Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 88a, 1895

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Cooranbong, N. S. W., Australia

July 7, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 185.

Dear Children Edson and Emma:

I have opportunity this morning to meet the teachers and students in the school and speak to them. It is now half past five. I have just called Willie. We walk across a wooded paddock to the school building—the walk taking about fifteen minutes. Then we shall have a one hour’s meeting. Yesterday, Sabbath, we had the large dining hall full of people; some outsiders were present, the school teacher and the wife of the surveyor of the wooded tract, the postmaster, and several other who seem favorably inclined. I spoke from the first four verses of John fourteen, and from (Acts 1), showing the ascension of our Lord to heaven. We had a good interest. We then entered into the business of organizing a church of twenty-five members. Quite a number of the present students of the Agricultural School will become members of the church in Cooranbong but are not yet fully prepared, some not having received their letters from their churches; others know not whether they will be residents of Cooranbong or of some other place. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 1

We are pleased to make so favorable a beginning, and we believe there will be a large church in this place. We returned home after the meeting, and after dinner Brother and Sister Rousseau came to call on us. We brought all our easiest chairs (which were few) on the piazza and had a pleasant talk in regard to the future of the work; and the men, Rousseau and Willie and Caldwell, who had been tramping about considerably over the ground, were glad of the Sabbath rest. We had our season of prayer closing the Sabbath on the piazza. Then Caldwell, May White, Ella, Mabel, and Willie went to the school grounds, Willie to attend a committee and the rest to behold an immense bonfire, which was a great treat to the children; but how I wish that poor families in our cities could have had the wood thus consumed. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 2

Willie and your mother have just returned from the morning gathering season of instruction. I spoke to them some very solemn words from 1 Peter 3:8, 13; 1 Peter 4:1-2. There were twenty-two present at this morning exercise. Brother Rousseau pleaded for me to be present Monday morning, and as often as Willie and I could come; but we must have better accommodations. Twenty-two crowded into a room 12 x 12 is unhealthful. We are trying to get things started, and then there will be growth. The atmosphere seems to be healthful, and if we can get up buildings, so that we will not be poisoned by one another’s breath, it will be a great advantage. These morning meeting are a great help to all the workers. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 3

How pleased we would be to see you and we plan together our residence. We now can only build a barn, roomy and with a chamber that will store our fodder. This we will occupy until we can build a cottage, but we will clear only a little at a time. We need to put in crops as soon as August; and it is now July, and not a stroke done on our land yet. The frost has been quite heavy, and there has been a little skimming of ice. July and August are the coldest months. There have been no clouds or rain for a long time. The sun shines beautifully in the day time, and the moon at night. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 4

Last Wednesday our family, Brother Caldwell, May, the children, and myself after dinner met Willie, who joined us. He had been tramping over the Avondon Tract with the surveyor. We had a pleasurable ride upon the river six miles, and then entered the broad lake. It was beautiful. The setting sun reflected its beautiful tints upon the water. Brother Caldwell wished to go upon an island, quite an elevation, and view the broad expanse of water; but I was weary, and we thought not best. I knew Brother Caldwell and Willie were in need of rest rather than exercise. We reached home about eight o’clock—glad to be at home again. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 5

I am just writing to tell you I am not able to write much now. I have worked early and late, writing and speaking, and now I am not able to write. Brother Caldwell brought our teams over here seventy-five miles. He also brought my platform wagon, and we ride out whenever we can. As yet W. C. White has had to be closely connected with the surveyor, and therefore has not been with his family much. The plat of land I am to purchase costs me $1,350. I have forty acres, and it was supposed I would have twenty; but I want to embrace as much as forty acres, for some must be left as woodland and a portion for grazing and cultivation. Sometimes I think forty is scarcely sufficient. The purchase of this land is really a necessity, for the school, and everything, seems to be struggling to advance. Why we are here is that we shall have a suitable place to have the children who attend school receive all the benefits of a healthful, beautiful location, and our influence will be a help to many souls if we continue in the love of God. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 6

I am recovering slowly from a long strain, and place myself where I shall soon be called out to labor in Sydney. Until I have rest, complete rest, for a while, I can do nothing. Then I am thinking of making the most of my time in setting hands at work clearing the land in spots and cultivating the soil; and in two weeks we can have this building to use for a dwelling house, and take our time to build us a cheap cottage. As soon as the surveyors are through, then we will work in earnest. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 7

If I can give up our cottage it will be the saving of one pound four shillings one pence per week, twenty-five dollars per month. This put into a house will help us now. We have a most beautiful residence, but it has been as a free hotel ever since we have lived in it, and will continue to be if we live in it for another year or two; but I need retirement and rest, and must have it. I shall no longer take the responsibilities of a family, but shall board with Willie; and as he has no means with which to build, I shall build and he will live in my house. This is the only way we can do, for Willie has nothing after supporting and transporting his family to Australia. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 8

I write you all the particulars because I think you will be pleased to know them. I wish you could see this beautiful body of water called Dora Creek. It is misnamed. It should be called a beautiful river, merging into a vast expansive lake, clear as crystal and smooth, not dangerous but quiet, waters. But I am writing too much and must stop. I hope that you will some time come to this country. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 9

Do not be discouraged or fail in your missionary enterprise. Just seek the Lord. He is your shield and buckler, your fortress; and if you trust Him implicitly He will give you divine power. His strength will be your strength. Hang these words in memory’s hall: “He will not fail nor be discouraged.” “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 42:4; 57:15.] 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 10

What words are these, full of hope and courage, of assurance and grace. Edson, walk humbly with God, trust in the Lord, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength; encourage faith. When there was no arm stretched out to save you, when wandering from Him, His arm brought salvation. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 11

“Lord, when came these blood-drops all the way,
That mark out the mountain’s track?”
“They were shed for thee who had gone astray,
‘Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.”
“But all through the mountains, thunder-riven,
And up from the rocky steep,
There rose a cry to the gate of heaven,
‘Rejoice, I have found My sheep.’
And the angels echoed round the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own.”
10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 12

You are in a hard, discouraging field, but the Lord has given you a rich experience, of value not only to yourself, but to many others through you. You are co-operating with God in working out your own salvation. We are co-laborers together with God, especially in working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, because the human agent knows his weakness. In himself he can do nothing; but in God, he will triumph gloriously, “for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:13.] This is the principle of harmonious action, the co-operation of the divine and human agency. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 13

When you cannot see the come-out of matters, just trust in God. The storm and tempest of temptation will sweep away every foundation that is not built in solid rock; and the houses of all who are not doers of the Word of God will fall. When you feel surrounded with impossibilities, then listen to the Voice that said to the white-capped billows that talked with death, “Peace, be still.” [Mark 4:39.] God is nigh unto you. He has given you the very experience which in my great affliction I prayed day and night that you might have. God works, you are to co-operate in the work—with the divine agency. Human devices may be multiplied, but although strong, there is a controlling agency that will prevail. God works, and the human agent works in co-operation with God to make of himself all that God has designed he should be, to the reflecting of the image of the character of God. There is inefficiency of the human agent in his efforts to perfect a Christian character; but to be co-laborers together with God is the purification of the soul temple from moral defilement. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 14

God gives the Holy Spirit and supplies opportunities and privileges. God has given moral sensibilities for the uplifting of the human agent. The Lord has given His only begotten Son “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish by have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] If we will work with God and Christ, being in every sense laborers together with God, we will not fight as one who beateth the air. Our mental and spiritual powers must be called into action. Christ is the Light, the Truth, and the Way. Children, when I get upon this subject, I am overwhelmed with amazement at the marvelous love of God. We must appreciate and use every help offered, and then we will never fail nor be discouraged. Christian duties are to be faithfully done, and this gives the heavenly agencies channels through which they can work in these hours of probation. God expects us to develop moral improvement. His grace is bestowed without limit, full and broad and deep. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 15

For every lost sheep, God has provided a shepherd to seek him; every outcast may be brought back to our Father’s house. Thus the faithfulness and the zeal of the whole-souled, consecrated workers will be developed. There are in the field of your labor, my son, untrained, uneducated, undisciplined mortals, whom God has committed to His followers to seek by every devising and planning, through the grace given of God to save, and thus work in perfect harmony with the angels of heaven. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 16

Many cannot even read the divine Word, and [they] follow their own superstitious ideas, and yet these poor, ignorant beings, degraded by sin, may be saved, elevated, sanctified, ennobled, through the divine power of God. They must be educated, and the superabundant provision made for a few should be made for the ones who have been neglected and oppressed and degraded by the will and power of man. They have been left in ignorance when they should have been taught; left unconverted when they should have had every advantage possible to rescue and save them. But let us redeem the time now, and in the place of expending so largely upon a few, take in the world who need help, and a people who have been strangely neglected. The colored people need simple books. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 17

But I am not able to write as I would, though my soul is alive to this subject. Then I know that God in all His compassion is beholding and seeing what His people will do for the uplifting of the oppressed, in this case so urgent. The angelic hosts are waiting to use men to interpose and press back the power of darkness. If they do not walk in the light God has given them and arouse to action, earnest and determined, God will hold men accountable. It will be better for them if they had never been born. Weighed in the golden balances of the sanctuary and found wanting! But each of us has a part to act, and there must be no betrayal of the holy truth committed to us. We are a spectacle unto the world, to angels and to men. Consecrate all you have to God. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 18

Oh, that men would honor and fear and love God always. We are God’s living epistles, known and read of all men. The Word of God, not only preached, but exemplified in the life, reveals the power of God in the molding and fashioning of the character after the Divine Model. “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] Religious light is to shine through good works, for these works are the fruit, and testify of the faith in Jesus Christ and His words of life, which make men wise unto salvation. This is one of God’s ways of making us channels through which He communicates, manifesting the excellency of the power of the gospel. Every soul who is indeed a child of the light and not of darkness is bound to let that light shine in clear, steady rays, to be not carnal, but spiritually minded, that he may contribute to the very best of his ability toward the illumination of the world. Christ expects every man to do his best to make His own valuable sacrifice for the world a success. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 19

Every soul, rich or poor, is called into action to be laborers together with God, to evidence before the universe of heaven if he will be under obedience to God, to obey His orders in the heavenly courts. Those who are not apparently of large capability, connecting with the great Teacher, will become laborers together with God. And if he chooses his own way and his own will, then the guilt is upon himself, for God’s will is plainly revealed, and the sin of disobedience lies at man’s door. God depends upon those who wear His yoke to draw with Him, plowing the field and sowing the seed. If you fail to draw with Christ, to prepare the soil preparatory to putting in the seed, then you are not faithful workmen. Shall we, any of us, after every provision has been made that we may be abundantly supplied with grace, rich grace, fail to act our part in these last days? Shall Satan rule over mind, and mold the characters? No! Will you answer, No! with mind and will and voice? 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 20

If the Holy Spirit works through the human agent, then the world will have the light from heaven as God designs. God places in our hands the remedy for the sin-sick soul. Will we use it? It is through God’s human, living agencies that the ignorant, the perishing, sin-sick soul is to be saved unto life eternal. The efficiency is at the command of every seeker, that he may obtain the precious gift to impart to others. If he does not do this, God holds him accountable. He has decidedly failed to be faithful, and our last great reckoning will be as our—profession of faith? No, as our works have been. The inward grace will be as an irrepressible well of water, springing up unto eternal life. Let us all do our best; work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 21

Now, my son, in regard to the book you have mentioned, we will take hold of them just as soon as we can give attention to them. We have had so many pressing matters that we could do but little more than talk; but be patient, you shall have something soon. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 22

You will be interested to learn that the industrial department is working successfully. Study and labor combined is working wonderful changes in the physical, mental, and moral. Students are improving in every way. I will be able in my next letter to send you something definite in regard to the success of the plans. In a short time I will awaken Willie to walk with me (half-past five) by moonlight across the paddocks three quarters of a mile to the meeting in the early morning in the building used for the school. I am relieving Brother Rousseau by speaking to the students in the early hours of the morning. We have fences to climb, or crawl through the bars, in passing cross-lots to the building. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 23

I am writing to you by lamp-light; but this is the only letter I have been able to write for America. I have not time to even read it over, so excuse all blunders and mistakes. The Lord bless you both, my dear children, and as you draw nigh to God, remember the promise that He will draw nigh unto you. [James 4:8.] Press onward and upward to victory and the receiving of the crown of life, the immortal crown, a glory that will never be taken from you. But whatever any man or men shall do to discourage you, grip the hold, fasten firm upon God, and draw with Christ to save perishing souls. Whatever men shall do, whatever may be their failings, you are to be just and holy in the sight of God, and do your duty for time and for eternity. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 24

With much love I send you this letter. 10LtMs, Lt 88a, 1895, par. 25