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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]

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    MR No. 1567—Counsel to S.N. Haskell Regarding Delay to Leave for Europe; Defense of Sister Harris

    (Written January 14, 1887, from Bale, [The French name for basel.] Switzerland, to S. N. Haskell.)

    I have been meaning to write to you for some days, but have been very sick with malaria. I am now improving. It is three weeks since I first was taken sick. I have suffered much, and I feared much how it would turn with me, but I kept praying and putting my whole trust in God, and He has blessed me. I hope to improve now faster that I have done.21MR 315.1

    Elder Ings and wife, and Elder Ertzenberger and I attended the dedication of a small house in Tramelan. Soon after I came into Brother Roth's house, I was alarmed for myself. The water closets were in the house, and on each floor was a water closet. The house was permeated with the poison, and thus it proved to work on me. I was taken with great pain in my stomach, as if poisoned. Still I spoke Sabbath. We had a very solemn meeting. I had to give the dedicatory discourse which was interpreted by Brother Ertzenberger.21MR 315.2

    I grew worse Sunday, but a large hall had been hired, [and] notices had been sent out that I would speak. John Vuilleumier came from Bale to interpret; and although suffering severe spasms of pain. I spoke to three hundred people assembled in the hall. The meeting was pronounced a success, but I dared not remain another night. I had them make arrangements to return to Bale Sunday night after speaking in afternoon. Well, I spoke New Year's to all who could understand English, and the Lord met with us. I became very sick, yet spoke again last Sabbath, and the week now about past has been a week of peril to me, but the worst is past. I feel very thankful to my heavenly Father.21MR 315.3

    We had hoped you would be here at the conference and thought it would prove a blessing, and then W. C. W. would accompany Brother Farnsworth and yourself to England and see what could be done there. Then when the way was prepared, I would spend one or two months in England. But as your plans are not to come till April, we shall not unite in the work in England. I am feeling quite sure that I should return to America and that I must be at my house in California at the end of the two years from the time I left California.21MR 315.4

    We did not propose to wait here all the time while you were tarrying in America, so you may consider the promise annulled to do anything in England. We will, therefore, be on our way to America about, or near, the time you will be coming to England. We felt that we cannot be here any longer, so you must know the situation and consider me released from all promises made to work with you in England. Had you come on as we expected you would, and if the way was made ready, I would have consented to remain until June or July, but now we will make calculations to leave earlier. I dare not be longer exposed to the scents that we have to receive in Switzerland, unless we see it is duty.21MR 316.1

    I begin to feel now that I have done all that I can do in visiting other nations. I have not yet been to Naples, but I do not feel that God has a special work for me to do there. I am not yet determined at all. I left my home in Healdsburg one year ago last July, and I may not see it in two years from the time I left. All that I possess is in other hands’ keeping. I have met with some losses since my absence, but this is nothing. It might have been, had I remained with it. It has been enough for me to see and sense that there must be a work done here in Switzerland, and I have not allowed home matters to disturb me or come into my experience to influence me one jot or tittle in any decision I have made.21MR 316.2

    I am satisfied that God has blessed me, and this is all I desire. And now could I obtain any light to remain longer, I would do so. I do not say that it is your duty to come earlier than you have proposed, but I cannot see that it is our duty to be held here months longer because you are not ready to come. After this conference, my mind will be, I think, clear to again return to my home.21MR 316.3

    I feel a deep interest in the work all over the field. I have no special interest in one place above another, only that I am doing the will of God. We expect our party will arrive here sometime this week, and may the Lord give us wisdom from above to know just how to decide everything in a manner to glorify His holy name. I have been expecting a letter of response from Elder Loughborough in regard to Brother Church and his pledges, but none has come yet. It may come soon. I do hope that you will not work up to the last thread of strength you have. And I should be glad if your wife could have your company more than she has had, poor woman! She has to be away from you so much, but the Lord will not leave or forsake her. I hope she will be constantly blessed of the Lord.21MR 316.4

    Now, my brother, I have some fears in regard to your dwelling with pen and voice so constantly upon Australia. It will be well to talk a reasonable amount and write about it, but dwelling upon it so much, I am afraid it will not bring the blessing of God into your present labors. You are not now in Australia. Put your energies and your thoughts into your present labor. Again, I am sure by a dream that was given me, we are searching for fruit and berries at great distance, when there is excellent fruit close by us. We want to pick not an inferior kind of fruit, but make efforts to get the large and sound fruit. I will write my dream to you soon. I had several pages written in reference to the school at South Lancaster, but Willie thinks I should make an article for the paper, and as it cannot be copied tonight I will send this just as it is and leave the matter I had written especially for the benefit of the school in South Lancaster.21MR 316.5

    I am sure that the dreams that I have had of late teach me lessons that there is a neglect to get the better classes to become interested while the poor classes are not to be neglected, neither should the higher and more intelligent classes be overlooked. I have been, in dreams, instructed that we overlook the fields close by us to labor in far away fields, and we pick very inferior berries when there are larger and a better quality of berries all ready to be gathered. And we are making a mistake in this kind of labor.21MR 317.1

    There are intelligent men and women whom we are afraid to work for, fearing repulse; but earnest efforts should be made for the higher classes, coming close to their hearts, visiting them and using special wisdom to win them to the truth. There should be no pushing, no sharp contention, but leading their minds out to investigate.21MR 317.2

    I dreamed we had lost in our want of effort and faith to pray and work for intelligent men and women, and when we see these have any interest there has been a neglect by some to follow it up and pray or work and to move with great wisdom, yet in love to win them to the truth.21MR 317.3

    Just as soon as I can I will send you a copy of the matter I have mentioned, but I am desirous this shall go into our mail tonight. I am not doing much letter writing now, for I am leaving all energies we have to accomplish this work for the press before we leave for America.21MR 317.4

    I do not blame you at all for wanting to work in New England when they need help so very much. I should feel just as you do, but this does not make a connection with us, so that I think our duty is plain to go to America as I have said.21MR 317.5

    Now, Brother Haskell, let me speak to you in regard to Sister Harris. She has been a woman who has seen much sorrow, and I know that God has worked for her. He has shown her favors and she has had a genuine experience in the things of God; and the suspicions expressed by yourself and others in reference to her some time ago, make me feel very sad, because I do not think she deserves them. I have not hinted these things to her, but I have felt exceedingly grieved that a worthy sister should, for no real fault or sin on her part, be thus regarded by those who ought to regard her differently. Everything that I can see is the matter, she may, or you think she may not, think everything her brethren in South Lancaster do is above criticism, and not entering soul and spirit into every suggestion and plan has drawn upon her criticism and suspicion.21MR 317.6

    I have great confidence in her for this, although she has made no complaints to me. Yet the words and the attitude of yourself, as well as others, toward her was, to say the least, not cordial. If there is a woman that loves and fears God in South Lancaster, it is Sister Harris. If there is a woman I would fear to slight or offend, because it would grieve the Spirit of God, it is Sister Harris. And those who would speak against her in any way to affect your feelings toward her, had better be on their knees before God, and get all that feeling out of their hearts, and not draw from her, but come close to her, and show her sympathy and love. This changeable mood toward those who have been real pillars in the truth, I cannot see is bearing the divine stamp, and if we have much less of this spirit to change, we should change our feelings, because someone does not think us above making mistakes is a spirit that is not of Christ, and I mean to condemn it wherever I see it.21MR 318.1

    Well, I must stop. God bless you and your wife.—Letter 20, 1887.21MR 318.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    April 18, 1991.

    Entire Letter.

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