Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 29, 1894

Haskell, S. N.

Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville, N. S. W.

September 2, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 140-144.

Dear Brother in Christ Jesus:

I send you a little account of my journey to Morisset, where we intend to locate our school. For a few weeks I was quite sick with influenza. This epidemic has caused the sickness of many in the community, and many deaths have also resulted from it. It has been especially fatal to the aged. Not many children have been sick. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 1

Last evening we received your letter. We were much interested in it. Brother Masters and his wife and son visited with us today, and Bro. Hardy took dinner with us. Your letters interested them all very much. Bro. Masters, wife, and son leave for Melbourne tomorrow enroute for India to do missionary work there. May Walling leaves tomorrow on the boat for America. Mr. Walling is pushing on the trial, and May must be on the ground as witness. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 2

Trials come thick and fast, and we must have a firm and determined hold upon the Strength of Israel, or we shall be overwhelmed. I cry constantly to God for the wisdom which He alone can give me. He has promised that He will make a way of escape in every trial. I am pleased to hear that you are of good courage in the Lord. Look away from self, away from darkness and shadow and cloud to Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. When we do this, our hearts are filled with praise to the God of all grace, who has magnified the name of His Son Jesus. We are to behold Him, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world, by saving precious souls. We do not have a realizing sense of the dignity, reality, and importance of the sacred work. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 3

The Lord is pleased when we trust in Him, and our usefulness as His workmen will be proportionate to our trust and faith in Christ as our personal Saviour. If we will have faith in Him every hour, be completely emptied of self, and depend wholly on God who is the supplier of all grace whereby we may be complete in Him, not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ, our peace and rest of soul will be secure. We then carry with us credentials that advertise us as living children of God. We can then say with Paul, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance.” [1 Thessalonians 1:5.] 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 4

We have been urged to go to Africa, but I have not been willing to go. I see much to be done here in Australia, and I feel very loth to leave the work in an unfinished condition. Our great need has been men and money. If the Lord says, Go, I will go trusting in His holy name. I am looking now and then toward Africa. If we remain here to see the work done that needs to be done, we shall probably not go to Africa at all. We have been held here for nearly three years. The work is receiving a better mold, but if there is to be a delay in men and means, the work will advance slowly. It would be better for us to leave here now than wait here in uncertainty, and be delayed no one knows how long. We should have to work at disadvantage and under suspense and in uncertainty. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 5

We wish to move when the cloud moves, and tarry when the cloud tarries. We want the holy unction, the living earnestness and the deep moving of the Spirit of God. We know not now but that it would be better for us to move to some other field if the work is not to go straight forward “in regions beyond.” [2 Corinthians 10:16.] If this is to be our part, we shall be content. I would not move in any direction unless the Lord impresses my mind that we should move. We see a large work to be done in this field, and there is little help to do the work. I have labored beyond my strength and see no relief ahead. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 6

Too much dependence is placed upon preachers, while the house-to-house work is much neglected. Paul, the faithful apostle, says, “I kept back nothing that is profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ ... Wherefore I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.” [Acts 20:20, 21, 26-28.] 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 7

I bow my soul in humility before God, seeking for that wisdom which He has promised to give to all who ask in faith. In our daily habits, in our daily practices, we must be living exponents of sacred truth. My prayer is that the Lord may revive His work in the hearts of those who know the truth. Those who are laborers together with God will ever work in Christ’s lines. Christ says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] All the work we do for the conversion of souls will be effectual only as we depend absolutely upon the presence and power of heavenly intelligences. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.” [Zechariah 4:6.] Every vessel that is meet for the Master’s use is clean and pure, emptied of self. O for the refining, cleansing power of God that we may be used to His name’s glory! We must not falter now, but press forward from victory to victory. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 8

I know not where we shall go, whether we shall leave Australia in 1895 or not. If we are to go to Africa, we would prefer to be there while you are there. If you have any word to say to us in regard to our coming, please send [it]. We want to weigh every question concerning the work here, and the work in Africa, in the scales of the sanctuary. In every department and stage of the work, we want to see the divine similitude. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 9

It has been within only a few weeks that we have failed to have peace and assurance concerning our duty to remain in Australia. But within a few days I have been thrown into great perplexity. As yet I have not responded to the many calls that have been made in the many letters I have received from Africa. I have seriously questioned as to whether it was not my duty to remain here during the rest of my lifetime, or to go to America, or to Africa. It is not a pleasant thought to me to think of entering a new country. The remark has been made in regard to certain land, that it is a hungry land, requiring enriching. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 10

I thought that Australia through and through is a hungry, spoiled land through the mismanagement of men. A dearth of means stares us in the face, and yet the General Conference saw fit to cut down my wages two dollars a week, and to cut down Willie’s wages one dollar a week. I have not withheld my means, but used money everywhere, in every place where there has been a need for it. My housekeeping expenses run up to a hundred and fifty dollars per month, and this does not include the expense for horse and carriage, clothing, wood, and light. You may see that there is a constant outgo. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 11

I gave one thousand dollars at the last camp meeting to buy land for the location of the school, and paid my tithe, and this was considerably more than my whole year’s wages. Besides this I have helped the poor, invested in churches, contributed to camp meeting expense in New Zealand and Australia, and during the years 1893 and 1894, I have expended two thousand dollars in this field, and hungry Australia is still to be fed, and must be fed. Much more money must be expended than has been expended for the last three years. I have expended the twelve hundred dollars you loaned me. The additional three hundred dollars you have just sent has come to hand, and hungry Australia can swallow [that] at one bite, and yet cry out for more. I now wish that others would come in and use their means to advance the work in Australia, while I go to regions beyond, that have already been worked. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 12

If God would have me go to Africa, He will strengthen me for the journey. We have offered many prayers to God for His guidance, and I believe He has heard these prayers, and answered them. But I do not choose to go to another renewal of a state of perplexity and uncertainty similar to what I have experienced here. I do not choose another experience in which I shall have to answer a call for time, strength, and money to begin a new work. Willie must not have any more of this brain-taxing kind of labor he has had here. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 13

I cannot work unless I work in faith, and I am studying duty. I am listening for marching orders. In reference to the fifteen hundred dollars you have loaned me, twelve hundred of which I have already consumed, I would say that at any time you would want the whole or any portion of it, let me know, and you shall have it as soon as it can be obtained from America. I thank you sincerely for your loan. We have put it out to the exchangers, and in the great day when God reckons with His servants, I believe you will receive back the goods you have intrusted to me, with both principal and interest. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 14

In one of the letters sent to you in last mail, I mentioned that we had had a most precious season of prayer while at Dora Creek for Bro. McCullagh. The Lord graciously heard our prayers, and the inflammation left his throat and lungs, and he was healed. He has been improving ever since, and the Lord has sustained him in doing a large amount of work. For the blessing given on that occasion, we send back praise and thanksgiving to God. I am afraid that we do not always appreciate the blessing that God gives us. We pass by the blessed tokens of His goodness and love, and look upon His special providences as common occurrences, and scarcely make mention of them. We do not place them in memory’s hall, and reflect glory to Him who hath done abundantly for us. O that the Lord will give us thankful hearts, that we may praise Him, and be joyful in God. I hope to hear from you as soon as possible after you reach South Africa. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 15

Those who can move in faith can move forward. I am ready to strike my tent at any time. The time we ought to be improving in putting in crops into the land purchased by the school is passing away, and because of this delay we shall be left a year behind. If this is after God’s order, then a mist is over my eyes, and I cannot work in courage and hope. I send this letter to you. You and others have congratulated us on the securing of land for our school, but it is not yet an assured thing that the school will be located at Dora Creek. There is some hesitancy on the part of the committee in taking up the land for this purchase! 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 16

I have received letters from Africa in which it is stated that they are willing to postpone their camp meeting to any time that we will specify, in order that they may have our presence at the meeting. They urge that we make no delay; but arrangements have been made here for the camp meeting, so that if we remain for that meeting, we must make a delay. We do not feel clear to break away from this field of labor so suddenly. After the camp meeting, I think we will join you in Africa. I have not consented to go to Africa until within a few days; but the turn that things have taken leads me to almost prefer to come to Africa, rather than to remain in this country. I dread the future, and have little courage to remain. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 17

I shall do as I wrote you. I promised to take the school ground as my property, and I will not consider it a hard matter. I think no better missionary work could be done than to settle poor families on the land. Every family shall sign a contract that they will work the land according to the plans specified. Some one must be appointed to direct the working of the land, and under his supervision orange trees, and fruit trees of every appropriate description should be planted. Peach orchards would yield quick return. Vegetable gardens would bring forth good crops. This must be done at once. We have some six weeks yet to set things in running order, and with God’s blessing on the land, we shall see what it will produce. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 18

The question was asked of Moses, Can the Lord spread a table in the wilderness? The question may be asked, Will this land at Dora Creek produce as abundantly as Sister White believes that it will? Time will tell. We must test the matter before we can speak assuredly, but we are willing to risk much, provided we can place the supervision of this enterprise under an understanding American farmer. We do want to demonstrate what will be done with the land when it is properly worked. When once this is done, we shall be able to help the poor who live in Australia in a far better way than by giving them money as we have had to do in the past. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 19

I lay out this matter before you, that you may understand the situation and be able to advise us in regard to leaving here for Africa. We shall have to enter into the plan suggested in order to know what can be done with the Dora Creek land, for great ignorance prevails in this country as to how to make the most of the land. The Dora Creek land produces the best oranges we have tasted since coming to Australia. In Kellyville, land is very dear, and much money has been invested in purchasing there. The fruit growers have lemon and orange orchards, but the oranges from these orchards are far inferior in flavor to the oranges that have been produced from seedlings in the locality of Dora Creek. These splendid oranges have been produced even where the soil has not been cultivated. It may be that we shall not see that it is our duty to leave here as soon as camp meeting is over, but we cannot say what we shall do. We shall pray, we shall not move impulsively; but as soon as you shall ascertain the state of things relative to the cause in South Africa, write us fully. 9LtMs, Lt 29, 1894, par. 20