Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 129, 1898

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Hamilton, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

December 28, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 6BC 1112; 4Bio 371-373.

Dear Children Edson and Emma White:

We are now opening the work in Newcastle. This place is upon the borders of a broad expanse of water. It is a sea port, a coal mining district, and ships come to this place and go to all other parts of the world. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 1

We have been waiting to get money to build up an interest in this place. Our tents were pitched here last week, and meetings opened here last Thursday evening. The tent was full of attentive listeners. At first it was thought that the holiday season might not be the best for introducing a Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting. We feared the people coming in from the suburbs would come to amuse themselves in their own way. But a better time could not have been selected. Our minds are called to the great day of the feast, when Jesus cried, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” [John 7:37.] So on this occasion we are presenting the Word of God, the living bread and the living water of salvation. The very first night the tent was full, and the people stood around the outside like a wall. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 2

We have had a terrible tempest of rain and wind. It did bad work for our small tents, but the large tent was new, and staked with poles and cross poles inside, so that it would be difficult to blow it down. On Friday night the drought was broken. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 3

The wind became a howling gale, and continued over Sabbath. Sabbath the rain just poured down, as if the windows of heaven were opened. Nevertheless our meetings went on, and there was a good attendance from the camp. Men had to leave the meeting and attend to securing the tents in the tempest of wind and rain. Sabbath afternoon I spoke to a full tent, and the Lord gave me great freedom. Many were in tears. I spoke from John 11. All seemed to listen as if spellbound. I called them forward for prayers. Quite a number responded and then bore [their] testimony. Then the order of the meeting had to be changed because of the downpour of rain. All joined in singing hymns until the storm began to abate. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 4

The rich blessing of God rested upon the people. The ministers bore a clear, decided testimony. We knew that the Holy Spirit was in the congregation, working upon human hearts. It was a most precious Sabbath to all present. There was deep conviction of soul among the ministers. In the season of prayer for those who came forward, Elder Robinson and Elder Daniells prayed with the fervor of the Holy Spirit’s power, notwithstanding the tempest and the pouring rain, all countenances expressed gladness and joy. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 5

Meetings have been held every day. On Sunday there was no morning meeting. All the camp was busy in repairing the injury done to the tents; all worked diligently, so that the meeting might begin at eleven o’clock. At three p.m., when I spoke, the tent was crowded to its utmost capacity, and there was a wall of people on the outside. On the Sabbath I spoke on the fifteenth of John; on Sunday, on the fourteenth; the Lord gave me great freedom. These two meetings on Sabbath and Sunday were excellent, because the God of Israel was walking through our encampment. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 6

On Tuesday afternoon I spoke again to the tent full. More could have found seats, but a large number were present. I spoke from 1 Peter 1:1-10. The Lord imbued me with His Holy Spirit, and many of the hearers were deeply affected. In the evening the tent was crowded to its utmost capacity. Elder Daniells spoke, and the closest attention was given. The weather was pleasant all day, and we had a lovely moonlight evening. We think we shall have no more storms during the meeting, but this is generally a cloudy, stormy coast. Not so at Cooranbong. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 7

We have this morning, December 28, decided that the meeting must be continued over the third Sabbath and Sunday. Those who are so attentive and interested must have a chance to hear the word of God. It being the holiday season from the 22nd of December until after New Year’s, parties come from places all around, from Cooranbong and the nearer towns, from beyond Maitland and from the many suburbs of Newcastle. The report of the meeting will be carried far and near. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 8

We expect that there will be a church raised up here, which will be a great help to us in Cooranbong. There has not been one Sabbath keeper in Newcastle, and we feel that now is the time to work in this city. Newcastle is an important place, very much so to us; for we want to have a strong force to help us in our work in Cooranbong, which has but just been entered upon. If God will, next season we shall have a camp meeting in Maitland, a most beautiful town twenty miles from Newcastle, and twenty miles from Cooranbong. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 9

Before we visited Queensland, the situation was opened to me; several companies were reaching out their arms toward us, saying, Give us the bread of life; open to us the Word of God. Then said one of authority, “They are as poor sheep without a shepherd. They know not the truth.” 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 10

I was quite sure that it was these places where we are now laboring that need our help. Some of the people come long distances, bring their lunch, and remain from morning until after the evening meeting. This is just as it has been laid before me. I want to remain here until they are established, a goodly company upon a sure foundation. This is the work before us. My soul is carrying a heavy weight. We have a good company of workers, and if all will surrender themselves to God, we shall just as surely see of His salvation as we have seen it in previous meetings held in the Colonies. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 11

It is not our duty to hover over the churches already formed. God bids us, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. We want men and we want means. We want laborers to take hold of the work, and put all there is of them into earnest labor. The voice of duty is the voice of God, an inborn, heaven-sent guide. We are to lift the standard of truth, and plant it in every city as fast as we can obtain means. We will lift the standard, we will put out our true colors to the gaze of men and angels, confessing our faith in the first, second, and third angel’s messages. Now under the third all these messages have place in the warnings to be given to the world. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 12

There is no safety in avoiding responsibility. There must be a true standing to our colors. There must be no deception or evasion. We are Seventh-day Adventists, and it is our duty to show why, that the world may know in advance where we are to be found in the day of test and trial. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 13

Our principles are stated on an uplifted banner. “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] The Redeemer of the world has declared that it is only those who confess Him before men that He will confess before the angels in heaven. Those whose principles are established upon the Word of God should manifest those principles unflinchingly in the full view of the world. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 14

None should lightly regard the principles sustained by the Word of God. Every soul needs to have a deep, abiding sense of the importance of knowing for himself what is truth, not what is the minister’s opinion but what saith the Scriptures. Christ’s prayer just before His crucifixion was for His disciples. Listen: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world.” [John 17:15-18.] 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 15

Let us bear this in mind, that as God sent His Son into the world to represent the truth in character, in action, so has Christ sent us into the world to represent His character, because we put on Christ and reveal that we have the mind of Christ. “And for their sakes I sanctify myself,” Christ said, “that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one: even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” [Verses 19-23.] 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 16

Both the understanding and the heart are to be sanctified through the truth, that there may be the most intimate and conscious connection with the pure, sacred springs from which they derive their light and inspiration. We must have the Holy Spirit; we must draw from the deep resources of all moral and intellectual power, in order to co-operate with God. We need to put to the stretch every spiritual sinew, nerve, and muscle, that we may carry forward the work in a strong, wholesome manner. We behold in the cross of Christ our efficiency, our inexhaustible source of power. Here we may well be ambitious in behalf of Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 129, 1898, par. 17