Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 179, 1897

White, J. E.

Stanmore, Sydney, New South Wales

December 6, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Edson:

I wish to write you a short letter, because I cannot get this copied. Sara had been working very hard and was ill and could not, I was afraid, copy anything for me. But she has had these pages copied. A sister, Brother Baker’s secretary, copied while she read to her. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 1

This is one of the most desirable locations in Sydney. There is a great interest going forward, resembling that which we saw in 1843 and 1844. Family after family invites the ministers to come and see them and explain the Scriptures to them. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 2

I labored too hard during the camp meeting, and have been compassed with infirmities ever since. I came down by request two weeks ago last Sabbath and Sunday. We travel about seventy-five miles by cars, but, as in the European cities, there are two sets of stairs, elevated so that no one shall cross the track. These two sets of stairs have to be climbed and then down again, making much burdensome work for me. After the Sabbath meetings two weeks ago I returned home very sick, and although I expected to return the following week—appointments were out in handbills—I could not venture. I dared not. But I ventured to come from Cooranbong here last week, Friday. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 3

We found the interest is increasing and widespread among the best class of people—not the wealthiest, but the most intelligent. Forty have accepted the Sabbath with all the important truths connected with it. We have the tent well filled on Sabbath, morning, forenoon, afternoon, and night. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 4

Sunday I spoke again to a large congregation. The peace and blessing of the Lord came to me in the morning, and I was strengthened and revived healthwise. I am now rejoicing in the Lord that He hath strengthened me and sustained me. Yesterday I had a very important message to bear upon the observance of the Sabbath. I expect not less than seventy-five or one hundred will be converted to the truth. My trust is in God. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 5

The morning meetings with the workers are attended by those who choose to come who are convicted of the truth, and those who have recently decided for the truth. I was present Sunday morning. The Lord gave me the spirit of earnest prayer, and several prayers were offered. The blessing of the Lord came into our midst, and we were much strengthened and encouraged in every way. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 6

Our brethren urge me to come again next Friday and I expect to come. They wish me to speak Sabbath and Sunday afternoons. Brother Haskell is highly appreciated. So is Hetty Hurd Haskell. They are both a treasurehouse of the gospel of truth. Those not of our faith will sit and listen to his discourses with great interest. We appreciate him in such an effort as this. Brother Starr thinks he never had such a chance of learning as he has now in being connected with Brother Haskell. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 7

We are now preparing to build a meetinghouse in Stanmore. In a few weeks it will be done. This is our faith. We are trying to get the landholders to give us the grounds. Mrs. Gorrick, who has just embraced the truth, is at work with all her energies. She visits the landholders and trustees and is working in our behalf. If we can get the land without paying a large sum, then we can move forward to build. Last evening, after I had spoken in the afternoon, I told them what we designed to do, to build a house of worship, and invited all who loved the Lord to help us, for we wished to proclaim the last message of mercy to our world. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 8

I advised that a meeting be held after the close of the meeting in the afternoon for those who wished to ask questions and who could not understand clearly the truth as we presented it. Well, about fifty, they say, remained, and a lady who had recently embraced the Sabbath came up and gave two pounds for the meetinghouse. A sister of the Sydney church pledged ten pounds. But I must close, I fear, for this must go into the office. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 9

My son, you cannot think what sadness it brought to my heart because you did not heed the warnings the Lord had given you. Oh, my son, will you again fail to bear the test of God? Owing, as you do, debts to others places me in that position where I feel an unrest and uncertainty for the future in your case that I hoped never to feel again. Satan knows he can do through you more to hedge me about and make of none effect my testimonies to other souls than through anyone else in our world. A perplexity is upon me in your case that I cannot interpret. I would rather die than to go contrary to the advice or counsel of God. What does it all mean that in the face of warnings you go blank against them? You put excuses to fence my way to help the Southern people. My appeals will have no weight. They will point to you, that you cannot be trusted. You would involve means under any and every circumstance. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 10

I feel greatly humbled, and great reluctance in sending testimonies to others when they can have an excuse to point to you and say, “He does not believe the testimonies. I am in the same boat with her own son.” This came to me some months ago. If I could once have the assurance that you would forever heed the counsels given of God and attend to the work of opening the Scriptures to others, then the burden, the heartache, the hopeless feelings that will urge themselves upon me in regard to your being a triumphant victor would be lifted from me. I am in constant uncertainty what will come next. What will come to cut off my testimony and make it of none effect in Battle Creek? But I will say no more. My prayer to the Lord is in your behalf, but I do not, cannot, have as much faith as I have had. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 11

In love, 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 12


Willie has had but few minutes conversation with me, because I was too reduced to have any talk with him upon any subject that would bring one shade of discouragement. I know next to nothing of his visit to America. He is now in Melbourne. Has been there nearly ever since the close of the camp meeting. 12LtMs, Lt 179, 1897, par. 13