Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 350, 1907

White, J. E.; White, Emma

St. Helena, California

October 22, 1907

Portions of this letter are published in 15MR 54-58; 6Bio 141.

Elder J. E. White
Edgefield, Tennessee

Dear children Edson and Emma:

I received your letter giving the particulars regarding your grounds and the cultivation of certain lines of fruit. While we were in Australia, we adopted the very plan you speak of—digging deep trenches and filling them in with dressing that would create good soil. This we did in the cultivation of tomatoes, oranges, lemons, peaches, and grapes. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 1

The man of whom we purchased our peach trees told me that he would be pleased to have me observe the way they were planted. I then asked him to let me show him how it had been represented in the night season that they should be planted. I ordered my hired man to dig a deep cavity in the ground, then put in rich dirt, then stones, then rich dirt. After this he put in layers of earth and dressing until the hole was filled. I told the nurseryman that I had planted in this way in the rocky soil in America. I invited him to visit me when these fruits should be ripe. He said to me, “You need no lesson from me to teach you how to plant the trees.” 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 2

Our crops were very successful. The peaches were the most beautiful in coloring and the most delicious in flavor of any that I had tasted. We grew the large yellow Crawford and other varieties, grapes, apricots, nectarines, and plums. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 3

A member of parliament who came to Cooranbong occasionally, and who had purchased the house in which we first lived in Cooranbong, visited our garden and orchard and was greatly pleased with it. Several times we filled a large basket with fruit and took it to him and his wife at their home, and they were profuse in their thanks. After this they would always recognize us on the cars and speak of the great treat they had had in the fruit from our orchard. When they would visit us at our farm, they were always at liberty to eat all they wanted from the garden, and usually carried away a basket of fruit to their home. These favors brought us returns in several ways. Mention was made in the papers of the work being done by the students on the Avondale estate. And years afterward, when the terrible drought came, and the cattle were dying for want of pasture and food, the papers spoke of the wonderful exception to the drought to be found on the Avondale tract of land. They compared it to an oasis in the desert. Our crops were not cut off, and the farm flourished remarkably, notwithstanding the lack of rain. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 4

When we were investigating the land at Cooranbong, our brethren held off from purchasing for a whole year, thinking to find in some other locality land that would compare well with the rich soil of Iowa. This they finally decided could not be found. But the work was hindered for a whole year because some of the brethren had not the faith to move forward in spite of discouraging appearances. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 5

In the night season, a representation had been given me that revealed this lack of faith. I seemed to be on the Avondale land; and while the horses were breaking a way through the forest, I walked in an open space close to where our school buildings now stand. I saw a furrow made in the soil one foot deep and about four in length. Two of the brethren stood at the furrow, one at each end; they were examining the soil and declaring it to be of no value. But one stood by who said, “You have misjudged the worth of this land.” He then explained the value of the different strata in the soil and their uses. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 6

When we came to Avondale to examine the estate, I went with the brethren to the tract of land. After a time we came to the place I had dreamed of, and there was the furrow that I had seen. The brethren looked at it in surprise. How had it come there they asked. Then I told them the dream that I had had. “Well,” they replied, “you can see that the soil is not good.” “That,” I answered, “was the testimony borne by the men in my dream, and that was given as the reason why we should not occupy the land. But one stood upon the upturned furrow, and said, ‘False testimony has been borne concerning this soil. God can furnish a table in the wilderness.’” 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 7

The fifteen hundred acres were purchased. The marsh land had to have considerable attention in order to drain off the water. But when this was done, even this part was found to be valuable. The crops that the land yielded proved the truth of the words of the Messenger. But the lack of faith that was manifested in taking up the work cost us the loss of time and means. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 8

The Lord knows what is best for His work. That which was as it were a hiding place in the wilderness has proved to be a profitable tract of land. And we have learned that if we would have a rich experience in our Christian life, we must let the Lord direct. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 9

Well, all this is in the past. It is seven years since we returned to America. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 10

I know that all who would have success in the work must tarry long with God. The story is told of an old Lancashire woman who was listening to the reasons that her neighbors gave for their minister’s success. They spoke of his gifts, of his style of address, of his manners. “Nay,” said the old woman, “I will tell you what it is. Your man is very thick with the Almighty.” 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 11

We need to keep our eye single to the glory of God. Our fitness for his service will be found in constant communion with Him. God’s messengers must tarry long with God if they would have success. When men consecrate themselves to God, the power which comes alone from God will bring them definite results in their work. We are to act as in the presence of God; His eye is ever upon us; His arm is guiding us. We must die to self before God can use us to His name’s glory. If we will learn of Christ as His little children, we shall make a success wherever we are. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 12

The workers in our publishing houses need to have their intellects converted. The physicians and nurses in our sanitariums need to experience the daily converting power of God. Our ministers need to know that Christ is an indwelling presence with them. Some of our workers have cherished their inherited and cultivated tendencies to wrong, and this has led them to try to bear rule over one another. Repentance and daily conversion from wrongdoing is not a part of their experience. These souls are as verily the enemies of Christ as are those who have never yielded themselves to Him. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 13

The testimony comes to such: “I beseech you by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say unto you through the grace given unto me to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly and righteously, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 14

“Having therefore gifts differing according to the grace given unto us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth on teaching; 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. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 15

“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; distributing to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality.” [Romans 12:1-13.] 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 16

This chapter is full of cautions and exhortations. Let us study it prayerfully, that we may understand what are the gifts to the church which make it the light of the world. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 17

We are to walk and work in a spirit of humility and in self-control. One is our Master, even Christ. The history of the past, in which man has been led to seek the guidance of the human mind, is not to be repeated. There are those who suppose that they are set to guard the actions of their brethren and sisters; and if these souls step out of the line that they have marked out, they think that they must put on the restricting line. O what a farce this is. Such a course is not after God’s order. He invites, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” [Proverbs 3:6.] Let no human agency seek to outline the duty of his fellows, or to force his opinions upon another, lest he get in the way of the Lord’s counsel. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 18

The workers need to study the life of Christ until they give themselves unreservedly to Him. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth,” He said, “the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [John 6:63.] Those who practice the words of Christ become one with Christ. Their lives represent the pure principles of the Word in simplicity and meekness. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 19

The apostle Paul declared, “I brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 20

“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor the princes of this world, which come to naught. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things; yea, the deep things of God.” [1 Corinthians 2:1-10.] 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 21

October 23

On Sunday, October 20, the Sanitarium Hospital was dedicated. I can give you only a short account of the meeting. There were many people assembled, and these were seated on the piazzas and on the hillside. There was singing and instrumental music. A large number had come to view the building. I saw it only from the speakers’ stand, and so cannot speak very fully concerning its arrangement. It is built quite near to the cottage that I erected near the sanitarium, but a little to the left and further up the hillside. It has four stories, but there is no staircase in the building, the different floors being reached from the outside. Each room is so arranged that a bed can be rolled from it through the open window on to a spacious veranda, without the patient in the bed being at all disturbed. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 22

I gave a twenty-minute talk at the close of the prayer. Then W. C. White followed, and after him came other speakers. On the notice of the meeting the names of several speakers were given. I felt that I could hardly bring my remarks within the time allotted; for I had much to say. What to say and what to leave unsaid was a problem with me. Then the thought flashed upon my mind, Read the twenty-second chapter of Revelation. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 23

I will send you a copy of the short discourse I gave. I was able to speak slowly and distinctly, and all were able to hear. All whom I have seen since then thought my words appropriate to the occasion. Nothing better than the beautiful words of John in (Revelation 22) could have been given. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 24

I did not remain after my discourse was ended. The carriage was waiting for me, and I stepped into it and was driven home. I believe that the Lord will make this meeting a blessing to the workers there. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 25

When we came from Australia, we found a strange condition of things at the St. Helena Sanitarium; but since Dr. Rand has taken the position of head physician there, the institution is running successfully. All the summer months, tents have been pitched on the hillside to accommodate the patients—sometimes forty and sometimes more. Now they have this excellent building where they can have the operating room away from the main building and where critical cases can be taken and have every advantage. We feel that this is an advance step in the work of the St. Helena Sanitarium. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 26

In the treatment of the sick there are precious opportunities to remove prejudice from human minds. Ignorance is often at the root of prejudice. Many wonderful cases of healing have been wrought here, and through the work of the physician and nurse, and the influence of the religious meetings held in the sanitarium chapel and in the home, opportunity is given for all who desire to have evidence of the faith that we profess. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 27

We bear in mind the Saviour’s work of ministry while He was on the earth. He went about healing the sick; and when He sent forth His disciples, He commissioned them to go forth in His name to work as He worked. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 28

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves,” He said. “Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 29

“But when they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” [Matthew 10:16-24.] The Saviour had often to leave the city where He was working and go to some place where He would not be recognized. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 30

We are certainly living in the time of the end. Let us be sure that our life is hid with Christ in God. When one disciple lacks wisdom, let him take the matter to the Lord in prayer. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” [Proverbs 3:6.] 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 31

Next Sunday quite a number of us leave St. Helena en route for Los Angeles, where we will attend the convention of the ministers and leading men. I would be much pleased if you could be with us. We will go first to Los Angeles, meet in council for several days, and then go on to Glendale. We will have a meeting there. How long this will last I cannot say. From Glendale we will go to Loma Linda. Our stay there will require more time, as there are many things to be considered. There are matters of special interest in connection with the school to be discussed. The sanitarium also needs help. The people who established this sanitarium thought to make of it a sanitarium and hotel combined. There were so many things to consider to give it the accommodations of a hotel that the treatment rooms were not properly planned for. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 32

After we purchased the property, an additional building had to go up, and this has cost us some means. But we have no need for complaint because of the money we have laid out in this enterprise. We feel that it was a wonderful opening when we secured this property at so low a price. 22LtMs, Lt 350, 1907, par. 33