Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 198, 1897

White, W. C.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

September 21, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Willie:

I have not been able to write for some days. I have had one of my spells of heart difficulty. I will write but a few lines, saying Elder Daniells is much distressed over your delay. He has deferred the camp meeting in Sydney one week, hoping you will certainly be here before the school closes and the dedication of the chapel. All would have been finished had it not been for the delay of boat to bring the siding. Boat left Sydney last Tuesday, one week ago. Workmen are waiting for the siding. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 1

We have now only four weeks more of school. We decided best as Elder Daniells declared he would not commence Union Conference without you being present. Do not let things detain you in Wellington or Auckland one day. Come as soon as the boat can get you here. I want you to not be delayed. Many things of importance are to be considered. Elders Daniells and Palmer are to be here at Cooranbong, Brother Daniells to remain two weeks, hoping to see you as early before the camp meeting as possible. I understand that Brother Baker has secured grounds for the camp meeting. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 2

Elder Haskell, Sara, and I went down to Sydney on evening train. I had overdone and was very weak. Nervous prostration was upon me. Friday I thought I could speak on Sabbath but knew it would not be safe for me. I did not recover strength. We came back Sunday morning. Mrs. Martin came into the compartment where we were en route for Cooranbong. Chrissie and her next eldest sister have attended the last part of the school. Mrs. Martin had her youngest girl with her, a very nice little girl. We entertained her while she was in Cooranbong. She spent some time in visiting the school and seemed very much pleased with her visit. We had Chrissie and her sister that have been at the school come to our place with her mother and younger sister to dinner. She made a very short visit—came in to Sunnyside on Sunday forenoon and left the next day, evening. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 3

Sister James has a nice little boy now nearly two weeks old, and she is up and around. Sara was her nurse, doctor, and all by herself. Sara and I went down to Morisset yesterday; took the babies. They do not delight much in the scenery, for they go fast asleep, and [they] slept both going and coming. Today we rode down again and they slept only one way. Coming back they wanted to enjoy themselves. They made no trouble. We are glad to relieve the mother and we like to have them go with us as they make no fuss. They were in such ecstasies today as they saw our horses and carriage that they just screamed with delight. They are now nearly eighteen months old. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 4

I hope you will come without delay. As the Union Conference will be held in connection with the camp meeting, you need to hasten on the way at once. Do not delay. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 5

Elder Daniells wrote me he was thinking of coming to Cooranbong, pitch a tent, and take care of himself and have a change. Said he was quite wearied and wished to get freshened up. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 6

He was, when there some weeks since, quite anxious to have the school close two weeks earlier than their appointed time, to commence the camp meeting in Sydney so early that they could avoid the flies. They wished to take advantage also of Cooks’ Excursion, which would save much expense for those who attended the Melbourne camp meeting. We all tried to meet his plans. This would necessitate, it was thought, arrangements to take the students to Sydney to be under the supervision of the teachers, but let it be a change to the Bible instruction and they be provided for in board as in the home. His letter tells us that his fears that you would not be here in time have led him to put off the camp meeting to begin in Sydney one week later. He says Cooks’ Excursion will be one week later; thus it is published in the paper. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 7

That brings things around so that the term is only one week short and Brethren Hughes and Haskell and wife have talked with me in regard to the advisability of closing the school here in Cooranbong only one week earlier than the appointed time. The whole matter was canvassed, and the decision we made [was] that it was our best judgment to give up the idea of supporting the school during the camp meeting, for it would bring grave extra responsibilities upon teachers that their time would be fully occupied in council meetings, beside the general religious exercises that must be held which cannot be avoided. There would also be a large expense in feeding the students, which cannot be done with that economy that it can be done here. The transportation of material to furnish beds and bedding for so large a number would be a breaking up of everything here to accommodate the students, and the close of the school would be in the middle of the camp meeting. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 8

The plan now is to make everything right with the students, paying back to those who have paid for the full term the funds of one week, close the school here, and let all take their chances or return home. They have had, you may say, a continuous religious drill in Bible studies and in religious exercises. If these do not serve their purpose, they will not be so largely benefited by camp meeting. The previous plan would have secured probably the attendance of more students, but the exposure to temptation that Sydney will present will make its mark on some. There will be the baptism of several before the school closes. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 9

The Lord has wrought on many hearts. The school has been excellent, and we are much gratified. I never have seen a school better conducted. Sister Haskell is a treasure for the situation, and I must tell you, everything in the education of Herbert Lacey is superficial. He will, I fear, never be a proper educator in the school. Therefore, there will be serious matters to consider as to what shall be done for them, for their religious experience is of the same character. This has been one of the greatest burdens I have had to carry. If he was entirely out of the school it would be easier work for all. My soul is sick and tired of these superficial characters. It is pain and burden to me. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 10

September 22

I send you this letter, and I hope you will not think of spending one day longer than you can possibly help in Wellington or Auckland. I shall certainly try to be excused from attending the camp meetings in Sydney and in Melbourne. I must have quietude and rest. I long for it, and these attacks of exhaustion must be avoided. I look over the congregation when I am at these meetings and see there persons whom I know will be lost unless they repent and are converted, and I am then to carry the load. I cannot rest day nor night. The two last camp meetings have been meetings that have worn me terribly. I want now to complete my book if possible. But, I tell you, not another book will I ever consent to work as this Desire of Nations has been worked. If there is no person of a healthful mind to take the charge of my books, if I must be left with the help I now have, I am done. I am now having this one burden; to get through with that book, and I pray daily for help, but this is my one burden now. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 11

I have placed myself in the most miserable positions to get out books, and if the Lord has not help for me, He does not mean I shall carry this load myself. I am simply done. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 12

We expect delegates to the camp meeting will visit Cooranbong before the meeting. We hope they will come to see what has been done. We knew a chapel we must have, and without delay, so the work has gone forward with a zeal and willingness that has made it pleasant all around, and the blessing of the Lord has been upon the workers. Everything would have now been completed if we had the material to work with. But we have done all we could do in walking out by faith, and the next wise thing to do was to quietly rest in the Lord, and not fret. We need not waste our energy in fretting in regard to results which we could not change. It is our part of the service to do our best and leave the results with Him who is infinite in wisdom. We need not so much a Week of Prayer as we need to daily empty ourselves of all uncleanness of spirit, of our self-sufficiency and importance. Although we belong to God by creation and redemption, yet there is a most thorough surrender to be made to God every day of our life, to be employed by Him as He thinks best. Then we will work usefully and hopefully and happily, not to glorify ourselves, but to glorify God. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 13

September 24

Connell tells us the boat is nearing the lake and will be at the landing place at four o’clock p.m. I am sorry it could not have been in Friday. Just what they will do now I know not, but the coming week the work will advance rapidly and the house be enclosed. The house has been ceiled within and is now being painted. The outhouses are both built. The house will go forward rapidly now to its completion. Oh, how glad I am that it will be done without delay. We ought to have a thanksgiving season to God every day for a place where we can worship Him. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 14

You will be interested in the enclosed. Brother Baker has had a trying time to find a piece of ground that we could get at any terms. These parties that are united now in renting the land utterly refused to let us have it for any price, not for one hundred pounds, but there has been much prayer offered to God, and he tried again last week, every trustee. And all agreed to let us have the land. It is the Lord’s doings. We rejoice that this success has been given us, for we could not well wait another week. The writings are all made, the land secured. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 15

Now we are to place ourselves in position to understand the voice of God to us individually. I am disgusted and heartsore when I see young men, ministers, who are lifted up in self, and I know they have not an abiding Christ. They do not walk tremblingly before God. They have much more faith in what “I” can do than in what the Lord can and will do for us if we will humble our hearts before Him. When our faith shall lay hold on God and we shall trust Him entirely and believe Him, that He wants to work mightily in our behalf for good and His own name’s glory, then His salvation will be seen. His righteousness will go forth as a lamp that burneth. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 16

But oh, how I desire to see a growing faith! We are so ready to halt after we gain a partial victory. The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven that leaveneth the whole lump. God will do great things to all who believe. But I hope to see you soon now and will write no more. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 17

May the Lord bless and sanctify you is my prayer. We hope and pray that this camp meeting will be, through the blessing of God, as a light shining in a dark place. He will work if we will prepare the way, that He can use us and that we can cooperate with God, but self must not swell into large proportions because one is favored with success in any line. It is not the human agent that gives the grace and the power. All, every jot and every tittle, is of God. We must humble ourselves, that the Lord may be exalted. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 18

Your family are all well, May and all the children. I have been over to the house, and both children were having a play wholly with themselves, amusing themselves and then laughing at their own pranks. It is quite a circus when they get their play spell on. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 19

School closes October 13. Hurry along as fast as possible. 12LtMs, Lt 198, 1897, par. 20