Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 57, 1898

Prescott, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 19, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 279; 4Bio 353.

Dear Brother and Sister Prescott:

I have commenced many letters to you, but other things have come in and crowded them out. I will now send with this copies of letters which may interest you. On Friday morning we sent our American mail. I was up at 2:30 a.m. It was an important mail and I have felt intensely over the matter. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 1

The Week of Prayer was a period of deep interest to us all. Elder Haskell was obliged to be at Stanmore, where the interest continues. Seventy have already embraced the Sabbath. Elder Starr writes that he has just had an interview with a very nice appearing lady who has commenced to keep the Sabbath. She was convinced through reading Great Controversy. Two or three others are also deciding to take their stand. Directly after the camp meeting I told the Lord that we could not be satisfied with less than one hundred souls, and we have not given up. We will not ask for less, and we shall have them, I believe. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 2

Three months ago I was absent from home for two months. I was called to come to Melbourne to speak in the large tent at Balaclava. I had freedom in speaking. Then the burden for North Fitzroy came upon me. I spoke twice in the church, once to the workers in the office, and for several mornings read many things to the leading men. Then I visited Geelong, in company with Brother Robinson, Sara, and Maggie Hare. I had never been there before. The little church needed help very much. We had much freedom in speaking to them. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 3

We then visited Ballarat. I spoke there twice. While there I was sick with heart trouble, caused by my burden of mind because of the state of things that existed in the churches at North Fitzroy and Prahran: the old Sabbathkeepers had placed themselves where they could be no help to those newly come to the faith, and this made me sick. How to remedy the difficulty was the question. Had they possessed the religion of the Bible, all these things could have been easily adjusted; but there were those who felt that they were injured because labor and attention had been given to those souls who had never heard the truth. Some nights it seemed as if I could not live and endure such agony of soul at seeing such a spirit and such blindness revealed. They surprised the new Sabbathkeepers. About forty persons had embraced the truth, but the old church members acted toward them the part of the elder brother in the parable of Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 4

I cannot tell you how this grieved me, for I saw that unless the old church members were converted, they would counterwork the work of God. I had to write much, for the Lord gave me a message for these envious, jealous, wicked brethren. I think they have made some changes. I worked very hard, and left them, glad to get home again. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 5

Arriving in Sydney, we had to remain there over two Sabbaths, until the dedication of the church in Stanmore. This is a nice building, and I praise the Lord for it with my heart and voice. I think I never spoke in any meetinghouse where it was so easy as in this. It is located on high ground on one of the best lots that could be found. The Lord was in this building. The Sydney church now have a place of worship, and will no longer have to be dependent upon halls. Two or three of the brethren took the responsibility of the debt for the means that could not be raised at the time, but which will, we think, be raised after a little. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 6

There is a special work to be done in the churches for the individual members. “For as ye have many members in the same body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given unto us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” [Romans 12:4-12.] 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 7

The Lord has given gifts differing according to the grace that is given. Let no one suppose that his special gift is above all other gifts. These gifts are to be made helpful by connecting them with the gifts of others. Each is to fill his place with the gifts appointed of God. They are to be appreciated as essential for the advancement of the cause of God. We are in the midst of rebels and enemies, by whom the will of God is neglected and His honor contemned. The sons of God are to represent Him and His cause in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 8

The Lord has given to every man his work. The Lord has given to W. C. White a special work to do in this country ever since he first stepped upon its soil. God has used him in a special manner as an organizer. This is the work to which he is appointed. He is appointed to a far greater work than that of a financier. By the purity of his purposes, his self-denial and liberality, he has become one who can co-operate with God. The management of financial matters has been placed upon him and this is unjust. False witness has been borne of him, and been carried far and near; but God judgeth righteously. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 9

Those who were planning and managing and carrying responsibilities when he was not on the ground could set things in their true light. I could name these men, but I will not do this. As long as the books of heaven contain the record, it will be as it should be. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 10

The Lord has a work for W. C. White to do, and He will give him his place in the work in connection with his brethren. He has ever been ready to step into the hardest places, to give every other one the best chance possible. He has been the unwearied servant of men’s necessities, saints and sinners. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 11

I speak of that I know. In the name of the Lord I testify this matter as something which I should say. W. C. White has not sought his own interests in anything. He has been a servant of servants. To help and bless and strengthen others has been his delight. It has been his meat and his drink to do all the good possible, to brighten the lives of others, to encourage the desponding, and to make hopeful the discouraged hearts of the sons and daughters of God. He has taken in the situation of those who have felt the misfortune of circumstances, and in order to help them he has placed himself in embarrassment. He has had to bear the criticisms of men who ought to have known the trying circumstances that forced upon him work that he did not want, but which no one else would accept; and for three years these criticisms blocked the way for the work to advance in this place. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 12

W. C. White has had to come into places and do the work which others have left undone. Whatever his weariness from his work, a call to fill some hard place has never been refused. He has placed his wife and his children second. His first question has been, What has the Lord for me to do to advance His cause, to build up the waste places? He has carried the weighty load of disagreeable responsibilities. With his counsel, his prayers, his influence, his words of wisdom, he has helped his fellow men to find rock bottom on which to stand. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 13

This has cost him more than his brethren can begin to imagine. He has not let wife or children become his idols to draw him from the work. His experience in the work and cause of God is that of one whom the Lord has led step by step, one whom the Lord has educated and trained. He has been instructed by the Lord how to set things in order upon an organized plan. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 14

We must not regard any one man’s opinions or methods as supreme, as though they did not need the divine touch. Self-will seeks to assert itself at all times, and in a most marked manner; but is God glorified in this? No, He is not. There are to be organized efforts put forth in the church that have not yet been made. A message has come telling what must be done, but there are not many who will do the work to establish the cause, that it may be prosecuted by correct methods. It is because this kind of work calls for much thought and study that many will not touch it. But this entrusted talent is of value. It is needed in Cooranbong. It is needed in the planning and conducting of the school. 13LtMs, Lt 57, 1898, par. 15