Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 119, 1896

White, J. E.; White, Emma

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

July 31, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 170; 2MR 48; 4MR 265; 4Bio 265. +Note

Dear Children:

We were much pleased and greatly relieved to receive letters from you in the last mail. The American mail leaves here next Monday, August 2, and I shall try to send you this by it. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 1

I am in my usual health; but have had serious fears with regard to my eyesight. My left eye gives me considerable trouble. It has been painfully weak, and the pain in my cheek bone has caused me much anxiety. I think I told you that about a year ago I had a fall. I was filling a tin milk pan with oranges for Brother McCann, and when I rose from my stooping position, and attempted to walk, I saw that I was falling face downward, into a pile of small, sharp stumps, which had been brought their for fuel. I darted a prayer to heaven, and fell heavily forward. The milk pan struck the stumps with great force, and when I fell, it struck me just beneath the eye. The pan was bent almost double. Brother McCann came and lifted me up. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 2

After this I had a very painful time with my whole head. My cheek was large and hard. Ella White was with me at the time, and she pounded up charcoal for me. With this pulverized charcoal and hot water I treated my face for hours, till the soreness and pain was killed. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 3

Now, nearly a year afterwards, this eye and cheekbone have pained me so that I have been alarmed. For two weeks in June I suffered much. But I prayed most earnestly to the One who has said, “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find.” [Matthew 7:7.] The Lord has heard my prayer ascending to Him day and night, especially in the night season, and His restoring power has been realized by me. My eye is much improved; the pain has left the cheekbone: and I am very thankful to the Lord. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 4

We must all exercise faith. I am praying to the Lord to give me strength and health and clearness of mind, and I believe He hears my prayers. We are exhorted to be sober, and watch unto prayer, but this does not mean that we are to mourn and repine, like orphaned children. True, the struggle for continual advancement in the Christian life must be life-long, but our advancement in the heavenly path may be hopeful. If we manifest an intense energy, proportionate to the object for which we are striving, even eternal life, we are made partakers of Christ and of all the rich graces He is willing and ready to give to those who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory and honor and immortality. If we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end, we shall see the King in His glory. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 5

I do not ask for smooth paths, but I do supplicate my heavenly Father for an increase of faith, that I may surmount every apparent difficulty. He is able and willing to give us the Comforter: but we must have firmness and decision, maintaining under all circumstances a pure, Christian integrity and confidence in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The exhortation comes to us, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” [2 Peter 3:17.] 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 6

Eternal interests are to be gained, even the salvation of our souls; and every day we are to watch and be sober. Yet we are to be cheerful, thanking the Lord for His blessing. We must have faith, living faith. God is our efficiency, the source of all power. His resources cannot be exhausted. We can have a daily, abundant supply. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 7

About two weeks ago Sara McEnterfer, Maggie Hare, and myself rode out about six miles into the country to get oranges. We have a pleasant time gathering the yellow fruit. We paid three pence per dozen for them; this is six cents in American money. The oranges were large, deep yellow, thin skinned, and delicious to the taste. We purchased twenty dozen for table use. Sara and Maggie purchased five dozen each for their own use. They also bought five dozen for May Israel, and five dozen for Brother Connell. We had a large sack full. We also got ten dozen lemons. These were twopence per dozen. Their skins are lumpy, uneven, and as yellow as that of the oranges. They are very juicy. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 8

I did wish you could have been with us. It is a treat to have all the oranges we want. I use lemon juice freely. It is the best thing you could use for rheumatism, and for your head, and for malaria. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 9

We have oranges brought to the door [by] a lad who lives away up in the bush. The only way to reach this family is on horseback. Most of our family furnish themselves with oranges at twopence per dozen. If they prefer it, I am willing for them to do this. They have a sufficiency, and can use them at all times, and I have less to buy for table use. We have oranges on the table once a day now. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 10

Willie’s family are all well. The twins are doing nicely. They are developing intelligence now. They seldom every cry, but May has her hands full, first one and then the other. They are hearty eaters. They have excellent shaped heads, and pretty faces. These children are a blessing to the older children. Ella and Mabel are so delighted with their little brothers. They do not lose their joy in them as they grow older. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 11

I should be pleased to have you see these babies. At one time it appeared that the White family, if time lasted much longer, would become extinct, but when these two boys came into the family, the prospect seemed more encouraging. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 12

Lately we have had very close times in money matters, equaled only by 1894. Then everything seemed to be collapsing, but it is not quite so bad now. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 13

I am much pleased with the information you give us about the work. Yesterday I spoke to the people here in the sawmill loft. About eighty were present. I read them some of your letters in regard to the manner in which you were doing the work. All seemed to be interested. I think it is good to show them what is going on in the Southern field. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 14

A very interesting case has recently come to our notice. A Wesleyan minister of first rate education has become convinced of the truth. He was by himself when he was convicted. He wrote to Elder Daniells. He then came to the office, and had several interviews with him. He has now united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, and is prepared to take right hold of the work. It is evident that he has been convicted and converted to the truth, without any effort being made for him by our people. The Lord can and will work by the Holy Spirit’s power upon hearts that are susceptible to its influence. We think this man will bring many from his own church into the truth: for many were searching the Scriptures with him for light and knowledge. They saw the Sabbath, believed that there is no immortality except through Christ Jesus, and were convinced on nearly every vital point of truth that we hold. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 15

This man’s conversion has made such a stir that ministers have been sent for to put down this so-called heresy. The bishop labored with him, and his arguments seemed very conclusive, outside of the Bible. But when the Bible was consulted, the Word said altogether differently. The minister chose the Word just as it reads, and was thereby cut off from his church. He sent in his resignation, but was not permitted to have the use of his church in which to preach his farewell discourse. This minister and his wife are now in Melbourne, studying the truth, preparatory to their work—to enlighten others. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 16

We see by letters received from Melbourne that a good work has been in progress since the Armadale camp meeting. After that meeting many continued to be interested. Through the reports of the camp meeting, those who did not attend it at all were drawn to the meetings that were held afterwards. Quite a number of precious souls are now united with us. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 17

After the Armadale camp meeting closed, the question was brought up in regard to the continuance of the tent-meetings there. I told them of a dream I had had. I dreamed that I saw a partly completed building. The workmen were gathering up their tools, preparing to leave it unfinished; but I entreated of them to consider the matter. The building is not finished, I said, Come back, and keep at work until it is roofed. They came back, and went to work. The brethren heeded my entreaties to remain and continue the work in Armadale while we went to Tasmania to attend the camp meeting there. Elder Daniells, Herbert Lacey, and several Bible workers remained. As the result, quite a number embraced the truth. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 18

For every one whose hands seem to be weakening and losing their hold, I have the word, Grasp the standard more firmly. Faith says, Go forward. You must not fail, nor be discouraged. There is no weakness of faith in him who is constantly advancing. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 19

There are men and women whose talents are rusting on account of inaction. I have more joy than I can express to see you, Edson and Emma, unitedly engaged in the work of God. How long the Lord may permit me to wear the armor I know not, neither am I anxious in regard to this matter. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 20

Work may be seen by all who go into the vineyard of the Lord. This vineyard has no limits. If self is hid in Jesus Christ, the love of teaching the truth will grow. Let Him appear as the One altogether lovely, the chiefest among ten thousand, and the advancement onward and upward will be continual. Some have a natural aptitude to teach, and they reveal this gift by training others, educating and lifting up those for whom Christ has died. Edson and Emma, win all you can, and when you need one hundred dollars more to invest in the work you have been doing, you may draw on my account at the Review and Herald office. There are those in the world who are poor, yet who make many rich. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 21

I am glad Brother Kynett and his daughter have united with you in this work. God bless you and them is our daily prayer. Oh, we cannot wait for some costly apparatus for doing good. However humble our sphere may be, let us do our best. The Lord will work by few as well as by many. The work may be started in many places in a humble way, even when means is very limited. But so many want to do a great thing, and must make such great preparations, that they lose sight of the object which was once prominent. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 22

The rich grace of God in the heart and love for souls are the highest qualifications that any human agent can possess for bringing many souls to Jesus Christ. No weariness of will or spirit is felt by him who works for Jesus Christ to save souls. His physical strength may not be sufficient to bear the taxation placed upon it, because of his willingness to spend and be spent, but as he goes to the work, he does not regard it as sullen drudgery. It is a cheerful work, done with a glad heart. Joy is expressed in God through Jesus Christ. This joy is the joy set before Christ. It sweetens all toil; it braces the will; it nerves the spirit for all that shall come. The worker is in co-partnership with the Lord of life and glory. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 23

All who are in earnest to answer to the claims of the world to come will hold fast to their Partner in the work. “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Never forget this. The Lord is our helper, and if He is at our right hand, we shall not be moved. Just as the body needs the vital air at all times, so the soul at all times needs the guidance of truth. When the soul is not constantly fed or constantly stimulated with the world, but is feeding upon the bread of life, then the work testifies to the fact. We must have a living connection with Him in whom we live and move and have our being. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 24

Under the deep conviction of the Holy Spirit’s working upon the mind we may each show by precept and example that the truth, which is the Word of God, is inwrought in all we do. We cannot disconnect from it for a moment; for it is the vital truth of life to the soul, and is a living principle, abiding with us in all our difficulties, a witness in all our business transactions, a guide to us in all the relations of life, controlling us in every place, where no eyes sees, no one but God hears. He finds us faithful servants, ever accompanied by truth which directs our thoughts, our words and our deeds, according to the will of God. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 25

Ever be true to the principles of the Word, and God will put His holy signature upon your work. While there will be wars and pestilences, while there will be mercantile failures, thefts, robberies, millionaire bankruptcies, we may know that our treasure is laid up in heaven. As faithful sentinels we must lift the standard higher, holding it with a firm grasp. Those who hold fast their integrity under all circumstances, amid disappointment and trial, possess that Bible religion, according to the highest standard that earth can ever know. 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 26

There is no religion in the enthronement of self. We are to be true in heart and soul, serving the Lord with all purity and holiness and diligence, trading upon the talents He has given us with all activity and earnestness. His will is to be our will; His ways our way. Our religion requires us to be instant in season and out of season, faithfully and promptly doing our duty, for God supplies the power, the skill, the quick reason. These must never be perverted into instruments of iniquity. We are not to make the Holy One serve with our sins. Our departure from the straightest noble integrity inflicts degradation on our moral nature. Even if the result is that self is lifted up, that we are enriched, and seated among princes, in the eyes of God we are unclean and unholy. We have sold our birthright for selfish interest and gain; and at any moment we may be called upon, “Give an account of thy stewardship.” [Luke 16:2.] 11LtMs, Lt 119, 1896, par. 27