Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 141, 1897

White, W. C.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 5, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 186; 8MR 365-367; 11MR 206-207; 4Bio 295-296, 301-302. +Note

Dear Son Willie:

April 28 our school opened. At the opening exercises, the upper room of the second building above the dining room, was quite full. Brother Haskell opened the meeting by reading a portion of Scripture. He then prayed, and made a few remarks. I then followed. My subject principally was that the smaller children should not be neglected. This work is fully as essential as the work for the older pupils. For many years my attention has been called to this phase of the work. Schools should be established where children can receive the proper education. From the teachers in the public schools they receive ideas that are opposed to truth. But farther than this, they receive a wrong education by associating with children that have no training, that are left to obtain a street education. Satan uses these children to educate children that are more carefully brought up. Before Sabbath-keeping parents know what evil is being done, the lessons of depravity are learned. The souls of their children are corrupted. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 1

This subject has long been neglected. The first seven or ten years of a child’s life is the time when lasting impressions for good or for evil are made. What is education? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The child should be educated to receive the truth in the heart. It should be given instruction which will lead it to see what constitutes sin. It should be taught to see that all sin is an offense toward God. The heart should be carefully guarded, for by giving the life of His dear Son, God has purchased the soul of every child. He would have the precious life that has been redeemed by Jesus Christ molded and fashioned after the similitude of a palace, that Christ may be enshrined as the King of the soul. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 2

Is obedience to all the commandments of God taught the children in their very first lessons? Is sin presented as an offense toward God? I would rather children grew up in a degree of ignorance of school education as it is today, and employ some other means to teach them. But in this country parents are compelled to send their children to school. Therefore, in localities where there is a church, schools should be established if there are no more than six children to attend. A teacher should be employed who will educate the children in the truths of the Word of God, which are so essential to these last days, and which it is so important for them to understand. A great test is coming; it will be upon obedience or disobedience to the commandments of God. Intemperance is seen everywhere; disregard for the law of God, rioting, and drunkenness prevail. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 3

“The word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” [Isaiah 28:13.] When should education commence? “Whom shall he teach knowledge, and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” [Verse 9.] It is then that the education of children in Bible principles should commence. There is a work to be done for the children. “Precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” [Verse 10.] 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 4

“Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: that thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear, therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land which floweth with milk and honey. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 5

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one God: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thine house, and on thy gates.” [Deuteronomy 6:1-9.] 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 6

But I will not attempt to complete my writing on this matter. We now have a primary school, and there are ten in attendance. I understand that Brother Parcells will send his children. When it is known that the primary department is established, we will see parents moving into Cooranbong, that their children may be educated. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 7

Before school opened, Sara went to each family round about here, and raised a collection for a bell. This bell is now set up. It is an excellent sounding bell, and cost about six pounds. The organ is here, and is in position in our meeting room. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 8

Brother James is doing excellently well. He is a faithful worker, and we are pleased with his qualities. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 9

Yesterday a telegram came to us from Elder Daniells, saying that he would send Sister Anna Somerville over to school if we could give her employment after that time. I wrote for her to come, for I am confident that she will find work. They did not want to spare her from the office, but those whom they do not want to spare are the ones who will serve us. We wrote for Sister Graham to give Sister Somerville more lessons in bookkeeping than she had had. They have now decided to send her here. I would not say “No” to their proposition, but told them to send her. She has better health than she had, and will improve in this climate. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 10

All our family think this an excellent climate. For two mornings we had a slight fog, but we can see that we have a choice location. We see some fog in Cooranbong when we have none here. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 11

May 3 we had to go down to Morisset. We took the two White boys with us. They had been rather worrisome that day. Mabel took one, and I the other. We drove over to the school ground, and took in Elder Haskell and his wife. We had a pleasant drive. The weather has been fine ever since the heavy showers. But the two boys did not view the scenery much; for they went fast asleep and did not wake till the carriage stopped at Morisset. Then Henry awoke. I set him between Elder Haskell and me. He looked up at Elder Haskell, and his under lip was thrown out until it was quite prominent. Then he looked at his grandmother, cuddled himself down, and went to sleep again, and slept until we arrived at home. Their mother was waiting at my door for them. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 12

I have given up my parlor to May and the babies. In the cool forenoons it is safer for them. She occupies this room as her own. We have good fires in the broad fireplace. Ella has this room in which to study in the evening. She is not disturbed with any noise here, and can do better than at home. Mabel attends the primary school, and is delighted with it. It is going to make every difference with her to have other children in the class with her. I am sure she will come on. When Brother Lacey made the statement that there would be no primary school this term, Brother Hare felt much disappointed; for he wanted both of his children in school. The officers are on his track, telling him that his children must attend the public school. Mabel also felt sick over it. But in the first Sabbath meeting we held in the upper room, I presented this matter and called for a response; and you should have heard Brother Gambril’s remarks. He came forward to the front seat, so that I could hear him. He spoke of the influence of the public schools on his children, of the education they were receiving. He lives so far away that he does not know how to get his children to our school. He is troubled over it, and is trying to devise some plan to send them. I am sure we have done right in starting a primary school. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 13

We sent Brother Connell to inquire what the convent could be rented for, and we find that it is offered for five shillings per week. I think we will take it. Brother Colcord is going to send his wife and children over here. Her health is not good. Where they will stay is the question. I think the convent should be secured. I know it will be needed. I will see Brother James in regard to this matter this morning. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 14

Yesterday your house was taken hold of in earnest. Lamplough has the job. Brother Hare’s house is going up. He secured Matthews and a man from Sydney, an unbeliever, I think, but a good workman. For some reason he delays his building, so for a few weeks we will have both these men on your house. We are not going to put up two rooms. Every stroke made is to tell. If you come home before it is done, you may make all the alterations you choose, but we shall put up the building now. All say that this should be done. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 15

Brother James proposes to build himself a humble house of four rooms. Or I will build it for him, and give him the privilege of buying it if he chooses. This is to cost £40, and is to be put up near the barn, on the land at which you and I looked, on the road leading to the school. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 16

Sister Carswell has come home, and occupies the lean-to of her cottage. She is about to set up a drapery shop near Hansen’s store. She will buy land from the school. She is not able to canvass. Her husband will not return for about three months. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 17

Brother Hare is my adviser. He thinks your house well situated, that you have the best location you could have. He felt a little hurt to think you supposed he would not work for my interest. Willie, Brother Hare is the only one located on the school ground that I can rely upon. I do not exclude Brother James, for he is sound, firm, and true everywhere. There was no water to run the mill. Brother Hare had no funds with which to run it, for it costs £10 a week to do this. So he closed the mill. He supposed that he had sufficient lumber for my house. He is now obliged to buy logs in order to get straight timber. I told him to use all the timber he could from the place, and then if he needed logs to buy them. Today, Wednesday, May 5, the mill starts again, to get out the remaining timber for my house, and also some for Brother Hare’s house. Brother Hare is as staunch and true a friend as I could have. We talk everything over together, and harmonize in all our plans. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 18

The last rains nearly half-filled the large school cistern, and also the tanks, I think. Our cistern was running over, and the tanks, which had previously been thoroughly cleaned, were all filled. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 19

Our white cow is now fresh. We are raising her calf. For three weeks she gave twelve quarts in the morning, and about one quart less at night. We have had no rain for some weeks, and the feed is not the best. The school cows are now under the school care. A young man from New Zealand has willingly taken the care of them as his part of the work. He understands the dairying business. This is a great relief to Brother Hare. We are milking only two cows, the red one from Healy’s and the white one. The red cow gives only four quarts a day. Before long she will be dry. The white cow now gives twenty-two quarts a day. She gives more milk than all the school cows, for several of them are nearly dry. We shall buy no more cows at present, but will feed the two we have, and keep them in good condition. We get about twenty-six quarts a day. I am astonished at the yield of milk from the white cow. You know that when we first got her, she gave only about ten quarts a day. It is now more than doubled. I thank the Lord for this. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 20

May has all the milk she wants. The boys are hearty fellows. I think it will cost you something to feed them. They are full of life. They can take a few steps now, and are in good health. Today Herbert put his finger in Henry’s mouth, and Henry bit it. And how Herbert did cry. For some time he would not look at Henry without crying. But they seldom cry when they hurt themselves. Now that the cold weather has come, we have given up the parlor to May and the children. They go and come as it pleases them. I do not like to have the children crawling on the cold oilcloth in the house where they live. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 21

The mail brought me the enclosed letter. Decided efforts are being made in different localities to send students to school. We feel much encouraged. Before the school opened, every one was in doubt. You cannot open the school, they said. But we determined to do our best some time before I was requested to visit the school, which I did. I passed through the building which was then nearly completed. We were much pleased with this building, but could see where the aftersight was in some respects better than the foresight. The rooms planned for a couple of beds are not as large as they ought to be. But we will not make one word of complaint. We are glad to have the rooms, if they are not as perfect as we might make them on second trial. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 22

Then we went to see the foundation of a large building laid, in which there is to be a brick cistern, I began to feel wonderfully stirred up in my mind. “What place have you prepared for the boys to room in?” I asked. “The chamber above the sawmill,” they answered, “Many students can sleep there, and we will also secure tents.” “Is that the best plan you have?” “It is the best we can do. When this building is enclosed, our money will be expended.” “Have you thought of how much money it would take to run this building up another story?” Several were present. “We can not do that,” Brother Hare said, “But I wish we could.” “You must do it, Brother Hare,” I said. “What would the cost be?” “Not less than one hundred pounds,” he answered. “Then I advise you to put up the second story, and so provide sleeping rooms for the boys, and a meeting room for the church.” This idea became fastened in their minds. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 23

“What shall we do?” they asked. “Why,” I said, “am I too late with my suggestion? Have the preparations gone so far that it would be a sacrifice to change now?” “As to the matter of that,” was the answer, “had your suggestions been a day later, we would have been at some loss, but now we will require only taller timber. The shorter cuts can be used on the building you wish to put up.” I said, “I will be responsible for the change made. If any censure comes, let it fall on me. You will be to the expense of getting tents, and to the labor of pitching them. The students should not be put in the room over the mill. The influence would be demoralizing.” 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 24

Now we have this two-story building nicely enclosed. The room designed for a dining room has been temporarily partitioned off into three rooms, which serve as primary class room, boys’ study, and dining room. By removing a few studs, we turned the portion designed as a storeroom into a bedroom for Brother Skinner and his wife, Maud Camp Skinner. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 25

Mary has just come in with the boys, and we have had to give these little gentlemen some attention. They put down their playthings, and then scramble to catch them. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 26

But I must resume my narrative. Everything at the school is fixed up satisfactorily, conveniently, pleasantly, and healthfully. We shall more thoroughly finish the meeting room. After the frame of this building was up, the work moved slowly; but this was cured. We had a meeting in which we called for free work, and we had all the help we could use. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 27

It seems pleasant to meet for worship in a place where everything is respectable. When this room is finished, it will be a splendid room for students’ chapel, study room, and recitation room, until larger buildings go up. It will provide ample room for all. We will not incur one unnecessary expense. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 28

The students that have come are a good class of young people. As yet they are all pleased and delighted with the buildings and the surroundings. Everything pleases them. Brother Hare cold not see that it was possible for the school to commence on time, but now it is fully in operation, primary school and higher grades. All who come are glad to make themselves useful. Brother Blunden’s son is here. Six students came from Melbourne by way of Sunday evening after the Sabbath. Five of these were from different parts of Australia. Tuesday night one came from New Zealand. One had come before, and others are expected. All are of good courage, and are doing all they can to help, out of school hours. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 29

A letter just received from Brother Daniells states that Sister Colcord and her two children, Miss Somerville, and some others, will leave Melbourne Wednesday, May 5, for the school. After they arrive, I will write you full particulars. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 30

If the Lord blesses us, we shall be encouraged at every step. School has been delayed so long that we knew that no matter what our condition was in the way of preparation, we should start on time. But no one believed that we would. Now, when they see that we are in earnest, they will have some confidence and interest in the school. Now that there is a school in Cooranbong in genuine earnest, many students will come. Many want to come, but they have no means. They are begging for help, and we know not what to do. I cannot ever ever do again as I have done in the past—let those have means to attend school who will never return one penny. Martha Brown has returned the money invested in her schooling. This will come in to help others. But we must be more careful in choosing, that those whom we send may answer our expectations. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 31

All who see the upper story of the second building say, What ever could you do without it? Brother Hare says he would not have taken the responsibility of changing anything, if Sister White had not been right on the ground, to say what was most needed. But that added story does Brother Hare a lot of good. Then the women, with the nails in their aprons, put down the first floor of this building; they inspired the men with zeal. Everything moved with dispatch. We are all pleased and thankful to God, for His prospering hand has been with us. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 32

Be sure that Brother Hare is consulted in everything. And he will not move out in anything without consulting me. We move harmoniously in all our plans. Brother Haskell says it will not do for any one to speak questioningly of anything I propose, for Brother Hare raises his right arm and says, “What Sister White advises to be done shall be done, without any ifs or ands about it.” The Board met, and Brother Herbert Lacey and some others decided that for this term there would be no primary school. On the next Sabbath morning, I told them that the primary school would commence when the other school did, and no one dared to say, Nay, for Brother Hare would not allow it. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 33

May 9

Last Friday six students came to the school. Sister Somerville and Brother Goodheart, the son of Sister Goodheart, were among them. Both Sister Goodheart and her son are united in the faith. These are the ones to whom I sent my books, Patriarchs and Prophets and Great Controversy. This Brother and his mother are the fruits of the camp meeting at Adelaide. Both were deceived by the false statements of McCullagh and his wife, but since they have understood the true version of the matter, they with most of the church, have been reclaimed. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 34

I do not know the names of all who came on Friday. Brother John Bell has been sent by the Tract Society. Some time this week Sister Colcord and her children will be here. Next week Brother Daniells will come. I understand that more students are coming this week or next. We are very glad to see them coming in. We have now, I think, about forty students. Brother Gambril’s three children and two of Sister Hutchins’ children are coming this week. Brother Gambril’s daughter, who is about fifteen years old, brings the others up in a boat. She will be in the higher grades, the others in the primary department. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 35

Yesterday, Sabbath, I could not attend meeting. I have been troubled with heart difficulty, and sat up but little yesterday. Report states that the meeting was excellent. Brother Haskell spoke, taking for his subject the Sanctuary question, which is present truth. McCullagh makes derision of this subject, thus showing that the counsel given him to seek to know more of present truth, and stating that he had only a superficial knowledge of it, was correct. He knows very little of the precious truth for this time, because he has not sunk the shaft deep into the mine of truth, to discover the precious ore. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 36

God’s Spirit has illuminated every page of Holy Writ, but there are those upon whom it makes little impression, because it is imperfectly understood. When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored no where, are like shifting sand. They slide into any position to suit the tenor of their feelings of bitterness. This is the way McCullagh has done. He has indulged his feelings against me without intimating to me one word in regard to his difficulty. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 37

I am so grateful that the Word of God is plain and clear when our hearts are in harmony with it. Without the Word, what a starving people we would be in this world, which is as desolate as a wilderness to the soul. But now springs of water break out in the desert. We may drink of the living streams which proceed from the throne of God. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 38

Daniel and Revelation must be studied, as well as the other prophecies of the Old and New Testament. Let there be light, yes, light in your dwellings. For this we need to pray. The Holy Spirit, shining upon the sacred page, will open our understanding, that we may know what is truth. We can appropriately say, as said the disciples, when Jesus walked with them on their way to Emmaus after He had risen from the dead. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. And “they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?” [Luke 24:32.] 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 39

Less talk about things of no profit, and much more talk of Jesus, and of the Word of life, would give spiritual enlightenment and great joy in the soul. Then we would be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the word of the Lord. 12LtMs, Lt 141, 1897, par. 40