Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

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Lt 46, 1894

Kellogg, J. H.

Per Ardua, Williams St., Granville, New South Wales, Australia

May 17, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 386; 4Bio 140, 148.

J. H. Kellogg, M.D.
Battle Creek, Michigan

Dear Brother,

We received your welcome letter, and Eld. Starr, W. C. White, Sr. Starr, and I listened to the reading of it by Willie. You say you are pleased to know that I have banished meat from my table. I have been earnestly trying to do this for years, but it was too much of a battle for me, though not all the members of my family used meat. At our camp meeting we resolved not to furnish meat for the dining tent, and we did not. We had plenty of fruits, grains, and vegetables. Meat broth was sent to my tent twice, but was returned. I have not had a particle of meat on my table since <camp meeting.> 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 1

While at the school building after camp meeting, we kept house and cooked for ourselves until we moved to this place. Here we keep fowls, and there were several roosters shut up with intent to kill, to make a dish for the table. We have a large family, and some might have enjoyed it, but I said positively, No, I cannot consent to have flesh meats on my table. If I taste it myself, my testimony against it has no real edge. Some may have thought I was straining the point. I said to Brother Belden, “Take these fowls, and exchange them for some article of food, fruits or grains.” I see that the fowls are not, so I think he has done this. I thought, if I break down the barrier once, then principle is violated. I thank the Lord that my table is clean from the flesh of dead animals. Bro. Starr told us a little story in reference to this matter, which Bro. Tait had told him from his own experience. Ask Bro. Tait to tell it to you, “The poor old dead cow.” We have related it over and over at tables where we have been, and it has been a success in making the way easier for us. I have a healthy calf, which would once have been a temptation, but we sold it, and some meat-eater had the privilege of devouring the poor dead calf. I asked the members of my family if they are meat hungry, but they say, “I never think of meat; I have no desire for it.” 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 2

Our family is composed of S. T. Belden and his wife (Brother Belden does the purchasing for us and helps us in many ways); Brother and Sister Lawrence and their daughter, who came from America with Elder Corliss; they have been with us about three or four weeks, waiting for a decision in regard to the land to be purchased for the school; then it is thought they will settle where the school is to be located. Bro. Lawrence could be a help in educating those who do not understand farming. Brother and Sister Starr are with us, Sister Starr acting as matron of my house; <these with> Marian Davis and Emily Campbell, May Walling and my hired girl, Maud Camp, with Willie and his mother comprise the family. We have a tent pitched in our yard to furnish lodging room for Brother and Sister Lawrence. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 3

You see we have a large family, and it takes some provision to satisfy our wants. We have been studying how we can economize. The only thing I decided we could give up was butter. This has been banished from the table; we use no flesh meats nor butter. We have a good cow, and think of purchasing another new milch cow, so that we can have plenty of cream and milk to cook with. In these hard times a good cow can be bought for from four to six pounds. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 4

Many things of interest to us in this country have occurred recently. Two brothers named Firth of Kellyville, twelve miles from Granville, were arrested a short time since for working on Sunday. They were on their farm, clearing the land. There is no dwelling house within some distance from them. Before accepting the truth, these brethren were not members of any church; they were converted out of the world. The eldest brother has given a lot in his lemon orchard as a site for a meeting-house and our people there have a neat little church erected and nearly paid for. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 5

The brothers were summoned to appear at the police court for trial. W. C. White, Bro. McCullagh, Bro. Starr, and several of the leading members of the church were present. The Brn. Firth acknowledged that they had been at work on Sunday, and the judge would hear only a few words. He said he had not come to reason on the matter. Bro. Harry Firth stated that he kept the Seventh-day Sabbath religiously, and could not observe the first day. But he was bluffed off, and the sentence was passed that each should pay a fine of five shillings or sit in the stocks in a public place for two hours. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 6

The brethren refused to pay the fine, but as the police authorities have no stocks, they levied on the elder brother’s horse and cart, and thus compelled him to pay the fine, for the situation of things at home demanded his attention. His brother, who lives with him, has no property they can attach, and there is the sentence, fine or stocks. We felt a little sad at first, then we declared that if these brethren were put in [the] stocks, our ministering brethren would stand by them, and with open Bible preach the Word of God. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 7

But events have shown that there could not have been a better thing for the cause of truth than this trial. The attention of the people is called to the fact that this persecution was made under an old law of Charles II. The daily papers of Parramatta, Sydney, and Melbourne have taken the matter up and published a decided condemnation of the law and the sentence passed upon these brethren. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 8

May 16 was a very stirring day. W. C. White asked me to call him at 5 a.m., for at that hour Cook’s excursion train would pass through Granville with Brethren Daniells and Smith on board from Melbourne, enroute to Sydney. He wished them to stop off and breakfast with us. It was a cool, bracing morning, we had a cheerful fire in our open stove, and had from 5 a.m. until half past 8 to take breakfast, visit fast, and get to the train. There were many things to talk about on both sides. We were glad to hear in regard to the religious interest in Melbourne. Thirty have accepted the truth in Williamstown, and sixteen had signed the covenant in Auburn, or Hawthorn, when the cold weather made it necessary to take down the tent in that place; but Providence opened the way for them to secure a nice meeting house. This building was offered them for rent at a low figure, and they have secured it, for how long we are unable to say. As the churches begin to manifest the spirit of opposition, all these special favors to us will be regarded by them as manifesting disloyalty to the Sunday; they will feel that their idol sabbath is dishonored. It is believed that no less than one hundred persons have this year begun the observance of the Sabbath in Melbourne and its suburbs. We will praise God for this accession; so many more to be shining lights amid the moral darkness of the wicked city of Melbourne and the regions round about. There is most earnest work to be done in Melbourne and many more souls to be gathered in. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 9

Well, we had a very interesting time relating what had taken place in the portion of the vineyard in which we were laboring. All too soon our time for visiting closed, and we were left to continue our work. Brethren Smith and Daniells were to spend Wednesday in looking at land and return to Sydney in the evening. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 10

On May 15, an editor or assistant from one of the Parramatta papers came to see Eld. Starr and requested his last Sunday evening’s discourse for publication. Bro. Starr took it to the printers yesterday. On the evening of May 16, Bro. Starr and some others of the family went to the prayer meeting at Parramatta. During the meeting, Eld. McCullagh called Bro. Starr out to visit the mayor of the city with him. For they were to arrange for a public meeting on Tuesday evening, May 22, in the largest hall in Parramatta, in which, on former visits to this place I have spoken twice. It is evident that Parramatta is ashamed of the notoriety she has gained by this Sunday persecution, and the mayor wishes in this meeting, to take steps toward petitioning parliament for a repeal of the law. Our brethren had already arranged to hire the hall for a meeting next Tuesday evening, and had paid one guinea toward the expense. We hope that they will be able to secure an opportunity for presenting the principles of religious liberty. The mayor says he will call the meeting himself, and hopes to have a large attendance. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 11

The unearthing of a statute that so evidently breathes of the spirit of the dark ages, and the vindictiveness manifested in the persecution of Christian men who were quietly working on their own farms, when all about them men are breaking Sunday with impunity, is arousing the indignation of men who have no ecclesiastical interests to protect. The persecution and the law under which it is brought, are alike looked upon as a relic of barbarism. The whole affair seems to have aroused the people and brought our work into notice, as hardly anything else would have done. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 12

Today, Bro. Starr visited the judge who pronounced the sentence, thinking that while he might feel bound to enforce the law as it stands, he might really possess more liberal sentiments, or might be influenced somewhat by the popular denunciation of the persecution. But the judge was the judge out of court as well as in. He would not express his opinion on either side, but declared that he should pronounce sentence according to the old law, if cases should arise demanding it. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 13

We believe that the meeting next Tuesday evening will accomplish good and still further arousing an interest in the subject, and preparing the way for the circulation of religious liberty literature. And we shall unite in the work of presenting a petition to parliament asking for a repeal of the law. Now is the time to work earnestly in this country. We must all of us be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 14

This morning, May 17, Willie leaves us to view a tract of land seventy-five miles distant. He is to meet Elder Daniells and Brother Smith at a station near Sydney, where other brethren from Sydney will join them. Elders Starr and McCullagh will have to remain here until the evening after the Sabbath; then one or both of them, with others, will join the ones already on the ground, and there will be a thorough examination of the large tract of land, which is offered us on easy terms. Bro. and Sr. Lawrence went yesterday with a tent, W. C. White has taken a supply of bedding and provisions, and thus the party will be provided with board and lodging, to save hotel bills. And the fact that they can spend their nights on the ground, will expedite business. All will return on Monday or Tuesday, in order to attend the meeting in Parramatta. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 15

We see an important work now crowded upon us, that we feel unprepared to take hold of, for want of means; but the Lord is rich in resources. He can work, and none can hinder Him. O for the Holy Spirit to work with and through human instrumentalities. The same agency that has created the necessity for something to be done at once in lifting the standard of truth, exalting God’s memorial, can dispose hearts to receive the light, and can recreate the soul now dead in trespasses and sins. The heavenly verdict will be, “Ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord.” [Ephesians 5:8.] Heaven will look upon men who were degraded and sinful, and pointing to them will say, “Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” [1 Corinthians 6:11.] O the Lord has many souls to be gathered from the large city of Sydney and these surrounding towns. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 16

A renewing power is to enter into the minds and hearts of those who will hear candidly, and search the Scriptures for themselves. Already some have embraced the truth in Parramatta who stand as a miracle of God’s mercy and long forbearance; men who were cardplayers, gamblers, drunkards, have been transformed. The grace of God triumphs gloriously in the change made in their life and character. When persons oppose our faith, unbelievers point to these men and say, “See what the Adventists faith has done for these men.” These truly converted souls reflect light, and testify of the matchless grace of God. Seraphim around the throne are commissioned to minister unto these souls, to encourage them to have faith that they are kept through the power of God. 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 17

I have sent you articles, in which I think you will be interested. <Much love to your large family.> 9LtMs, Lt 46, 1894, par. 18