Lt 190, 1899

1899

Lt 190, 1899

Gotzian, Sister [J.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 1, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 240-241.

Dear Sister Gotzian:

I think I never in all of my experience have had a more busy time than lately. I am here, there, and everywhere. During the month of September I went to look at three different locations for the sanitarium. We had been requested to do this. The first time we went quite a number of the brethren were with us. We spread our food upon a tablecloth on the ground and ate our dry, simple lunch of bread and fruit. All we did at this time was to ride round and admire the sites which we saw. Some of them were beautiful, but all the land we saw was altogether too high in price for us. We left the burden of looking further upon Brother John Wessels, telling him that when he found anything he thought favorable, we would come and see it. Lt190-1899.1

Well, we were soon sent for. Brother Wessels had found a site which was in many ways desirable, but which had some drawbacks. A brother who had recently come into the truth had hired this place and expected to receive some money from the fruit in the orchard. He is a poor man, and was living in a shanty on the land. We did not like to turn him off the land. Then there were other difficulties, which would very likely have made expense and delay. A government road has been surveyed through the land just where we should have wanted to build. So Brother Wessels began searching again. He found a piece of land for sale, containing seventy-five acres in all, fifteen of which were laid out in orchard. Lt190-1899.2

After returning home from the inspection of this place, I was sent for to unite with my brethren in the dedication of the church at Hamilton. I was requested to make a dedicatory speech. I was quite free. One was present who had recently embraced the truth, but who had been weakening on the money question. The Lord gave me a most decided testimony, which this man told Brother Starr was preached directly at him. It seemed to save him to the cause. We had an excellent congregation at the church on Sabbath and Sunday. There seemed to be an interest to hear. Believers are uniting with the church. Oh how glad we are that we have a church where those who embrace the truth can assemble to worship God! This is the Lord’s memorial, and testifies every week that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God. All have treated us courteously. Lt190-1899.3

There is a debt of about three hundred pounds on the church, but we have moved by faith, and we hope soon to have this debt lifted. Lt190-1899.4

We returned home on the cars. One week before this we drove up with our horse and carriage to Wallsend, a suburb of Newcastle. The distance from Cooranbong to Wallsend is seventeen miles. The road is very hilly and in some places very rough. On Sabbath we spoke to a goodly number in a large room in the house Elder Haskell occupied before he left. Then we drove to Lambton, a place three miles away where Brother and Sister Hickox and their family reside. The house in which they are living is situated upon a hill. They are very pleased with their little home. Lt190-1899.5

There are three small churches in this town. Brother Hickox has rented one to speak in some evenings in the week. We enjoyed our visit very much. Brother and Sister Hickox have one daughter, his child by a former marriage. She is a very ladylike little miss, and is appreciated both by father and mother. They have adopted a little orphan boy, and they think a great deal of him. We had a precious season of prayer while there. As we were leaving the daughter said to me, “Sister White, I wish you could stay longer; I like you so much.” Lt190-1899.6

The next day it rained. I had been advertised to speak in the park at Wallsend, but we knew that the rain would make this impossible, so Sara and I turned our faces homeward. The next Sabbath we went to Hamilton to the dedication of the church. After we returned home I sent off American and African mail. Then the word came to go to Sydney to see another place, forty-two acres of land, with thirteen acres of orchard. Then home again, with more mail to get off, for the mail day comes once in two weeks. Lt190-1899.7

Then came a telegram for me to go at once to see a large place of seventy-five acres, costing two thousand two hundred pounds. The fruit in the orchard of this place will help to pay the interest on the money we shall have to hire to purchase it. The caretaker on the place says that he sells three hundred pounds’ worth of fruit every year. There is an abundance of plums, apricots, nectarines, and pears. The day we went to look at this place was one of our spring days, but the wind was very cold. Once more we spread our luncheon on the ground. Brethren Wessels, Salisbury, Daniells, and Sharp were with us. Willie and Sara had business to do in the city, but joined us afterwards, so Brother John Wessels took me in charge. We looked over the place and had a council together and then, very tired, we were glad to return to Brother Wessels’ house in Strathfield. Lt190-1899.8

After that I had much to do. Brother John and I received letters from South Africa from members of the Wessels family proposing a way in which they thought they could help the work and cause of God. We read the letters and approved the plan. Besides the African mail, we had the American mail to send. I slept only a few hours nightly, and after I returned home I collapsed. Lt190-1899.9

I was greatly enfeebled, and thought that perhaps I could not go to the Maitland camp meeting. But Sara and I have decided to drive to Maitland with Jasper, the horse we bought from Brother Haskell. This is a drive of twenty-seven miles, uphill most of the way. We start tomorrow about daylight. It will take six hours to go. Today I am feeling better. I had a dish of strawberries from our own vines, but strawberries do not amount to much here; it is not cold enough for them to do well. Lt190-1899.10

A few hours since I heard that W. C. White had a letter from John Wessels. W. C. White and May are attending the wedding of Mr. Hughes’ daughter and the brother of Minnie Hawkins, one of my editors. Yesterday Brother Thomson’s daughter was married to a young man whose name I do not remember. “Marrying and giving in marriage,” as Christ said it was before the flood. [Matthew 24:38.] Lt190-1899.11

Brother Wessels writes that he has taken steps to secure the place of seventy acres. This is the one that will serve our purpose best, and the terms are easy. One hundred pounds is to be paid down, and two hundred, I believe, in three months; the balance in twelve months at five per cent interest. The reason why we have purchased so much land is because those who are connected with the sanitarium will want to purchase land to build houses of their own on, but we do not want these houses near the sanitarium. Lt190-1899.12

Thus we have nearly three thousand pounds to pay in twelve months. This is ten thousand dollars. At the union conference we raised nine hundred pounds among ourselves. I pledged one hundred pounds. I have hired the money, paying five per cent interest. I know I must pledge to the very extent of my powers in order to keep the donations as large as possible. Lt190-1899.13

We all agreed that the place we have purchased is the very best one we could have. There is a four-roomed cottage on the land. We would be so glad if we could borrow money with which to erect the sanitarium. On this place we shall have all the fruit that will be needed, and all cost of transportation will be saved, for the fruit can be picked off the trees. This is of value, for often the fruit will not bear transportation unless picked before it is ripe. All that will have to be done will be to take care of the orchard, and we shall have an abundance of sweet, wholesome fruit. Lt190-1899.14

We have walked out by faith, and we expect to buy this land. The negotiations are being made today. When these are completed, we shall send someone to take care of the place, giving two weeks’ notice to the man already there. He has been working on the orchard, so it will be in good order. We have needed a sanitarium for a long time, and now we are in a fair way to have one. Lt190-1899.15

The Health Retreat on the school ground is nearly finished. When the third coat of plaster is put on it will be ready for occupation. It will be occupied, we are sure, for the sick come to us from far and near. Lt190-1899.16

I have not yet received one penny, either from the Review and Herald or the Pacific Press on my recent book, The Desire of Ages. I suppose the cost of getting out the illustrations is being settled up. I must live on hired money until I get out of debt. But I fully believe the Lord will help us to get the money if we walk forward, trusting in Him. My confidence is good. I do not faint nor am I discouraged. My testimony to my brethren at every step is, “Go forward. Embrace new territory. Lift the standard higher and higher and still higher. Set by memorials by building meetinghouses. Let them stand as witnesses to the truth.” Lt190-1899.17

We must have a sanitarium, because this will do more to enlighten the people than almost anything else could do. We are very thankful for the five hundred pounds you mean to send us. This money will settle the debt on our Retreat building, and we will thank the Lord for it. Lt190-1899.18

Never, never are we to distrust or doubt God. The word comes, “Add new territory to the Lord’s heritage. Press forward and upward.” This word we have tried to obey. Four school buildings have been erected on our land here, also a Health Retreat. We have connected with the school a small carpenter’s shop, a bakery, and a printing office. Wealthy men not of our faith are sending their sons to school, to have their hours of study and of work, that their physical and mental powers may be equally developed. This is true education. We see the necessity of setting our press in operation at once, that we may get out notices and leaflets to use in missionary work. Lt190-1899.19

The establishment of the Health Food Factory has called for means which we did not have, but we have advanced in these lines because we dared not delay. If we had waited for piles of money to be laid down in our sight, where would have been our faith? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] Lt190-1899.20

Twelve months ago there was not a Sabbathkeeper in Newcastle. Now there is an organized church of forty members. They have a neat, convenient house of worship. Lt190-1899.21

I remember the first time we entered Sydney. We made our home with Elder Daniells, and while there we visited Parramatta. As we saw the parks and beautiful drives and took our dinner in one of the groves, we thought how pleased we would be if we could have a church in this place. But how could we get the truth in Parramatta? Soon Brethren Robert Hare and Steed commenced labors there, and as a result souls embraced the truth, and a church was established, the first in New South Wales. Lt190-1899.22

After spending some months in Melbourne, we visited Adelaide, where I was an invalid, unable to walk but a few steps. In three months we returned to Melbourne, and for eleven months I suffered severely from rheumatism. But in spite of this I was often taken in my phaeton to the halls, and conveyed armchair fashion from the carriage to the platform. I also visited the school, and was carried in a chair up the long flight of stairs to the chapel. My mind was as clear then as it has ever been, but I had to keep my arms close to my side in one position. Lt190-1899.23

After this, in company with Brother and Sister Starr, I went to New Zealand and remained there nearly one year. For some time I had been improving in health. I could stand to speak after once being helped into the desk. I could also walk a little, but could not kneel. All my praying was done while sitting in my chair. Lt190-1899.24

After our first camp meeting, which was held in Brighton, we made our home in Granville, near Parramatta. The camp meeting in Ashfield, New South Wales, held about that time, was a success. After a time a meetinghouse was built in Prospect, as a result of the labors of Brother Hickox and other laborers who cooperated with him. Next the Ashfield meetinghouse was built. This is a nice little building, and one which would do honor to any people. But the members composing the church have not been emptied of self and filled with the love of God. There are always those who weave their own unsanctified selves into the service of God. There are always found in the church vessels unto honor and vessels unto dishonor. But the Lord will manifest Himself, and will cleanse the chaff from the wheat. He will make the church an honor to His name. Lt190-1899.25

Next the church in Melbourne, Victoria was built, and then the church in Stanmore, New South Wales. Then followed the erection of churches in Cooranbong, New South Wales, Brisbane, Queensland, and Hamilton, a suburb of Newcastle. These memorials of God stand as sentinels to witness to the truth that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God. Lt190-1899.26

Since our camp meeting in Toowoomba, Queensland, missionary work has been done there. The Lord was with us in the meeting, and His blessing rested upon us in large measure. The outside interest is not large, but we labored for a goodly number who drank in the refreshing draughts of the water of life. I spoke six times during the meeting. Brother Herbert Lacey and his wife now stand at the head of the work in that place, and the Lord will help them. They have pitched the tent in the very heart of the city, and several workers have united with them to do house-to-house labor. We believe the truth will bear away the victory. The people are very courteous, but seem to be spiritually palsied. Lt190-1899.27

The Lord will work in this beautiful city. The people must hear the message. There is to be a new creation there. Fallen man is to be reached. The sheep who have wandered away from Christ and His fold are to be searched for and brought back to safety. Sin is to be pardoned, the sinner saved, and God glorified through the faithful efforts of His consecrated workers. To this people in Toowoomba the treasures of wisdom, which have been hidden for ages, are to be brought forth in the revelation of Jesus Christ. Resources which have never yet been drawn upon are to be drawn upon now. Infinite wisdom will reveal to the workers the vast wealth within their power, but which their senses have been too dim to perceive. They have not been uplifted to see and desire the glory that is shining forth in such divine, inexhaustible strength. Lt190-1899.28

I send you with this a letter written to Sister Wessels of Africa. The last two mornings I have not left my bed before daylight. This is something new for me, and I feel very grateful to God for the blessing of sleep. Lt190-1899.29

Now, my sister, you say I have not written to you. I did write you a letter, and why you have not received it, I cannot understand. I wrote you still another letter one or two mails since, and now I write again. I hope this will reach you. We shall be very thankful when the one thousand dollars reaches us. We shall put it into the bank to be drawn upon for the Health Retreat, which must be furnished and set in operation. Lt190-1899.30

I am very sorry that Brother Zelinski is having so trying a time. But the warfare will soon be accomplished, all trials ended, and we shall see the dear Saviour whom we love. Be of good courage, my brother. The Lord loves you in your trial and suffering. The Saviour is your hope. Trust in Him every moment, and He will be to you a sun and a shield and an everlasting reward. You have had a life of suffering, but I am glad that you have Sister Gotzian for your friend and helper. Lt190-1899.31

In love. Lt190-1899