Lt 153, 1899

1899

Lt 153, 1899

Haskell, Brother and Sister [S. N.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

October 4, 1899

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

Last Tuesday morning we left Cooranbong for Hornsby. Dr. Caro wrote for us to come on the noon train to Hornsby Junction, and we would find horses and carriages to take us to a location ten miles from Sydney, which was thought to be favorable for a sanitarium. When the train from Newcastle reached Dora Creek, W. C. White, Sara McEnterfer, and Brethren Starr, Daniells, and Gates, and myself entered, and went on to Hornsby. We arrived upon the ground at dinner time and ate our lunch, which we had prepared for the occasion, spreading it on a tablecloth on the ground. The night before, I was awakened at twelve p.m. to write some things to Brother Morse in regard to his work and position in the sanitarium. On the cars I lay down and slept and was refreshed. I then was prepared to enjoy the simple food that was abundantly spread before us. Brother John Wessels had brought his large portion, and Sara ours. Brother Radley brought a good supply of oranges. While we were eating our lunch I read some of the communications I had received from America. Lt153-1899.1

Dinner over, we felt refreshed for the investigation of the land, which comprises thirty acres situated in a most desirable location. The ground is not all level. There is a good building site on high ground. Then the land gradually slopes into a ravine. We thought this an advantage, for the drainage could be easily secured without a great outlay of means. I saw no swamp land. All the land is suitable for cultivation. I do not think we could find anything better if we should spend much time and money in searching. Lt153-1899.2

Thirteen acres of the land is laid out in an orchard, which contains an excellent variety of trees—apple trees in full bloom, orange trees full of blossoms; lemons, peaches, quinces. This beautiful place has been neglected, and some of the fruit trees are dead. These would have to be replaced. But we think the others could be restored. If an experienced gardener took hold and replaced the dead trees with good ones, and pruned the others, a great improvement would be seen. Lt153-1899.3

The ground seems to be surrounded by a large amount of land similar to the Avondale Estate, but not so heavily timbered. With some work done on it, the place at which we are looking would be as pretty a one as we shall ever be able to find. The price is six thousand dollars, and we have no hope of securing what we should have for a sanitarium for less money. The climate seems excellent. Places just across the road cannot be purchased for less than one hundred and fifty pounds per acre. This land is offered for forty pounds per acre. We can appreciate the value of the thirteen acres which have been cleared and set out with fruit trees, for we are obliged to pay thirty and forty dollars per acre for clearing. Lt153-1899.4

And what a place this would be for the sick to come to receive treatment! A more favorable location could not be secured. At present we do not need more than thirty acres. And if later on we should need to enlarge our borders, more land can be purchased. If we go farther from the city we cannot obtain the advantages necessary. We must have water and we must have gas. This place is only half a mile from the two stations, both connected by rail with Sydney. All the dwellings close by have the city water laid on, and this we could have by laying pipes for a short distance. Gas is also laid on close up to it. Lt153-1899.5

There is only a little building of two small rooms on the place, put up for the one who gathers the fruit in its season. One of our brethren is at present on the premises, with his wife. He has been there only one week. They have rented the place. He has purchased two acres of the uncleared land for forty pounds an acre, but he says he will let us have it back, if we wish, for the same price that he gave. Lt153-1899.6

Brother Radley says that this is a very cheap property. He says we would have to cut down only one quarter or a half of the trees in the orchard. Lt153-1899.7

Well, I think I have given quite a full account of this place. I shall write more about it when I learn more in reference to the terms of purchase. These may be such that we can obtain possession of the land at once. One thing I did not mention. The well mettalled roads give opportunity for beautiful drives in almost every direction. The land stands a half or a quarter of a mile back from the main road, and a road will have to be made to it. This road is now being formed. Lt153-1899.8

If we are required to pay the whole price now I do not know how, in our present poverty-stricken condition, we could secure this place for our sanitarium. But if the Lord, who sees the end from the beginning, is pleased with the place, He can open the way before us. We all agreed without a dissenting voice, that if the way opened for us to purchase this place, we must obtain it, and at once arise and build. The money now being paid out for rent should be invested in a building that will be worthy of the cause it represents. We will wait and hope and pray for guidance. The Lord can make impossible things become possible. Lt153-1899.9

All the buildings in the vicinity are very tasteful in appearance. We did not see one cheap looking house anywhere. And no houses can be built near, for dwellings are already erected at a good distance from the place where the sanitarium will be located. On the opposite side of the road are large orchards, leading up to the residences of wealthy people. So that whoever should come to the sanitarium would have no cause to be disgusted with the surroundings. Lt153-1899.10

If we can secure this place I shall say that I am more than satisfied. We want it. It is surrounded by the houses of the higher class which, however, are not too near. We are within two hour’s ride on the train from Cooranbong, and within ten miles of Sydney. Thus we are within easy distance of the city, and yet in the very heart of the country. I am deeply impressed that we should have this place. The owners have a business in Sydney, and they wish to sell this property. We want to purchase and commence our work at once, for we are far behind. Lt153-1899.11

For weeks Brother John Wessels has been searching everywhere, and he says that the land he has seen is so expensive that we cannot afford it. This place has all the advantages we ask, and is all that any one could desire for the price. Lt153-1899.12

Well, may the Lord guide us, is our prayer. We see that real work must be done, not only among the poorer class, but among the higher class. We are to labor in the highways as well as in the hedges. I believe that wealthy people are subjects for our attention as well as the poorer people. Their souls are of value. The warning message must go to them. If we secure this place, we are certainly in the highways. In this way God may give us more decided access to Sydney. Our working field is enlarging. We must lift the standard in new places. When we have established a church in one locality, the word of the Lord comes to me, Advance; go forward; enter new territory; proclaim the gospel message in the highways and in the hedges. The light, the precious truth for this time, is to be given to the world. Lt153-1899.13

We want converted men and converted women to unite with us in the work. We do not wish to connect with our institutions one man or woman whose heart has not been purified and sanctified through the truth. A godless, Christless, selfish life would be of no advantage to us in any way. In this part of the Lord’s moral vineyard we want men and women who carry with them in word, in spirit, in all the transactions of life, the light of a godly example, showing that Christ is an abiding guest in their hearts, teaching, leading, and guiding them. These can be a power for good in religious instruction and persuasion. They are men and women of prayer. By wrestling alone with God, they obtain victories, and then they go forth to impart to others that which they have received from the Source of all power. Lt153-1899.14

The Lord has called, and He still calls, for those who are apparently blind to their deficiencies, the self-complacent ones, who plan and devise how they can best situate themselves. God helps the spiritually blind to see that there is a world to be saved. The truth is to be made manifest to those who know it not, and this work calls for the self-denying grace of Jesus Christ. Thousands who are now spiritually useless should be digging up their buried talents and putting them out to the exchangers. Many have written for themselves their resolves to do as little as possible, and these have sealed their resolutions for the judgment of that great day when every talent will be required by God, that He may see how much each one of His servants has gained by trading. Lt153-1899.15

Those who think they will surely reach heaven while they follow their own ways and imaginations might better break the seal and re-examine their title to the treasures of heaven. The men and women who feel at ease in Zion might better become anxious about themselves and inquire, “What am I doing in the Lord’s vineyard? Why am I not yoked up with Christ, a laborer together with God? Why am I not learning in Christ’s school His meekness and lowliness of heart? Why have I no burdens to bear in the service of Christ? Why am I not a decided and earnest Christian, employing all my powers in laboring for the salvation of the souls who are perishing all around me?” Lt153-1899.16

Saith not the Word, “We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building”? [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Shall I not, with my Saviour’s help, build a character for time and for eternity, and promote godliness in myself and in others through the sanctification of the truth? Lt153-1899.17

Come, my brethren and sisters, and seek conversion of soul, body, and spirit. Unfold your napkin and begin to trade with your Lord’s goods. In so doing you will gain other talents. Every soul entrusted with talents is to use his talents to benefit others. Who in the great day of final reckoning will say, “I was afraid, and went and hid thy money in the earth; lo, there thou hast that is thine”? To such the Lord will answer, “Thou wicked and slothful servant, ... thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” [Matthew 25:25-27.] Lt153-1899.18

Man is only required to do according to his ability. But his ability will surely grow if it is exercised. Wake up, brethren, for your own souls’ sake, wake up. Without the grace of Christ you can do nothing. Work while you can. Be not deceived into thinking that your lot in life is to be constantly favored, that you can shirk the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice, which Christ bids all share with Him. You will gain a valuable experience in being partaker of the self-denial and self-sacrifice of Christ. Lt153-1899.19

Selfishness and unbelief are spoiling many lives. The church is being made weak by the inefficiency of those who should wear the yoke of Christ and lift His burdens. God has need of persons of genuine experience. Shall Christ have in His army crippled soldiers, each with some spiritual defect; soldiers who must seek the easiest place lest the rough paths hurt their slippered feet? Brethren, we are on the battlefield of service. When the trumpet call is heard, Advance, do not stop to nurse your little infirmities. Forget that you have them, and move on. Where are the active soldiers, clad in all the armor of God, who are prepared to do aggressive warfare? Where are the soldiers who are ready to lift up the standard and bear it through the battle under their Captain’s orders? Lt153-1899.20

I am giving you the message in the name of the Lord. Put on the armor. Let there be no cowards or compromisers to reduce the strength of the Lord’s forces. Earnest engagements must be entered into, for the Lord is coming. Away with the ease-loving indolence that holds so many from the work. Unearth your buried talents. You are under obligation to God to be active, diligent workers. “He that will come after me,” Christ says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] Let not church members refuse to see their responsibilities and unite in earnest work for God. Let them go forth to labor, carrying their colors with them. In every business transaction, let them reveal a considerate spirit, not an oppressive one. Lt153-1899.21

The injunction of the great Teacher is, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” [Matthew 7:12.] These words are as apples of gold in pictures of silver. Brother Haskell, is it not our duty to impress this precious principle, not only on the large companies assembled, but also on those who hold responsible positions? The educators of the youth should set a right example in good works, that the apprentices under them may be taught to bring into their lives the principles of the Word of God. Teachers and leaders in our institutions must be instructed to deal with their ignorant apprentices just as they would wish to be dealt with were the circumstances reversed. Lt153-1899.22