Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 158, 1896

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Adelaide, South Australia

October 1896

Portions of this letter is published in 8MR 252; SpTA #7 64.

Dear Children:

We are on the campground, Parkside. It is a large park covered with nature’s green velvet carpet. There are sixty tents already up, and the grounds are extended and level as a floor. We left our home—W. C. White, Sara, and your mother—October 2. Arrived at Ashfield about one o’clock. Made our home at Brother Semmens’. Sabbath program was made out in time. I was to speak at New Town Sabbath afternoon at three p.m. I was taken three miles to the place of meeting by Brother Robb, a cab driver. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 1

I had a most solemn message for the people on the subject of tithe and offerings. Some present had claimed to be unable to see the tithe question. Were they incapable of perception to discern this question, as old and far back as the days of Abraham? After he made the conquest over kings and recovered [the] goods stolen from the inhabitants of Sodom, and the captives, and returned them to the king of Sodom, “Melchizedek king of Salem”—the representative of Jesus Christ—“brought forth bread and wine:”—not fermented—“and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” [Genesis 14:18-20.] I read verse by verse Malachi, chapters three and four. I never gave a more close and searching message than that day, Sabbath, October 3, 1896. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 2

I thank the Lord for this precious season, for the power of the Spirit of God was upon me. The light of truth flashed its solemn, sacred beams into the chambers of my heart and mind to communicate to those who were in great need of being stirred up by putting them in remembrance. “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:16.] 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 3

I rode back to Brother Semmens’ and wrote out some things of truth that were burdening my mind, and that little time in the evening and Sunday I wrote forty pages of letter paper. Sabbath forenoon W. C. White spoke at Parramatta, having, he reports, an excellent meeting. In afternoon he spoke to a little company that needed help nearer Sydney. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 4

Sunday evening, October 4, I spoke by appointment in the Ashfield church which was full of interested listeners. W. C. White escorted me to the meeting and was by appointment to attend a business meeting at Parramatta. I was left alone to conduct the meeting. A brother, elder of the church, gave out the hymns. I opened the meeting by prayer, and the Lord again gave me a most solemn message to bear to those assembled. Light came in, pouring its bright beams into my soul, and the power of God was upon me. I was speaking in reference to the short period of time in which we have to work. I read from Ephesians 2:1-8. I know that Jesus Christ was in our midst. I know that His heavenly angels were present. I felt their presence. The atmosphere seemed holy, and how I longed that everyone should breathe it in! 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 5

After I had closed my discourse, I made application of the truth to those who were present. I asked all to consider their responsibility to God, to bear in mind that every day we live we are, by our own course of action, deciding our own destiny for life or for death. I begged them to consider their responsibility to God and return to Him in interested, earnest service all the powers God had given them in talents of money, in talents of influence. He has bought all these to be used to His name’s glory, and in exercising the talents given, they increase, and there is more ability to dedicate to God. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 6

The Lord means that we shall increase, that we shall grow in favor with God and man. A moral transformation of character will take place in every believer, making the sinner a child of God, an heir of heaven and joint heir with Jesus Christ. I presented the rich treasures of grace given us all in rich abundance with the gift of Jesus Christ to our world. God calls for a recognition of His gifts and an acknowledgement of the same with such a type of Bible Christianity as will satisfy Christ and demonstrate to the world that we are drinking freely of the waters of life. Our Christian sentiments will be in harmony with the character of Christ. This is a genuine experience, which leaves its impression upon the mind and character of those with whom we associate. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 7

All who live to do real service for Jesus Christ do not have a large estimate of themselves, but they covet the best gifts. They win success by their usefulness. They are constantly increasing in attainments, going onward, onward to victory. The whole universe of heaven co-operates with the human agent who will press on and on to complete victory. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 8

I asked all to rise who would that day, October 4, 1896, make most determined effort in and through Jesus Christ to be overcomers, who would now make more determined effort to purify and cleanse the soul by faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly the whole congregation were on their feet. I then asked them to bow before God and by the eye of faith to see Jesus in our very midst, ready to take away their sins and impart to them His righteousness. This was a victory gained. Those not of our faith wept and they also arose, and I believe Jesus heard our prayers. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 9

Am broken off here in my writing. One has come to return a favor and Sara tells me a little bit she has learned. I must now give you a little interesting incident of a man who arrived in camp last evening. He had been two weeks in a row boat with his daughter to come to this camp meeting. He embraced the truth by reading Great Controversy. He could come only in this way. He lives far away. He is so much pleased he scarcely knows how to express his gratitude. I wish, of I so much wish, the poor hungry souls in remote regions, starving for light and truth, could have some few privileges that our churches have so abundantly that they scarcely appreciate the blessings they receive. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 10

I will now continue my recital. We closed the meeting with such a precious influence. All seemed to feel deeply. I had, through the Lord, given the testimony given me of God for them. Parents and children were deeply interested, and weeping. All knew I loved flowers, and the pulpit was festooned with flowers, while before the pulpit, on a table, were vases filled with beautiful flowers of a large variety. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 11

I had made use of the beautiful lilies, white and pure and lovely. I had related to the children the words of Christ, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet ... Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” [Matthew 6:28, 29.] Oh, how tender was my heart as I gave my message of the love of God to them in the gift of the beautiful flowers. Their whole countenance expressed their appreciation of the words of hope and comfort and the inexpressible love of God to little children and grown-up children. I think the children should have instruction given to them in every discourse. Let them know you are talking directly to them, that Jesus loves them, and will hear their simple prayers. Jesus encircles the children in His long arms, and blesses them. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 12

I wish I could see you, dear children. All are very busy in camp, setting tents and placing families in tents. Brother and Sister Wilson are here from Tasmania. Sister Wilson takes the dining tent, to cook for those who wish to take their meals at the restaurant. I have never seen Sister Wilson look so healthy as now. She has fleshed up, her cheeks are red, and both have greatly improved in health. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 13

Brother Haskell arrived at Melbourne a short time after Sara and I left. He is considerably tired. Willie came on Cook’s excursion one day after we left Melbourne. He came into camp this morning. They, of course, have no privileges to sleep, for they are crowded to the uttermost extent, for the excursion trains are much cheaper than the regular trains. Brother Haskell comes tomorrow morning. We have not seen Elder Haskell for many years. I will be glad to see him. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 14

Brother Farnsworth is very active everywhere in helping put up and fit up tents. He seems to take well with all. Sister Farnsworth is apparently in good health—much better than I have seen her before. Elder Daniells and wife are at the meeting. They hire a house close by. We have two rooms close by the grounds in a stone cottage. I have given you a description of the place so need not describe it to you here. Adelaide is a very beautiful place. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 15

We are hoping and praying for the blessing of the Lord to attend this camp meeting. I am so thankful that this much dreaded journey is ended. We had a good second-class conveyance from Sydney to Melbourne. I could put my pillows on the seat and lie on them, and I slept well. We tarried in Melbourne to take dinner, and then went to the train again. Sister Annie Ingels and Sister Graham came with their pony and phaeton to take Sara and your mother up to dine with them where they board. Then they took us back the same way to the depot. Willie was privileged to ride in Brother Salisbury’s carriage drawn by [a] white pony. Most have now come from Melbourne. Brother Salisbury waited to come with Elder Haskell. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 16

We have been in a tent as yet. Shall go into hired rooms today. We wait moving for W. C. White to write letter to America and for me to write as well. When we came to the depot in Melbourne we found the compartments of a long train full. We always take second-class when we can be any ways comfortable, but we found no room in [the] second-class carriage. We had to pay three pounds extra and took [a] first-class ladies’ compartment. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 17

Only one lady was in it. She left at Ballarat, and Sara and I were alone. We had good accommodations, but having to wear the same clothing two nights made me restless. I could not sleep until after three o’clock in the morning. But we are here, brought through safely. I hope, my children, that the time may come when we will meet, but it is not now. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 18

October 2 we met at the school grounds to lay the corner stone of the first school building. Several were present. We had singing out of doors, on the spot. Then, by invitation, I prayed. And I prayed on that occasion with heart and soul and voice all broken with thankfulness to God that we could at last make a beginning. I was appointed to lay the cornerstone of our building. Everything went off nicely. Matters were hastened for me to do this before we left Cooranbong for Sydney. I felt so grateful to God. I have had to move by faith. I hired one thousand pounds, paying the interest of four and a half per cent. I believe the Lord will bless me in my writings, that this loan can be paid when demanded. It cannot be a gift. It belongs to the children of Sister Wessels—Mother Wessels. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 19

We are bound about with poverty. No ones to draw from—not a soul in this country who comes up and makes a donation. In America all is close and times are hard, but the cause is older, and there are even outsiders who will help in some branches of the work; but this is not expected here, and if we would expect it we would be disappointed. Therefore, we have to make every self-denial and sacrifice, and pray and hope and wait and watch and pray. Every dollar is of great value. I have donated to all our meetinghouses with the exception of Melbourne. I know not as I have appropriated means for that church. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 20

The sentiments and sympathies of the people are created by the camp meetings largely, but when you suppose to obtain favors they are not forthcoming. I do not think our brethren and sisters in America place themselves in our place. We see work to be done everywhere in regions beyond, but the conferences are heavily in debt, and ministerial labor cannot be encouraged as we desire it shall be, because there is so little money to sustain the ministers. Advice has to be given to enter the canvassing field and give house-to-house labor, but enter into no place to begin tent meetings, which absorb means. There must be some decided efforts to reach the people in house-to-house labor, and if this does not succeed, then we will have to wait till money shall come in. But the house-to-house labor will succeed, for it is the only thing that can be done in many places. God will make it a success. He will give the efforts made His sanction, and this will be inexpensive. The Lord will work. The cause of God will advance and this house-to-house labor in new fields will be blessed of God. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 21

A brother wrote through Brother Haskell that if Sister White could obtain the loan of seven hundred pounds he would pay thirty-five pounds interest yearly. Said he was sorry his means were tied up, making him unable to donate now. Well, wherever we could get seven hundred pounds in this country is a mystery to me. I would accept the proposition at once, but it is a hopeless thing to try to obtain. We need it so much. We need it; but the Lord knows all about it and will help us. I am doing all that I can possibly do. Now I must look to God. I must trust in God. We are all praying and working and waiting. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 22

I must now close this. Willie must take it to [the] post office, two miles and a half, to post it. We received two pages from you on Vancouver mail. Hope to hear the work is advancing in the Southern states. The Lord God of heaven guides and cheers the ones who are content to receive their orders from God and work for time and for eternity. We have no time to lose. The end is near. The passage from places to spread the truth will soon be hedged with dangers on the right hand and on the left. Everything will be placed to obstruct our way, that we shall not be able to do that which is possible to be done now. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 23

We must look our work fairly in the face and advance as fast as possible in aggressive warfare. I know that the light given me of God is that powers of darkness are working with intense energy from beneath, and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep, as a thief takes his prey. We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do; but soon it will be more difficult than we can imagine. God help us to keep in the channel of light, to work with our eyes fastened on Jesus our Leader and patiently, perseveringly press on to gain the victory. God help us all is my prayer. 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 24

In love, 11LtMs, Lt 158, 1896, par. 25

Mother.