Lt 128, 1894

Lt 128, 1894

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Burnett Cottage, Granville, New South Wales, Australia

April 4, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 139-140.

Dear Children:

I am pleased to tell you we are getting settled and the climate is better. The atmosphere seems more bracing and we are of good courage in the Lord. I was feeling debilitated in Melbourne but we all are being renewed. Nearly every day we have a soft shower, then the clouds disperse and the sky is clear. The atmosphere seems cleansed. The grass everywhere is living green. We have nice sunshine, they say, all through our Australian winter. It is now fall with us and we have beautiful flowers of all kinds. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 1

You may say, Who composes your family? Your Uncle Stephen Belden and his wife came here four weeks ago to get settled, but the fruit was nigh gone and all their time was spent in putting up fruit. So there stood the boxes on the floor so thick we could scarcely get round them. The next arrival was our hired girl from the school. She is named Maude Camp, a rosy cheeked, strong girl and, she says, always healthy. I am much pleased with her. She arrived at our new home Monday night. Then Elder Starr and his wife, Marian, May Walling, and your mother and Sister Tuxford left Melbourne one week ago yesterday, and we are very nearly settled. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 2

Willie comes tomorrow on the Cook’s cheap excursion train. He leaves Melbourne today. Emily will remain one month to do her bookkeeping. It is far behind. Emily was the only one I had with me for nine months. She took care of me, took the discourses in shorthand and wrote on calligraphy for mail; and the moving about, packing, and unpacking, having to carry my bed wherever I went, has been no small task and burden for her. She has served me nobly and I appreciate her thoughtfulness and her faithfulness. The Lord will bless her for the care she ever manifested for His servant. I shall never forget this devotion, for a child could not have been more attentive to a mother than she has been to me, thoughtful in everything, thoroughly devoted to me and to keep me from taxation. I have given her now a little release for a few weeks from all care of me, and from all taxation except to work upon her bookkeeping for four weeks. Brother Faulkhead will assist her. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 3

Brother Belden is full of business—works on the right hand and on the left at everything here and there and everywhere. I rode out to Brother McCullagh’s, one mile and half. Brother Starr drove the horse. Maggie and May accompanied me. Brother Starr returned to Granville house. Brother McCullagh took his place and we drove out six miles to Brother Smith’s to find apples, but very few are to be had. For a box containing three pecks we pay one dollar and twelve cents, and the codling moth has hurt the fruit so that many are bad, very bad. We found they had but few apples to spare. Spoke for a few boxes. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 4

Emma, it would delight your eyes to see the whole front yard in this place devoted to the greatest variety of dahlias I have ever looked upon, from the most perfect white to the many tints and colors. It was a picture of beauty. There were also many other varieties of flowers. The ride was very pleasant. I try to go out every day. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 5

When we returned we found a temporary table made of stable door and boards extending out nearly the whole length of diningroom and three of our brethren sitting at the table in addition to our family, and Brother McCullagh made four. We enjoyed the meal as much as if the table was the best walnut pattern. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 6

We find there are many ways we can spend money and many ways we can save money. We have a skeleton wardrobe of two upright standards, and cross pieces nailed to these, and a shelf put on the top. A very simple, cheap lace over blue or red cheap cambric is fastened to the top of the back of the shelf. This back is neatly arranged, lifted up and fastened securely to the posts of the head of the bedstead. The hooks are put into the crossbars and then a three-folded screen is made of skeleton wooden framework and over this is neat material, laid in pleats and barred with some pretty color. This can be adjusted and screens the place for washstand and makes a nice dressing-room just the size you desire, so that the offense which usually is manifested in a bedroom does not present itself to the eye. It is a private closet of just whatever size you may wish to make it by drawing the bed sufficiently far from the wall. I am much pleased with this arrangement. It costs so little. This was the arrangement in our tents at the camp meeting, and it proved such a convenient affair we do not dispense with it in our houses which are usually destitute of clothespresses. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 7

Monday Elder Starr, Elder McCullagh and his wife, Brother Belden, and James Gregory—who has been helping us move our furniture—and a young man from the school who is going to Wellington to help them in the mission, all went in two traps drawn by two horses to Sydney, part of the company to attend private sales to see if they could obtain some odd, cheap pieces of furniture. They were successful. A cheap bureau was bid off, designed for May Walling’s bedroom, a washstand for Brother Starr’s bedroom—just what was needed and very cheap, which is a rare circumstance in this country. The bureau was three dollars and washstand two, I think. Other important matters of business were attended to. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 8

Monday May and I rode out six miles to Brother Smith’s to engage apples. Tuesday Brother and Sister Starr went into Sydney on the cars. They attended the convention now being held in W.C.T.U., and when they returned Sister Press came out with them. She is the president of the W.C.T.U. in Victoria and a delegate to this convention. She has just taken her stand on the Sabbath of the Bible. She is sound on life, eternal life, only through Christ. She made her decision for the truth in Williamstown just before she came here. She made a very short visit, for she had to leave a little after nine a.m. to fill her post of responsibility in the convention. But she begins to feel most deeply, as the entrance of the Word of God giveth light and understanding, that it is impossible to harmonize with the many things that are pressed into the convention—false theories that have no foundation in truth and are opposed to the Word of God. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 9

This sister is a woman of superior qualifications, one who will not allow anyone to be conscience for her, and there are therefore many looking upon her with suspicion and jealousy, because she will take her position firmly on the Word of God. As she feels it her duty not to let things pass which she knows are contrary to the Word of God, there are some threads of differences. Ideas are closely examined and a “Thus saith the Lord” made to appear as divine authority above the sayings and traditions and customs of men and women who have not the love of truth and the light and love of God in their hearts. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 10

Sister Press, president of W.C.T.U. of Victoria, and secretary, and two other of their friends, spend one day with us in Burnett Cottage, Granville next week. We shall that day use our horses, provide suitable carriages, and take them out to ride in the country or regions about Parramatta. We feel it our duty to come as close to them as possible, and not hold them off, any of them, for we believe them to be honest and yet blinded—especially Mrs. Turk and her sister. Oh, how much we need the Holy Spirit of God to create an atmosphere about the soul that shall make itself felt by those with whom we associate! 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 11

I long for the Holy Spirit more and more to pervade my soul and guide me and work me. When we give up ourselves to be worked by the Holy Spirit, we shall bear the mold of Christ. “I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness.” [Psalm 17:15.] Every soul truly converted is a living active worker, a missionary for God, else what was he converted to and from what? There can be no idler in the Lord’s vineyard. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] Those who are not self-exalted, those who will feel their ignorance and learn at the feet of Jesus, those who are not alone hearers but doers of His Word, eat His flesh and drink His blood. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”—eternal life. [John 6:63.] 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 12

My son Edson, I send these carbon copies to you, thinking they may be a help to you. I wish you to be cautious in every move you make, that nothing may be done that will need to be undone. Will you please read these writings and will you express your mind upon the different subjects here presented? Write me as often as you can. I am glad to hear from you and Emma. You are my children. I love you and pray for you and am in harmony with you as far as you have made known your mind in the service of God. 9LtMs, Lt 128, 1894, par. 13