Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12

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Lt 101, 1897

Rogers, Sanford

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 8, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 322.

Dear Brother Sanford Rogers:

I received the packet of Jenny’s clothing. These things came to us only yesterday. I left the campground sick, and have been unable to write scarcely anything for this American mail. But this morning I have risen at three o’clock, and will write you a few lines. I read your very short letter. I wanted to hear how you were healthwise, but I have yet to see W. C. White, and learn of him. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 1

I hope you do not really mean that you are friendless. I felt very sad when I read your note. Jennie is at rest. Thank the Lord that there is no more sorrow and pain and suffering for the poor, afflicted body. “Write, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.” “For they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” [Revelation 14:13.] Were we near you, or you near us, we would do all we possibly could to care for you; but eight thousand miles of the broad Pacific separates us. I will be glad when the time comes when “there shall be no more sea.” [Revelation 21:1.] 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 2

We have just closed our first camp meeting for this season. The second will be held in Melbourne. But I question whether I shall be able to attend it. The camp meeting just closed has been the most interesting we have had the pleasure of attending. The meeting was very precious to us all. The people flocked to the tent at the commencement of the meeting and continued to attend till its close. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 3

As a result of the school in Cooranbong, twenty were baptized before its close. We had the best school in every respect that we have ever seen, outside our people, or among Seventh-day Adventists. It seems that the Lord had it in charge from the very beginning. The Lord has used Elder Haskell and his wife in a special manner. Sister Haskell was matron of the school and also teacher of Bible lessons. Both herself and her husband have been a treasure house of most precious scriptural truth. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 4

The study of the Bible was made the foundation of all the studies. It was indeed like eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. “My flesh,” said Christ “is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” “This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give him is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:55, 47, 50, 51, 53, 54.] 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 5

We have given the words of Christ to the students of our school as no school that has been established has done, except the school of the prophets. Not one of the students left the school unconverted. There were eighty-five students. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 6

Our camp meeting exceeded in interest, from the commencement to the close, any that has ever been held. Several have been baptized since the first meeting commenced, and quite a number kept last Sabbath as their first Sabbath. I spoke on the ground six times to the crowds of hearers that assembled, and five times in special meetings to our people. We will now have to build a meetinghouse in Stanmore or in a suburb adjoining it. Thus it has been in this missionary field. Churches have been raised up and houses of worship built. It has often seemed that we knew not from whence the money was coming, for the people are nearly all poor. But as we have advanced by faith, the Lord has accepted our willing hearts and minds, and we have been enabled to “arise and build.” [Nehemiah 2:20.] 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 7

The question has been asked me by outside parties, Do you propose to build a chapel here, as you have done in Ashfield? We said, If numbers are obedient to the faith, there is no other thing for us to do than to arise and build. O that the work may advance! The truth in its beauty is captivating souls. Let the good work go forward in the Lord’s fields, which are opening all around us. There are many more calls than we have men and means to supply. We must have increased faith. This last camp meeting has encouraged the hearts of our people as it ought to do. The expressions of the people have been, “I never heard such preaching in my life. It is just wonderful. O I wish I had come at the very first meeting. The Lord is with this people. I feel His presence on the ground.” 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 8

Well, the good work is going forward. Yet we must open new fields. The important city of Sydney itself has never yet been worked. Want of money and lack of workers have held the work. A few of the suburbs of Sydney have been entered, but now the interest manifested forces the issue upon us. We must work Sydney. May the Lord give us light and His wisdom that we may move forward. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 9

“Now about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” [John 7:14-17.] I could not but think that at our camp meeting Jesus was in our midst, speaking through His servants, and all men marvelled at the clear, precious truth, presented as it is in Jesus. The seed has been sown, the gospel trumpet has given no uncertain sound. We know whereof we speak, and as the truth is presented, the Holy Spirit makes the impression. A Paul may plant, an Apollos water; but God giveth the increase. Therefore we do not depend merely upon what the minister shall say, but upon what the Lord shall do in impressing the hearers. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 10

The warning message must be given to the world to prepare the way of the Lord. A great work is to be done in this country. But the human agent is only God’s instrument. We must be converted day by day, a vessel emptied for the Lord to fill, that we may empty the oil of truth into other prepared vessels. The Lord is our efficiency, He is our strength. We will hold Him fast, as Jacob held the angel. We must not fail nor be discouraged. The Lord God has revealed Himself and will still reveal Himself if we will only trust in Him who is righteousness, grace, and truth. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 11

But I must close this letter, for this morning the mail leaves here for Sydney. My dear brother, be of good courage in the Lord. Do not faint, neither be discouraged. Look up to the Source of your strength. Give my love to your people whom you will see in Cooperville and Wright. Tell them I have not forgotten them. We shall not meet again in this world—thus it seems to me—but if we and they shall hold fast the faith, we shall meet where we shall see the King in His beauty. “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of them shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” [Revelation 7:15-17.] 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 12

Praise the Lord, Sanford; praise our God! We are almost home! Look away from self to Jesus. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 13

In much love and sympathy. 12LtMs, Lt 101, 1897, par. 14