Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


The Testimony not Sent

But the testimony in which these points were made to Elder and Mrs. McCullagh was not sent. Three years later she explained why: 4BIO 276.3

I intended to give it to you [Elder McCullagh], but did not do so because I gave a discourse there in which I took up very plainly the principles stated in this letter. You both heard my words, spoken under the power of the Holy Spirit, and Sister McCullagh told me that she received this message as given to herself, for she needed it. She said that she had never seen the case presented in that light before, and that she would make a decided change in her course of action in regard to her child. But this work has been strangely neglected. 4BIO 276.4

Then Mrs. White explained the procedure often followed in her work, which many times proved effective and avoided a confrontation that could repel rather than win: 4BIO 276.5

It is my first duty to present Bible principles. Then, unless there is a decided, conscientious reform made by those whose cases have been presented before me, I must appeal to them personally. I have often spoken in the presence of you both on these important subjects, but have never felt that the time had come for me to address you personally, for I could not be sure that you would understand the warning, and work diligently to reform, and I feared that you would both make a wrong use of the matter sent you.—Letter 69, 1896. 4BIO 276.6

McCullagh, and possibly his wife, were present at the Monday-morning workers’ meeting in October, 1894, at the Ashfield camp meeting when Ellen White was led by the Spirit of God to present a very close testimony to the workers present. Soon after this meeting she noted in her diary: 4BIO 277.1

I must write that Elder Corliss and Elder McCullagh are in greater danger than they or anyone suppose. Elder McCullagh is tempted, and is gathering darkness to his soul.—Manuscript 41, 1894. 4BIO 277.2

Five months before this, McCullagh had been miraculously healed at the counsel meeting at Dora Creek. Ellen White mentioned this on several occasions: 4BIO 277.3

We had had a most precious season of prayer while at Dora Creek for Brother McCullagh. The Lord graciously heard our prayers, and the inflammation left his throat and lungs, and he was healed. He has been improving ever since, and the Lord has sustained him in doing a large amount of work.—Letter 29, 1894. 4BIO 277.4

While residing for the year or more at Granville, Ellen White worked very closely with McCullagh in his evangelistic ministry in the suburbs of Sydney. He often ate at her table. It would be most unlikely that with such opportunities as they conversed, she would not endeavor to give guidance on some of the points where he and his wife showed weakness. Both McCullagh and Ellen White wrote of their close working relationship. A letter to her written February 15, 1895, opens: 4BIO 277.5

My Dear Mother,

I hope that you will not think me presumptuous in addressing you thus, but your great interest in me and the many blessings the Lord has sent me through you, and the counsel and encouragements which I have received, seem to make you a mother to me. 4BIO 277.6

But matters in the McCullagh home did not rise to the point God would have them. He was ill in the early weeks of 1896, and as plans were laid for the institute to be held at Avondale for a month beginning March 26, Ellen White invited him and his wife to attend. This was followed by a letter dated March 25. In this she pointed out that there was need of a different atmosphere in their home life and there was a deficiency in the cooking, calling for a remedy. 4BIO 278.1

After describing here experience in following the health reform principles, she wrote in tender terms: 4BIO 278.2

I did not ask you to come here to hurt you in any way, but to change the order of things, which your wife will not properly do unless the Holy Spirit of God shall mold and fashion her character. When this is done she can be a much greater help to her husband, spiritually and physically, than she ever has been; and you will have order and system in your family management.—Letter 66, 1896. 4BIO 278.3

Elder and Mrs. McCullagh responded to the invitation and went up to Cooranbong, but instead of staying at Ellen White's home they chose to stay with a family living at some distance from the school. 4BIO 278.4