Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 88, 1895

White, J. E.; White, Emma

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

April 4, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 471; 11MR 278-279; 4Bio 187, 189.

Dear Children Edson and Emma:

I could not sleep past two o’clock this morning, and even though I wake at twelve o’clock as I have for the past three nights, I can sleep no more. I may as well harness up for the day’s work. I cannot close the drawer of thought, and may as well put my thoughts where they will be of advantage to someone. You will have the result of this morning’s thought in the communication I send you. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 1

I am glad to inform you that my health, strength, and activity are about equal to what they used to be before my long experience with rheumatism. I can get in and out of the carriage with as much activity as a young girl. When driving out, if our colt, [which] is only a few months from the wild herd, seems to take a threatening attitude, I am out of the carriage at once, and step right to her head and lay my hand upon her, and talk to her soothingly. The trouble is then ended. I am so glad to be able to do this. I always have to be careful of my right hip, or else I have trouble. It is necessary for me to have the easiest of spring seats, well cushioned, in order to save my hip all jarring, but this infirmity does not prevent my activity, except in the matter of taking long walks. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 2

I can walk only a short distance, when the sciatica sets in, and I have a painful time for days. But if I guard myself diligently, I am able to get about with marked alacrity. Many times during the day I go up and down a long flight of stairs to and from my room without inconvenience. I ask the Lord to so remove infirmities from me that I may engage in the work with heart, mind, and soul, and without injury to my physical powers. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 3

I have the privilege of speaking in Ashfield and Petersham on Sabbath and Sunday night. Meetings are held at both places during almost every evening in the week. There are three evening meetings held at Ashfield, and six at Petersham. Brother McCullagh has charge of the meetings at Ashfield, and Brother Robert Hare conducts the meetings at Petersham, except when they exchange labor. A new tent has been purchased, the money for which was raised largely by people who have newly come into the faith. This new tent is to be pitched at Canterbury in about a week. Then three meetings will be held within two miles distance one of another. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 4

During the camp meeting and since its close, about sixty have been baptized. Sixteen were baptized during the camp meeting, and within eight weeks of its close, seventeen more were baptized. The baptism took place in the Baptist church, but after that the baptistry was refused to Seventh-day Adventists because some of their own members were re-baptized. This made it necessary to search for a place where a lake or stream would afford us a baptistry. The brethren found a very beautiful lake, and on the occasion of the baptism, I was invited to speak. I spoke to two hundred people from the text, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.” [Colossians 3:1.] Twenty were baptized on this occasion, and two weeks ago thirteen more were baptized, and still others are waiting for baptism. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 5

Byron Belden is to have charge of the new tent. He will pitch his own tent beside the large one, and will help to begin the work by giving Bible readings, visiting, and helping in a general way. Byron and Sarah are willing to do anything, and they will both engage in the work. It remains to be seen what particular lines they will follow. He has been sent to the little churches in the suburbs of Paramatta, eight and eleven miles out from town. He has been gradually receiving an education as to how to do the work. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 6

Willie has been in New Zealand for about three months. Auckland is a point of special interest, and the camp meeting was held in this place. About forty have embraced the truth since the camp meeting. Elders Corliss and Steed are earnestly engaging in the work in that locality. A general meeting of about a couple of weeks length has been held in Napier. I have not yet learned the result of this meeting. Willie is working to raise a certain amount of money for funds for the school. How he is succeeding remains to be seen. There is not a very large surplus of means among our people in this country, but Willie feels that everyone must lift to the very extent of their financial power, so that the buildings shall be erected on the school grounds. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 7

We expect that many obstacles will present themselves, but we also expect to exercise faith, and to plough through them all. We shall need to persevere and to work most earnestly. No indolence can be indulged by any of God’s chosen workers. When the Lord said to Moses, “Go forward,” he did not go backward, but forward. [Exodus 14:15.] Much is to be done in the Lord’s moral vineyard; but we cannot expect to stand still and see the Lord do the work which is left for His human agents to do. Those who really feel that they lack heavenly wisdom, may obtain wisdom from the Source of all wisdom. But if we trust in our own human devising, we shall meet with failure. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 8

Far more wise calculation, more intellectual power, must be brought into our work. The intellect is to be sanctified, refined, cleansed from human impurities, so that it may be a channel through which God may pour His own wisdom. Connected with God, man will be able to shape and fashion something anew. Everyone who is a co-worker with Jesus Christ will realize that he is acting a part in the work of God, that he is a thread in the great web of humanity, bound with invisible influences to the toilers in various branches of the work. In the business of the temporal things of life, he is united to all those who work in man’s behalf. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 9

Women may accomplish a good work for God if they will first learn the precious, all-important lesson of meekness in the school of Christ. They will be able to benefit humanity by presenting to them the all sufficiency of Jesus. When each member of the church realizes his own individual responsibility, when he humbly takes up the work which presents itself before Him, the work will go on to success. God has given to every man his work according to his several ability. It will not be an easy task to work for the Master in this age. But how much perplexity might be saved if workers continually relied upon God, and duly considered the directions which God has given. He says, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.” [Romans 12:6-8.] 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 10

This is a subject that demands close, critical study. Many mistakes are made because men do not heed this instruction. Many who are entrusted with some humble line of work to do for the Master, soon become dissatisfied, and think that they should be teachers and leaders. They want to leave their humble ministering, which is just as important in its place as the larger responsibilities. Those who are set to do visiting soon come to think that anyone can do that work, that anyone can speak words of sympathy and encouragement, and lead men in a humble, quiet way to a correct understanding of the Scriptures. But it is a work which demands much grace, much patience, and an ever-increasing stock of wisdom. This work cannot be done in a self-sufficient manner, but in meekness they must instruct those who oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 11

With earnest words the great apostle addressed Timothy, saying, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” [2 Timothy 3:14, 15.] The Lord has given His gifts to the members of the church, and the gifts differ according to the ability of the members to use them to His glory. Many make a mistake by not being content to do the very work that they might do acceptably. Instead of doing the work willingly, they are ever seeking to work on someone else’s talents, and are ever longing to do that for which they are not fitted. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 12

But how much more pleasing would it be to our heavenly Father if every member of the body of Christ were willing to act the part assigned him. No work done for the Master must be considered inferior and of little account. If God appoints us to a work, whether it is great or small, it is because it is for our own best good, for the best good of our fellow men, and for the advancement of His cause. If it is done cheerfully, humbly, and in the meekness of Christ, it will result in the glory of God. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 13

But many are seeking the best place, the highest place. With selfish preference they earnestly strive for their own advancement, and this works neither for the good of the human agent nor for the glory of God. Jesus, our Leader, the Captain of our salvation, lived not to please Himself. In every church there will be those who desire to be leaders, and if the leadership is not given to them, they will think that there is no use of attending meetings. They will not consider that there may be something which they can learn from somebody else, and that they can be benefited by listening to the teachings of others. They will not acknowledge that by hearing the truth from other lips, they may be enabled to form a more symmetrical Christian character. They cherish a burning desire to educate others, to preach to others, and yet they need to learn that before they can be qualified to be acceptable teachers, they must themselves become teachable. The very best kind of help that they could give the church would be to manifest a spirit of meekness, revealing the fact that they are in need of help. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 14

Individually, we can help the church by following the instruction of Paul. He says, “Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” [Romans 12:10.] Many a soul has been wrecked upon the reef of self-thinking. Many seek a higher position than they occupy, when the responsibility laid upon them is all the responsibility they can manage to the advantage of the church. When Christ abides in the soul, we are strong in His strength. At the call of the helpless and oppressed, He is ever ready to help. When we are teachable, obedient, and kind, we shall bear fruit to the glory of God, conforming ourselves to the character of Christ, and becoming a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. 10LtMs, Lt 88, 1895, par. 15