Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 36, 1896

Haskell, S. N.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

April 26, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 147; 4Bio 264.

Dear Brother Haskell:

I received your letters with gratitude, but somehow I was not informed when the last boat left for Africa, therefore missed sending my letters written to you. My health has been somewhat taxed. I visited Sydney just before our Institute was held here. The journey was a most taxing one to me. I visited Elder Israel’s family. His wife has been in despair for a long time. At times she seems to be very violent. This violence had come upon her the night before I arrived, and Jessie was alone with her. She ran out of the house in her nightdress, screaming at the top of her voice. Brother Israel said he thought he would be obliged to take her to an asylum. She talked to me constantly, telling me that she was lost, and talked all sorts of inconsistent things. I took dinner with them, but felt that I could not remain, for there would be no rest in spirit for me. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 1

Oh, how I besought the Lord to rebuke the enemy, and set the captive free. When I came into the house, Sister Israel thought she felt the presence of heavenly angels, and she was determined that I should not leave their home. But Sara and I went to North Shore to call on Brother Starr. We had many changes to make from the tram to the boat, and from the boat to the tram again. After this we had to walk quite a long distance. We had considerable difficulty in finding the house, but finally we got on the right track. I was so tired that I had to sit down on the side of the street. I felt as though I could not walk another step, but with Sara’s help I dragged along, and reached the house at last. We found Brother and Sister Starr packing up to move, but we had a nice visit with them. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 2

I arose early Thursday morning, about two o’clock, and was writing busily upon the True Vine, when I felt a presence in my room, as I have many times before, and I lost all recollection of what I was about. I seemed to be in the presence of Jesus. He was communicating to me that which I was to be instructed. Everything was so plain that I could not misunderstand. I was to help one whom I thought I should never again be called upon to be troubled with again. I could not understand what it meant, but at once decided not to try to reason about this, but follow the direction. Not an audible word was spoken to my ear, but to my mind. I said, “Lord, I will do as Thou hast commanded.” 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 3

Friday morning I rode nine miles to visit Elder McCullagh, and then rode back to Elder Israel’s. Again the enemy seemed to try to gain the supremacy, but that night a word came to me from the Lord, “Thus saith the Lord, Be still, and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] Sister Israel asked me, Has the Lord given you a word for me? I answered, Yes. “Thus saith the Lord, Be still, and know that I am God.” This seemed to strike right home. “Then,” she said, “I must not walk.” She had been walking and groaning almost continually for months. “No,” I said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 4

From that moment the spell of the enemy was broken. She went with us to meeting on the Sabbath. The Lord gave me a word for the people who were assembled. After I had finished speaking we had a very precious testimony meeting, and Sister Israel arose and bore her testimony as rationally as if her lips had not been closed for months. We felt that we had gained a great victory. Oh, how thankful we were for the goodness of the Lord. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 5

The next morning, Sister Israel asked, “What has the Lord given you for me this morning?” I said, I have a word for you from the Lord, “Who is among you that obeyeth the voice of his servant; that walketh in darkness, and hath no light. Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint; and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” [Isaiah 50:10; 57:15; 50:7.] Sister Israel began to feel that she must heed the word of the Lord, and she did begin most earnestly; but I had to repeat the words again and again. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 6

I visited Brother McCullagh again on Sunday. We could stop but a short time. We had lunch with them, a short conversation, and a season of prayer, and then went in Brother Israel’s carriage to the Ashfield church, where I spoke to a good congregation. I had only spoken in this church once before, when I gave the dedicatory address. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 7

I had to speak very loudly, and could not lower my voice, for I had two deaf people sitting before me, one on the platform; and both had their trumpets pointed at me. If I lowered my voice, they would manifest frantic efforts to catch every word. After I had finished speaking, we had a testimony meeting. The Lord’s blessing rested upon us. The meeting closed, and we went down to Brother Israel’s, which is only a short distance from the meeting house. We continued to see great improvement in Sister Israel. She seemed to be restored to her right mind. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 8

We rode seven miles on Monday to visit Sister James, who was in trial over some things that had been spoken to hurt her. She had remained away from meeting for several weeks. Oh, how sad I felt to think that this sister should be wounded and bruised in soul because of words spoken by unadvised lips. I tried to speak comforting words to her. We had a season of prayer, and then returned to Brother Israel’s. Here I met a brother and sister from Queensland, and a brother from Africa, who had worked his way over, hoping to find work, but no door was opened, and now he was seeking a way to get back to Africa. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 9

The next morning we rode three miles to Strathfield, where we took the cars for Cooranbong. Sara and I were both very tired, but we could not find a compartment that promised us any quiet or rest. We finally entered one containing five men and one woman, and decided to make the best of it. It was not long, however, before all the gentlemen left the car, and we three ladies had it all to ourselves. I lay down and obtained refreshing sleep. I left so thankful to my heavenly Father for the rest. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 10

At the depot we were met by Brother Connell, the man who is working for us. All our luggage was loaded into the wagon, and [we] rode home four miles and a half after eight o’clock. The moon gave good light, and the weather was very mild, but the roads were bad, as the men had been working on them for some time. Brother Connell led us round through the bush to avoid the large holes in the road. We were thankful to be at home once more. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 11

Our Institute commenced on Thursday, April 2nd. We have had a most precious season. Professor Prescott, Brother Starr, and Brother Herbert Lacey united their efforts to do all that they possibly could. It is now April 21, and in two days our precious meetings will close. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 12

May White was in attendance at the meeting April 4. Monday April 5 [6?] she was safely delivered of twin boys. Sunday, April 19, she rode in the carriage to meeting. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 13

We are pleased to find that God has precious souls in the bush. Most of the houses here are built in the woods. Some are mere shells of houses; others are neat little cottages, comfortable and pleasant, surrounded by a few orange and lemon trees. Some have peach orchards, which means about half a dozen trees. Almost all the people are poor, but their hearts have been touched with the truth. Some are charmed with what they hear, and express themselves in these words, “I never heard such precious things presented. It is wonderful.” 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 14

During the Institute I have spoken ten times. Professor Prescott has spoken every day, besides giving lessons as to a class in school, educating the people to search the Scriptures for themselves. There is such an interest here that we shall have to continue the meetings in the tent. These meetings have been similar in their influence to a camp meeting. The very best class of the community have come out to hear. We have been made glad to see families attending these meetings. They are as sheep without a shepherd. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 15

There are two very small churches in this place, one a Protestant, the other a state church. The people who have come out to hear have intelligence, and there are men and women here who know what religion is. A few come out and stay all Sabbath and Sunday. Brother Hughes goes for them in his buggy, takes them to his home and cares for them, and they remain Sabbath night. They attend every meeting on Sunday. One family, named Baker, have a farm, and raise cattle for sale. He and his wife have been in attendance. They came because they wanted to hear; we have not urged them at all. They sit and feast upon the truth. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 16

Last Sunday night the constable came [to] the meeting. He saw some of the brethren, and told them that some boys designed to cut the ropes of the tent, and he was watching them. But the constable and the boys listened with deep attention, as if afraid they would lose one word, as did also the postmaster, the school teachers from Cooranbong and Dora Creek, and a number of other outsiders. No sport or laughing was heard, but all listened to the message God gave Professor Prescott to bear in regard to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. It was a direct and positive discourse, very clear, powerful, and convincing. Elder Daniells has also spoken with a clearness and power. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 17

Those who have attended this Institute have been greatly benefited, and if they practice the truth they have heard, they will be better qualified to exert a proper influence in teaching, preaching, and working in any line. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 18

After this meeting closes, there is to be a meeting in Sydney, commencing Friday and holding till Tuesday or Wednesday. There have been more outsiders to this meeting in Cooranbong than came out to the meeting held in Sydney. The souls here seem starving for the bread of life. Mr. Baker and his wife are deeply interested. Sabbath afternoon Mr. Baker gave an excellent testimony in the social meeting. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 19

During the first part of the meeting we felt a burden for souls. Plain testimonies were borne. I had direct, personal testimonies which I was constrained to bear. Upon some, these had a good effect. Others felt no special need of the Holy Spirit to convince of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. We think that all who have attended this meeting are convinced that the Holy Spirit has been striving with hearts. Some are obtaining a new and deeper experience. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 20

The Lord is at work, and we greatly desire that everything shall be done that can be done. Every Christian will be compelled to contend for the mastery. He must fight the good fight of faith as long as he shall live. He is not to permit himself to be conquered or overcome if [he] would win the crown of eternal life. We each have a warfare to wage. There are no discharges from this war; but we have a strong helper who will meet and resist the devil. At no period in life is it safe to be indolent. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, ... but against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12.] 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 21

We are pleased to be assured that this is the place the Lord has selected for us, where the youth will have every advantage to combine earnest, physical work with their studious efforts to gain book knowledge. 11LtMs, Lt 36, 1896, par. 22