Lt 246, 1899

1899

Lt 246, 1899

Belden, Brother and Sister [S. T.]

NP

1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Belden:

Brother Starr came yesterday from Maitland. He says the interest does not abate, but it is now the most critical period of time and must be carefully and attentively watched. We are not to be relieved and off guard a moment. The ministers are concocting their falsehoods and exerting every influence possible to keep their members from attending meetings, but Brother Hickox and his wife are to work as best they can in any place where they are most needed. The very best of the church members have fed on dry, stale food—politics, war in Africa, and all manner of cheap hash—until they are sick and tired of this class of ministry. Now is our time to do to the uttermost of our God-given ability. We feel deeply and work incessantly. Lt246-1899.1

As to forsaking you, you have tangible proof that we have done all we could do, while you were with us and when you left us; and if we are away off in camp meetings, engaged in the work and put to our wits’ end to know what to do in the work in hand, if we do not keep you constantly before our minds, is it anything to be wondered at? We thought, after we had done what we did do, investing one hundred pounds, that we would feel that you could get along and be comfortable and help yourselves; but if this is not the case, then we will wish to know what you want. State it plainly and we will try to supply your necessities. We do not want you to suffer. I will make inquiries in regard to whom you can address in Sydney; but all have their hands so full that I cannot tell whom to trust, and am thinking you will be obliged to wait, sometimes, if you do not get things just as you want. Lt246-1899.2

All the fitting out for you both in clothing and facilities amounted to quite a sum, about one hundred pounds. Frank has written me that he is so loaded with debts it will be a long time before he can do anything in the line of helping you in money matters, but he says he means to carry all the expense we have been at. But when he [will] get free from debt no one can tell, and I shall not depend on him at all. If we had let you have the money, for you to live on, [that was] expended in the tools for you to make teeth, I think it would have shown greater wisdom, much greater. Lt246-1899.3

[One page missing.]

... made a deep impression and the tent meeting was larger than it had for many weeks before. The people of the Lord must have freedom and courage in the Lord, giving the last note of warning as the trumpet gives a certain sound to call all to the battle. At ten o’clock we retired for rest, and arose at three a.m., harnessed our team and drove to Mount Vincent; half way there fed the horse, ate our lunch, and here we are at home again. The care of the churches has pressed me as a cart beneath sheaves. But my work is not done yet and the Lord will sustain me until it is done. Lt246-1899.4

I am very sorry that I cannot get in connection with Norfolk Island oftener and more certainly. I scarcely know what to do to relieve the situation. I am willing to do all that I can, but how to do it is the question. We consented for you to go from us to Norfolk Island because you were uneasy and not content and happy, and this was becoming a burden to me. Had you been satisfied to let us do for you, and not been trying all the time to do something that was beyond your strength, and had you been looking unto Jesus, reposing in Jesus Christ, it would have been a pleasure for us to do anything in our power. The twenty pounds you thought would fit you out to work increased until all together it reached all of one hundred, but I was not begrudging you this. If there had been contentment with you both, then my mind would have been at rest. But I cannot have my mind troubled and worried about things that I cannot help, and that are out of my power to help. Lt246-1899.5

I felt worried as I saw Sister Belden so helpless. I did not feel it was as it should be. She had the name of being a missionary, and yet she chose to read, read, and the dishes were not washed. Her meals were not prepared as they should be, because she chose to read so much. In the night season I had the matter presented to me that she could better glorify God by being attentive to prepare food that would be nourishing, and have everything neat and tidy and make a correct representation to anyone who might come to call or enter the house. These things are not as they should be. I present them now because I dared not do this before, fearing Sister Belden would think I wanted to get rid of her; but I tell you I tried to do everything I could. I know from the light given me that in order to do as little as possible, often a very meager diet was presented in a cheap, distasteful way. I wanted no one to see these things, for remarks often come to me from others asking why you did not make your rooms look neat and not leave the dishes uncared for, unwashed. Lt246-1899.6

I send you these lines because you are children of God and He expects you to do the very things that will be a lesson to others. I know that Stephen ought to have better and more careful preparation in his food, to nourish him. And when you get your mind on reading books you neglect to exercise your physical strength as is best for you. Now I speak these things to help you both, not to destroy, but to restore. You both need now to be drawing nigh to God, to become more and more after the divine Pattern. Lt246-1899.7