Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 20, 1875

White, W. C.; White, Mary

On the cars from Eagle Lake to Wyoming, Minnesota

June 27, 1875

Compare with Lt 21, 1875. Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 232-233.

Dear Children, Willie and Mary:

It has been some time since I have written you. I have been thoroughly exhausted after speaking to the people. I could do no more. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 1

The weather has been exceedingly debilitating, and after attending several camp meetings, [I find] the food is not of that kind to encourage appetite or to strengthen me for labor. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 2

Last Thursday I labored very hard. I stood upon my feet nearly four hours in persuading the unconverted to take a decided stand for Jesus. Two hundred came forward for prayers. I was too exhausted to eat much dinner. You know we eat only two meals a day. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 3

Next morning I greatly needed attention. Could I have had some nourishment promptly, I should have been able to preserve my strength for that day’s labor, but no breakfast was prepared for me until about eight o’clock. When it did come, I could not eat it. I was in a fainting condition. I suffered much through the day. Was unable to sit up. Could not labor until Sabbath at five o’clock. Then ventured to speak to the people, weak and trembling at first, but the Lord strengthened me. Those who attend only one camp meeting can go through it without much inconvenience if the diet is not appetizing, but when camp meeting follows camp meeting and we cannot enter a house for weeks, we must have some care in the preparation of food and at regular hours. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 4

This exhaustion crippled me all through the meeting. We were glad to receive the kindly services of Anna Rasmussen. Like a Good Samaritan she did us all the good she could. We were miles away from the provision stores and could not obtain that which would give me strength. I rallied slowly. Sunday I feared I would not be able to speak to the crowd. The Lord greatly strengthened me. The Lord spoke through the weak instrument. His strength was made perfect in my weakness, and I felt the peace of heaven abiding upon me. If it were not that I know that the Lord helps me at such times, I should fear and tremble to venture to the camp meetings. I have found Jesus was to me a present help in every time of need. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 5

I was solicited to speak to the Danes. Brother Matteson interpreted your father’s words and also mine. We collected in the mammoth tent and again I spoke about thirty minutes. Invited them forward. One hundred came forward. We had a most excellent meeting. Brother and Sister Pharington and their daughter attended the meeting. They were your father’s old friends in Maine. The daughters of Brother Pharington attended his school while he was teaching, and here we meet them in Minnesota. The meeting had an influence upon them for good. They left Monday for their home with impressions that we had the truth. They seemed to enjoy the meetings. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 6

Our meetings have been excellent from the commencement. Monday at seven o’clock I spoke to the Scandinavians, Brother Matteson interpreting. I had great freedom, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon those who heard, if we could judge by the solemnity expressed in the countenance and the tearful eyes. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 7

There are influences at work to counteract our efforts. Dr. [Lee] is doing his utmost to prejudice minds. He is bitter and shows the dragon spirit; calls Mrs. White the devil, doing the devil’s work; but I only pity the poor, deceived soul. The Pharisees said of our Redeemer, He hath a devil. He casteth out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of devils. Then can we be surprised if they treated the Master thus, they should those of His household? Our work is to go forward, doing the work of God, warning, reproving, comforting, encouraging wholly regardless of the wrath and fury of Satan. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 8

The candidates for baptism were examined. Twenty-three were baptized. Others were advised to wait until they returned to their homes. Had it not been for this, many more would have been baptized. This meeting was a decided victory. The closing meeting was held Tuesday morning. I felt much of the Spirit of God as I addressed the congregation about one half an hour. The melting Spirit of God was in the meeting and harmony and peace of Christ prevailed the meeting. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 9

Brother Babcock, another Seventh-Day Baptist minister united fully with us. A young man, a First-day Baptist minister, also took his position with us. We hope and pray that these men may be efficient laborers in the cause of God. Mary has worked hard and interestedly and laboriously to get reports into the different papers. This is rather hard for her. Six weeks attending a succession of meetings and submitting to camp meeting fare is a trial to physical strength. On the cars or in camp nearly all the time, having to eat what is set before us, would not lead one to fall in love with camp meeting life. My strength often fails because I cannot obtain nourishing, palatable food. But we make it a principle to accommodate ourselves to circumstances, uncomplaining. The only thing we lament is we do not have strength to do all we wish to do. Mary takes excellent care of me. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 10

Seven o’clock. On the sleeper to Milwaukee. Your father has had his berth made and is retiring. We are obliged to get up at half past three o’clock a.m. Change cars, then we shall reach the ground tomorrow noon. We are in good spirits, but hungry for want of suitable food. We could not relish anything in our basket, but we hope to obtain a few crackers and get a cup of hot water at the next stopping place. We will now take our berths. Goodnight, dear children. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 11

June 28, 1875, eight o’clock a.m. We are on board the train again en route for camp meeting. We were disappointed in finding we could get nothing to eat at the restaurant in the depot. The proprietor reported that everything had been cleared out, not a piece of bread or cracker, but they had hot tea. If I was in the habit of drinking tea, it would be wholly inappropriate on an empty stomach, but tea we did not use, so we continued hungry. About noon we came to the place of meeting. Mary thought she would not feel hungry any more. She had got past the stage of hunger. I was nearly fainting for nourishment. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 12

We were welcomed on the ground by kind friends. Food was prepared for us which was palatable, but we ate very sparingly, for we had taken no food since the day before in the morning. We were strengthened and refreshed and felt grateful to the Lord that He had preserved us in our weariness and infirmities to meet with dear friends and attend still another camp meeting in Wisconsin. 2LtMs, Lt 20, 1875, par. 13