Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 162, 1897

White, J. E.; White, Emma

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

October 16, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 320-322.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

The Sabbath is past, and there was so large a number present to attend the dedication of the house of worship that we could not be accommodated in the upper room of the school building. The church was done. I had not allowed myself to go upon the ground since the foundation was laid. I felt that the building was under the especial supervision of God; and it was so. The circumstances had been arranged by the Lord, without any of our wisdom. There were leading carpenters who receive high wages for their work; but this we had not considered at all. The word of the Lord came to me unexpectedly in the night season, calling my attention to the first two chapters of Haggai. Both chapters were to be carefully studied. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 1

“Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built. Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Consider your ways,” etc. [Haggai 1:2-5.] “Arise and build.” [Nehemiah 2:20.] I will send you copy of these messages written. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 2

Sabbath is now past. The house was well filled on Sabbath. I was requested to speak, and did so. The Lord gave me His message to give to the people. I spoke from 1 Corinthians 3:9-23. I felt deeply in behalf of myself and in behalf of our people who claim to be Sabbathkeepers, that they should be all now that the name “Christian” represents. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 3

We had an excellent meeting. The students were prompt in bearing their testimony. We had, the previous Sabbath, a very interesting meeting in our narrow limits of the upper room of the second building. Twenty of the students have been baptized, and some came to the school who had not an experimental knowledge of what it means to be Christians; but not one student leaves the school but gives evidence of now knowing what it means to be children of God. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 4

This was our last meeting in that upper room. Now we entered our chapel. I wish you could step into it. This was our first religious meeting, and it was indeed a place that we had done our best to build, that it should in its construction accommodate, comfortably, those who should assemble to worship God, and would do honor to God. He signalized His presence in our midst. The students bore free and excellent testimonies. It was indeed a pleasure to look at the building. It exceeds the expectation of all. The workmen have put heart, cheerfulness, [and] willingness into the work. They have expressed that they felt the angels of God were round about them. Those workmen, in the providence of God, were out of work, and waiting for something, they knew not what. But every hand was needed, and the building moved forward so smoothly, without a ripple for first two weeks. It seemed the Lord’s angels were working with the workers. We had stated seven weeks to complete the building. Ten days—lumber did not come. If we had had the lumber, it would have been done before the seven specified weeks. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 5

We learned by telegram last Friday, October 15, that Willie was in Wellington. The steamer, the paper reports, will be in Sydney, Tuesday, October 19, if they have favorable weather; if hindrance in head winds come, she will not arrive before Wednesday morning. Our camp meeting in Sydney commences Thursday next, October 21. So you see that we have a very close, busy time of it here, just as we shall have to enter upon a two-weeks’ labor in camp meeting. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 6

Brethren from Melbourne say they will not leave directly. They want to remain as long as they can, and see the place, and I hope they will do so. They certainly ought to go out in the boats to the river, called and misnamed Dora Creek. It is a narrow body of water, but very clear, and very nice from the creek. The boats enter the lake, or sea, the most beautiful representation of a lake we have ever seen. Farms are on both sides, bordering the banks of the lake on both sides for several miles. Boats come up to the very school grounds to deliver their cargo from Sydney. These brethren have keen perception of the beautiful, and they certainly will appreciate it in their view taken in this location. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 7

Well, we must wait no longer to write you. Some leave this morning, and we leave tomorrow morning, to prepare our place for a two-weeks’ sojourn in Stanmore, where our camp meeting is to be held. We have secured three large rooms within five minutes’ walk of the campground. W. C. White has one or two rooms, myself one large room. Then our large family tent is pitched on the ground for my family, and a dining tent. W. C. White will have his tent also on the ground. Those twin boys are small chaps, but they do need a big space for themselves. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 8

Our meetings here have demanded all my time. [With] visitors and councils, reading manuscripts for Life of Christ, and manuscripts or articles for the papers, and looking after one thing and another, I am fully occupied. This is the only letter I send to America. I shall send this to you. No other line goes to any one, so you may communicate as much as you please of this. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 9

May and her family are well. She leaves with us on the morrow for Sydney, in full expectation of meeting her husband either Tuesday or Wednesday. All the family go on the ground tomorrow morning. I have got through this strain remarkable well. I feel thankful to God for His great goodness. We had beautiful weather at the dedication of the chapel, and the previous Sabbath, which was just as important. Now I trust in the Lord to go through the taxation of camp meeting, two weeks in Sydney, then a camp meeting following in Melbourne if the Lord gives me strength to attend. I am having all my workers and family go but my two youngest children, the girl sixteen, the boy fifteen years old. And Marian Davis will not consent to go. She is working on The Life of Christ. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 10

I must now say, God bless you, my children. Keep cheerful, pure in thought, pure in word, because you are pure in heart. We are of good courage in the Lord, full of hope and peace. Oh, that we might see the salvation of God in our camp meetings. We will have faith and hope and courage in the Lord. May the Lord bless you and hold your right hand, that you may receive of His strength and hopefulness daily, is my prayer. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 11

I have much written, but impossible to get it copied. Next mail is the regular mail, next Monday, for San Francisco. Then we will have something to send. 12LtMs, Lt 162, 1897, par. 12