Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 112, 1896

Wessels, Sister and Children

South Australia

October 16, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 118, 348-349.

Dear Sister Wessels and children:

We are now in the midst of our camp meeting, and we have the best of weather. There are about sixty tents on the ground. We had a large congregation on Sabbath, and the tent was full to overflowing on Sunday, a large congregation standing around the tent outside two or three feet deep. We have had various laborers. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 1

Since the meetings began, a most bitter opponent who has always been full of the spirit of Satan working against our ministers who have labored in Australia, and who makes his home in Adelaide, living only a short distance from the camp, has tried to get us off the ground. His spirit is like gall. He interrupted the meeting, and the boys from the city crowded him out of the tent and pushed him until they got [out] of the gate into the road, and then got up three or four indignation meetings over him. But the meetings move along just the same, and the people who have long been in the truth testify that they thought they knew the truth, but they have heard and learned so much since these meetings commenced that it seems that they knew very little before. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 2

Last night Elder Daniells talked upon the third angel’s message, and a man who is a Jew interrupted the meeting, and men and women united with him, but he was finally taken out of the meeting and the police took him off the ground. But little parties outside the ground kept up their noise until nearly midnight. This evidences that the enemy is stirred and fears that we shall gain a victory. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 3

I spoke to the people Sabbath and Sunday, and have spoken every day this week and some days twice. There have been some conversions on the ground. One lady was talking with me today who is now fully convinced of the truth. She came from Broken Hill. Her son also has taken his position. His mother says he is a steady earnest Christian and they wish him to attend the school as soon as it is open. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 4

Oh, I was so filled with gratitude to God when I laid the foundation corner stone for our first building two weeks ago last Thursday. A few assembled and we had singing and prayer, and some remarks were made, then they selected me to lay the first stone, and I never performed an act more willingly. Next morning we left home for Sydney on our way to the camp meeting in Adelaide. On Sabbath I went by carriage to the Newtown church, four miles from Ashfield, to speak to the people there, and W. C. White went to Parramatta to meet with the brethren there. He spoke in two places on Sabbath. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 5

The Lord gave me His Holy Spirit and a most decided testimony, which I will try to have ready to send you by next mail. The Lord gave me much power to speak to the people. There were those there whom I afterwards learned had stated that they could not see the tithing system. The Lord set home the truth to the hearts of the hearers. I know that Jesus was in our midst and the power of darkness was apparently palsied. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 6

After coming to this place we received a letter from one of the brethren who is an officer in the Ashfield church. He embraced the truth in a tent effort which was made after the Ashfield camp meeting. He says in his letter that he was one of those who had paid no tithe although he was better able to do this than any other member of the church, but he said he could not see it his duty. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 7

We feel deeply the necessity of bearing a plain testimony. It must be. We cannot in these days of peril speak smooth things, but we must speak the truth in love and let the words cut its way to hearts. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 8

Today I have had an interview with one who is just taking her stand for the truth, but she is much adorned with gold bracelets and rings. I think she is good material and will bear to hear kindly advice. The Word must be presented. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” [1 Peter 3:3, 4.] I believe that this sister has received the truth and will practice the truth. If she loves the truth, she will obey the words of Christ. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 9

[Melbourne]

October 29

Dear Sister Wessels:

I have another letter written to you which I have not time to have copied this mail, but will try and send it in the next mail. I am thankful to you and to God for the money which you have loaned me, that I can make it possible for the people here in Cooranbong to “arise and build.” [Nehemiah 2:20.] The work is now advancing, and I believe the Lord will help us. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 10

One of the brethren in Africa sent word by Elder Haskell that if I could borrow seven hundred pounds he would send me yearly the interest money on the same, that we could build us in Cooranbong a chapel. I do not know where to get the seven hundred pounds, but if the Lord means me to have it, I shall find some one who will loan me the money. We have but little time to work, and we must use to the best advantage the Lord’s earthly treasures. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 11

We shall return to Cooranbong in a few days. The Melbourne atmosphere is not healthful for me, and I think the atmosphere [at Cooranbong] is the best and most healthful I have found in all my travels. I am very much pleased with the climate. W. C. White, myself, and secretary have all had attacks of rheumatism since coming here to Melbourne. I am very grateful to God for a home retired from the cities. I care not for luxuries or even many conveniences, but I am pleased with my cottage, pleased with my orchard, and everything seems blessed of the Lord. I praise His holy name. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 12

How pleased I would be if the visit made to us in Granville could be repeated here in our home in the bush. We have the precious sunshine in every room. We have a few warm days which might be called hot, but these soon pass away, and there are now fogs here to chill the breeze. I am sure the Lord has selected this place for our school buildings. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 13

Brother Haskell will attend the camp meetings in New Zealand, and on his way there will visit us at Cooranbong, and then he will report to you. Again I thank the Lord for the loan of the money which makes it possible for us to erect our buildings, and to be ready for school as soon as April, and it may be before this time. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 14

May the Lord bless you and your children and give every one of them to you in loving service to Jesus Christ, who gave His precious life for them. God grant that you may approach the gates of the city of God and be able to say, “Here am I Lord, and the children thou hast given me.” [See Isaiah 8:18.] 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 15

Much love to Brother and Sister Lindsey. I would be much pleased could I meet them in my own home, and they could see the school lands with their well cultivated orchards. Some of the fruit trees will yield fruit this year. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 16

With much love. 11LtMs, Lt 112, 1896, par. 17