Lt 81, 1899

Lt 81, 1899

Belden, Frank

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 8, 1899

This letter is published in entirety in 10MR 135-137.

Dear nephew Frank Belden:

I have received your letter. Thank you. Your father also received his letter, and if he decides to remain with us, we shall take care of them. They are both quite feeble in health. During the last year they spent on Norfolk Island accidents happened to them both, and we feared to have them stay there longer. For two years we opposed their going there, but still they were inclined to go. The year 1898 was a hard year for them, and I urged their coming away, but they had to wait some months before Sister Belden could be moved to the boat. 14LtMs, Lt 81, 1899, par. 1

When they came to me we had a house prepared for them, plastered and made comfortable. They had their own stove, which they purchased in Sydney on their way here. We have been preparing a piece of land, and getting lumber to build a house for them, but your father can now do no taxing work. He has plenty of ambition, but he is a sick man. He has little strength. Not long ago he was taken sick, and we thought his recovery doubtful. But he is now up, and does a little, all he ought to do, and this, I believe, is too much for his worn-out frame. He has some cough. 14LtMs, Lt 81, 1899, par. 2

Today for the first time I have asked him what he would do with your invitation. We talked over his real situation. I tell him that if he wishes to go back to America, he may go, and I will pay his fare. I do not require this from you. But I am disinclined to the idea of his going. The money it would take to pay the fare might better be used to make them comfortable here. They are, if they do not improve, like two children. The long journey by water is something I should dislike to subject them to if they were my parents. 14LtMs, Lt 81, 1899, par. 3

We shall not discourage your father attempting to work to pay his way if he stays with us. We shall provide their food and clothing, and do for them all that any one could do, except giving personal care. If this becomes necessary, I shall hire a nurse to take care of them. At present Sister Belden is able to care for her husband. They have been supplied from our stock with eggs, milk, fruit, and anything that we raise. I give you these particulars, that you may know how they are situated. 14LtMs, Lt 81, 1899, par. 4

I feel very sad when I think of your father. He has so much natural independence that it is a hard struggle for him to give up. He is not as old as I am, but he feels his last sickness, and has come to the conclusion that he will be compelled to give up the idea of earning his living. I am not one of the kind to make him feel his dependence. With complete rest, giving up the wrestling, and feeling that he cannot work, he may possibly rally. 14LtMs, Lt 81, 1899, par. 5

We have here now in midwinter the most beautiful sunshiny days with cold mornings and evenings. We think your father is better off here with us, and we shall do our best with him, and for him and her. Sister Belden is not strong, but she is much better healthwise than her husband. If they can take care of themselves, we shall be thankful. They are children of the heavenly King, and I will do by them as I would wish to be done by were I in their place. 14LtMs, Lt 81, 1899, par. 6

I believe that I have now told the story in regard to your father. As I write, I am more convinced that it is best for them to remain where they are. 14LtMs, Lt 81, 1899, par. 7

My dear brother, I am very thankful that you are in the Review & Herald office. If you walk humbly with God, be assured that the Lord will give you favor with all with whom you associate. Let Frank Belden die. Let the life which you now live in the flesh be wholly consecrated to God. He gave His life for you. Give your life for Him. My soul yearns for you, that you may be perfecting a Christian character. The Lord loves you, and has given you an opportunity of again passing over the ground you passed over before. My brother, you can do a good work if you will be taught by the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. 14LtMs, Lt 81, 1899, par. 8