Lt 47, 1899

1899

Lt 47, 1899

Wessels, Philip W.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

March, 1899

This letter is published in entirety in 17MR 133-139. +Note

Dear Brother:

I received your letter and feel very thankful that you have again taken your position under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. May the Lord instruct you at every step. You will be tempted, you will be tried; but walk softly before God. Put your entire trust in the Lord. Serve Him with heart and soul, and believe that He pardons your transgressions and forgives your sins. He says in His Word, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] The Lord is soon to come in the clouds of heaven. Then the trials and tribulations of this life will be over. Lt47-1899.1

You speak of being in financial difficulties. I know and our workers know what this means. We have received nothing this year from our publishing houses to meet our outgoing expenses. We are waiting patiently as best we can. The laborers working on the school building need their money, but they cannot have it, for there is no means in the treasury. But they have borne this bravely. Lt47-1899.2

The providence of God has gone before us to open up new fields, and we must follow where Christ leads the way. The work in Brisbane, Queensland, has shown the distinct guidance of the Lord. An excellent spirit was manifested throughout the camp meeting there, and at its close the work was followed up mainly by Brother and Sister Haskell, Brother and Sister Wilson, and Brother Pallant. Brother Wilson is now asleep in Jesus. Brother Pallant has had to leave Queensland because of his health. For a long time he has been sick, but was unwilling to give up his work. He has been taking treatment at the sanitarium in Summer Hill, laboring at the same time in Sydney. I felt distressed over the situation in Queensland. The tent has been leaking like a sieve, but the interest has not decreased. It seemed necessary to build a chapel, but the finances were so low that it looked like an impossibility. Lt47-1899.3

Meanwhile a camp meeting was held in Newcastle. We had feared we should have a small meeting, during the holidays, but it proved to be just the time. The tent was crowded night and day. I spoke four times each week, and had large congregations. The Lord has hitherto helped us. The health addresses have called out large congregations. Thirty-five have taken their stand for the truth, and they seem to be trustworthy. The net is still cast in the sea for more. I heard last night that forty were keeping the Sabbath in Newcastle, and among these there are many remarkable cases. They were taken right out of the world, men who were smokers and beer drinkers, and who have never made any profession of religion. They are soundly converted. They give up their tobacco and their beer, and are full of hope and joy and courage in the Lord. This class never attended meetings anywhere before they kept the Sabbath. Lt47-1899.4

Sunday school teachers and men in positions of trust have accepted the truth as a result of the camp meeting. One man has been baptized who has been a signalman on the railway for twenty years, and always gave perfect satisfaction. He has a family of eight boys and one girl. This brother has lost his position, but others who have accepted the truth have been allowed to retain their situations and keep the Sabbath. Many interesting cases have come to our notice, and still the work goes forward. Lt47-1899.5

A cooking class is held in Newcastle by our people, and women come thirty and forty miles to attend this class. A branch sanitarium has been started in Newcastle. This work has just commenced, but it is doing well. Lt47-1899.6

A health club has been formed of two hundred citizens. These are all classes of people, from all denominations, and they meet together once a week. Lt47-1899.7

The truth has gained a signal victory in Newcastle, and doors are opening for us to do aggressive work. The lack of means is our only drawback. A church building must now be erected in Newcastle. There is an old stone church in Wallsend, a suburb of Newcastle, which can be purchased for sixty pounds. It is in a good location. A larger church was built, and this old one was left to be the sport of larrikins. The floor has been pulled up and window panes broken. A new roof must be put on and new seats made. Then it would make a good meetinghouse. As two churches will have to be built in Newcastle, we shall purchase this one if we can. It will accommodate two hundred people. If I had means, I would get it at once. Lt47-1899.8

We expect that the Lord will work in our behalf. We came to the point not long ago where I made a most earnest appeal to our brethren in America to send us money. A few days ago some money was sent me from California, the price of some property I had sold. We saw the great necessity in Brisbane, and I donated £100 of this money to help in the building of a church there. At the same time I loaned £100 to the sanitarium in Sydney, which was in great need. In the mail before last, £100 came to me as a loan from Elder Loughborough, to help in the building of a hospital in Cooranbong. This was sent to the Echo office, but as they had been obliged to purchase a new press, because of the increase of work, and to add to their building, to provide rooms in which to work, they could not honor my draft. I must wait until they can do this. Lt47-1899.9

March 17, 1899

Newcastle, New South Wales

Sister Sara McEnterfer accompanied me to Newcastle on this morning’s train. I am writing in the mission home, where Brother and Sister Starr live. Both are doing their best to advance the cause of truth. The interest continues to be good, and we have faith that a large number will take their stand for the truth. Twelve or fifteen will be baptized next Sunday. How far this interest extends we know not. But the citizens who are not believers say that the whole community is stirred. Lt47-1899.10

Newcastle spreads over a large extent of land, and meetings are being held in different localities. Several are giving Bible readings. The meetings held by Dr. Caro call out a full tent, and he talks most decidedly on health reform principles. Lt47-1899.11

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, March 20, 1899 Lt47-1899.12

Home again. I bore my testimony on Sunday to a goodly congregation. On Sabbath there sat in the meeting with his wife and family a man who two weeks before had cursed his wife because she decided to be baptized. Afterwards he told Brother Starr that he was ashamed of himself. We think that he will obey the truth, and himself be baptized. We hope the Lord will open the way for him. Lt47-1899.13

Lay hold by faith, my brother. The Lord wants you to trust in Him who gave His life for you. Hold fast the faith unto the end. Your wife has now the reward of her faith. May the Lord bless the dear soul. I would be much pleased to have you make us a visit and see what we are doing. Brother Haskell writes that the meetinghouse in Brisbane will be dedicated next Sabbath and Sunday. O what a blessing it is that they have a meetinghouse. The tent they were using leaked badly. Lt47-1899.14

There is a much larger work to do in Newcastle. Brother Lord has moved with his family to Cooranbong. He has a large family of eight boys, and has had to borrow money to come to this place. We are now sending them food. When they arrived we took them to our home and found sleeping room for them. They breakfasted with us, and then we moved their goods to their place, six miles from the station. They are now adrift for the truth’s sake. His married son, with his wife and child, are living in a tent on the Avondale Estate. He is earning six shillings a day. Brother Lord’s only daughter is married, and she and her husband are now living in a small tent in a field near the school. They have given him work. So you see there are those who are suffering for the truth’s sake. Lt47-1899.15

The father sacrificed a good salary for the truth’s sake, and now his entire family—himself, his wife, seven sons, his married son and his wife, and his daughter and her husband, are living in tents. These fourteen souls are homeless and dependent for bread to eat for what their hands can earn. Lt47-1899.16

Brother Lord is a converted man, and as firm as a rock to principle. He asked his employer for a recognition of his twenty years of service. Had he made one mistake? Had he been unfaithful in the least? They readily said that he had not. Then why not allow him a pension, as they had others who had served no longer? They refused him this, but said that if he would work on the Sabbath, he should have his place and three pounds seventeen shillings a week. But if he left them, he must expect nothing. Lt47-1899.17

Both father and mother are brave and courageous. God help them, is our prayer. We shall not let them suffer for food. We shall try to find them work, but at the present time we have no money to pay the workers on the school building. We are in need of the money that has been pledged but has not been paid. Lt47-1899.18

You see, my brother, we know how to sympathize with you. We pray the Lord to help you out of your difficulties. The truth of God will triumph. The mail has just been received, and there was a letter from Brother Haskell. He writes to Brother Starr, “We have received the £1 you sent, and thank you for the offer of another £1 from Nellie.” I cannot give you particulars to show you how much we are in need, without making my letter too lengthy. But we have had several very remarkable answers to prayer in this line. I think fully one third of the donations received in Brisbane have been from those not of our faith. One man with whom we had a little talk, and who was very friendly and came to the meetings quite often, called on us one night and although we had not asked him for a penny, said he would like to contribute to our building fund. He gave me two five pound notes. Another man who is an infidel gave us two guineas, and so it has been.” Lt47-1899.19

The coal mines must have the truth brought to them. The suburbs must be worked. A hospital must be built in Cooranbong. Dr. Kellogg assures me that he will raise $1,000 for this. We shall get believers and unbelievers to donate labor to clear the one acre of land on which the house is to be built. One man has promised to give the logs for building. We are suffering for this building for our sick. One man was taken sick. When the doctor came, he did not put his hand upon him, left a little medicine, and charged two guineas. It is just terrible. The doctors do scarcely anything for the sick. Dr. Rand came and found that the man had had no action of the bladder for days and no movement of the bowels for more than a week. The doctor from Newcastle had asked nothing about his condition. Lt47-1899.20

Application has just come for a sick girl to be taken into our hospital, but we have only selected the place for the building. God will help us. The building we shall erect will be a sanitarium and hospital combined, and it will be erected on the best site on the Avondale school ground. We must all walk out by faith, and humbly trust and wait and watch and pray. Let us humble our hearts before the Lord and walk softly before Him, for we need the wisdom that God alone can give. If we are tried, let us not be impatient. We shall put our trust in the Lord, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. Lt47-1899.21

In much love. Lt47-1899