Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 140, 1896

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Avondale, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 23, 1896

Previously unpublished.

Dear Children:

I had letters written to you but was a little too late to get them enclosed and into the mail. Another mail goes tomorrow. Well, we have had noise enough for the last weeks—since Christmas—but the adding of the kitchen has delayed us and brought about our ears so much pounding and sawing we are much disturbed in our thoughts. Today and tomorrow we hope will close up this business, and we shall get in our stove and be settled in our new house. W. C. White and May occupy the sofa bed in the parlor. The room opposite the hall opening on the piazza is the twin room to the room W. C. White now occupies. They will get into their own premises next week. Then our family will be reduced, but W. C. White must have his office in my house. We now number from twelve to sixteen at every meal. Our house is very plain, but the wood to be worked is like ironwood and therefore takes longer to handle it. 11LtMs, Lt 140, 1896, par. 1

I send you the letter I have written and did not get in last mail. 11LtMs, Lt 140, 1896, par. 2

I am giving the first volume of the Life of Christ the last reading. I am glad it is so good, but only wish I had the power to make it a great deal better. I hope the book will do much good, but I am very fearful to trust it in the hands of the publishers at Battle Creek. They have sent us a dummy of the Sermon on the Mount and such illustrations as are little short of contemptible. I would prefer the book have no illustrations. How they ever could send such disgusting pictures is beyond my comprehension. I am afraid to trust my writings with them. If this is their taste I should say wisdom and good sense had departed together from them. What sort of an artist have they employed? Is it for the purpose of saving money they keep a man to draw such pictures? I should think they would feel ashamed to have such representations go out from the Review and Herald Publishing House. They are only fitted for a comic almanac. 11LtMs, Lt 140, 1896, par. 3

Two or three pictures are not so bad, but none are acceptable. One picture represents Joseph as a carpenter, which is very good. But the countenance of Mary is expressionless. She looks like the daughter rather than the dignified wife of Joseph, the mother of Christ. There are no features expressive of the Jewish extraction but more—I will not make comparisons. It is simply heart-aching that such pictures should be sent to us for even our inspection. There is a picture representing Christ in the boat, and the great draught of fishes, and the representation is largely [of] Peter, but the hand of Christ in the figure looks as if He was thrusting His fingers into the mouth of Peter. 11LtMs, Lt 140, 1896, par. 4

I would consider the book fifty or one hundred fold better without such illustrations. What does it mean that such miserable work should be sent across the Pacific Ocean for our acceptance? We are all wondering what will come next. 11LtMs, Lt 140, 1896, par. 5

We are waiting, watching, and praying, but I tell you we are oft put to our wits’ ends to know what to do in regard to bookmaking. How shall we manage my books and have them come out in good shape? I am sick at heart and troubled day and night over this matter. 11LtMs, Lt 140, 1896, par. 6

We will have two volumes of The Life of Christ and a small book upon the parables, and may have to have one on the miracles of Christ, but the lives of the disciples and apostles is yet to be prepared. Then I ought to get out an important book—the second volume of Old Testament history. There should be another testimony forthcoming at once. But Marian is the only worker I have. Eliza said she would come but is taking her time to do this. When she will consider she can leave the Echo office we are unable to determine. 11LtMs, Lt 140, 1896, par. 7