Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 28, 1894

Haskell, S. N.

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

May 9, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 12MR 77-82. +Note

Pacific Press
Oakland, California

Dear Brother,

I received your interesting letter, and I know that you have done your best in behalf of this portion of the “regions beyond.” [2 Corinthians 10:16.] I hope you will not cease your efforts because you did not succeed in sending the means for the work here. Do not be troubled; you have done that which it was your privilege and duty to do, and if Brother C. H. Jones has stepped out of line, and taken into his own hands the responsibility of appropriating means devoted to a certain branch of the work, he must answer to God for this. I was more sad for the principle that led to such decisions than for the loss of the money, sorely as we needed it. God pity the ones who shall become confused in their ideas, and shall forget the high standard that He expects them to reach. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 1

I hope and pray that you may see it your duty to come to this country when your work in California is done. But my mind is deeply impressed that it will not answer for you to leave your responsible position at present; wait patiently a little longer. Trust in your heavenly Father, whatever circumstances may arise. I do have a desire that as one of the old hands in the cause you should help those in California all you possibly can without exhausting your strength. We are now in perilous times, and there is need in California of a firm, steady, true purpose. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 2

Yesterday in the morning Brethren Starr and McCullagh, Sister Starr and Sister White rode out thirteen miles in the country to visit brethren at Castle Hill. For some reason our own horse was lame, and Brother Caldwell loaned us a large, cheap draught horse he had purchased to use in the canvassing work. The road was up hill, not steep, but gradually ascending. The horse moved much like an elephant, and Brother Starr, in his position as driver, acted very much like a Captain in the Salvation Army, devising every way to get some “quickly” into the animal, but it was a hopeless case. We were sorry, for there was much visiting to be done, and our brethren were in great need of all the help we could give them. We had been offered the use of that horse to go into country places, if we needed him, but his slow movements decided us not to enter into temptation by trying to drive such an animal. The King’s business requires haste, but we could not dispatch it in haste if we depended on such a horse to take us from place to place. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 3

When we go out to visit in the country, we have no opportunity to send them word beforehand, so we carry our provisions with us, place an abundance of simple food on the table, and <break bread> with the family. This privilege we value highly, because it gives us an opportunity to see the family together, and have a conversation with them; but we could not enjoy it that day, for we spent most of our precious time on the road. When we reached the first place, Brother Whiteman’s, the family had taken their noonday meal. We had a conversation with them, and were convinced that they were <passing through severe trials, [that] Satan would sift them as wheat and shake their faith in the truth> because of discouragements. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 4

Just before Brother Whiteman received the truth, he purchased a place in the country, at Castle Hill. The locality is very beautiful. The land boom was then sweeping over New South Wales, and he paid twenty-five pounds sterling per acre for ten acres of land. He has planted orchards of orange and other fruit trees, and has cleared and cultivated the land. Then he built a good-sized, two-story house. His brother, who is an unbeliever, pledged himself to help him out, but a few months ago the bank panic struck through this section, and the bank in which his brother had all his money closed. It has not failed, but the brother cannot get his money out. The same bank holds the obligation of Brother Whiteman, and they may come down on him any day and take his all, because he cannot raise five hundred pounds for the necessary payment. This brother sees no way out. He has a wife and five children. He feels that he is under the shadow. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 5

There are only two families at Castle Hill that keep the Sabbath, and they meet together occasionally. They and their horses work hard all the week, and they do not feel that it is right on the Sabbath to drive thirteen miles and back in order to meet with the church at Parramatta, or to go nine miles to Kellyville. They have not been visited, and they are under discouragement. We talked and prayed with [them], and the blessing of the Lord rested upon us. Brother Whiteman’s wife is a feeble woman. They have a nice, helpful family of children. The eldest boy is nearly fourteen; the eldest girl is eleven; she acts like a little woman, bearing responsibilities to save her mother. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 6

The father <has not been able to> get work. He is a stone mason, but the times are so hard that there is little building done. His trees are all young, and it will be two or three years before they will bear fruit so as to yield any profit. We shall do our best to help him. The Lord lives and reigns, and He can help him. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 7

There are lessons to be learned in this country in regard to the necessity of helping one another from the Bible standpoint. Progress in this line comes slowly, but as men take the Bible for their rule of life and it is kept constantly before them, what is comprehended in loving God with all the heart, they will, as the natural result, see the importance of keeping the last six commandments. These are all comprised in the one precept, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” [Leviticus 19:18.] Wonderful requirement! And this love is to become part and parcel of our very being. How brief is the whole period of human life, how short is our probation, and how earnestly should we copy the self-denying, self-sacrificing life of Christ. He will have those to compose His kingdom who will not only enjoy the bliss of heaven themselves, but will add to that bliss by reflecting the character of Him who is the light and joy and glory of heaven <upon all around them.> 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 8

<We need> not be discouraged, though we may be in heaviness through manifold temptations. The trial of the faith of every true child of God will develop a Christlikeness of character which reveals to the world what is the fruit of genuine faith, and which will “be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 1:7.] Brother Whiteman is passing through the most severe trials of his life. He is assailed by the fiercest temptations. But there is One who knows how to pity. He “was tempted in all points like as we are,” and the inspired Word tells that “He suffered being tempted.” [Hebrews 4:15; 2:18.] At times the conflict in the great controversy was so terrible that He prayed all night with strong crying and tears. At times all souls are thus tempted, <but> they <will not> fail or be discouraged. Temptation is not sin, and it is not an indication of the divine displeasure. The soul that resists temptation reveals to the universe of heaven and to the world the strength and virtue of Christian principle. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 9

The stability and nobility of the Christian character is estimated in heaven by the strength drawn from the armory of heaven to war successfully against the mighty foe. The soul who thus battles with the enemy makes manifest his reliance upon a power mightier than the strong man armed. He is registered in the books of heaven as uncontaminated by the pollutions of the world. He is a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. When we patiently endure temptations, standing strong in His strength who hath said, “Fear not; I have overcome the world” [John 16:33], we reveal the development of the graces of the Spirit which makes us complete in Him. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 10

Will <any> tempted brother <or sister> fail <now,> with all the encouragements of the Word of God to sustain him in heroic endurance? “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” Every trial is weighed and measured by the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is not beyond man’s ability to endure through the grace given unto him. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [1 Corinthians 10:13.] Will these dear brethren, who are so young in the faith, lay hold upon the promise? “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.” [2 Peter 2:9.] This means that, while everything may appear overwhelmingly dark, the Lord will bring forth the tried one with firmer faith and a richer experience. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 11

Our gracious heavenly Father does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. He will accomplish the work of purification by the furnace of fire of trial, and will overrule every event to His own name’s glory in the good of the afflicted one. He will communicate grace and strength, and will manifestly interpose His own power to restrain the cruel power of the adversary. But we must be steadfast in the faith, demonstrating to the world a devotion to Jesus and a love for Him that nothing can <break or> destroy. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 12

After our visit to Brother Whiteman’s family, we rode across the field, by a short cut, to reach the house of a brother who is just taking his stand upon the truth. His wife is a Sabbathkeeper, an excellent Christian woman, and now if she has her husband with her, what a blessing they can be in letting their light shine forth to their neighbors. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 13

This brother (I think I may call him thus) has a large orchard of orange, lemon, <mandarin,> and other fruit trees. The orange trees are twenty-five years old, and are loaded with fruit. He <does> not take <his fruit> to market until summer, which is winter in America. We had a timely visit with this family. After a season of prayer I conversed with them, showing that the only way we can grow into assurance and solidity of faith, is to become interested in our neighbors, and be a living, shining light in the world. Thus we reveal to others the fruit of the truth in our own life. We had a precious interview. I felt called out to urge them to be doers of the Word. We <had a precious season of prayer and> did not reach home until after dark, but were glad that we had made these visits. 9LtMs, Lt 28, 1894, par. 14