Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)
Lt 99, 1895
Olsen, O. A.
May 7, 1895
This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 164-166.
O. A. Olsen:
Since making New South Wales our home, which it has been for something over a year, our labors have not been of a meager order. We have had abundant work in visiting the churches, in ministering to the poor, in speaking and writing on important themes. The interest in Ashfield and Petersham has been deepening, and the opposition has been increasing. For some time I have been speaking in Ashfield and Petersham on Sabbath and Sunday evenings, and have felt deeply interested in these places. But when an urgent request was made that I visit Tasmania and attend the convention that was about to be held in Hobart, though I was reluctant to leave these interests, yet I dared not refuse to go. The boat that goes from here to Hobart was not regarded as unobjectionable, and our brethren would not consent that I should be a passenger on this boat. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 1
In company with Miss May Lacey, I left Granville March 14, on the train for Melbourne, to go from there by boat to Tasmania. I could not obtain a sleeper, but made ourselves very comfortable in one of the first class compartments, which most of the time we had to ourselves. At Melbourne we were greeted at the station by Brethren Israel and Faulkhead, and during our stay in this city were entertained at the home of Brother Israel. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 2
I was thankful to see that the testimony of warning and encouragement given to Brother Faulkhead more than two years ago had been fully heeded, and that he had separated himself from the secret society of which he was a member. Jesus had spoken to him as He spoke to the fishermen, saying, “Follow me,” when they left their nets and followed Him. [Matthew 4:19, 20.] He called to him as He had called to Matthew, sitting at the receipt of customs, and said, “Follow me.” [Matthew 9:9.] 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 3
The Lord had a work for this brother to do in His cause, and he heeded the word of invitation, and came to the gospel feast that was prepared for him. When I saw his efficiency in the work, I regretted that for years he had been bound up in the lodges of the secret society, and at the same time I rejoiced that his talents were now devoted to doing the very work that the Lord had pointed out as the work he should do. My heart was filled with thankfulness and joy. At times we had trembled for our brother; but as he drew nigh to God, God drew nigh to him and, strengthened at every step, he advanced in the path of righteousness. His Masonic friends have put forth determined efforts to win him back to their society, but he had taken a firm position, and was assured that if he came out from the world and remained separate, and touched not the unclean thing, God would receive him and make him His son. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 4
As in the days of Christ men say, “Show us a miracle.” Christ is continually working miracles. Miracles are wrought among us in transformation of human character. When His human agents who have been controlled by stubborn, wayward fancies, who have been tossed to and fro, who have had no peace under the conflicting influences of the spirit of the world that opposes itself to the work of the Spirit of God, are set free and yield themselves wholeheartedly to the drawing of God’s heavenly agents, there is a miracle wrought. There is a miracle wrought when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. He hears the voice saying, “Turn ye, turn ye; for why will ye die?” [Ezekiel 33:11.] When he turns from falsehood to truth, from sin to righteousness, he is made a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As he goes on from one act of obedience to another, he sows spiritual seed and reaps a glorious harvest of truth. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 5
Every time a soul is converted a miracle is wrought by the Holy Spirit of God, and for this we should give God continual praise. The promise of God is fulfilled when He says, “A new heart also will I give thee.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] A new song is put into the mouth of the repentant sinner, and he proclaims the way of salvation to those around him. In the meetings that were held while we were in Melbourne, the Spirit of the Lord was manifested, and many excellent testimonies were borne by those who had experienced the converting power of God. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 6
The brethren in Melbourne are considering the matter of securing land upon which to build a humble house of worship. The halls which can be obtained are neither convenient nor suitable for the worship of God. We are glad that the number of Sabbathkeepers is increasing to such an extent that the halls are not large enough to accommodate those who assemble on the Sabbath for the worship of God. We should have places of meeting so that on Sunday those who are inclined to hear the truth might come out to the services. The Lord has many souls in Melbourne and its suburbs who have not yet heard anything in regard to present truth; they have not heard the warning message of the third angel, but it must be given to the people, and we must do all that lies in our power to proclaim the message. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 7
There is great need for a building to be erected for the worship of God in some locality in Melbourne. Let everyone who loves God and professes to keep His commandments practice self-denial and walk by faith. Let them not live for mere self-pleasing, but to glorify our Redeemer. We cannot see how it is possible to advance the work, to have the truth go in decency and order, unless we arise and build. But every foot of ground costs from seven to ten pounds, and unless we have trained ourselves to walk by faith and not by sight, it will seem impossible to push forward the work of building. But there are no impossibilities with God. The riches of the earth belong to God. The gold and the silver are His, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. Everything that He has committed to men is simply entrusted to them that they may act as His stewards. They are to dedicate every power and faculty to His service, and consecrate themselves and all they have to His work. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 8
How carefully we should examine ourselves, that we may understand for whom we are putting our talents out, and whether they are yielding usury for their rightful owner. At the second coming of Christ it will be made apparent whether or not we have made a wise use of the Lord’s goods. When He returns, He will call His servants to account, and reckon with them. They will be required to give an account of the use to which they have put the money that He has entrusted to their care, and whether they have used it for the extension of His kingdom. The gifts of God, both of mind and body, are to be brought into the service of Christ. We need to understand their value in order that we may use them in such a way that the Master may not meet with loss. We rob the Lord’s treasury when we spend money needlessly and fail to put it at His command. God has not designed that thousands of pounds should be locked up in banks or in investments, but that they should be put to a wise use. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 9
We must have a house of worship erected in Melbourne, so that those who embrace unpopular truth may feel that they have a church home. We shall need money for the forwarding of this enterprise, and those who invest in this work will see blessed results in this world, but will not fully know the consequences of their beneficence until the judgment shall sit, until every man shall be rewarded according to his works. 10LtMs, Lt 99, 1895, par. 10