Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)



Lt 1, 1898

Austin, Sister

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 14, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 342.

Dear Sister Austin:

It is some time since I last wrote to you, but this is not because I have forgotten you. Your thoughtful kindness and love has been expressed toward me many times. I thank you for this thoughtfulness. I should enjoy a visit with you and Brother Henry Kellogg and your daughters, but I am hard at work, as I have been for many years of my active labor. I am writing now by lamplight. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 1

For a few weeks after the camp meeting I was compelled to keep quiet, with the exception of writing in the early hours of the morning, but constant work has been done in Stanmore since the meeting. This is one of the most beautiful suburbs of Sydney, and is thickly settled. At the close of the camp, the preaching tent was pitched on the same ground on which our city of tents stood. Brother and Sister Haskell, Brother and Sister Starr, and Brother and Sister Wilson have united in carrying forward the awakened interest. Many who did not attend the camp meeting have attended the meetings that have been held in the tent since the camp broke up. The interest reaches out to other suburbs, and the three couples whom we mentioned do personal work from house to house. The demand is so great for Bible instruction, that husband and wife separate in their labors, and take different localities. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 2

Twenty-seven persons have been baptized, and another baptism will be administrated the first of next week. We know of forty who are keeping the Sabbath. These people are of a better class than those who came into the truth at the Ashfield camp meeting. Many of them own their own homes, and have a good business. Some have houses to rent. None of them are wealthy. The truth has been proclaimed in simplicity, but in the demonstration of the Spirit. The Lord has wrought upon human hearts, and those who have accepted the truth are men of capabilities, men in positions of trust, who will, we believe, be laborers together with God. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 3

I sometimes seem to be bearing my testimony in America. This may yet be so. The Lord knows all about the future. Our work now is to have a preparation of heart, that we may not be surprised as were the foolish virgins. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 4

We are now preparing to build a meetinghouse. Land here costs from four to seven pounds per foot; but the Lord has been stirring the people, even before they were fully decided to take their stand, to present their donations for a meetinghouse where they could worship God and keep His commandments. One man and his wife pledged five pounds each, and in a few weeks doubled it, and this before any one had asked them. Another couple gave twenty-five pounds, and still another couple twenty-five. An aged sister, baptized one week ago, gave twenty-five pounds, and another gave ten pounds. And so the sum is increasing. Some can only give smaller sums—one, two, and three pounds. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 5

Two of our brethren who have been in the truth for years were rather on the background, but the Spirit of the Lord has taken hold of them. One has pledged twenty-five pounds, and loaned one hundred pounds on interest. This, Brother Starr intends to raise in some way. We have been hindered in securing a location for building, but the Lord desires that we should have a meetinghouse, and He will surely favor us for we cannot do as well with the tent as with a dwelling place where the Lord shall meet with His people. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 6

We have hired a large house, and a number of young ladies are being educated as Bible workers. They have two sessions each day. Besides this, they are doing all the personal labor possible. I go down frequently and spend Sabbath and Sunday speaking to the people. We feel rejoiced to see the work advance. Sydney, I think, will be our next field. Then we shall not have to build; for this location, just out of Sydney, and away from the bustle and rush of cars and trams, will be a central place for many of the suburbs. We greatly desire that the truth shall bear away the victory. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 7

Brother and Sister Haskell are excellent workers. I wish we had twenty more workers. When I see now the ministers of the nominal churches work to confuse the minds of the people who are interested, I am surprised that so many have moral courage to take their position as they do, when they know so little of the word for themselves. In a most deceiving manner these ministers misinterpret, misapply, and wrest the Scriptures. If our camp meetings are not followed by personal, house to house labor, if we do not watch for souls as they that must give an account, many will be led away by false doctrines. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 8

Our churches must not feel jealous and neglected because they do not have ministerial labor bestowed upon them. They should rather take up the burden, and labor most earnestly for souls. This will keep their own hearts warm with the love of Christ. Christ commissions His angels to co-operate with every one who will consecrate himself to the service of God. The Lord has no use for those who profess to be His sons and daughters, but who feel no burden to be laborers together with God. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 9

It is selfishness on the part of church members to hold the shepherds to minister to the sheep and lambs of the flock, while thousands are unconvicted, unconverted, lost. These need to be searched for, labored for, prayed for. They need to have the Scriptures opened to them. Church members are to arouse from their indolence and go to work for those outside of the church. If they do this the blessing of the Lord will rest upon them. If they diffuse the light they have to others, their light will increase, and they will have more to give as they open the Scriptures. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 10

I am in earnest in giving my message to the church in Battle Creek. Seek the Lord most earnestly, for there are many there who should be elsewhere, helping those who are not rejoicing in the light of God’s truth. This great work should have been accomplished years ago if the church had put on less outward display, and had accepted the garments of Christ’s righteousness. Every unnecessary adornment is a sign testifying that these poor souls are trying to make up for their lack of the inward adorning, which is a meek and quiet spirit, in the sight of God of great price. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 11

The human being cannot become entitled to heaven, unless the grace of Christ works on heart and character a meek and quiet spirit. This will fit him for the mansions that the Lord has gone to prepare. Jesus redeems by His blood all who will come unto Him. All whom God elects, Christ redeems, and the Spirit sanctifies. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 12

I must stop here. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 13

Love to all the household. 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 14

P.S. Sister Marian Davis says, “Give my love to Sister Austin.” 13LtMs, Lt 1, 1898, par. 15