Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15

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Lt 174, 1900

Haskell, Brother and Sister [S. N.]

Geelong, Victoria, Australia

March 21, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 61; 3MR 248; 4Bio 454-455.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

I had a letter written to you, but not copied, last mail, and after I had enveloped it to send, took it out and sent it home to Cooranbong to be copied. It is by the hardest [effort] I can get a letter copied for my purpose. If you accept my letters as they are, I will let you have this one at a venture. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 1

What can I say to you? The letter sent to Cooranbong, which will be copied, gives you the history of this camp meeting. It has been a wonderful meeting. We came upon a place, West and East Geelong, extending over a large territory; and meetinghouses of all descriptions, I know not how many. But there was as great a surprise to us, in the interest manifested [here], as in Brisbane. But [here] there was something still in advance—there was no curiosity manifested in sightseeing, [in] examining the city of tents; but all entered the large tent 104 x 50, and such a solemnity seemed to be under and all around the tent, as though the armies of heaven, the angels of God were on guard. [There was] not any loud talking; not anything but quietness, although the report of reporters is that as many as two thousand have been out to hear. But the same lingering and the same unwillingness to leave the ground has been manifested. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 2

Arrangements have been made in season to hire a hall for which they had been receiving one pound per night; Sabbath and Sunday days for the same. This is excellent. The tent could not remain pitched with any safety; for there is at this time of the year high winds and stormy times. Well, we had a taste of this after the hall had been secured. Tents had to come down, be mended, and raised again, and the tent is now standing. The last meeting in it is this morning at six o’clock. Good meeting. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 3

The matter has been so managed that we raised one hundred pounds for the sanitarium, and a pound or two over; and the expenses all paid by contributions, and ten pounds over the sum required; not a debt left upon the conference. We are now in the midst of a rainstorm yet. Although raining last night, about five hundred were out. The night before, although the rain threatened, there were all of a thousand out. This was Monday and Tuesday nights. Tonight, March 21, the first meeting will be held in hall. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 4

There has been a Presbyterian minister here through the meetings. He has a sick boy who had to have his hip bone sawed out. It was eaten by consumption. This man has commenced to keep the Sabbath. His son insisted upon his coming to the meeting. His son is only fourteen years old, but as tall as his father; but, poor boy! he will never recover. He wanted to come to the meetings, but he could not be brought without the greatest difficulty. We feel sorry for the father. He lost his wife fourteen years ago, and has taken care of the boy, the only member of the family left him. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 5

Still another instance there is: a Jewish evangelist that has been converted and is now a Christian laboring for the conversion of the Jews to Christianity. But he has become acquainted with our people, and has attended these meetings, and embraced the Sabbath. Now he is deciding just what course to pursue. We believe these ministers are both honest. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 6

Minister Hawkins was on the campground a day. Had an appointment in Melbourne. Was not here over Sunday. Last Sunday and Sabbath were important days. Wonderful interest. Brethren Daniells, Farnsworth, and Starr have done the preaching; and if ever the Lord helped men to preach, He has helped these men. Such astonishment to hear such things was expressed. It is evident these people generally have never before had the light to reject. Such wonderful darkness in regard to the word of the Lord is marvelous! Heathenism seems right in the midst of these great cities. Several declared that their Bibles were not the same as those the ministers had, for they had never read such things from the Bible, and they must have another book, a different Bible. They stop half an hour or more after the meetings to talk over with the ministers the [strange] things which they never heard before. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 7

One man, a retired, wealthy man, declared amid the first discourse given that he wanted to know about his soul—what became of his soul if it did not immediately go to heaven. Elder Daniells tried to have him wait, and he would take up the subject in another discourse. “Well, sir,” said he, “What about tonight? I cannot sleep till I know about my soul—what it is, and how it can be saved.” Elder Daniells, after the discourse, spent half an hour in explanation, and set his mind at ease, and prayed with him. Two days since, he said he wanted to know what to do. He was going to the Government or Parliament and find out how this matter had come about that they were all out of joint with the Bible. Very strange thing. They had the responsibility, and must take hold of the matter and fix it up. Well, he has now taken his position with his wife upon the Sabbath; and there is a deep interest—deeper than I have seen in any place yet. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 8

I have had a bad cold—hoarse. Elders Daniells and Farnsworth said it would not answer for me to speak. Nevertheless I spoke to a large congregation on the Sabbath I had been having a great time coughing and raising; had taken heroic treatment, but was hoarse. I stood before the people, they say, all of one hour, and my voice was as clear as a bell. Sunday the tent was full. I again spoke with the power of God upon me, from Isaiah, making decided explanation of the last verses—standing in the gap, making up the hedge, raising up the foundation of many generations; and the Lord helped me as I made an application of the truth. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 9

All between meetings I have had to keep my pen in constant operation—the same old difficulties with Brother Steed—striving to be first, contending over little matters, jealous, envious, evil-surmising, using pen and voice to demerit the ministers and place himself upon a higher elevation than any of them; stirring up suspicion and jealousies, causing dissension and strife. It is soul-sickening. I will send you a copy, if I can get it copied. Those things wear me more than the meetings. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 10

Well, what shall I tell you is in our minds? We are now planning to attend the next General Conference [session], taking the boat that sails in August. My mind has been wrought upon, and I shall come. If the Lord has not wrought upon my mind, then I do not know what spirit has taken hold of me. I wrestled three nights in prayer, at different times. I could not consent to go, and finally I decided. I cannot think of being gone any longer than two years, leaving here the first of August. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 11

This is as soon as I can get ready to leave. Shall leave my home just as it is, and come back to it. That, at least, is my calculation. And if I do not get my ticket of leave from the Lord, I shall remain. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 12

We are glad you are in America, and we shall expect to come to your help; we [will] meet in September or October. We do not want to come later in the cold period of the year. We want the Lord to go before us in the journey. Things have come to a pass in America when I know the Lord would have me to go to my own country, on my old “stamping ground.” 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 13

Brother Daniells will go to Africa on the next steamer from Melbourne, in company with Brother John Wessels. Now I believe I will stop. I have written much to New Zealand, and I may try to take an earlier boat and be with the church in Auckland; but the Lord direct, is my prayer. Am doing first rate healthwise. Could never in any period of my life do more work in speaking and writing than now. The Lord puts His Spirit upon me. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 14

We have seen Brother McCullagh, and we believe him to be a reformed man. We are now determined to do all in our power to work Geelong. We think no expense should stand in the way of work in this place so close by Melbourne, and where the first camp meeting is now. O, how I seem to hear the voice day and night, “Go forward; add new territory; enter new territory with the tent, and give the last message of warning to the world. There is no time to be lost. Leave My memorial in every place where you shall go. My Spirit will go before you, and the glory of the Lord shall be your rearward.” 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 15

There are other towns not a long distance from here which must have a camp meeting next year. This is the very plan of God, how the work should be carried. Those who have had the light for years to enter new fields with the tent, and have held the camp meetings in the same ground for years, need to be converted themselves because they do not heed the Word of the Lord. When will our people learn to obey the light God has given them? It is time for Thee, O Lord, to work; for they have made void Thy law. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 16

In much love. 15LtMs, Lt 174, 1900, par. 17