Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 5, 1893

Diary, January, February 1893

Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

January 26 - February 4, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in 8MR 80-81.

We left Melbourne Thursday, January 26, for Sydney, and arrived safely the next day. I cannot explain to you the nearly complete exhaustion in which I found myself after I had completed my journey. Yet I spoke Sabbath forenoon to a good number of our faith. The house of worship was full, and I had freedom. Sunday night I spoke in the town hall which was well filled. I had strength and grace to put forth the effort, and the Lord helped me. Tuesday and Thursday evenings I spoke to the church; and in two days wrote the long testimony for Brother Hare. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 1

Thursday forenoon I sent for Brother and Sister Hare, and read the matter I had been writing for them. I greatly feared that Bro. Hare would not receive the message in the right spirit. He looked so glum over it, but when he came to the meeting at night, he seemed changed; a different atmosphere surrounded his soul, and his wife seemed different from what she had done. I felt relieved. Just as Brother Hare was helping me into the carriage, which was high and hard to get into, he said, “I hope you will be faithful to my folks,” and smiled. I think he thought I had been faithful to him. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 2

It is with much difficulty I have written the above; for four nights I have not been able to get to bed before 11 o’clock and am up at five; there was not fresh air, and my heart troubled me. The room was good, but the air did not come, because it was not. I have not had my usual complements of sleep, but mean to make it up when I get on the steamer. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 3

Thursday, before speaking, I rode out with Sister Hughes, Brother Steed, and Brother Starr eight miles to a beautiful locality called Castle Hill. Brother Steed was telling us about a man by the name of Martin who embraced the truth; he was a wealthy man, and owned much land; his wife was a Wesleyan Methodist; she opposed him so bitterly and persistently that he gave up keeping the Sabbath. When thus far in the relation, a team stopped, and lo, there was Mr. Martin; he jumped out of the carriage, and shook my hand heartily. I saw he had a good face and clear blue eyes, an Englishman. After a short conversation we drove on. When we returned, we found the daughter waiting at the blacksmith’s shop. She called to us and said her father requested us to call on him. We did so, but the wife did not make her appearance. The oldest girl was kind and communicative and showed us around the garden. We were treated to rich grapes, nectarines, peaches, and lemonade by Mr. Martin, who has a fruit farm. That night for the first time Mrs. Martin attended meeting with her husband, and I was impressed to speak decidedly on the Sabbath and the law of God. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 4

After the meeting, Brother Steed said to me, “The Lord led you to speak as you did on Thursday night in reference to the commandments. There was a man present, who has been a missionary, who has been opposing us bitterly, and you took up the very objections he has used against us, and made all very plain. He came to see me this morning, and said, ‘Well, Mrs. White has put everything in altogether a different light than I have ever heard or thought of before. If it is as she says, I do not want to be opposing God and pulling down that which God is building up.’ He said he was going to look into the subject.” 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 5

February 4

Yesterday before going to the station for Willie we went to take a short ride. Brother Reekie had hired a livery team and wagonette, and we piled in with our baggage. In about thirty minutes the train would be in, and then we were going to the boat with our baggage. I saw that the horse’s head was held very high, like our Jim’s in California, and I asked Brother Reekie, “Is this horse safe?” He said, “Perfectly.” I looked at Sister Starr, and said to her, “Sister Starr, I cannot sympathize with you in your fear to ride after a spirited horse.” 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 6

It was only a few moments, as we were going down a thoroughfare, the horse began to kick, and Brother Reekie turned him in to a side street, out of the press of carriages; but he kicked and kicked, his heels went crushing through the dashboard. I said to Sister Starr and Emily, “Get out, get out, as quick as you can.” Sister Starr’s lips were white, and I was thoroughly frightened. Brother Starr jumped over the wheel, and was at the horse’s head, but his head was held so high Brother Starr could not without great effort catch the bridle and hold him by the bit. Thud, thud went his steel-clad heels into the carriage. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 7

Sister Starr and Emily were nearest the door, but they did not stop to open it; we all climbed over the closed door and tumbled out in good order without bruising an ankle, and were ever so thankful to be out of the fracas. After a time the horse stopped his kicking. My spring seat was placed on a rock by the wayside, and we all were, with our satchels, seated there half an hour. The horse and wagonette were taken back to the stable, and the owners were reprimanded by Brother Starr for hitching up a horse that was too long for the shafts. Another horse and carriage were provided for us, and Brother Reekie picked us up by the roadside and we went to the depot for Willie. We met him just in time, and all went on board the boat, and stowed our baggage in our stateroom and in the hold of the boat. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 8

We went to Brother Reekie’s, [at] the mission, and had dinner with them, then I was taken over to Sister Hardy’s boarding house. On the way we saw Brother Steed, who said that day Mr. Martin had taken him all around the country near Parramatta to secure a favorable place for the tent, and they were successful. They inquired if the farmers wanted a tent pitched in their vicinity. O yes, everyone was anxious to have the tent set up, and some said they could secure a congregation of two hundred and fifty. Brother Steed said if they could have a congregation of fifty they would be satisfied. Then Mr. Martin said his wife and a minister’s wife, a Primitive Methodist, were out to hear me Thursday evening. They did not speak one word in opposition, but seemed sedate and thoughtful. This Primitive Methodist said, “Mrs. White goes deeper than we do; she is thorough.” 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 9

We think the work has but just begun in this country. The report of the past year’s work in Parramatta has extended far and near, and made a good impression upon many minds; so there is a healthful state of things, and the work can be carried on just as well another year as in the past year. I am fully decided that our home will be in Parramatta when we return from New Zealand. The climate is much better than Melbourne. And I shall not feel that I am going away from the interest if I leave Melbourne, but going directly into the harvest field where there are sheaves to be gathered for the Master. I have a testimony for the people. If the Lord be with us, there will be scores of souls brought to the knowledge of the truth. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 10

The fright yesterday affected me some. The angels of God preserved us, also that wild horse might have caused our death. This morning I had the nosebleed as the result of the shock. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 11

I have attended meeting in Sydney this morning at nine o’clock. The meeting was appointed early, that I might have an opportunity to speak before taking the boat. Before speaking I was depressed, kept wishing that I had no appointment, but the hack came for me on time, and I went. The Lord indeed was by my side, for the ideas that came to me while on my feet had not previously been my subject of thought. After I had spoken an hour, I learned that the time was changed, the boat would not leave the landing until two o’clock, so Brother Starr talked awhile. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 12

I praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy to me, for I know that special help was given to me on this occasion. The Lord is good; the precious subjects of Bible truths are full of marrow and fatness. I spoke from the words of Christ, Matthew 13:12-17. The last verse, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” I presented the case of those now living upon the earth as highly favored above all people because of the precious light of truth, advanced light, hidden truths unfolded to us in our day. I felt the subject matter intensely, and I know I had the Holy Spirit to bring things to my remembrance. O, I thank and praise the Lord; he gives strength and power to the weak, to those who have no strength. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 13

I have seasons of great temptation when infirmities press me, and inconveniences are felt, and I suffer in consequence. I think, Am I really in the way of my duty? Is it not time I retired from active labor? Then when I stand before the people in my weakness, and the Holy Spirit impresses me, as this morning, in so forcible a manner after a battle with the enemy, and I feel and know a witness is present and a divine helper, then I am sure my work is not to close yet. My mind is clear; the truth is forcible because the Lord is my helper. Let us be of good courage in the Lord. Lift up Jesus at all times, and keep Him lifted up before our minds, that faith may grasp His might; wait only upon the Lord, for He is strength and efficiency. Bless the Lord, O my soul; praise His holy name. 8LtMs, Ms 5, 1893, par. 14