Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 82, 1895

White, J. E.

Campground, Armadale, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

November 1895

Portions of this letter are published in VSS 219, 390, 403-404; TMK 275, 297, 318; 4Bio 234. +Note

Dear Son Edson:

Sabbath, October 19, the gathering at the tent was larger than we expected, as in the forenoon meetings were held by our people in the different churches. Hereafter all will come to the ground on Sabbath and Sunday. In the forenoon Brother Corliss spoke from Hosea words that were full of instruction. I spoke in the afternoon from the fourth [chapter] of John: “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” [Verse 10.] 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 1

“The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his sons, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again, but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life.” [Verses 11-14.] The Lord strengthened me to bear my testimony in His name. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 2

We then had a very excellent testimony meeting. Many testimonies were borne, giving praise and glory to God for His unspeakable goodness and matchless love to fallen man in the gift of Jesus, His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All seemed to have a desire to lift up Jesus higher and still higher, and the hymns sung were expressive of praise and thanksgiving to God. Some testified who were not in the faith; one man, a minister, whose heart was stirred by the Holy Spirit, witnessed that the Spirit of God was in the meeting. We felt much pleased to see so large an attendance, not only of our own people, but from the outside. May the Lord touch the hearts of the people, and give them His Holy Spirit to convict of sin and to convert the soul. The message of invitation and mercy must be given to the world. The time seems short. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 3

In the evening Brother Prescott gave a discourse to a large company. We were happily disappointed in the number present throughout the day on Sabbath, and in the interest that was manifested. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 4

On Sunday, at eleven a.m., Brother Wilson of New Zealand gave a most profitable discourse, beautiful in its simplicity, and in no way savoring of cheapness. The more plain and simple a discourse is, the more do the teachings of the under-shepherds represent the teaching of the Chief Shepherd. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 5

I spoke in the afternoon. The pavilion was full to overflowing, quite a company stood on the outside, and all seemed to listen with deep interest. The Lord strengthened His servant to bear a plain testimony, dwelling especially upon our obligation to acknowledge God in all our ways, and the importance of seeking more and more to obtain a knowledge of God. I presented the words in the prayer of Christ just before His crucifixion. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 6

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee; as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” [John 17:1-8.] 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 7

How important then that we study the words of Christ, which the Father gave Him to give to the world. There is knowledge for all of us to gain here in this world. It is the divine plan that we receive the words of Christ and practice them, for the state of the heart regulates the life and forms character. And obedience to the words of Christ will be evidence that we receive Him. The Bible is to be our directory, our guidebook. Then all the business transactions of life will bear the signature of heaven. All the gifts of providence will be put to the wisest use. God will be seen in all our habits, in all our words, in all our practices; and by precept and example we shall be educators. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 8

In the evening Professor Prescott gave a most powerful discourse, instruction precious as gold. The tent was full, and many were standing outside. All seemed to be fascinated with the Word of God as the speaker presented the truth in new lines, separating the truth from the companionship of error, and by the divine influence of the Spirit of God making it to shine like precious jewels. The principles of rectitude as manifest in perfect obedience to all the commandments of God were made distinct and plain as essential for the salvation of the world. Obedience to the laws of God’s kingdom reveals the presence of the divine in the human agent, sanctifying his character and preparing him for the mansions that Christ is preparing for all who love Him. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 9

November 5

From the beginning of the meeting the interest in Armadale has been deepening. We feel so glad that the Holy Spirit of God is at work. Some have already decided to obey the truth. In visiting with the Echos, one of the workers met a lady who had never heard anything on the subject of the Sabbath, yet she had been keeping it for twelve months. In studying the Bible, she was convicted that she was keeping the wrong day, and that the seventh day was the true Sabbath. She is now attending the meetings and feasting upon the truth. There are many who are just on the point of taking their stand. The Lord is working in power through His servants who are proclaiming the Word. God has given Brother Prescott a special message for the people. The truth comes forth from human lips in the demonstration of the Spirit and in power. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 10

We have [been] preaching on Sabbaths and Sundays, all evenings but one, and on Wednesday afternoon. We are hoping and praying for an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the people. We think that the best class of people are attending the meetings. The interest awakened exceeds anything we have yet had here in camp meetings. The great object of the speakers is to sweep away the refuge of lies by exalting Jesus higher and yet higher. We are doing our best to lead the people to look upon the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. In every discourse we seek to trace the effects of the manifold wisdom of God as brought home to the soul in the development of individual character. We are beginning to see men who have thought themselves wise, becoming fools that they may be wise; human wisdom is bowing to the revelation of divine truth. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 11

All of men’s attainments, all his capabilities, are to be laid at the foot of the cross of Calvary. His own righteousness is to be surrendered. Counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord, and with the meekness and humility of a little child, he is to receive the engrafted Word, which is able to save the soul. Jesus, precious Saviour, how hast Thou been slighted by us, and rejected by the world! The truth is shining forth in clear lines, and we appeal to the people to take the Word, the “Thus saith the Lord,” and search earnestly and prayerfully; the Holy Spirit will make application of the truth that is revealed on every page. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 12

Some will see the truth, and yet refuse to obey it. Solemn thought, that many are opposing that which has in itself carried to them the evidence of the truth. They are trying to muffle the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. They wrap the two-edged truth about with supposititious assertions, fanciful interpretations, to break its power upon their own minds. They seek to blunt its edge by their own carnal reasoning and invention of fables. Do they read the last chapter of Revelation, verses 18 and 19? Very forcible discourses have been given here in relation to the law and the gospel. Precious truth is presented, and many are strengthened and blessed. The inquiry is being made, “If I keep the Sabbath, what shall I do in regard to my business? I shall have to give it up. How shall I find work to sustain my family?” As the impossibilities present themselves, we present the precious promises. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 13

Afternoon. I have just returned from the services in the tent. I have spoken twice today, nearly one hour in the half past six morning meeting, and again this afternoon. I generally speak on Wednesday afternoons because it is a holiday, but this week I consented to speak on Tuesday because it is Cup Day. All the stores are closed, and not a thing can be purchased. Our brethren thought that if I could speak today, and the appointment was given out on Sunday, there would be a good congregation, and so it was. The tent was full. Extra seats were furnished, and some had to stand. I spoke upon the fruitless fig tree, making application of the same to the churches that bear no fruit. The Lord gave me freedom before that large assembly. There were present before me noble-looking countenances, and many, both men and women, wept. None left their seats, but all listened with most profound attention. The Lord did give me a message for the people. I know that the Holy Spirit worked upon minds and hearts. I have never in any of our camp meetings seen such eagerness to hear the truth. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 14

I have already spoken twelve times above one hour, and several times short <discourses.> The Lord’s presence is upon this encampment, and many hearts are stirred. Some are inquiring in reference to baptism. One asked for baptism today after the service, and the ordinance was administered. Sabbath and Sunday were very important days. This was the third Sabbath. The sound has gone out everywhere of the wonderful meetings. Seldom can I give myself the pleasure of listening to discourses from our ministering brethren; but Sabbath forenoon I attended the meeting and heard Professor Prescott preach. I know that since coming to this place he has had the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; his lips have been touched with a live coal from off the altar. We know and can distinguish the voice of the True Shepherd. The truth has been poured forth from the lips of the servant of God as the people had never heard it before; unbelievers turn pale and say, That man is inspired. The people do not stroll about the grounds, but go immediately into the tent, and listen as if spellbound. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 15

Every day some of our workers go out into the suburbs with Echos, notices, and invitations to come to the meeting where such wonderful things are presented from the Word of God. The Lord is pouring into the chambers of the mind and the soul temple fresh light, as precious as gold. I never heard the Word presented with greater fervency and power. I know it must be through the constraining power of God upon the human instrument. It is remarked by many that there is no manner of disturbance upon the ground. Every time I enter the encampment, I think the angels of God are here. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 16

November 24

I have reason to be thankful to God for His mercy and loving-kindness. He has helped and strengthened and blessed me so that I have been able to get off the American mail, which was sent on its way last Friday. Without special help from the Lord, I could not have accomplished so much writing. Maggie Hare, my reporter and typewriter, has been taking the discourses of Professor Prescott and writing them out so that they may be published in pamphlet or tract form. Sarah and I have done our best in preparing matter for the American mail. Again I thank my heavenly Father for His precious grace. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 17

Last Sabbath forenoon I spoke from (John 6:27-65), of Christ, the Bread of life, the food of which we must eat, and the water of life, of which we must drink, or we shall never see the kingdom of God. (Verse 63) gives the explanation of the whole lesson: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life.” In this chapter, what a representation is given of the privilege of all who believe in Jesus. To feed on the flesh and blood of the Son of God is to keep the Word, the truth, ever before us. Looking unto Jesus in our Christian experience, we shall walk—by sight? No, we must walk by faith, strengthening our faith in the Word of God. We are to study the Word, to practice its teachings, to bear in mind constantly that “the just shall live by faith.” [Romans 1:17.] 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 18

Since coming to this meeting I have felt that unless the Lord shall help me, I shall utterly fail. I have been brought into great trial and perplexity and distress of soul through <others.> I have felt that I stood upon the margin of the Red Sea, with no discernible path before me, and yet the word comes, “Go forward.” I must move, although it be into the waters. I must trust in God to open a path for me. He can cleave through every apparent obstruction, making a passage for my feet. My whole soul must bend to the will and way of God, waiting patiently for Him to lead the way. It is for me to say, “I will follow thee, my Saviour.” 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 19

The divine instruction to us is, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.” “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” [Psalm 37:5, 7.] This is my attitude now. Here is my faith, to stand here <still,> and see the salvation of God. I do not want to wrestle my way out of the hands of Christ. “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” [Isaiah 30:15.] I am indeed in great perplexity; I must not dishonor Jesus, I must watch, must pray, must believe. The time of uncertainty and trial is no time for me to be in a hurry and want to deliver myself. I must not move rashly and mar my faith and weaken my own soul. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 20

I must give counsel and advice to those who ask me, and I am led out especially to urge upon them to beware of entering into arrangements that would bring them in collision with the law of God. No unlawful or even doubtful step should be taken, with an idea of disentanglement or relief from present difficulties. It will never pay for persons to sin against God by venturing upon a presumptuous course of their own choosing. They will gain nothing but sorrow and loss if they transfer their interests from His hands into their own. It seems now that I am safe only in having every breath a prayer. “Take it to the Lord in prayer.” He alone can fully understand the situation. The wound which the enemy has caused me to receive at this meeting has seemed to me incurable, but I will not yield my faith. I have determined to do my duty in the fear of God. Then the trial of my faith will be more precious than gold. I have not to put my trust in feeling, but to walk by faith. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 21

During these meetings, which have continued five weeks, I have spoken twenty times, besides attending and speaking in the morning meetings and in the council meetings. We are seeking most earnestly to know and do the will of God. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 22

Sunday afternoon, although pressed under heavy burdens, I spoke in the tent from Luke 10:25-37. The cloud of perplexity brought upon me by others was broken, and the Sun of Righteousness beamed forth upon me. I had words to speak given me of God, and I knew the people present were under the spell of the Holy Spirit. It was the last time I was to address them. I felt the sustaining grace and power of God comforting and blessing me that I might present the truth as it is in Jesus. When I had finished speaking, I was greeted by quite a number, who thanked me for the light given them in the discourse that afternoon. But my heart said, “Will they obey? Will they walk in the way of the commandments of God?” 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 23

Christ enshrouded in the cloudy pillar spoke to ancient Israel saying, “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thy heart.” [Deuteronomy 6:4-6.] That which the Lord spoke to His ancient people He repeated when the Word was made flesh and dwelt in the world, to teach men how to be saved. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 24

“Now therefore if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people, for all the earth is mine, and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” [Exodus 19:5, 6.] “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:9.] The Lord has shown us that obedience to His law is essential to the reception of His favor and blessing. The obedience of Abraham has been recorded in Bible history. At the command of God he gave up his beloved son, and in commendation of his obedience the Lord said, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Why? “Because thou hast obeyed my voice.” [Genesis 22:18.] 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 25

The Lord said to Isaac, “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee and unto thy seed I will give all this country, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father, ... because that Abraham thy father obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws.” [Genesis 26:3, 5.] The promise is, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” [Isaiah 1:19.] The word given to Samuel for Saul was, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” [1 Samuel 15:22.] 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 26

God gave His only begotten Son to a life of shame and humiliation, to bear mockery and insult, to make it possible for man to receive moral power to repent of transgression and sin through the imputed righteousness of Christ. He died to make it possible for the Lord to receive into His kingdom a loyal, obedient, loving people. God gave to Adam the test of obedience. If he [had] obeyed the Word of God, he would have retained beautiful Eden, and finally become an inhabitant of heaven. Thus the Lord made obedience to His commandments a test of love for His character of purity and holiness. No less a test has He left for all the human family. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 27

“If ye love me, keep my commandments. ... He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him. ... If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” [John 14:15, 21, 23, 24.] “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. ... Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” [John 15:10, 11, 13, 14.] 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 28

Our future, eternal welfare depends upon our obedience. Let us consider that it is the keeping of the commandments of God that honors and glorifies Him in His chosen. Wherefore every soul to whom God has given reasoning faculties is under obligation to God to search the Word and ascertain all that is enjoined upon us as God’s purchased possession. We should seek to understand all that the Word requires of us in the line of obedience and keeping all His precepts. We cannot show greater honor to our God, whose we are by creation and redemption, than to give evidence to the beings of heaven, to the worlds unfallen, and to fallen men, that we diligently hearken unto all His commandments, which are the laws that govern His kingdom. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 29

We need to study diligently that we may gain a knowledge of the laws of God. How can we be obedient subjects if we fail to understand the laws that govern the kingdom of God? Then open your Bibles, and search for everything that will enlighten you in regard to the precepts of God; and when you discern a ‘thus saith the Lord,’ ask not the opinion of men, but, whatever the cost to yourself, obey cheerfully. Then the blessing of God will rest upon you, and you will reflect glory to Him. Obedience is the fruit of faith and love. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 30

Often ask prayerfully, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Am I in any way disregarding the divine precepts? Am I in any way placing my influence on the enemy’s side? Am I showing a careless disregard of God’s commandments? Am I willing to yoke up with Christ, to lift the burdens, and to be a co-laborer with Him? Am I studying out possible excuses for neglecting obedience to a ‘thus saith the Lord’? Am I risking the consequences of neglect to obey the clearly revealed precepts of Jehovah because I am not willing to come out from the world and be separate? Shall the fear of man have a greater influence over me than the fear of God?” 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 31

Surrender yourself to God, saying, “Here, Lord, I give myself away; ‘tis all that I can do. I will not be found in disobedience to Thy law, for that would place me in the enemy’s ranks; I should be strengthening the apostate’s influence and power, and my example would be against Christ, against the law of God. I should bind myself up with the disobedient, the unthankful and unholy.” “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God, who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened unto my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” [Isaiah 48:17, 18.] 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 32

Let everyone, for Christ’s sake, and for his own soul’s sake, shun conformity to the world, to its customs, vanities, and fashions. Beware of human commandments that will obscure the holy commandments of God. The pleasure-lover is ever unsatisfied, and continually desires to seek again the excitement of the ballroom, the theater, or the party of pleasure. The time God has granted us in which to prepare for eternity is spent by thousands in pouring over fictitious stories. God-given intellect is perverted, the Word of God is neglected, the mind and soul are robbed of moral power needed for wrestling against faults and errors, habits and practices, that disqualify the soul for the enjoyment of Christ’s presence here or in the future, immortal life. Let the question be asked seriously and with intense interest, “How is it with my soul? Am I, by my habits and practices, working against my Redeemer?” Inquire, “Do I bring glory to Christ? Do I show to a disobedient and crooked generation that I choose to suffer reproach for the sake of Jesus?” 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 33

The apostle says to us, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers with Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. On their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” [1 Peter 4:12-14.] Ask yourself, “Is my Redeemer thus magnified in me before the universe of heaven, before the satanic agencies, and before the world?” 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 34

Will the professed followers of Christ aim high, and reach the standard of holiness? Better be a worldling than a common, cheap professed Christian. Dare to come out from the world and be separate. Dare to be singular, because you love Jesus better than the world, and righteousness with persecution better than disobedience with worldly prosperity. Holy and entire obedience through dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ will strengthen the soul to be steadfast in the faith and hope of the gospel. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 35

Jesus says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Union with Christ is our only means for overcoming sin. Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, we bear fruit after the similitude of Christ. We live and move in Him; we are one with Him, and one with the Father. The name of Christ is glorified in the believing child of God. This is Bible religion. 10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 36

“There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.”
10LtMs, Lt 82, 1895, par. 37