Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 47, 1892

Morrison, Brother

George’s Terrace, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

December 22, 1892

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 1081-1086.

Dear Brother Morrison,

Your kind letter is received, and I thank you for writing me. I am glad to report I am much improved in health. I do not now have to be carried up and down stairs. I was taken up the Echo office stairs last Monday. I then said I shall try to walk up and down stairs alone. And I have done so by help of the baluster; of course, it is taxing to my limbs after being helpless nearly nine months. But I praise the name of the Lord for His mercy and love and the rich blessings which He has graciously given me since being in this country. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 1

We feel deeply the need of workers here, and of money to advance the work. The Sabbathkeepers are mostly poor. There are a few who have something of this world’s goods, and they have assisted liberally, that the cause of God may get a start in this place. We have a printing office here, but no meetinghouse. We meet in halls that are ill ventilated and used for all kinds of gatherings. There is no means of warming them in the cold, rainy season, and it is not safe for me to attend meeting at all in unpleasant weather. Last winter they called here unusually unpleasant. I met with the church a few times, but although they wanted me to speak to them, they said they must advise me not to expose myself in my great suffering. If they had had a suitable place to worship, I should have attended, crippled as I was, and spoken to them every Sabbath when it was pleasant. I had to ride five miles to get to the place of meeting, and I was greatly blessed every time I ventured to go out and to speak to them. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 2

There has never been such a time of want and destitution in Australia as at the present time. There has been a large outlay of means in erecting expensive buildings, some of which remain unused. The land boom has swept through this country, and its results are manifest in empty treasuries. Five thousand people have been unable to find employment. Through the winter, efforts were made to care for the most needy ones, giving them one or two meals a day. The bodies of persons who died from starvation were found in the parks. Many would beg the privilege of searching the swill-barrels to pick out something to eat. And yet many are living in extravagant pleasure, abounding with all good things. As I read the reports, my heart aches. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 3

Our own situation presses upon me with such force that I am perplexed out of measure to know what to do. We must have a house of worship that is neat and clean, and not patronize these dirty halls, with the foul, poisonous air that pervades them. Unbelievers who are professed Christians will not as a general thing come into these buildings. They say it is a shame to hold religious services in such places. And what can be done is the question. But I must submit this, with all things, to God. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 4

This summer I venture to labor in such places, and in the winter I must remain at home. I am questioning whether under the circumstances I should remain here another winter; and yet the work that needs to be done forbids my leaving. Well, the Lord knows all about it. I have thought if our churches in America only appreciated their privileges, and all the conveniences they are having to worship God, they would feel their hearts stirred to do something for these foreign countries and limit some of their own abundant advantages. But I ask myself over and over again, How can we ever make them know and understand the great necessities of the work in these foreign fields? There are but few laborers, because men cannot work unless they are paid for their labor, and there is such a dearth of means to pay them. We are doing what we can. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 5

Our school was a success. It was small, for these are hard times with everybody, but the blessing of the Lord attended the school. The Bible lessons were greatly appreciated, and the students were so well pleased with the school, and especially with the religious instruction, that they readily complied with the rules, and not one case of discipline was necessary during the term. The Spirit of the Lord was often manifested in a marked manner. Next term the members will be doubled. The Lord will work in these colonies; we shall see of His salvation. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 6

We had a very solemn meeting last Sabbath at North Fitzroy. All were so pleased to see me back in Melbourne after being in Adelaide and Ballarat three months. The Lord gave me a message for the people. The congregation was large, and we had a social meeting after the discourse. Another meeting was held in Prahran, near the school building, five miles from North Fitzroy. They had a goodly number at Prahran, and an excellent meeting. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 7

We are busily at work to limit our expenses where it is possible, and yet in many things we must broaden if the work advances. One hundred men could labor in Melbourne and suburbs and not interfere with one another, and yet there is not one laborer in this great city. How are the people to be warned in these countries, is the question. What can be done to proclaim the message when we have so little means to work with, and so few workers? If several families who could understand the situation would move to these countries and engage in some business in places where a few are keeping the Sabbath, and do missionary work for Christ’s sake, I know that by personal labor and holding a steady influence they could do much good. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 8

O that the Lord would stir up the minds of many in America to give themselves to this work! I have tried again and again to place the situation before our people in Battle Creek, but no one responds. There are men in America who with their industrious habits could make a good living and yet exert an influence to win souls to the truth. I wish I could make some impression on hearts, while we remain here, that we [might persuade them] to come for Christ’s sake, for the sake of perishing souls for whom Christ has died. We could counsel together and set in operation plans that would not require a great outlay of means, and yet effect much good. Every one here who can work is at work, but there is so large a territory to be worked, so many that have not yet heard the first sound of the message of warning. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 9

The object of the school is to educate and train men and women to work in their own country. We see some prospect of help here, limited as it is. Through the Bible study, the students are preparing to teach others. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 10

Some times I feel that I must never leave this field until families are settled here from America as missionaries, not ordained ministers, but workers in different lines. Then when I see how helpless we are as far as finances are concerned, I want to get away; everything looks so impossible. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 11

In regard to your own case, I have felt very sad, because the Lord has given you abundance of light, and you did not walk in it. It has seemed very mysterious to me that you should stand, as you have done, so long without opening your heart to the messages God has sent to His people. You have lost much in so doing. But I am hopeful that the truth that is shining in precious beams of light will find entrance to your heart. I have felt so sorry that you could not recognize the voice of Jesus, the true Shepherd. The Lord has wrought out the demonstration of His truth before your eyes, yet you did not see, and your heart was not submitted to the leading of the Holy Spirit of God. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 12

I have been shown that you have been wrought upon by the gracious influences of the Spirit, and have felt moved to accept the truth and the light. At times you desired it, and were ready to reach out your hand to grasp it, to open the door of your heart to its transforming energy; but pride and stubbornness have held you back. Now you begin to see, and I entreat you to make the halfway work in this matter. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 13

Unless you move out decidedly now, unless the transforming power of truth shall do its work upon your heart, and you make thorough work for eternity, you will surely fall into the snare of Satan. I know you have been cheating the soul with excuses and subterfuges; you do not admit this, but it is so. For Christ’s sake, for your soul’s sake, come fully into the light. The glorious prize is full in view. The gates of heaven are open wide. “These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth: I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” [Revelation 3:7, 8.] 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 14

O that the Lord would heal the wounds and bruises that Satan has made! Would that you might become an entirely free man! Come to the light. Fully acknowledge the light, rejoice in the light, and not make halfway work with the matter in order to preserve your dignity. O, for Christ’s sake, for your soul’s sake, make clean work, and put up the bars behind you. It is the only safe thing you can do. A work of self-renunciation is essential, and unreserved casting of yourself, all broken, on Christ Jesus. Then He will gather you in His everlasting arms. Open the door of the heart, and bring into your soul all the heavenly agencies and attributes that will make you a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 15

I believe that you can be a great blessing in the important position you may fill in the Health Retreat. The unyielding will that has held you away from light and precious blessings, give now to God. The victory may be won. Nothing would give me greater joy than to see you a free man in Christ Jesus. Subterfuges and evasions will not, cannot, bring to you peace and rest. You have but one duty before you, to become as a little child; give yourself to God with all your heart. We learn God’s truth by doing His will. The education of the soul in doubt is very unprofitable work. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 16

The Lord would have His sons and daughters reach the highest efficiency in His service. In order to do this, they must maintain the most clear and practical views with regard to the agencies connected in the Lord’s economy with the working out of their salvation, else they will often dwell in darkness and doubt, and in their warfare beat the air, for they seem to have lost sight of the Saviour. The Power is of God, not of us. Out of weakness we may become strong. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 17

In much love. 7LtMs, Lt 47, 1892, par. 18