Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)

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Lt 89a, 1895

White, W. C.

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

March 13, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 445, 452-453. +Note

Dear Son Willie:

This morning, Brother Caldwell, May, and your mother went down to Petersham. Brother Caldwell and May went on to Sydney, and I remained at Brother McCullagh’s to have some talk with him in regard to Byron and Sarah. He is quite anxious that they shall come to Petersham and take rooms in their house. Brother Robert Hare says they can have two rooms in their house for fifty cents per week, with the use of the wash house and cook stove, but Byron has a cook stove of his own, and Brother McCullagh will let them have two rooms in the attic for one shilling per week, and wash in the bathroom on the second floor. Sister Edwards has the second floor, and Sister Hamilton also has a room up one pair of stairs. They will be very much retired, and yet the two pair of stairs are objectionable. Byron will attend the Bible studies, and help them both in Petersham and Ashfield in their Sabbath schools. They say they are all well pleased with his reviewing. He has been two Sabbaths in Ashfield and one in Petersham. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 1

Several have embraced the truth in Ashfield since last Sabbath and there are eight souls now waiting baptism. Others are deeply interested. One lady had sought an interview with Brother McCullagh, and had been in earnest conversation with him an hour when we arrived. Brother McCullagh took me in his carriage to see Canterbury, two miles from Petersham and two miles from Ashfield. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 2

This is a nice suburb, not as thickly settled as Ashfield and Petersham, but an interest is created there and should have attention. Brother Pallant can spend a portion of his time if he can get from the work as book agent. The work is to commence quietly without noise or trumpeting. It is to commence by giving Bible readings and thus educating the people. This plan will be far more efficient than starting in with sermons. I shall do what I can. All say the testimonies I give do much in bringing them to a decision. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 3

The Plymouth Brethren have been very bold lately, and Jehu-like, have taken the outdoor method of calling crowds, and then Mrs. White is their text. They state what these ministers in the tent are teaching, and the most barefaced lies are resorted to in order to disgust the people. After <hearing> a most terrible harangue, which Brother Hare says is simple bellowing, a woman in the crowd went up to the speaker and said, “Myself and others have heard the people at the tent that this man is accusing, and we testify that his statements are false. They teach no such doctrine as he represents has been taught, and he knows that he is stating falsehoods.” She said, “Go to the tent and hear them and you will know I speak the truth.” She was not one who had taken her position for the truth. It is such things as this that are an advertisement for us. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 4

A woman about forty years of age was introduced to me, who has just decided to obey the truth, in Canterbury. Her husband is in full sympathy with his wife and does everything he can to get her to the meetings. They have a nice little cottage, which they own and which is paid for. She came out to the carriage and talked with us. She said the people in Canterbury are not a churchgoing people, but the tent at Petersham has been an advertisement, and they are curious to know what it all means. In this way they are brought out to attend the meetings, and many are interested. You cannot get them into a church or a hall, but the tent they will patronize. Many cannot go two miles, but they say if meetings are held here, they will attend. Priestcraft has not a holding power over them. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 5

I think we will try my tent, and have it pitched in some place enclosed with a fence near a house where the people are interested. The best thing I can see is to get our tent loaned to Brother James, and have that nicely floored and pitched beside my family tent. <This is the last decision.> Let Byron and Sarah go into the little tent, and then he can help Brethren Collins and Pallant. Brother McCullagh and Brother Hare will help them in starting the work, and then let them do the very work that needs to be done in educating the people. Byron will have the advantage of the Bible studies for the workers. He is willing to do anything he can. He says it will take very little to support them. I will help them what I can, which will be to provide them with food; that is all they ask. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 6

I cannot devote my time and money to those who have had too much labor as the church in Parramatta. I told them when I came that I had not come to devote my time to preaching to them. I came to work for those who were in darkness, and who had not had the opportunity to know the reasons of our faith; and I wanted them to help me and to lift up my hands to encourage me in the work of saving souls that are dead in trespasses and sins, and if they would, as believers, take hold with me to work for the souls perishing, their mind would have root in itself. If they depended on preaching, then they would be helpless and useless. The sermons given to them every Sabbath should be given to those who have not had light and who need help. Brother Hare speaks to them frequently at Paramatta on the Sabbath. They are glutted with the truth, and have very little appreciation of the precious things which they receive. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 7

<The members of our family have> been drawn upon to invent every means possible to have this church develop and grow, and I think the labor put forth <has been good, but> would be far more profitable in such places as Ashfield and Petersham. I have been so stirred up on this matter by the Spirit of the Lord, that I cannot rest; I have even gone so far as to see if I can find a suitable house which I can rent, costing no more than this one which I now occupy. I found one, but the surroundings were not so good, and it was seven dollars per week. The pasturage for our stock would cost money. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 8

The house is very much after the same order as this, <the three front> rooms being fully as good. The water is from the city, with a tank of rain water in the ground for stable purposes. The stables are excellent, four times as <good> as <the stable> we have here. There is a room <in the chamber> for a hired man, which could be used as a storeroom, a drain which takes off all the <waste> water, and a <small> paddock, but that is shared with the next house, which keeps a horse. The house is two story, nicely finished, but the yard is not so attractive in some respects, while in others it has advantages—more trees that the occupants can sit under. <There are neighbors close by.> 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 9

Now do not think that I am ready to move, but I am getting ready to have my workers broaden out, and their talent be employed where it will tell to better account than to be centered in Parramatta. It must be done; God would have it done; and I mean it shall be done. We hold camp meetings at large expense, and these camp meetings ought to be followed up. Our family, individually, has learned what it means to take hold and work in more lines than one; and if the work is to go to Sydney, which it is bound to do, all the help we can furnish <for the suburbs> will be needed, and will represent our family in no disparaging light. But to be bound here in this locality, where there are <so little> advantages to be gained in quietude for me to write, is simply unreasonable. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 10

To be confined to one place, <and for this> church <to be dependent on the> help of my workers for months is not as God would have it, unless that church, by labor received, are capable of communicating to others <the light received.> If they themselves are the only ones to be benefitted by the labor put forth, then let the labor be expended on others who will diffuse the light given. Could the help from my family be given to combine with the ministerial labor in Ashfield and Petersham, the Sydney church would be helped, and the souls also who come to hear would be helped. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 11

The sister mentioned, who talked with me at the carriage, said, “These precious things of the Bible are wonderful to me. Strange we could not see them before. The Bible is full of riches, and I want to have all the opportunity to hear and improve, so that I can help others. People here in Canterbury are in need of this kind of labor. If you will pitch the tent, they will come.” 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 12

And now I have decided that if I must be taxed, it shall be in a different line. I will unite with my workers, and they with me to all intents and purposes, and I will then accomplish just as much on The Life of Christ as if I were here, weighed down with burdens that bring no relief to soul or body, but are a dead weight to my spirit. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 13

What do you think about my going to Tasmania with May? She will go the first or second week in April. I know not what to do. There is an increasing interest in Ashfield and Petersham. I send you a letter sent to me, but I had already felt the necessity of counsel, and before receiving the letter, had gone with May and Brother Caldwell to Petersham. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 14

May is well and happy. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 15

With much love. 10LtMs, Lt 89a, 1895, par. 16