Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 62, 1895

Olsen, Brother and Sister [O. A.]

Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville, Australia

April 11, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 189.

Dear Brother and Sister Olsen:

I cannot sleep past one o’clock a.m., and so arise and begin writing. I received your letters in which you speak of Willie’s children coming in company with Brother and Sister Palmer. I had supposed that Mary Mortensen might have made one of the party, but after reading your letter, I agreed with you that the case was rather a complex one and that, should she come more or less perplexity would be the result. I shall ever respect Mary. I have an interest in her for the way in which she has cared for, and devoted herself to, the dear children. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 1

It is a remarkable fact that not one who knows May Lacey has one word of criticism to offer concerning her. They say that she will be a true helpmeet for Willie, and be kind, tender, and true to the children. But I am sorry indeed that Mary Mortensen has to be separated from the children. I am sure the Lord will comfort and bless her. I am thoroughly convinced that the Lord’s hand is in the marriage that is contemplated. From the first intimation of this matter, I felt relieved. Willie needs a companion such as May Lacey is, a woman of well balanced mind. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 2

I have not seen Willie for three months. He is still in New Zealand, and we have heard from him only occasionally, but we expect to meet him at the convention in Tasmania. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 3

It would be a great treat to me to have a long social conversation with you both; but this may never be in this world. I am advancing in years and know not how soon I may lay off my armor. God grant that I may be ready. I have been engaged in writing with deep interest. Of late I have been speaking at Ashfield and Petersham. The Lord has blessed me with great freedom and my soul has been strengthened and encouraged. The interest in Ashfield has not abated. The work moves slowly in Petersham. Five ministers have, of late, been manifesting fierce opposition and the bitterest hatred against the law of God. Mr. Picton, the man who was worsted in the discussion with Brother Corliss, seems to carry a spirit of intense revenge, and his mode of attack is of a very low order. He stands on the corner of the street near the tent on Sunday afternoon, and while the meetings are in progress he bellows forth words that he will not care to meet in the judgment. We think his opposition is doing some good, for respectable citizens will not unite themselves with such a man. He studies Canright’s book and uses his arguments freely. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 4

Dr. Porter, a minister from Ballarat, began his attack on the truth in a very roughshod manner. The character of his remarks were of a fierce order, but when he saw that his words were placed in writing, and that [when] repeated they did not sound very well as the product of the mind of a minister of the gospel, he somewhat changed his method. When he was reviewed by Brother Hare, he denied that he had said some of the things he had uttered. There were voices in the congregation from outsiders who had heard him, saying, “Yes, you did say it, Dr. Porter.” Those who sat next to him say that he trembled like a leaf as Brother Hare vindicated the law of God. Dr. Porter had made proud boasts that he would make it so hot for the Adventists that they could not stay in Petersham, and that the people would soon see the last of them. The Lord has heard these proud boasts, and He will work to sustain those whom He has set for the defense of the truth. The Lord can bring to naught the boasts of this proud defyer. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 5

Dr. Watts, a Disciple minister, and a man of considerable influence, has also commenced a tirade against the law of God. Two more ministers are in the ring, and all are manifesting the dragon spirit. The last symbol of opposition against the law of God is spoken of as having two horns like a lamb, and as speaking like a dragon. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 6

There has been an urgent call for work to be done in Canterbury, and a new tent, costing $175 has been purchased for this location. The money was raised among those who have newly come to the faith. We shall have meetings in these three localities only two miles apart. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 7

Brother McCullagh carries on the meetings at Ashfield. The atmosphere surrounding his soul is discerned and appreciated by those who are interested in the truth. He wins souls to make decisions. The Holy Spirit manifestly attends his labors. Brother Hare is zealously at work in Petersham. I have spoken in Ashfield and Petersham four evenings with great freedom. Last Sunday night there was a moderately good attendance at the tent, but we could not have the presence of a minister. Brother Semens opened the meeting on one evening and Brother Collins on another. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 8

The Lord gave me much of His Spirit. Last Sunday night the people listened with intense interest. Brother McCullagh was preaching to an interested audience in Ashfield, two miles from Petersham. Brother Hare was attending a meeting in the Baptist church where Mr. Porter was putting forth vain efforts to do away with the law of God. Maggie Hare was there also, taking notes of the discourse. Dr. Watts intended to speak Wednesday night, reviewing the review that Brother Hare gave of Dr. Porter’s discourse on Sunday evening; but a sudden thunderstorm came up, and as a very few were out, the discourse was postponed for a week. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 9

Tonight (Thursday) Brother Hare reviews a second discourse of Mr. Porter’s in the Town Hall. I sometimes wish that Brother Corliss could be on the ground and take his turn with these ministers. Brother McCullagh’s whole soul, and mind, and heart, are in the work, but he has many interests that require his attention, and that too greatly tax him, so that he cannot take part in these debates. But the Lord can work by His power to sustain His servant, and I am sure He will work, and none can hinder Him. Brother Hare is working well, and through these men God can bring glory to His name. These brethren have also labored in Parramatta and Kellyville. Last Sabbath they had quarterly meeting at Parramatta, and Brother McCullagh spoke words. They were as precious as gold, making manifest the fact that the Spirit of God was upon him. Brother Hare has also spoken in Parramatta with good effect. The church is slowly advancing. Brother Hughes and family have moved to Cooranbong, and seem to be well pleased, and are doing well. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 10

There is quite a company now gathered at Cooranbong, who are working under the direction of Brother Rousseau and Brother Metcalfe Hare. The young men who have entered the industrial department of the college put in six hours a day in physical labor and spend the remainder of the day in study. Brother Rousseau has not been well since camp meeting at Ashfield, but has been greatly afflicted with boils. But the work is moving slowly forward. Fannie Bolton was up at Cooranbong one month to prepare matter for an educational pamphlet that is about to be issued. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 11

We must all have courage in the Lord. I have trials, but the Lord helps me to bear them or else I should lose courage. Two more have embraced the truth at Pennant Hills. Brother Schowe has built a house in which Brother James and family are to live while working his farm. He has also built a large room to be used for a meetinghouse, and it is to be dedicated next Sunday. The seven families at Pennant Hills who have embraced the truth will thus have a place in which they can assemble together for the worship of God, and will not need to travel such a long distance on the Sabbath to attend service. Some are entertaining great hopes that souls in that vicinity will embrace the truth. God grant that their expectations may be fulfilled. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 12

This is another portion of the field that must be worked, and the burden will fall still heavier upon the ministers. May the Lord give them physical and mental power sufficient for their day. I have hesitated a long time in reference to leaving this field and visiting Tasmania. The call is very urgent for me to attend the convention to be held in Hobart. Brother Foster is at work in his old place as tailor at Hobart, and Satan is working through him with his deceptive influence of error and delusion. The meetings may be a help to the little church at Hobart. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 13

I take the cars accompanied by May Lacey for Tasmania by way of Melbourne. May the presence of the Lord go with me is my most earnest prayer. “Send me not up without thy presence, O God.” [See Exodus 33:15.] 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 14

Elder Olsen, my mind has been so burdened in the night season that I could not sleep after twelve o’clock. The night before last it was nearly one o’clock before I could get to sleep. It is getting to be quite a common thing for me to have pen in hand at one, two, and three o’clock in the morning. I have had much burden in regard to meetings that I have been present in, in spirit, in Battle Creek. I have been talking with the Battle Creek people, the school managers, and responsible men in the sanitarium and office. It has been a mistake to detain students in the college and sanitarium. The article I send is the result of the light given me in regard to this matter. I also send a testimony written for the college when Elder Stone was connected with the school, and also when Professor Bell was acting a part. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 15

My guide presented the matter in the light that I have presented it to you, as near as I can express it. Most decisive words were spoken to the effect that time and money were being unnecessarily used, and that the Lord’s cause was being deprived of talent in various branches, because of the tedious procrastination that was the result of retaining men in Battle Creek who could obtain far more knowledge in imparting that which they had already received in some other place. If the workers were sent forth, the Lord would have a chance to work with His agents. If the workers moved out in His name, young men and women would attain to greater advancement than if they stayed in Battle Creek to perfect an education. Time is short, and we ask you to talk with those concerned in order that the name of the Lord may be glorified by sending workers to their posts of duty where they can gain a better education than at Battle Creek. 10LtMs, Lt 62, 1895, par. 16