Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

151/284

Lt 123, 1895

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Hobart, Tasmania

December 9, 1895

Previously unpublished.

Dear Children:

I must get something off for you in this mail. I must say some things to you before this letter shall be enveloped. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 1

We shall remain in Tasmania until the 17th of December, then go by boat to Sydney. We are convinced it was our duty to hold this meeting. It has been a great blessing to the scattered believers in Hobart and Bismark and those who have come from Launceston and places at a distance. The outside interest and attendance have been much better than we could expect. The grounds were two miles from the city. We feel deeply for the scattered flock here. They have no meetinghouse, but a house of worship must be built; and it must be a very plain, inexpensive building. Fourteen went forward in baptism yesterday. We expect others will follow. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 2

The Lord has indeed sent His servant Professor Prescott. The people flock to hear him and are soon interested, and we have very good congregations here in Tasmania. It is a place full of churches, yet as far as practical godliness is concerned, they are as clouds without water. They are dead, twice dead, and plucked up by the roots. We do hope that souls will be convicted and converted. Several who have been lingering, half decided, have decided to keep the Sabbath. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 3

When the invitation was given to come forward he did not move. I went to him and invited him to make his decision then, for “Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.” [2 Corinthians 6:2.] He didn’t come forward but bowed then and there on his knees, which I know was a surrender to God. Oh, the Lord came near unto us, and His Holy Spirit in rich measure flowed into our hearts. I think the ministers have had as great a revival as any at this meeting. They have gained an experience that there must be most thorough plowing, that the fallow ground of the heart shall be broken up. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 4

These meetings that call the church to make some demonstration are just what is needed to break the spell of indifference, give spiritual activity, and awaken them to life. And as they draw nigh to God, they realize that the Lord draws nigh unto them, and then they feel the peace, the quickening influence of His Holy Spirit. They are in truth wonderfully helped, for all are ready to bear their testimony and this helps them. I believe the Lord will work for this people. I am sure the Lord has a people here in this place. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 5

Carefulness, patience, and the gentleness of Christ must be mingled with steadfast, firm principles. We are compelled to stand fast for the faith once delivered to the saints. The Holy Spirit is to be kept before the people. Those in the church and out of the church all need to have kept before them that in the young man and any one of the human family, his intellectual capabilities are increased in exact proportion as the religious character is developed. Motives and promises and rewards for all right actions become to him an assurance of divine help to co-operate with effort. God requires nothing of any one of the beings which He has created unless He has provided strength and rich grace to make him sufficient for the emergency. Therefore there is no need of despondency. Our energies, sanctified, are to be brought to the conflict. All they who love God with all the heart, mind, and strength, and their neighbor as themselves, have obtained a position best qualified for the high, sacred work of God. [Remainder missing.] 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 6

I will not draw you from the labor of the Southern field. You may, ere many months shall pass, have your mother by your side occasionally. Sometimes I am strongly drawn, but dare not leave this field at present. Thus it has been in the past. But at the present time there are many considerations that weigh and balance me in the direction of America. How pleased I am that the work in the Southern field is advancing. My prayer is, Let it advance, deepen, widen, enlarge, until it shall be a part of the vineyard no longer neglected but under cultivation. May it become as a fruitful garden of the Lord. This can only be done by educating the colored people to read. Then let the Word of God, the Bible, be placed in their hands, and if unexplained by human agencies, the Holy Spirit will make the application of the words of Holy Writ. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 7

The Apostle Paul considered it a great advantage the Jew had above the Gentile “because unto them had been committed the oracles of God.” [Romans 3:2.] This is the highest commendation and testimony as to the value of the Bible, and every attention should be exercised to have the sacred Book containing the whole of revelation placed in the hands of all nations, tongues, and people. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 8

If the mere possession of the Bible is an advantage, how much greater is the privilege of knowing how to read and study its pages. Earthly possessions are talents to be imparted to others to advance the work of righteousness in the world. All who shall understand the Word are stewards of God as verily as those who have been entrusted with riches. It is now becoming more an educating lesson book for children, for youth, for giving to young and those of mature age the instruction of truth in heavenly things, which is the higher education. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 9

A writer says: “We always recur with great delight in the testimony of a deist who, after publicly laboring to disprove Christianity and bring the Scripture into contempt as a forgery, was found instructing his child from the pages of the New Testament. When taxed with the flagrant inconsistency, his only reply was that it was necessary to teach the child morality, and that nowhere was to be found such morality as in the Bible. We thank the deist for the confession.” 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 10

Teach the colored people to read the Word of God and it will have a transforming power upon the life and upon the character, give vigor to the intellect, and, as the principles contained in the Word are set home by the power of the Holy Spirit, will work positive reformation in the minds of all who receive the Word. Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that is within me, that something is being done for the Southern field. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 11

Where the Bible is reverenced as the Word of the living God, the promises of God can be repeated over and over again, and every repetition brings light into the mind. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] The Word of God is to be our educating book in the knowledge of what faith is, and there is need to impress upon the mind that God stands back of every promise. To claim these promises is our privilege. They are given to all who receive them by faith and appropriate them, which is eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 12

To all who shall be instrumental in turning souls from sin to righteousness, converting the sinners from sin to truth, from darkness to light, special promises are given. Ever bear in mind, and teach others, also, “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.” [Daniel 12:3, 10.] 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 13

We have every encouragement that the Lord reads the heart and will work for all who are meek and lowly of heart. The work of all who engage to improve the condition of the fallen race will meet with singular resistance, because Satan would make sorry the heart of Christ by working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, to hedge up the way that the Lord would have made plain and distinct. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 14

Our work is to draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to us. We hear excellent reports of the camp meeting. Men are coming out to hear the truth who have been church-going people years ago, but state that they cannot now receive any benefit in the churches—they might just as well remain away. And quite a number have a similar report. They attend every meeting and hear every discourse. We depend on the Spirit of the Lord to draw them. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 15

I cannot write more now. I have to keep up my part of the meeting and must not become weary. I have other letters to write. I have written eighteen pages of letter paper since half past one o’clock a.m. The Lord bless you is our prayer. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 16

Mother.

Have a letter partly finished for Elder Haskell. It shall come in next mail. I get brain weary and therefore it is not best to send any letters I am too weary to read. I have a long letter for Dr. Kellogg, but I want nothing to come to him but that which I send to him personally. 10LtMs, Lt 123, 1895, par. 17

Mother.