Lt 61, 1899

1899

Lt 61, 1899

Haskell, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 2, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 50; 11MR 92-93; 4Bio 412, 438-439.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

We received your letter this morning. No mail came on Friday, as it was a holiday. Lt61-1899.1

We have been very much occupied of late. Brother Lord and his family from Newcastle are here in Cooranbong. This family with their connections number fourteen. Brother Lord has eight sons and one daughter. Seven of the sons are at home. His eldest son is married and is living in a tent on the school ground, working on the buildings as a carpenter. His daughter is married, and she and her husband live in Sister Taylor’s house. They have rented this place. Lt61-1899.2

Brother Lord was a signalman on the railway line at Newcastle. This is a very important position, and he held it for twenty years. When he accepted the Sabbath, he asked that he might have the day off, but this was refused. He then asked for a pension. This they are in the habit of giving men who have worked for a less number of years than he has. This they also refused. He asked them if he had not given satisfaction in his work. They said, Perfect satisfaction. He had always been trustworthy, but they had no mind to favor Sabbathkeeping. Let him keep the day others kept. Thus he lost a place where he had been receiving three pounds seventeen shillings a week. Lt61-1899.3

Well, they came to Cooranbong, and are now living in a little old, broken-down, ant-eaten shanty. He was compelled to borrow money to pay their passage down. We met them with our team at the station, and moved their goods for them to their place, six miles away. I felt heartsick, fearing that he would not be able to get along on the land, as he is without a knowledge of this work. His boys can help him, but I am not in favor of their hiring land and putting labor on that which will not be their own. They must have something whereby they can get a living. Lt61-1899.4

Three of the boys are working here, burning stumps and gathering up and burning brush. They eat at our table, and we pay them for their work. Brother James handed the father two pounds for the boy’s work, and he was perfectly satisfied. And what if we do not get the worth of our money? We have done for them what we could. Last Friday Brother Starr was here, and we went to take them two pieces of iron roofing for the house. Brother Lacey has given them a cow which furnishes them with three quarts of milk a day. Lt61-1899.5

April 3

Brother Pocock and his family came to Cooranbong yesterday. He has given up the home he selected several years ago. This place is among the rocks, on the side of a mountain, in a place which cannot be reached with a horse and carriage. He has five very pretty children. The eldest, I learned last night, is ten years old. Last week he came by request to paint on the school buildings. We learned that the necessities of his family were very great, and we borrowed three pounds, put it in his hands, and sent him back for his family. Meanwhile we were trying to find a house for him. The house by the long bridge on the way to Dora Creek was all that we could find, but Mr. Walmsley, the owner, asked three and sixpence a week for it, and it is not fit for habitation. Lt61-1899.6

So we passed by that offer, and made inquiry of Mr. Hughes, who has recently built himself a nice cottage. He at once offered Brother Pocock a home in the two-roomed cottage they had left when they moved into their new home. He said that he would not charge them any rent. This was gratefully accepted, and last evening Sara established Brother Pocock and his family in their cottage, furnishing them with provision and bedding until their meager stock shall come. The whole family were obliged to walk three miles in the hot sun, and the heat of the sun soon cut down the little boy of four years, who is next to the youngest child. Sara had to begin her work for the two younger children who were both sick when they came here, but more favorable symptoms appeared. Lt61-1899.7

Now we must secure for this family a spot of land, and put them in a way to get a little house on the land. This is missionary soil. Brother Pocock is one of the most conscientious, self-denying, self-sacrificing, uncomplaining men I have ever seen. He is just such a man as will do credit to the truth. We should keep the land reserved for such ones as, without help to obtain a situation, cannot possibly provide a home and support their families. Now Brother Pocock will have a chance to help himself. He is a hard worker, but circumstances he could not control have kept him in poverty. We must help such ones. They are God’s precious jewels. Now we have this family where we can do something for them. We packed a basket full of the clothing you left to be appropriated. Brother Coulston received his portion, and Brother Pocock will receive his portion, which will be highly appreciated. I want you to know that they feel highly favored with these goods. Lt61-1899.8

Yesterday was a broken-up, trying day, with so many matters to adjust. Sister Harlow came from school with her brother, who was to return to his home. He is a poor, sick young man, but a Christian. We feel deeply for this afflicted lad, for he cannot be helped by any earthly physician. I made him a present of Patriarchs and Prophets and Fireside Sketches, while his sister gave him Desire of Ages. Have you received the copy of Desire of Ages from America? I charged them at Pacific Press to send you one as soon as it was published. If they have sent you a cheap binding, sell it, and I will send you the best binding. But we must wait until we get the book. I have sent to the Echo office for several copies. Let me know if you have received your book. Lt61-1899.9

Yesterday W. C. White, Brother James, and I walked over some land adjoining ours. It runs back opposite the road that leads from our place to the school. If it can be obtained, we think it would be well to secure this land and cut it up in sections for just such families as I have been speaking of, in order to put them in the way of helping themselves. Lt61-1899.10

Brother Colcord cannot labor any longer in Newcastle. He suffers from pains in his lungs. Yesterday he was sick in bed. Elder Starr visited him. Elder Starr is now alone in the work at Newcastle. Herbert Lacey is called to the school. Elder Daniells has had to leave the school in order to attend to money matters. Lt61-1899.11

As yet we have not been able to get any means from the Echo office, and a woman who loaned the school three hundred pounds says she must have this at once. She seems very determined about the matter. I have sent to see if Sister James can loan me another hundred pounds. The Echo office is negotiating with the Pacific Press and myself in regard to the plates for Desire of Ages. We have sent terms to them. If our terms are accepted by the Echo and the Pacific Press, a set of the plates will be sent to this country. Lt61-1899.12

As yet we have received not quite one thousand dollars for the hospital. The appeals sent to America have not yet brought returns. Dr. Kellogg states that if I say so he will raise five thousand dollars from our people, and five thousand more on the back of that; but I dare not go just that way to work through the doctor. It does not seem just the right way, and would not make the very best impression upon our people. I would rather they would have the appeal, and then let the Lord impress their minds to do willingly. If the means come, I shall be very thankful. We could not obtain money to pay the workmen on the school buildings, and a large debt has accumulated at Newcastle for provisions, and at Sydney for lumber. But all we can do is to wait and hope and believe, and keep working in faith. Lt61-1899.13

I have not paid my workers for a large share of last year, and nothing as yet for this year. But we hope that the next mail may relieve the situation. I thought it not prudent to give my sanction to Dr. Kellogg to sweep up all the means he could draw, using my word as an authority for doing this. I have laid open before him the work we wish to do, and now our brethren can help us in any way that seems best. I do not wish to press our necessities, irrespective of the position in which it will place the brethren in America. The Lord understands every rope in the ship, and I am not at all confused or confounded. He has the means to help us, and help will certainly come. It is no use to get tired and impatient over delays. Lt61-1899.14

We are now at work on the hospital ground. We are securing volunteers to clear at least two or three acres. Today the students from the school under Brother Palmer’s direction will make a bee to help in this work. I am boarding Brother Heaton from Awaba, also Brother Wood, who are helping to clear the land, donating their labor. I was to speak in the open air at Martinsville, but it began raining, and I did not go. W. C. White, accompanied by Brother Robb, rode up to the place, but I have not heard the result. I expect to speak today to those who shall work on the hospital ground. A dinner is to be prepared by the school, and served on the grounds for the whole school family, making the occasion a kind of picnic in the open air. Lt61-1899.15

We are trying to make every move possible to advance. This hospital must now be erected without delay. If the Lord favors us, we shall put up a two-story building, and several small houses around it for patients sent out from the Sydney hospital. Lt61-1899.16

The families that we are trying to provide with homes will now be looked after. They are not to be located on the grounds devoted to the school use, but elsewhere on the estate. At present we have medical missionary work, all that we can possibly attend to, in assisting those of our own people who are blessed with large families of children, and who cannot obtain work. At Newcastle the citizens are watching with intense interest to see how [Brother] Lord and his family are coming out. We are going to do our best for them. We must provide some kind of work for Brother Lord. These families that are turned out of employment have a great trial of faith. The employers are expecting Brother Lord to give up the Sabbath and come back to his work. It seems to be a test case. Lt61-1899.17

When I wrote you in my last letter in reference to the necessity of having the work carried forward at both places in Brisbane, I knew that was the thing which it must be arranged to do, but I did not suppose that would change your attitude in regard to leaving Brisbane, and bearing your testimony to the churches in Newcastle, in Cooranbong, Sydney, Melbourne, Ballarat, and Adelaide. But do not feel that you must do this. Learn your duty from God. Lt61-1899.18