Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 218, 1897

Tait, A. O.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales

September 12, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Tait:

I have written to Brother Prescott, also Brother Tenney, in reference to Christian Education. I do not think the way in which that book is managed is in the order of God. We struggle here in this new field, trying to make advancements. By hiring money I have been able to advance the work, but how am I ever to pay this money I have invested? We could not put up a building for school purposes until I had borrowed of Sister Wessels one thousand pounds, with interest at four and one-half per cent. One building is finished, and the second building only enclosed, but it has served us well up to this time as meeting room, chamber, and sleeping rooms for the young men. But the room is too small and unbearably oppressive in summer, for the iron roof is very hot. Well, we have been stirred up by the Spirit of the Lord to arise and build. We mean that the meetinghouse shall be built and dedicated in the next three weeks without a debt against it. A donation of two hundred pounds came from Brother Lindsay and Sister Wessels, and with this we are working. 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 1

Our school, under its present supervision, has been a success. I commenced to say a complete success, but I want to see more depth of piety. But we have seen the deep moving of the Spirit of God. We are so thankful, and our hearts are full of His praise, for His Holy Spirit has worked upon the hearts of the students, and there is no rebellion in the school. There was some rebellion at first, but we moved steadily and firmly, holding the line, telling the students what they must do and what they must not do. 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 2

The Lord has been our strength, our helper, in every emergency. We would maintain order and Christian discipline. We would not lower the standard to meet any deficiencies. We have carried heavy responsibilities, but have laid the burden upon our Redeemer, and the toughest, hardened cases, who were unconverted, are now penitently seeking the Lord. From their lips came precious testimonies last Sabbath. The past week has been the happiest week of our lives. There are young men grown who have always done just as they pleased, but they have come to the foot of the cross, and now we see great changes in them. They will return to their homes to be Christ’s witnesses. 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 3

Oh, I am so thankful to God for what we do see of the manifestation of the Spirit and power of God! Oh, how earnestly have we sought the Lord, and pleaded with Him to work in behalf of these youth, who needed a deep and living experience in the things of God. We have said over and over again, O Lord, we hang our helpless souls on Thee; teach us, lead and guide us. The Bible lessons have been the rock upon which we have been guiding our youth to plant their feet. I know that the Lord has helped us. Before this reaches you, we shall have a commodious church that will convene four hundred people. Good is the Lord, and greatly to be praised! 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 4

In regard to Christian Temperance, I want a royalty on that book. I need it. I cannot see how my brethren can think we are to get along in this country. I have hired one thousand pounds of Sister Wessels, upon which I pay four and one-half per cent interest. I have hired two hundred pounds of another individual, on which I pay five per cent interest. Brother Haskell loaned me one thousand dollars soon after I came to this field. This I used in beginning the work on our first school building. Since that, he has put in my hands six hundred dollars. All his wages that he could spare he has loaned to me to invest. Now Brother Haskell needs this money, although he does not ask me for it. I feel it my duty to pay him back his money, which up to this time I have not been able to do. 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 5

I want a royalty on Christian Education. If Brother Prescott wanted to help the cause of God, I think he could have done so better by donating his work to this foreign mission field than by giving it to the publishing association. But I must begin to do justice to others. I do not want any more of my writing handled in the manner Christian Education has been handled. I now ask my brethren to take the book, with the additions I shall send them, and allow me a royalty on the books they have sold. I want them to take the additions of valuable matter, and get out a new, enlarged edition, and give me my due. I have need of it. 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 6

I send this to you and ask you to present it to the proper ones. Let me know what they will propose to do. They need not publish any more books [like] Christian Education, unless they will do something about this. Right is right. I will now leave the matter, and hope something will be done in regard to it. 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 7

In haste. 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 8

P. S.—-Please put the enclosed before the ones who should have it, for I have been warned that the Lord is displeased with those who have been in many respects as guilty in wrong doing as Brother Henry, and who carry out in regard to him the very same condemnatory spirit they have, with others, acted toward their brethren. There are things that God hates, and every one who practices them will have the same spirit, and God will bring them over the very same ground that Brother Henry is passing over. There would better be humiliation and fasting and prayer that the Lord may remove His displeasure from themselves for their own unfaithfulness and neglect of doing those things they ought to have done. 12LtMs, Lt 218, 1897, par. 9