Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 14, 1899

Wessels, Brother and Sister John

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in HFM 44; 3MR 23-24. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister John Wessels:

I have just read your letter, and I cannot but think it is in the providence of God that you can be released from your work in South Africa. We have now come to the point where we must have a Sanitarium. I ask you to carefully peruse the letters that have been set to the General Conference. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 1

Within a few weeks we have seen of the salvation of God. Many things have been presented before me which have made a deep impression on my mind. In the night season I saw two large companies of earnest, anxious people, separated some distance from one another, some with their hands uplifted to God, and others with their hands stretched toward us, imploring us to come over and help them. The words were spoken, They are as sheep without a shepherd, The words of Christ to his disciples were, “Say not ye, There are four months and then cometh harvest? Behold I say unto you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” [John 4:35.] 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 2

From the very first meeting of our camp in Brisbane, Queensland, the tent was crowded, and every meeting was intensely interesting. This interest continued all through the camp. Members of Parliament with their families attended the meetings. It was a surprise to us to see so many interested ones. The Spirit of the Lord was with His people there, and no less than forty will take their stand in this place. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 3

At the close of the camp meeting, W. C. White and Sara McEnterfer accompanied me to Rockhampton. On Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon I spoke in the largest hall in the city. On Sabbath we assembled with the church in a smaller hall. W. C. White spoke in the forenoon, and I in the afternoon. The Lord came very near to us. The people in this place needed help, and they were much encouraged. On Monday night I spoke once again to the church in Rockhampton, and then we started on our journey back to Brisbane. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 4

We decided to hold a camp meeting at Newcastle, supposing it would be the smallest we had yet held. But at this meeting we had the largest audiences during the week days that we have ever had at any camp meeting. When we appointed the meeting, we had some fears that it might not be a favorable time because of the holidays. But the interest was kept up over the two Sabbaths and Sundays, and at the meetings held every evening in the week, there appeared no diminishing of the interest. We believe now that we appointed the meeting at the right time. People came from places from twenty to forty miles distant. The ground was a solemn place. We believe and know that the Lord of hosts was on the encampment, and that this company and the one at Brisbane were the two large companies that I saw in the visions of the night. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 5

Each day health talks were given, generally by Dr. Caro. The leading citizens of the place were so interested that they expressed their desire that he should open a branch sanitarium in Newcastle. On one evening after the Sabbath the doctor addressed an audience of nearly three thousand. On Sunday afternoon about two thousand were out, and I spoke to them on temperance. In the evening again over two thousand people were out. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 6

In order to carry on the meetings, we have been compelled to purchase a tent. This cost us $300. It is on the ground now, and meetings are still being held. Brother Herbert Lacey and his wife have located in Newcastle. Brother Colcord’s family is in Cooranbong, but he labors in Newcastle. Brother and Sister Starr, with others, are also laboring there. These workers are [also] taking in Maitland and the suburbs of Newcastle. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 7

We see that the fields are already white unto the harvest. Surely the way is now opening for us to do a large work in medical missionary lines. We want your help just now, and we would draw you to Australia. Everything is prepared for the erection of buildings. If you could come in a short time, and we could find a place favorable for the work at once, the £500 that we are planning to spend in erecting moveable bathrooms, need not be expended. We must have help. The means we shall obtain from America will be used for school purposes and for sanitariums. The sooner you can come here, the better. Come. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 8

Sometime since, I was instructed in regard to your brothers. Henry has good impulses, but he is not stable. His mind is affected by that which he sees and hears, and this makes him changeable. If he and his wife were located where they would be connected with those who have a deep and living experience, a stability of character, he would become firm. Efforts such as have not been made must be made to bind these young men, every soul of them, by strong, pleasant influences, by giving them something to do. Men are needed in every phase of the work. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 9

Health foods are to be manufactured in Cooranbong, and are to be sent out to every place where the standard of truth is uplifted. The secular papers are dealing with the question of the cattle that are brought to the market diseased. Out of twenty cattle, only one or two are pronounced fit for consumption. This is arousing the reasoning mind. What can be done to take the place of flesh meat, the people ask. This is our time to work in proper lines, to go forth in the spirit of Elijah and prepare the way of the Lord. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 10

Every soul of the Wessels family may win eternal life, but they need to get away from their associates in Africa and enter different society. You speak of England. Do not encourage yourself to think that this place is the best place for you to begin your work. Nothing is prepared there at present. We have been at work here for seven years, and have been handicapped and unable to do that which should have been done, for want of facilities. We now have earnest workers, who have a holding influence, and we say, Australia is all ready for advance moves. It will not now take years to break down the prejudice. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 11

There is great need just now of a sanitarium, and a favorable location for the erection of a sanitarium proper. If you were on the ground today, you could take in the situation. Already two offices have been secured in Newcastle, a field where the standard was not lifted until our camp meeting there. We have assurance that this is the place in which to work now. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 12

England is the hardest field, the very hardest part of the Lord’s vineyard. Prejudice is strong against anything that turns the people out of old paths into new. Success in the work must cost years of persevering labor. Something must be done in that country with means from our own people, and something will be done; but now God would have the work established in this field, Australia, which is ripe for the harvest. He would have memorials raised among his people here, in the shape of sanitariums and schools, to give to the work a character proportionate to its unspeakable importance. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 13

Then when we have obtained a standing here, when we have facilities with which to advance, we can prepare workers to carry the same work to England. Your family, the Wessels, have invested means in the various necessities of the work. That means was all the Lord’s. It has been and is being used to do good. But where are the men who made such liberal donations? Individually they are of more value than a world full of gold and silver, and ways must be devised to save these men. We want their souls. We desire that they should unite with solid laborers who have a burden for souls. These men need now, just now, to take their stand under the banner of Prince Emmanuel. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 14

The Lord is now going before us here. But you will see by reading the appeals which God has signified I should make to our people, that facilities must be provided for us. If you were on the ground now, a move would be made for the establishment of a sanitarium at once. Then we could better represent the greatness and importance of the work. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 15

The work that has been done in this place, Cooranbong, is the marvel of all who understood the situation before we broke ground here. The money donated by the Wessels has not been donated for nought. A great work has been done and is being done, and all that has kept us back has been the lack of proper facilities with which to work. If I were in America and could speak to my people myself, I should have no fears but that means would come. I tell you, the angel of the Lord is going before us. Right here in Cooranbong, at Dora Creek and other villages, great changes have taken place, and when the work was opened at Newcastle, we can truly say that the mighty General of armies was on the ground. I never attended a meeting which left a better impression on the community. Men and women came to the tent who were not in the habit of attending any place of worship, and they are now seeking the Lord. Whole families are being converted. Beer and tobacco devotees are taking their stand for the truth. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 16

The Lord is at work. We want your family, my brother, to connect with us in the work of advance here. They are not to be left to drift, but are to be gathered into the fold, to enjoy the riches of the grace of Christ. God is behind all His promises. He distinctly pledges Himself to answer prayer. The Word of the living God is an assurance, so positive and ample that it leaves no room for mistake or limitation. God invites to prayer, and promises to answer. We are taking Him at His word, which is Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. His resources cannot be exhausted. He challenges all who will to prove the Lord God of hosts, and see, if they will do their part, what He will do in their behalf. See Malachi 3. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 17

The promise is, Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. [Matthew 7:7.] We are to stand as minute men, ready to fall into place as God’s men of opportunity. I praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice that all things are possible to those that believe. No one coming to the Lord in sincerity of heart will be disappointed. It is a wonderful thing that we can pray effectually, that unworthy, erring fallible mortals possess the capability of offering their requests to God. What higher power can man desire than this—to be linked with the infinite God? Feeble, sinful man has the privilege of speaking to his Maker. We utter words that reach the throne of the Monarch of the universe. We pour out our hearts desire from our closets. Then we go forth to walk with God as did Enoch. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 18

We speak with Jesus Christ as we walk by the way, and He says, I am at thy right hand. We may commune with God in our hearts, and we may walk in companionship with Christ. When engaged in our daily labor we breathe out our heart’s desire inaudible to any human ear, but that word cannot die away into silence, nor can it be lost, though the activities of business are going on. Nothing can drown the soul’s desire. It reaches God’s ear; it rises above the din of the street above the noise of machinery. It is God to whom we are speaking, and the prayer is heard. Ask then; ask, and ye shall receive. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 19

Again I come to the point. We have a strong desire that your brother and sister shall be placed where temptation shall not enfold them, where Satan shall not have cause to triumph because he has beguiled them from Jesus Christ. The salvation of the human soul is precious. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 20

My brother, I have expected some help from America, which we ought to have had long ago. Having spoken, I now leave this matter in the hands of God. I have had strong encouragement to believe that you would come to Australia, and that you would while here, be the means of drawing your brothers to engage in some line of the work which would be a blessing to them. They now have a keen appetite for money. They engage in enterprises which promise to increase their revenue. Better, ten thousand times better would it be for them to bend every energy of soul and body to secure that life which measures with the life of God. And this striving will not spoil any human being for a right hold on this life. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 21

We are prepared for you now. A sanitarium is needed in New South Wales. The way is not now hedged up, but how soon it may be, we know not. The medical missionary work should be established in every city. If we can erect a suitable building on a good location, we shall be able to establish branches in several important cities. We have not the least doubt but that these institutions will sustain themselves. Dr. Caro takes well with the people. He has gained the confidence of merchants, bankers, and others in the highways of life. We feel that the Lord would now have us go forward. The enthusiasm manifested by the people is not a vain, superficial, transient feeling, but a genuine desire to take hold with sympathy, and [to] help with influence and, it may be with means in the medical missionary work. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 22

During the camp meeting in Newcastle, collections of nearly four pounds were taken up after some of the meetings, and after others three pounds, then shillings. This tells something of the interest. To delay now would be to disobey God. We must work. Newcastle is a place of special interest, for it is only twenty-five miles from where our school is located, and from where the manufacturing of health foods will be carried on. It is a coal mining center, and hundreds of boats and vessels come into the port. Maitland, only twenty-two miles from Newcastle, is a beautiful place, and work is now being done in that place and also in other places not far from Newcastle. The news of the camp meeting has been noised abroad everywhere. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 23

We need now to co-operate with God. When the cloud settles, signifies that we are to work there, there it is we want to work. If we know that you could be with us soon, we would not invest the money we were planning to in bathrooms. I have asked Dr. Caro to write you the particulars, and I will not write any more in regard to this matter. I hope to hear from you as soon as this reaches you, telling us what to expect. Be sure to read every line of the enclosures I am sending to you. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 24

I cannot tell you how my heart rejoices to hear of Philip’s return to the faith. Philip is a capable man, and once established in the faith he will help the whole family. But one thing I urge you to do. Be sure and warn Henry and Daniel to be on their guard. They need to be closely connected with religious influences. May the Lord help them and you to connect as far as possible in Australia. Henry needs to be where there is a strong religious life. He is easily influenced, either in a right or wrong direction. As yet he does not seem to be riveted to the eternal Rock. Had he been connected with the influences that exist here, he would have heard a voice of counsel and authority from God which he would not have resisted. But the influence that makes itself felt must be exerted over and over again. He must hear the same thing from different voices until the impression is indelibly stamped on his mind. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 25

Heaven is worth striving for. Henry should not be where he will be influenced by associates who cannot help him. He needs a firm hold of God, a conscious, living experience. O that he would see that strong, steadfast minds are needed in the cause and work of God. O that he would realize that he must not be so easily swayed. If he would study his Bible more, he would be more steadfast. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 26

We have the highest, grandest work upon the earth. We need to understand that we shall meet with circumstances that require keen discernment and first-class judgment. In whatever work we are engaged, we are to reprove, rebuke, exhort, weeping with those that weep, seeing the peril of souls, striving earnestly to snatch souls from Satan’s grasp. Thus we become laborers together with God. God calls for personal, consecrated activity. We want every member of the Wessels family to hear the call, and obey the bidding of the Master, “Go work today in my vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] I feel the deepest interest for every member of the Wessels family. Satan is playing a game adapted to the temperament of every member of the family. But the love of God in the soul is a wonderful regulator of character. God is seeking to form characters aright. Every one who would be saved must be willing to be molded in accordance with the principles of the divine law. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 27

But I have written enough. I wish I could see you face to face. Then we could pray together, meekly and humbly, as little children. We would be so truthful that God would bless us. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 28

With love to all the family. 14LtMs, Lt 14, 1899, par. 29