Lt 38, 1898

1898

Lt 38, 1898

White, J. E.; White, Emma

“Stanmore,” Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

February 2, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 12MR 357-359.

Dear children Edson and Emma:

We have been in Stanmore since Thursday evening. Your brother Willie came down Monday, January 31. Sabbath, January 29, I spoke to the congregation assembled under the tent. The Lord gives me His Spirit as I stand before the people. The attendance is not decreasing, but is increasing. But, Edson, it is a hard pull. Lt38-1898.1

Sunday I spoke again. There was a good attendance. The Lord gave me a message for the people, and I spoke in a decided manner. After I had finished speaking, we made a revival effort in the old American style. We knew that many were on the eve of deciding, but did not have moral courage to take the step. A break was made, some came forward, and we had a precious season of prayer. Several decided to obey the truth. Lt38-1898.2

There are now no less than fifty who have taken their position; but we have strange elements to deal with. One man who took his position on Sunday has held the position of postmaster in Stanmore for, I think, eighteen years. He owns several houses. His wife has been baptized. A lady, for this she is in every sense of the word, was brought to the tent in a carriage, and then carried inside and placed in a chair. She is soon to be baptized. Several of her children have become interested, and in a week or so, one will be baptized with her mother. Lt38-1898.3

The interest here is broadening and deepening. The men in government employ who are interested are afraid to come out and say to the authorities, I will keep the Sabbath. But two have taken their stand, and they are both enjoying the blessing of the Lord. One, Brother Sharpe, lost his position, and was out of work for one week only. He was then employed by another firm at the same wages he had been receiving, and was much more comfortably situated. The other, Brother Stuckey, was baptized. He then told his employer that he could not work on the Sabbath, and the Sabbath was given him. Others who have good positions are interested, but the cross seems heavy. Those who have taken their stand are sharp, intelligent businessmen, and if all their talents are cultivated, they will be a great blessing to the church. Lt38-1898.4

Monday, January 31 Brother Baker pled with me to go to Ashfield, a few stations from Stanmore, and speak to the church there. This I consented to do, and a cab was hired, and Sister Peck, who has just come from Africa to help me, and I rode to Ashfield. But neither we nor the driver knew just where the church was, so we had a longer drive than we anticipated! Sister Peck, who accompanied me, is a solid, sensible woman, and one that will help us, I am sure. I am much pleased with her. Lt38-1898.5

I bore a decided testimony of reproof to the Ashfield church. Some of the members of this church, though professing to be Christians, are unconverted. They have acted very much like children, murmuring and complaining. I told them that they knew not what spirit they were of, and that God had heard their murmurs and complaints, when they should have been full of thankfulness because the Lord, by His Holy Spirit, was moving upon souls to take their position on the side of truth. I told them that they should take courage, for they had tokens of God’s mercy and love. But instead of realizing the value of souls, they were cherishing envy, jealousy, evil surmisings, and were full of criticism, because the labors of the ministering brethren had not been bestowed upon them. Lt38-1898.6

I told them that they had had every opportunity to know and understand the truth. They had been blessed with tent meetings in which several workers were employed. I paid several workers first one pound each per week and then one pound, eight shillings. The people had had the very best instruction. No pains had been spared in their behalf that they might become rooted and grounded in the truth. But they had grieved the Spirit of God by murmuring because earnest labor was being given to those who were entirely ignorant of the reasons of our faith. I told them that they should have united with us by working to the utmost of their ability to interest their friends and neighbors to go to the tent meetings and hear the truth. The Lord will co-operate with those whose minds are not preoccupied with self, who are deeply concerned for the salvation of those who are ready to perish. Lt38-1898.7

I said, I have invested in your meetinghouse all that I felt it my duty to invest. The rest you could have done if your hearts had been right with God. You have seen and known that the power and Spirit of God has spoken through the human instrumentality. I have known that the Lord Jesus was in your midst. I have felt the power of God upon me in a decided manner as I have spoken to you. You have had the talents of the best speakers. Lt38-1898.8

When McCullagh sent word, We want your testimony in Petersham, or in Ashfield, I have driven with my team twelve or fourteen miles, and after speaking, have driven home, for I knew of no place where I could lay my head. On such occasions I would not get to bed till twelve o’clock. This I did repeatedly in 1895. Lt38-1898.9

It is not evidence that you want, I said. It is new hearts. The Lord will not favor you with increased evidence, for in your present state you would not appreciate the most marked evidence. You have closed your eyes lest you should see, and your ears lest you should hear, and be converted, and the Lord should heal you. I have had no permission to come to you now. The effort I have made this evening will cost me a night’s sleep. You will never be Christians until you see how foolish as well as wicked it has been to contend as you have done against Omnipotence. You yourselves are your worst enemies. You have forsaken the Lord by cherishing thoughts and doing deeds opposed to the mind of God’s Spirit. Lt38-1898.10

My soul was burdened and grieved because of their spiritual blindness. I have no smooth words to speak to them, and I left them. I carried a heavy burden on my soul, and that night I could not close my eyes till one o’clock. Lt38-1898.11

Brother Wilson and Brother Baker told me that after I left the meeting confessions were made by the people. They had hope that a decided change would be made in the atmosphere of the meetings. Lt38-1898.12

Tuesday night I spoke under the tent to a good congregation. The power of God came upon me in a more decided manner than on Sunday. I was full of my subject. It required no effort to speak, for it seemed that the Spirit of the Lord spoke through me. But I was so aroused myself that I could not sleep till one o’clock. Lt38-1898.13

Plans were made for me to remain over the Sabbath and speak to the people in the evenings. But I cannot do this, for the subjects upon which I speak are of such intense interest to me that every fiber of my being is stirred. I must return to “Sunnyside” and prepare the book on the parables to go in this mail, if we can get it ready. But I think I shall have to withhold it until next mail. We prepared the chapters on the parables for the large book on the life of Christ, and condensed them for this purpose. They must now be made fuller, seeing that they are to be put in a book by themselves. This makes me refuse the urgent plea made for me to remain here. The people are deeply moved, for the Spirit of the Lord has taken hold of them. But my duty cannot be in two directions at once. I may come down again next Friday. Lt38-1898.14

The people promised that they would come every night to hear me, but I must adhere to my decision not to speak in the evenings. The two last nights, I have slept but three hours each night, and I cannot sleep during the day. I wish I could speak in the evening, for the Lord gives me great power before the people. The truth never seemed to me to be more the power of God unto salvation than at the present time. I am weakness, but God is strength. We need faith, living faith, that will increase day by day. Lt38-1898.15

We have had great trials in securing a lot on which to build a church. We decided on one, but were not able to pay the large sum asked, £600 pounds for a one hundred foot lot—and therefore had to give it up. We have found another lot, and are going to take it if it can be secured for £500. It is two hundred feet by ninety feet. The owner, a woman, lives at quite a distance from Stanmore; but we hope to receive an answer in a few days. The building itself will cost £700, but a meetinghouse must be built. When wind and rain come, the tent is not a proper place for meeting. Lt38-1898.16

Last Sabbath, before I rose to speak, the tent master told Brother Haskell that there had been a breakage in the gearing of the tent, and that two slender ropes were all that were keeping the tent from falling. He said that these ropes might snap at any minute. Brother Haskell kept praying that the Lord would keep us from harm and danger, and the Lord did hold the tent up by His own power. We felt thankful that no one was hurt. Just as soon as the Sabbath closed, the tent was quickly lowered, and the ropes mended. Lt38-1898.17

For some time Elder Robinson has been pleading with Elder Haskell and Sister White to visit Melbourne. Sixty have taken their stand for the truth there, and he wants me to bear my testimony to the people. I shall leave for Melbourne in about ten days. W. C. White and Sara will accompany me. I shall probably visit Adelaide and hold some public meetings, for there the apostasy of McCullagh and Hawkins occurred one year ago, and I have been daubed with all kinds of mud. For this reason I wish to visit Adelaide and speak the truth as a witness for Christ. Lt38-1898.18

McCullagh has been working against health reform. Collins, who has also left the truth, is a persistent meat eater. Meat is his principal food. While in the work, he made deceptive movements. He has now gone out from his [work], and his influence has been felt. But I do not love to dwell on these things. I will send you by next mail more from my own pen. Lt38-1898.19