Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12

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Lt 193, 1897

White, W. C.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 23, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 311-312.

Dear Son Willie White:

I have been writing since half past three o’clock until breakfast bell rang, then prayed with the family and ate my breakfast. I commence my writing again. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 1

You ask me if I have seen the last edition of the book Mount of Blessing. I have, and am of the opinion that the most objectionable features have been removed. If you ask if I am pleased and satisfied, I am compelled to answer, No, I am not; but I ask them not to be at any more expense. But I can but have settled convictions that their wisdom has departed from those who would put in such a book as Mount of Blessing such illustrations, to send out to the people. Certainly their perceptive faculties were perverted. At the present time, after waiting two years for the book to be prepared to be sent to the people, I would be much better pleased had the book gone forth without illustrations. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 2

The King’s business requires haste. The way this book has been handled, I do much prefer to go to outside publishing offices and engage them to do publishing work for me. My heart is sore and grieved more than I can express. I lift my voice in protest against our publishing houses putting such a mass of cheap deeds of representations of sacred, holy truths. Some illustrations are not objectionable, and some are degrading to the subjects of truth the papers are advocating. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 3

But I am not to worry about things I cannot help. Our trust must be in God and not in man. We cannot make flesh our arm. We must look and live. This is our life, to look and live. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 4

I can see nothing in the manuscript sent but that is right. When yourself, and your brethren in connection with your own judgment, accept anything after this order, do not pay out postage to send the matter to me. Always use your own judgment. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 5

In regard to Sister Ings, I would be pleased to have her in my home as matron if she will come because she chooses to come. I do not want her to come unwillingly. I should be very much pleased should she have a mind to come. You can tell her this is a beautiful country. Now, you understand the situation, and if you, after your visiting America, think the Lord would have me go to America and again stand in the field of conflict and battle, I will consider the matter and pray over it. I am willing to go or stay as God may direct. I have no light as yet to leave Australia. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 6

Well, I have been broken off. Sara was just starting over to the school grounds to see about your pump to put in the cistern. They have not said one word to me, but put it in the school cistern; but when she had reached the gate, Brother Coulston came running, all out of breath, from Dora Creek. There is a man there by the name of Wild who has been one of the bitterest opponents of our faith. He would not allow one of our people to cross his premises. He is taken suddenly with inflammation of the lungs, and Sara is solicited to go immediately to see if she can do anything to save his life. May and she are now going, and left alone once more, I will finish my letter. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 7

If this letter reaches you, I wish you would look and see the things that belong to me at the Rural Health Retreat. I sent for a footstool, which is a box with a lid and very handy. Then there is a lounge there. See if it is best to bring it as household goods. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 8

In reference to the school, there are now seventy-five in the primary department and the higher grades. There are some excellent students. Brother Goodheart is one of the best students, nephew to Sister James. He told me with great gladness two mornings since, that the sister who was so bitterly opposed, and who burned her mother’s letters and papers, has fully taken her position for the truth. There are now to be about five more students, so there is no more room for an increase until we shall have means to put up building. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 9

One thing we are seriously considering, that the building for the boys shall be entirely separate from that of the girls, a distinct building. There is going to be the difficulty. I have spoken and read five mornings in succession in the school, and after talking with the whole school, I then took the girls by themselves and talked with them seriously and charged them to keep themselves sacredly to themselves. We would not, could not, allow any courting or forming attachments at the school, girls with young men and young men with girls. This I said before the whole school, and then to the young ladies. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 10

I entreated them to be reserved, to be delicate and refined and not be forward and bold and inviting the attention of young men; that they should consider it an honor to cooperate with their teachers and seek to please them in everything. The teachers have had experience and should be honored as educators. They could sustain their teachers and make their work as light as possible and not have their teachers constantly in perplexity and sadness because one and another of the students shall be unguarded and act as unbecoming to Christians. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 11

I asked them if they would make every effort in their power to help sustain the teachers in their work of maintaining discipline and order. In the act of so doing, they would elevate and ennoble themselves. They would feel a happy satisfaction in doing their best to influence others by their words. Their line of conversation should not be in complaints and talking to one and another and expressing dissatisfaction. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 12

“If you will only do your duty,” I said to them, “and reveal that you have too much respect for yourselves to wish to maintain a low level and will seek to help other students, the moral tone of the school will be above par.” 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 13

They could, by doing right themselves, make it in every way better for themselves and for their teachers, and they will have the approval of God. It depended upon the pupils of the school whether the school will be of lasting advantage to them or not. The teachers could not possibly make them a new heart, but the Lord has said to all who seek Him diligently, “A new heart will I give you.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] When the heart is under the Holy Spirit’s molding influence, every one would know this because of the influence they exerted. The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, and sees all the works of the children of men. I can write no more on this point. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 14

But there is a very great mistake made in setting the price of tuitions so low. It cannot be thus. It is a wild movement. If I had known it before the matter had gone out, I would not have consented to have any such prices. I have had the matter presented to me that one cause of the debts accumulated in Battle Creek has been low tuition and rates for rooms and board, and then not proper management to bring the outgoes to harmonize with such prices. The Lord would have His people act sensibly. They cannot possibly keep from sinking under the outgoing expenditures. When they have tested this way of management long enough to see the outcome, why do they repeat the same thing term after term? You will have less students—that may be and may not be. But whichever way it shall turn, there must be wise managers in every school who understand the practical workings of the expenditures and the income, and the outgoes must harmonize with the income. Therefore, do not dishonor the educational interests with mismanagement. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 15

Let there be careful tact and wisdom in all our school arrangements and place the tuition sufficiently high to make ends meet. The Lord is not glorified by any such unwise managing. If the correct management of the school in setting the tuition at a figure to clear expenses shall bring in less students, then let the risk be run on the safe side and there will be a better class of students. All this accumulation of debts should be avoided. I am more astonished than I can express that the tuition here was placed as low as, yes, they say lower than, the tuition at Battle Creek, where the expense of living is about half what it is here in Australia, and the expense in building is one-half what it is in Australia. Now, our brethren know this very well. Then why is it that such short calculations are made? May the Lord inspire every mind who handles His goods to deal wisely. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 16

When in Europe the Lord gave counsel in reference to this matter, and that the tuition of students in Battle Creek was placed at too low figures. Always they would be under the discouragements of debt unless they changed their methods in this respect. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 17

I must close this. Brother Haskell just returned from Sydney. I am conversing with Elder Haskell. Elder Wilson is here, brought to the school building in bad throat difficulties. 12LtMs, Lt 193, 1897, par. 18

Mother.