Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 172, 1897

Diary, April 1897

Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 6 - 28, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4Bio 293, 302.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, N.S.W.

Friday, April 6, 1897

Slept until half past two o’clock. This day, Friday, was a very busy working day, for all on the school ground, and also in my home. We send two carriages to meet Brother Herbert Lacey, his wife, Lillian Lacey, Sister Lacey’s daughter Cressey from Tasmania, and her baby boy. We are inexpressibly thankful for the great goodness of the Lord. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 1

Sunday morning, April 2, we were deeply burdened. We could not see our way through our difficulties. The cistern was in process of being excavated. It is a very large cistern and the eaves troughs are fixed to each building, prepared to empty the water received from the showers from heaven into the large reservoir. But the workmen must come from Sydney, and Brother Hare told me the sum of money was exhausted and the school building would not be ready. Sister Haskell, with pencil in hand, inquired how many he could use in the different lines of work, and the particulars were traced upon the paper. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 2

I gave an appointment at the close of the Sabbath meeting that I would speak some things to all assembled. They came, quite a large number. We then set before them our situation: out of means, and no money to pay the many hands that could be employed. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 3

I said, I will pay the wages of [Brother] Worsnop for two weeks to put his time and tact and strength to do his best; the same to Brethren James and Connell. I would give up Sara McEnterfer to unite with Sister Haskell and, with suitable help lay the floor. This was their own proposition. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 4

Brother Connell said he had made a donation of three weeks’ work. I said I would board him free. Brother James has a large family of children to support. He donated one week’s work. Brother Woshnop donated one week’s work. He also has a large family of children. This was all they should do. I would pay them for the second week’s work, both Brother James and Brother Woshnop. Other donations followed, and thirty men, women, youth, and children seemed enthused. Thus the first day of the week began. Some were employed in cleaning out the new building, which was no small task. Some were working inside the building, some drawing and others shoveling the sand. Thus the work advanced. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 5

All worked with a will—men, women, and children—for the school must begin at the appointed time. All seemed to do their level best and the building was so nearly completed that it was occupied according to appointment. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 6

We assembled for the first time in the large dining room for a religious meeting. Our hearts were filled with gratitude to God that He had put it into many hearts to work diligently that the school should commence at the appointed time, April 28, 1897. Many donated their time, and many hands were employed all through the week past. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 7

We had suffered many fears that Brother Herbert Lacey might not, in his weak state, come up from the exhausting fever. We have made his case a special subject of prayer. We wrote a few lines to him each day to call his attention to that which the Lord was ready and willing to do for him. The angels of God have presided over him all through his sickness, and when I saw Brother Lacey he was, although emaciated, doing much better than persons, usually, who are treated with drugs. We felt very grateful to our heavenly Father. My heart was broken with the sense of the love and goodness of God to us, when, if it had not been for the power of the great Restorer, we might be sorrowing over Herbert that he could no more meet with us. But he was with us, glad and thankful to the Lord for all His goodness and love. We had an excellent meeting. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 8

The work began on the first day of the week and it was a very busy place in and around the buildings. Some remarks had been made in rather a light manner in regard to the lady carpenters, Sister Haskell and Sara McEnterfer, but they soon learned the use of the carpenter’s hammer and how to drive the nails in the boards of the floor. While Brother James with a screw instrument forced these boards in position our lady carpenters nailed them fast. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 9

There were some tired muscles at night, but all were cheerful and full of zeal and energy. They rested during the hours of sleep and arose refreshed in the morning. Brother Hare’s courage rose, as his faith as well as our own began to realize the substance of things unseen. All seemed to do their work cheerfully. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 10

Women acted their part, one handing the brick to another young lady in the cellar, who also handed the same to the bricklayer. When through with one line of work, they would lay hold on that which they could do, one piling up the brick, another lady worker sliding them down into the deep fifteen-foot vault for two men bricklayers to put the two tiers of brick in the cistern. Thus thirty hands were employed in all the various lines of work. Heavenly intelligences were overseeing the work and cooperating with the workmen, men, women, and children. Thus the work went forward from one stage to another. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 11

Our much respected Brother Tucker, eighty-three years old, worked day after day. He is a carpenter by trade. He did the handling of the paint brush, going over all the doors and window casings and frames. He worked in, so aptly and faithfully, wherever he could work, and continued his work as long as the rest, faithful and true to service. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 12

The first week’s work was done, and on Sabbath the church assembled in the pleasant, new, second building erected, in the dining room, which is of sufficient length and breadth to contain seats to accommodate about one hundred people. We thought about eighty were present the first Sabbath. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 13

The second week there was still considerable work done, donated by men, women, and children. The second Sabbath we assembled in the new building. I spoke a short time from Revelation, (chapter 1), and related some incidents of our experiences in our mission work, given us of God to accomplish. Our meeting was most excellent. Brother Herbert Lacey assisted very acceptably in singing in the social meeting. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 14

Brother and Sister Dean came in on Friday with their little girl. They wished to be present for the Bible instruction. They do not mean to burden any one. They seem to be willing to do any way if they can only have the advantages of the school for three months. If they can do this, they are more than pleased. They have been very successful canvassers, and they want their little girl educated in our school. They do not want to take her with them to be exposed to all kinds of society, and it is not often a place is found that is for the best interest of the child. Sunday we let them have our tent. They have pitched it on the school grounds near the place of interest. They took dinner with us Sunday. We took their breakfast to them this morning. They seem very much pleased with the school grounds. They took right hold of the work, which they see someone must do, and made themselves useful. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 15

This day, Monday, April 15, 1897, Sara and I have been riding round to see if we could find vegetables for the school, but nothing but potatoes rewarded our search. The land is not cultivated much. We hope to set an example and make a change. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 16

Monday, April 19, 1897


The Lord is giving us favorable weather. We see now is the time to carry through with expedition the work begun. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 17

Tuesday, April 20, 1897

Who does the Lord estimate as great in His measurement? 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 18

This morning there is no appearance of rain. Water tanks everywhere are empty. Water holes for cattle are fast being used up. We had appearance of rain yesterday, but there is none today. The sun shone brightly this morning, and at noon it becomes burningly hot. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 19

Brother and Sister Dean and their little girl breakfasted with us. They will take care of themselves as soon as they can get things together. We will try to help them to be passably comfortable. They are nice, energetic people and will be a blessing to the church and school. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 20

We are patiently waiting and working. We are yet only beginning to walk and work by faith. We pray and we believe, and we seek to do all things possible in harmony with our prayers. This is watching unto prayer—to pray and watch and patiently and perseveringly work, doing as well as praying. Our prayers and our alms united, even in our poverty, will be responded to by One who knows our situation, who sees our great need. Let the prayers and self-denying, self-sacrificing work go on. God knows our works as He knew the works of Cornelius. Our prayers and alms are coming up before God as a memorial, and I am not faithless but believing that the Lord will honor our faith. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 21

Those who have manifested the spirit of unbelief that is in no sense inspired of God make our hearts sad indeed, because the treasure of the heart that is drawn upon is not valuable as gold, but is a mass of rubbish, which needs to be purified for the soul temple. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 22

All men who are faithful stewards in the service of God will bring from the treasure house most precious things, new and old. They regard the Scriptures as communications from God, to be received, believed, and taken into the life practice, that they may be a blessing to others. All who really have genuine faith will study the Word most earnestly and prayerfully, hungering and thirsting for that Bread of Life which comes down from heaven, and which gives eternal life to all who eat of it. It is as if eating of the tree of life, which is for the healing of the nations. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 23

“I am the bread of life,” said Christ. “He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ... For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6:35-38. Who of those who claim to believe the truth are walking in Christ’s footsteps? 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 24

April 28, 1897

Our school opened April 28. We had the opening exercises in the last building erected. We had more in attendance than we had expected. We felt very thankful to make so good a beginning. We were very much pleased to have Brother and Sister Haskell with us. Brother Herbert Lacey and his wife were with us. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 25

We greatly feared that Brother Lacey would not be able to attend the meeting. But as soon as the fever left him and he could take nourishing food, his strength came to him quickly. He had not the effects of drug medication to overcome. The Lord is good and merciful. We praise the Lord that Brother Herbert Lacey was under the supervision of Brother Semmens. He was laborer together with God in this critical case, and our brother recovered. Many prayers were offered in his behalf, and the Lord has heard and raised up our brother. And He will help him in every time of need if he will trust in Him. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 26

Brother Herbert has lessons he has learned to unlearn, and lessons of a different character to learn. I pray the Lord that our brother may be teachable. As one who takes a leading position, many of his ideas are sound and precious. [But] then some chaff has been sown among the wheat, which will be sown by him in other minds if left to himself. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 27

I thank the Lord that Elder Haskell is here to guard the school. Notions and traditions will have sufficient weight in some minds that they will consider tares as precious wheat, and, unless teachers know for a certainty that the ideas they advance are truth, because they are something new, they will bring them in and without consideration sow the chaff of infidel sentiments. Their safety is to make no statements which shall set the students on a train of thought that will do them positive harm. The teachers should be sure to hug the shore and not launch their boat in any deep waters of skepticism, which makes shipwreck of faith. I am hoping that Elder Haskell’s judgment will be respected. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 28

The lessons of Christ are to be taught in a very simple manner. Bible history is to be made an interesting study. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the teachings of the apostles after the ascension of Christ was with power. They taught as did Christ, “as one having authority.” [Matthew 7:29.] They were the means of imparting light and truth and the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. But the Word was less and less studied with deep interest, prayerfully. Then it was listened to less. It was casually perused. It was not fed upon as Bread from heaven to sustain spiritual life, and to keep the soul in health. The teachings of theologians, the ordinances of bishops, the decrees of councils, was the main interest. The Word of the only true and living God lost influence in public opinion. The word of finite man was regarded with far greater reverence than a “Thus saith the Lord,” or “It is written.” 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 29

When the churches departed from strict obedience to the Word, ceremonies were considered essential. The church walked in the shadow of human doctrines, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Then darkness came upon the church, because the commandments of God were rejected and tradition exalted. Then just as far as they forsook the commandments of God for church tradition, they were preparing for the mazes of popery. All Christians who bear the name Christians should watch, should pray, and be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Revelation 3:10-12. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 30

I have had a very pleasant conversation with Brother Herbert Lacey. He is learning that he has much to learn. 12LtMs, Ms 172, 1897, par. 31