Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 14, 1898

Haskell, Brother and Sister

“Sydenham,” Westbury St., St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

March 27, 1898

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

I was pleased to receive Sister Haskell’s letter this morning. We are greatly privileged by having the loan of the pony and phaeton belonging to Sisters Graham and Ingels. It has been a great blessing to us, and especially to me. Your letter was placed in our hands this morning as we called at the Echo office. You cannot think how strange it appeared to us to go the whole distance from Balaclava to North Fitzroy, and not see a street car on the line. They must all have been keeping the Pope’s sabbath. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 1

We are now all hung up with regard to means. None comes from the General Conference. Apparently we are left high and dry. But we must not fret, but just hold on the best we can until the cloud parts, and clear light shines again. W. C. White has been sent for to come to Melbourne, because important matters are to be adjusted. I dare not take any burden, for it nearly kills me when I do. I must rest in peace, and wait for the salvation of God. One thing I have written, or am now writing to Battle Creek, and this is, I must have the royalty upon all foreign books sold. The battle has been kept up with me, and I have had to call upon every resource for means, without much response. Now, when the Conference takes its position, as it has done, I see great perplexity ahead. I shall send by letter to call in all the money unused, and all that shall be received on foreign books, to use in this missionary field. Thousands of dollars have been appropriated in Europe that we have greatly needed in this field. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 2

I fear that those who have visited this country from America have not properly set forth the situation as it is. Will they ever take it in? Will they ever realize that we are not in a community that is favorable to Seventh-day Adventists; that we are not surrounded by churches to which we can appeal in a crisis? We have no money from which we can draw when we come to a pinch; we must simply stop working unless the Lord helps us in unforeseen ways. We shall just wait for the issue. I know not where the means is coming from for the school or for the church buildings in Balaclava and in Stanmore. I can do nothing unless I receive something. Here the matter hangs. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 3

But our Saviour is not in Joseph’s tomb. He is a living Saviour, and we would better cling to Him. I see light in Him, and nowhere else. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 4

I have had freedom in speaking to those who are deciding for the truth. The last Sunday [that] I spoke in the tent, the best attention was shown. One was there who had attended the meetings ever since the tent was pitched in the new place to continue the meetings after the camp meeting. His wife was keeping the Sabbath, but although he saw the evidence of truth, he had not the moral courage to stand the test of going to his employer, and saying, I have decided to keep the Sabbath. But my discourse one week ago settled it. He went to his employer, and told him that he had decided to keep the Sabbath, and that he could not violate his conscience. This man is working in the gas works, in a very responsible position, and is paid good wages. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 5

His employer asked him, Would you work on Sunday if we came into a straight place? Would you take hold and help us? “Oh yes,” he answered, “I will do anything on Sunday.” “If there was a breakage on the Sabbath, that must be fixed at once, would you feel that you could help us?” his employer asked. “I would,” he answered, “but I would not receive pay for anything done on the Sabbath.” 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 6

His employer then said, “Come to your business, saying nothing to any one. I am the man who is responsible.” When this brother received his wages, he saw that he had been paid for the Sabbath, on which he had done no work. He told his employer of this, thinking it was a mistake. He was told that it was no mistake. “I have charge of all this business,” his employer said, “and I have a perfect right to pay you thus if I choose.” 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 7

Brother Robinson called on this brother and his family today. He says he is a happy man, and that the talk that I gave the last Sunday I spoke balanced him fully. His wife, his mother, and himself are all keeping the Sabbath. He has a good home. His mother lives near him, but by herself, in a house of her own. Brother Robinson enjoyed his visit very much. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 8

There is one lady who works in the Government house who is keeping the Sabbath. She is well educated. She has been given six months vacation while the family is making a visit to some place. I mean to see this lady, and have her visit the school if she will. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 9

Quite a number of nice looking people have taken their stand here to obey the truth. They tell me that no less than forty are keeping the Sabbath. Brother and Sister Robinson work very hard, and they do have something to show for their labor. The net has gathered quite a number of the poorer class, but Christ pronounced a blessing upon the poor, and upon those who help the poor and lighten their burden. I am sure that good work has been done here. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 10

I feel loth to have anything to do with the North Fitzroy church, for the members are as dead as logs. They are of such a spirit that I feel that my time would be thrown away in trying to help them. I want all the strength that I can rally to help the souls who have just taken hold of the truth, and to help those who are deciding for the truth. Everything should be done for these that it is possible to do, while Satan is placing every obstruction in their way, by the influence of those who have been long in the truth, but who are filled with jealousy and evil surmising. I have no message for these. I cannot do them the least good until they are humble and contrite before God, and yoke up with Christ to become laborers together with God. I might lift and lift the poor souls who are playing the Pharisee, but what good could I do? 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 11

They have had the benefit of a blessed camp meeting; and if they have become blinded, and cannot see afar off, and have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins, and reveal the attributes of Satan, because they have failed to live upon the plan of addition specified in the epistle of Peter, all my words can do them no good. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 12

Said Christ, I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance—those who realize that they are needy, who are hungering and thirsting for salvation. [Matthew 9:13.] These will not be like the heath in the desert, not to know when good cometh. Our time is altogether too precious to consume in this way. Opportunity is golden. We are to hunt and fish for souls. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 13

One week ago I was in Geelong. Brother Robinson, Sara, and Maggie accompanied me. I spoke in a quaint little brick church, which is very ancient, to our Sabbathkeepers on Sabbath morning. They were hungry for the truth, and it was a pleasure to give them the bread of life and the water of salvation. They thought themselves highly privileged. The melting grace and joy of the Lord was upon me, softening and subduing my heart. I knew that the presence of Jesus was in our midst. There were only about seventeen or eighteen adults present, but they were fed and rejoiced. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 14

It is easy to speak to those who love the truth, those who do not come to meeting to act the Pharisee, to criticize and make careless remarks, showing that they have no interest in the work of Christ, to seek and to save that which was lost. Such want all the attention given to them, and begrudge the attention that is given to the needy souls who are hard beset by Satan, and are struggling for the victory, gasping for the breath of spiritual life. They have no travail of souls for them. May the Lord God of Israel show these selfish souls, who begrudge every crumb of gospel food given to hungry starving souls, their error. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 15

Elder Robinson spoke Sunday evening, and I understand that the people were highly pleased. A hall was hired, and in the afternoon, when I spoke, there were a few more than a hundred present. I spoke upon the coming of the Lord, and had a free time. At Brother Robinson’s meeting, there were about a hundred present. A sand storm came up just before the meeting commenced, and this made it very bad; but the discourse was highly appreciated by those present. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 16

On Monday we returned to Melbourne. Our fare both ways was only eighteen pence a piece, a cheap boat ride for forty-five miles. The water was clear, and the boat did not rock. Brother Neilsen met us at the wharf with the pony and phaeton. We were only four hours on the water. We did not get to rest until about eleven o’clock. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 17

The Monday before we went to Geelong, we made one visit; but my soul was so burdened after returning home, and thinking of the work to be done in the churches, that it seemed as though soul and body would part. I was in agony, because I could see no way to reach the people. They seemed to be immovable, helpless, lost. The next day I was very sick, and for several days I suffered much. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 18

During this time Brother and Sister Robinson were hunting for a smaller house into which to move the Mission family, as they could not afford to keep the large house and the land attached to it, after taking down the tent. Elder Robinson had quite a hunt to find a house, but seemed unable to get one that would be near enough the station, and also near where they expect to build the church. At last he grew desperate, and decided to take a miserable, poor, dark, inconvenient house. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 19

I saw how he felt, and I decided to go and see the house that day, as I was too sick to remain in doors. Sister Robinson went with us, and showed us the place. We looked it over, and then I said, If you have to lose one month’s rent, you must not take this place. The Spirit of the Lord forbids it. We were returning home when I felt that I must counteract the action. So I told Sara to turn the horse round, and go back to the place. She and Sister Robinson must go and tell them that we could not take the house. This must be done, and at once. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 20

We just managed to get them out of the difficulty, and it cost them nothing. You never saw a more gratified man than Elder Robinson was when he came home and learned what had been done. He had felt sick at the thought of taking this house, and he was pleased to get out of it. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 21

After we had told the family that we could not be made comfortable in the house, Sara and I started out to look for houses. We found one that we thought would do. The house that we had just refused was 11/- a week, and the house that we thought would do was 17/6 a week, and we thought it cheaper than the one at 11/-. Brother and Sister Robinson went to look at it, and were well pleased with it. We all thought that if the rent of the house that we were then in was put down to the same price as the house we had in view, we would not exchange the one we had found for the one we were living in. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 22

The one at 17/6 was only a little over half of what they were paying for the house at Orange Grove. We moved here last Wednesday and our little pony and phaeton did good service. We like the house more and more. We are all moved and settled. But we are greatly in need of a hall in which to hold meetings. There is not a hall in the place that can be secured for Sunday meetings. The little room that we used yesterday was well filled, and we have had excellent meetings during the day. In the afternoon a social meeting was held, and the new Sabbathkeepers were prompt and free in speaking. I will write no more. May the Lord bless you, and may His grace be upon you. 13LtMs, Lt 14, 1898, par. 23