Lt 178, 1898

Lt 178, 1898

White, W. C.

Stanmore, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

April 14, 1898

Previously unpublished.

Dear Son Willie:

Here we are, safely preserved, to be so near our home again. Brother and Sister Haskell were in the city of Sydney, so we know not just when we shall see them. But as it is near dinnertime we shall expect to see them soon. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 1

We had rather a strange time of it in the ladies’ compartment. I alone could find a place to rest my head. There was crowding to give me this chance. After three or four hours’ drive two women left the car which made the situation some better. We changed cars. One lady and her niece and little girl clung to our company to take the same compartment with us. But when Sara tried to get a ladies’ room there was none and every carriage was crowded. There was not any chance for us. Sara talked with the official and he looked and found nothing. Then he said, “You must get into a car somehow, whether you like it or not,” and all six of us were thrust into a car with all our baggage with one available seat. It was just the same carriage or compartment we were in when we left Sydney. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 2

Sara then stepped out and told the one who hustled us in that we could not go in that crowded car, four, at least, standing when they had paid for a seat. She inquired if there were not seats in the first-class carriages, “This party must have better accommodations than this crowded car. Here is an old lady, not well, who needs the very best accommodations you can afford. Here are also our fellow passengers, women that beg not to be separated from us. We are willing to pay extra if it is required of us, but we must have a better accommodation.” 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 3

She said, “Take me to the stationmaster.” She told him the same. He said, “I will see. Come along quickly. The train cannot wait.” You should see how quickly we were in a first-class carriage with good broad seats, and only one young men about seventeen years old, who made himself very useful in disposing of our baggage. He said as he left, naming a certain place where some of the passengers, our companions, left the car, “You can get out when you get there,” but we decided there would be no getting out until we reached Strathfield. A good bed was made for me, but I could not straighten my limbs. This hurt my hip, but I was very thankful for the accommodations. The young man soon left, then I could straighten my limbs. And about morning the woman and niece and her child, all from Tasmania, left the car, for she had arrived at her destination. We were all three, Maggie, Sara and I, left in possession of the car and we had plenty of room. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 4

When within two hours’ and a half drive to Strathfield, the door of the car was opened and a lot of baggage was thrust in, then a woman with a baby in her arms about two months old, then a girl about nine years old, a baby in her arms about one year old, then another little girl about two years old, a boy about four years old, and still another boy about seven years old, and she said she had left one behind. They were poor people but they were put in the first-class carriage because there was no place for them anywhere else. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 5

I feel very thankful to my heavenly Father for His preserving care over me, and I am thankful I am as well as I am today. The dedication is expected to take place next Sunday, but I shall try to persuade Brother Haskell that it would have the best influence [if] matters [were] not strained too severely, for, although I have not seen the building, I am sure it will require a great pressure to prepare the house properly for dedication. We have eaten our dinner, knowing not how long we should wait for Elder Haskell and his wife. We enjoyed our dinner. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 6

Elder Haskell has come in and I have talked with him in regard to the meetinghouse. He is very loath to give up the point, but after he visited the building again this afternoon, he was convinced that my words were wise and he would not press the workers if I could only stay over Sabbath and Sunday. This I agreed to do and come down from Cooranbong to Sydney the next Sabbath and the following Sunday, else remain through the week and visit Kellyville and any place I would be pleased to go. I have not yet decided to remain away from home a whole week more. We decide to postpone the dedication one week. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 7

Marian is in Sydney getting her teeth fixed. I have not seen her. I need wisdom from God. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 8

I laid before Elder Haskell the invitation for him to visit the churches for a few weeks in company with Elder Robinson to try to wake up the people to give of their means to sustain the school; that you all feel that something must be done, and that his experience qualified him to do this work. I said, “Brother Haskell, if you feel free to take up this line of work for a few weeks, much good might be done, and this is an essential work to be done.” I thought he was better fitted than anyone else to help the churches where they need help. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 9

Elder Haskell did not say much, but after a time Sister Haskell said, “Sister White, I feel no burden to visit the churches. I had a great struggle in my mind in regard to the school. But after much prayer I settled that matter, for the Lord gave me light that He would bless me in taking up the Bible studies in the school. And the words you had spoken to me in regard to the work I should do in connection with the school came vividly to my mind, and I felt that the grace of God was upon me. I then and there submitted to the Lord’s will, and I wrote to you in regard to the matter. My decision was fully made then in harmony with the light the Lord gave me through you, and I decided that I would obey the light and that when the Lord would have me take up some other work, He would let me understand the matter. My whole burden after the work of the meetinghouse is done is for the school.” 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 10

Now, Willie, I have had no new light in regard to the matter of the appointed ones for the school than that which I have given you. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 11

The Scripture was given unto man to make them wise unto salvation. And the Word of the living God is to be the educating book in our school. The Word of God is a divine revelation. An intelligence of the Scriptures will be to have a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. Therefore every kind of substitute has been brought in to take the place of the Word of God. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 12

My mind has been drawn decidedly to these matters. The Scriptures were given for our learning, to make us wise unto salvation, and the truth is what is needed. The Scriptures contain nothing to gratify curiosity or speculation. The Lord is drawing men away from the learning and the repetition of the supposed wise words and methods of popular authors, to the words of the Author of true learning. Every truth requisite for the training of human minds for holiness, for usefulness, for happiness, is contained in the Scriptures, and God will help to get them out of the Scriptures. Those who have so long relied upon authors know not the breadth and the power of the Word of God. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 13

But I will write no more now upon this subject. It is not my work to persuade and urge Brother and Sister Haskell. Let the Lord lead them and guide them. But having had the experience I have had in last year’s school, I dare not urge matters contrary to my convictions. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 14

Friday morning

I have rested well during the night until half past three. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 15

I do not dare to say to Brother Haskell, Go out into the field and labor in the churches. He has a treasure house of truth that would make him a successful laborer anywhere, in any place where the Lord has appointed him. One thing I know, that God will work through His own instrumentalities that are experienced in His leadings and will respect His voice. This term of school is a very important one, for the education essential is that minds be led and guided and controlled by His Holy Spirit; that those who are there as teachers all understand the movements of the Spirit of God, to walk and work in His way, to follow out His mind. I have no assurance, because they lack the kind of education that will make them sound, experienced workers. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 16

Not a word have I intimated to Elder Haskell of this that I do know. I have had but a few moments’ conversation with them. I did so much desire, if it was the will of God, to have them go into the field and do a work that needs to be done. But again, the school demands the very lessons and qualifications that Brother and Sister Haskell have, which I know the other teachers do not possess. I have given encouragement and persuasion to the students to enter the school with the understanding that Elder Haskell and his wife would be there and preside in this term of school, that they would not have the assurance that it would be thus the next term of school. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 17

We need now to accept and follow the letter God has given in His Word and not depend upon human authorities for educational advantages. The Word and its precious pearls have scarcely yet been found and appreciated. I long to see the searching and the digging. Teachers in the school need a depth of experience religiously, and they need a depth of experience that the present teachers have not. They have been thus represented to me and have evidenced the same in a most marked manner. Elder Haskell’s grey hairs and his knowledge of how to pray and lay hold by faith upon God is a power of education [the] present teachers have not and have not evidenced that they have. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 18

We need persons in that school who feel the travail of soul for the students. They need to be educated how to pray, how to testify. It is impossible for the human intellect to form proper ideas of the value of their own souls and the souls of those they instruct unless they have had a different class of experience than they have had. Teachers as well as the students need to be moulded and fashioned, educated and trained. Until they are, there will be a deficiency. That was made apparent during the first term of school. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 19

We need now, just now, to give value to the living oracles of God in a decided manner. Human intellect may be of even a superior quality, yet may have been misdirected. Ideas and theories of human minds have been introduced, and seed sown, that will have to be rooted out before the pure principles of truth shall find the place in mind and heart that will constitute them safe teachers. Through the Bible and the Bible alone will the human intellect understand the Divine character, as revealed in His Word. Therein is revealed all that constitutes moral perfection, all that is essential in physical attributes. It is impossible for the human intellect to form purer, higher, nobler, or more attractive conceptions of God and His attributes than in His Word. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 20

[Two pages missing.]

It needs the Bible student to find it, to bring it forth and let the gems of truth shine like precious pearls. Our God knew the very necessity of man, and these things are found in the Word. We need constantly to educate in reference to bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is that which the students need presented before them day by day, for even teachers are woefully ignorant of their own characters. God Himself speaks of the neglect of His own people. “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” Isaiah 1:2, 3. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 21

When I see the condition of the churches in Melbourne, my spirit faints within me. How are these churches to be educated and trained, that souls who newly come to the faith shall not be misled, and be partakers of their evil deeds? Where is the encouragement to be at the great expense of holding camp meetings when the old churches are so void of spirituality that they will counterwork the work that has been done in the strong and wearing efforts of the camp meeting? 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 22

These lax, irreligious members of the church do not properly sense their own peril nor the peril of souls ready to die. When the old members of the church shall mingle with these newly come to the faith they serve as stumblingblocks. When the people have been long in the knowledge of the truth and yet are not converted to the truth, God says of them, “I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15, 16. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 23

There must be less time occupied in sermonizing. Ministers must visit the flock. There is much time spent over the studying of books which, if spent in earnest personal labor for souls ready to die, would bring a better state of things in the churches. Ministers are too willing to excuse themselves from that labor that brings them into the families of the church members. Ministers should let them see that they have a sympathy and live interest for them personally. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 24

Truth is precious, but it is not appreciated and sought for as for hidden treasure. Those who claim to be believers hear the sermons but do not appropriate them to themselves. They have a careless, captious, disobedient spirit and the Bible instruction does not guide them in safe paths because it is the condemnation of their course of action. Personal labor must be done. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 25

But why, you may ask, do you write thus? Because I was brought into a position in my dreams of the night where I was presenting the things I have written, and a great deal more that I have not written and cannot write this morning. The very education that the Lord would give those who labor in Word and in doctrine He does not give because they do not place themselves in positions where they would receive the Holy Spirit’s working with their efforts. A shepherd’s work must be done for the flock of God. And the time that is devoted to other purposes must be more fully given to personal labor. This will be the best educating school the servants of God can have. 13LtMs, Lt 178, 1898, par. 26