Lt 34, 1898

1898

Lt 34, 1898

Wessels, Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 21, 1898

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Wessels:

How much I desire to see you, and speak with you face to face. If you could now visit Cooranbong, you would scarcely know where you were. We have had a second crop of peaches and nectarines from our trees. Many of our peaches weighed half a pound each. I did not expect my trees to bear this year, but they bore some of the finest and most beautiful fruit I ever looked upon. Our gardener thought the trees too young to bear so quickly, and cut off every branch close to the trunk of the trees; but they made just as much in branches as before, and notwithstanding this, some of the trees were so loaded with fruit that we had to prop up the branches lest they should break. I have never seen so many heavy peaches growing in a cluster. I made a present of some of them to different men in Cooranbong. Lt34-1898.1

We have not had to buy any garden produce this year. We have had plenty of potatoes, greens, green corn, green beans, tomatoes, and some grapes. We know how to prize these things, for we used to have to send to Parramatta for our vegetables and all our garden stuff, and when they reached us, they were so wilted and heated that at least half was not safe to use. Our garden has furnished our family of twelve, Willie’s family of six, and Brother James’ family of ten. Brother James is our farmer. We have all the watermelons we can use. Some of them are delicious, and very large. We have squashes and real American pumpkins. We have pie plant, and if the Lord favors us, next year we shall have abundance of fruit, that we can can, from our own orchard. It is so much more palatable when we can eat it fresh from the trees. Lt34-1898.2

The school land is being tended and thoroughly worked by Brother Hughes. They have kept students through the vacation to work the soil, and learn lessons from nature as they work. They take some studies, and will attend school the coming term, which begins the first of next month. Lt34-1898.3

There have been twelve in the family during vacation, and a large quantity of fruit from their own trees has been consumed. We are sure we did right in setting out trees just when we did. Now we enjoy not only fruit, but vegetables from the school ground. We see the advantages of having fruit of our own raising. The school have potatoes, squashes, turnips, carrots, watermelons, muskmelons, beans, and other things that I cannot name. All these things grown upon the land save expense. Lt34-1898.4

The third large school building is now nearly finished. Other buildings will go up as soon as possible. The church is built, and we thank the Lord for your liberal donation. Lt34-1898.5

Brother and Sister Haskell, Brother and Sister Starr, and Brother and Sister Wilson are in Stanmore. They are still holding meetings in the tent, but it is no longer really safe for them to do this. We have been looking for land which would not cost so much but that we could secure it. The land we selected was £5 and £6 per foot, but in every case, after we decided to buy, there would be some hitch or scheme, we could not tell what, which placed the land quite beyond our reach. Lt34-1898.6

Now we have a nice location. It is the nicest we have yet looked at, and will cost about, I think, £325. I may not have the figures exact, but this, I think, is the price. Now the church will go up, and we need it very much. It will cost about £700. We have all done our level best to help in this matter, and the Lord will help us when we do all in our power. Those who have newly come to the faith are not wealthy, but many of them have homes of their own, and this is worth considerable to the cause now. All are so grateful that a church is going to be built, and those who have been long in the truth are filled with enthusiasm. Lt34-1898.7

W. C. White, his mother, and Sara McEnterfer have been urged for months to go to Melbourne, and attend the meetings there. Brother Robinson’s plea has been very urgent. There is to be a general meeting the last of this month, so we leave Cooranbong on the 23rd for Stanmore. On the 24th we take the cars for Melbourne, and will be with them next Sabbath. We may not be gone more than three weeks. We may remain longer. Lt34-1898.8

W. C. White will have to return to the present at the opening of the school in the last of March. We have been straining every nerve to gather means to supply workers for the destitute fields. In the night season the divine Instructor was in our assembly. He had words for us, words of encouragement. Then with deepest solemnity He spoke in regard to the work to be done among those who know the truth. Your family, my sister, was one that was specified as being in peril, for they do not sense the requirements of God. Lt34-1898.9

Last night matters were urged upon my mind by the heavenly Counsellor. There is a careless ease, a self-indulgent spirit, in the Wessels family that will surely leave them unprepared for the future test and trial. Lt34-1898.10

The Messenger said, The Lord has tender compassion for you all but you are not working to His name’s glory. There have been times of great perplexity in your family. There have been times of great affliction. But the Lord has not forsaken you. In prosperity there is a great snare. There is danger that under the temptations of the enemy you may be enticed to allow the possessions you have to lead you into worldly schemes and investments. This has been your danger, to bind yourselves up with worldlings. Lt34-1898.11

This matter was laid out plainly before me. It is nearly mail time. I will write what I can, and the rest must be left till I have more time. The messenger said to the young men of the Wessels family, In order to be great in God’s kingdom, you must become as a little child, teachable, living in the simplicity of faith and in the purity of that love which elevates, ennobles, and purifies the soul. Influences are twining themselves about you that will lead you away from God. You must be meek and lowly in heart. If you would have peace and hope and heaven, you must not refuse to deny self, to sacrifice self. This is a part of the Christian’s life. You must consent to the lowly condition, if it is the will of the Master, of Him who for your sake became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. Lt34-1898.12

God’s providence will work wondrously for all who will learn lessons in the school of the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. It is safe for you to place your hand in Christ’s hand, when you are willing and long to be led in safe paths. God works in His own way to make you see the way into the kingdom of heaven. But this is not to follow the life you are now pursuing. It is a lowly path, a narrow way, a straight gate, through which you are to pass. The golden gate opens not to display its glory to earth’s self-indulgent ones. It is not lifted up to the proud in spirit, that they may pass in with their possessions and symbols of power. But the everlasting portals will open wide at the trembling touch of a little child. In order to be great in the kingdom of God, you must walk in the humble path of duty, love, and willing obedience. Lt34-1898.13

The Messenger turned to Philip and Peter, and calling them by name, said, Walk in the light of God’s countenance. The family need you not as you are now, but as you might have been and may be. Your influence may be thrown around them, fragrant, pure, and unadulterated by any worldly corruptions. You are now to say to your family, The Lord has given to each of you your work. Lt34-1898.14

The Messenger addressed Philip Wessels, How long shall the Lord call for you, and you refuse to answer His voice, refuse to come to Him that you may live? How long will you refuse to listen to counsel? The Lord calls you. Will you now yield to His invitation? You stepped out of the line of duty under the delusive temptations of Satan. Will you now return? The truth will advance unto victory, whether you advance with it or not. But the Lord loves you, erring child; come back to the service of God. Give Him the heart that once loved Him. Take your place in the work and cause of God. Philip, your name was spoken with deep, earnest love. Come back to your heavenly Father, come back. Lt34-1898.15

You may have a life of cheerful trust, a humble, happy walk with Jesus in all the ways of duty and of peace. The worldly-wise way that some of you have been travelling is one of thoughtless gaiety and social excitement. It drives all the heavenly graces, all elevated tenderness and sympathy from your heart, and selfishness, suspicion, vanity, and indulgence come in to take their place. You will find no happiness in following your undisciplined inclinations, for Satan is on the watch, and he will come in to control the mind and fashion the character. Your Redeemer is grieved. He gave His life for you. Will you give your heart to Jesus? Lt34-1898.16

I leave these lines with you. I am full of tenderness for you. My heart longs after you in Jesus Christ; and Christ, who wept over Jerusalem, weeps over you. Lt34-1898.17

Would you secure the highest success in life? You will find it in the Life-giver. Would you enjoy the confidence of your fellow men? Become humble, meek and lowly of heart. Lay aside all jealousy, all pride and ambition, all worldly anxiety and covetousness; and seek the Lord daily. You will find in Him a refuge. You have wandered from God’s ordinances; but Jesus invites you, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Lt34-1898.18

To Mother Wessels the Messenger said, You are making a mistake. You are handling the Lord’s entrusted goods. Your love for your children is not to be expressed by indulging them in using the means for which they must give an account, to gratify human taste, human pride and ambition. Lt34-1898.19

Consider the life of Christ. Your love for your children may be no less, but let it be expressed in leading them away from self-indulgence and self-gratification. The money that is spent as fancy may dictate would support laborers of God in the field, to carry the gospel message to many who are perishing in their sins. Lt34-1898.20

Will these brothers come into line with each other, and every member of the family cut away from his life all selfish indulgence? Will you not, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, work wholly on the Lord’s side? Will you take your position to help the members of the family to live Christian lives? Be not envious of the rich. Learn well the lessons of self-denial. Let every member of the family use the Lord’s goods to secure for himself the heavenly treasure. The Lord would have every member of the family co-operate with Him. Look at the life of Christ. Study His character, and be partakers with Him of His self-denial. Take up your cross, and follow Him; and you will have eternal riches in the kingdom of God. Lt34-1898.21

I have more to write, but I must stop here. Three weeks ago I was in your family, and Mother Wessels was burdened for her children. I was directed to bear a message to you as a family: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” [1 John 2:15.] He that loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Lt34-1898.22

If the expenditures now made for self-pleasing were carefully treasured, it would surprise you to see the amount that is wasted in needless things. God calls upon you to change this order of things. This money, that is worse than thrown away, would support laborers in fields where the standard of truth has never yet been lifted. You could bring happiness to many hearts if you would use wisely the means that is now spent for show. Christ Jesus your Redeemer gave His life for you, to make it possible for you to secure that life that measures with the life of God, and a place in that city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God. Lt34-1898.23