Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 91, 1897

Lindsay, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 29, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Lindsay:

Sara McEnterfer has just informed me that the African mail leaves tomorrow. It is now nearly five p.m. We are just having a very great interest in Stanmore, a suburb near Sydney. From the very first our camp meeting was excellent. Thursday, October 14, it commenced. The interest continued from the commencement to the close, and then the large tent had to leave for the Melbourne camp meeting. The forty foot tent was spliced in the center, and thus much enlarged, and, in this, meetings have continued Sabbaths and Sundays and each day in the week, with the exception of Monday evening. Brother and Sister Haskell stand as the head of the mission. Brother and Sister Starr unite with them as they are visiting, giving Bible lessons through the day, and have quite a number of workers in the mission. They have a hired house for this special purpose. Papers are being sold, and also tracts and pamphlets, to make the mission self-supporting. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 1

Word came by letter that Brother Baker should prepare the ground in Stanmore, and should have Brethren Michaels and Palmer, drilled canvassers, scatter publications and sell our papers and tracts, thus working the field preparatory to the tents going up. The notice of the meeting was to be widespread. Brother Baker came to Cooranbong to consult with the brethren here. The night he tarried at the school, I think it was, light came to me in the night season. I was shown that this was not the best method. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 2

When armies prepare for a battle, they are careful to conceal their plans from their enemies; and at this time it would be best to be reticent, to keep our plans for the meeting to ourselves, to work silently and rapidly when the tents were being put up, and let the city of tents surprise the people. Then they would not have time to transport ministers, and to begin their opposition inspired by satanic agencies. Then after the camp broke up, let the money and labor that would be required for the work they proposed, to be done before the camp meeting opened be all brought in after the camp meeting closed. Let the tent remain, and call the people to the tent. Let there be much visiting done from house to house, as the way would open, and let the workers then get in their papers and tracts, treating on the important subjects of present truth, in the same line of labor that had gone forward during the camp meeting. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 3

This plan was followed, and we feel deeply grateful to our heavenly Father for His counsel and direction. The interest is not abating. The tent is filled every night. One week ago last Sabbath I spoke to a good congregation. Next Sabbath and Sunday I speak again. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 4

Brother and Sister Haskell are in every way fitted for the place. Outside parties are held spellbound as they hear the Word of God presented in Christlike simplicity and with fervor and demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. There are now thirty-five new Sabbathkeepers, and there are many more who believe. The question comes before them, I shall lose my situation, and how shall I support my family. Several are in the Government’s employ, and they know not what they will meet as soon as their faith is made known in observing the Sabbath. O that the Lord may give them moral courage to walk in the light and obey the commandments of God. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 5

There is now necessity for a new meetinghouse. This has been the first question asked, Will you build a meetinghouse? We must do this. We see that all are poor, yet we must go forward by faith. I am believing that you will help us in this good work. The land will be the most expensive part, but those newly come to the faith will do all they can. They are full of zeal and love, and are delighted with the truth. We dare not hesitate, we dare not delay. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 6

Your timely donation and that of Sister Mother Wessels came in just at the right time. Sister Annie, what will you donate as a gift to our dear Saviour. I have something in gifts and offerings in every house of worship that has been built in Australia, except one very small building erected when I was in New Zealand. We are so grateful to our heavenly Father for your timely offering. We had our house of worship built just in time. I wish you could see it, neat, tasty, and yet without any extra adornments. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 7

If your brothers will receive an invitation from me just at this time, and help us just now, we will be grateful to the Lord, who makes your hearts willing in the day of His power, for it certainly is the day of His working by the Holy Spirit on the hearts of those who were in the darkness of error. Sister Annie, will you be my helper and the Lord’s helper in this good work? If we can begin the chapel at once, it will give assurance and confidence to the hesitating ones who have the cross to lift, accepting the truth, [and] walking by faith. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 8

This church will accommodate the church in Sydney, as well as the suburbs in and around Stanmore. Stanmore is a very nice suburb, and we want to place the standard of truth there. The Lord has wrought in our midst. He is working still. Brother and Sister Wilson have joined the working force, and all have to work constantly and actively to fill the calls that are made for Bible readings at their homes. One becomes interested, and then they hear things that are so wonderful to them, the new themes out of God’s word, that they desire to have their neighbors and special friends hear it. They collect a little group, and the people are becoming more and more deeply interested. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 9

Some way I feel impressed, Annie, to ask you to be my helper in this matter. Please invite others to donate something. The Lord will bless you and all who help us. I wish you could see our two nice school buildings. Another is going up for the next term of school. The meetinghouse, our little tabernacle is appreciated very highly. We know that the angels of God were with the workers. When anything came up that was perplexing to the workmen Elder Haskell was on hand to encourage them. We would say, Let us have a season of prayer; and the presence and blessing of God came upon them. Their hearts were subdued and softened with the dew of heaven’s grace. I never saw a building where we had greater evidence that the Lord managed the matter as in this. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 10

The weather is exceedingly hot this season, and what could we do without this tabernacle that has just been built? We see just as much necessity for erecting a building in Stanmore. I have something to invest, but not a large amount, for the school, the Health Home, the Australian Conference have tied up about all the money that I have. When The Life of Christ shall get into circulation, I hope to have more means than I have had for this destitute field. I will send you a copy of Elder Haskell’s letter, which I send him today. If we can only make a start, we will show what we mean to do. There will be a great interest if we can judge from the present appearance, and as was manifested by our brethren in Cooranbong in building the church in this place. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 11

You may say that Sister White is a great beggar. Yes, I am, in behalf of the cause and work of the Lord. I am a strong beggar, pleading with the Lord to open the way for His people who are now lifting the cross. They must leave the churches. They know this, and it is a trial to them. But if they see that we have a house of God, dedicated to Him, where Bible truth is being preached, it will be to them a help and blessing. The Lord will bless the donations and offerings given for His name’s sake. Every blessing thus bestowed will be laid up beside the throne of God, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 12

I praise the Lord that He gives me strength to still labor in His cause. I am now seventy years old, and my mind is clear and my courage good. I have my heart filled with grateful thanksgiving to my heavenly Father. The Health Home is doing good work. We hope Brother John Wessels will be on hand as soon as possible. We have only one year more to hold the present place. We want Brother John to look around to find a suitable location. We are sure that the medical missionary work will be a wonderful success in reaching many souls. A sanitarium will bring many souls to the knowledge of the truth. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 13

May White and her family are quite well. The twins will be two years old the 6th of next April. They are full of life, and we think they are quite a treasure. W. C. White is in Melbourne attending the camp meeting. He writes that the camp meeting is extended another week because of the increasing interest. I must now say good bye. Give my love to dear Mother Wessels. 12LtMs, Lt 91, 1897, par. 14