Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 46a, 1894

Kellogg, J. H.

“Norfolk Villa,” Prospect St., Granville, New South Wales, Australia

October 25, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 117-118; 16MR 69-70; MRmnt 122; FBS 41.

Dear Brother Kellogg,

I sincerely wish that I could sit by your side and converse with you. You have mentioned a number of things in your letter that I probably shall not be able to speak about, for your letter was taken to the campground yesterday, and I returned to Granville last evening, leaving my American mail in my hired room at the camp. I have risen at 3 a.m. to commence writing. I am glad to say that my health is very good for me. I praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice that I am able to do as much work as I now do. You speak in regard to the republication of the book Christian Temperance. My mind has been much exercised in reference to this book, and I desire to revise and enlarge it. As yet I have found no time in which to do this, but I am planning in reference to it. I need help in this matter, but there is no one who is free to help me. Again and again I go over the ground in the hours of the night, and try to plan how the work can be done, but obstacles will come up and bar my way, and at the end of my devising, I find myself just about where I began. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 1

Willie is called hither and thither in his work, and letters have come to me from you and from others that he has not seen. Not one letter in a hundred comes to his notice that is sent to me. I cannot urge him to consider any matter that is connected with my position of trust, when I know that his brain is weary and congested with considering important matters that need his attention. He has plenty of his own burdens without bearing any of mine. He is with me but a very small portion of time, so I cannot expect help from him. Then Marian is working at the greatest disadvantage. I find but little time in which to write on the life of Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 2

I am continually receiving letters that demand an answer, and I dare not neglect important matters that are brought to my notice. Then there are churches to visit, private testimonies to write, and many other things to be attended to that tax me and consume my time. Marian greedily grasps every letter I write to others in order to find sentences that she can use in the life of Christ. She has been collecting everything that has a bearing on Christ’s lessons to His disciples, from all possible sources. After the camp meeting is ended, which is a very important meeting, I shall locate myself in some place where I can give myself to the work of writing on the life of Christ. Where that will be is a question that is not settled, but it must be done. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 3

I could not be better situated than I now am as far as a pleasant and convenient house is concerned. We are living in Granville within a mile and half of the Parramatta markets and business houses. We can purchase our vegetables and fruits at auction sales, and many times at a great discount. Our dwelling is one of the first order in every respect. It stands upon high ground and is surrounded by open paddocks on every side but one. The scenery is rather attractive; there is no open drainage, and only one house close by us. The location is all that we could desire. The rooms are light and airy, and we have plenty of them. Willie has his office on the lower floor and his sleeping room on the second floor. He is more conveniently situated than he has ever been in his life. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 4

All this is very good, but there are other things that are not so favorable to the advancement of the work we should like to see done. There are four churches which must be visited. All but one are new churches. The oldest church is at Sydney about thirteen miles from Granville. Another church is located at Kellyville in a beautiful section of the country. It is built in an orange and lemon orchard, and there has been fruit on the trees for more than six months. Kellyville is eleven miles from Granville in an opposite direction from the Sydney church. Another church is built at Prospect and has a membership of thirty adult members. The Sabbath school numbers about forty. A new meeting house has just been built there to accommodate the believers, and is about eight miles from Granville. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 5

The Parramatta church is one mile from our home, and has a membership of eighty. These young churches must be looked after, and the little flocks must be fed. We arranged to attend meetings at some one of these various places on Sabbath. But visiting these churches is a small item in comparison to the work that comes in connection with the care of the churches. There is much to be done in the churches, and I cannot act my part in keeping up the interest and do the other work that is necessary for me to do without becoming so weary that I cannot devote strength to writing on the life of Christ. I am much perplexed as to what is my duty. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 6

The education and training of the people has been very deficient. When persons take hold of the truth it is necessary that their character shall be reshaped. I will give you an illustration of some of their ideas. Yesterday an intelligent sister was searching the large dictionary to see how a certain word was pronounced. I learned that she had taken Sister Belden to task for the way in which she pronounced hospital. This sister said it should be pronounced “orspital,” and Sister Belden put the dictionary into her hands. After finding that she was wrong she said, “Your American dictionary is all wrong. I am sure that a dictionary issued in the country would never have ‘orspital’ spelled with an ‘h’.” The above will show you how determined some of the people are to hold to the idea that the old country pronunciation is just the right thing. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 7

The habits and customs of many have to be changed and remodeled. We are surprised to see the changes that have already been wrought. The Lord is working in a marked manner. We have a great work to do, but we find almost as many hindrances placed in our way by our American brethren as by our colonial brethren. Many of them fail to discern the way in which the Lord would have affairs managed. It takes time to change their ideas as well as those of the colonials. The school has been a heavy responsibility; it has been profitable in changing many things for the better; but it is a large work. We have little means, limited resources, and few workers to do the work that must be accomplished. The location of the school promises to be a difficult problem to settle, as we are not all agreed as to where the school should be located. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 8

I have thought of many ways in which I could work in preparing books, and I have about decided to take no wages from the conference this coming year, and devote all my time to writing for the books that ought to be prepared without further delay. I would like to write on the life of Christ, on Christian Temperance, and prepare Testimony No. 34, for it is very much needed. I will have to stop writing so much for the papers, and let the Review and Herald, the Signs of the Times, and all other periodicals go without articles from my pen for this year. All articles that appear under my signature are fresh, new writings from my pen. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 9

I am sorry that I have not more literary help. I need this kind of help very much. Fannie could help me a great deal on the book work if she had not so many articles to prepare for the papers, and so many letters and testimonies to edit to meet the demands of my correspondence and the needs of the people. It is of no use to expect anything from Marian until the life of Christ is completed. I wish I could procure another intelligent worker who could be trusted to prepare matter for the press. Such a worker would be of great value to me. But the question is, where shall I find such an one? I am brain weary much of the time. I write many pages before breakfast. I rise in the morning at two, three, and four o’clock. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 10

I think it best to refuse to take a salary for this year, because if I attempt to write on the life of Christ, and articles are prepared from the superabundance of matter, and sent to the Review for publication, some of the managers argue that I am paid twice for my work. First by my salary which the conference allows me, and then by the royalty I receive for my books. You know that my whole theme both in the pulpit and in private, by voice and pen, is the life of Christ. Hitherto nearly all that I have written on this theme has been written during the hours when others are sleeping, but those who are not under the control of the Spirit of God can imagine strange, untrue things, and in their ignorance of facts, they can exert an influence in council and committee meetings which will place me in a false position before our people. Some seem to feel afraid that Sister White shall be paid too much for her labors. They do not consider the fact that I do not profess to be the owner of any money that comes into my hands. I regard it as the Lord’s money for which I must render an account. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 11

I supposed that Elder Olsen had taken in the situation when he was here, and that he could appreciate the way in which we were working to supply means to do the work that must be done, and if we did not supply means, important work would be retarded. But the way in which matters have developed since his return reveal to me the fact that he did not comprehend our situation, or he never would have allowed the brethren to pursue the course of action which they have. By his silence or assent or superscription he could place our work in a false light and put our workers at a great disadvantage. On account of the course which has been pursued, we have passed through a painful experience, and I know that unless the Lord shall restore me by His healing power from the natural result of this experience, I shall certainly fail in health and lose my courage in doing the work which should be done in this country. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 12

We cannot with our wills sway back the wave of poverty which is sweeping over this country; but just as far as the Lord shall provide us with means, we shall break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free. We cannot look upon our people, and see them in distress, and yet like the priest and Levite, pass by on the other side. Jesus said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] I am glad that in a limited degree the Lord has permitted me to act the part of Joseph, and all I wish is, that I had more means with which to relieve the prevailing distress. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 13

How I shall dispose of my means is a matter between me and my God. It seems to me that my brethren think that I have no conscience in these matters, and that they need to be conscience for me. Last year, after paying tithes on all the money that was paid to me by the General Conference, I saw that it was necessary to aid the school enterprise in this country, and I gave one thousand dollars more than the whole amount paid to me for my year’s work. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 14

Earnest letters were written me requesting me to write for the Youth’s Instructor; but I could not see how I could take this additional burden. I had numerous letters and testimonies that had to be prepared for various individuals, and it was necessary that the papers should be supplied with articles, and there was more work to be done than could be carried through by one person when all the burden of editing and copying the matter was laid upon one worker. I concluded that it would be necessary to hire somebody to run the typewriter for Fannie Bolton, and so distribute the work. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 15

I hired Mattie Lawrence for this work, and she put in above half of her time in working with Sister Bolton. I paid her three dollars per week and provided her with board and room which amount to three dollars more per week. This extra worker therefore cost me six dollars per week. Willie did not understand this arrangement as he was not with me for a great portion of the time. He supposed that I was receiving two dollars per week for the articles, and that at the same time the General Conference was paying me for my time. He wrote to the Auditing Committee concerning this matter, not knowing that I was employing extra help in order to meet these difficult demands. He is so afraid that I will receive anything from the conference that will make me appear selfish, or cause me to become the subject of criticism, that he is anxious to close up every avenue that will in any way open up temptation to some of my brethren to criticize. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 16

The Auditing Committee thought best to deduct two dollars per week from my salary and to take one dollar per week from Willie’s. Elder Olsen had been in this country and knew the tremendous load I was carrying in bearing financial burdens for the school and the churches. He knew that this was a destitute field, and it was surprising and perplexing to me that he should have permitted the Auditing Committee to take this action. The books will show that I had pledged means to sustain every camp meeting, and had given not less than one hundred dollars or more to help defray the expenses. Willie has also donated as much as his circumstances would allow. His home debts and his continual donations make it necessary for him to call upon me for the loan of twelve hundred dollars. I loaned him this amount, and also hired thirteen hundred dollars which I have used in the cause here. Donations have also come to me, but I have not expended one dollar on myself, but have added to these donations and invested the money in building meetinghouses, and in doing various other things to build up the cause of God. 9LtMs, Lt 46a, 1894, par. 17