Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 80, 1897

The Needs in Australia

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 4, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in MRmnt 124.

At three o’clock my sleep is ended. I will now write some things that urge themselves upon my mind. We greatly need a church here in Cooranbong. We thank the Lord that we have had the privilege, since the last week in April, of assembling to worship God in the unfinished upper story of the second building that has been erected for the school. But we are glad to say that the patronage of the school is such that we shall be crowded out of the building to give place for the accommodation of the students. Several more are anticipating coming to the school, and we hope that they will come. Our only course now is to prepare to build a church in Cooranbong. I have hired, and am paying interest upon, one thousand pounds [£1,000], which is drawing 4-1/2 per cent interest; £100 from another, which is drawing 5 per cent interest. I have loaned the conference £100 since 1895, from which I have drawn no interest. That amount I wish to use at once in helping to build a meeting house. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 1

I have now a request to make. I wish to handle the book entitled Christian Education. I wish to make additions to the book at once, as have some precious matter that should be added to it. I want you to inform me how much has been received for the present edition, and what do you propose to do in helping me to enlarge this book? I wish to know just how it stands. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 2

I expected that the sale of Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing would help me to help in advancing the work in Australia. But the way that the book was kept back in America, after being in the hands of the publishers for two years, and then coming out in a style that I could in no wise accept, has disappointed me greatly. The delay also on The Life of Christ, preparing suitable cuts, is another drawback. The means I hoped to obtain have not answered my expectations, and now I must do all I possibly can to help in various ways the cause in this missionary field. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 3

Time is passing, and we are bound about for facilities and means. For years the Lord has opened before me that we should have facilities connected with our school, where the students could be educated to learn various trades. We should have a printing press and issue pamphlets and leaflets and matters connected with the school. We should have the students learn the art of building. They should have an instructor to teach them, while the students do the work. We should have tent-making, which will always be needed in this country. We should have masonry going on in connection with the school education, and different branches of work. Attention should be given to the art of tilling the soil, of setting, and trimming, and carefully cultivating the fruit trees, for this is a science that all the students need to learn. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 4

Then the lady students should have a dressmaker who is thoroughly qualified to teach this trade and tailoring and the science of repairing clothing neatly, to make old clothing over so that it shall look as good as new. All these arts need to be cultivated. The flower garden also needs to be brought into consideration. All can gather some plants and shrubs and flowers to beautify the school grounds. Let all have a living interest in this matter. Then there are strawberries to be set out and tended. In this our lady students can also act a part. Each can have allotted to them something to do out of doors, and they can have the satisfaction of seeing some results for their labor. There should be knitting machines, and carpet weaving. These are the blessings to be gained from the educational advantages from our school in Cooranbong. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 5

But we know that in order to have these things, there must be an outlay of means. We must have typewriters and printing presses and many other facilities. We must have several sewing machines, and educate the students not merely to sew, but also how to keep their machines in running order. They are not to be used as threshing machines, but to be worked moderately, and thus preserve the machines from unnecessary friction. These are lessons to be learned. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 6

I wish to invest all that I possibly can in the advancement of the work in this country. What is done should go forward without delay. I do not wish my brethren to or cultivate the idea that in crowding down the price of royalties on books, issued from the offices over which they preside, that they are doing God service. Sister White is straining every nerve to advance the work in these countries that God may be glorified. She is not seeking to hoard money or to live extravagantly; and Sister White calls for all who stand in responsible positions to co-operate with her all that they possibly can to make the work, which God has given her to do, a success. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 7

The way Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing has been handled has grieved me to the heart. I have been deeply stirred by the subject matter of this book, because I knew that the people needed the very things presented in it. Two years the book was in their hands before it was published, and after that long time appeared with cuts that made my heart ache to look upon the book. The Lord sees all these matters. Is this according to His purpose? Is it according to His mind and will to have the work He has laid upon me, after two years delay in printing, come to me with cuts fit only for a comic almanac? Has the wisdom of those in Battle Creek who accept such representation departed from them? Is not the subject matter of the book worthy of better treatment than it has received? 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 8

But again I come to the book, Christian Education. Had I thought that that matter was to be gathered up from my writings and published, and the proceeds given to the interests at Battle Creek, I should not have consented to its being done. I would have paid for the preparation of the book, for its publication, and then would have used the royalties to help in this destitute field. If any has the advantage, should it not be this destitute missionary field? 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 9

Soon after I came to this field, one who knew its necessities put to my trust one thousand dollars to advance the work, without interest, the principal to be returned when necessity demanded; then came three hundred dollars with the same directions; and still other sums have been placed in my hands; and all have been invested to advance the work. Then in order to erect our school buildings, Mother Wessels loaned me £1,000 at 4 per cent interest. Brother Peter Wessels gave a donation of $300. All this is invested in the work; every gift coming from any source has been put into the work. How soon these large sums of money will be called for, I know not; but it is my duty to see that my brethren do not crowd me into a tight place, not knowing what they are about. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 10

I have to pay my workers to prepare the books that I get before the public, and then pay for their publishing, and I want not any more than is fair and right. But I do not want my brethren to think that they must be sharp with Sister White, and that the end justifies the means. All that kind of sharpness means robbing destitute missionary fields. These will have all that she can receive from the sale of her books. I am hoarding up nothing. No one could spread a more economical table and yet supply nourishing food. We have no meat or butter on our table. We have fruits, grains, and vegetables. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 11

I call on my brethren in responsible positions to do all in their power to co-operate with me in making it possible for me to do more than I have done to return the means loaned me since I have been in this country. I do not wish to have my hands so tied that I cannot return that amount that has been so kindly entrusted to my use. I have used it in a good work, and I want my brethren to keep this in mind, that you may not feel that Sister White is getting rich. Sister White wants means. She knows how to apply as necessity demands to sustain the interests of the cause of God in its various necessities. Do not suppose that it does not matter if Sister White’s goods or books are delayed, and that if she receives but a limited sum from their sale it helps the canvassers and office of publication to have a larger pay for their handling. Will my brethren consider this matter as I have tried to lay it before you? 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 12

Again I ask you who are the responsible persons in Battle Creek, What do you propose to do with the book, Christian Education? Let me know at once that I may understand what to do. Recently a little book has come out on this subject. I want now that something shall be done definitely. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 13

Some felt very much dissatisfaction that Steps to Christ was given to Revell. I have received quite a sum of money, more than has come to me from some books; and I think more would come to me if he had more of my books to handle. He has written to me to send him writings on the childhood and life of Christ. He sent me copies that he had been using; but said that he would prefer my style of writing, and thought he could produce books better adapted to the necessities, and which would find a more ready sale than any they had on hand. I shall place more books in his hand as soon as I can get them prepared, for I can receive better satisfaction than I have received from the Battle Creek publishing house. There is an advantage in doing this, because they get the truth before a class that we will not reach. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 14

Will you please respond to this letter as soon as you possibly can. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 15

In haste. 12LtMs, Ms 80, 1897, par. 16