Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 23, 1894

Diary Material

Granville, Williams Street, New South Wales, Australia

April 9, 1894

Portions of this manuscript are published in WM 184-185; 10MR 194-196; 4Bio 133. +Note

I thank the Lord it is as well with me as it is. Last Friday Willie came from Melbourne. Sabbath morning he drove with me [out] in the country ten miles to Kellyville to meet with the little church in that place. They are newly come to the faith, but have built them a small house of worship, neat and nice, all paid for, except eight pounds, and they feel very happy as they assemble together to worship God. I am thankful with them. The great depression in money matters makes it quite difficult to build a church, but our brethren at Kellyville have had determination and zeal to do this. A very earnest little company assemble to worship God. I had much freedom in speaking to them. Willie spoke a short time, and then there was a social meeting, several took part and earnest, sincere testimonies were borne. In the afternoon Willie attended meeting with the church at Parramatta, where the ordinances were celebrated. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 1

Sunday afternoon I had an appointment to speak in the tent at Seven Hills, eight miles out in the country. Brother Hickox has been laboring there alone since the camp meeting. Near the large tent he has his little tent made by his own hands, in which he has lived alone with no one to help him. In his small tent he has his library and calligraph and his housekeeping arrangements. He preaches Sabbath, Sunday, and in the weekday evenings, and has awakened quite an interest. Eight have taken their position on the Sabbath. Brother Hickox thinks several more will accept the truth. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 2

The tents are pitched in the open field, among the trees. Brother Hickox leaves his tent open and goes away visiting, giving Bible readings; and [it is] wonderful to relate, not one thing has been disturbed, though he has a valuable library. Two weeks ago I was in search of a cow to purchase, and was told of one, gentle and fresh, owned by Mr. Thomson at Seven Hills. Elder Starr, Brother Stephen Belden and I went in search of this cow. We visited the tent to find Brother Hickox. He was not there, his tent was open, his property all exposed to any that might be disposed to meddle and steal. We were surprised. We waited some little time, supposing he might come in, but he did not appear, and we drove to the neighbors to inquire where the man lived who wished to sell a cow. After riding one mile, we found the place and Brother Hickox was there visiting. We purchased the cow and conversed with Mr. and Mrs. Thomson. We found them intelligent people and favorable to the truth. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 3

Mr. Thomson is a carpenter by trade. They have eight children. Mrs. Thomson said, “This preaching we are having is wonderfully different from anything we have ever heard and the Bible is a new Book to us. We seem to be quite slow of understanding, but we think we must keep the Sabbath. It is a very important step; we want to understand it more thoroughly. If it is the truth, what else can we do than to obey?” I told her I would send her Steps to Christ. She said, “Please send us writings that are simple and easy to be understood, for we are so ignorant in regard to these new and wonderful interpretations of the Scriptures. I am perplexed with the cares of a large family. We are all in good health; our diet is very simple. We have much to be thankful for, but I am hasty in temper and become impatient when I think my children are doing wrong. Will you pray for me especially and understand I am thinking and trying to understand my duty.” 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 4

We had a most precious season of prayer with the family, and we know that angels of God were in the midst of us. There is help in Jesus for all such souls. These have since come out decidedly upon the truth, with several others. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 5

I have thought of the request of Sister Thomson many times since. She said, “O, I want that precious faith that seems so positively necessary for me. Do send me something simple, that my mind can grasp, [so] that I can take hold of this faith to believe Jesus is a present help in every time of need.” We find this is the great want of the soul—something that the needy, longing soul can grasp, something easy to be understood, and the great reason why many do not lay hold of this truth is that it is so easy. They think they must do some great thing, and that God expects them to go through some wonderful process in order to be converted, but when we present the truth as it is, in its beautiful simplicity, they stand amazed. “Is that all?” they inquire. We need to make the way of life just as clear as it [is] in Jesus, that all may see the Way, the Truth and the Life. Simply to take God at His word seems so easy they hardly dare accept it. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 6

The Lord gave me much freedom in speaking to those assembled under the tent, an intelligent-looking people that listened with deep interest. Brother Martin came 12 miles to the meeting with his wife. She has been a bitter opposer, and the features speak the bitterness of the spirit within, but we have hope she will yet go with her husband and daughter. Her daughter, about eighteen years old, first took her stand, saying, “Father, I must keep the Sabbath.” He said, “Daughter, if you feel it is your duty, do this and I will support you in so doing.” 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 7

Next, the father took his position firmly upon the truth. He called his large family together, grown-up boys and smaller children, and told them he had decided that the seventh day is the Sabbath, blessed of God and enjoined upon the human family to keep, that he would rejoice if his children and the mother also would all unite with him; but if they did not do this, they must understand that no work was to be done on his premises on the Sabbath. He has two large fruit orchards. He said that the horses must not work, his children must not work, for thus saith the commandment; the Bible must now be his Guidebook. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 8

“Now,” said he, “you know my word is law, and I shall expect you to refrain from all labor on my premises on the seventh day.” We have strong hope that others of the family will unite with the father and the daughter. I could see that, while I was speaking, the opposing wife was somewhat affected, we hope for good. Brother Martin is a thoroughly converted man. His wife is a Wesleyan Methodist, and this class are generally bitter as gall against the truth. We were much interested in the company assembled at Seven Hills. We pray that there may be quite a number of souls converted to the truth. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 9

We returned to Granville about dark. Monday, Willie and others went out on a tour in search of land for the school. They found splendid places, but fear that the price will be too high for us to compass. Where the school is established, there must be land for orchards and gardens, that students may have physical exercise combined with mental taxation; and half and some wholly pay their way at school. Also, ground must be purchased, that families that cannot obtain work in the cities because of the observance of the Sabbath, may buy small farms and make their own living. This is a positive necessity in the country. Education must be given in regard to tilling the soil, and we must expect that the Lord will bless this effort. Willie came home about twelve o’clock at night. Had found a very desirable tract of land about eighty miles from Sydney. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 10

Brother and Sister Lawrence and their daughter came to our place Monday p.m. They have recently come from Michigan to be useful in some line of the work. Carrie Gribble also came with them from Melbourne. She is to be married to Brother Hickox Tuesday morning. We are scarcely settled, and yet we have had to entertain visitors all the way along from the first. This seemed a necessity under the circumstances. Brother and Sister Lawrence came to our place by special invitation to remain until it shall be decided where it is best for them to locate for their own good and that they may be a blessing to others. We are glad they have come to this country. We believe it to be in the providence of God and may the Lord give wisdom in finding the right position. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 11

About 11:00 a.m. Tuesday our large dining room was prepared for the wedding ceremony. Brother Starr officiated in the service, and it passed off nicely. The request was made by Brother Hickox that Sister White should offer prayer after the marriage ceremony. The Lord gave me special freedom. My heart was softened and subdued by the Spirit of God. On this occasion there were no light jests or foolish sayings; everything was solemn and sacred in connection with this marriage. Everything was of an elevating character and deeply impressive. The Lord sanctified this marriage, and these two now unite their interest to work in the mission field, to seek and to save them that are lost. God will bless them in their work if they walk humbly with Him, leaning wholly upon His promises. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 12

Tuesday morning Willie left again in company with others in search of land. They will pursue this matter through Wednesday, and perhaps later. Tuesday we had a visit from a brother, a German minister, who attended our camp meeting and the summer school that followed. He returns now to Queensland to engage in the work there. Next came Mr. Hendon [Herndon?] from Melbourne, who has attended all the meetings held in the town hall, and also the camp meeting. He is a contractor and builder. Two of his daughters were with him. One is in the faith and has attended our school in Melbourne. They remained through the day. Next came Sister Wesley Hare and her little boy, and Sister Hardy from Sydney. So it has been a day to entertain visitors. Elder Starr had to do most of the entertaining, for my letters must be prepared for the American mail. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 13

Today Mrs. Press, president of the W.C.T.U. of Victoria, Mrs. Kirk, the secretary, and the sister and niece of Mrs. Press, will visit us and probably remain overnight. Our phaeton, and another which we shall secure, will take them to see the country about Parramatta. We hope the visit with these friends will be for their good. All have been convicted of the truth. There has been a large temperance convention in Sydney, and they were appointed delegates to the same. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 14

We hoped the meetings of the convention, and all things connected therewith, will not have an influence to draw them away from thoroughly investigating the truth. Their souls are all precious to the Lord Jesus and we want them to see the necessity of living loyal to God, but Satan will oppose every step of advance which they will make; all we can do is work and pray and wait the working of the Spirit of God. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 15

We must be vigilant, constantly on guard else Satan will obtain the mastery. It means much. “Watch for souls as they that must give an account.” [Hebrews 13:17.] [There is] no time to hold our hands now in listless indolence. The Lord is coming, and we have a solemn work to do to prepare our own souls through the grace richly given. But we are not to stop here. We must work diligently for souls in error and blindness, that they may be brought to see their peril and give up error and receive the truth. We must move the people to believe that there is both a God and a soul, that God has statutes and laws, and it is at the peril of the soul that these are disregarded. Confidence in error will not convert it into truth. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 16

God must be served with the undivided affections. God must be enthroned in the heart and Satan dethroned and expelled from the heart’s kingdom. It has to be oft repeated that all those who claim to be children of Jesus Christ must have the mind of Christ, and be constantly looking to Christ and contemplating His character, else they will destroy the truth by an unbelieving, unsanctified life. To deceive the soul with a mere profession of faith is misrepresenting Christ’s character. “I am a Christian” should be the language of the heart. I must love the holy principles of the law of God. 9LtMs, Ms 23, 1894, par. 17