Lt 237, 1899

1899

Lt 237, 1899

Henry, S. M. I.

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

December 10, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Henry:

We are now amid an interest which covers a large territory. There are many, awakened by the camp meetings, who desires to understand the Sabbath question, and the large, rich farming district is now being worked by visiting—house-to-house labor. Doors are open to all who visit them, high and low, to hear what saith the Word. They are as eager as hungry children for a piece of bread. May the Lord give them to eat of that Bread which cometh down from heaven. Our workers are of excellent courage because every week one after another is deciding to obey the truth and keep the Sabbath. This is making the hearts joyful on earth and causing joy in the heavenly courts. Lt237-1899.1

The settlements are far apart and there is the farming district and the mining districts, the wealthy and the poor. All are treated alike and our people have been welcomed to every house where they have called. We shall seek to do all possible to get the light before them in their homes. Lt237-1899.2

The ministers are now doing more for their church members, visiting them and warning them not to entertain these people in their houses, that they are deceivers; and [that] the representations of the doctrines believed by Adventists are the strangest mixture of the most inconsistent, foolish, improbable things that could possibly be manufactured. But meeting the people and getting acquainted with them in their homes is doing away with this fear and terror that some are trying to inspire in those who have not been out to the camp meeting. One minister who preaches in the St. Mary’s church has issued a little pamphlet presenting the weakest arguments that we have ever seen in print, thus showing his deplorable ignorance. But these things will have influence over the minds that have never heard the reasons of our faith. Froth to them cannot be distinguished from the pure milk of the Word. Lt237-1899.3

There is the large tent standing in Maitland. Brother Colcord is speaking to the people and Brother Hickox is united with him, and he has his standing appointments out three and six miles from Maitland. He has as many as a private house can accommodate. One of the smaller tents will be pitched in a favorable locality. This interest must be carefully looked after. Brother Starr has been appointed to take charge of the work in Melbourne for one year. We have so many places that need the help of ministers and workers that we have to study how to give proper help to the many places that are now opened. It is while the people are eager to learn what is truth that a quick and earnest work must be done. There must be no delay. The seed must be sown at once, for many have lived at so great a distance from Maitland they could not get to the meetings. Lt237-1899.4

On one occasion twenty miners came above three miles to attend evening meetings, then urged that labors be given to these settlements at a distance. The men would be at home with their families in the evenings and they would be highly pleased to receive the workers and understand the Scriptures. And now these settlements at a distance of three and four and six miles are being worked. Lt237-1899.5

Regular meetings are appointed. Several of our ministers and workers visited these settlements and it is evidenced that there is a necessity of something more personal being done beside the ministry of the Word in large congregations. These visits to the miners and to the farmers well-situated on their own farms in comfortable cottages are a help. We can meet the people where they are, and talk with them and pray with them and we can show that we have an interest for their souls. Lt237-1899.6

This is the very kind of missionary work which ought to be done. Here is where humanity can, through God, touch humanity, and lay hold of divinity in behalf of humanity. This class needs the labor. The workers will find the intemperate and the tobacco devotee, and can present to them the necessity of surrendering their hearts to God, lifting up the Saviour higher and still higher. Every soul out of Christ needs the labor bestowed upon him that ministers and workers can give. Lessons to mothers are needed on how to teach their children and treat them as the younger members of the Lord’s family. These children are the Lord’s property. Parents must be converted and then they can lead their children to Christ. This is the work being done in these suburbs of Maitland. Lt237-1899.7

Elder Hickox has been out two or three evenings in the week. He hires horse and carriage, that his wife can accompany him, for her talent in singing is highly appreciated. These miners were not asked to help defray the expenses of horse and carriage, but they put their hands in their pockets and made their offering which more than covers the expense. I have now loaned Brother and Sister Hickox a horse. If they can get a buggy they are fitted out for their evangelistic work. Lt237-1899.8

There are very many settlements and this house-to-house labor will prove the very best kind of missionary work that can be done to open the Word of God to those families that are now, many of them, both ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God. Our sisters will, we think, have a horse and a carriage furnished them, for they walk miles and it is wearing upon them. They throw their whole souls into the work and are all having marked success. Brother Colcord works in Maitland, having meetings in the tent. Lt237-1899.9

It is strange what kind of reports are met by our workers in regard to the food Seventh-day Adventists eat. The most inconsistent falsehoods are circulated. But when the people placed before the brethren who visited them good bread and very nice honey, they demonstrated they could eat and enjoy the very same kind of food they themselves enjoyed. This partaking of the food was highly appreciated and scattered to the winds the falsehoods that hearsay had scattered. Lt237-1899.10

We see a large portion of the Lord’s vineyard to be worked. There will have to be many seasons of prayer, much patient, persevering labor, teaching them according to their understanding line upon line, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. They can only reach the people through God, and missionary success will be through the grace of God fully proportioned to the efforts that are put forth. Lt237-1899.11

What is the standard that in these places, at the present time, may regulate the expectations of success? Is it the rapidity with which the gospel was diffused after the ascension of Christ? Then the disciples went forth everywhere preaching a crucified, risen Saviour. The Lord would have every worker softened and subdued by the grace of Christ. The heart imbued with the Spirit of God is quick to make impressions upon the minds of those we want to help. None need to expect the highest results independent of their own earnest, self-denying zeal and persevering energy and most fervent prayers. All who believe the truth should possess a spirit of earnest intercession and wrestling with God for the victory. We must reveal that as laborers together with God we are intensely in earnest. Souls are perishing out of Christ. Reach them we must. [Read] Jude 17-25. Lt237-1899.12

Who can estimate the value of the human soul? The One who has paid in full the ransom price for that soul can answer this question. Who can estimate this great work? With what earnest soul hunger we have felt for Newcastle and Maitland, the latter place especially. We have apparently been set down in the woods of Cooranbong, where there was not a Sabbathkeeper within seventy miles, to establish our school, and it has seemed so strange. But now we see the fields are ripe for the sickle. We have had a precious camp meeting. We have now a vineyard to be worked and souls raised up within twenty-seven miles of Cooranbong. The prospect seems to be so encouraging. We can but praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice. Lt237-1899.13

The standard will be raised here in Maitland. The people are calling for the Word of the Lord in many places. What a privilege to tell the souls of that love which passeth knowledge and of that peace which passeth all understanding. If the people will only be willing to hear, we have reason to be rejoiced. We see the eager souls, longing to become intelligent in spiritual things. How we have longed to see missionary labor put forth in Maitland, a beautiful farming district! Everywhere we go we find people who are in need of help. Lt237-1899.14

I was just preparing to retire to my bed for rest when one of our new Sabbathkeepers, who was always designated as that sweet-faced old lady who always was seated in front of the speaker’s stand [came to me]. I dared not say no. I went into the room and conversed with her. She wished to speak with me in regard to a lad thirteen years old, a promising lad. His mother lived in the same house with the sweet-faced lady, who seemed to bear the likeness of Christ. She told me the story of the mother who had received the truth and was a very pleasant, intelligent lady about thirty-five years old. Lt237-1899.15

Her husband was a drunkard and did not support the mother or her child. He left her and she took in three boys to keep. They were poor children supported by the state. For feeding and clothing and supporting these children she received five shillings each per week—one dollar and a quarter each in American money. She works at her business—dressmaking—and thus she was supporting this family. Her husband came back. He said he had reformed. But temptations were great. She did all she could for him, but he went lower than ever, and she suffered such abuse from him that she could not live with him and obtained a divorce. Lt237-1899.16

Now she has been converted to the truth. She is very desirous her son shall attend the Avondale school, where he shall be educated for a missionary. Would I help this lad? I said yes, I would take him and pay his expenses through school. And then we will see if the mother cannot connect with the work in some way where we can help her and she can help us. Lt237-1899.17

This one case represents several cases in every place where we go. There are also sick ones to treat, and this is educating the mothers. We find abundance of missionary work to do in every place where the truth has been received. There are the poor that need help, the fatherless children to be cared for. We cannot possibly invest in buildings to accommodate them, but we help them to help themselves. We locate them on a piece of land. We help them to put up a humble little house and then see that they have work. We plow the ground for them and help them to raise their own food. Lt237-1899.18

This kind of work we are carrying forward all the time. We do not take them on to support them, but let them carry the burden of themselves as much as possible. We have taken care of the people far and near when sick. We make no charges. This has been the missionary work we have done since we have been in this country. Lt237-1899.19

The gospel and the medical missionary work cannot be separated. The branch does not bear the root, but the root bears the branch. Every branch that beareth not fruit He taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit He pruneth it that it may bring forth more fruit. Lt237-1899.20

We are so thankful that we find the people are not satisfied with the spiritual food which they receive. The Lord is moving upon minds and they are hungering and thirsting for a knowledge of the Scriptures. The Lord would have His workers go where there are people that are spiritually starving. The church in Battle Creek can arouse and must awake to their God-given responsibilities ere they sleep the sleep of death. In the parable of the unwise virgins they can see their future. Not all can be paid a salary as workers, but there are those who can dedicate a portion of their time for missionary work. For some, after the first step is taken the way opens more clearly as they advance. But they first need the holy kindling in their own hearts before they can have divine wisdom to prepare the way of the Lord. Why cannot more persons inquire, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” and then do it wholeheartedly? [Acts 9:6.] Lt237-1899.21

I arose this morning at one o’clock a.m. I cannot sleep after I once awake, because the burden of the work seems to be consuming me. And I cannot feel it is my duty to confine my labors, even as much as I have done, to our churches who know the truth and who ought to be earnestly putting out their talents and trading on their Lord’s goods, that they may by trading improve their talents. I am so very anxious that all who can work should work, and in doing the work of God in saving perishing souls, their light will increase in brightness and they cannot but shine. Lt237-1899.22

I am now about to say to you something that may seem a little strange to you. I have a request to make. Give your son, from me one of my best bound books which you, knowing him, may choose—the one that would do him the most good. If it is The Desire of Ages, give him that, or either of the other of my large books. You will please consider this my order, and tell them at the publishing house to charge to my account. Also, if you know persons whom you think will be benefited by having these books—those who read them and appreciate them—you can place a book in their hands. It may cut away their prejudice. This is the work I am doing in this country, and it has done a good work and brought some souls to see and understand our work. Lt237-1899.23

They tell me mail goes out today, December 19. Lt237-1899.24