Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 74, 1899

Butler, G. I.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 21, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 427; 8MR 262; 4Bio 406-407, 437.

Dear Brother Butler:

I received your letter a few days since and read it with interest. Every mail I have designed writing to you, but each time something has come in to crowd me upon other things, and I could not get your letter written. But now I will write you a few lines. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 1

You misapprehend me when you suppose I have lost all hope of you. This has never been the case. I have had a great desire to see you, and to converse and pray with you. I would be pleased to see you take hold of the work again and move forward, drinking in the rich truths which God has given us. I desire to see you stand on vantage ground and realize the blessing of God in your own heart and life. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 2

I ordered that The Desire of Ages be sent to you, because it is a privilege to me to have you and Aurora have this book, which the Lord has helped me to get out. All the people of the world should have it, but our own people especially need the instruction which it contains. I am glad you are pleased with it. If the Lord accepts this from His unworthy child, I am satisfied. All the money coming from this book, above our immediate expenses, will be devoted to missionary fields. This field is large and has been represented to me as a new world, a second America, but very different from America in its government. But America is far from being what it once was. I feel sorry when I consider this. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 3

In regard to your situation, be assured that if I had the opportunity, I would grasp your hand with gladness and call you brother. I think I am unchanged from the simple, humble servant of Jesus Christ you have always known me to be. You and I are getting along in years. But as far as my memory and activity are concerned, I have never in any period of my life done more earnest, hard work in speaking and writing than during the year 1898. I see so much to do. I cannot see any place where I can let go my hold. Souls are perishing, and I must help them. I speak in the church and out of the church. We drive out into the country places and speak in the open air, because the prejudice against the truth is so great that the people will not consent to our speaking in the little rough house where they assemble for worship. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 4

Last Sabbath I spoke in our chapel in Cooranbong, which must soon be enlarged. I had a most solemn message to bear to the people in regard to practical godliness. On Sunday we went to Dora Creek, three miles away, and spoke to the people in the open air. About ninety persons were gathered there, and I had much freedom in presenting to them Christ as the great Healer and wonderful Teacher. All listened with interest. By this means I can reach a class who will not come to any hall or meetinghouse. We have good singing. When I closed, W. C. White spoke with much clearness. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 5

Last Sabbath I spoke again in the church in Cooranbong. There was quite a revival among the students. Twelve went forward in baptism. This day will long be remembered because of the manifest grace and mercy of God. Some hard cases took their position on the Lord’s side. We were much encouraged to see this movement among the students. On Sunday afternoon I filled an appointment at a place called Martinsville, six miles distant. Here the people have taken up land right in the forest and are cultivating it. They have excellent crops of corn, and they plant trees and make gardens in the wilderness. They take up government land and work their way until they get farms of their own. Martinsville has one little store, and the people have some good cottages. Poor, but intelligent men and women are living in this place. In some cases a carriage cannot be driven within miles of the houses. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 6

Notices were sent out that Mrs. White would speak to the people Sunday afternoon. There were about sixty persons out to hear. The Lord gave me special freedom. Our meeting was held in a paddock which had no entrance. I had either to crawl under the fence or climb over. I chose to crawl under. I spoke to the people from I John 3:1-4. Some planks were provided as seats, and all the people were as decorous as in a meetinghouse. I think I have never had more freedom in our large camp meetings than at this meeting. I trust that the seeds of truth were sown in hearts, and that they will spring up to bear fruit to the glory of God. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 7

Yesterday I spoke for one hour to the students in the school. The Lord helped me to present before them the preparation essential for the higher school in the kingdom of God. Then we devoted the forenoon to counselling in regard to the Health Home that is to be built on the school ground. Miss Peck and Sara and I just left for home when a messenger came with the word that there were about twenty dignitaries from Sydney who had just come up in a steam launch from the lake to see the school and to know the reason why we had left the city to establish ourselves in such a retired place as Cooranbong. Among the number was the brother of the Premier of New South Wales. Willie inquired if he could have his mother’s carriages and horses to add to the school conveyances to take them round. The outfit was soon in readiness. The visitors took lunch at the school, and were then shown round. I have not seen Willie since, and do not know the result of this visit. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 8

W. C. White accompanies me to Newcastle today, Friday, to speak to the people [on] Sabbath and Sunday afternoon. W. C. White speaks in the evening. Elder Starr is to speak in Stanmore. His wife accompanied him to Sydney, and also a Miss Gow, who is at the head of a large drapery store in Hamilton. She has been investigating the truth for months, and this coming Sabbath will take her stand. She has come out of a large family, all of whom are engaged in this store. It has seemed impossible for her to keep the Sabbath, but she is now determined. God will help her, and her business will not stand in the way. This lady is the responsible one in the shop, and if she comes out, she will be the means of doing much good. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 9

Sometime ago a minister from one of the suburbs of Newcastle visited our school, and he has now sent his son to be educated here. Miss Gow’s father also visited the school, and he sent his son. We are gaining an influence among the people high and low, and the Spirit of the Lord is going before us. Forty have embraced the truth in Newcastle. Sixty have taken their stand in Brisbane, a city in Queensland, twenty-four hours’ ride on the train from Newcastle. All the places along the line from Newcastle to Queensland are to be worked. We are to have no release. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 10

The towns and villages along the line between Newcastle and Sydney are to hear the message of truth, and also from Sydney to Melbourne. The standard is to be planted in new fields. Ministers are needed who will open the gospel of truth to the people, who will prepare the way of the Lord and make a highway for our God. We must have centers, but we will not stop to build up as they have done in Battle Creek. There must be no tarrying until the banner of truth is lifted high and established in all the cities and suburbs of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and in the regions beyond. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 11

The Lord lives and reigns, and His work must go. The light must be carried into all parts of the world. In every place where the standard of truth is planted and churches are built up, there must be faithful work done to impart the light. We must do our appointed work. We must not fail nor be discouraged. The end is near, and we have no time to lose. “Go forward” is to be our watchword. [Exodus 14:15.] Circumstances are not to make us; we are to make circumstances, and form our surroundings. We are not to be creatures of circumstances. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 12

Light, precious light is for the people of God, and we must lay hold of it and improve it. I see work, work, work, everywhere to be done. Sabbathkeeping means very much to some. There are many who are turned away from their employment, and we are glad that we have land where we can help these poor people to help themselves. We are glad we are away from the city, where we can place large families on a few acres of land and teach them how to cultivate the soil, that it may yield its treasures. In this work we are doing the highest kind of missionary work. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 13

Sister McEnterfer is nurse and physician for all the region round about. She has been called upon to treat the most difficult cases, and with complete success. We have at times made our house a hospital, where we have taken in the sick and cared for them. I have not time to relate the wonderful cures wrought, not by dosing with drugs but by the application of water. We use charcoal largely, making it into poultices. It destroys the inflammation and removes the poison. We are teaching the ignorant how to become intelligent and keep well. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 14

But I must stop writing. It is now five o’clock a.m., one hour before daylight. I left my bed at one o’clock. I have written this letter to you and two pages to Dr. Kellogg since then. Tell me in your next letter if you can read my writing. I cannot always get my letters copied. If you can read them, I will send some in this way. I would say to you, Have faith in God. Trust in Him for He knoweth all things. He is true and patient with all His erring children. God bless you, is my prayer. 14LtMs, Lt 74, 1899, par. 15