Lt 177, 1899

1899

Lt 177, 1899

Haskell, Brother and Sister [S. N.]

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

November 2, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

This morning, November 2, at half-past five, we left Sunnyside for the Maitland camp. I have had a week of great exhaustion, and I was fearful my breath would go if I tried to sleep. November 1, I began to improve a little, and the following day I did not lose what I had gained, although it was as oppressive one. But when I tried to sleep, sleep would not come. I did not sleep past half past eleven o’clock. This morning we had everything packed ready to take to the station. Sara and I took Jasper and the phaeton, without the cover, and drove the twenty-seven miles to Maitland. We thought this the better plan. If I went by the cars I should have to drive three miles to Dora Creek, then walk up the long flight of stairs at the station. When we reached Maitland, we would have to procure a conveyance to take us to the campground, and returning all this would have to be repeated. Lt177-1899.1

When we started, the weather looked threatening, and a fine rain fell now and then. But we prepared ourselves for the weather, and went on. The first eight miles, to Mt. Vincent, was the worst part of the journey. The mountain road was very steep. Workmen are now at work cutting away part of the mountain, which seems to be one ledge of rocks. They are compelled to blast, and it will take months to make a road fit for traveling. As we neared the mountain ascent, Sara led Jasper, and I walked, which was not a very prudent thing for me to do. Lt177-1899.2

By stopping often to take breath, Jasper managed to drag the carriage up the mountain. The blasting was going on, and Sara would not advance with the horse. I held Jasper, and she ran ahead to see what prospect there was of passing. She found that by driving without delay we could get over the narrow pass before another blast. Well, we got safely over that danger. The rest of the way was up one hill and down another almost all the way to Maitland. Sara made me up a comfortable bed in the carriage, and I had thirty minutes’ sleep. This refreshed me. Lt177-1899.3

At noon we came to Maitland. As we neared East Maitland, the rain began to fall, but we did not get wet, except out outside wraps. We found rooms rented for our family. We have a good stable for the horse and a shed for the carriage. Brother Carswell and his wife, Sister Walker and Sister Wilson, have a rented house near us, and it is here that we find conveniences for our horse and carriage. Lt177-1899.4

The meetings commenced on Thursday evening. On Sabbath morning there was a small attendance, but a larger number came out in the afternoon, when I spoke from (John 14), “Let not your heart be troubled.” [Verse 1.] This passage I linked with (Acts 1), the commission of Christ to His disciples and the promise of the Holy Spirit, and the message of the angels to the waiting disciples. I spoke only a short time, but I tried to impress upon those assembled the necessity of their being educated to believe the Word of God, and to show their faith by their works. Practical godliness was the burden of my talk. Lt177-1899.5

Sunday afternoon the meeting was largely attended, the tent being full. I spoke from 1 John 3. After I had been talking a few minutes, the brethren saw that something must be done to find seats for those who were coming in. I was requested to wait a few minutes, while the young children passed from our tent to a large square tent erected for the children’s meetings. The vacancies made were quickly filled and still there was a wall of people standing on one side of the tent. I had great freedom in speaking. I had asked the Lord for strength, and He gave it to me. I felt no weariness. I spoke for one hour, and all heard. My voice was as clear as a bell. I never stood before a congregation of more intelligent men and women, or one which manifested better interest. On the Sabbath, because of the weakness of my heart, I could speak only very slowly, but now I felt reined up, and imbued with the Holy Spirit. I was carried above all my infirmities, and I know that an angel of God was at my side to strengthen me. This has encouraged me very much. Lt177-1899.6

On Sunday night I was troubled with a distressing nervousness, but Sara gave me treatment, and I rested all night. Lt177-1899.7

Last night Brother Daniells spoke on the nearness of the end of time. The tent was crowded to its utmost capacity, and a wall of people stood upon the outside. These first few days of our camp the weather has been very discouraging. On Friday it rained hard, and Sabbath was showery. In the evening we had some heavy thunder and lightning and some hard rain. But in spite of this, we have had good congregations and a success which we hardly expected. The meetings have been fully advertised, and there will be a good attendance. Dr. Caro is here. He spoke the evening after the Sabbath, but the attendance was small, owing to the downpour of rain. Lt177-1899.8

I feel very grateful to our heavenly Father for His goodness and mercy and love to the children of men in giving them a favorable opportunity to hear and understand the reasons of our faith. Having our school interest in Cooranbong, only twenty-seven miles from Maitland, and a church established in Newcastle, twenty-five miles away, we are very desirous that a company shall be raised up in this place. You know something about Maitland. I have great hope that souls will be convinced of the truth, and will have moral courage to take their position. In some respects this place is more favorable to an acceptance of the truth than Newcastle. Lt177-1899.9

In Newcastle the men worked in the coal mines were convinced of the truth, but they dared not obey, lest their families should starve. Their employers would not give work to a miner who kept the seventh day. You know all about this. But here there are wealthy land owners who could keep the Sabbath. The Lord will work in this district, and we shall have our outposts strengthened. We hope the work in this place will be self-sustaining. Some young men from this district have attended the school at Cooranbong. The biscuit manufacturer, Mr. Arnott, has sent his son to the school. We have great hopes that the truth will get a hold on this place, and a church be established. We believe that the Lord will be our helper and our God, and will work through the agencies raised up in this place to sustain the work which should be done. Lt177-1899.10

We are thinking of holding a meeting next camp meeting season at Singleton, a town of some importance on the line to Queensland, not a great distance from this place. Our canvassers have already been there. Brother Goodheart, and Brother and Sister James, who were appointed to work in Singleton, report that quite a number are deeply interested in the truth. My heart rejoices to see people who will hear the truth. We must pray, depending on the Holy Spirit to make the impression. I hope to see a good work done in the right way. May the Lord help us to do the part appointed us. When we ask sincerely, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” [Acts 9:6] let us deal honestly with our own souls, and with Him who has bought us with a price. Let us not move without God. We need the spirit of prayer and supplication, that our souls may be fitted for the work. Lt177-1899.11

“I beseech you,” says the great apostle, “by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” [Romans 12:1.] This, Elder Haskell, we must teach the inexperienced ones to do. I fear that there are many in America who have things to unlearn and learn again more correctly. The idle tales which are gotten up might better be cut away from the teachers, for they will do only harm. Lt177-1899.12

I was broken off in this letter to go up to Brother Starr’s house. Brother and Sister Starr, Mother Sisley, Sister Boyd and her daughter, the workers who labored in the Hamilton mission, and the hired girl, compose the family. Brother Hilliard and his wife and child, and Sister Young from Pitcairn Island, are also living in the same house. It was feared that the smell from the gasometer, which is quite near, would affect my heart. But I have a large room, which is well-ventilated. I am pleased with its largeness. There are boxes and trunks and baskets and bundles in one end. This is the room where things are stored, but it makes a very nice place to accommodate me. Lt177-1899.13

The people are highly pleased with the meetings. All feel that the impression made is excellent. They say that everywhere these meetings are talked of with great surprise. The Bible is preached, and yet they hear of things which they never thought were in the Bible. While in the meetings the people listen as if spellbound. We feel to say, “Praise the Lord, O my soul; and forget not all his benefits.” [Psalm 103:2.] Oh, I am thankful for this! We did want a good impression made, and the Lord has made this for us. Lt177-1899.14

You will not get much from me this mail, Brother Haskell, for I am weary, and dare not write much. I hope, my brother and sister, that you will be strengthened for the work. Allow nothing to come in to depress you. Carry with you that which it is your privilege to have, a holy boldness. Whatever may be the attitude of others, let it be seen that you know whereof you speak. Lt177-1899.15

This morning I had a long talk with Brother John Wessels in reference to his family coming to Australia. The brothers wish to connect with John. The mother speaks of Andrew going to London to study and again she talks of his coming to Australia, and she will accompany him. Francis will come, I am sure, if a way is made for him. The brothers propose uniting together to create a fund which they will invest in the cause of God at a low rate of interest. I believe that if the Wessels family will leave Cape Town and come to Australia, they will each find something to do. The best thing that can be done for them is to place them amid better surroundings. Lt177-1899.16

Again and again the question is asked before the Lord, “What measures can be adopted for the improvement of this class of people? How may their services be secured to the church?” I know of no better field for this family than Australia. If we do not invite them to come here, they will go where they can be together, not in any one line of work, but where they can be within reach of one another. I have written to Sister Wessels to have Andrew come to Australia, and have asked her to accompany him. In this way John thinks their money will be bound up in the cause of God. I am writing to them to be sure and come, for I feel quite clear on this point. I understand that Dr. Kellogg has been trying to have them go to America. I will do my best to have them settle in Australia. John is seeking to get them where he can have an influence over them for good. But he does not have any too great a desire in this line. Lt177-1899.17

There is too much stirring about for me to write. I have a good hope in the Lord, and I mean to keep close to my Saviour. I will close this for now. I will be pleased to have Edson and Brother Irwin know what I have written to you, for I fear I shall not be able to get off more letters. Love to you both. I desire much to see you. Lt177-1899.18