Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12

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Lt 149, 1897

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 30, 1897

See variant Lt 149a, 1897. This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 228-237.

Dear Children Edson and Emma:

Next Monday the American mail leaves here, to be taken to Sydney on the morning mail train. It is taken from the Sydney Post Office to the boat, and thence across the broad waters of the Pacific to San Francisco. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 1

I have little mail to send on this boat. I have been suffering from great exhaustion. My heart is the seat of the principal difficulty. I have studied seriously where I could find a place to which I could retire from the work and rest a while, but I fail to imagine such a place. For three weeks I have taken no part in active labor. During this time I have not been present at family prayers or at the table. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 2

I am very grateful to my heavenly Father for keeping me by His power, when I have stood so long carrying the heavy load. Brother Metcalfe Hare has united with me in all the interests connected with our school. Two school buildings are now erected. They are wholesome, convenient, neat, and well-proportioned buildings. There is nothing ornamental about them, for we have not one penny to spend in needless extras. One building is only enclosed. We had no money to pay for plastering. But we are full of gratitude to God. All here who are of the faith worked with a will in helping to finish the buildings. They are poor, but they did what they could, and went beyond our expectations; and we know that they realized the blessing of the Lord. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 3

We decided that it was not safe to depend for water upon iron tanks, but that we must have an underground cistern. We made provision to have this decision carried out at once. A cistern twelve feet deep was dug between the two buildings. We sent for bricklayers from Sydney, and these two men worked with dispatch. We were passing through a drought which has lasted for weeks, yes, months; but the work was carried forward. The cistern was bricked up with two tiers of brick, and built above the ground in a dome shape, that no water should enter from the top. The brick sides were plastered, the cistern was connected with the buildings, and everything was done that human agents could do. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 4

We had only to wait a few days before our heavenly Father sent us rain from the heavens. The tanks, which had been empty for weeks, were filled, and the immense cistern was about one-third filled. I feel to praise the Lord every time I think of His great goodness in thus helping us in our necessity. Surely we have had a remarkable blessing, for in regions not far from here, the cattle and sheep are dying from hunger and thirst. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 5

We are now having a quiet rain. All Sabbath and Sunday it rained in showers, and has been raining all through today. I understand that the school tanks and cistern are full. I pray that as our cisterns and tanks are full to overflowing, so our hearts may be filled with the fullness of God. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 6

The provision made for us by the Lord is too wonderful for us to comprehend. But it is not too rich for us to enjoy. It was the enjoyment of this great love that the apostle Paul attempted to describe. He speaks of the height, the depth, and the breadth of the love of God, which is beyond the power of human expression, but which it is our privilege to enjoy. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 7

“Filled with all the fulness of God.” [Ephesians 3:19.] I wish that now every empty human vessel might be receiving the showers of Christ’s grace. The love of God is an inexhaustible fountain. This great love is for us. We may enjoy it. You have had the privilege, dear children, of tasting that love, and knowing that the Lord is good. His is a reservoir that is continually supplied with abundant grace and goodness and love. Our hearts may be filled and expand and overflow with the love of God. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 8

Children, have faith in God. If you make mistakes, turn your defeats into victories. Test and trial comes to every child of God. The intensity of your love and fidelity will be tested by difficulties, disappointments, and trials. These your faith must overcome. The burden you bear for Christ’s sake, the service you render to Him in the complete surrender of your will to God’s will, is the measure of your love for Him. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 9

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now, for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness, through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and glory and honor at the appearing of Jesus Christ; whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” [1 Peter 1:3-8.] 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 10

Encourage faith, talk faith. Do not look on the dark side. I am pleased that you do not talk of that which is objectionable in the course others take. Talk of Jesus. The transformation of heart and character concerns us more than anything else. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 11

In the night season I was conversing with you, as I stated to you in my letter of two or three months since. Before that letter could have reached you, I received one from you, stating in substance the things I was talking over with you. You said that you had decided to heed the instruction given you by the Lord not to mingle temporal, financial enterprises with your work. This, I know, has ever been your danger. Press close to the side of Jesus. Put your trust in Him, and never doubt that wisdom will be given you to pursue a plain, straightforward path. God is waiting to speak to you from His Word, that you may voice His words in messages of warning and encouragement to others. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 12

Lay aside every weight, and run the race with patience; for there is a crown of life for each of you to win. Those who are almost wholly engrossed in the things of time and sense lose the sense of the importance of the work they should do for the Master. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 13

You may have inducements of a temporal nature placed before you. You have had this experience before, and you know what the outcome has been. I fully believe that the Lord will teach you; and if you have any light that your duty is elsewhere, it may be that the Lord will turn your face this way. Do not hesitate to consult us in regard to any plans you may have. Serious times, I know, are before us, and my work must ere long be closed. While 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. I do not understand why I have had so little suitable help in getting out my books. It 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. It is a mystery to me why we cannot connect in our labors. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 14

Last Monday Elder Daniells, Brother Palmer, and Brother Baker, with two students from Victoria, came to Cooranbong. We were pleased to have them with us over the Sabbath. On that day the meetinghouse was full. Brother Hughes and his wife, from America, came also. We were very glad to meet them. I was not able to attend any of the meetings, but the brethren came to me to consult over school matters. I was so feeble that I could scarcely talk with them, but my interest in the school led me to brace up as much as possible. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 15

I am very glad that these brethren came up. All who had not before seen the grounds were delighted with the situation. Elder Daniells was surprised at the improvement that had been made in the buildings and on the land. All were free to acknowledge that this was the place where the school should be located. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 16

When the buildings were in progress, there were some who thought that the second building could not be completed in time to commence school April 28. But we said, There must not be one day’s postponement. The students may come in. And if there is but one student present, we will begin the school at the appointed time, even though the second building may not be completed. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 17

We held our opening exercises in the new building. The Spirit of the Lord was present. We felt pleased and grateful to God that Brother Herbert Lacey had been raised up from his sickness, and was able to be with us and take a part in the opening of the school. Brother and Sister Haskell, as experienced laborers, were a great help to us in the work of preparation, in devising and planning to get things in order, that there should be no delay. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 18

All the students that have come have expressed themselves as being happily disappointed in the location and the buildings. Not a murmur, not a word of dissatisfaction, has been heard. The students are a good class of intelligent youth. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 19

Elder Haskell conducts the Bible study, and he makes everything so plain and 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 servants of God. All who listen to his presentation of the Word, as he places before their minds the truth in its simplicity, are conscious that 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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 20

How important then that we 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 Paul to Timothy is appropriate for all who claim to know the truth. “I charge thee therefore,” he writes, “before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing in his kingdom; preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” [2 Timothy 4:1-5.] 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 21

I am so thankful to God for the prosperity that has marked the work done on the school ground. We are surprised at the number of students already here, and others are coming. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 22

If we can preserve the peace and grace of Jesus Christ, we shall go through trial and difficulty without discord, distraction, or division. We should continually cultivate love, love for God, giving Him our supreme devotion, and love for one another, which will bring sunshine into the heart. We will have trials, for we cannot control circumstances, but we have One in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. We are undeserving of God’s great goodness and compassion and love, but notwithstanding our failures and mistakes, we must not mar our experience by unbelief. Make it a point in your life never to forget God’s love. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 23

Throughout His entire earthly life the Lord Jesus Christ was seeking to impress His divine image upon man. He is our sin-bearer. He desires to help you carry His cross in service. In trial He is close beside you, trying to lead you to realize how sorry He is when you make mistakes. He is always ready to reach out for the hand that is stretched out for help. Remember always that it is not a human heart, a human sympathy, that draws us to Christ; it is a love that is divine, that blends with the love of the human agents. “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” [Isaiah 53:4.] How? By making them His own. Set Christ ever before you as your Saviour and Friend. By beholding Him you catch His divine likeness, imbibe His attributes, and are imbued with His love. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 24

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 saw fit to direct your course this way, I would welcome you gladly. But I do not want my desire and affection for my children to draw them away from the work that the Lord has appointed them to do. If you felt that the Lord would be pleased to have you in this country, I would rejoice. I have had a very heavy burden to carry, and you could have been a great help to me. I have needed just the help that you could give. But if the Lord sees that it is not for your good and His name’s glory, I would not have you leave the work you have been engaged in. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 25

I have been so very much alone in my experience, alone, with many around me but still alone. I sometimes have a chance to realize the truth of the words, “Be still, and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] But I will not dwell upon myself. The Lord is my Helper. He is your Helper. Upon Christian principles, upon a Christian basis, we have pledged ourselves to the service of the Master. It is an honor for us to have any connection with God. Then consider, too, that to us are addressed the words, “We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] By the mighty cleaver of truth we have been quarried out of the world. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 26

We are now in the workshop of God to be fitted, hewed, and squared. Axe, hammer, and chisel will act their part upon the rough material, and then comes the polishing process. All this hurts the natural temperament, but no other process will give the model the impression of the likeness of Christ. If we have His meekness and lowliness, we will not become rebellious under the process of being fitted for His temple. We want no weak links in the chain of character that binds us to Christ. A whole Saviour was offered for us on Calvary’s cross, that we might have a complete salvation, perfecting a character after the divine similitude. We are to labor earnestly to strengthen every principle of right in the character, that we may be hid with Christ in God. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 27

My son, you will never be placed where you will have no provocation from the strife of tongues. I am suffering this continually, and, more recently, especially, from one, McCullagh by name, whom I have treated as tenderly as though it has been you, my son, in his place. In all our relations with each other in the past, no word or action has been unpleasant. 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 Emma. He claimed to have perfect faith in the work the Lord has given me to do. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 28

He was ever seeking my counsel, for often all the churches in New South Wales were left to our care. In three newly erected meetinghouses he insisted that I should give the dedicatory discourse. And on those occasions the Lord manifested His special presence and power among us. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 29

In tent meetings Brother McCullagh has been urgent for my labor. Knowing his physical weakness I went at every call. Again and again I have ridden in my phaeton from Granville nine, ten, and twelve miles, to speak in the evening, and there being no place where I could be accommodated, I have ridden back, getting to bed about midnight. Brother McCullagh’s plea was, “Come; I know what your speaking does for the people. I am speaking understandingly; come.” I went, and the Lord helped me and gave me perfect victory. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 30

When we first came to Cooranbong to see this ground, that we might know whether it was best to purchase, Brother McCullagh came. He was sick with inflammation of throat and lungs. He could do no speaking, and he brought with him his spring cot and blankets, intending to spend two or three weeks in Cooranbong and enjoy the nice atmosphere, hoping that it would be a blessing to him. We went up Dora Creek in a boat to Avondale, our tract of land. From the light given me in the night season before I came, I was sure that here the school 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 149, 1897, par. 31

The 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 room was full of unseen heavenly beings. Brother McCullagh was healed there and then. He said that every particle of inflammation left him. He was very happy, declaring that the Lord had wrought a miracle in his behalf. The next morning he returned to his labor, saying that he was never more free from any difficulty. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 32

He came to us one morning and told us that 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 peaches and other fruit and sent [them to] him without charge. These cost me four and five shillings a box. Thus I felt toward him. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 33

He had a severe sickness last summer, and his life was supposed to be in a very precarious condition. He was advised to go to Adelaide, for the weather there was mild. After the camp meeting Elder Hawkins and Elder McCullagh, who seemed to be earnest in the work, were left to bind off the camp meeting effort. For a time, Wilson and his wife were with them. But they returned to Tasmania, and unfortunately these two men were left with the work. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 34

The first news that came to Melbourne was that both of these ministers sent in their resignation, professedly saying that they could no longer be conscientiously connected with Seventh-day Adventists. Brethren Colcord and Daniells immediately went to Adelaide and found that these men, while under the pay of the conference, had been working in a most subtle, deceiving manner until the whole church was being carried away with them. Their entrancing hobby was, “the Holy Spirit,” “sanctification,” “nothing but Christ.” All doctrines, they said, were of no value. They presented these deceptive theories, working as the great apostate worked in heaven in that first rebellion. Their work seemed a repetition on a small scale of the working of the first great rebel. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 35

These men would have no intercourse with our brethren who worked to help them. They had each received £3:5 ($16.25) per week. While receiving this sum from the conference they were acting out Satan’s deception. They visited from house to house, and the most wicked falsehoods came from the lips of Mr. and Mrs. McCullagh. They had not intimated to me one word of any difficulty. They had not laid their complaints before me, or given me an opportunity to speak for myself; but they went 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 that they were inspired exactly as was Lucifer in the heavenly courts in his rebellion. The Holy Spirit never leads men to act entirely contrary to the Word. The directions here given are plain. We are bound by all the holy motives which the Word of God recognizes to be true, and steadfast to principle. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 36

In all our experience we have never 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 to be supported and establish a school in Adelaide and preach against Adventists, opposing the third angel’s message, and carrying out their rebellion to perfection. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 37

The sin in this raid against me is mostly of McCullagh’s devising. For two years he has been finding fault with every minister in the work here, and he has been serving the enemy of God by uniting with him in his work of accusing the brethren. The first step in this direction is dangerous ground for any human being to enter upon. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 38

I am sorry, so sorry for McCullagh. I was distressed at the thought that the man was doing despite to the Spirit of God, and placing himself beyond recovery, and I did all I could to save him. I wrote to both men. But nothing we could say had the least influence to change their purpose. Nearly all the church members saw their error in listening to the words of these men, and they are now standing in a good position. But the lies which were told from house to house and from place to place, deceived and came near ruining the church. Why did not these men come to me, who had been their friend, and tell me? But no; they did not do this. Instead they reported things that they knew were entirely false. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 39

The eternal Word is reliable, but the word of man is not reliable. I have felt very deeply over this treacherous work. It has been as a sword in my heart. Now where are these men? McCullagh is still in Adelaide. He reported that he was going to Sydney, but he has not yet come. He wrote a letter to Mrs. Hextall in Sydney, who was his special admirer, saying that he wished her to get up a subscription paper and raise money to get his family back to Sydney. This one woman and her son put their names to the paper, and that was all. We feared that the churches in New South Wales would be tried and shaken, because they are new in the faith. McCullagh 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 149, 1897, par. 40

Shannon, our house builder, has done a similar work. It seemed that he and Brother Lawrence united, and poor, deceived, deluded men manufactured the most absurd lies about Avondale and the workers on the school premises. These men united because work was not given them at a price which we could not afford to pay. Thus every step we have advanced toward the completion of the school buildings, we have worked at great odds. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 41

Brother Haskell and his wife, Sister Hurd Haskell, have been a great blessing to us; but 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 the fever in Sydney, and we tried to do our best. But as soon as Brother Haskell returned, I dropped the burdens of buildings and church and have been in a state of great exhaustion ever since. 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 dared to hope for. Since that time I have attended meeting but once or twice. But I am able to counsel with my brethren. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 42

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, gives Bible lessons. Brother Haskell has been opening the Scriptures upon the sanctuary subject, and he makes the matter stand out clear and forcible. Sister Haskell gives lessons in Revelation, and makes this 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 149, 1897, par. 43

We are sure that Brother Hughes and his wife will use their experience in school management as wise and capable workers. O, I am so relieved! And Brother Hare is relieved. Yet I am unable to take any taxation; to attempt to think is a burden. I now lay this weight of responsibility off. If the Lord will give me a rested brain and heart, I will be willing to go anywhere, even back to America. But I see no light in any direction to move away from this place, for other burdens in other places would be waiting me. 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 44

One thing I know, we must be prepared to hold firmly to the truth as it is in Jesus. We cannot be beaten about by the waves of unbelief. We must have a sure anchorage; 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 to 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 against 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 149, 1897, par. 45

In much love, 12LtMs, Lt 149, 1897, par. 46

Mother.