Lt 179, 1899

1899

Lt 179, 1899

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

November 3, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Children:

Last evening we decided to leave home on Friday morning at five o’clock for the camp meeting. We knew that we would need my horse and carriage there, so Sara and I drove up. As I am nearly always the first one up in the morning, I was to call Sara at four o’clock a.m. I could not sleep past half past eleven. My mind was much burdened, and I wrote until nearly four o’clock. Then I called Sara. We were to take our breakfast in the carriage as we rode. Part of the road was very steep and mountainous. There was an appearance of rain as we started, and we spent half an hour deciding whether we should drive or take the cars at Dora Creek. We deemed it the better plan to drive. Lt179-1899.1

I am very, very sorry that I cannot find the letter from Brother Shireman. I suppose it was with my other letters, but it is not. I fear I cannot, this mail, take up his question and answer them. But I will say that property that has been created by the Lord’s servant without donations or consideration from Battle Creek is not the property of the Conference, although the Conference may have paid the laborer a stipulated sum for his labor. Yet the man who have worked and invested their money in the cause own the property until they shall have clear evidence from the Lord as to what they shall do with it. If I shall build meetinghouses, as I hope to be able to do, I shall not turn these over to the Conference that did not aid me in erecting them. Lt179-1899.2

This morning, November 7, we went with our horse and carriage to see May White and the children, who came last evening. Early this morning I saw in the heavens a rainbow and the shadow of a rainbow, looking like two rainbows. I said, This is portentous. I have had my attention called to this sign before, and a heavy rain has always followed. Well, we visited May White, and took her and the children to the druggists, where May wished to make some purchase. When she was through, we noticed that very heavy clouds were gathering, and when we had taken her home and turned homeward again ourselves, we saw that these clouds were growing very black and singular looking. We were afraid that Jasper, our horse, might not travel as quickly as the fast gathering storm. But we just reached home in time. Lt179-1899.3

We found the gate open. I stepped from the phaeton and entered the door of my room. Sara and Maggie slipped the harness from the horse and led him into the shed. Brother Starr pushed the buggy under cover. We were all in the house and Sara was in the shed when the pelting hailstones came down. It rained in torrents. We feared that the glass of the windows would break. It rained thus for all of thirty minutes. We think it would have been hard for Jasper to have understood what was the matter had he been out in the storm, but he was safe under shelter. Sara could not get into the house before the storm burst, but none of us suffered. Lt179-1899.4

Our first thoughts were for the camp. We feared that much damage would be done. Later we learned that only five tents were left standing. The big tent was being let down when the storm came in a volume of wind and hail. Four men hung on to the book tent in an effort to save it. But were taken up into the air with the tent. They escaped without injury, but the books, Bibles, copies of The Desire of Ages, and all of our best and also our less valuable books are ruined, we fear. Some of them may be saved and sold for a small sum. Lt179-1899.5

This is one of the trials we are subject to at camp meeting. This is a loss that can be sustained, however. No limbs are broken, and we thank the Lord for His loving-kindness to the children of men. We dare not complain at anything, for we see that angels of God have protected our lives. We will not murmur nor complain. Lt179-1899.6

On Sunday night the tent was full to overflowing. On Monday night lime light views were given, showing the school buildings at Cooranbong. Lt179-1899.7