Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 171, 1897

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Summer Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

February 15, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 198, 330; CTr 45; 4Bio 291.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma:

I am writing you at half past one o’clock a.m. We left Cooranbong last Monday eve. Brother Haskell had come from New Zealand and wished to see me upon important matters regarding the Health Home—rooms to be furnished, and economy to be exercised in everything connected with the work. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 1

Sabbath I spoke in Newtown, where our people assemble on the Sabbath. We need so much a house of worship in this place. Meeting in the halls is costly business, and they are illy fitted for meetings. Elder Haskell spoke at Ashfield in forenoon and assisted me in the afternoon at Newtown. The social meeting was excellent. Sunday afternoon I spoke at Ashfield and Brother Haskell spoke in the evening. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 2

Sister Hurd arrived in Melbourne from Africa one week ago last Sabbath. She went off the boat to Brother Daniells’ place, but it was ascertained smallpox was on board, therefore she with others was brought back to the boat and all were quarantined. So we cannot see her, but communications have come from her by letter. Last Sabbath the boat Nineveh came to Sydney and three passengers are in quarantine on a beautiful island. Letters are passed back and forth, but that is all the communication that will be allowed. [Elder Haskell?] inquired of the proper one if he could not see Miss Hurd. He said, “Yes, but you would be popped into quarantine immediately.” We return to Cooranbong next Thursday and shall be glad to get home. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 3

I would be glad to be with Willie and you through the meetings held in Battle Creek during the conference, but this cannot be. The work must be established in Australia. There is need of all the workers we now have, and we must have more also. I expect Sister Peck from Africa will unite with us in the school work, and she may help me in my work. Marian is, you well know, feeble. She does what she can, and I do not see how I could do without her, but I must have more who are qualified to do the work intelligently. Maggie Hare does well in preparing articles for the papers, and the many letters that I feel constrained to write. I shall not be able to get off all the matters I designed to send, because my left eye troubles me considerably, and I cannot get the matter copied on the typewriter. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 4

May White and the children are all well and pleasantly situated close by us. The twin boys are two bright, pretty children, ten months old the sixth of February. They are very good-natured, easily amused, seldom ever cry, and in short are the best of children. They keep their mother pretty busy taking care of them. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 5

Well, about our health home. There seem to be but very few patients at present, but we think that there will be. I have furnished me a room, that I can have a place to stay when I shall go to Sydney. For this I pay one dollar per week. Brother Haskell is furnishing a room at his own expense, and when patients shall come in then they can leave the room and Brother Semmens can pay him back again from the money paid for the room. I hope this health home will prove a success, but it is an experiment. We have not facilities in workers, neither money to use to do any such work as Dr. Kellogg is doing, but I know that could we have the money and workers we should see that such a kind of work would pay in more ways than one. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 6

It would be reaching a class that we otherwise could not reach. Again it would be an entering wedge to introduce the truth. It would be just such a kind of work as must be done to fulfill the commission of the parable to go out into the highways and hedges and bring in the maimed and the halt. The specified ones are apparently the most unpromising class, but when just such ones are labored for, there will be discovered among them men who possess talents but whom misfortunes have buried out of sight. There will be found drunkards and human beings who have sunk very low, into the very mire. But the gospel supper is a feast spread for even such as they. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 7

They are not the worst of all beings. There will be found those who, if they will, may come to the supper. And this kind of labor God approves. The Holy Spirit will be the efficiency of all who work in this line. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 8

I hope that something more can be done for the Southern States, but I am convinced that our people have a work to do in this line. If the churches in every locality who believe the truth would sense the importance of working now while they can work, there would be hundreds who are now at ease like Moab who would sense the situation and go to work, coming up to the help of the Lord against the mighty. It is a matter that should stir every soul that while it is now day is the golden opportunity. But there must be those who will come into the harvest field and who will be workers without expecting their wages in this world. In the next world they will be abundantly rewarded. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 9

There are men and women who have been letting their talents rust with inaction, who are wasting their time doing nothing in communicating light, and who could do a most precious work and grow in grace and capability to work by doing their best in accepting the work just where they are. They can single out individuals—their neighbors—and give them personal labor. A work is neglected here that ought to be done to communicate in a wise manner the light given of God. The Holy Spirit will be the Instructor of all who engage in such labor, consecrating themselves to the Lord and seeking wisdom of God daily. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 10

Some can do much in a quiet way. All can work, but it will be in varied ways to do service to God. There can be no set, prescribed plans and special routine of methods. Let the Holy Spirit lead and guide the workers. Every man and woman and youth has talents to use to do service to Jesus Christ, who has purchased him with the price of His own blood. Personal effort, connected with the ministry, should be entered into largely. Our churches need to awaken to a sense of Christian duty to seek to save the souls perishing in their sins. There are heathen close to our own doors whom believers in the Word have not spoken with, showing regard for their souls. We must have a higher, deeper, more demonstrative faith than we now have. Souls are perishing in their sins, and God has given us light and evidence of what He would have us do. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 11

God has given us a long time of probation. There will be a personal dealing by the Lord with each individual. The Lord will investigate the use we have made of the talents He has entrusted to us. He has paid the wages of His own blood, and His own self-denial and sacrifice and sufferings, to secure the willing service of every soul as a laborer together with God. If only all felt their accountability to God to wisely employ the gifts in talents entrusted, what a revenue would be brought to God through Jesus Christ! The one talent may and will increase by use. The supposed lowliest gift, the humblest service, may reach minds and influence hearts that those who possess larger talents could not touch. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 12

Now, now, now is our most favorable time to work. Individual visitation is of great value. In love for Jesus Christ and love for human souls the truth is to be carried to every family, talked of by every fireside that it is possible for you to find access to. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 13

Do not begin at once to talk of temporal things, but let the people understand you have come as a loving, sympathizing heart to save them from ruin. Women can oft do this delicate work better than men. Earnest, God-fearing women can do a precious work for the Master. This kind of work is the remedy for lukewarm, selfish, covetous souls. They will, if they work to save others, melt away the cold, icy atmosphere which has surrounded their souls. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 14

The Lord is soon to come, and we have only a remnant of time in which to work. You may be often disappointed because you find your earnest, loving interest meets no response, but the experience of the greatest Teacher the world ever knew is before you. He was refused, opposed, rejected, derided. Let us consider our Saviour’s life and say, I will not fail nor be discouraged. The system of labor, personal labor, will do a work that but few anticipate. To carry it out in the spirit of Jesus because you are conscious you are doing Him service will oft prove a cross, but bear in mind that the Holy Spirit is the worker. The human agent working for God is not alone. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord” will do wonders. [Zechariah 4:6.] 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 15

Labor in perseverance, in tenderness, compassion, prayerfulness, and love, will do more than sermons. The Lord Jesus, in giving His life for the saving of the world from the curse of sin, intended greater things than our eyes have yet witnessed. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 16

The Holy Spirit is waiting for channels through whom to work. If all would do the work to which they were appointed, thousands of people might be saved. Satan will not always triumph. The Spirit of God will be poured out upon the church just as soon as the vessels are prepared to receive it. How long shall the faith of the people of God remain so limited, so narrow? Why not exercise faith that the Holy Spirit shall [so] increase in large measure in divine blessings, and intensify human agencies that the glory of the Lord shall be revealed? 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 17

My son Edson, the more humble you keep, the closer you draw to God and show you trust Him as a little child trusts its parents, the more securely you will walk. Your strength is wholly in God—in your simple, entire trust in God. The churches of Seventh-day Adventists need to walk more by faith and be less dependent upon feeling. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 18

Edson, if you come in close relationship to Jesus Christ you see wondrous things out of His law that are not now seen. The softening, subduing influence of the Spirit of God upon human hearts and minds will make the true children of God to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Christian culture will be carried on in every heart worked by the Holy Spirit. There will be a soft, subdued spirit in all those who are looking unto Jesus. The love of Jesus always leads to Christian courtesy, refinement of language, and purity of expression that testify [to] the company we are with—that like Enoch we are walking with God. There is no storming, no harshness, but a sweet fragrance in speech and in spirit. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 19

The Word is to be our study. Here is a mine of precious ore. Much of it has been glimpsed at, but there is the digging to be done to secure much more precious treasures. There have been many who have just rummaged over the surface in a most careless, slovenly manner, when others are searching more carefully and prayerfully and perseveringly and hidden, inestimable treasures are found. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 20

Edson, be sure to search the Scriptures prayerfully. Do not let anyone’s speeches or thoughts revealed in actions, affect you. You want an abiding Christ. He loves you. He has drawn you by the cords of His love. Let it be seen that your life is hid with Christ in God. Let there be no hasty speech, no cheap words, no slang phrases. Let it be demonstrated that you are conscious of a companion whom you honor, and that you will not make Him ashamed of you. Only think, dear children, we are representatives of Jesus Christ! Then represent His character in words, in deportment, that others may see and understand your good works and glorify God. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 21

The working of the Holy Spirit will reveal the human agent a laborer together with God. The converting power of God is needed every day to sanctify and fit vessels for the Master’s use. Oh, there are precious lessons in the Holy Book that we are yet to find and practice! Our conscience must recognize and revere a higher standard of Christianity. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 22

My son, time is short. Dear children, consecrate yourselves wholly to the service of God. Let your light shine forth in clear and steady rays, undimmed by the dark shadow of Satan. You may be all light in the Lord. You may be increasing in efficiency, in purity, in the knowledge of God, if you keep meek and lowly of heart. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 23

I have written you a long letter. It is now fifteen minutes of five o’clock, and beside this I have written a letter to Dr. Gibbs. But you cannot tell what a yearning of soul I have for you, children, that the Lord shall work in you and by you and through you. 12LtMs, Lt 171, 1897, par. 24