recognizing the human relationship as a union with God. Could the curtain have been rolled back, we would have seen heavenly angels all prepared to co-operate with human intelligences for the advancement of the work in South Africa. Lt187-1899.16

Every word uttered, every action performed, by the workers in Africa should have been such as to exert a life-giving influence. Then the work would have advance in strong lines in every place where the workers are now doing something to press back the moral darkness. God is always true. Lt187-1899.17

I can write no more now. As soon as we have eaten dinner, we shall start for Maitland. I may not have time to write anything more for this mail. Lt187-1899.18

In love. Lt187-1899.19