Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 55, 1895

Diary/Labors in Bismark, Tasmania


April 26, 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in TMK 42; 2MR 261-263.

We had appointments at Bismark (Tasmania). W. C. White visited them, walking eight miles, and spoke in the little church Sunday. He had the loan of horse and cart to return to [vicinity of Hobart] on Monday. Brother and Sister Corliss rode back to Bismark. Brother Corliss spoke Monday night, and Brother and Sister Corliss came back Tuesday (April 23). We rode back. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 1

Bismark is very much like Colorado in appearance. Homes and little spots of cleared land are dotted here and there among hills. Wisely the farmers do not expend money and time and strength to make clearings at once. They build their cottages in a cleared spot of land, and then clear the land gradually for their orchards and crops. If in the place of forests of bluegum trees there were the lofty evergreens—pine, spruce, and hemlock—we should consider it an excellent representation of Colorado. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 2

We were fortunate to secure a neat, well-furnished cottage close by the little church. We found the small barn well stored with fine vegetables and apples for our use. We felt much pleased at the abundant supply from our thoughtful brethren. Every day milk and cream, all we could use, were brought to us, and plenty of wood was prepared for our use, This was a pleasure to our dear friends, and it was a blessing to us. Several had come with us, walking, some of them the eight miles to attend meeting. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 3

We longed for the privilege of remaining in this rural retreat several months and accomplishing the writing of The Life of Christ, but then the work to be done in New South Wales overbalanced this desire, and I knew that as soon as our work closed in Tasmania we must hasten back to bear our testimony to the people. The great opposition to the truth made it necessary to keep the standard of truth uplifted early and late as the providence of God opened the way. Shall the knowledge of God and the truth which Jesus came from heaven to impart at such a terrible cost remain in our possession and we fail to communicate it? Those who know the truth must make any and every sacrifice to communicate it, to make the truth known to those who are in darkness. God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, is longing to shine into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 4

I spoke Tuesday evening to an interested audience. There was a large number of children and youth present, and children from eight years old and upward sat with their eyes wide open listening with apparent great interest to the words spoken. My heart went out in love to these dear children, and I could not forbear addressing words to them, especially, who need words of invitation and encouragement to give their hearts to Jesus. Is it not children and youth who help compose our assemblies? God wants the children and youth to join the Lord’s army. I told them I was pleased to see them in the meeting, and they could become soldiers of the cross of Christ. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 5

The children have as strong temptation to meet, on the right hand and on the left, as do older soldiers. Satan and his legions will work every device to ensnare the young. It is the privilege of the children to enlist in the army of the Lord and seek to persuade others to join their ranks. Children must be educated and trained for Jesus Christ. They must be trained to resist temptation and to fight the good fight of faith. Direct their minds to Jesus as soon as they can comprehend your lessons in simple words, easy to be understood. Teach them self-control. Teach them to begin the work of overcoming when young, and they will receive the precious help that Jesus can and will give, connected with prayerful efforts of parents. Cheer them with encouraging words for the battles they fight in resisting temptation and coming off conquerors through grace given them of Jesus Christ. Our Captain is ordering the battle, so we fight not in our own finite strength. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 6

I entreated parents to do their God-given work of bringing their children to Jesus, training them and educating them for God. The little ones can be taught to be useful, to be helpful in the household. The precepts and example given them in the home will mold and fashion characters to do service at home and to obtain an experience. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 7

The words of wisdom of the parents in lessons to their children will be repeated by their children to others. Then parents should hang in memory’s hall the precious sayings of Christ. The children will repeat the words they hear often on the parent’s lips—of Christ, faith and truth. Precious truth may be spoken by children. Whole armies of children may come under Christ’s banner as missionaries, even in their childhood years. Never repulse the desire of children to do something for Jesus. Never quench their ardor for working in some way for the Master. Children rightly educated will learn to love Jesus and to grieve if they think they have grieved the Saviour by any sin committed by them. Keep their hearts tender and sensitive by your own words and example. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 8

“Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16. We felt that the presence of the Lord was with us and we know this for a certainty, for He has said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20. At the close of the meeting we were welcomed heartily to Bismark. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 9

Wednesday forenoon W. C. White conducted a meeting, giving lessons to canvassers. I spoke to them again in the afternoon. I was surprised to see so many present, for these believers are much scattered, and some have a long distance to walk. The Lord gave me much freedom in speaking to interested hearers. I had the blessing of the Lord as I presented the truth in its simplicity. Many hearts were touched by the deep movings of the Spirit of God. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 10

Thursday was their day for carrying their produce to the market. The roads are very hilly, and if this business were left for Friday the work would not be as readily bound off for the welcoming in of the Sabbath. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 11

Thursday we were promised a horse and cart, and rode over the hills to call on some of our people. We found them that it was some miles they had to walk—fathers and mothers and children—to the meetings. Most preferred to walk rather than to drive their horses up and down the steep hills. We found cultivated lands surrounded with “bush,” as they called them. We should call them small cottages and a few acres of cleared land in the woods. The trees, which were very small, were loaded with nice apples. I have seldom seen such small trees bearing. Most of the people seemed comfortably situated, but poor in this world’s goods. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 12

In the evening I could better appreciate the congregation who had sufficient interest to come out through the woods so long a distance to meeting. When I saw the bright-faced children and youth interestedly listening to the truth, my heart was full of gratitude to God. Those parents bringing their children the long distance to attend evening meetings evidenced their interest and their first love for the truth. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 13

I spoke again to those assembled Thursday night. Quite a large number of those not of our faith were present. I had a very solemn testimony to bear them in regard to the third angel’s message—the proclamation we are now to make to the world. This message combines the first and second and binds it up with the third. This brings us into a large field where we are brought down to the closing scenes of this earth’s history. The great and last warfare is between the two classes—those who keep the commandments of God and those who make void the law of God. Revelation 2:8; 3:1-5, 9-12; 22:10-21. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 14

These communications are for all who live in these last days. Just before the crucifixion of Christ, He gave His disciples most solemn instruction. John 14. In verses 1-3 He comforts the hearts of those who believe on Him with the promise of His second appearing. Verses 12-14. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Verse 15. In verses 21, 23, and 24 are the true marks of those who love God. John 15:7-11, 12, Revelation 13. All who read carefully, prayerfully will understand. Revelation 14:8-10; 12:17. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 15

Here is our work—to lift up the standard of truth before the people. While the teachers should be proclaiming the last message of mercy given to our world, they will be teaching fables to counteract the message of truth which all who love God and keep His commandments are to declare. Revelation 22:16, 17. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 16

We felt that the Holy Spirit of God was in the meeting that night, and that conviction was resting upon the hearts of many of the hearers. As soon as I had closed my discourse, a sister who had seen and rejoiced in the truth, but had turned from the faith, came to me with her Bible in her hand and said, “Christ said, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ [John 13:34.] Why was this new, my sister?” 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 17

[I answered,] “It was new to the understanding of the disciples that they should love one another as Christ loved. They did not comprehend that love until after His sufferings and His death on Calvary’s cross. Here was the demonstration of the divine love of the Son of God. After His resurrection, when they knew that He was indeed the Son of God, then they comprehended the character of His love. He died for them to make it possible for them to keep the last six commandments, which define the duty of man to his fellow man.” 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 18

She became very much excited. Said the law was done away. We were only to love one another, which was Christ’s commandment. I repeated to her the words spoken by Christ to the immense crowd of people who were surrounding Him, Matthew 5:17, 18: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” This is positive testimony that no human agent can refute as long as the heavens above them and the earth beneath their feet shall remain. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Verse 19. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 19

It was evident this sister did not want enlightenment, but to make her voice heard in opposition to the truth. We knew the Holy Spirit was in our meeting. We learned that this sister had pursued this course when our people held meetings in the meeting house. All pitied her. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 20

It is evident what power and spirit stirs up the people to such intense bitterness against the holy law of God. Certainly it is not the spirit of Jesus who declared Himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath day. It certainly could not be the representative of the Lord Jesus who declared, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” John 15:10; 1 John 3:4, 5, 7. 10LtMs, Ms 55, 1895, par. 21