Lt 125a, 1898

1898

Lt 125a, 1898

Irwin, Brother

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 18, 1898

Variant of Lt 125, 1898.

Dear Brother Irwin:

I read your letter with interest. I mark that which 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 that he should become a true, earnest, whole-hearted, sincere worker, straightforward in every line. Lt125a-1898.1

I cannot understand why so much means is absorbed in the Gospel Wagon. I fear he is getting upon his hands a work so deep there is no bottom; and I greatly fear for him. Just as long as he feels his dependence upon God, he will be kept; but when he begins to trust 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 he in his position of responsibility shall become distrustful of our standard of truth. Lt125a-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 to God. We must not be off guard one moment. The Lord alone can help us, and He will do it. Lt125a-1898.3

*****

Monday Morning: I am awakened at two o’clock. Today is mail day. At nine o’clock a.m. the American mail closes for taking to Sydney. You ask me to come to your conference in America. I was seventy-one years old last November 26, [but] this is not the reason I plead for not attending your conference. We have done what we could—advanced slowly, planting the standard of truth in every place we could. But dearth of means has been a serious hindrance. We have had to work at a great disadvantage, and meet and breast many discouragements, for want of facilities. We dare not show one bit of unbelief. We advance just as far as we can see, and then go far ahead of sight, moving by faith. Lt125a-1898.4

We stripped ourselves of everything we could possibly spare in the line of money, until the openings were 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 to them; and [at] the last call, for the first time my name was not on the list. I must be just as well as liberal. The openings are abundant, but we can only 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. Lt125a-1898.5

I have been blessed with the best company of lady workers I ever have had. They are with me heart and soul to meet any emergency. They give not only their tithe, 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. They are with me. They help me in every way; and we are, as far as this is concerned, favored. But one of my typewriters has taken cold. Her lungs are effected, and she is prohibited from doing any typewriting for six months; and in that time [it] will be determined whether she can ever engage in this work again. Now my letter writing comes to an end. Lt125a-1898.6

I have one editor only—could use four besides Sister Peck and Marian, who are both preparing books to come out for me. One that has been my helper is laid up. Only two typewriters I had, besides Sarah (McEnterfer). The work of preparing articles for papers, and copying my letters, rests upon one. I have had so much writing to do that I write very rapidly, and I am not willing to let the matter to go from my hands without being copied, for I know I am not a good penman. I often write, as I am writing this morning, as high as fifteen pages before breakfast. I have not slept past two o’clock a.m. for three weeks, with the exception of three mornings. I sleep not in the day time. I have not rode out for two weeks. Every moment seems so precious to me. Lt125a-1898.7

I have matter to put into little books that the people need. I have several small books, testimonies to the church, to be prepared in book form, as have been prepared years in the past. This is the work of Sister Peck. She is a precious help to me. Lt125a-1898.8

Every time I leave my home to attend a meeting I lose two or three months’ work. I am oftentimes brought home unable to do anything because of complete exhaustion. I know not what it means, even at my age, to take things easy. When before the people, mind, soul, and body are enlisted. I feel reined up as I see the people as before the great white throne of judgment, to be searched through and through, and they to be every one weighed in the balances of the sanctuary; and I am accountable for their souls. My burden does not diminish with my age. My memory is good, my spirits good, but it is a trying ordeal to attend these meetings. I see before me souls—faces I can remember, who are in error and sin; and the Lord gives me a message to fit their case, and it takes all the powers of mind, soul, and body to speak to thousands of people, and my voice to reach them inside the tent and outside the tent-like wall. Lt125a-1898.9

I may go before the people determined not to feel so deeply, but to see the people is enough. I forget I am weak. I pour out upon them the God-given message; and after a three-weeks’ meeting is ended, I am unable to write, and unable to sleep, but just 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 as well as ever I have been; and I have attended meetings, spoken to the church, when unable to stand—compelled to sit in a chair on the platform, thanking the Lord I can speak at all. Lt125a-1898.10

Now I have written these particulars that you may understand why I cannot attend your conference. The work here I dare not leave. Could we have had the means that has been used up in different ways in America, we could have advanced the work, and have it placed where we could have responded to your call. But not now. The debts I am responsible for to do the work that has been done will, every one, be settled, in what way I know not, but God will help me. I am among those who do not know what my husband and I passed through to establish the work in years gone by; and it is very hard for them to feel that there is any successful outcome to move on by faith. Lt125a-1898.11

We have to press against any amount of real difficulties and walls built up of imaginary difficulties. So we have moved step by step. It is unbelief that we meet in our brethren—not those who have had an experience in the work, but men of intelligence, men of excellent ability, but headstrong—[who], when we make an attempt to advance, they build up thin walls, [saying], “It can’t be done.” I move right ahead, with them blocking the way at every advance. And now we commence this week a camp meeting at Newcastle. We plant the standard of truth in this new place. Lt125a-1898.12

We have waited for the way to open, [for] some means to come in that I but [they] have not. And now six months in debt to my workers, owing the Wessels in Africa one thousand pounds borrowed money which they have called for, then [a] thousand dollars borrowed money, we still advance. The Lord knows all about it. There are doctors and ministers that could do a much greater work if they had facilities; but, handicapped in every way possible, we are not making the advance, with the intelligent workers that we have, that we should make. The work could advance healthfully and solidly with the experienced men we now have, if we had something to work with. Lt125a-1898.13

There is not a place where the tent is pitched that we do not keep the workers in that place until there is a church is raised up. Then comes the difficulties. Where shall we meet after the tent is taken down? We do not know any other way but to arise and build. Then every nerve and muscle has to be taxed to its uttermost to plan and devise what shall be done; and we pray, and we weep, and we spend hours in the night season laying the matter before Him who alone can help us; and then we go ahead inch by inch, step by step, not seeing the end of the matter, but advancing. Lt125a-1898.14

But now I stop. You understand, I have no liberty to leave this country. Unbelief, “You can’t do it,” and “It is impossible,” have met us at every step; and still we advance. We see no way but [that] I must remain here until the work is placed on a solid foundation. Lt125a-1898.15