Lt 125, 1898

1898

Lt 125, 1898

Irwin, Brother

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 18, 1898

See variant Lt 125a, 1898. Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 370-371. +Note

Dear Brother Irwin:

I read your letter with interest. I mark what you say in reference to Dr. Kellogg. He is in a hard and trying place, and it would be marvelous if he did not make some mistakes. Poor brother; he has stood nobly for the truth, and I am deeply interested in him, and very desirous that he shall become a true, earnest, whole-hearted, sincere worker, straightforward in every line. Lt125-1898.1

I cannot understand why so much means has been absorbed in the Gospel Wagon. I fear Dr. Kellogg is getting upon his hands work so deep there it has no bottom. I fear the result of his embracing so much. He is not immortal and I greatly fear for him. Just as long as he feels his dependence upon God, he will be kept; but just as sure as he trusts in his own wisdom, and does not have confidence in his ministering brethren, just so sure Satan will work to obtain the advantage over him. Seek in every way possible to help him. He can do great harm if in his position of responsibility he shall become distrustful of our standard of truth. Lt125-1898.2

We know that the Lord has kept him thus far from making grave blunders, but we must pray for our brother. We need a great amount of faith. We need now as never before to seek for daily consecration. We must not be off our guard one moment. Lt125-1898.3

*****

Monday Morning: I am awakened at two o’clock. Today at nine o’clock a.m. the American mail closes here. You ask me to come to your conference in America. I was seventy-one years old the 26th of November, but this is not the reason I plead for not attending your conference. We have done what we could here. We have advanced slowly, planting the standard of truth in every place possible. But the dearth of means has been a serious hindrance. We have had to work at a great disadvantage for want of facilities. We have had to meet and breast many discouragements. We dare not show one particle of unbelief. We advance just as far as we can see, and then go far ahead of sight, moving by faith. Lt125-1898.4

Be assured that none of our ministers are growing rich. We strip ourselves of everything we can possibly spare in the line of money, for the openings are so many and the necessities so great. We have hired money until I have been compelled to say, I cannot donate more. My workers are the best, most faithful, and devoted girls I ever expect to find. In order to advance the work I have donated the wages that should have been paid them. When the last call was made, my name was not on the list for the first time. The openings are abundant, but we are obliged to move very slowly. The work that ought to have been done has not been done, and I cannot feel at liberty to leave here now. Lt125-1898.5

I have been blessed with the best company of women workers I ever have had. They are with me heart and soul to meet any emergency. They give not only tithes, but offerings; and they dress as inexpensively as any ladies I have ever been associated with. There is not a ripple of disaffection or discontent among my workers. They are one with me, and they help me in every way they can, and as far as this is concerned, we are specially favored. But one of my copyists has taken cold. Her lungs are effected, and she has been prohibited from doing any typewriting for six months. When that time is up, we shall know whether she can ever again engage in this work. Now my letter writing must come to an end. Lt125-1898.6

Sister Peck and Sister Davis are both preparing books, and I could use four besides them. I had two copyists besides Sara who did the work of preparing articles and copying my letters. But now that one is laid up, this work must rest upon the other. I have had so much writing to do that I write very rapidly. I am not willing to let the matter go from my hand without being copied, for I know that I am not a good penman. I often write, as I am writing this morning, as many as fifteen pages before breakfast. For three weeks, with the exception of three mornings, I have not slept past two o’clock a.m. I do not sleep in the day time. Every moment seems so precious to me. Lt125-1898.7

I have matter which the people need to put into little books. I have several small books, testimonies to the church, to be prepared as they have been prepared in the past. This is the work of Sister Peck. She is a precious help to me. Lt125-1898.8

Every time I leave my home to attend a meeting I lose two or three months’ work. Often I am brought home unable to do anything because of complete exhaustion. I know not what it means, even at my age, to take things easy. I feel reined up as I see the people as though before the great white throne of judgment, to be searched through and through, and to [be] weighed in the balances of the sanctuary; and if I do not give them the warning, I shall be accountable for their sins. My burden does not diminish as my age increases. My memory is good, my spirits are good, but it is a trying ordeal for me to attend these meetings. I see before me faces I can remember, who are in error and sin; and the Lord gives me a message to fit their case. It takes all the powers of mind, soul, and body to speak to thousands of people, to make my voice reach those inside and outside the tent. Lt125-1898.9

I may go before the people determined not to feel so deeply, but to see the people is enough. I forget that I am weak. I pour out the God-given message; and after a three-weeks’ meeting is ended, I am unable to write, and unable to sleep, and can only say, Lord, I have done what I could. Now pity me, help me. Thank the Lord, in about two or three weeks I recover. I am now as well as ever I have been, and have attended meetings each Sabbath, and spoken to the church here, though unable to stand. I have been compelled to sit in a chair while speaking, thanking the Lord I could speak at all. Lt125-1898.10

I have written these particulars that you may understand why I cannot attend your conference. I dare not leave the work here. Could we have had the means that has been used in different ways in America, we could so have advanced the work that we could have responded to your call. But not now. The debts I have incurred to do the work that has been done will, every one, be settled, in what way I know not, but the Lord will help me. I am among those who do not know what my husband passed through to establish the work in years gone by; and it is very hard for them to believe that there is any successful outcome to moving by faith. Lt125-1898.11

We have had to press against any amount of real difficulties and walls built up of imaginary difficulties. Thus we have moved step by step. The unbelief we meet in our brethren is not in those who have had an experience in the work, but those who are inexperienced. They are men of excellent ability and headstrong, and when we make an attempt to advance, they build up the wall, [saying], “It can’t be done.” But I move right ahead, with them blocking the way at every advance. This week we commence the camp meeting at Newcastle. We shall plant the standard of truth in this new place. Lt125-1898.12

We have waited for the way to open, for some means to come in that I should have had but have not. I am now six months in debt to my workers. I owe one of the Wessels in Africa one thousand pounds, which has been called for, but we still advance. The Lord knows all about it. Our doctors and ministers could do a much greater work if they had facilities, but they are handicapped in every way. We are not making the advance we should make with the intelligent workers that we have. With the experienced men we now have, the work could advance healthfully and solidly if we had something to work with. Lt125-1898.13

In every place where a camp meeting is held, we keep workers in that place until a church is raised up. Then comes the difficulty. Where shall we meet after the tent is taken down? We do not know of anything else to do but to arise and build. Every nerve and muscle has then to be taxed to the uttermost to plan and devise how this is to be done. We pray and we weep. We spend hours in the night season laying the matter before Him who can help us; then we go ahead inch by inch, step by step, not seeing the end, but still advancing. Lt125-1898.14

But now I shall stop. You will understand that I am not at liberty to leave this country. Unbelief, “You can’t do it,” “It is impossible,” have met us at every step; still we advance. There is nothing for me to do but to remain here until the work is placed on a solid foundation. Lt125-1898.15