Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 128, 1895

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Norfolk Villa, Granville, N. S. W., Australia

December 22, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in UL 370; TMK 214; 4Bio 236.

Dear Children:

We are home again. We left Tasmania last Tuesday the 17th. I was quite weary. We secured staterooms on the deck. Had plenty of air and room and not very bad motion, but we learned, to our great inconvenience and sorrow, that we were in the very worst part of the ship, the working part, and the noise was nearly continual—from handling irons, throwing them down, and making noise like thunder. The wind blew severely and I could not remain upon deck after the first day. The third night at twelve o’clock we reached Sydney Harbor. There was so much noise and racket I did not sleep one minute after the boat anchored. Then Caldwell came on board, saying he had my horse and family carriage to take us home. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 1

May White and Willie remained to look after the baggage. Maggie Hare, Sara McEnterfer, and your mother decided to ride home to Granville, fourteen miles from the dock. We were so thankful to get in the carriage. We did not arrive at home until three a.m., and when we prepared for our bed it was daylight. I could sleep only thirty minutes. This was not a rough passage and the boat did not heave and toss as on many occasions, but Maggie was quite sick. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 2

We found all well as usual at home. We had been absent two months and two days. I have had severe pains in my head occasioned, I think, by the constant heavy clattering of irons. I was so pleased to be at home, although I was in a state of great exhaustion. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 3

I spoke to the Parramatta Church at eleven a.m. A goodly number were assembled, although there was appearance of rain. I felt that God gave me a message to the people. This day, Sunday, I am very weak. May and Sara are true yoke fellows and they are now packing my goods for Cooranbong, Avondale tract. (Direct your letters to this address.) Tuesday we expect to leave for our new home. Willie and May and children will see to the moving. Spend Week of Prayer in the churches about Sydney and call as many together as can come. Sarah Belden, Sara McEnterfer, and Edith Ward—a girl fourteen years old—will settle our new house. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 4

Willie must have room for his family. I will have a frame made and enclosed, consisting of three or four rooms, and without trying to finish it, put on cloth and paper over the cloth; and this will do until we shall get money to put up an humble cottage. He and his family will live by themselves. We will compose, besides, a family of eight, including my workman to care for horses, Brother Connell, a man that can be depended on. The packing is going on all around me, and I have general weakness and debility so that you cannot expect much of me. We had sixteen in our family last Friday. Marian, Maggie Hare, May Israel, Sarah Belden, Sara McEnterfer, Edith Ward, Brother Connell, and your Mother constitute my family. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 5

Sarah Belden shall live with me. I pay her three dollars per week to be matron of my home, and then she will be as my daughter. I shall be her mother. She feels the death of Byron. Her heart is so sore and sad, yet she tries to bear up and be cheerful; but it is bearing heavily upon her. I hope she will not grieve her own life away. She will be of great value to me, for I am not able to find one that can cook properly. She is very saving and yet her food is excellent. If she will be content to remain with me, I shall be pleased. I think she looks at the work that is needing to be done in and about Sydney and she longs for strength to take hold of the work, but she is not strong and she dare not venture. I have felt the loss of Byron keenly. The suddenness of his death seems strange. He had not complained of his lungs at all but he had worked, as he always has done, with constancy and fidelity. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 6

I would remain here and labor as I have done, but I dare not venture. I must be free to rest awhile. I spoke at length in Melbourne twenty times and six times in council meetings and morning meetings; eleven times at length and five times in morning meetings [in Hobart?]. The Sabbaths I was in Hobart I was constrained by the love of Christ and love for the souls for whom He died to make every effort to awaken an interest in the congregation assembled. I called those assembled forward first Sabbath, and I felt that I must draw them in the name of the Lord—compel them to come in—by presenting to them the matchless love of God. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 7

I walked to the last seat in the large tent, where were seated six young men, their ages from fifteen to seventeen. I addressed one especially, the eldest, and addressed to him a few appropriate words, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” [John 12:32.] I mentioned how Jesus had paid the ransom for their souls, and were they not willing to respond to the evidence of so great love? Jesus was looking upon them with longing hunger for souls to come to Him and believe in Him, that they should not perish but have everlasting life. I felt like persuading these young men to take their position under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel without delay. The Holy Spirit, I knew, was by my side, softening and subduing souls. I presented before these youth that Christ had done all that a God could do to make it possible for them to have eternal life and the riches of glory. Would they give to Jesus the service which is His own, purchased by human agony, giving them a probation to form characters for the future, immortal life? The Lord Jesus, our Advocate, is longing and hungering for the hearts that He has given His life to redeem. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 8

Thank God, one young man responded, and the occupants of the seat all went forward. We had a precious season of prayer. The Spirit of the Lord was resting upon us under that tent. We believe that souls surrendered to the Lord that day, and that there was rejoicing in the heavenly courts over souls consecrated to Jesus Christ. My heart was full of peace and hope and gladness that several had decided to come out from the world and be separate. The promise is “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] If their acquaintances and friends refuse to come to Jesus, that He shall take away their sins and give them His righteousness, then they must consent to tread the strait and narrow pathway without them. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 9

We must ever bear in mind that Jesus is hungry for fruit. He wants souls to come unto Him that He may give them light and life and peace and consolation. The crown of life is to be placed upon the heads of all who will run the race with patience. All who will follow the guidance of the heavenly light, which is unseen by mortal vision but by the eye of faith is discerned shining upon their pathway, will be all light in the Lord. We had a most pleasant and profitable testimony meeting, and many testimonies were borne praising the Lord for the blessing received. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 10

I felt most deeply that we had much to be thankful for. Here were quite a little company standing with Christ and witnessing for Christ. One precious soul saved is of more value than the whole world, and here were several. I had invited one and another and they responded. One who had been long holding out, not taking a decided stand, was fully decided at this meeting; and his wife, who has been long praying for him, was greatly blessed. She felt that God was indeed answering her prayers, and her heart was made joyful in God. Sister Howe’s three children gave their hearts to the Lord. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 11

The meeting that day, December 7, we hope will never be forgotten, for it was a meeting long to be remembered. We felt that it was a most precious opportunity to honor God. The invitations that were made for all to seek God—believers and those not of our faith—bear the endorsement of heaven. These earnest invitations are to be made, for often there are souls that are upon the very point of decision and need help in these very invitations, and they are moved by the holy Spirit to respond. And what a victory is gained if there is only one who shall have moral courage to cut loose from the controlling power of Satan, leave his service, step from beneath the black banner of rebellion, and place himself under the banner of loyalty and truth to keep all the commandments of God. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 12

We did not feel clear to let one Sabbath go by without opening the way for hesitating, tried, and tempted souls. We knew by experience that upon these occasions the Lord Jesus is in our midst. His angels are co-operating with the human agents to convict the souls that are being drawn—represented as the message sent compelling them to come in. The second Sabbath again the invitation was made for those who have believed the truth to come forward and seek the blessing of the Holy Spirit, that the words spoken during these meetings would lead them to a more definite and clearer understanding of the truth, that they may feel its positive influence upon their own hearts and their faith be strengthened—that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 13

None need to feel it too humiliating to thus present themselves as seeking at the throne of grace for larger supplies. The temple doors are to be opened. The temple of the soul is to be cleansed from moral defilement, altars of sacrifice set right, selfishness cleansed away from the soul, idols sacrificed. The ministers and people bowed in humility and contrition before God, that as they shall freely receive of the precious grace of God, [they may] willingly and freely, cheerfully [and] gladly give, to those who shall need all the light and encouragement [they] can give them. God is constantly giving, and as we receive, we are constantly to give. We are placing ourselves in the attitude of suppliants, and all the universe of heaven recognizes the desire for the larger blessings. The faith of many is stimulated to believe that God hears them and accepts them. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 14

This second call was a great blessing. Several came forward who had held back before. They began to understand that to make a decided movement and witness for the Master that they were drawing nigh to God and greatly desirous of drinking of the waters of life which floweth forth from the throne of God, was not an action of which they were to be ashamed, but the right and proper thing to do. All were blessed in doing this. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 15

The last Sabbath, after speaking to the people, I felt urged by the Spirit of God to again make the call to come forward to the front seats, and we [would] all unite in presenting ourselves before the Lord for His blessing. The promise of God was fulfilled: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. ... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:8-10. Several who had not responded before came forward and expressed themselves that they had hoped the invitation would be repeated. They were melted in heart and with much weeping and rejoicing confessed that the Lord had blessed them. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 16

On these solemn occasions there is a special drawing by the Holy Spirit of God upon those who have not identified themselves as believers;, while they see that those who know and believe the truth feel their need of a larger experience, a deep and earnest work of the Spirit of God on their hearts and are not at all ashamed to present themselves before the Lord for a special blessing, they are convicted that they themselves have been left behind. They have not taken the first advance step. They gather courage by the example of others to take their stand as Christ’s witnesses, to come out from the world and be separate. The courage of the soldier rises with putting on the uniform, and still more as he looks upon those who are spectators and make no decided movement. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 17

Precious testimonies were borne by young and middle-aged and aged. The truth, to be genuine in its influence on the human heart, must be acknowledged before the universe of heaven, before the worlds unfallen, and before men. Let no one entertain the idea that he may work out his own salvation or receive the smallest spiritual blessing which the gospel offers by stealth. The Lord calls for open, manly confession. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.” [Isaiah 43:10.] Nothing can be effectually gained in advancing in the knowledge of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ until the believing one, longing after Christian excellence of character, shall become as God has intended, a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men, a city set on a hill that cannot be hid. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 18

Those who profess to be Christians and may be bearing responsibilities as elders of the church, [or] as deacons, have lessons to learn daily for their own spiritual advancement, lessons which in learning they exemplify to others for their instruction. In thus doing they are a savor of life unto life and bear the divine impress. There is unconsciously stealing over many who profess to believe the truth an insensibility of their need, positive need, of eating of the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God that they may have life—eternal life—in themselves by being partakers of the divine nature. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 19

“Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” [John 6:27.] The precious Word is that bread that cometh down from heaven. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verse 63.] But what profit are they to us unless they are appropriated? The Lord Jesus at infinite suffering and sacrifice hath provided every essential aid that is required for success. The Holy Spirit, the representative of Himself, communicates the divine attributes, that man may be an overcomer. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 20

We are grateful to God for the good we see has been accomplished by the camp meeting held in Hobart. Several were confused by the many voices heard on every side, Here is Christ, and Here is Christ. But the Lord gave His servants messages to give to the people, the trumpet was giving a certain sound and all who are humble seekers for truth will gather under the banner of Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 21

We are made to feel deeply the necessities that present themselves before us as a people that we must have schools established where those who shall attend as students shall have the privilege of hearing the Word of God presented in its true bearing. Had the Jewish nation given the correct interpretation of the Scriptures, they would not have heard the scathing rebuke from Jesus Christ, Ye make void the law of God by your traditions, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. I have been made to feel deeply that those who know the truth shall the more freely receive the most precious light shining forth from the pages of sacred history, that they may freely give to those who are in the darkness of error. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 22

We frequently have brought to our notice cases of youth who are bewildered by the teachers and the ministry of the Word in the churches of today, because they are doing as the Jewish nation did “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” [Matthew 15:9.] There are Christian Endeavor Societies that our youth who have a knowledge of the truth are urged to join, and also flattering prospects are held out before them to create ambition to become worldly wise men. The Bible is taken, as a whole, [as] the Word of God, but not all the inspired Word. One wise man questions some portions of it, and some other wise, supposed good man questions another book; and infidelity is stealthily making itself a place in the minds of youth. Soon the knowledge of the truth weakens and their faith is confused. They do not know what to believe. And we find, during these camp meetings, some precious youth who were about to make their decision on the side of those who are making void the law of God. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 23

One mother said, “Oh, I am so glad you spoke to my son. I watched; I prayed that you would walk to the very last seat under the tent and speak to my son, for he was in great danger of taking a wrong stand. He was young and inexperienced. Those who were teaching false doctrines were, through deceiving influences, drawing him away; but he responded to your personal invitation and has now taken his stand for truth.” Another sister said, “Oh, I am so thankful to God that you made a personal invitation to my husband. Oh how good the Lord is to send you through the congregation, inviting souls to surrender to Jesus Christ!” 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 24

We want the youth to have the advantages of our school, and we believe the Lord will bless our efforts in being fully in earnest ourselves. Until the individual members of the church will take an avowed and recognized position as settled in the faith, they cannot possibly give full scope and influence in exercising their God-given resources, calling all their capabilities and powers into action, letting all know where they will be found. When one places his feet on the solid Rock Christ Jesus as his foundation, he receives an endowment of power from the Source of all knowledge, all wisdom, and spiritual efficiency, that all may know to which party he belongs—commandmentkeepers or commandmentbreakers. The banner of Prince Immanuel that floats over his head will not fail to clear away all uncertainty and give all to understand that we keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. The love of Jesus Christ possesses a constraining power. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 25

Our youth must read no kind of indecision in our course of action. The living out of Bible truth gives a direct and powerful tendency to expansion and growth. Every virtue becomes invigorated as it is exercised. It is a sore trial to drag ourselves away from worldly, deceiving influences. Every step that we advance we see obstacles that Satan presents, and we have to wrestle with difficulties, but an experience is being gained in having to press against these barriers, for the way opens, fresh incentives are presented from heaven, and faith becomes confirmed as we look upon Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 26

The attractions of Christ are all-satisfying, and through Christ Jesus we read our title to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. His grace is seen to be all-sufficient. The sympathy and love of Jesus are beseeching, wooing, drawing us to follow on in His footsteps, to know the Lord until we shall know His going forth is prepared as the morning. Faith and confidence increase with exercise and exert upon us and those associated with us a more and more decided influence. The truth abiding in the heart sanctifies the soul. It animates, it encourages, it impels, it constrains us. The willing soul is bound, his life is hid with Christ in God. The love of God is an abiding power. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 27

Edson, we decide we must have camp meetings in these cities every year if we can have means to sustain them. I shall use all the means I can possibly obtain from my books to sustain the work. Edson, whatever you shall get out, send a copy to us as soon as possible for us to criticize. The camp meetings bring their burdens so that we cannot do much but keep the living issues before us up to a healthful growth. We use every jot of influence we can obtain from the Lord, and you know He is not stinted in His supplies to all who will make a right use of His gifts. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 28

Dear children, this is the best I can do for you this time. I have been almost wholly unfitted for any kind of work, and yet, I shall say, not a mail has been missed that a letter has not gone to you. I hope and pray that the Lord will greatly bless you, my son. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 29

Much love from Mother. 10LtMs, Lt 128, 1895, par. 30