Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 68, 1900

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

May 4, 1900

This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 188-193.

Dear Children Edson and Emma:

W. C. White, Sara, and your mother left Cooranbong for Maitland about ten o’clock a.m. There had been some rain, and we thought we might get more; so we went nicely prepared for it. We had our two-seated surrey, and two strong, faithful horses, that could take us up the hills and over [to] Mt. Vincent. For eight miles before reaching Mt. Vincent the road was quite rough and hilly. For many months workmen have been at work opening up a new road by the side of the old one over the mountain, only many feet lower down. This leaves the old road very narrow and perilous, unless the horses are reliable. I walked over the most dangerous part of the road. Willie walked and held the lines. We have passed over this dangerous road no less than ten times. In rainy weather the bullock teams cut deep channels in the road, and we have to manage to keep out of these, else we might upset. We always feel much relieved when we leave this perilous road behind us. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 1

After travelling about fifteen miles, we stopped and took our lunch in the woods. Here we spent one hour resting, partaking of refreshment, and giving our faithful horses, Jasper and Jessie, their feed. Then we went forward upon our remaining thirteen miles. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 2

We arrived in Maitland about four o’clock, giving us a little time to look at a hall with a view of renting it. It is a large building, having skylights for windows, and would be rent to us on condition that we would pay the taxes while we occupied it and give the first contributions to three benevolent enterprises. We decided to test the matter, and so we have accepted the offer. There are two rooms which can be used for holding cooking classes and in keeping health foods. This would save hiring another building. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 3

Sabbath, W. C. White spoke in the forenoon to a goodly number who appreciated his discourse. Your mother spoke in the afternoon. Several were present who were convinced of the truth, but had not faith and courage to take their position. I had much freedom in speaking from Zechariah 3. We knew that the presence of the great Teacher, our Redeemer, was in our midst. I was enabled to present before the people in a most impressive manner the figure of Joshua, the high priest, in his sacred, official office, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 4

This is the position that Satan now occupies toward every church, and toward the ministers of the gospel. He stands before the angel of God, to resist them in their official work, the ministry of the Word—to resist the Lord’s working in behalf of His people. In answer to the intercession and in pity toward His afflicted people, the Lord had come to their relief. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 5

“I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, and said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: for I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughters of Babylon: for thus saith the Lord of hosts: After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be as spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” [Zechariah 2:1-10.] 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 6

This work, which Satan saw in prospect, stirred up the great adversary of souls to resist the Lord Jesus, that God’s people who had been suffering because of the transgression of His law should not be favored, but remain in depression and sorrow and weakness and suffering. Joshua, the high priest, represents the church, Jerusalem. Satan discerns the work that God is about to do for His people through Messiah, the coming Branch. Satan claims the church that has dishonored God by yielding to temptation, disobeying the commandments of God. They have been put on test and trial. Both priest and people are in a position of repentance unto obedience. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 7

If all who have known the way of the Lord will take warning and decidedly change their wrong principles of action, they will be received, and their transgressions will be pardoned; and if they make thorough work according to the measurement or weighing of God, they will avoid a repetition of their transgressions. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 8

God tests and tries His people. He waits for them to discern true repentance, that He may say, “It is enough,” and that He may grant them prosperity. [2 Samuel 24:16.] 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 9

God had given commandment for Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and the measuring of the city was a symbol that He would give comfort and strength to His afflicted ones. Satan and his army are greatly discomfited and alarmed. Satan stands before the angel showing their imperfections of character and their disregard of the commandments of God. This is his resistance to the Lord’s merciful work. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 10

“And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan: even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” [Zechariah 3:2.] Unworthy though they may be of His great work, the Lord Jesus manifests to the enemy that they are accepted through the righteousness of one who has resisted every satanic art and device. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 11

“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” Christ looked pityingly and compassionately upon the punished, repenting people, “and he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying,” (to the angels of God) “Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him” (Joshua) “he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts: If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” [Verses 3-7.] 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 12

Nothing in the world is so dear to God as His church. Nothing is guarded by Him with such jealous care. The Lord has paid the ransom to save and redeem His heritage, and He is not willing that anything should separate them from Him, where He cannot protect them and prosper them for His own name’s glory. He permits them to be sorely tried in the fiery furnace to separate from them and burn the dross. But His eye is upon them every moment, that as they are being purified they may not be consumed. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 13

“For thus saith the Lord of hosts, After the glory hath he sent me unto nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye. ... Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.” [Zechariah 2:8, 10-11.] “Hear, now, O Joshua, the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the engraving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.” [Zechariah 3:8-10.] 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 14

The Lord does not deny the charge of Joshua’s unworthiness, but demonstrates that He has bought him with a price. He clothes him with His garments of righteousness, not putting these garments over the filthy garments of disobedience and transgression, but first he says, “Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” “And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head,” upon which was written, “Holiness unto the Lord.” [Zechariah 3:4, 5; Exodus 28:36, 37.] 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 15

The change is given on condition, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts: If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” [Zechariah 3:7.] 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 16

Sunday morning, May 6, we left Maitland to fill our appointment at Mt. Vincent. Our meeting was held in the Good Templar’s Hall, a small building. Brethren and sisters from Cooranbong met us at the hall. The attendance was good, better than we expected. There were thirty people from the neighborhood and fifteen of our people from Cooranbong, including ourselves. The Lord gave me freedom in speaking from 1 John 2:1-6. The best of attention was given by the youth as well as those of mature age. I had been invited to speak in this place some time ago, but this was the first time I responded. I do not think it will be the last. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 17

The singers from Cooranbong acted their part well. Singing is always a part of the gospel ministry, and the excellent hymns sung could but be a blessing on this occasion. We know that some who listened were deeply interested. There are precious souls in Mount Vincent to be labored for. They are of the number presented to me who were reaching out their hands and asking us to come and help them, saying, “We need the Word of God opened to us, that we may understand its teachings.” May the Lord impress our hearts, and may these poor sheep be fed with the bread of life. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 18

Mount Vincent is only fourteen miles from Cooranbong on the Maitland road. Work must be done in this part of the Lord’s vineyards. A few miles nearer Cooranbong is another settlement. I have been invited to speak in the church in this place. We must take into our field of work these places that are so near. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 19

After I had finished speaking on Sunday, I was invited to come again. If we only had workers, every station between Cooranbong and Queensland and in the opposite direction, from Morisset to Sydney should hear the message of warning. We need to pray that the Lord will raise up laborers to work in these destitute, neglected fields, doing the very kind of labor that is needed, in praying, in worshiping, in reading and explaining the Scriptures, depending upon the Holy Spirit to co-operate with human effort. Every provision has been made by God that these places shall have the Word of life. Are we as laborers together with God waiting and praying for the breathings of the Holy Spirit, who is able to work for us and in us, making our labors acceptable in God’s sight? There are souls to be saved, and who will feel that men and women must see their need of a new heart. The act of surrender in which the heart takes hold of the strength of God’s Spirit gives the soul into God’s keeping. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 20

I never saw better attention given than was given as I spoke in Mt. Vincent. How my heart yearned for souls to be converted. We must have a burden for those that are ready to perish. We should in their behalf hunger and thirst after righteousness. Who will wake up? Who will arise and shine because their light has come and the glory of the Lord hath risen upon them? 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 21

In our meeting at Hamilton, held the week before, the power of God was present, and we have every reason to thank and praise our heavenly Father. The labors of our ministering brethren were of a character to establish and settle and uplift the believers. Some were there from Maitland who were keeping their first Sabbath. In the Sabbath afternoon meeting many excellent testimonies were borne. Some souls were in trial through the manifold temptations of the enemy, but the Lord gave them His blessing, and their feet were established upon the only sure foundation—the Word of the Lord. The testimonies borne were cheering. One young man stated that he was keeping his first Sabbath, that he had been looking for a people who were serving the Lord and meeting the standard of His Word. He was sure he had found them, and he wished to unite his interests with them in obeying the commandments of God. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 22

We did so much desire to hear the testimonies of all present. But we knew that the impression left upon those present, both believers and those who had not yet identified themselves with us, was deep, and we hope, abiding. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 23

I spoke again Sunday afternoon. Quite a number of those not of our faith were present. The Lord strengthened me by His Holy Spirit to urge all to realize their individual responsibility. Life is a talent. The gift of speech is a talent, and God requires these gifts to be used to His name’s glory. Our life is not our own, to do with as we please. It is the purchase of the Son of God. Wonderful working agencies are in active service, co-operating with hidden power to keep the human machinery in harmonious action. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 24

Christ declares, “Everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth.” [Matthew 7:8.] Here is stated a positive fact. Let us use this fact as a sure promise. It is the exposition of the law of divine government, a law sure and unfailing, establishing a connection between human and divine agencies as we ask for the Holy Spirit and receive what we ask for. O what a world of promises we have in the Word of God! Whosoever has sought the gift in faith, believing, has always received it, and can testify to the working of the Holy Spirit upon the heart and life and character. 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 25

We have reason to praise God with heart and voice. “Ye are my witnesses,” He says. [Isaiah 43:10.] Amazing condescension on the part of Christ! To all who seek Him at the footstep of mercy He gives power to witness for Him. The Lord Jesus has placed Himself under obligation never to disappoint a true seeker for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He presents the earthly to represent the heavenly. He appeals to the love of earthly parents. “What man is there among you,” He says, “who if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone, or if he ask a fish will he give him a serpent? If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good gifts to them that ask him?” [Matthew 7:9-11.] 15LtMs, Lt 68, 1900, par. 26