Ellen G. White Writings

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Footprints of the Pioneers, Page 11

of Lancaster early in the 60’s; they were the first Seventh-day Adventists here. Shortly came that prince of pioneers, that captain of the missionary hosts, Stephen N. Haskell, and settled here. 1Rowena E. Purdon, The Story of a Church, p. 4.

Haskell was a convert of William Saxby and Joseph Bates. A young benedict of nineteen years, living in Hubbardston, Massachusetts, he made and sold soap for a living. His education was meager, but his wife, a teacher several years older than he (one informant told me), “taught him all he knew”-which, barring the soap business, may have been true in his minority, but certainly is hyperbolic as to his later years.

Traditions take in ample territory about Mrs. Mary How Haskell. Thus: She was an invalid; she could manage spirited horses as few men could. She was a martinet, with firm set lips; she was a loving wife, who rose at an unearthly hour to greet her husband, back from a two-year world-girdling journey. She was a cultured woman, a poet, whose large and carefully selected library was the Mecca of thoughtful students in the early days of the South Lancaster school; she was a recluse, who was seldom at home to visitors. But each and every purveyor of these several tales agrees without scruple to the legends of the others. A remarkable woman!

Stephen Haskell in 1852 heard an Adventist sermon (from one of those whom we call First-day Adventists, but no present church body. Rather, one of those followers of Himes and Bliss who after a while organized as the Evangelical Adventists, only to disappear early in this century), and forthwith he began to talk to his friends about the second coming of Christ.

“You ought to hire a hall, and preach,” they told him.

“Well,” he answered, half in banter, “if you’ll hire the hall, I’ll preach.”

Forthwith they hired the hall; and Stephen, not to be bluffed, stood up and-found that he could preach. There was no money

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