Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 132, 1896

Caro, Sister

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 30, 1896

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Caro:

Sunnyside is an appropriate name for this location. We have sunshine nearly all the time. We have a few showers of rain in this season, which are a great blessing. We did not have these blessed showers for the time of nearly one year. But this season is entirely different. We have rain and then sweet, blessed sunshine. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 1

I have commenced several letters to you, but something would come in so urgent that I could not turn it off, and no sooner was one thing done than I had still another. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 2

I have designed to write you in reference to _____ but will write you now. W. C. White placed the matter before me, but I had not means in my favor in the Publishing Institution at Battle Creek or on the Pacific Coast. I learned that their finances were very limited. I dared not overdraw and cause them embarrassment. I had some means in the office of Pacific Press but had to draw it all, also from Battle Creek. My expense for my workers in preparing manuscript for papers and books, and my expenses for workmen, are not less than twelve pounds per week, including room and board. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 3

My revised Life of Christ, the first book, has just gone to Pacific Press for them to handle, which means two thousand dollars American money. And the outgoes in donations for buildings, chapels, and the help I feel it my duty to give for the advancement of the work upon the school grounds have been a constant draw upon me. I could not advance means for _____. I did not have it in my power to appropriate in his behalf. For months we could not obtain money from the Echo office to sustain my large family, numbering from fourteen to sixteen. We had bills running up at the grocery and dry goods stores. I could not settle with my workers for months. I was compelled to realize that there was a limit to my resources. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 4

There are many of our brethren around us who are very poor. These I am trying to help. I employ them to clear land, to do gardening, and take care of my cows and horses. Many things that I should delay doing are being done to advance the work on my place, but these people are brought to a point of need, of actual necessity for bread and clothing. They must not be left to actual suffering. I place my hired man to work with two large horses, breaking up and plowing in different localities where our brethren have settled to make homes and livings for their families. We know that they cannot do work on their land to put in crops unless we help them. This we are now doing. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 5

Two families left Parramatta and came to Cooranbong, hired unworked farms, and live in little shanties. We cannot let them starve. I furnished one family a cow, an excellent animal. The brethren paid me the value of one pound. They did what they could. This was a help. We plowed their land. They sent word to me that they could not possibly raise three pounds to pay their quarterly rent. It was last April. I had not the money and was making efforts to borrow it of Professor Prescott. He himself, his wife, and his niece each gave one pound, and made him a present of the money. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 6

And now there is no way for them to raise the three pounds for next quarter’s rent unless we shall among us raise the means for them. They have hired a little fruit farm, but there is nothing they can sell from the place until the fruit shall be ready for market. My hired man, Brother Connell, visited them yesterday and tells me Brother Parcel’s family have been living for days upon nothing but squash, and the man is about discouraged. He has a wife, a good dressmaker, but no one has money to pay for doing such work. I must find him work. He will work for one pound per week and board himself. A strong man came to W. C. White and offered to do his gardening for ten shillings per week and board. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 7

Thus the matter stands with us here. I have a strong man working for me for four shillings per week and board himself. Brother Vincent, his wife, and children are living in Parramatta, and he could find nothing to do. We helped this family much when we were in Parramatta, and they must be helped still. Poverty and want are everywhere we look. It should not be thus in this locality, but for some reason the idea prevails that the land will not pay for the working. All vegetables come to them from Sydney or Newcastle. They plant no orchards but pick up a little money hauling logs and working at whatever they can get. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 8

We are trying to clear and work our land to show them in object lessons that if this land is worked properly it will yield its treasures. We worked our place just a little, for we came into the bush in August. We felled trees and made a clearing for an orchard, and planted oranges, lemons, peaches, apples, and apricots. We planted tomatoes, peas, beans, squash, cucumbers, melons, and carrots, and all these things grew and yielded abundantly. But we had only a little ground which we could work, and had no rain with the exception of light showers—two, I think, from Christmas until Christmas again. The impression has been made that nothing could be done with the land. We know better, and are proving the same. We hope the object lessons will be sufficient to set the people at work upon their own land. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 9

We have made some earnest efforts this year to show what can be done. We have our strong horses and plow, and we break up the land for our poor brethren, that they may put in crops. All these experiments mean money out, but if we can help them to help themselves we will be doing a good work that the Lord will approve. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 10

I write you this matter that you may know what we are trying to do. We are studying economy in every line. We have a simple diet. You are correct in principle on the diet question. We eat no meat or butter. We may be compelled not to use the milk of cows, for they are diseased; but we have young and healthy cows and scald the milk thoroughly before using it. We are raising chickens—no credit to us, though. Three hens stole their nests and brought us out thirty-four chickens. A wild cat destroyed seven of our nice hens. We have a large henyard and hen house, just made, inclosed with wire netting. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 11

I did not feel very anxious for the brother to go to Battle Creek at the present time. I would not encourage any of our young people to go. There must be a change, in Battle Creek, in our institutions. They must be conducted upon different principles. As things now are represented, I could not advance means, if I had it, to sustain anyone in Battle Creek at our college. Changes must be made. There are advantages and disadvantages. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 12

Those who are of a settled and substantial mind, who have set their standard high and will make decided efforts in faith and through the grace freely given of God to all who really seek for it, will pass through the difficulties, holding fast to correct principles, whatever may be the practice or example of those around them. Their aim is to choose the good and refuse the evil, employing all their powers of brain, bone, and muscle—every physical power and mental faculty—in the service of the Lord. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 13

All who are determined to do service to God cheerfully, willingly, gladly, because they are God’s property by creation and by redemption, will not miscarry in their aims or in their efforts. A sense of their obligation to God, whose they are and whom they serve, will be a strong incentive to be obedient to His requirements. All their social virtues and all their religious aims are to glorify God. They know they have influence, either for good or for evil. Every one will gather with Christ or scatter away from Christ by his personal influence. “He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] The Christian knows that God seeth not as man seeth. God weigheth actions. 11LtMs, Lt 132, 1896, par. 14