Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

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Lt 85, 1894

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville, Australia

July 27, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 137, 156-157.

Dear Children:

I awoke this morning about half past two o’clock, and as I could not sleep, I arose and prepared for writing. During the week past, I have not been as well as usual. A strange weakness has come over me, for which I cannot account. Our folks say it is rising so early, and beginning to write so long before day. This may be the case, I cannot tell. I do not dare to entertain the idea that this exhaustion will continue long. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 1

I received your letter Tuesday, and was very glad to hear from you and Emma again. The preparation of mail to send to America, and the reception of mail from America, are stirring times in our history, and if we are not very careful both the going out of mail and the coming of the mail has a telling influence upon me that is not the most favorable. Your last letter brings also a letter from the colored [brother], Bro. Buster. I read your account of him, and also his own intelligent, well-written letter. I cannot help but be pleased with the letter and I would advise our brother that, if possible, he take up the burden the Lord seems to lay upon him, ever bearing in mind that Jesus is a safe Counsellor. He never makes a mistake. Men may reason from policy principles, and judge from a human standpoint; but this is not the Lord’s way, “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways; for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.” [Isaiah 55:8, 9.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 2

I recommend to our colored brother that he continue to keep his case before God, that he continue to search the Scriptures in order that he may hear the voice of the True Shepherd and appreciate His Word as spirit and life, as the flesh and blood of the Son of God. The truth as it is in Jesus is a refreshing portion. All may rejoice in the study of the truth. With earnest purpose they may seek to know what is truth. The truth received changes the heart, inspiring the faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. “The entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding unto the simple,” to all who will be humble enough to be doers of the Word. [Psalm 119:130.] How do we live on the flesh of the Son of God? By searching His written Word, by digging deep for the hidden treasures contained therein. Whenever a question was brought to Christ, His inquiry was, “Have ye not read? What saith the Scriptures? How readest thou?” And His command was “Search the Scriptures.” [John 5:39.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 3

Christ could have answered every perplexing question that troubled the heart of man from the depths of His own divine wisdom, but He did not do this. He directed the minds of the inquirers to that which was written in His own inspired text book. When tempted of the devil, He met Satan’s artful insinuations with, “It is written.” That which is brought to us as truth upon the authority of popes, ministers, or synods’ decisions, is not the sure Word, the unerring Word of prophecy. A thus saith the Lord is of more value than the most eloquent assertions of men. The Psalmist saith, “Thy word standeth sure.” It is as unfailing as the everlasting hills, and upon it we may rely. Be sure that you have the Word of God then follow its teachings implicitly. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 4

I [say] further to this colored brother, God has a work for you to do, and I will not venture to say what that work shall be. God will tell you that; but lean not to your own understanding, and you will have a sure and safe guide. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 5

Another Sabbath is past. Willie and myself were to attend the meeting at the Parramatta church, and Brother McCullagh was to attend the meeting in Kellyville, but Brother Colson came on horseback to inform us that Willie must take the meeting at Kellyville. It was decided that I must fill the appointment in the afternoon at three o’clock at Parramatta without his assistance. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 6

The day seemed pleasant and sunshiny; but about the time we had to start to church a severe sand storm arose. By keeping my face covered I got through alright, and just as I was about ready to start I was happily surprised to see Willie come into the barn yard. He had ridden eleven miles and back with Brother Belden’s pony and trap. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 7

Although some were down with influenza, and could not come to the meeting, yet on the whole we had a very good attendance. I spoke from Matthew, seventh chapter, dwelling especially upon the promise, “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Verse 7.] I presented to the people some thoughts upon the willingness of God to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, showing them that He is more willing to give them the Holy Spirit than parents are to give good gifts unto their children. The most of those present followed me with their Bibles, and seemed much interested as I presented the case of Moses as he pled with God for one spiritual blessing after another, advancing step by step, not selfishly, but taking the people with him. He made intercession for the people, encircling them with the arm of faith, and like our merciful Saviour, laying hold of the throne of God, he presented the people sinful as they were before the mercy seat. “And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, O, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” [Exodus 32:31, 32.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 8

An intensity of feeling overwhelms the man of God. He is so burdened for sinful Israel that he can scarcely give utterance to his thoughts. How similar was his earnestness and burden for sinful Israel to the burden felt by the world’s Redeemer when He wept over Jerusalem, speaking in broken utterances, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, ... how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her brood under her wing but ye would not.” [Luke 13:34.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 9

Again on the crest of Olivet he beheld the city, and wept over it, crying, “O that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day the things that belong unto thy peace;” here comes the pause. [Luke 19:42.] How hard for Jesus to pass the irrevocable sentence upon the doomed inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jerusalem had not known the day of her privilege, the day of precious opportunities, when Christ was in the midst of her. Mercy had long hovered over the impenitent, stubborn, rebellious people; but she is about to depart. It was not yet too late as Jesus looked upon the city; but when the sun had set behind the hills, the day of mercy and reprieve for Jerusalem would be ended. Jesus pronounced the irrevocable sentence, “But now they are hid from thine eyes.” [Verse 42.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 10

In pleading with God Moses continued, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.” [Exodus 32:32-34.] This lesson is for the admonition of all believers. God has made known His purpose that if men continue in transgression, if they do not return unto the Lord with repentance and confession, forsaking their sins, even their special sins and transgression, they will receive according to their works. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 11

The man Moses was not yet satisfied. “And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou has not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.” [Exodus 33:12.] We read that “The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” [Verse 11.] But though so manifestly favored of God, Moses still pleads for further revelation of His divine favor. He says, “I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: (he will not separate himself from the people) and consider that this nation is thy people.” [Verse 13.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 12

Did the Lord’s rebuke rest upon Moses as upon one that had been presumptuous in pressing his case before the Lord? To Moses the situation was one that demanded urgency. He realized that his only help was in God, and he will not allow the transgression of Israel to cut them off from God. The Lord continues to test and prove the quality of Moses’ love and faith. The Lord shows no displeasure because Moses holds firmly and steadily to the point but He answers his appeal and says, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” [Verse 14.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 13

Those who commit their burdens to the Lord, as did Moses, will find that God will give them rest. But though Moses is assured of the presence of God, he is not ready to cease his petitions. He desires to become more thoroughly acquainted with him who shall be the invisible Leader to Israel, and he still holds his own and Israel’s case before the Lord. “And he said unto him, if thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here (at this present time) that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” [Verses 15-17.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 14

In (Deuteronomy 7:6), it is recorded that the Lord did hear and did fulfil His covenant with Moses in regard to Israel. And yet when the Lord had made such abundant promises to him, he still desired larger things, and ventures to make a marvelous request. And he said, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory.” [Exodus 33:18.] Was this presumption? Was he asking too large things of God? He held the Lord with a firm hand of faith, and would not cease his importunings. The Lord does not turn from him, or rebuke him; but still favors his request. “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” [Verse 19.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 15

“And he said, thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passes by, that I will put thee in the cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen ... And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 16

“And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped, and said, if now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiff necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance. And he said, behold I make a covenant: before all thy people will I do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible thing which I will do with thee.” [Exodus 33:20-23; 34:6-10.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 17

O what love, what wondrous love, God has revealed to His people in all ages. From generation [to generation] He hath made His love known. His wondrous works declare His majesty and His power. To Moses He revealed His glory, portraying before Him His character, and when Moses failed on one occasion to give Him due respect, God was greatly displeased. The natural passions of the man were excited, and he who should have given all glory to God by the manifestation of patience, meekness, and forbearance was angry with a rebellious people. Will men in high positions of trust remember this lesson from God, given to all the inhabitants of the earth, to be studied as long as time shall last? The Lord has done great things for His people, and they should send back to Him praise and thanksgiving. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 18

July 29. Last Sabbath morning Elder Corliss came up from Sydney, he said Willie had sent him a card from Melbourne with the suggestion that he go to Seven Hills on Sabbath. Elder Hickox left a week ago. They are building a meetinghouse at Seven Hills for the little church he has left. Twenty have embraced the truth since camp meeting, and though they are most excellent people, they are poor in this world’s goods. Willie thought that they should have every encouragement now, as they had been but recently baptized and organized into a church. They are babes in the truth and need to be fed their portion of meat in due season. Brother Corliss was depending upon my horse and carriage to take him to Seven Hills which is about eight miles from Granville. I was very weak, but Emily and Marian both thought it best for me to go, as the ride in the open air would be the best medicine I could take. Emily would accompany me, as May would have to teach two classes in the Sabbath school, for several teachers were sick. We had a pleasant drive. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 19

The meeting was held in a small private house. I dared not go in and remain through the meeting; it seemed so difficult for me to get breath. Elder Corliss said that he does not preach any more, he teaches. He takes his Bible and gives a Bible reading. He had them all deeply interested. He called upon them to read the texts of Scriptures, and then asked them questions, and they answered very aptly. As he was about to close, I went into the house and talked to them for about thirty minutes. The melting Spirit of the Lord was upon the hearers. Opportunity was then given for all to take a part; but some are very new in the faith, and are very timid. Brother Corliss turned the meeting into a class meeting and called upon them one by one to be Christ’s witnesses. All spoke, but one, and bore good witness for the Master whom they serve. This was a precious meeting. Their Sabbath School numbers about forty. We felt the blessing of the Lord. We bade them goodby and started on our homeward journey. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 20

We did as we have done when Willie and I were alone, that is, ate our lunch as we were riding along in the phaeton. Brother Corliss seemed to enjoy the occasion of the meeting, and also the refreshment which we had coming home. That night Elder Wilson came from New Zealand. He and Brother Teasdale had been delayed on the water for twelve hours. Their steamer was signalled by a wrecked vessel and had to tow it into harbor. Brother Wilson came on business matters. He wished to consult in regard to future plans for the work. If it is God’s will that we remain here, I should be pleased to have you with us. Brother Wilson leaves Tuesday to see the school grounds, and will then return to Sydney, going at once from there to Melbourne to meet Willie, Elders Daniells and Rousseau. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 21

July 30. It is a very busy time; we have been consulting together. Brother Lawrence has been purchasing a horse and cart for the school grounds at Dora Creek. He came to our place from Sydney last Friday. Brother Collins, our state canvassing agent, who is afflicted with sore eyes at present, and Jimmie Gregory, are to drive the horse and trap to Dora Creek. We are supplying them with provisions for a three-days’ journey. We are expected to entertain all the saints who come and go, to shelter and feed all the horses, to provide provisions for all who go out, and to lunch all who come in. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 22

This would be all very well if it were only an occasional thing; but when it is continual, it is a great wear upon the housekeeper, and upon those who do the work. They are continually tired and cannot get rested, and besides this our purse will not always hold out so that we can keep a free hotel. But what can we do? We do not wish to say No, and yet the work of entertaining all who come is no light matter. Few understand or appreciate how taxing it can be; but if this is our way to help, we will do it cheerfully, and say Amen. But it is essential that we donate large sums of money to the work, and that we lead out in benevolent enterprises lifting every jot that we possibly can. The question arises, Is it our duty also to keep a free hotel, and to carry these other burdens? May the Lord give us His wisdom and His blessing is our most earnest prayer. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 23

*****

July 27. Yesterday and today have been hard, trying days to me; for exhaustion is upon me. One week ago I took cold, and the result is physical exhaustion. My head was painful; but the worst symptoms have disappeared. I dare not write, I dare not use my brain, and feel too weak to breathe. Tomorrow is the Sabbath, but I shall not venture to go to meeting. I have been [doing] considerable riding today. We have a beautiful park in which to ride; it is free for all. The roads are nice and hard, and smooth as a floor, and wind among the evergreen trees. When nervous, it rests me to ride through the public park. There are but few carriages in the park in the forenoon, and I would like to live there if I could. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 24

Willie left for Melbourne last Wednesday in response to an earnest invitation to be present at an important council meeting. I was very loth to have him go, but dared not influence him to remain. All think much of his far-seeing judgment, and find his counsel sound. He has not been well since he was last at Melbourne. His stay will be short this time, for he has to bear many responsibilities in regard to the school land. Fifteen hundred acres have been purchased, and there are several hundred acres located close by the school land which ought to be purchased. But as money is very scarce, and the adjoining lands are high priced, we shall not purchase at present. They were purchased by landowners during the time of the great boom; but the boom has passed off, and now the men are unable to dispose of it, yet they value it at the price they paid for it and hold it fast. [For the continuation of this day’s writing, see Lt 105, 1894.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 25

*****

Dear Children, I arise to write you while others are sleeping. We are glad to see a work going forward in this country, even though there has been a very great dearth of means. Through the failure of the banks the people have been robbed of money, because of large speculation in land and sheep, and there is much suffering and great destitution everywhere. Our own people are losing their all in this world because they cannot meet their obligations. The canvassing work moves slowly because of this, and it is necessary that the greatest care should be exercised to bind about the wants of the people as much as possible in every part of the Lord’s vineyard. We must help the unfortunate, the distressed, the unfortunate ones among our own people, and not live to please ourselves. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 26

O how carefully should we move now, when we are in the very shadow of that time of trouble which is fast approaching, such as never was since there was a nation. We are not safe now in indulging our own desires, in having our own way, in following the imagination of our own hearts. Those who have done this in times past have lessons to unlearn, and lessons to learn of Jesus our Pattern. The peril of believers is great. Unbelief in the soul will marshall her power while faith is striving to gain the mastery in the battle. Many battles will have to be fought in the heart of the believer. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 27

Wonderful is the struggle and great are the issues although the contending elements make but little outward noise. All heaven is looking on, intensely interested to see what will be the result of these conflicts. The believer is fighting against a strong army. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast plate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” [Ephesians 6:12-18.] 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 28

These are the marching orders that are to be followed out by every loyal soldier of Jesus Christ. If we obey orders, we shall then exercise faith and trust, knowing that there is One who is watching every soul in his fierce struggle with the powers of darkness. Satan will set in operation every satanic invention to hold the soul in his grasp; but help is laid upon One that is mighty, One who will come to the help of every soul in peril, and turn back the forces of darkness, and make us more than conquerors over our enemies. Our part in the conflict is to obey orders, and He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of the Lord Jesus. 9LtMs, Lt 85, 1894, par. 29