Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 4, 1895


Petersham, Sydney, N. S. W., Australia

February 2 [3?], 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in WM 331-332. +Note

Sunday has been a busy day for us, planning for the very, very poor, and setting in operation some plans which will relieve myself and family from doing everything that is to be done. Sister Chapman, a worthy woman, is prostrated upon her bed with sciatica. She has a son thirteen years of age and an aged mother who is an invalid with no means of support. The mother has had help from her sons in paying house rent, and as times have become harder and closer, this is all they seem able to do. We have also Brother Howland and his wife with four helpless children. He does his level best to support his innocent children, but they are in want all the time. He gets a little for his fruit. 10LtMs, Ms 4, 1895, par. 1

We now go round to the members of the church to see if they can supply us with old clothes for these destitute families. I have been buying good material at sales to make up for them, as well as supplying them with food. Some of our family were out on a charity expedition yesterday and made a little beginning. Some things were collected. There are eight families that we have been helping all that we thought advisable. A Dorcas Society is to open this week to examine and remodel old and new material to help the needy. The members of my family and myself have made many donations of money and clothing. The draft upon us has not been small. 10LtMs, Ms 4, 1895, par. 2

We do not have to hunt up cases; they hunt us up. These things are forced upon our notice; we cannot be Christian and pass them by, and say, “Be ye warmed and clothed,” and do not those things that will warm and clothe them. [James 2:16.] The Lord Jesus says, “The poor ye have always with you.” [John 12:8.] They are God’s legacy to us. 10LtMs, Ms 4, 1895, par. 3

May Lacey, W. C. White’s future wife, accompanied me to Petersham, where I was to speak in the tent, Sunday evening. May was horse-woman, driving our colt Jessie, eleven miles. We had a well filled tent, of the very best class of people. One hundred and fifty were present. Brother Hare was at Ashfield, Brother Collins at Parramatta, Brother Kellogg at Prospect, Brother Byron Belden at Kellyville, and Brother McCullagh helped me in the services at Petersham. <It is thus we divide and scatter our forces.> I have never spoken to a more interested audience <than last Sunday night.> I spoke from 1 John 3, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us; that we should be called the sons of God.” [Verse 1.] I spoke one hour with freedom upon the atoning sacrifice made in our behalf, and at what cost to heaven this provision had been made. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but should have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 10LtMs, Ms 4, 1895, par. 4

After the meeting was over, several women who had listened with great attention came to me and said they were glad to be favored to take me by the hand. The words spoken had presented many things to their minds they had never thought of. Everything was made so plain and easy to be understood—simple faith, simple trust in God, entire obedience to His requirements. Several spoke in the same manner. One said, “You made it so plain that faith works by love and purifies the soul. The true religion is the spiritual life, the consecration of a renewed heart.” I see there are some who are willing and glad to hear the simple truths of the Bible. Several have asked, “Will you speak again? We want you to speak again.” One lady said, “I heard you in the tent at that wonderful camp meeting. When will you speak again?” I thank the Lord for His goodness and His love to me, that He gives me strength and grace to communicate the things the Lord Jesus has communicated to me. 10LtMs, Ms 4, 1895, par. 5

There are eleven thousand inhabitants in Petersham and the same number in Ashfield. These places are considered the best locality in the suburbs of Sydney. While I was speaking to a tent full of people, who were listening respectfully to the Word of God, Brother Hare was speaking in Ashfield to a well filled hall only two miles distant. The interest is still increasing at Ashfield, and some are <constantly> deciding for the truth. This work must be perseveringly kept up, and the workers must not fail nor be discouraged. All the work now done in these suburbs must be entered upon and repeated in Sydney. It was thought we could enter Sydney some time ere this, but we dared not leave the interest in Ashfield. Commencing a work with the tent in Petersham makes it convenient to work in Ashfield as well. Brethren Hare and McCullagh have meetings in Petersham every night in the week but one, and three meetings a week at Ashfield, alternating their labors. Then some visiting is done; and more must be done. There must be a good company of workers besides the ministers. 10LtMs, Ms 4, 1895, par. 6

Sister Walker, who recently embraced the truth, was proving an excellent laborer. Brother Starr sent for a worker. It was supposed after Brother Corliss went that the interest would decrease, (but it is not so) and they consented to let Sister Walker go to Queensland to unite with Brother and Sister Starr. Brother Corliss’ daughter, who was doing a good work in Ashfield, went to Melbourne to obtain a more thorough knowledge of the tract and missionary work, so there is not a woman worker in this large and important field, and we are happily surprised that the interest is deepening and expanding. 10LtMs, Ms 4, 1895, par. 7