Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 77, 1897

Jones, C. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 9, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 294, 313. +Note

Dear Brother C. H. Jones:

Last month I sent you a letter in regard to the shares taken by me in the Healdsburg school. I hope that something will be done by our brethren in California, by taking these shares, to relieve me from these responsibilities. We need that money very much to invest in the work here. We are in great need of a meetinghouse. So many more students have come to the school than we expected, and more are coming, that we are being literally crowded out of the room in the school building that we designed as a chapel. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 1

The second school building is only enclosed, not plastered. The upper story is divided into two rooms, one serving as a chapel, the other as boy’s dormitory. This is unfinished, and is not yet divided off into separate rooms. We do not feel that it is right to thus crowd the gentlemen students into one compartment, partitioned off into rooms only by cotton curtains. We have a good class of students, but young men will become demoralized if they have no place for retirement or prayer. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 2

We exhausted our funds in starting the school. I borrowed £1,000, on which I pay four and a half per cent interest, and £100, on which I pay 5% interest. Since I came to Australia $1,500 has been entrusted to me without interest. I have this sum to pay when it is called for. It is from Elder Haskell, who has been very desirous that the work in this country shall be a success. I know he needs this money, but he will not ask for it because he understands the way in which I am situated. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 3

I write this to you that you may understand the situation. I need means to cancel these debts as soon as possible, without having the means drawn from me from other sources. We must build a plain and commodious meetinghouse, and we must put up the main school building, as it was designed from the first. But the church building must go up directly. This we need. Moving our meetings into it will give the entire second story to the study is as sleeping rooms. This is a necessity if we would close the door to temptations that are liable to occur, and that are now bringing in a condition of things that is unpleasant, and detrimental to the discipline and order that must be maintained. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 4

My resources are becoming limited. We are in a new field, and we have not even the “A” of facilities with which to carry on our work. We hope soon to see a different order of things. When Brother Harper stipulated that the $1,000 which he loaned for the work here would be required in one year, I ought to have refused the loan at once, declining to receive any such help. This simply meant that at his call $1,000 of my own money must replace his $1,000. But we were in a very cramped place, and it was a temptation to us to use the money for advancing the different lines of work. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 5

The Lord does not require me to take such burdens upon me. These things have cost me many sleepless nights, trying to devise and plan some way out of the difficulty, that we might see the work advance instead of standing still. It has been push, push, at every step, to roll the load up the hill; yet I kept saying, I will not fall nor become discouraged. I will push the load. But I could not prevent sickness and complete exhaustion coming upon me again and again. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 6

The Lord has not ordered it to be thus. He never designed that many should be eased, while his chosen instrumentalities stagger under an almost insupportable load. The ways of the Lord are equal. It is the planning and devising of human minds who do not have God to plan with them that makes the work so very hard, and so very trying to those who will carry the load, even though they lose their life in so doing. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 7

The blessing of the Lord is upon me, giving me physical and spiritual health at the present time. After W. C. White left I was put to my wits’ end to know who would stand by my side to help me and Bro. Hare. We could not count upon any one. We had sent for Brother Haskell, but his coming seemed shrouded in uncertainty. In the providence of God he came, and the Lord revealed to me that God had chosen him to share the burdens. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 8

I never, in opening the work in any new field, saw such satanic devising to hinder our advancement as we have experienced here. Men who were thought to be trustworthy, as Shannon and Lawrence, became instruments in the hands of Satan to make the work just as hard as possible. They should have helped if they had put self out of sight, but this they did not know how to do. The human element triumphed; the divine, Christlike element was not manifested. These men have not gathered with Christ, but have scattered abroad. One day they will see this matter in an altogether different light from that in which they now view it. I hope that this spiritual enlightenment may come before it is too late for wrongs to be righted. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 9

Night after night I have been unable to sleep, and have dressed and prayed at twelve, one, and two o’clock, and then taken up my writing. I have had to stand firm as a rock to duty and to principle, and keep the matter, in clear, straight lines, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, before those who claimed to believe the truth. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 10

The chief reason why there are so few conversions to Jesus Christ is the daily lives of His professed followers who make self the highest consideration. It has been repeated to me over and over again: Actions speak louder than words. The self-serving lives of men are counterworking the work of God. Every life is a sermon, either for Christ or against Him. Those who are true Christians will not allow themselves to be controlled by a perverse, unruly spirit, but they will testify to the atmosphere which surrounds the soul. Their lives will show whether Christ lives in them or whether Satan occupies the throne of the heart. An unselfish life is the most powerful influence that can surround the human soul. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 11

In this new field it has been demonstrated that the hearts of those who name the name of Christ are indeed revealed by the words and actions. If high and pure and holy things are not earnestly sought for and cherished, the professed believer will condescend to men of low degree. The untamable tongue will run riot; it will not be restrained. The words will not be elevated by that which is holy; and Satan will put upon them his attributes. By their words they will reveal the character of the treasure they have stored in their hearts. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 12

The betrayers of sacred trusts will work faithfully with the great traitor. Those who have not the spiritual anointing will be deceived, and will show that they are not yoked up with Christ but with satanic agencies. The tongue, which is a world of iniquity, will do its work of sowing seeds of dissension, its work of misrepresentation, its work of falsifying that which God approves. The harp of the soul will send forth discontent notes; harsh, jangling discord will be heard. Those who do nothing to advance the work, but strive to retard its progress, will, by their inconsistent principles and practice, counterwork the most strenuous efforts to increase spirituality. But the Lord will not serve with men’s unruly hearts or their unruly tongues. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 13

To counteract the influence which the Lord presented before me as existing, required ceaseless vigilance, and was a most painful effort. The false representations of men have been heard and received by their brethren, and these representations have sowed seed which is as tares among wheat. We have had the apostasy of McCullagh to contend with. We have had his falsehoods and those of his wife to meet. If anything would have given me assurance, had I been in uncertainty, which was not the case, it would have been the wonderful bitterness coming from the evil treasure of the souls of those who had been on this ground, but who had placed themselves on the side of the enemy, to work against the purpose and will of God. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 14

I rejoiced that I had the help of Brother and Sister Haskell. These God appointed to be my companions in establishing a school in this place. So many had spoken against locating a school here, wherever they went leaving the influence of tongue and talent on the enemy’s side that we feared the first term of school would be very weak. But we determined to act in faith, and every preparation that our means would allow was made. There are now sixty in attendance, besides the teachers, and several more students are coming in a few days. We thank the Lord that notwithstanding the poisonous talk that disturbs our memory, we see that the Lord has and is blessing us. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 15

A heart is known by the words uttered. The caution is given, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” [Proverbs 4:23.] Who spoke these words? The Lord Jesus, whose we are by creation and by redemption. He knows all the mysteries of the human heart. A fragrant life will be known by the fragrant words that fall from the lips. In order to produce spiritual music, the heart must be in tune. It must learn its lesson from Christ, and then words will be spoken that will testify to the melody of a soul in harmony with God. Gratitude offerings of love and faith pour forth in thanksgiving. Gracious notes of melody roll forth. Penitence, faith, love, joy, and hope vibrate in unison. The whole soul becomes a consecrated temple, sounding forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 16

I am thankful to God that the unholy, wicked misrepresentations have not destroyed our hope or faith. But all these have made it more essential for us to stand at our post of duty. We must hold fast to the hand of Christ, and never let go. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 17

All the determined opposition that we have met has only strengthened, established, and settled me in the belief that this is the location we should occupy. Were it not, Satan would not labor with such intense energy to discourage us and drive us from the ground. All who truly love God will prove strong enough to stand the strain. Temptations will come, to teachers and to students. Will we conquer them, or will we be conquered? Christ is testing every soul on this ground. He demands loyalty. Who will be true to Him? Who will stand on guard day and night, maintaining a vital connection with God? The underlying principle of heartlife and homelife and churchlife is supreme love to God and love to our neighbor. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 18

The battles we have had to fight for the last half century will have to be met and fought over and over again. We must stand constantly on guard. It is he that endures to the end that will be saved. We have advanced thus far, and we do not mean to go back one step. We intend that this school shall be all that God designs it shall be. We intend that the enemy and all that have consecrated themselves to his service shall be disappointed. During the time that this school has been in session we have seen that the Lord has worked through His chosen servants to bear a living testimony in presenting truth, new and old, from His Word to teachers and pupils. The Lord Jesus is the head Manager. He will give His grace. He has been doing this, and He will continue to bless us if [we] give our hearts into His keeping, to be softened, subdued, refined, elevated, and ennobled. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 19

Brother Haskell had gone to Sydney to see Brother Daniells, who is to hold meetings in different halls on the religious liberty question. The Lord is strengthening me, and I praise His holy name. When Brother Haskell first came here, I seemed to lose all strength. I had been holding up, speaking and praying in our meetings, bearing my testimony in public and private, hoping to save some poor, deceived, deluded souls. When Brother and Sister Haskell came to unite with the school, Brother Haskell as Bible teacher and Sister Haskell as matron, I felt that I could begin to lay off the load. Then I began to realize that my strength was gone. I could not get strength to exercise. I was in a state of nervous exhaustion. For several weeks I did not attend meeting or family prayer, and I did not sit at the table with my family. Thus I remained day after day, my weakness forbidding me to attend meeting. But I thank the Lord that I am now gaining in strength. I have spoken two Sabbaths in succession, and have given three morning talks in the school. I shall continue to speak for a time each day. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 20

I now desire to work with all my ability to erect a meetinghouse. The students will have opportunity to use their talent of physical strength in helping what they can, but the money is the difficulty. I want the $1,000 now invested in shares in the Healdsburg school. I know if our people understood our situation, they would take these shares and would send me the money. Then there is the money that had to be taken from me for Brother Leininger. I want my brethren in California to lift this burden from me, and let me have that money to invest in this new field. Will you see what can be done? If I can make a beginning, others will rally to the work, doing what they can. Should I stand under this pressure? I say, No. Relieve me. I ought to be relieved by my brethren in California. 12LtMs, Lt 77, 1897, par. 21