Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Ms 2, 1892


George’s Terrace, Australia

December 13, 1892

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 346.

We left Adelaide November 28th for Ballarat. We had a very pleasant journey. May and I had a sleeping compartment. Elder Daniells was in a second-class compartment. We arrived in Ballarat the next morning about six o’clock. Brother James was waiting for us with horse and phaeton, and we rode one mile out of town to his home. His house is surrounded with fruit trees and also a variety of beautiful flowers in the front garden. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 1

We were made welcome. We had a comfortable home. We had been invited to this place several times, and they were very much disappointed when my illness came upon me and held me so long that I could not visit them. They were overjoyed that I was with them and to remain two weeks. Sister James and I drove out when the weather would permit; but we had several rainy days while there and such days I was obliged to remain inside. My rheumatic pains forewarn me of every cold change in the weather. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 2

Wednesday I drove out to visit Bro. Innis, who was sick. Tuesday night he was attending a prayer meeting at the close of which he was asked to pray, and was immediately taken with bleeding at the lungs. He was taken home, and was lying in a very critical state; this was the third attack. The physician who attended him thought that he would get better, but it was a question of time. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 3

I prayed with him, and it seemed to comfort him. His mother was deeply concerned for him, and this attack came so unexpectedly. He had recently returned from a visit to Melbourne, and had said that he wished to attend me in driving out and would take me wherever I desired to go. But here he lay, unable to speak a loud word, weak and helpless. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 4

I passed into the next room where his sister was in bed, and had been there for several months, an invalid. I visited and then prayed with her. This is indeed an afflicted family. The mother of the two invalids has her hands full, and she looks careworn. She needs our sympathies and our prayers. There is a large family of sister and nieces, and they are all keeping the Sabbath and are steadfast in the truth. They are the strength of the church. Of them it can be truly said, “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] The Misses Pearces, sisters of Mrs. Innis, have a millinery establishment, and are of good repute by believers and unbelievers. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 5

I made one more visit and returned to my temporary home. I had writing pressing upon me, and I wrote rapidly. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 6

Friday Elder Daniells and Willie came from Melbourne. I had not seen Willie for two and a half months. I was glad to meet him but he was not well. I was solicited to talk a short time to the neighbors, which I did, and I had much freedom and was blessed of the Lord. But when speaking even to the few, the value of the soul urges itself upon me so that I cannot but feel an intense interest as I think of the judgment. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works ... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:12, 15.] 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 7

I opened the meeting with prayer, and at the request of brother James closed it with prayer. This was as great a tax upon me as standing before thousands. This meeting was followed by a social meeting and many excellent testimonies were borne. I was very weary and returned to my temporary home and was glad to rest but I did not rest well during the night. But I am not sorry that I spoke to the few for the Lord gave me tongue and utterance. It may be seed was sown which will spring up and bear fruit after a time. All expressed themselves as being much pleased with the meeting. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 8

Sabbath, December 3

Although I did not have good sleep during the night, my peace was like a river. The love of Jesus grows in my heart; I do love Him and my heart flows out in grateful thanksgiving. The preciousness of divine truth presents itself with such clearness and force to my mind that I long to express it to all that I can reach to comfort and encourage them with the consolation wherewith I myself also am comforted. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 9

I feel not the slightest depression of spirits. Pleasant views and ideas present themselves to me like precious views of gold, and my heart is all aglow. I feel an ardor of soul that seems longing to express itself. In reading the Scriptures light seems to shine upon every letter. Sentences seem so fresh and new and important, and my heart is in complete harmony with the whole. I am thankful every moment, even when awake at night and unable to sleep. I know in my daily experience that the Holy Spirit is present as I read His Word, planting the truth in the heart, that it may be expressed in the life and character to others. The Spirit of God takes the truth from the sacred page where He Himself hath placed it and stamps it on the soul. What holy joy, what hope and consolation can be ours to impart to others. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 10

I attended the afternoon meeting, and there were more people present to hear the Word than I expected. I spoke from John 14:15-24. The Lord gave me words to speak to the people, to present before them the precious assurances that Christ has given to all those who know and do His commandments. Jesus asks an evidence of their love for Him. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [Verse 15.] If it was not possible for us to keep His commandments, why does He speak words to us of this kind? 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 11

Now the following verse opens to us a treasure of knowledge: “And I will pray the Father and (although I be absent from you) he will give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” [Verses 16-18.] Is not this promise sure? 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 12

Can any words from the lips of God’s only begotten Son make it more decided and positive? How plainly is the matter expressed. He did come to the disciples after His humiliation and His death. “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:16-20.] 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 13

“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also ... [Because] he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” [John 14:19, 21.] Here is plainly stated, “he that hath my commandments,” that is, have had them presented before them in regard to the perpetuity of the law of God; [and] having the light [and] obeying his commandments, they evidence that they love Jesus. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 14

Sunday afternoon (December 4) I addressed a large audience in a larger and more expensive hall than we held the Sabbath meeting in. The Lord gave me much of His Holy Spirit, and those not of our faith seemed to be fed with the pure provender. My text was 1 John 3. Some not of our faith seemed so pleased that they responded heartily. I knew the Lord strengthened me to do my duty in the love and fear of God, and the congregation seemed to enjoy the meeting. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 15

Monday, December 5, Sister James drove me to Brother Hoskins’s home to see his mother who [is] eighty-nine years of age. She is somewhat deaf but has her faculties quite well. They were pleased to see us. The aged sister could scarcely believe that I came to see her. We had a praying season. As I took the elderly sister’s hand she expressed herself greatly blessed, and the presence of Jesus seemed very near. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 16

We rode to the botanical gardens, and I ventured to walk around a little more than usual and, as [a] result, became very weary and was glad to get seated in the carriage again to return home. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 17

December 6th. I am thankful to the Lord for the good sleep of last night. Today Willie, May, and Emily visited the Star of the East mine and went down into the bowels of the earth. It is only about a half a mile from Brother James’s house. Willie left us today to return to Melbourne. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 18

Sister Parkensen visited me, and we conversed about two hours. She felt gratified to relate her experience in coming into the truth, which was very interesting, but I longed to get to my writing. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 19

December 7

I did not rest well during the night; it is scarcely light, but I arise and will soon be able to write. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 20

This morning I observed a clearly defined rainbow in the west, and at the breakfast table I remarked that we would have a storm. The storm came with thunder and lightening and smart showers of rain at intervals. I desired to ride out, but the changeful weather forbids me to venture out. At one time it looks fair and then we have a shower. We heard heavier thunder and saw sharper lightening than at any time since we have been in Australia. Thus it continued all day. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 21

December 8

I arose before five o’clock and after a season of prayer begun my writing. I am again urged to go [to] the gardens, but as my visit there was very taxing, I decline to go. I can walk but little, and I am educating myself to walk so that I will not stumble nor fall. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 22

December 10

I feel much exhausted and suffer much from rheumatism. We are having a very fine day, yet I am languid. I rode to the hall with Sister James. Elder Daniells came last night. We had another meeting last night, and the room was filled. I spoke with as much freedom and interest as if speaking before thousands. I spoke upon the necessity of obedience to all of God’s commandments. All listened attentively, most of whom were unbelievers. May the Lord water the seed sown. Sabbath morning I was not as well as usual. I rode one mile to the hall and felt refreshed. There were a goodly number in the hall and I was not long there before I realized the foulness of the air and thought I was going to faint. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 23

I called May, and she helped me into an adjoining room and there I wet my head and face freely and felt somewhat revived; but I kept close to the table as I was very weak. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 24

The Lord gave me words for the people. I felt much freedom in speaking. Although I had better ventilation, I suffered with weakness of the heart. My heart was very tender as I saw in the congregation Brother Innis who had, about a week before, hemorrhage of the lungs. And although his face was white and colorless, it was a light and happy face, for he thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and was greatly comforted. My text was in 1 Peter 1. His sister, who had been on a bed of affliction [for] seven months, was also present, and the aged aunt who is eighty-nine. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 25

I was so glad of an opportunity to comfort these feeble ones and to feed them with rich morsels of food from the living Oracles of God. And they were greatly strengthened and blessed, although when the hymn was sung after the opening prayer, I could scarcely stand straight because of physical weakness, but I soon forgot myself and my infirmities in the intense interest I felt in feeding these poor hungry souls who seldom have any preaching. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 26

Oh, how the love of God seemed to be bestowed in such large measure to His chosen ones. How I longed to see some not of our faith, who were present and enjoying the meeting, walk in the light of truth which was shining upon their pathway. I made special remarks upon the 10th and 11th verses showing the importance of the Old Testament Scriptures. The previous Sunday Dr. Porter asserted that the Old Testament Scriptures were done away with the law of God. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 27

December 11

It stormed all night. It is very windy and cloudy and the rain pours down. I said at the breakfast table, I cannot see as it is safe for me to go out in this storm. The answer came quickly from Brother James, “Why you have an appointment and the hand-bills are scattered everywhere. We must wrap you up. I am sorry that we haven’t an enclosed carriage, nevertheless you must go. We cannot think of such a thing as disappointing the people. I have no idea it will clear today. I think we are in for a week of such weather.” Not a very flattering prospect for me, but the Lord favored us and at 9 a.m. the clouds had rolled away, and the rain ceased; and I was able at three o’clock, to ride to the meeting. I had the opportunity of speaking to a large company of the best people of Ballarat. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 28

As I took my glasses from my pocket to put them on, one of the gold arms was broken. But although it was impossible to read without my glasses, I took my text from (John 3:16): “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I had perfect freedom, and those not of our faith listened with intense interest. The Lord strengthened me with His Holy Spirit [so] that I could speak in clearness and power to the people. I praise His holy name. Many hearts were touched; tears were in the eyes of many. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 29

As I ceased speaking, Brother Hoskins started the doxology, and the whole congregation arose and with clear voice sang the praise of God. O, how musical were these words! It was indeed the expression of the heart poured forth in thanksgiving to God. I never listened to words of song more fitted to the occasion and that came forth from human lips with more earnestness and power. I know that many saw the light of truth as they had never seen it before. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 30

An aged Christian grasped my hand and he said, “I thank you for speaking the words you have today. The beauty and value was in its simplicity. Why, we could understand every word. The Lord has spoken to His people today; the crib was put low so the sheep of the Lord’s pasture could feed and be strengthened and blessed, and the words you have spoken have softened my heart and the love of God burns in my soul. O, I shall never, never forget this feast to my soul. Why a child could understand every word. I never expected to have such a privilege.” I was very weary, but I returned to my home at brother James’ with my heart filled with gratitude that I had the privilege to present the truth in clear lines, and the sheep and lambs were fed. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 31

And now the packing up must be done, for we arise at four o’clock in the morning to get our breakfast and to get to the depot. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 32

I did not sleep after a quarter before three o’clock, and did not dare to sleep then, knowing that not one in the house could be trusted to get up in time but me. It is very cloudy and windy and threatens to rain. The packing is completed. We have taken an early breakfast, and the teams are ready to start for the depot. The weather is very cold. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 33

We got off all right and to the depot in season; and on the cars we were well situated, May and I in first class, Elder Daniells and Emily in second class, about as good as the first. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 34

At half-past eight a.m. we are at Melbourne. Bro. Wilson is ready with his horse and my phaeton at the depot, and we ride four miles and a half to St. Kilda, George’s Terrace, and are welcomed heartily. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 35

We were pleased to see our friends again in the school building which is to be our home for six weeks. After the conference we leave for New Zealand. We were rejoiced to learn that everything in regard to the school had moved off pleasantly, and the school was a success. 7LtMs, Ms 2, 1892, par. 36