Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 143, 1897

White, W. C.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 6, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 175-177; 9MR 366.

Dear Son Willie:

We do not feel discouraged. Many unpleasant things have occurred, but we would have this anywhere. We have concluded that McCullagh and Hawkins are thorough apostates. McCullagh says that he will never give up the Sabbath, but it will soon go. The most false statements are being made of me and my work. The most senseless lies that can be manufactured are being circulated. Some of these have been written out, with the names of those to whom they were told attached. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 1

Brother and Sister Starr are now in Adelaide. Brother Wilson was sent for, but was not able to go on account of his health. He has been spitting blood. He was down three weeks, got better, attempted to do some work, and has been down again. I think the climate of Tasmania is too severe for him. I hope he will soon go to the mild, warm atmosphere of Adelaide. All wish him to go. In connection with Brother Starr he could do good work in holding our people together. Even if he did not preach one discourse, he could establish, strengthen, and settle them. But we have no recent news from Adelaide or Tasmania. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 2

We may expect trials and disappointments. The apostle Paul warned his disciples, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the flock of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” [Acts 20:28-30.] This experience, so disagreeable, we have gone over again and again. This recent apostasy has been a great trial to us, and has largely increased my burdens and writing. It has hurt my soul. But having done all, we must stand. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 3

Paul wrote to Timothy, “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith; so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned; from which some have swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. ... Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith and a good conscience; which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck.” [1 Timothy 1:3-7, 17-19.] 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 4

If these men who have gone out from us, had, as faithful stewards, searched deep into the Word of God, and heeded Paul’s words in the sixth chapter of Ephesians, they would now have been standing more and still more firmly in the faith. Paul says, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” [Verse 14.] But these men have yielded up the Bible truth which has made us what we are, Seventh-day Adventists. They have thought to wrap themselves up in a spurious sanctification, which will accord with any false theories that men may choose to accept. They have not added to their faith, but have detracted from it. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 5

“And beside this,” writes Peter, “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.” [2 Peter 1:5.] That which Christ means by virtue is purity of character, purity of words, purity of perception, purity of doctrine. “By thy words thou shalt be justified,” said Christ, “and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” [Matthew 12:37.] By their words men show what is the treasure of their soul. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringest forth good things, an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things.” [Verse 35.] There is no middle ground. The heart is either given to God, to be purified, refined, and sanctified, or it is the sport of Satan’s temptations. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 6

The words of Christ are, “That servant which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes, But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom men have committed much, of him will they ask the more.” [Luke 12:47, 48.] The number of talents which each has received will determine the returns which the Lord requires. He will ask for principal and interest. This matter will be closely investigated. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 7

Those who have known the truth, who have been blessed by the influence of the Holy Spirit, who have appreciated the truth, but have turned from it, will not be treated merely as impenitent sinners. Their guilt is aggravated, because they have had a knowledge of the truth. They have a knowledge of the defections of church members, and of the difficulty which those in the faith have experienced because of the weak, sinful characters of those in the church militant. They can misrepresent the words and actions of the faithful servants of God, who strive to place the straying feet of the erring in the path of holiness. They can put the worst construction on the words and actions of those who labor for the erring. If they are not converted, if they do not choose to put away their evil speaking, if they corrupt their ways before the Lord, they will misinterpret the words of God’s servants, and the whole world will rise up in the day of judgment against them. These accusers say, “I tell you, I know. I have been with them. I know the ins and outs of the matter,” and many will think that they speak the truth. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 8

It is not merely the apostasy of these men that we regret; it is their power to hurt, and to make a lie appear as truth. This will be the aggravation of Brother McCullagh’s impenitence. He will find himself confronted with Sodom and Gomorrah, because he has had the example of these cities, and the Lord’s visitation of wrath upon them, to warn him not to do as they did. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 9

Brother McCullagh and Brother Hawkins have had before them the case of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. These things are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. But how hopeless is genuine rebellion. We see this in the case of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. These men worked upon the minds of certain of the children of Israel, and through their deceptive reasoning, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, men of renown, gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” [Numbers 16:3.] The very same one who led them, Satan clothed with angel robes, stands ready today to take any number of disaffected ones, and start a rebellion. He is watching his chance, and he will work with minds with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 10

The circumstances that have occurred in Adelaide so nearly resemble the outbreak in the camp of Israel that we can see that it is of the same piece. The men who have worked in the same lines, and the evil leaven has drawn to itself many who were displeased with something that had occurred in their experience with us as a people. They were prepared to be influenced by the leaven of sinful murmuring, as were the children of Israel. I do not think McCullagh or Hawkins will ever again come into harmony with the people of God who will pass through trials, and be partakers with Christ of His sufferings. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 11

This rebellion has hurt my soul terribly. It has made me feel that the teachers of the truth must be guarded, even against their brethren in the ministry. It will not do for them to be too communicative. God’s servants had disagreeable elements of character to deal with, and in their great anxiety to help every one they can, they take them into close companionship; but that which should be a blessing proves to be a curse if those whom they try to help fall under the temptations of Satan. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 12

Nothing is sacred with apostates. They add so much to that they think they know, that there is scarcely a semblance of truth in their reports. These false witnesses would just as readily swear to their fabricated lies as to the truth itself. Satan is the father of lies, and the accuser of the brethren. God’s people must, if faithful, be on their guard. None of us can occupy middle ground. We are either decided believers in the truth, the subjects of faith, and holding the truth in righteousness, or we are the guiltiest and the most inexcusable of those who profess godliness. We are deserving of the wrath of the Lamb. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 13

O, that those who can so readily enter into by and forbidden paths, who can contradict and cast away their former experience, could see what awaits those who deny the Holy Spirit’s leading, but are willing to be led by some unseen agency of evil. To what pass will they come? They made light of the Holy Spirit; they blasphemed God, and called the working of His Spirit a delusion. Transfer them with all their boasted freedom from reproof and correction, to the judgment. Such a scene the universe has never before beheld. Sentence of death is passed on all who have had light, and evidence, but have refused the light, as did the Jews, who would not come to the light, lest their deeds should be reproved. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 14

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” [John 12:36.] Again we read, “Then took they up stones to cast at him, but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” [John 8:59.] “Though he had done so many miracles before them, yet believed they not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias saith again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” [John 12:37-40.] 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 15

How had he blinded their eyes by the light given them? If they had received and cherished the light, would their hearts have been hardened? No; their hearts were hardened because of light refused. They would not be convinced, but chose darkness rather than light. They chose to stand under satanic influences, rather than see and be convinced. 12LtMs, Lt 143, 1897, par. 16