Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 149a, 1897

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 30, 1897

Variant of Lt 149, 1897. Previously unpublished.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

Next Monday the American mail leaves this location to be taken to Sydney on the morning mail train, and then it is taken from Sydney post office to the boat and across the broad waters of the Pacific for San Francisco. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 1

I have but little to send on this boat. I have been suffering great exhaustion. My heart is the principal difficulty. I have studied seriously where I could find a place to draw away from the work and rest awhile, but I fail to imagine any such place. For three weeks I have taken no part in active labor. I have [not] in that time [been present] at family prayer or at the table. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 2

I have been very grateful to my heavenly Father that He kept me by His power when I have stood so long, carrying the heavy load. Brother Metcalfe Hare has been united with me in all interests connected with our school. Two buildings have been erected—wholesome, convenient, and neat and well-proportioned buildings. There is nothing that bears the phase of ornamental. We have not one pound to spare in needless extras. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 3

Between the two buildings of the same height we decided it not safe to depend upon iron tanks. We must have an underground cistern. We made provision at once to have this decision carried out. We transported men from Sydney, and there two men worked with dispatch. We had been passing through a drought for a number of weeks, yes, months, but the work was carried forward. The cistern is twelve feet deep. It is bricked up with two tiers of brick. It is dome shaped, built in the fashion of a jug, so that no surface water shall enter it. The brick was plastered over. The cistern was done. Everything that human agents could do was done. The buildings were enclosed. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 4

We had no money to finish with plastering, but we were full of gratitude to God. All the people who were of the faith worked with a will, and we knew they realized the blessing of God. All are poor but they did what they could do, and beyond our expectation. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 5

We had but a few days to wait. We were ready, and our heavenly Father sent the rain from the heavens. The tanks had been empty for weeks, but they were all filled. The immense cistern was about one-third full. I feel to praise the Lord every time I think of His great goodness in helping us in our great necessity. Surely we have had a remarkable blessing in this locality, while in regions not far from us cattle and sheep and horses are dying with hunger and thirst. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 6

And now we are having a quiet rain. It rained last Friday and Sabbath in showers. Sunday and Monday the rain continued through the night, and it is raining, has been raining, all through the day. The large cistern at the school is full, I understand. The four tanks are full. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 7

I wish and I pray that we may have our hearts filled with all the fullness of God as our cisterns and tanks are filled to overflowing. My heart is longing for the refreshing showers of grace from His presence, for His abundant fullness. The provision the Lord has made for us is too wonderful for us to comprehend and express, but it is not too rich for us to enjoy. It is the enjoyment of this great love the apostle attempts to describe. He speaks of the height, the depth, the breadth of the love of God, which it is our privilege to experience, but which is beyond our knowledge of expression. “Filled with all the fullness of God.” [Ephesians 3:18, 19.] I wish every empty human vessel would now be receiving the showers of the grace of Christ. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 8

The love of God is an exhaustless fountain. This great love is for us, and we may enjoy it. You have had the privilege, dear children, of tasting of that love and knowing that the Lord is good. This love is a reservoir that is continually supplied with abundant grace and goodness and love. Our hearts may be filled, and may expand and overflow with the fullness of this love of God. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 9

Children, have faith in God. If you make mistakes, turn your defeat into victory. Your intensity of love and fidelity will be tested by difficulties and disappointments and trials that your faith shall overcome. The burden you bear for Christ’s sake, the service you render to Him in the complete surrender of your will and ways to God’s will, is the measurement of your love. 1 Peter 1:6-8. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 10

Encourage faith, talk faith. Do not talk on the dark side. Do not talk of that which you see objectionable in the course others pursue, but talk of Jesus. The living transformation of heart, will, and character concerns us more than anything else. Test and trial come to every child of God. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 11

I was conversing with you in the night season, as I mentioned in my letter to you about two or three months since. Before my letter could have reached you, a letter came to me stating the substance of the things I was talking with you about—that you had decided to heed the instruction given you of the Lord to leave mingling the temporal, financial enterprises with your work. This I know has ever been your danger. Now press close to the side of Jesus. Put your trust in Him, and never doubt that you will have wisdom to pursue a plain, straightforward path. He is waiting to speak to you from His Word, that you may speak to others in voicing the words of the Lord in His promises, in encouragement, in warnings. Lay aside every weight and run the race with patience, for there is a crown of life for you each, my children, to win. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 12

Those who are almost wholly absorbed in the things of time and sense largely lose a sense of the sacred service they are to do for the Master. It may be that you will have inducements presented before you of a temporal character. You have had this kind of experience, and you know how the outcome has been. I fully believe the Lord will teach you, and if you have any light that your duty is elsewhere, it may be the Lord will turn your face this way. Do not hesitate to consult with us in regard to any plans that you may have. Serious times, I know, are before us, and my work must ere long be closed. While my mind and strength are yet granted me, I desire to do all that the Lord has given me to do. You say there are things you do not understand. There are things I do not understand. Why I have had so little suitable help in my work of getting out my books is a problem hard for me to comprehend. You could help me in this work. I have tugged and wrestled under great difficulties. Now I am exhausted. Why we could not be connected in our labor is a mystery. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 13

Last [Monday] Elder Daniells, Brother Palmer, Brother Baker, and two students came from Victoria; also Brother Wilson and his wife from Tasmania. We were pleased to have them with us on the Sabbath and there was much to be done. Brother Hughes and his wife from America came, and we were very glad. I was not able to attend one meeting, but these brethren came to me to consult over matters of the school. I was so feeble I could scarcely talk with them, but my interest in the work led me to brace up as much as possible. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 14

I am so very thankful that they came up. The meeting room was full, and our brethren who had not before seen the grounds were delighted with the situation. Elder Daniells was surprised at the improvements that have already been made in buildings and on the land. All were free to acknowledge that they were convinced that this was the very place where the school should be located. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 15

There were some who thought the second building could not be completed in time to commence the school. We told them, we said, There will not be one day’s postponement. The students may come in. Several came from Melbourne several days before the appointed time. I had said, If there is but one student from other places we will begin the school at the appointed time, even if the building is not all completed. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 16

We had a good opening, in the new building. The Spirit of the Lord was present. We were pleased and grateful to God that Brother Herbert Lacey was raised up from his sickness to be with us at the opening of the school and to act a part. Brother and Sister Haskell, as experienced laborers, were a great help and blessing to us in the preparation and devising and planing and working to get things in order that there should be no delay. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 17

Every student who has come has expressed himself as happily disappointed in the appearance of the location and in the buildings erected. Not a murmur, not a word of dissatisfaction, has been heard from anyone. There is a good class of intelligent-minded youth. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 18

Elder Haskell gives the Bible studies, and he makes everything so plain, so simple that every mind can take it in. How many times I have wished that you were here to listen to the precious words from the lips of the servant of God. All who listen to his words of presentation of the Word, setting before the minds truth in its simplicity, are conscious they are favored. They are learning the “It is written” and how to use the Word of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] Then how important that we all shall appreciate the study of the Scriptures as calculated to make the student wise unto salvation. Precious Word! We are safe only as we eat and digest it. The charge of the apostle to his son Timothy is appropriate for all who claim to believe the truth. 2 Timothy 4:1-5. I am so thankful to God for the prosperity that has marked the work done on the school grounds. We are surprised at the number of the students already here, and others will be coming in. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 19

If we can preserve the peace and grace of Jesus Christ in our hearts in trials and in difficulties, we shall go through them without discord, distraction, or division. There should be continually the cultivation of love for God, which gives Him our supreme devotion, and love for one another which will bring sunshine into the heart. We have trials, yes. We cannot control circumstances. But we have One in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. We are undeserving of His great goodness and compassion and love in our behalf. Make it a point in your life never to forget this love. Notwithstanding our errors and mistakes we must not mar our experience by unbelief. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 20

The Lord our Saviour throughout His entire life upon the earth was seeking to impress His own divine image in His character upon us. He is our sin bearer, and He would help you to carry His cross in service and in trial. He is close beside you, trying to have you realize how sorry He is for you when you make mistakes, and He is always ready to seize hold of the hand that is reached out to Him for help. Bear in mind always that it is not merely a human sympathy, a human heart that draws us by the cords of His love, but it is a love that is divine, that blends with the love of the human agent. “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” [Isaiah 53:4.] How? By entering into them and making them His own. Then set God ever before you as your Saviour and Friend. By beholding your Saviour you catch His divine likeness, imbibe His temper, and are imbued with His love. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 21

Be of good cheer, my son and my daughter. I said I would not seek to influence you in any way to come to this country to help us. I would be very much pleased to see you both. If the Lord would see it best to direct your course this way, I would receive you gladly, but I do not want my desire and affection for my children to draw them away from the work the Lord has appointed you to do. If you feel the Lord would be pleased to have you in this country I would rejoice. I have had a very heavy burden to carry. You could have been a great help to me, and I have needed just that help you could give me. But if the Lord sees it not for your good and His name’s glory, I would not have you leave the work you have been engaged in. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 22

In my experience I have been so very much alone, alone. With many around me but still alone. I can sometimes have a chance to “be still and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] I will not dwell upon myself. The Lord is my Helper. He is your Helper. Upon Christian principles and from a Christian basis we have pledged our individual selves to the service of the master, and it is an honor for us to have any connection with God. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 23

Then too, consider that to us is addressed the words meaning so much, “We are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] We have been quarried out of the world by the mighty cleaver of truth and we are in the workshop of God to be fitted, hewed, and squared. Axe and chisel will act their part upon the rough material, and then comes the polishing process. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 24

All this work hurts the natural temperament, but there is no other process that can give the character the mold, the impression, of the likeness of Christ-His meekness, His lowliness. We will not become rebellious under the process of fitting up. We want no weak links in the chain of character that binds us to Christ. A whole Saviour was offered up on Calvary’s cross for us, that we may have a complete salvation, perfecting a character after the divine similitude. We are daily to labor earnestly to strengthen every right principle in our characters, that we may be hid with Christ in God. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 25

You, my son, will never be situated where you will have no provocation by the strife of tongues. I am suffering this continually and more recently from one, McCullagh by name, whom I have treated as tenderly as if it was you, my son, in his place. Never one word or action in all our relation to each other has been unpleasant. He claimed to have perfect faith in the work the Lord had given me to do. He has been treated as a son in regard to careful tenderness. He and his wife have been made as welcome to my table as yourself and your Emma. He was ever seeking my counsel, for oft the whole [of the] churches in New South Wales have been left to our care. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 26

He has insisted I should give the dedicatory discourse for three newly erected meetinghouses, and the Lord manifested His special presence and power in our midst. In tent meetings he was urgent for my labor, and knowing his physical weakness I would go at every call, again and again. I have ridden from Granville with my horse and phaeton nine, ten, twelve miles to speak in the evening. There was not a place where I could be accommodated and I have ridden back, getting to my bed about midnight. His plea was, “Come; I know what your labors in speaking do for the people. I speak understandingly. Come.” The Lord helped me and gave me perfect victory. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 27

When I first came to Cooranbong to see the ground, that we might know whether it was best to purchase, Brother McCullagh was sick of inflammation of throat and lungs. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 28

He could do no speaking, and he took his spring cot and blankets, designing to spend two or three weeks and enjoy the nice atmosphere, hoping it would be a blessing. We went in a boat up Dora Creek to [the] Avondale tract of land. From the light given me in the night season before I came, I was sure we were where the school for New South Wales should be located. When we returned to the humble cottage Brother and Sister Lawrence were occupying the brethren, about eight in number, had a meeting by themselves and decided to purchase the land. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 29

Next morning at family worship the Spirit of the Lord indited prayer for Brother McCullagh. I felt a deep burden of prayer. It seemed that the whole room was full of unseen heavenly beings. Brother McCullagh was healed then and there. He said every particle of inflammation left him. He was very happy, declaring the Lord had wrought a miracle in his behalf. The next morning he returned to his labor and said he was never more free from any difficulty. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 30

One morning he came to us and told us his harness had been stolen from the stable. I felt sorry for him and gave him three pounds fifteen shillings to purchase a harness. I had purchased boxes of fruit—peaches and other fruit—and sent [them to] him without charge. These boxes cost me four and five shillings a box. Thus I felt toward him. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 31

He had a severe sickness last summer. His life was supposed to be in a very precarious condition, and he was advised to go to Adelaide. The weather is mild there. After our camp meeting Elder Hawkins and McCullagh, who seemed to be earnest in the work, were left to bind up the work for a time. Brother Wilson and his wife were with them, but Brother Wilson returned to Tasmania and these men were left with the work. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 32

The first news that came to Melbourne that was both of these ministers had sent in their resignation, professing that conscientiously they could no longer be connected with Seventh-day Adventists. Brethren Colcord and Daniells immediately went to Adelaide and found that, while under pay to the conference, these men had been working in a most subtle, deceiving manner until the whole church was being carried with them. Their entrancing hobby was the Holy Spirit, sanctification, nothing but Christ. All doctrines were of no value. They presented these deceptive presentations, and worked as the great apostate worked in heaven in that first rebellion. It seemed a repetition on a small scale, resembling the workings of the first great rebel. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 33

These men would not have any intercourse with our brethren. They had each received three pounds five—sixteen dollars and one shilling per week. While receiving this sum from the conference they were acting out Satan’s attributes in deception. These men visited from house to house, and the most wicked falsehoods came from the lips of Mr. and Mrs. McCullagh. They had not intimated one word to me of any difficulty. They had not laid their complaints before me and given me an opportunity to speak for myself, but they had been from family to family, telling the most tremendous falsehoods concerning me, and yet they claimed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. We do not for a moment doubt the fact that they were inspired exactly as was Lucifer in the heavenly courts in his rebellion. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 34

The Holy Spirit never leads men to act entirely contrary to the Word. The directions are plain. We are bound by all the holy motives which the Word of God recognizes to be true, steadfast to principle. In all my experience I have not met with such deep-laid plottings. They gave no intimation of their purposes until they had everything prepared to make a break and carry the whole church, and then what these two men expected was to be supported and establish a school in Adelaide and preach against Adventists, oppose the third angel’s message, and carry out their rebellion to perfection. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 35

The sin in this raid against me is mostly of McCullagh’s devising. For two years he has been finding fault with every minister, and he has been serving the enemy of God by uniting with the apostate to help him in his work of accusing the brethren. The first step in this direction is dangerous ground for any human being to enter upon. I am sorry, so sorry, for McCullagh. I was so distressed at the thought that the man was doing despite to the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and was placing himself beyond recovery. I did all I could do to save him. I wrote to both men, but nothing we could say had the least influence to change their purpose. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 36

Nearly all the church saw their error in listening to the words of these men and are now standing in a good position. It was their lies, which were told from house to house, from place to place, that deceived and came near ruining the church. Why did they not come to me, who had been their friend, and tell me? No, they did not do this, but reported those things which they knew were entirely false. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 37

The eternal Word is reliable, and the word of man is not reliable. I have felt so deeply over this treacherous work. It has been as a sword in my heart. Now where are they? McCullagh is in Adelaide still. He reported he was going to Sydney, but he has not come yet. He wrote a letter to Sydney to Mrs. Hextall, who was his special admirer, that he wished her to get up a subscription paper to raise money to get his family back to Sydney. This one woman had her son put their name to the paper and that is all. We feared the churches in New South Wales would be tried and shaken, because they were new in the faith. He has sent letters to different ones appealing to them for sympathy and bemoaning his poverty. But these letters contained the most bitter spirit against me and were a list of lies. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 38

Then Shannon, our house builder, has done a similar work. It seemed that he and Lawrence had connected together, and poor, deceived, deluded men manufactured the most absurd statements about Avondale and the school premises and the workers. These spirits united because work was not given them at a price we could not pay. Thus every step we advanced toward the completion of the school buildings has been by working at great odds. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 39

Brother Haskell and Sister Hurd Haskell have been a great blessing here. Brother Haskell was called to Adelaide, and I stood alone with Brother Metcalfe Hare to take the meetings on the Sabbath. Brother Herbert Lacey was sick with fever in Sydney, and we tried to do our best. As soon as Brother Haskell came, I let loose the burden of buildings and church and have been in a state of great exhaustion. I was able to be at the opening of the school. Elder Haskell and his wife, and Brother Herbert Lacey and his wife, were present. There was a much better beginning than we had feared. Since that time I have attended meetings but once or twice, but I am ready to counsel with them. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 40

I am more pleased than I can tell you with the help we have in Elder Haskell as a worker in the school. His wife also works, giving Bible lessons. Brother Haskell has been opening the Scriptures upon the sanctuary subject. He makes the matter stand out clear and forcible. Sister Haskell gives the lessons in Revelation and makes the subject very plain. All are pleased. It is so nice to have workers who have had an experimental knowledge of the Word of God. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 41

Brother Hughes and wife, we are sure, will use their experience in school management as wise and capable workers. Oh, I am so relieved! Brother Hare is relieved. But I am unable to take any taxation; to attempt to think is a burden. I now lay off this weight of responsibility. If the Lord will give me a rested brain and a rested heart I will be willing now to go anywhere, even back to America. But I see no light to move away from this place in any direction, for other burdens in other places would be awaiting me. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 42

One thing I know, we must be prepared to hold the truth as it is in Jesus firmly. We cannot be wobbling around. We must have sure anchorage, and that we have, and the anchor holds. The end of all things is at hand. The third angel’s message will triumph and we must hold fast the truth and triumph with it. Let them say all manner of evil against us falsely for Christ’s sake. They said all manner of evil of Christ, the Majesty of heaven, the world’s Redeemer. Then let them say what they will. We will not fail or be discouraged. 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 43

In much love, 12LtMs, Lt 149a, 1897, par. 44