Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 186, 1899

Haskell, Brother and Sister [S. N.]

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

November 12, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

We miss you at our camp meeting, and yet, much as I desire to see you, I would not have you here just now. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 1

We are glad, and very thankful to the Lord that He has given us many hearers. I have just left the campground, where I have been speaking to a tent crowded full of people and a wall of people on the outside. They all listened with interest. I spoke upon the subject of temperance and the necessity of reform. But this is a large subject, and I only just got a hold of the matter when I had to break off, for Dr. Caro was advertised to speak just after me. I am sure he will interest the people. He enters into the hearts of the people and they love him. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 2

After I had ceased speaking, Elder Starr spoke for a few minutes, making the announcement that we had been urged to remain another week, and asking those present who wished us to stay to raise the hand. Many hands were raised, and this manifestation decided the question. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 3

The terrible cyclone that struck the campground last Tuesday destroyed several of the tents, and the large tent, new last year, which cost three hundred dollars, was torn almost beyond repair. It had been used in Hamilton till the meetinghouse was erected, and was not very strong. We shall have to get a new tent, besides making repairs in the tents that have not been so badly torn. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 4

This week has been a stormy one, but on Sabbath and Sunday the attendance at the tent was good. The people seem to be interested to hear. Oh, may the Lord help me, that no words shall escape my lips that will leave a wrong impression upon the minds of the people. Dr. Caro has large congregations. The largest crowd came out today. All the additional seats that could be procured were brought in and crowded close up to the stand. Then the children were taken to a meeting of their own in another tent where from one hundred to two hundred and fifty [assembled]. The people kept coming and coming, until every available seat was occupied, and then a large number stood on the outside. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 5

This morning I was requested to speak at nine o’clock, when a call would be made to cover the damages done by the storm. In the early morning meeting one hundred dollars was raised. They wanted to raise money also for our sanitarium. The work on this is to be carried right along. The land is now secured, seventy-five acres, with fifteen acres of orchard. There are also nine more acres of orchard, separated from the fifteen acres only by a large furrow. These two pieces were originally one orchard, but a man bought nine acres of it, and therefore we had to make a separate bid for this piece. Its price was £700. Brother Wessels offered £600 for it, but the owner would not let it go for less than £640, so the price was accepted. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 6

The fruit on the orchard this season will be of great value. The man now living on the place estimated the crop as worth £300 pounds. We did not examine the nine acres at all, but the fruit on it must be worth £150, for the trees are loaded with a variety of fruit. The orchard is in good repair. Some of the old trees have been taken out, and new trees, which are now bearing, put in their place. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 7

This property is much cheaper than any other land in the locality. There is a four-roomed cottage on its land, and a shanty on the additional nine acres. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 8

Monday, November 13

We thank the Lord that He has blessed the word spoken by His ministers in the tent. An interest has been created. The meetings on Sunday were largely attended. The Word has been presented with great clearness and with power, and many are convicted. After the storm, as the people came to the encampment and looked at the prostrate tents, they earnestly inquired, Will you go home? Or will you pitch the tents again? When they saw the cheerfulness expressed by the words and countenances of the campers and were assured that the meetings would continue, they expressed great satisfaction. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 9

We consider it a privilege to speak of the kindness and courtesy manifested by the people of Maitland. After the storm, their doors were thrown open and hearty invitations given to whoever was in need of shelter among the campers. Bedding and clothing were drenched, but the campers kept up good courage; and relatives could not have done more for them than did the kind-hearted people of Maitland, who were comparative strangers. The readiness of the people of Maitland to show us so cheerfully and earnestly all possible favors, we shall ever cherish as one of the bright spots in our experience. May the Lord make this meeting a blessing to those who manifested such kindness and benevolence. We do indeed feel a great desire that the people who have been so kind shall be rewarded by the shining upon them of heaven’s precious light, leading them into all truth. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 10

It was a trial of our faith to have the precious moments, that seemed to be needed to point out the sacred truth so essential for all to understand, spent in re-pitching tents. But the Lord will not allow the enemy to go beyond a certain line. While some words of wonder and regret that the storm had come, we were deeply grateful that the protecting power of God had been over His people. Not one life was lost; no one was in any way crippled or maimed. Then have we not reason for great gratitude and thanksgiving? This is not the first time that such a misfortune has overtaken us on an encampment. But we have no recollection of any lives being lost or any limbs being broken. The Lord will so overrule matters that those things which seem to be unexplainable misfortunes will prove blessings. The gifts of providence and grace are often blended, and in Christ’s kingdom both work together for the glory of God. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 11

The kindness shown us by the people revealed that we were among friends. We have a most earnest desire that the precious souls who have shown so many expressions of their kindness of heart to the children of God, may also express to the Lord their appreciation of the gift of Christ to our world, and manifest a willingness to follow the call of God to its utmost consequences. Said Christ, “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] The Lord Jesus appreciates the kindness done to His servants. It is recorded in the books of heaven as done to Himself. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 12

May the dear people of Maitland follow the Lord fully, not of necessity, not merely from a painful sense of duty, but with a ready mind and joyous heart, choosing the Way, the Truth, and the Life, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of this earth. May they choose Christ as their Leader. He will be their portion forever. He calls upon those who in the past have been destitute of His love to serve Him in the beauty of holiness. This work no man can do for another. To believe and receive the truth is an individual work. 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 13

There are many souls in East and West Maitland hungering for the bread of life. You have heard me tell how the matter was presented to me in night vision—the people, with their hands outstretched, were calling, “Come to our help. Feed our souls with the bread of life. We are famishing for spiritual food.” 14LtMs, Lt 186, 1899, par. 14