Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8

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Lt 66, 1893

White, W. C.

Hastings, New Zealand

August 18, 1893

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Willie:

We are well situated in the hired house of Brother Wilson, and we will do well, I think, here. There has been much rain and there are two places where the water has collected and [it] seems may not be favorable for me, but we will have to watch this matter and then determine what [to do] about it. We had a prayer meeting Wednesday night in this house. Twenty-five were present, and two, a mother and daughter who were interested but have not yet embraced the truth, their names are Hyde. They say they have relatives in Wellington and the son Hyde is a hair dresser. He sent his mother Daniel and Revelation and Great Controversy as a present, and they have been reading these books, and through them have become interested. So you can see the leaven is working almost unseen in Wellington. I think there are several who are quite stirred up but keep quiet on the subject. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 1

One man the night, before we left Wellington, as I was going to Sister Israel’s for my bath, met me at the door and introduced himself as Helps [?] living close by. He has attended meeting in the rink. He said he wished to have some conversation with me in regard to election. Said he received a tract “The Elect of God” written by me, and he sent it to England to his father or minister, I do not remember which, and he received an answer. He stated some of the reply, but he had accompanied me as far as Elder Israel’s house, and we stood minutes talking. He wanted me to go to his home that evening and visit them. I replied, It is not possible. I am now to take my treatment, and leave early in the morning for Hastings. You have had opportunity see me, and I would have been pleased to converse with you, but I have my engagements now and cannot afford any more time. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 2

He takes up my statement that man must cooperate with God in his salvation. [He believes] that man is a machine, that God does everything, and man has to do just what God set his limit that he shall do, and he asked, Do you think that Adam and Eve could have not eaten of the tree of knowledge? Certainly, I answered, if they were not in possession of a will to refuse, a will to obey God’s expressed injunction, then the Lord is just that character Satan represents Him to be, and the slothful servant is justified in saying, “I knew thee, that thou wast a hard man reaping what thou hast not sown and gathering where thou hast not strawed.” [Matthew 25:24.] I said, “That is not the God I serve, for the God I serve is represented by Jesus Christ. 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. Our God placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and gave them one test of character that they were prohibited from eating from the tree of knowledge. If they eat they should die; and then must any rational mind suppose our God gave them no power to resist Satan’s temptation, but Himself moved them as irresponsible beings to disobey His commands, which opened floodgates of woe to the world. This is not the God I serve.” Well, such questions I never had to answer before. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 3

But I must say I received your letter in regard to change of meetings, and shall anxiously look for something more definite soon. We are just now on the disagreeable edge of uncertainty. We received an excellent letter from Elder Daniells, and it came so that I could read it in the Sabbath meeting held at Elder Israel’s. We had a good meeting, as I think I wrote you in my last. [At] the Wednesday night meeting here I spoke about thirty minutes. Then nearly all took part and bore testimony. I think these social meetings are wonderful helps to those who are deciding to obey the truth and those who are newly come to the faith. Some precious souls have been added to the number of believers here. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 4

Elder Wilson and wife living in Hastings is an excellent arrangement, for it gives character to the work. And they visit, and this is why I wanted Nina to come and do our work so they should not be hindered in the least from going forward in their missionary efforts. It is this personal labor that tells for the conversion of souls to the truth. Sister Wilson gave treatment to a woman who was very sick. The treatment was blessed in relieving her suffering, and they called her the good Samaritan. She then could get access to the woman’s mind and bring her healing balm of truth to her soul in talking the truth to her. They were so filled with prejudice when the tent was there they would not go to hear anything, but this was all broken down. They had such ideas of Seventh-day Adventists they never expected to have the least faith in them, but the wife and the husband are both sound in the faith. They are Christians. They examined the Scriptures like the noble Bereans to see if these things are so. They are now fully with us and their piety and religious life will adorn their profession. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 5

How thankful I am that any souls will search the Bible for themselves to see if these things are so, and then will have the courage to take their position for truth and confess the truth and identify themselves with God’s commandment keeping people. I expect to be here to the next Wednesday night meeting. Today, Friday, we go to Dr. Caro’s to spend the Sabbath with Napier church and Sunday with Hastings church. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 6

Yesterday we received a telegram that Brother McCullagh’s little girl was much worse, and soliciting prayers. Oh, how the burden rolled upon me with distressing weight. I felt pressed as a cart beneath sheaves. I had received light from the Lord in reference to the course they had pursued toward their child, especially Sister McCullagh had not educated and trained the child right. Her course was sinful in the sight of God, and I had to write out this in a few words, but it would wound, I knew, and bruise their already afflicted hearts; but I dare not withhold the reproof given me of God. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 7

I had been so oppressed and so troubled, and in prayer in the night season that the Holy Spirit would teach me what to say and touch their hearts that we will know how to approach this delicate subject and leave the correct influence upon the mind; but Sister McCullagh’s influence I greatly dreaded, for she counteracts by words and actions everything that would have influence to improve the character of the child. The letter was sent, and then about the time they would receive it we all assembled in the parlor and had a special season of prayer in reference to this trying case. We committed it to God. We prayed that the Spirit of God would impress the hearts of our afflicted brother and sister that they would humble themselves before God and see their mistakes, that God might spare the life of the child and give them another opportunity to set their house in order. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 8

Oh, it is terrible for anyone to retain their defective traits of character and perpetuate their defects all because Satan tempts them, and leave the dark blotches of Satan’s spots upon the chapters of their experience. It is best for everyone to examine themselves carefully to see what motives prompt them to action. But I think I [have] never done a more disagreeable duty in my life. I dare not keep silent, and this means more labor for me. The work is but just commenced. I must now write something more full, but writing what I did made me feel weak and weary and my soul weighted down. I had been carrying this burden, studying how to approach Brother and Sister McCullagh, who I had seen would not bear reproof or instruction, and not have the result worse than if I had kept silent. This is the thing to be feared, but the Lord cannot work with them unless there is a different atmosphere in their home, for Sister McCullagh needs the converting grace of God upon her poor diseased soul, else her influence will counteract his labors wherever he shall go. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 9

Oh, what can be done to elevate the standard, to purify and uplift, and ennoble the life and character of those who are in responsible places? How hard it is to have to deal most earnestly in reproof to those who ought to be representations of the Lord Jesus Christ, but who carry their weakness and defective course of action right along with them and bear the fruit as a bramble bush, rather than of the True Vine. May the Lord work and His converting power be felt on human hearts is my most earnest prayer. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 10

The ministers and their wives must stand in God pure, holy, and their influence as a savor of life unto life rather than of death. Their ways and will must be God’s ways and God’s will and self must die or the blotches will be left upon life and character to mar and defile the Lord’s pasture. My heart is sick and sad and sore as I consider the state of things in New Zealand and see the crooked paths made to turn the lame out of the way by those who should make straight paths for their feet. But the straight testimony must be borne, the work must go deep and thorough, the sword of the Spirit will cut the way. There can be no slipshod work done, for this will leave upon our garments the blood of souls. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 11

Well, I had no idea of writing in this strain. It is just six o’clock, and I see we are to have a fair day. We had a shower last night. I do not know as I told you we brought all your things here to Hastings. So there is nothing left behind. We do not propose to dictate to you at all what you shall do. We believe you have the work the Lord has given you to do, and we would stand out of your way or in the way either to help to sustain you in doing this work. I believe you are in the line of your duty. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 12

It would be pleasant for me to have you to consult with as it would be pleasant, as you express it, to see and talk with me. But there is One who is your Counselor and He never makes a mistake. I have prayed night and day that the Lord will imbue you with His Holy Spirit and give you heavenly wisdom that you will have the mind of Christ and move in His counsel. I never mean to be a burden to my children but a helper, one who can point them ever to One mighty in counsel, who will lead them in His way to do His will and then the marks of God will be seen in all they undertake. I am not their leader. Jesus Christ occupies this position. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 13

God bless you is the prayer of your mother. 8LtMs, Lt 66, 1893, par. 14