Lt 248, 1899

1899

Lt 248, 1899

Davis, Marian

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

October 20, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Marian:

I write you a few lines this morning. I would have been pleased to hear from you in regard to the work in your hands. How are you progressing? I have not been as strong as usual since I left home. In the cars I was weak. Sara was all worried out before we came. She was carsick all the way and has not been her usual self since being here, but she is some better, and I think, will not realize her journey [as] hard as when coming up. Our sleeper was at the end of the cars, and there was a continual banging underneath the cars, jostling and shaking us about. When in the sleeper, she had a severe headache and seasick sensation, and so did I. I have not been as well as usual, but now I am feeling more natural. Lt248-1899.1

I have spoken four times. Yesterday Elder Daniells, Sister Graham, Sara, and I rode out for the first time to see the place. It is a very pretty place, and we enjoyed viewing it from the high hills. The earth is red and when it rains it sticks, they say, like putty. There are abundant flowers everywhere. They have showers quite frequently, but I am thankful that we have had none since we have been here. Lt248-1899.2

The outside attendance is not much. We cannot explain this, but so it is. Everything has been done that could be done to secure a congregation, but the people seem to care for none of these things. They have sold more Echoes than in any place yet, but it ends there. This is a strong Catholic center. We are told they have several churches and a large convent in this place. I expect, as others have said, that the Protestant element is working among families, telling them not to come out and not to hear us. But the tent will be pitched in the very midst of the population and Brother Herbert Lacey and workers connected with him will do their best. It is one of those places where the inhabitants seem spiritually paralyzed. All that has been done with any success is visiting from home to home and laboring with families. I have found a place for all our German literature. Germans are scattered in the country—farmers, honest, nice, whole-souled people—and these are being helped, and a few outsiders are interested. Lt248-1899.3

There was one night this week when I felt a great agony of soul. I prayed most earnestly, for I could not sleep. The burden seemed tremendous upon me. I walked the room, and at midnight was up crying unto God. I seemed crushed under the burden, as a cart beneath sheaves; but the burden was laid upon the Burden-bearer and since that time I have had peace and rest. Lt248-1899.4

The Lord has His own way of doing His work and He does not always work in the same way. I know a message was given me for Brethren Starr and Pallant that the people could only be reached in some places in the country by vigilant, persevering, house-to-house effort. I but just this morning called this to mind, and this plan is to be carried out by the workers here. I wish I could visit Brisbane and speak to them, but I fear it will be too much for me. Lt248-1899.5

I shall expect you to attend the meeting at Maitland if you desire so to do. I want to say, Marian, that if you would surround your soul with the sweet atmosphere of the Holy Spirit’s creating, you would be a much happier woman, but you do not take yourself in hand. Your own spirit rules you like a tyrant. Now, it is no kind of use to let this be so. You are under bonds to God as His follower, to follow the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. Lt248-1899.6

We are handling sacred things and not one must give loose rein to the natural traits of character that are constantly striving for the supremacy. Self must be under the control of the Holy Spirit, else it becomes, in the place of being transformed, a deformed agency to spoil the Christian experience. You cannot be a happy child of God unless you comply daily with the invitation of Jesus Christ, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] This is the lesson we need all to learn daily, quietude in Jesus Christ. All the attributes of Christ are peace and hope and joy. Lt248-1899.7

You have let jealousy find a place in your heart. Now empty the soul temple of this disagreeable guest. The Lord Jesus and jealousy cannot occupy the same room. The Lord calls upon you to consider. The advantages you have had for so many years in connection with a work that bears the divine signature should have a sanctifying, reformative power upon your soul, and you should testify to the grace of God given you as one cooperating with the Holy Spirit to make that work just that which the Lord would be pleased to have it. But when you bring unsubdued self into the work and let y our own strong spirit be revealed in your words and demeanor, then you place all connected with me in an uncertainty and temptations come. What manner of spirit is working you? What does it all mean? Can the Lord be working with Sister Davis? No one need to have anything toward you but respect and love. You have had years of experience and of knowledge and should be in character and deportment a mild, devoted, whole-souled Christian. If your connection with the work does not make you thus, then that work wears and tears and wearies the physical and mental powers, and it is time a change was made. Lt248-1899.8

Now, Marian, I do not want to place any other work in your hands, because I do not want to wear out the last particle of physical, mental, and moral strength that you have. I am deeply burdened to know just what to do. Would it please you to go to America and see this book of the parables through the press? I understand just now that Brother and Sister Reekie are going in a few months. If you would be pleased to go, then I will make arrangements for you to see through several books which will follow, and you can do a good work in this business at that end of the line as my employed worker to do this. If this is considered, the change may be beneficial to you. A change you must have and that very soon. As much as I want your cooperation and work in getting out books, I am where I dare not, in your present condition, put work into your hands, for it would bring upon me a great, very great responsibility that I was doing you an injury that would make me responsible for the result. Lt248-1899.9

I have not mentioned this to any one of our household, but I have thought of this as the best thing that could be done. You may consider it. I cannot prevail upon you to go anywhere rather than right where you are. And when I see that same intensity put into the raising of a few flowers that you have put into the work, I know that it is not the help you should have. You do not work for mere exercise, but with the same zeal and intensity as if the flowers that last only a day were souls capable of obtaining immortality. I know the hope in that line is cut away from me. Everything is swallowed up this way. If we can devise any course to benefit you that will improve physical, mental, and moral strength, then I will gladly accede to anything. But it must not be that you have no change. I am constantly burdened. I see your work in the flowers or on the grounds does not improve your physical or your spiritual development, and something must be done. Lt248-1899.10

I am nearing the close of my earthly life, and I must have quietude and peace and rest to prepare more important works which the people need. But my mind is so troubled to see you not growing in grace and meekness and quietude of mind because you rest in the Lord and enjoy His love, that I dare not say, “Here, Marian, is a book I will put in your hands to arrange.” If you would only make a change and have entire rest in some place where the work and wear will not be felt by you, then you might, after one year’s rest, be able to take hold again. It is worth the effort anyhow and may work out the sum that puzzles me so. If you have any plans to suggest that will please you and that are reasonable, make it known to me freely. Lt248-1899.11

You have now the matter laid out before you, and I want you to consider. It is high time you were, through the grace of Christ, sweetening up and having peace and rest of soul. You seem to have a spirit of combativeness and intensity to carry out your own wishes and your own plans without weighing the effect upon others and seeking to accommodate yourself to the convenience of those connected with me in the work. All who handle the work of God that I place in their hands must work harmoniously, else the enemy will obtain victories to hinder in the place of advancing the work. There is a great help in Christian association if all are seeking to be controlled by the will of God. Lt248-1899.12

All have their own peculiar trials and temptations, which as faithful followers of Christ they can overcome in His strength. But if they place themselves in positions where they feel no sacred responsibility to be a help and a blessing according to the light, knowledge, and experience of many years, to be an advantage to the souls of others who have not had the opportunity and experience they have had; if they show no advance in spiritual growth, but act like unsubdued children, they dishonor Christ, and show that His Spirit is not entertained and Christ is not abiding in the soul. Lt248-1899.13

You should be where you could help all that are connected with my work. You can never help them by making a charge upon them. God calls upon you to change decidedly, and as you have been severely taxed in preparing the work Desire of Ages, we would plan for you to let go of all this kind of work in preparation of books. I shall feel this laying down of the work more than any other one can possibly feel it. I could wish that your physical, mental, and moral strength would carry you through as long as I live to arrange the matters I shall prepare. But as I see you have lost your grip upon the divine power, I am frightened for you and for myself. When I see you positively without self-control, I cannot trust my work in your hands. The converting, transforming power of the great Healer is so much needed, but will never come upon you while you let your strong will press you forward in any direction that it shall happen to carry. Do you have your eye fixed upon Jesus? Do you by beholding Him become changed day by day into His image, which reveals a grace not earth-born, aiming to promote the happiness of all with whom you are acting a part in the work? Lt248-1899.14

Sister Peck is my associate in the work. You are my associate in the work. She and you united, her healthy strength mixed with yours, would make, I thought, a complete whole. But your own self stood where this could not be done, which God would have had done, and the feelings that you have had of jealousy and evil surmisings have made you miserably unhappy, and repelled her so that you could not associate together in the work. You will reason no reference to this matter, but it is the truth, and therefore I am situated where I am in perplexity what to do. At Petoskey the light was given me that she should become united with me in my work. I had need of her; but others told me that she would not come with me to Australia. Had she consented to come, Fannie would never have crossed the broad waters. I should have pressed the matter home upon her myself, and I should have gained the victory. Then when you could not do a tithe of the work to be done, and should have hailed a fresh, healthy hand and mind to aid in the work, you have not felt pleased, and have been feeling jealous and full of evil surmisings. Christ cannot abide in your heart until self dies and Christ fills the soul. Lt248-1899.15

I beg of you to no longer halt between two opinions. If the Lord be God serve Him, and die to self. Let Christ into your heart, and He can heal your poor, sick mind and body. But I now leave this matter with you. Lt248-1899.16

In much love. Lt248-1899

I have no copy of this. No one has seen it. Lt248-1899.17