Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)
Lt 29a, 1892
White, W. C.
November 20, 1892
Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 454-455.
Dear Son Willie,
The weather has been changeable. It was almost oppressively warm nearly all the past week. Friday I felt exhausted. Friday afternoon, about six o’clock, Elder Daniells came, and we were glad to see him; but it was a notice to us that our stay here is limited. That evening we had a very heavy thunder storm, comparing well with thunder storms in America. Sabbath was some cooler, but I was not feeling strong, and so remained at home, while Elder Daniells attended meeting. I had a work to do on Sunday which I knew would require all the strength I could command. The Sabbath meeting was reported a good one. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 1
On Sunday I visited Brother and Sister Holland. I did not think it best for Elder Daniells to go with me, although I should have been glad to share the labor with him. I went to Brother Holland’s at two p.m., and labored for Sister Holland till past five o’clock. She wept as I read things I had written to help her mind in regard to the Sabbath and points connected with it. She is helped. I prayed with them. She has promised to attend meeting, again, with the church. Elder Curtis’s course in reference to them was very censurable, all because he thought Brother Holland did not speak to him respectfully. I have been shown that these two—Brother and Sister Holland—will, if consecrated, make superior workers in the church. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 2
They were both apparently fully consecrated, ready to do all the good they could, both with their means and by active effort. But Elder Curtis knew not how to deal with them, and he has wounded and bruised and driven away Sister Holland. Brother Holland was for eight years an active worker in the Presbyterian church, taking charge of the Sunday school, until he embraced the truth. Then he took charge of the Sabbath school, and in the absence of a preacher conducted the meetings. Through Elder Curtis’s mismanagement he was relieved of every office, yet he would not give up the truth or forsake the church. About the time we came, he was in a position of sore temptation; but he is strengthened and established by the things that he has heard. His wife is a woman of great firmness, of decided opinions, and independent judgment. She has much push, and if consecrated, would be an aggressive worker. I have no doubt now that she will come along if she is rightly treated, and the Lord will be glorified if this sheep that has been driven away is restored to the fold. I shall see them once more in their home before I leave. I have perfect liberty in speaking plain things to them in love. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 3
I pray the Lord every day to work in Melbourne. We can do nothing without faith and hope, courage and perseverance. It will be tenfold harder now to place a right mold upon the work than it would have been to start right at the beginning. Oh, that we might see the salvation of God! Of ourselves we can do nothing. Through Christ strengthening us we can do all things. What a terrible thing it is for ministers to undertake to work in the cause of God when their own hearts need a thorough cleansing and refining and ennobling. Well, I believe that the Lord will work in His own way and we must pray in faith, and watch unto prayer. There must not be one symptom of wavering, one shadow of doubt. If the work depended on us, well might we be anxious and troubled, but it does not depend on us. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 4
We must put our entire confidence in the Lord God of Israel. He is to be our fear and our dread, but also our hope, our courage, our confidence. We must have faith in the head, faith in the heart, and faith in the life. The faith that justifies is to run like a thread of gold through all we say and all we do. It is a practical, working faith; it works by love, and purifies the soul. We are to believe in Christ with heart and mind and soul, and we are to bring this faith into exercise in everything we undertake. Through education, discipline, and training, every current of the soul is to be brought to run in the channel of helpful, active service, to benefit and bless others. This is consecrated service. Our religion is of no value unless it is active, self-denying, and earnest in endeavor. We want faith that is alive, that gives assurance by perfect obedience. It is in the doing of His will that we shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 5
Our only hope for the church in Melbourne is to work earnestly, to impress upon them that they must carry into active exercise everything that they do believe in God’s Word. Those who believe a little have one talent; let them trade on that. And how shall they trade? Work to help someone else, never uttering one word of doubt, and the Lord will increase that one talent of faith that is exercised. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” [Hebrews 11:6.] There must be not only self-denial but self-sacrifice, a lifting of the cross and following Jesus. Those who are partakers with Christ in His sufferings will also be partakers with Him in His glory. There is need of entering into covenant with God through Christ. There must be a surrendering of self to the authority of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 6
When the church in Melbourne shall consider carefully and prayerfully that Jesus lived not to please Himself, and then go farther and consider that they must have the mind of Christ, walk as He walked, work as He worked, we shall see a great reformation in the church. The Lord has presented before me that the love of self-indulgence is strong with the largest part of the Melbourne church. All that Jesus requires is, “Follow me.” And His promise is, “Ye shall not walk in darkness.” [John 8:12.] Righteousness and truth are scarce in our churches. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 7
There needs to be a complete waking up, represented in the message to the Laodicean church. “Behold, I (your Redeemer, who gave My life for you) stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” [Revelation 3:20.] Now there are many who have ears, but will not hear the voice of Jesus inviting us to accept His presence. It is faith in, and love for, a personal Saviour that is so much needed. It is one thing to profess to believe, and another thing to practice the faith, so that we represent Christ in our spirit, in our words, in all our character. Christ is to be our chief Cornerstone. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 8
Love to God, love to souls for whom Christ died, has circulated very feebly through the veins of our Christianity in the Melbourne church. Under the leadership of Christ, all this dead faith will change to a living, working, active faith. We are to exemplify the life of Christ by earnest, self-denying efforts, with voice and pen and money, to save souls that are ready to perish. The Lord wants consecrated men, who feel the value of the souls for whom Christ has died; and when they give themselves, they give their means also. All is God’s. “Of thine own, O Lord, we freely give thee.” [1 Chronicles 29:14.] Willie, be of good courage, and know that Jesus lives, and will work mightily for His people if they will only believe. 7LtMs, Lt 29a, 1892, par. 9