Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Ms 56, 1896

Extract from Diary

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 10, 1896

Portions of this manuscript are published in LS 360-362.

I had a very beautiful dream last night. My husband seemed to be with me <as when he was alive,> and we were walking about our little farm in the woods, consulting together just as we used to do in regard to the work. He said to me, “What are you doing in reference to a school building?” “We can do nothing,” I said, “unless we have means, and I know not where means are coming from. But I am not going to encourage unbelief. I will work in faith. I have been tempted to tell you a discouraging chapter in our experience, but I will talk faith. If we look at the things which are seen, we shall be discouraged. We have no school building. Things seem to be at a stand still. We need educated young people who can communicate the truth to others. If this school could be started, it would develop workers for God, and youth would go forth to testify for Christ.” 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 1

“What do you expect to do with the land?” my husband asked. “We shall do all that human ability and experience can do,” I said. “We will put in the seed, and plant the orchard, and thoroughly test the land. We know that the orange trees will yield us their fruit. In Martinsville the trees that are planted receive no cultivation, yet they yield their harvest of golden fruit. One year ago we started, and now the peach trees are loaded with their beautiful fragrant blossoms. 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 2

“I have been taught,” I said, “that while we work the soil, we are to learn precious lessons. We must sow in faith and hope for results. And in the same way that we cultivate the grounds, we are to cultivate the garden of the soul, that it may produce its harvest for the benefit of all with whom we associate. The parable of the sower contains a lesson which it is for our advantage to study. The care which we give to the soil, to make it fruitful, we must give to our life and character, that they may produce precious fruit. That which we sow we shall also reap again. We sow the seed, hoping to reap a harvest of its kind. We plant the trees, that they may yield us their rich treasure of fruit. Lessons from the cultivation of the soil will be the most profitable instruction we can receive.” 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 3

My husband said, “Ellen, you are on missionary ground. You are to sow in hope and faith, and you will not be disappointed. One soul is worth more than all that was paid for this land, and already you have sheaves to bring to the Master.” 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 4

We walked the whole length of the grounds we had prepared for cultivation. Strawberry plants had been set out, and we observed that some were in blossom, while others bore green berries. As we advanced we saw some ripe fruit. 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 5

“Ellen,” my husband said, “do you remember when we entered Michigan and travelled in a wagon to the different localities to meet with the humble companies who were observing the Sabbath, how forbidding was the prospect, how hard the field seemed? In the heat of summer, our sleeping room was often the kitchen, heated by large fireplaces, where the cooking had been going on all through the day, and we could not sleep. Do you remember how we lost our way, and when we could obtain no water, you fainted? We tried to milk a cow to get you some refreshment, but failed. With a borrowed axe we cut our way through the forest until we came to a log shanty where we were accommodated and given some bread and milk. We remained there that night, prayed and sang with the family, and in the morning left them one of our pamphlets. 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 6

“We were greatly troubled over this circumstance. Our guide knew the way perfectly, and why we should get lost was something we could not understand. Years after, at a camp meeting, we were introduced to several persons who told us their story. That visit, made as we thought by mistake, that book we left them, was seed sown. The leader, a man of intelligence, introduced us to his family and neighbors, twelve in number, who were keeping the Sabbath. Several others from the same district, who had not been able to come to the meeting, were keeping the Sabbath. Twenty in all were converted by what we supposed to be a mistake. But this was the work of the Lord, that light might be given to those who desired to know what is truth.” 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 7

Thus we conversed together. As we returned, the grounds over which we had passed were bearing fruit. Said my husband, “The fruit is ready to be gathered.” As we came to another part, I exclaimed, “Look, look at the beautiful berries. We need not wait until tomorrow for them.” As I gathered the fruit, I said, “I thought these plants were inferior in every way, and hardly worth the trouble of putting into the ground. Who would have supposed that they would do so well. I never looked upon such an abundant yield.” 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 8

My husband said, “You are working on missionary ground. The work commenced in new fields, in Rochester, N.Y., in Michigan, in Oakland, in San Francisco, and in the European fields was quite as unpromising as the work in this field. But the work you do in faith and in hope will bring you into fellowship with Christ and His faithful servants. The work must be carried on in simplicity, in faith and hope, and the spiritual and eternal results will reward your labors.” 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 9

I awoke. It was very early, half past one o’clock; but I dressed, and after lifting my heart in thanksgiving to God for the encouragement given, I wrote out the dream. 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 10

We shall have trials and discouragements to encounter. I know that new trials are before me, for whenever I am to be sorely pressed with temptation, encouragement is given me. Christ said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value that many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. ... I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” [Matthew 10:29-32, 35, 36.] 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 11

This is the result of accepting Christ. That portion of the family which refuses to believe, to the saving of the soul, will be at enmity with those who do believe. But Christ says, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” [Verses 37, 38.] 11LtMs, Ms 56, 1896, par. 12