Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 66, 1898

White, J. E.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales

August 26, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 89, 293.

Dear Son Edson White:

You say Emma is not with you, but you do not say where she was to be during the hot months. I wish you had told me, for then I could address letters to her. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 1

I am writing just as busily as I can. My most profitable time is in the early morning hours. I awaken now too often at two a.m., but I know it is useless to try to sleep again. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 2

Last week Elder Haskell wrote me a few lines inquiring if I would take the services Sabbath at 11 a.m. W. C. White was to conduct services at Dora Creek. I answered that I was trying to put every jot of my vitality into my writings, and that having been unable to sleep past two o’clock, I dare not take the extra labor. At the commencement of the Sabbath I sought the Lord most earnestly for physical strength, mental clearness, and moral power. I urged my petition, pleading the promise of God, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” [John 16:24.] When I awoke on Sabbath morning, and looked at my watch, I was surprised to see that the short [hand] hour pointed to five o’clock. This is such a rare thing that I knew the Lord had answered my prayer. I thanked the Lord with my heart and voice. I felt so much refreshed that I sent Ernest to Brother Haskell to say that I would speak that morning. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 3

The previous Sabbath I spoke in the chapel to a full house. It was an important occasion. Some of the students were to go forward in baptism. I had much freedom, and the Spirit of the Lord was upon me to bear a testimony that reached hearts. Then the candidates for baptism were invited to come to the front, and three center seats were filled. There were twenty-one candidates, and all bore their testimony. Some of these had only recently been converted to the truth. The baptismal service was very impressive, Brother Hughes administered the rite. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 4

We were very much pleased to see these children go forward. Mabel White was among the number. She is a trifle taller than her sister Ella, though five years younger. She resembles her dear mother. Both children are comely-looking girls. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 5

On Sabbath, the 27th, there were several present from a distance. On Sabbath evening Brother Martin from Kellyville came to Dora Creek, and our team met him at the station. He has been a faithful laborer in bringing the truth before many. He has a fruit farm, and in selling his fruit become acquainted with a large number of people. I supply him with reading matter, and he gives papers and pamphlets to many, thus creating an interest. His wife has been a most bitter opposer, but she has made us several visits, and has now taken her position on the side of truth. Her mother also is becoming interested, and Brother Martin had her come with him to see me. She has all confidence in my work. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 6

Another lady, a teacher in the island of Raratonga, I think, who has been visiting Sister Nicholas, a sister from the same place who is translating my small book, Steps to Christ, and still another, from Parramatta, a lady recently converted to the truth who is visiting her daughter at the school, came to hear Mrs. White speak. I am thankful to my heavenly Father that He gave me His Holy Spirit. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 7

I read (Exodus 31:13, 18), showing the importance of observing the seventh-day Sabbath. God declares, “It is a sign between me and you.” In observing this day, God’s people may know it is the Lord that doth sanctify them. I think we dwell too little upon the evidence of the origin of the Sabbath and its perpetuity. I then turned to Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and chapter 7:6-11; 8:1-4. Then I turned to John 14, and read the entire chapter, and remarked upon it. The Lord gave me tongue and utterance, and His Spirit was upon me. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 8

The phaeton was waiting for me, and as soon as I had finished I hastened home to prevent a chill. A social meeting followed, but all know why I was compelled to leave. I am thankful for my strength and clearness of voice. I lose nothing in this line. I am just as earnest and diligent in my work as I have ever been. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 9

Our lives in this country are like a voyage. We have storm and sunshine, but we bear in mind that we are nearing the desired haven. We shall soon be beyond the storms and tempests. Our present duty is to hearken to the voice that says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” [Matthew 11:29.] We must accept this invitation daily. The past is contained in the book where all things are written down. We cannot blot out the record, but we can learn many things if we choose. The past should teach us its lessons. As we make the past our monitor, we may also make it our friend. As we call to mind that which in the past has been disagreeable, let it teach us not to repeat it. In the future let nothing be traced which will cause regret in the bye and bye. We may now avoid a bad showing. Every day we live we are making our past history. Today is ours, yesterday is beyond our amendment or control. Then let us not grieve the Spirit of God today, for tomorrow we shall not be able to recall this day; it will be yesterday to us. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 10

Today the invitation is given; “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Verses 28, 29.] Christ has rest for all who will wear His yoke and learn His meekness and lowliness of heart. Here we are taught restraint and obedience, and in this we shall find rest. Thank God that in this we shall find rest. Thank God that in humility and obedience we shall find just that which we all need so much—the rest that is found in faith and confidence and perfect trust. We must not manufacture an oppressive yoke for [our] own necks. Let us take the yoke of Christ and in entire obedience draw with Him; then He can give us rest. In obedience to Him peace and grace and assurance will be ours. We shall find rest in Jesus. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 11

“Rock of ages, cleft for me;
Let me hide myself in thee.”
13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 12

Jesus Christ has plentiful help and grace for all who will appreciate it. The Lord is our helper; with Him is forgiveness. He alone can blot out the sins of the past. He can strengthen the mind. If we regard the past as no longer our enemy but as a friend, to warn us off the ground we should not approach, it will prove a true friend. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 13

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” [John 15:9, 10.] This is the yoke which Christ invites us to wear—the yoke of obedience. “Learn of me,” He says, “and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] “These things have I spoken unto you, that [through your perfect obedience] my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you.” [John 15:11, 12.] The conscience bears its testimony of approval to the sincerity and simplicity of true godliness. We will walk not in the sparks of human devising, in human wisdom, but in the footsteps of Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 14

Will we grasp and appreciate the good, and refuse the evil? Will we walk humbly with God? Today make a full consecration of yourself to God, soul, body, and spirit. Now is our sowing time. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [Galatians 6:7.] We must not fail nor be discouraged; then the present work now passing beyond our control, will be our pay master. To every man God has given a work to do. This is a solemn thought. Some will be regarded with suspicion by men who cannot discern spiritual things. Criticism will be freely given. But shall this stir up the passion of the human heart? Or will the voice of God’s workman be heard in song: 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 15

“Rock of ages, cleft for me;
Let me hide myself in thee.”
13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 16

The work of the very best of God’s laborers will often be commented upon by men who have not a genuine experience in what it means to hide in Christ. Condemnation will be passed upon those who may be trying to do their work faithfully. Then is the time for God’s workers, to show their gentleness, to hide in the cleft of the Rock. God’s voice says to them, “Be still and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 17

All who cherish the love of God in the heart will realize their God-given responsibilities to feed the flock of God. They will give the pure Word of God to the people. They will enter into no confederacy to suppress the Word of truth. They will not be bought or sold to please any man or any power. The truth of God transforms the natural character, and he who receives this truth will, by the grace of Christ bring its purity into his practical life. Beholding Christ he will become changed into His image. The mighty power of the kingdom of heaven within works outwardly, and he becomes conformed to the image of Christ. In confidence he can say, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also who love his appearing.” [2 Timothy 4:8.] 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 18

We have only a little period in which to work. We are not to educate ourselves to worry. Keep the eye upward, fixed upon the mark of our high calling in Christ Jesus. We have a work to do; let us do it as in the sight of the whole universe of heaven. We are not to faint, to stumble on in unbelief; God desires us to look to Him as our sufficiency and strive to be complete in Him. We are to grasp the promises of God. Can we not say, “Lord, I take Thee at Thy word; I receive Thy promise. I come to thee because I need Thee as a personal Saviour. I must have an abiding Christ. I am dependent on Thee. Thou art mine.” 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 19

Christ says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, (not in pretense, but with the whole mind, heart, soul, and strength,) he it is that loveth me.” [John 14:21.] This is the true test of character. We must be doers of the Word. Then let us trust in God, for He saves all who look unto Him. Why do we not have more joy and gratitude, and thanksgiving in our hearts? Why do we not educate the soul to believe and rejoice in Christ? Why is thanksgiving so strenuously withheld? Let us walk humbly with God. Let praise and thanksgiving and rejoicing be expressed in song. Let us cherish the outflow of praise to God from heart and lips. 13LtMs, Lt 66, 1898, par. 20