Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 44, 1897

Daniells, A. G.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 1, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 249; 4Bio 287-288.

Elder A. G. Daniells
Echo Office
North Fitzroy

Dear Brother:

For days all through my sickness I could not rest. My mind has been in constant perplexity. The selection of officers for the church here was about to be made, and Brother Herbert Lacey conversed with me as to what should be done. Some said that Brother Lawrence was their choice for elder, but when we came to investigate the matter, we knew that Brother Lawrence has not an unselfish interest in the work. He has not a vital connection with God. The first of the week I told Brother Lacey to say or do nothing in regard to the selection of officers, but just to wait. I had been writing the matter I sent you, which led to other matters which were of vital importance. With one eye bandaged I wrote fully one hundred pages. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 1

I have not been able to attend a meeting here since the Adelaide camp meeting. I had not recovered from my last sickness, but I ventured to appoint a meeting for last evening. Brother Lacey went on horseback to notify the people. We decided not to meet in the chamber above the mill. The air was too close and stifling. As soon as possible we must have a building in which to meet for the worship of God. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 2

We had the chairs brought out on the green sward, and I sat in my phaeton, and spoke to the people. We had two lanterns that gave forth a most disagreeable smell. Sara sat in the phaeton on one side, holding a lantern, Herbert Lacey stood at my left hand holding another, while I read a small portion of the matter I had written. All listened with interest. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 3

Then I spoke of the establishment of the work in different localities, where buildings had been erected for schools, sanitariums, and places of worship. Among the people brought together in these places there were different elements. Some were always ready to advance ideas as to improved methods in which the work should be done, but they showed no living interest to do anything themselves. They did not manifest self-denial and earnest zeal in personal effort. But they were fast enough to criticize the work of others, to find fault and accuse. I told the people plainly that those who were not putting their whole heart into the work to be carried on in Cooranbong were only a hindrance to the work, and I heartily wished they would go to some other place. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 4

Our meeting lasted until nine o’clock. Brother Metcalfe Hare spoke well. He confessed that he had shown a lack of patience, and asked forgiveness of his brethren. It was a very solemn season to me. I had entreated the people to change right about. Those who had been sitting on the stool of criticism should change about. They had for a time been doing nothing to help, but proved a great hindrance. These did not open their lips. Brethren Lawrence and Shannon have linked up with the Hughes family. Sister Shannon has chosen to remain with them up to this time, and there is a great deal of gossiping and tale bearing, evil surmising and accusing of the brethren. Brother Lawrence has a very gentle appearance, but he has no living connection with God. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 5

I am so sorry that we are left just as we are, with no one to help me in this emergency. I begged every one who had not heart and soul in the work, who had come here to be favored, and who were figuring for their own selfish interests, to go away where they would not see so much to find fault with, while they did nothing to advance the work. I felt deeply, that I must speak. But I present these matters to you in the articles sent yesterday morning and today. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 6

I want Brother Haskell to come back here. If you feel free to do so, I wish you would give him a most hearty invitation to come to New South Wales, and to labor in Australia. We must have different kind of work from what can be expected from any one here. Will you say something to Brother Haskell on this subject at once? I cannot carry this burden of Sydney and Cooranbong. We need some one who can help us. I cannot live if the burden is allowed to rest on me in this fashion. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 7

The work of Brethren Lawrence and Shannon has introduced the leaven of dissension and alienation. Those who come newly upon the ground have to hear all about how Brother Lawrence has been ill used and unappreciated. We have no desire that he should remain longer on this ground. I wish the Hughes family were not here, for their influence tends to scatter and not to gather. I shall read more of the matter I have written on the Sabbath, and we hope to witness the moving of the Holy Spirit among us. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 8

Brother Herbert Lacey and his wife have labored hard to can fruit for the school, securing what help they could. One week ago they worked until one a.m. canning apricots. But only ten pounds could be appropriated to the purchase of fruit, and in fact a considerable part of this had to be used to pay for the sugar. What money there was, was all spent for apricots. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 9

Both Brother Lacey and our family felt that, if possible, more money should be spent for fruit for the school use. Well, yesterday a draught for twelve pounds came from South Africa to be invested in the school where I should see it was most needed. The queer part of it was, the money was sent as a donation to Cape Town by Brother Hardy, to be used in the cause. Brother Robinson felt that it would be just and right to send it to me for use in the cause here. He knew that we must need it. I passed it over to Herbert Lacey; this will supply all the means needed for securing the later fruit—peaches, plums, tomatoes, etc. As no meat or butter is to be used, there must be ample provision of fruit. I feel so thankful for this provision. There will not be one dollar too much. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 10

Brother Semmens applied to me for money, to start in on the health home. I sent a draught of ten pounds, asking how much he needed. He wanted another ten pounds immediately, to make the start. I borrowed twelve or fourteen pounds of Sara McEnterfer, and send [it] this morning. He needs it at once. He had to pay rent in advance, and this cut down the little sum he had on hand. I think they are doing up the house, but they are in it. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 11

We have had every hand busily employed in canning fruit and moving Willie’s family to “Sunnyside.” Nearly everything is moved. Today will close up that job. All feel much pleased to get back here from the convent. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 12

Please to give Elder Haskell a hearty invitation to come to New South Wales. We need him, and must have him. I told him this, but he feels that nothing has been expressed by yourself, and he is sensitive on this point. So please attend to this matter. I know of no one with whom I could unite better than with Elder Haskell. He would be just the help needed here now. 12LtMs, Lt 44, 1897, par. 13