Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 98, 1898

Walling, Addie; Walling, May

Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

November 3, 1898

Previously unpublished.

Dear Addie and May:

I shall be pleased when my work in Queensland is done, and we can return home. I labored hard in Brisbane. I spoke three Sabbath afternoons and three Sunday afternoons to the crowds, two Wednesday afternoons and one Thursday afternoon to a large number, and six other times to smaller companies, mostly our own people. I thought I might not live to come to Queensland again, and the Rockhampton people said that they had a promise that I should visit Rockhampton. I thought of the expense of the journey, but as we were in Brisbane, Willie thought that he would go to Rockhampton. I decided to accompany him. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 1

Early Monday morning October 31 we left the station at Brisbane. I had written fifteen pages that morning, rising at one o’clock a.m. I was comfortably fixed in the cars when I became very ill. It was my old complaint, malaria, that was upon me, and I retched as if vomiting. But I had nothing to throw up. I also had a bloody flux, which sometimes attacks me. This was most painful. It was well that we had a compartment with a lavatory. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 2

When we reached Bundaberg, I was as wretched as I have been at times before with this attack. The cholera mixture had been left at Brisbane. We had literally nothing with us for a case of illness. We rode to the hotel, for the cars went no further that night. In the providence of God we found an unoccupied room, which had two beds in it, and which opened with French doors to a piazza, broad and high. I had not the least difficulty in breathing, for the ventilation was good. It was late before I retired. I slept some, but was not able to bear anything on my stomach. I drank a little lemon and water, but it came up directly. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 3

Friday, November 4

I was called upon today to step into the waggonette and ride about quarter of a mile with the family with whom we are staying, to see their place. They have a very beautiful place of nine acres, all fruit trees, lemons, oranges, mandarins, and grapes. The fresh-water river runs close beside their land. They have a nice house, but for reasons which I know not, he has let the farm to Chinamen, to be carried on under his supervision. I think the trouble was that he had not sufficient strength to work the land alone. He had only one child living, Lizzie Zeibig. She attended the school at Cooranbong last term. They have pineapples growing on their place, and a fruit with a large stone, which was brought to us on the boat when we called at the islands on the way over from America. We have just struck this part of the world when there is no fresh fruit. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 4

But I will go on with the recital of my case. On the morning of November 1 I could eat nothing. We again went to the station, and found the same kind of an apartment we had left the night before, blessed with a lavatory. I was very much exhausted. When they ate their dinner I tried not to see them, for I was still sick with malaria. We rode five hours, and then stopped at Gladstone. We rode up one mile and a half to the little settlements. There were very few houses. We found a comfortable, queer sort of a room in a hotel. It was retired, and was the very thing I wanted. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 5

Sara went to the Japanese cook, and asked for the privilege of toasting some bread. She brought me this lunch, and I ate some of it, and kept it down. Brother Chapman and Willie had opportunity to eat their dinner and have several hours rest. The boat left at half past seven o’clock, and it was twelve o’clock when we arrived. It was a nice little boat, and I had a very comfortable, berth on the seats, for this was all the berths there were. The general saloon was divided off by curtains. The men had one part, and the women the other. I think we were fixed quite well. In the morning at three o’clock the boat steamed into Rockhampton. When daylight came, a messenger told us that a team would take the men folks to a place in town, and further, gave us the astonishing intelligence that hundreds of bills were scattered through the town, and that my appointment was out for that night. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 6

I could not eat, and how I could fill an appointment that night was a problem of no little perplexity. Too weak to scarcely speak or stand, I got into a conveyance and rode out four miles to Brother Zeibig’s. I was very faint. We found a good restful place at Brother Zeibig’s. Sara prepared me some gruel. I rested and I prayed and looked at myself. But I found nothing to trust in there. I looked to God, and told Him He knew my weakness and that my brain seemed as if it would not act. Then I cast my helpless soul upon the Lord. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 7

I rode back to Rockhampton, and at eight o’clock was speaking to one hundred and twenty five people. The Lord strengthened me so that I did not make the failure I so much dreaded. All seemed interested, and many hearts seemed softened, for the people were weeping. I can assure you that I was glad I could hold firmly to the table before me. And I was glad I was not speaking to a thousand people in the large tent, with a wall of people around it. I had abundance of fresh air. A contribution of two pounds was taken. I felt glad that the rent of the hall that night and the cost of notices would be defrayed. The people at Rockhampton had been drawn upon to help in the school work, and had raised all the money they could, so that the payment of these extra bills will be quite a help. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 8

I must speak upon one point. W. C. White carried himself through these exercises with credit. He seemed to act as easily and familiarly as though he had been educated all his life to the situation. This was no small gratification to me; for I know that he is to preach the Word, and I shall be sure that he has every chance to be encouraged and helped by accompanying me. He is one that never puts himself forward, but let him know what is expected of him, and he is an honor to the cause of God and to his mother. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 9

We had arranged for a room where I could have a sponge bath and an entire change of clothing after the meeting closed. This precaution taken, I bundled up and rode back four miles to Brother Zeibig’s. I did not rest much that night. The strain on me had been so great that it was nearly morning before I feel asleep. Yesterday an improvement was discernable in my condition. I slept well last night. Willie spoke to thirty persons on the water of life, and as he has never much comment to make on any of his efforts, some one else will have to report his meeting. He rode back to this place on horseback, and awoke Sara about eleven at night. She made him a bed on the floor. This morning he left again on horseback, to visit the brethren and sisters, who are scattered at great distances. I speak tomorrow, Sabbath, November 5, in the afternoon. The hall is engaged for me to speak again Sunday afternoon. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 10

Monday night we step on board the steamer which takes us back to Gladstone. We reach there in the morning, and after a few hours rest we board the cars for Brisbane, reach Brisbane in the morning at seven o’clock, and change cars for our next stopping place, Toowoomba. We spend next Sabbath and Sunday there. Then we shall have the satisfaction of knowing that we have done all that it is our duty to do this time. I anticipate with great pleasure my return to my home. All have had much to say about the great heat at Rockhampton, but I have felt none of it as yet. We have an upstairs room, opening on a broad piazza, which extends round the four sides of the house. This family pleases me. I believe them to be excellent Christian people. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 11

When I get through with this labor, I hope that I shall be willing to go where the Lord would have me, but I shall be unwilling to go if I have no real evidence of duty. I am willing to attend the camp meeting in Newcastle. We shall attempt to open the work in that place. May and her children can attend this meeting, as also can my family. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 12

I cannot write continuously, only a little jot here and there. I am improving today, and hope by Sunday to have more strength. I do not wish to take myself into my own hands. I want the guidance of my Saviour at every step. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 13

Camp meeting will be held in Ballarat and Tasmania. They will expect me to be present. I shall not say yea or nay, but greatly desire to be all ready to go anywhere at the call of duty. When my Lord says, Your work is done, gladly will I say, Thank you, Lord, and lay my armor down at His feet. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 14

We have a very, very solemn part to act in the closing work of these last days. If we hide self in Christ, if our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall have no ambitious projects. Our will will be to do the will of God. The mind of self will be submerged in God’s mind. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 15

But I will write no more; for I am weary. 13LtMs, Lt 98, 1898, par. 16