Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 144, 1898

Farnsworth, Brother and Sister

Balaclava, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

March 22, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in HP 139.

Dear Brother and Sister Farnsworth:

I would be much pleased to see you this day. Would say many things which I cannot say with pen and ink, but I will write to you, if it is but a few lines. I am aware that this must go into the mail this day in order to reach Sydney for the boat Wednesday. Brother Robinson, Sarah, and Maggie accompanied me on the boat to Geelong. It was thought best that I visit the little church there, for I had never visited the place. It is forty-five miles. We could go by train or by boat. By train we could get there in less time but it would cost us eight shillings to Geelong and to return. We could go on the boat for eighteen pence each and return. We decided for the boat and had a very pleasant trip. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 1

We left there Friday and returned last evening, leaving Geelong at four o’clock. We were four hours coming in on the boat. We got to this place about ten o’clock. Retired about eleven o’clock. The little company of Sabbathkeepers were glad to see us. Brother Robinson conducted the Sabbath school. The meeting was in a little old brick church. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 2

I spoke to the little flock from John 14. I felt the sweet, subduing influence of the Spirit of God upon my own heart as I read that chapter. It seems to me this chapter deepens the lessons Christ intends to convey to all future generations. The more closely we adhere to the simplicity of truth, the more surely do we comprehend its deep meaning. Then if the heart is under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, it can say, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] This means the Word is interpreted by the Holy Spirit, not merely as perused by the student. It is not the mere letter of the words which gives the light and the understanding, but the Word is in a special manner written upon the heart, applied by the Holy Spirit. To the mind and heart consecrated to God, an increased measure of understanding is given as the light is communicated to others. It is the entrance of the Word, the reception of the Word in the heart by the will of the human agent; the divine power cooperates with the human. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 3

The truth may be kept in the outer court and never work the transformation of character by its life-giving principles. While speaking from this chapter, an inward sweet peace in the sense of divine things led me into pleasant views of contemplations of the words of Christ and the hope and the encouragement it gives to the soul. This kindled up in my own soul a fervor of love in my heart, an ardor of soul that I know not how to express intelligently. I was comforted in the love of God. I see such depths of His love that words cannot be framed to express. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 4

The more room one shall give for the entrance of the Word of God, the more he is enriched intellectually as well as spiritually. He will have a clearer and less biased judgment, and his views will be more comprehensive. His estimates of spiritual things will be more correct. His understanding, under the working power of the Holy Spirit, is exercised to digest the truth by making it a personal benefit by the strengthening of the soul to do self-denying works. Oh, I thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice that the Lord can, by the entrance of the Word into the heart, enlarge our faculties of understanding distinctly and clearly, not only spiritual things, but the temporal things with which we are connected. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 5

The sanctifying grace of God upon the human mind sanctifies the reasoning powers. This will be kept before the mind, will this action that I propose to enter into glorify God? There will be an humble spirit of deep humility, and less dependence will be placed upon human wisdom and far more confidence to reach out after God with the humble prayer, Teach me Thy way and Thy will. And the Lord will create a train of thought that will be safe to follow. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 6

Past experiences will be revived, and the safe way will be fastened in the mind. Great caution will be exercised. The teaching by past experiences will help the soul earnestly desiring to do the will of God to be sure he is not repeating the errors he has made by going over the same ground. This is the danger, and always will be, of repeating over and over again the mistakes made. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 7

But I am stretching my letter beyond my prescribed limits. Suffice it to say we had the blessing of God in our meeting. Elder Robinson spoke to the little flock in the afternoon, and I understand the Lord blessed Brother Robinson. Sunday afternoon the meeting was in the town or city and above one hundred were out. I had freedom speaking upon the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, and the same condition of moral depravity existing now as Christ declared would exist just prior to His second coming. I had freedom in speaking. Elder Robinson spoke in the evening. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 8

Monday at four o’clock p.m. we left Geelong for the boat, and reached the harbor at half past eight. There were the ponies and carriage waiting for us, which took us to the mission house. It was the first time Brother Robinson had visited Geelong. We shall encourage a camp meeting being held in Geelong next camp meeting season as well as a camp meeting being held in Ballarat. There should be camp meetings as well in Melbourne, nearer the center. We must not continue in the same locality over and over again. There is in these cities a little world which must be warned point by point, advancing just as fast as possible, for the work to be done will not admit of delays. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 9

We had letters from Sydney that give us the information that the walls of the church are going up in Stanmore. Money is very scarce here now, but if we meet with strait places in financial matters, we can look backward and see that something has been done. We must then move onward, step by step, advancing from victory to victory, overcoming obstacles as we advance. We see large advancements have been made in the last six years. The Lord has resources, and we must just present our necessities to Him. He will not deny our request. He will answer our prayers. Let us prove the Lord and commit all our necessities to Him. Let us pray indeed. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 10

I have been solicited to help Brother Crothers. Before this request came, I had donated and paid twenty-five pounds for the Stanford [Stanmore] meetinghouse, and had pledged twenty pounds for the Balaclava meetinghouse, for they certainly need one. Now comes a call for fifty pounds to be raised for the helping of Brother Crothers. I am not able at present to do anything more personally. I cannot draw any more means from the Echo office. W. C. White writes for me to draw from Echo office thirty-five pounds. I know they have it not, so I cannot see what we can do in his behalf. All we can do is to wait and pray and watch and wait and pray. Tell me what shall we do in regard to Crothers’ case? Should not the conference that has had his labors help him in this matter? 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 11

In love. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 12

We have had excellent meetings and good congregations under the tent, but now the time has come for the tent to come down. Brother and Sister Robinson are preparing now to move. They go to a smaller cottage nearer Windsor, where the lot is for the meetinghouse to be built. The winds are becoming so fierce at times [that] it is dangerous for the tent and persons in it. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 13

I have spoken seven times with great freedom—Sabbaths and Sundays, and two Wednesday afternoons—and we had the best of attention, and souls are being looked after. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 14

Your sister labors as a shepherd of the flock. It has been stated [that] the wives of our ministers receive no remuneration for their labor, but this is all news to me and I know it to be injustice and wrong. This is a false theory and the Lord does not approve of such injustice. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 15

This whole matter was opened to me at the time of the Ashfield camp meeting and is written out somewhere. It will be found among my writings, and again I have repeated the matter with pen and ink, and it will now come before the board. This is one of things that I am stirred to write. Sister Robinson’s case has been a marked one and there will be justice done. But the Lord understands it all and He will work for His own name’s glory. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 16

There are fifty who have embraced the Sabbath here, and above fifty in Sydney. The work appears to be in a healthy condition. North Fitzroy church is a child diseased with leprosy. What will cure it? If they do not make thorough change, they will never see the kingdom of heaven. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 17

With much love. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 18

Here we are in the cottage. We would not exchange it for the one we have just left even if we could have the larger house for the same price that is to be paid for this. This is almost half the price of the other house. We have all now come to the house. The goods are here and being settled. They have assigned me the best room, which will be used after about two weeks more for a parlor. All are pleased with the house. Everything is more convenient here. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 19

We shall be here but a little while ourselves, but everything in my mind’s eye will be so much more pleasant than the dark, gloomy house that was engaged. We had it disengaged very soon after Sister Robinson had us see it. I told her I could never consent to have them in such a location. She thought, as Brother Robinson said, he would take the house, it was a bargain and they must do it. I said, Not if you have to pay one pound. The rent was eleven shillings; this cottage is seventeen. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 20

That house was located in a dark place, little windows, dark bedrooms and situated in a most poor, wretched neighborhood. It would be unfavorable to his influence. At any rate, I determined not to wait but have the things undone at once, and so it was at last fixed up without any cost in the matter. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 21

Then we took Sister Robinson to the mission, and Sara and I went house hunting. We found this cottage in an excellent street, nice houses all around. The neighbors let us have the key and we decided it would answer, and we had Sister Robinson look at it. It pleased her, and when Brother Robinson came home at night and looked at the house, he was thoroughly pleased. So here we are all moved and they are settling as fast as they can. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 22

We are pleased, all the working family. It is seldom I write about such thing, but I know you would be interested in the matter. 13LtMs, Lt 144, 1898, par. 23