Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 218, 1899

Haskell, Brother and Sister [S. N.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 29, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in PM 344; 3MR 275; 7MR 391.

Dear Brother Haskell and Sister Haskell:

I have been visiting Maitland since the camp meeting. There are some of the very best people interested, and I am placing my books in these families. I gave the mayor [a] best-bound volume of Desire of Ages; and the Kerr brothers, three in number, each have one of my books, and can interchange one with another. I have placed my books into the hands of several others, and this, I think, is the very best way I can do to leave with them the light God has given me. This has been, all along, under the direction of God. A gift in this line is letting the light shine forth in many families, and the message is appealing to the whole family. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 1

The great desire I have had is that Maitland shall be thoroughly worked. It is in so close touch with Cooranbong that it is our neighbor as decidedly as Newcastle. I have spoken on five sabbaths and Sundays in Maitland, and we see a large field to be worked. There are all kinds of material—wealthy farmers. Another class is composed of men and women, well-to-do, owning their own farms, and there is not that objection that is looming up before them that presents itself to people who have to work for those who employ them. Being their own masters, they are not dependent upon their employers. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 2

We can appreciate the words of Christ as entirely applicable to Maitland: “Say not ye, There are yet 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. ... And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.” [John 4:35, 37.] This representation is true to the letter. The sowing and the reaping are going forward at the same time. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 3

Elder Colcord is made president of the New South Wales Conference. Elder Starr is called to Melbourne. He will serve for one year serve as president of that conference, because they chose him to be thus. As Brother Robinson was coming to Cooranbong, that himself and wife should help in the school and in the church, all [thought] it a wise plan to connect him with us, and this pleases him; therefore we hope to be some help to Brother Robinson, and he [will] help us. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 4

We are in for a continuous labor here in these fields, all new, but white for the harvest. We are now planning how to enter East Maitland. The work is only just entered upon in West Maitland. The old tent will serve as their place of meeting for a time, but it is now rotten and old, and we must, as soon as we can get means, replace it with [a] new tent. A smaller tent will be used in the settlement about ten miles between Newcastle and Maitland. This is a large place, and the higher classes are located in that place. But the soul of the big camp meeting has extended everywhere. Telegrams came to the people of Maitland from Singleton when the storm came upon the encampment, to know if the tents were damaged. That place is all white for the harvest. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 5

Then there is the mining distinct, quite a settlement, but much improved from the miners in Newcastle. Twenty from one town came to the meeting one evening, and made a request for the ministers to come and speak to them, three miles away. They are at their mines all day, but they want evening meetings. Brother Hickox and wife will make that place their missionary ground, in connection with Maitland. Several meetings have been held there, with promising results. My word to the ministers and workers is, Hold fast with persevering effort Newcastle, Maitland, and the surrounding settlements. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 6

Maitland is altogether the most favorable field to be worked, and we must, I tell them, surrender themselves without reserve to God. Once a fortnight we shall drive with our own team to those places, and I shall not confine myself to Maitland proper, but shall go out into the settlements. We never came across a people more kind and courteous, and more willing and anxious to be instructed—starving sheep. They are exactly as it has been represented to me. My soul hungers and thirsts to see decided fruit from all the efforts we are trying to make. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 7

Elder Daniells is in New Zealand attending their camp meetings. He says he sees now why the Lord designated Cooranbong as the place for the school; for we are placed in one section of His great moral vineyard. Maitland is only twenty-seven miles from Cooranbong. This is a thriving city, and [the] farmers [are] independent. [They] can keep the Sabbath if they see the truth, and we mean to leave no stone unturned. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 8

We must have a people and a strong church. A building must go up in Maitland as soon as possible. This is a city of churches, and this is a church-going people; and the people who have the breath of spiritual life in them are not satisfied. They say the shepherds do not feed the flock. Ministers are paid five hundred pounds per year, and they take their text and preach war sermons and politics. We, say they, are ignorant of the Bible and are ashamed that we know so little. Merchants purchased Bibles at our book stands, that they might mark the passages and study them in their homes. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 9

We miss you in your labors. We oft wish you were here, for it would be in some respects a new chapter in your experience to see the sheep hunting for the shepherds to get the pure provender they needed. But I am glad you are where you are. Do not become discouraged. Meet the people with a courageous front. Keep the eye steadfastly fixed on your Leader. Dark and cloudy faces will confront you, but the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness will melt away this feature, and you will have the victory in God. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 10

The Lord has a people in our churches in America, and they have become, some of them, discouraged and confused. But talk the truth. The third angel’s message is to go forth with power, and [it] will pierce the moral darkness black as velvet. Expect everything possible that God can give. Do not talk doubts; do not ponder doubts. God has a people true as steel to principle, but they are confused. They are walking like blind men. Help them, for Christ’s sake, help them. Walk with Jesus, talk with Jesus, and then you have light and comfort and love and power from your best Friend. O, it is such a privilege! “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing into everlasting life.” [Verse 14.] We need more faith. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness will disperse every dark cloud. May the Lord Jesus abundantly bless you, my brother and my sister. I miss you very much, but remain until your work is done. Then we welcome you back again, for there is a large work for you to do. How comforting it is to know that we do not need to stumble our way along in midnight darkness. Light is sown for the righteous, and truth and gladness for the upright in heart. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 11

Now I am going to tell you what I am going to do—stop writing long letters after this mail goes. You may say to my friends [that] I have a work to do which forbids my writing letters. Sister Peck and I take right hold of my writings that have been accumulating for years—we are now determined to wait for no one to take up this work, and make our own books. I have waited for others to help, and delay, delay, delay is the result. Now the Testimonies are to come out. [A] book on education [is] to be brought out, and if it is not a perfect work, it shall be brought [out] to be criticized and improved. Better have it, if it is not perfect, than to keep the light in a napkin, hid away in the drawers and boxes. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 12

No more, or very little, letter writing comes from me after this. My articles will be continued in the papers, and that is nearly all I can do. Now I will say, God bless you both. Pray for me; for I need your prayers. 14LtMs, Lt 218, 1899, par. 13