Manuscript Releases, vol. 7 [Nos. 419-525]


MR No. 478—Pioneering in Australia with Ellen White

For a long time we have waited for the signs to be hung out to our view, that we might understand that we are living in the closing scenes of this earth's history. Little did I suppose that time would linger till I should be nearly seventy years old. The 26th of next November.... I shall be seventy years of age. I have had a wrestling life, and when we were holding meetings in private houses, when only a few believed the truth, I did not think that time would last, or that my life would be spared, long enough for me to visit Europe and Australia. 7MR 252.1

I have been engaged in missionary work in this new field for about six years. I did not come here from choice. I did not want to come; for I saw an abundance to do in America. But the Conference decided that I had better come, and the people here were very anxious that I should come; so I am here, to do the Lord's work in lifting the standard of truth in new localities. He has greatly blessed me in this work, and wherever I go, I have a message for the people. 7MR 252.2

We have begun to clear our land here in the woods. One year ago last August Mrs. May White, Ella and Mabel White, and myself kindled the first brush fire, beginning to clear the land. It was very interesting work for the children; they enjoyed it ever so much. Four tents were then pitched, and the men began the work of felling trees, and preparing the land for cultivation. A breaking up plough, drawn by sixteen oxen broke up the land. The land was simply ploughed. We could not then afford to do more than this.... 7MR 252.3

In this way we employed men who had worked at the cabinet maker's trade, carriage builders, and painters. They were in poverty and great need, and some had large families to provide for. We paid them not less than a dollar a day, and fed them. In this way we have worked to get a few acres cleared and planted in peaches, apricots, plums, pears, nectarines, apples, figs, oranges, and lemons. These trees were planted in the furrows the last of September and the first of October. The next April the entire orchard was ploughed again. By the next August, the trees were fragrant with blossoms. In November there was beautiful fruit on the peach and nectarine trees. These trees had been loaded with fruit, but most of it had been picked off when small. It was thought best for the trees to do this. With the blessing of God, by the coming November we shall have plenty of fruit. 7MR 253.1

Our school is located here. Their land was cleared and planted with trees at the same time that my orchard was planted. This coming season we expect that it will bear fruit for the school. Our people are settling in this place. Here students are to be educated in books, and are also to be taught how to do all kinds of manual labor. The Lord will help us in this work. This is the first term of school. There are sixty students in attendance. Thirty of these come from a distance, and live in the home. All the students are young men and young women of excellent capabilities. 7MR 253.2

We have located here on missionary soil, and we design to teach the people all round us how to cultivate the land. They are all poor because they have left their land uncultivated. We are experimenting, and showing them what can be done in fruit raising and gardening. 7MR 253.3

For the benefit of our school we knew that we must get away from the cities, where there are so many holidays, and where the interest taken in ball playing, horse racing, and games of every kind, amounts almost to a craze. In the woods we are just where we should be. Not that we expect to get away from Satan and from temptation, but we do hope to be able to teach the youth that there is something satisfying besides amusement. 7MR 254.1

Two plain, simple, substantial buildings have been erected for school purposes. The main building is not yet built. We are using a wing, which will answer until we can get means to advance on the main building. We will soon be compelled to build a chapel. We are so thankful that we have been able to make a beginning: and we earnestly desire to have this school such as the Lord shall approve. 7MR 254.2

The school commences at nine o'clock in the morning, and closes at one. Then comes the dinner hour, and then three hours of physical labor; for the mental and physical powers must be proportionately taxed. 7MR 254.3

We are favored with excellent teachers. Bro. and Sister Hughes have lately come from America. Bro. Hughes is Principal, and his wife is one of the teachers. Bro. Herbert Lacey and his wife are teachers in the school, and are doing good work. Bro. and Sr. Haskell fill very important places in our school in giving Bible lessons. Sr. Haskell is matron, and also teaches a Bible class. Bro. Haskell also teaches a Bible class. He has a whole treasure house of knowledge to give to the school. The Bible is made the foundation of all the education. Religious education is the foundation of all proper education. 7MR 254.4

Brother Haskell is a man of experience, and is respected and honored by all. His wife is a woman of rare ability as a manager. She takes hold most earnestly, not afraid to put her hand to any work. She does not say, “Go,” but she says, “Come, we will do this or that,” and they cheerfully do as she instructs them. We have had most precious instruction from the Word from both Bro. and Sr. Haskell. 7MR 255.1

All are pleased with the location, and with the plain, simple, healthful diet. No meat is used. Butter is too expensive to be purchased.... 7MR 255.2

We have an excellent cook for the school in Bro. Skinner. He prepares an excellent table. His wife is connected with the school. Bro. Skinner is also teaching the best methods of preparing food. Some feel the want of meat at first, but they soon acknowledge that their excellently prepared food is the best diet. 7MR 255.3

Oh, how anxious we are in behalf of the youth.—Letter 33, 1897, pp. 1-5. (To Gilbert Collins, June 9, 1897.) 7MR 255.4