Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 10a, 1892

Haskell, S. N.

[Preston, Melbourne, Australia]

[April 6, 1892]

Variant of Lt 10, 1892. Portions of this letter are published in Ev 344-345; 1MR 16; 6MR 376-377.

[S. N. Haskell:] 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 1

Oh, what a vast number of people have never been warned! And until there is a company of workers instructed to labor, not in a fitful manner but after Christ’s order, who will not fail or be discouraged, but little can be done here. But very little has been done in the educating and training of workers, for the reason there are not the kind of educators in this missionary field. Is it all right that such a superabundance of opportunities and privileges should be provided for the work in America, while there is such a destitution of the right kind of labor here in this large field? Where are God’s missionaries? Where are the men who will go without the camp and bear the reproach which Jesus has borne for them? If families should come and settle in the churches, persons that are devoted Christians, who have a knowledge of the truth, they could accomplish a good work though they never preached a sermon. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 2

Thank the Lord that efforts are being made for the training of our missionaries, that schools and institutions have been established for the education of ministers and our people. The great work demands this. Opposition of every sort will have to be met now in a more decided manner than ever before. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 3

There is home missionary work that is to be done, and we hear the plea, So long as there is so much sin and such need of labor in our own country, why manifest such zeal for foreign countries? I answer, Our field is the world. Wickedness abounds to an alarming extent everywhere. The Saviour directed His disciples to begin their work in Jerusalem, and then pass on through Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Only a small proportion of the people accepted the doctrine; but the messengers bore the message rapidly from place to place, passing from country to country, lifting the standard of the gospel in all the near and far-off places of the earth. But there was a preparatory work. The Saviour’s promise was, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me.” [Acts 1:8.] Those who will not follow their own will and desires, but seek counsel of the Lord, will not be dull scholars, for the Lord will teach them. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 4

Although thousands at home neglect this great salvation and prove themselves unworthy of eternal life, let zealous efforts be put forth for those who are in the midnight of darkness. God will speak to the unenlightened. This light is to shine amid the moral darkness. “I have set thee to be a light to the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” [Acts 13:47.] While there are so many to be sought for, so many that are in gross darkness, shall we not cry aloud and spare not? 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 5

How much more is needed! How much wise, well planned effort to send the truth by publications and the living preacher! Many, we are happy to say, are doing much, opening new fields and broadening the work everywhere. But there are many ways in which we can personally do much more than we have done, by practicing self-denial, living not to please ourselves. Every soul who has accepted this truth should make personal efforts for the salvation of friends and relatives and neighbors. Individual cases should be presented as subjects of our prayers to our heavenly Father. Let us imitate the life of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 6

How much means are spent for things that are mere idols. Things that engross the thoughts and affections, little ornaments that require attention to be kept free from dust and placed in order. The moments spent in arranging these little idols might be spent in speaking a word in season to some soul, awakening an interest to inquire, “What shall I do to be saved?” [Acts 16:30.] These little things take the time that should be devoted to prayer, seeking the Lord, and grasping by faith the promises. How decided are these words, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praise of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:9.] There is a joyous tide of spiritual health that comes from these souls who have Jesus formed within. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 7

Now, if we should have a testimony in regard to money needlessly expended for ornaments and picture making, a large revenue would flow in to swell the riches of the treasury. When I see how much might be done in such countries as I am now in, my heart burns within me to show to those who profess to be the children of God how much money they are wasting on dress, on expensive furniture, or selfish pleasures, in excursions merely for selfish gratifications. All this is embezzling the Lord’s goods, using to please self that means that is wholly His, and which should be devoted to His service. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 8

Souls are perishing right within the shadows of our own doors, and in foreign countries, because the money that God purposed to carry the light to others did not flow into His treasury, because those who profess the truth did not love the truth and bring it into the inner sanctuary of their soul, bringing every thought into captivity to Jesus Christ. So many professing godliness are as destitute of the love of Christ in the heart as the veriest sinner. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 9

We want missionaries who will venture to lift the standard of truth in the cities and in the highways of Australia and New Zealand. It needs families who are not self-centered. It needs those who can work in different capacities and who will not faint at the prospect of self-denial, who will work anywhere, take up the work right at hand and work for Jesus anywhere, and then reach forward to other lines of work. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 10

I never wish to see a country furnished with such inefficient workers as, with a few exceptions, are here in this country. New Zealand must be looked after; ministerial labor is needed there; the churches need laborers who will feel the burden of caring for the flock of God, those who can say by precept and example, “We preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ... Always bearing in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our mortal flesh.” [1 Corinthians 4:5, 6, 10, 11.] 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 11

The truth we have accepted is exceedingly precious, fully able to make us wise workers with Christ. It refines, elevates, and purifies the receiver, cutting away the fleshly lusts, and its glorious influence filling the soul brings every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Again I ask where are God’s servants? Where are the missionaries for God? We want converted men and women in this country. I am encompassed with infirmities and cannot do much, but be assured that I will do all in my power. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 12

Elder Grant is here in Melbourne, and should he make a raid against our people, there are no laborers in this country, unless a miracle were wrought, who could honor the Lord any better than by keeping out of all controversy. The Lord has been put to open shame by some who have tried to meet the sharp opponents. Was it because of their inefficiency? They felt self-sufficient, and the Lord could give them no victory. I do not know as these opponents should be met at all. Perhaps it is best to go right along, saying nothing that can be interpreted as a challenge, and labor humbly with contrite hearts, leaving this work with the Lord to manage. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 13

We need a deeper work of grace in our own hearts, as a people keeping the commandments of God; we are to be separate and distinct from the world. We are joined to the Lord by an everlasting covenant, engaged to live for Him and none else. Jesus is to be our all and in all. But is there not a seeking after pleasure and strange vanity? Have we not left the cool snow waters of Lebanon to drink of the turbid streams of the valley? Have we not forfeited the exalted privileges which have bound us to God in a peculiar sense as His chosen in whom He delighted? My heart is yearning for the people of God to awaken and to see how the work has been hindered, even in this country, by want of brotherly love. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 14

Envy and jealousy and self-uplifting will drive Jesus from the heart. It is best for God’s people to be doers of the Word, to educate and train their souls to love one another, to put away their criticisms, to be kindly affectioned one toward another, to be free from the least taint of jealousy. Evil-surmising has cursed the church long enough. We want now to let the pitying love of Jesus into our hearts, and let mercy and compassion abide with us. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 15

How quickly self is touched! How quick men are to imagine they are slighted, and they think evil. Hearts filled with the love of Jesus will not do this, for they are reaching for the completeness in Christ Jesus. They will have confidence in their brethren. They will often bow in prayer with them. This is a privilege not appreciated by many. They will plead the promise, “I say unto you that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything they shall ask, it shall be done for them by my Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 18:19.] They can cling to that promise; their hearts need just this kind of discipline in order to blend together. But if Satan is allowed to come in between brother and brother, there is weakness and no strength. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 16

Shall we not labor most decidedly for unity and love, considering our advantages in the delightful words spoken by Christ in John 17:21-23?—“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” This truth has long been shining upon us. We are under condemnation because our works and character have not corresponded with the truth. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 17

We shall be judged by the light given us. Is it not time in this our day to come out of the cave and stand with God, and hear what the Lord will say to us? Is it not now high time that we sought with all our capabilities to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples may be one as He is one with the Father? Let us press this upon our own souls; let us urge it upon the church. I am alarmed as I see the self-sufficient independence of our churches. The message that I have heard for the last forty years has been, “Press together, press together.” Had we better not heed that message? In unity there is strength. In division there is weakness. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 18

I want our people to see the sinfulness of a lack of tenderness and affection and respect and love for one another. I want them to realize that they are on trial; God is proving them to see if they can become members of His family in heaven. If they do not love one another in this life, they will not be prepared to exercise love in the future immortal life. Now, just now, is our fitting-up time; will we improve it? If we love Jesus we shall love those for whom He died. And just as surely, when this love pervades the church, we shall see scores of laborers, missionaries imbued with the love of Jesus and with love for the souls for whom He died, going to those countries where their help and their experience is so much needed. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 19

What more can I say? My heart is filled to overflowing with the longing I have for souls and that all shall enter the work to take hold of it aright. Only those are fit for this work who are imbued with the Holy Spirit. The light has come; the light which will enlighten the earth with its bright rays has been shining from the throne of God. Shall we fail to appreciate the most precious privileges that are brought within our reach? Shall we go on in our own spirit and weakness? Shall we walk in the sparks of our own kindling? The Lord means that these privileges and opportunities shall do a special work for us, and [that] receiving light [we should] diffuse light. Will we walk in the light? Will we let this light flash upon the pathway of others? How long shall we disappoint Jesus by a cold, half-hearted life destitute of love? Must the candlestick be removed out of its place? Christ declares it will be unless we “repent and do our first works.” [Revelation 2:5.] Who is making the efforts demanded to meet this want? What are we doing for a world lying in wickedness? What excuse can we offer to God for this gross negligence? 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 20

Oh, I beseech the people of God who shall hear these lines read to work for the Master wherever they can. Try to enlighten souls. Try to show them the truth. Your own heart must be in the love of God, then angels will be around about you. How will you answer Jesus, the Judge of the living and the dead, when He shall ask you why you did not give the light He had given you to other souls just as precious as your own? How could you meet them day after day, let them go and come and yet not open your lips to tell them of the riches of Christ? Will their blood not be charged to you for this sinful neglect? 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 21

Brother Haskell, I present this to you that you may present it to others. Oh, that the Lord would convict and convert souls, that the light now shining may not be removed from us because we do not walk in the light and lead others out of darkness. I feel intensely over this deadness and frivolity of God’s people. I beg of them rest not until their souls shall be all aglow with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Those who make no use of the light which they have will not only fail to receive greater light, but they will lose that which now shines upon them. Like Capernaum they have been exalted to heaven in point of privileges; unless they respond to the light they will be left in complete darkness and will not know at what they stumble. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 22

I tell you God is testing us now. The whole world is to be lightened with the glory of God. The light is shining now, and how hard it has been for proud hearts to accept of Jesus as their personal Saviour; how hard to get out of the rut of a legal religion; how hard for them to grasp the rich, free gift of Christ. Those who have not accepted this offering will not understand anything of that light which fills the whole earth with His glory. Let every heart now seek the Lord. Let self be crucified, for rich and glorious blessings are awaiting all who shall maintain contrition of soul. With them Jesus can abide; they will let nothing interpose between their souls and God. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 23

I long, Oh so much, to see the people of God elevated, ennobled, sanctified by the truth, manifesting in all their labors that intense, that earnest faith and hope which is proportionate with the value of the object they are in pursuit of. Life, eternal life, is worth persevering, untiring, lifelong effort. Never be weary in well-doing; never be discouraged. Jesus lives; Jesus pleads for us; Jesus will not leave us, not a moment, if we will only commit the keeping of our souls to Him. Be of good courage in the Lord. Look up, ever look up, and behold Him who is your eternal reward. 7LtMs, Lt 10a, 1892, par. 24