Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14

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Lt 189, 1899

Lacey, Brother and Sister [H. C.]

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

November 19, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 142, 462; 3SM 228.

Dear Brother and Sister Lacey:

I held your letter before answering, that I might have the counsel of Brethren Starr, Daniells, and W. C. White. I gave the letter to Elder Daniells, and he said he would read and answer it. That night I was very sick. The gasometer is near us, and the smell from this poisoned me. I had to pack up and go back to Cooranbong. Tuesday I was very sick and could not eat, but I felt that I ought to return to Maitland; for Brethren Daniells and Palmer were gone, and the forces left were weak. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 1

On Wednesday, November 8, a severe storm struck the camp and tore things up generally. The neighboring people were very kind and acted the part of the good Samaritan. They opened their houses to the campers and took care of them free of all cost. All that was in their power to do they did to make them comfortable. The storm broke up the meeting for a day. The people were afraid we would become discouraged and go home, but we did not propose to do this. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 2

We have had an excellent interest every evening of the week, and on Sabbaths and Sundays, and in many ways the people have favored us far above our expectation. We were under the impression that Maitland would show a large opposition; for there are many churches here, and a strong Catholic element exists in both East and West Maitland. But church members have attended the meetings, and many are deeply interested. Some of the leading men in the place, merchants and men in official positions, are as kind and courteous to us as if we were of the same faith with themselves. It is a new thing for us to meet with people who seem so desirous to favor us. The Kerr brothers, dry goods merchants who have one of the largest drapery establishments in West Maitland, and other men of large influence, attend the meetings and are deeply interested. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 3

Last Sunday afternoon the congregation was asked to raise their hands as many as desired to have us remain over another week. So many hands were raised that we decided to stay, and here we are still. We have had most excellent discourses, but now Brethren Starr and Colcord are our chief speakers. I fill in at my usual times. We are charged nothing for the use of the beautiful park in which our camp is located. But for this extra week I think we shall have to pay one pound. Our crockery has been loaned to us free of cost, on the condition that we replace the broken pieces. Our chairs we have hired at one-half the price we have secured them at any other place. Our misfortunes during the stormy weather drew out the sympathy of the people. As they have seen our people cheerful and happy and uncomplaining, they have taken note of it, and we feel sure that this will tell to the glory of God. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 4

I feel sure that this is one of the places from which came such importunate appeals for help. The words I heard were, “Come and help us.” [See Acts 16:9.] Then One who looked upon them with pity said, “They are as sheep having no shepherd.” [Matthew 9:36.] The shepherds do not feed the sheep. From the light God has given me, the work in Maitland must be carried on perseveringly, for the Lord has many precious souls to be saved there. And the way is prepared for us. We have a policeman attending all the meetings he possibly can. He says he never heard such teachings, and yet they are all in the Bible. He is completely ignorant of the meaning of the Word. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 5

One merchant said, Our minister has no burden to feed his flock. He does not visit them. He receives a salary of five hundred pounds per year, and for this he speaks thirty minutes each Sunday. He feeds himself, but feeds not the flock. Another says, “We are paying our ministers large salaries, and we ourselves are starving for the bread of life. Our church is dead; there is no vitality in her.” The ministers are now being roused to the question, “What shall we do with these men who preach such strange things?” 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 6

But your letter is not answered. We think it best that you should not leave Toowoomba just now. Visit. Become acquainted with the people in their homes. Test the spiritual pulse, and carry war into the camp. Create an interest. Pray and believe, and you will gain an experience which will be of value to you. Do not take up subjects which are so deep that they require mind struggles to comprehend. Pray and believe as you work. Awaken the people to do something. In the name of the Lord work with persevering intensity. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 7

The Lord has a people in Toowoomba, and they must be reached. Talk with the people in their homes. Get right hold of them, and do not let go. Compel them to come in. This will be a new experience to you, and it may be the best you have ever had in your life. If you saw a company of people rushing over a precipice to destruction, would you not try to urge them back? You do not work in your own strength. Angels of God are by your side to make the impression. Souls are to be saved. Wrestle with God in prayer, and then work with all the advantages God has given you. The Holy Spirit is promised as your efficiency. Lay hold of the throne of God with faith in His power to save every soul who will come unto Him. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 8

We have not had evidence that one soul has taken his stand for the truth in this place; but we do not let go. There are souls to be saved, and we must be laborers together with God. You must plead with God until your soul is made a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Then you can discharge your duties with a full comprehension of the principles which underly the great truths you present. You must realize that your character needs fashioning for a lifelong and eternal destiny. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 9

What inducements have you who are workers to scrutinize your own positions as workers together with God. The Lord is the one who will water the seed sown. The intellect may receive its impressions from opportunities well or ill improved. These work in mind and character to a certain degree, and decide the destiny of your future. You are now gaining an experience that will affect all your future efforts, and by which your intellect and character will receive their molding. You are employed to carry forward a sacred work, and you are weaving the web of your own destiny. Every passing of the shuttle draws after it a thread which may be for your future interest and efficiency. Nothing is left to blind chance. The Lord will work through you if you will set your heart in tune to the work. Lean your whole weight upon God. Sow seeds of truth. The season and manner of sowing will determine the harvest. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 10

This work is to be a determined work. The lost sheep are all through the country where you are. You are to seek and to save that which is lost. They know not how to recover themselves. Search the Scriptures with a heart softened and subdued by the grace of God. Set your mark high, and say at every step, I will not fail nor be discouraged. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 11

You need a thorough, practical knowledge of the truth in your own life experience. The providence of God has placed you where you can gain an experience in ascertaining for yourselves what it means to be sanctified through the truth. You will learn as you labor that the mind must be constantly learning how to comprehend the virtue of truth. A strong, vitalizing conviction of the transforming power of the truth will qualify you to meet alternating circumstances, and gain an intelligence in them all. You are learners; Christ is your Teacher. Therefore you cannot feel it beneath your dignity to be instructed at the foot of the cross. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 12

The purest, highest motives should urge you on to persevering effort. Your preparation is in seeking the Lord. Your moral powers must be strengthened, else they will become enfeebled by worldly motives. God has called you to a most sacred work, and when your soul breaks for the longing that it has to find God, you will learn how to reach souls. The truth with all its sanctifying power will be left in your own heart. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 13

We have a most earnest desire that in the effort you are now putting forth you may understand the value of true education. As yet you have but a partial, one sided education. True education is that which will endure unto eternal life. True education is the preparation of the mental, moral, and physical powers for the performance of every duty, pleasant or otherwise, the training of every habit and practice, of heart, mind, and soul for divine service. Then of you it can be said in the heavenly courts, “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 14

Let there be no neglect to train the physical with the mental powers. You are God’s property, bought with a price. Nothing must be neglected which will keep the physical powers in healthfulness. “Ye are the temple of the living God.” [2 Corinthians 6:16.] The powers of endurance, of adaptation to varied circumstances should be considered. Periods of rest should be taken. Your diet will have much to do with your clear comprehension of the work. By overloading the stomach you create indigestion and cause a condition of things that is anything but agreeable. There is far greater danger of overeating than of undereating. Eating to repletion destroys the appetite for wholesome food. A craving for something that is not wholesome is created, and the appetite is perverted. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 15

Train the stomach to regular periods of eating. Do not use much sweets in your food. We need to guard carefully the appetite which has not been carefully trained. Educate your appetite. The mind should not be clouded by eating in too large proportions. Never feel that you must eat until all desire for food is gone. Leave the table with as good an appetite as you had when you came to it. The highest intellectual faculties are overtaxed when the stomach is overloaded, then there are hindrances to keen, sharp thought. Exercise as much as possible. Do not engage in study directly after eating. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 16

I had no idea of writing in this line to you; but I was talking to you about these things, and giving you counsel. I saw that you were becoming a dyspeptic through the indulgence of appetite, and that changes must be made which you alone could make if you would preserve your intellect for vigorous hard thinking. The mind acquires tone and efficiency by habituating itself to plain, simple, substantial food, and being temperate in all things. Mental and physical discipline are essential. All your workers must be guarded in their diet if they would have clear minds and pure souls. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 17

God help you, is my most earnest prayer. 14LtMs, Lt 189, 1899, par. 18