Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 54, 1895

Diary/Visit to Hobart and Bismark, Tasmania

Glenorchy, Hobart, Tasmania

April 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MR 259-260; 4Bio 191-192.

May Lacey accompanied me to this place. We make our home with the Lacey family. The Hawkins family and the Laceys are, you know, combined, making a large family. Brother Lacey has two daughters at home, besides the son in America. Sister Lacey has four daughters and two sons. The sons have left home and gone the mother knows not where, and she is greatly distressed over their case. Brother Lacey was very kind to them. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 1

The mother has not had much government over her children. She thought after their marriage, that Brother Lacey should exercise control over Harry, the youngest, but he told her decidedly he would not. He said, “These boys are having a hard time under temptation, and they shall never have cause to hate me. I shall pursue such a course that they will feel I am their friend, and if they do go away from home that there is a welcome for them if they return.” He says now he is glad that he cannot have even a supposition that anything he has said or done has caused them to leave home. The family are much better off without these boys, but, oh, it is a sad heart the mother carries about with her when she does not where her boys are. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 2

We will meet Willie here in a few days. Elder Corliss and wife will come with him from New Zealand. Our convention commences next week. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 3

* * * *

Willie and Brother Corliss came on Sabbath. Before we leave again for Melbourne May Lacey will change her name to May White. I shall have a daughter, Brother Lacey a son. This is very pleasing all around. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 4

Sabbath forenoon I spoke in Hobart, five miles from the home of Brother Lacey. The Lord gave me a message for the people. My text was Luke 14:16-24. The Word seemed to make a deep impression upon minds and there is, we know, a work to be done in human hearts and a reformation to take place in human characters that will give this people a close connection with God. Brother Foster has his place with his old employer in Hobart, but he is wandering in the mazes of darkness and unbelief. I am so sorry, for he might be a great blessing to the church. I do not think his wife stands with him fully and I do not think she knows just where she does stand. It is difficult to ascertain her true position. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 5

We had an excellent meeting Sabbath. Brother Foster was present, and Brother Anderson—the German minister who was at Melbourne and who was entertained at George’s Terrace. He embraced the Sabbath but gave it up, and is wandering in darkness. Those two men will be as a shadow and a cloud to the church—just keeping in touch with the church enough to annoy and prove a hindrance but doing them no good. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 6

Monday I had an appointment at Bismark. There was no way to get there but by private carriage. Willie spoke to them Sunday. Monday Brother Corliss and wife went up in a two-wheeled trap furnished by the brethren at Bismark. He spoke to them on my appointment for it was his only chance. The train that brought him from Bismark took up Brother Lacey. Willie, May Lacey, and her two sisters were already at Bismark. I spoke to them in the evening. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 7

April 26, 1895, and May 1, 1895

Bismark, Tasmania

Last Tuesday [April 23] Brother Lacey, Willie White and I came eight miles from Brother Lacey’s home to this place, right in “the bush,” as it is called here. In America we call it the forest. This place is right up in the mountains. In appearance it is very much like Colorado, with its hills and mountains and valleys, and there are houses and small farms of cultivated lands right in the forests. The heavy timbers have been cut away and the underbrush cleared out and orchards have been planted. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 8

Willie and May and Brother Lacey walked a large part of the way. It appeared to me that the horses had climbed these hills until they had begun to get short-winded, for their market carts were heavy and hard to draw. Brother Lacey had prepared a seat for me. We would have furnished quite a picture as we left Brother Lacey’s house. Brother Lacey, Willie, and May were in the front seat. I was seated on my spring cushion in the end of the cart on the bottom of the trap, amid the luggage. Pillows and bundles provided me a seat as easy as a rocking chair, but when the horse went down hill the movements of the two-wheeled vehicle kept us in constant joggle. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 9

We arrived safely at a neat, nicely furnished cottage owned by a lady who had married a sea captain. He was in business far away, and she locked up her nicely furnished home and lives with her mother a few rods from her own house in a very nice little home surrounded with the woods. Willie had been up and secured this pleasant place for us for four dollars. There is a church here, a nice house of worship built by our people of like precious faith and when meetings are held the house is filled with intelligent-looking people. Many are Germans. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 10

An appointment was out for me Monday evening, but Brother and Sister Corliss filled my appointment, for he thought that was his only chance. They returned with the trap Tuesday; we left in the afternoon, and I spoke in the evening. The house was full, and all listened as for their lives. I spoke from Luke 11:1-13. “Ask and ye shall receive,” etc. [Verse 9.] The church was only a few steps from the house, so I could return home easily. The weather was beautiful—cool and sunshiny—and the air was fragrant with the bluegum trees. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 11

Wednesday afternoon I spoke again to a well filled house from John 14, “Let not your heart be troubled,” etc. [Verse 1.] I dwelt especially upon the second coming of Christ to take His people to Himself, and upon the importance of obedience to all of the commandments of God, and educating the children to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. I never saw children more deeply interested, and there was quite a large number of children and youth attending the meetings. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 12

Brother Colcord came up in the afternoon and gave a most powerful discourse Wednesday evening on the subject of religious liberty. We had no meeting Thursday afternoon for this is the day their produce is taken to market. In the evening I spoke again from First John 3:1-8. The Lord gave me a very solemn message for the people. There were one hundred present and men and women and children listened with intense interest. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 13

While we see a great work to be done in our world, this part of the vineyard is assigned to us, and we must be faithful and diligent in doing the work the Lord has given us to do. Our great necessity has been the dearth of means. I had written to Elder Haskell for means. I begged of him to interest the people in California to help us. Letters came back that two brethren had each pledged five thousand dollars for this field, Australia and New Zealand. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 14

I read the letter before a company of our people and we were all rejoiced, but at the very time when we could not draw means from the Echo office or from Sydney International Tract and Missionary Society—for the reason that they had it not—and knew not what we should do, a letter came that one thousand dollars had been paid by a brother who had pledged five thousand; he would send the same in next mail. But when the next mail came there was no money. We were in tremendous straits, with store bills for provisions unpaid. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 15

What should we do? What could we do? The work was comparatively at a standstill as far as receiving any income from the canvassing field was concerned. Something was being done, and we thought that one thousand would be followed by another thousand and continue to come until the whole sum pledged would reach us. But the letter bore us the record that the one thousand was taken to the Pacific Press, and representative men decided it was needed there; they would use it and then put it into the general fund. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 16

So much for the action of our brethren in responsible places. It evidences that they are not living in that close relation with God so that they are taught of God, their spiritual discernment is quick, and they can see afar off. This has hurt me more than anything that has transpired for years. My soul was grieved within me. The Lord designed that every dollar of that money pledged should come and be used for the very purpose for which it was pledged. We needed it, and as much more, to advance the work in this country. There are none here in this country—no man who have means from which we can draw as in America. When our people are in a strait place they can call upon the churches and there will be a response; but it is not so here, for there are very few men who have means. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 17

The Lord knew our necessity and He put it into the heart of these brethren to give means to this destitute mission. Man—finite man—is not to interpose himself between the Lord and His suffering cause. My confidence is terribly shaken in putting any dependence in humanity, even in those who are connected with the work in our institutions. What can these things mean? Have our representative men no knowledge of the will of God and the work of God toward the people in this country and foreign countries? 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 18

When the work of God was being established in California we were brought into very strait places, but we were much better advantaged there for obtaining means of men in California, when in need, than we are now in this far-off land. 10LtMs, Ms 54, 1895, par. 19