Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 173, 1897

Diary, June 1897

Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 18 - 30, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 187; 8MR 368; 10MR 342.

June 18, 1897

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales

This is preparation day, in which we are to prepare for the Sabbath. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 1

Slept the past night until three o’clock, and then commenced my writing after a season of prayer. The Lord alone can be my helper, my strength, my front guard, and my rereward. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 2

Sara and I rode across my paddock to see the road workmen were making to get to the school buildings. This work was not large. Four men have worked upon the road, uprooting trees, and cutting away and removing fallen trees. The recent rains have left the passageway to the school buildings next to impassable. Heavy loads of brick and timber have been drawn from the brick pile. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 3

Our large horse broke through the crust and went down, and was nearly covered. The tackling was let loose, and with considerable effort he freed himself. The wagon had to be unloaded and pried out. The school students are, under the direction of Elder Haskell, building a log bridge. They think they will complete it for us to pass over securely to the meeting on the Sabbath. Sara and I could go only as far as the bridge-building. Here we found Elder Haskell as director or manager of a goodly number of students who were drawing down logs, cutting down trees, and filling in brush to bridge over the difficult water passage so that a team could pass safely. This was an interesting sight. This is a part of the educational process for the students. Elder Haskell and I visited but a few minutes. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 4

Sara passed over the bridge on foot and did her business with Brother John Belle, my bookkeeper, and I waited her return sitting on a log. Earnest work must be done to complete the bridge. The road through my paddock was completed nicely. There is not time to do anything but a rough job on the road through the school land. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 5

Sabbath, June 19, 1897

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales

I attended the meeting in the school building, and the room was full with the exception of one seat front. Three more might have occupied that seat. When the design was carried out to put another story on the building designed for cookroom, dining room, and storerooms, we supposed the room would serve the purpose of meetinghouse some time, until money should come in to build a chapel. We thought our school would be very small the first term, but there are sixty students, besides six teachers. The students are an intelligent class who can receive benefit if they will. How they shall improve the opportunities with which they are not privileged depends altogether upon themselves. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 6

We were approaching another holiday, the Queen’s Memorial, and there were great preparations for processions and displays. Thousands of pounds were to be expended in honor of the Queen’s reign. If the Queen had notified her subjects that this expression of appreciation should be devoted to suffering humanity, starving thousands without homes in India, in Africa, and all over the land [might have been helped]. What a memorial this would be to the closing up of her acceptable service for her country. Thousands of pounds were invested in decorations in Sydney alone, which proved to be almost useless, for there were showers through the day that made many of their exhibitions a failure. Thousands of people were compelled to leave the scene in consequence of the rain, and a vast amount of money had been consumed to no manner of good to any one. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 7

Sabbath, June 19, 1897

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales

The Lord blessed me with great freedom in speaking to a large assembly, for this place. The Spirit of the Lord was in our midst. I spoke from Ephesians first chapter, reading the entire chapter. I thank the Lord for the strength and grace He gave me on this occasion. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 8

Sunday, June 27, 1897

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales

Yesterday, Sabbath, June 26, I spoke to the church assembled at Avondale upon the talent of speech entrusted to us, of how to use to advantage this precious talent, and of the evil done through its abuse. The “form of sound words” is to be prized. [2 Timothy 1:13.] It is of high value if used to the glory of God. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 9

All students should feel the [necessity] of bringing the Word of God into actual contact with souls for whom Christ has died, that they may, through the power and virtue of His merits, have eternal life. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 10

Let us see ourselves in the light of the Word of God. Are we in spirit and practice representing Christ Jesus? Are we professing to be Christians, but misrepresenting Christ, and in our actions testifying that we know not the Man? Shall we continue in imperfection in the principles of our daily walk, because we do not have the spirit of meekness, of His lowliness of heart, but we act as though we were children of darkness and not of the light? Will Christ then say of us, “Ye are my witnesses”? [Isaiah 43:10.] 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 11

It will cost us something to be Christians. Many will have to change their spiritual circle. We will come into close relationship with Christ, into fellowship with the Father and the Son. Will not this be of the highest advantage to us? We need to feel much more deeply the dignity that Christ has conferred upon us in calling us to represent our Redeemer in this world of selfishness and darkness. We are to represent in character Him who pours His blessings into our hearts in rich profusion. We will accomplish but very little if we preach grace and Christ’s love, and do not act either grace or love. “How,” say many, “could we do as Christ did? We would be robbed of all we have, by the unprincipled, and the grasping, dishonest human agents.” Obedient disciples will never ask “How?” The question is, Shall we be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect? 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 12

I was able to sleep the past night until half past two o’clock. Then I prepared for my writing. My pen traces many pages while the members of my family are soundly asleep. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 13

This Sunday, the first day of the week, is a very busy day for us. The building of Willie’s house is going forward. The plasterers from Sydney have put the first coat on some of the rooms. Mr. Leonard is cutting out of our front yard a tree one hundred feet tall. The roots are immense, leading out from the tree and interlaced one with another, and all have to be cut out. When the monarch of trees fell, it smashed itself in pieces and was found to be decaying in the center, both trunk and branches. The roots were a sight to behold, stretching out for a large distance under the surface and as large as the trunk of a large tree. These gum trees, if they stand anywhere close to an orchard, absorb the moisture and richness of the ground to a large distance. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 14

Monday, June 28, 1897

I awoke at one o’clock, and knew it would be a fruitless effort to attempt to sleep. The mornings are cold. We have had much rain, but it is clear this morning. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 15

We took Brother and Sister Haskell to the station at Dora Creek with our team. On the way Brother Haskell read an article on the day line, written to meet the fallacies that are coming in to make everything uncertain in regard to when the seventh day comes. It would be very strange if the Lord God of heaven should set apart a day for people to observe, and bless and sanctify that day, and give it to man and enjoin upon man that it be kept holy unto the Lord as a memorial that He made the world in six days and rested upon the seventh day and blessed the Sabbath day, and yet that day become so uncertain the world cannot tell definitely when the seventh day comes to us. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 16

Here is a day given, and the Lord declares it shall be observed throughout your generations “for a perpetual covenant” [Exodus 31:16], as a sign of obedience and loyalty to God, and yet it is so obscured no one can tell when it comes! Oh, what fallacies men will resort to in order to carry out false theories. The Lord pronounced His blessing upon all who keep holy the Sabbath day. His commandments are given to a thousand generations, and when that period is ended the redeemed host shall be in the city of God and observe the Sabbath there, and especially come up to worship God from Sabbath to Sabbath and from one new moon to another. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 17

Brother and Sister Wilson left Avondale for Sydney, en route for Tasmania to help the church at Hobart. May the blessing of the Lord attend them, and may Brother Wilson recover his health. Last Friday a season of prayer was held for him. Brother and Sister Haskell and Brother and Sister Wilson were blessed. Brother Wilson was healed. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 18

Tuesday, June 29, 1897

The Lord is giving me strength and clearness of mind, and I am very grateful to His holy name. The Lord is giving me freedom in prayer and increasing my faith to present our necessities in the school interest. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 19

The Lord wants to help us and do large things for us. Has He not said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek an lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30)? We need not remain in ignorance and questioning whether we can find mercy and grace and salvation in God. All the teachings of Christ were positive, no “guess so.” He spake as one having authority. Whatever the theme that engaged His tongue, His voice and His words and articulation were in perfect harmony with His subject. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 20

The many invitations of mercy and goodness should cut away from every soul the doubt existing, and the questioning: Will the Lord hear my prayer? Will the Lord have mercy upon me? Will He give me His favor? Hear His invitation, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” [John 7:37.] Here is the woman of Samaria. Christ asks of her, “Give me to drink” [John 4:7], and she begins the controversy so singular to her, that a Jew should ask drink of a Samaritan—a class of people they thoroughly despised. Then the words of Christ. See John 4. Here the mission work of Christ commenced. Jesus said unto her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” “Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle” (Verses 10, 12)? See also verses 13-42. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 21

Wednesday, June 30, 1897

Made up quite a large mail for Africa. We rode to the post office. The twins, Herbert and James Henry, saw the horse and wagon at the door and both came running to their grandmother with their little arms outstretched, full of expectation that I would take them. I could not have heart to disappoint them. Their wraps were thrown on and Sara cared for one and I for the other, and then they were perfectly happy, having a hold of the end of the lines and supposing they were driving. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 22

It was a beautiful, cool morning, the atmosphere sweet and pure. We enjoyed the ride. The trees are being taken down in our front yard and close by the fence outside. We are preparing for cultivating the land. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 23

Elder Haskell visited me in the afternoon and invited me to attend the school faculty meeting, which I consented to do, at half past six. The days are the shortest now that they will be. It was dark. We passed over the new-made road, through the woods. We dared not trust to our eyesight. Brother Connell, mounted on his horse and wearing a white coat so we could see him, led the way. Sara and I followed with Jessie. We have no moon now, but one will soon appear. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 24

We had an excellent meeting, consulting in regard to how we shall bring our expense in the eating line within the low figures given for rooms, board, and tuition. I had considerable talking to do, and read matter I had written, which was important to be acted upon. Should the teachers of our school relax their strict and vigilant rules of order, cleanliness, thoroughness, and neatness, it would involve a moral loss to the pupils. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 25

There are few of the human family strong enough to grasp the eternal holiness, without the means God has provided, that their fellow beings shall encourage and help those who are weak in the faith to a higher standard. It is the Lord’s anointed ones who keep their full hold of their own souls to impart knowledge and strength to the poor and needy ones. 12LtMs, Ms 173, 1897, par. 26