Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 192, 1897

White, W. C.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 20, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Willie White:

The last mail I ordered to be sent to Honolulu to meet you. Supposed you would be on the next boat, but the last mail gives me no assurance that you will be a passenger on the boat you have expected to come on. So we will send our letters to California, and if you are on your way, no harm can be done. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 1

Your family remain well. May was not well pleased with your short letter, giving her no assurance when you will come. We have made all calculations to see you in August. But we will not make a bad matter worse by complaining. We must be just as happy as we can and lean more firmly upon the Source of our strength. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 2

I shall not be able to write much to anyone for this mail. My labor has been earnestly given to the school, but I feel keenly over some things. The money—what about it? Find out how much Herbert Lacey has drawn from my funds in receiving his education. I am not at all in favor of the students coming from the school as little prepared as he is to teach in regard to the fitting up as a Biblical student. He tells me that for two or three years he has taken no Bible studies. This is all neglect. The last lengthening out of his stay in Battle Creek, from the light given me of God, was a mistake. Had he remained a much shorter period, it would have been better for him and us all around. All who devote three or four or five years to their education make a mistake. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 3

The kind of education they obtain disqualifies them to do God’s service. The time so many spend in classical studies had better be spent in close, diligent study of the Word of God. The knowledge of the Word is of more value than Greek or Latin. He says he has not any use for the largest part of the education he has received in Battle Creek. It makes my heart ache to have one or two or a few receive and absorb money to obtain an education that is not giving them a knowledge of the very kind of work they will be called to do. The case of Herbert has cost me much perplexity, and I would not say a word to you about it, only I sincerely hope not one student shall be encouraged to remain years in the school in Battle Creek, for they come from the school supposed to be prepared to take hold of the work as teachers, according to the years spent in study, but who reveal that they have a one-sided education. I am pained at my heart to think that a few are positively injured with too overmuch of time given to book learning. They would be far better qualified for the work if they knew less, far less, of authors and had a much better knowledge of God and the truth which would make men wise unto salvation. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 4

There are many whose education would be of far greater value if they had even one year in Battle Creek to get a start in school, and then studied out of school and let some others come in and get a start, and they go to work in Christ’s lines and become educated in learning by practice. The warnings and instruction given by the Lord have not been heeded. Years devoted to the studies in school are a decided mistake, time lost, for their minds could not possibly retain one-hundredth part of what they have passed over in overmuch book studies. It is really a surface work. They could have done far better work in teaching in simplicity that which they did learn than to have so much crowded into the mind that they cannot use. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 5

July 19

The cistern is now finished, with the exception of cementing in the inside and removing the timbers and putting in [the] pump. The cistern was dug by Brother Worsnop. The water came in through the night after he had worked at it two days, so that he had to bail it out. It would come in from every side and from the bottom. One large tank was filled, and one not as large, with the water that seeped in, and they had to bail it out with pails. We had a man from Sydney to come up and do the job in laying the brick. We feared it would rain. Brother Richardson and Brother Woodern came in on Sunday and took right hold with the bricklayer from Sydney. Worsnop was in the cistern. Five in all were at work, three laying the brick, Worsnop packing in the earth back of the two layers of brick, Robert McCann mixing the mortar, Robert Lamplough handing it down in buckets. Willie McCann stood in the cellar, catching the brick Sara McEnterfer tossed into his hands, Edith passing the brick to Sara, so the work was nearly finished Tuesday morning. Brethren Richardson and Woodern, worked all day Monday. Tuesday morning the bricklayer left. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 6

We have kept right up sharp to see that nothing was unthought of. One tank is in running order, and if the rain keeps off just a few days longer, then the cistern can receive its treasure of water. We knew this would be a very dirty job. The bricklayer had come up to build chimneys for Lamplough and Brother Hare, so you see it was our object to have all these matters done while the business of the building was in operation. We have boarded the hands, and in building the cistern we have, since the house building, only furnished dinners for the two Lamploughs, Robert and Fred, for nine pence a meal, and we have boarded the chimneybuilder. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 7

Now our settling is going on. Brother Carswell is coming home next week. Brother James will occupy the house that May leaves until he gets a home of his own built. Then he will move into that house, his own, when he can pay for it. He has an idea of having the house placed just where you located it and doing it as he can by odd jobs. Meanwhile his family will be more comfortable in the wash house where your twins were born. There will be an addition to his family shortly. So we are all doing matters like the cistern, fast as we can possibly do it. Other matters move more slowly, but we hope if you come in August that you will see your family nicely settled. It is a nice, convenient place and pleases me very much. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 8

The boys are trotting everywhere. They are well and hearty. 12LtMs, Lt 192, 1897, par. 9