Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 137, 1899

Notes of the Work


September 24, 1899

Previously unpublished.

September 22, 1899, we drove from “Sunnyside,” to the mission at Wallsend, Newcastle, in three hours and a half, with a light carriage and Elder Haskell’s horse Jasper. Some parts of the road were rough, and Jasper was inclined to be frightened at the logs and stumps. At times he jumped about a good deal, but Sara managed him well. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 1

I had an appointment to speak at Hamilton on Sabbath and in the park at Wallsend on Sunday. On Sabbath a congregation of nearly one hundred assembled in the hall at Hamilton. I spoke on the subject of the young man who came to Christ, and falling on his knees before Him, asked, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life.” [Matthew 19:16.] I had freedom in speaking, and after I had finished, I remained for the testimony meeting which was held. Many good testimonies were borne. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 2

We took dinner at the mission in Hamilton, and in the afternoon we drove to the place where Brother Hickox is laboring, about three miles off. We had a very profitable interview, and a precious season of prayer. Brother and Sister Hickox have two nice children, a girl of nine and an adopted boy of five. During our praying season, the little girl knelt by her father and the boy by his mother, and everyone, even the little boy, took part in prayer. Just before we left, the little girl came up to me, and, putting her arm about me, said, “I do like to have you here, Sister White, and I am sorry you cannot stay longer.” Such words were as music in my ears, for I could not have had a higher compliment given me than to hear such an expression from a child. The light and joy of the Lord was expressed in the face of the nine year old girl. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 3

We were much pleased with the location of the cottage in which Brother Hickox and his family are living. It is on a hill, overlooking a number of suburbs. The rent is only five shillings a week. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 4

After sunset we returned to Wallsend. On Sunday the weather was wet, and we knew that it would not do for me to speak in the park. Few people, if any, would be there. The sky looked dark and lowering, and we could see no prospect of its clearing up, so we decided to turn our faces homeward. For a way the road was difficult to get over. It is being repaired. The workmen have cut a steep ascent, down ten feet in some places. The road will be much better when we go over it again. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 5

When we reached Brother Pocock’s place, we learned that Brother Hungerford died that morning at nine o’clock. He was at work till Wednesday, when he said that he had taken cold and would go home for a day or two. No one thought him dangerously ill. Brother Hellier gave him treatment, but he grew no better. Dr. Rand was sent for from Newcastle. He came down Sabbath morning. After examining Brother Hungerford, he said that it would be impossible to save his life; for the lower part of his lungs was double the usual size, and he was only breathing with the upper part. His vitality was very low, for he had burned it up with liquor-drinking; and he could not rally. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 6

Although Brother Hungerford has relatives in Sydney who are highly esteemed, his life up to the time of his conversion to the truth, about a year ago, was that of a drunkard. His family was very, very poor. He and his wife accepted the truth and were baptized, and he then gave up liquor, tobacco, tea, and coffee, and improved in every respect. All the time that he was able to work, we gave him work. He was an excellent hand with horses, having worked for years at a livery stable. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 7

Brother Hungerford had a large head and a broad, well-shaped forehead, and had he always let liquor alone, he might have advanced in knowledge. When he began to keep the Sabbath, he gave up everything like intemperance. He was thoroughly converted and said that he hardly knew himself, so different was he from what he used to be. He said that he would say to himself sometimes, “Hungerford, do you know yourself?” 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 8

He leaves a wife and six children in our care. We must get her an acre or two of land and build her a humble dwelling. Then she can almost sustain herself. Our people will all help her, so that she will be well cared for. Brother Halsey and his wife will take the eldest girl, who is fifteen years old, as their own. The eldest child, a boy of seventeen, has a situation in the sanitarium at Summer Hill, and earns five shillings a week. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 9

The funeral was held on Sunday. Brother Hungerford was only a step-father to three of the children, but he has the name of having been a very kind father to them, and they showed deep sorrow as he was laid away in the grave. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 10

We have had few deaths in this place. Our cemetery is large, but there are only four graves in it. The first one buried was Brother Tucker, who died of old age. The second was a man from Queensland, who came here to die. The third was Brother Pocock’s little boy, a child of five years, who was poisoned before he came here, by eating some meat. The fourth is Brother Hungerford. This is the history of our burying ground. 14LtMs, Ms 137, 1899, par. 11