Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 120, 1893

White, Edson; White, Emma

Gisborne, New Zealand

October 15, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 235; 4Bio 107.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

When the American mail reaches us it will leave us little time to prepare to respond to the many letters which we shall receive. With my speaking and writing and visiting more or less, I am afraid I shall miss sending you a letter. I rise at half past three and at four o’clock get to my writing. I improve my time diligently in writing, reading for prayers, and engaging in prayer, then the sulky—it is named here—with a steady old white horse is brought to me, and we climb into the two-wheeled trap, and Emily and I ride two hours in the morning—the fresh part of the day. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 1

This is a most beautiful portion of New Zealand. Great pains have been taken to cultivate trees—the poplar, the pine, and the cedar. The weeping willow grows very beautifully and abundantly in this soil, and there are these trees the whole length of the streets. Such a beautiful place, surrounded with hills and beautiful fields. If our Americans had this land they would, with their industrious habits, make it far more useful. Here are whole large tracts of land, level and so beautiful, growing up to the sweetbrier and unimproved. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 2

There are abundant holidays—horse racing, fairs, football matches, hunting, sports—one thing following on the heels of another, and the people have no time or appetite for industrious, useful work. It seems that Satan is generaling matters to suit his satanic majesty, and it is so hard to get the candid attention of the young especially, but those of mature age seem crazed with the excitement that is created by horse racing and games. Smoking prevails, and rum drinking prevails to an alarming degree. Drunkenness is steadily increasing. I do not know that murders and self-murder are any more common than in the cities of America, where by license the law gives its voice and sustenance to support liquor sellers. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 3

Everybody now is getting ready for the horse race in this place. It has been in Hastings and in surrounding country towns, for this horse racing is considered a wonderful occasion. They look forward to it for weeks, and when young men will earn a little money to get a trotting horse, they get wild over the thought of winning in the races; and then you hear of men who have spent their last dollar, blind and deaf to caution, and have lost all and gained nothing but to drink of the cup of bitter disappointment. A fever of unrest is upon them. They have lost all relish for the common duties of life if successful, as they term it, and their minds are groveling and being debased under the discipline of horse racing, betting, gambling. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 4

Call to get ready for meeting. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 5

The record of the past can be blotted out with His blood, the page made clean and white. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” [Isaiah 1:18, 19.] 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 6

The words falling from the lips of Jesus, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” are worth everything to us. [Matthew 9:2.] He saith, I have borne your sins in My own body on Calvary’s cross. He sees your sorrows. His hand is laid upon the head of every contrite soul, and Jesus becomes our Advocate before the Father, and our Saviour. The lowly, contrite heart will make very much of forgiveness and pardon. Shall we not appreciate such love and consecrate the whole life to Jesus? This alone will satisfy our Lord. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 7

We may repeat His tender compassion for us to others who are wandering in the mazes of sin. The grace of Christ revealed to us must be tenderly revealed to others. A great tenderness and compassion will fill the soul for human beings who are still under the control of Satan. Christ is to be multiplied in every man and woman who believes in Him, for they are to live over the life of Christ in blessing and enlightening and bringing hope and peace and joy to other hearts. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 8

If the Lord leaves us to ourselves for a time, it is that we may learn our own weakness. We need at all times to consider Him who made Himself of no reputation for our sakes. I should be so happy to see you. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 9

October 21

Edson, the Lord Jesus is of tender, pitying, lovingkindness. This day we received your letter and were very glad that you had indeed made the surrender to God. I am glad more than I can express that you have, in the simplicity of faith, accepted Jesus, and I am not surprised that you found something to do at once. Your activity should not be less than it has been but directed into the proper channel. Your disappointments, your severe treatment, the harsh judgment of men have accomplished for you that which prosperity would never have done. We had no hand in bringing about this matter, but from the first I felt that God was undertaking for you and if I should take on the case I should interpose between you and God. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 10

I am sure you have not understood the tenor of your brother’s letter. That debt, I told you in sincerity and in truth, should never prove a hindrance to your giving yourself to the service of God, and I meant all I said and mean all I say now. Catch hold of the work anywhere it presents itself, and hold on to the work. Never fail or be discouraged. It is that which you ought to have done long ago, and your mother will give you encouragement and her prayers and so will your brother. Years that have passed into eternity are beyond your power to recall, but through the grace of Christ you may labor in the vineyard for the Master. There is a balm in Gilead; there is a Physician there. He can heal all your backslidings, blot out all your sins, and cast them into the depths of the sea. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 11

November 1, 1893

I have been writing a long letter to William Gage and family and Mary Roth. Oh, how much we need Jesus! I am so thankful your feet are being planted on the Rock, the solid Rock. I would clasp your hand and kiss you and weep and rejoice with the angels in heaven. This my son that was lost is found! A great weight is removed from my soul. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 12

I have not seen Willie for five weeks. He left Auckland last Monday to sail in the Pitcairn to Wellington. The vessel anchors in the waters at a distance but cannot come into harbor. A launch goes to meet her and brings Willie into Gisborne. No steamer or common vessel can come into this harbor. A launch takes us and brings us to the wharf, and takes us from the wharf to the steamers or vessels. Willie is expected to be here Thursday, November 2. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 13

We have had only one light shower since we have been in Gisborne—three weeks—and they had no rains for weeks before, but now today we are having a gentle rain. I hope it will continue to rain all night. This is, I think, a good climate. Much love to you, my children. 8LtMs, Lt 120, 1893, par. 14