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


N. D. Faulkhead and the Convincing Testimony

On the day school closed, W. C. White called a meeting of the available members of the school board. N. D. Faulkhead, treasurer of the publishing house, came to attend. As the meeting closed at about four o'clock, White spoke to him, telling him that Ellen White wanted to see him. As he started down the hall to the room where she was staying, there came to his mind a dream that he had had a few nights before, in which Ellen White had a message for him. 4BIO 49.4

Mr. Faulkhead was a tall, keen, apt, and energetic businessman, genial and liberal in his disposition, but proud. When he became a Seventh-day Adventist, he held membership in several secret organizations, and he did not withdraw from these. As he wrote of his experience some years later in a general letter to “My Dear Brethren in the Faith,” he told of these affiliations: 4BIO 49.5

I was closely connected with the Masonic Lodge, ... I held the highest positions in the following lodges that could be conferred upon me: first, I was Master of the Master Masons’ Lodge, (or Blue Lodge); second, I was First Principal of the Holy Royal (of Canada); third, I was Preceptor of the Knights Templars, besides many other minor lodges, the Good Templars, Rechabites, and Odd Fellows, in which I also held high positions.—DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead Letter, October 5, 1908. 4BIO 49.6

As the Faulkhead family—Mrs. Faulkhead was a teacher in the public school system—accepted the third angel's message, his unusual ability was recognized, and he was employed as treasurer in the Echo Publishing Company. He served well at first, but as time advanced he became more and more engrossed in his lodge work, and his interests in the work of God began to wane. 4BIO 49.7

This was his situation when Ellen White arrived in Australia in December, 1891. As matters involving the publishing house workers were opened up to her in a comprehensive vision a few days after her arrival, she wrote of conditions there in general; she also penned testimonies to a number of the individuals involved, including Mr. Faulkhead and his wife. The document addressed to them dealt with his connection with the publishing house and his affiliation with the Masonic Lodge, and filled fifty pages. When she thought to mail it to him, she was restrained from doing so. She said, “When I enclosed the communication all ready to mail, it seemed that a voice spoke to me saying, ‘Not yet, not yet, they will not receive your testimony.’”—Letter 39, 1893. 4BIO 50.1

Ellen White said nothing regarding the matter for almost twelve months, but maintained a deep interest in Mr. and Mrs. Faulkhead and their spiritual welfare. Some of his associates in the publishing house were very much concerned as they observed his growing infatuation with the work of the lodge and his waning spirituality and decreasing concern for the interests of the cause of God. They pleaded with him, urging him to consider the danger of his course. “But,” as Mr. Faulkhead states, “my heart was full of those things; in fact, I thought more of them than I did of anything else.”—DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead Letter, October 5, 1908. 4BIO 50.2

He defiantly met the appeals with the bold statement “that he would not give up his connection with the Freemasons for all that Starr or White or any other minister might say. He knew what he was about, and he was not going to be taught by them.”—Letter 21b, 1892. It was clear to those in charge of the work that unless a marked change came in his attitude, he would soon have to find other employment. 4BIO 50.3

Mrs. White wrote of this experience: “None could reach him in regard to Freemasonry. He was fastening himself more and more firmly in the meshes of the enemy, and the only thing we could see to be done was to leave him to himself.”—Letter 46, 1892. His condition was shown to her to be like that of “a man about to lose his balance and fall over a precipice” (Manuscript 4, 1893). 4BIO 50.4

For a period of months. Mrs. White held messages for him and thought to send them, but was restrained. 4BIO 51.1

In early December, 1892, J. H. Stockton, one of the first Seventh-day Adventists in Australia, was talking with Mr. Faulkhead. He asked him what he would do if Ellen White had a testimony for him in regard to his connection with the lodge. To this Faulkhead boldly retorted: “It would have to be mighty strong.” Neither man was aware that almost a year before, the whole matter had been opened to her.—DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead to EGW, February 20, 1908. 4BIO 51.2

It was shortly after this, on Saturday night, December 10, that Mr. Faulkhead dreamed that the Lord had shown his case to Ellen White, and that she had a message for him. This, with his defiant reply to Stockton in regard to what would be his attitude toward a message through her, led him to serious thought. At the time of this dream Mrs. White was at Ballarat, but on Monday, December 12, as noted earlier, she had returned to Melbourne. The next day she attended the closing exercises of the first term of the Australasian Bible School. 4BIO 51.3

With this dream vividly in his mind, Faulkhead found Ellen White, who greeted him cordially. He asked her whether she had something for him. She replied that the burden of his case was upon her mind, and that she had a message for him from the Lord, which she wished him and his wife to hear. She called for a meeting in the near future, when she would present that message. Faulkhead eagerly asked, “Why not give me the message now?”—Letter 46, 1892. 4BIO 51.4

Although she was weary from her journey and her work that morning, Ellen White went over to a stand and picked up a bundle of manuscripts. She told Faulkhead that several times she had prepared to send the message, but that she “had felt forbidden by the Spirit of the Lord to do so”(Ibid.), for the time had not fully come that he would accept it. 4BIO 51.5

She then read and talked. A part of the fifty pages that were read that evening was of a general nature, relating to the work in the Echo Publishing Company and the experience of the workers employed there. But the major part dealt more particularly with Mr. Faulkhead's experience and his connection not only with the work in the office but also his affiliation with the Masonic Lodge. She pointed out that his involvement with Freemasonry had absorbed his time and blunted his spiritual perception. She read to him of his efforts to maintain high principles for which the lodge claimed to stand, often couching her message in Masonic language. She also told him where in the lodge hall she had seen him sitting and what he was endeavoring to do with his associates. She spoke of his increasing interest in the work of these organizations and of his waning interest in the cause of God; of her seeing in vision his dropping the small coins from his purse in the Sabbath offering plate and the larger coins into the coffers of the lodge. She heard him addressed as “Worshipful Master.” She read of scenes of drinking and carousal that took place in the lodge meetings, especially after Mr. Faulkhead had left.—DF 522a, G. B. Starr, “An Experience With Sister E. G. White in Australia.” 4BIO 51.6

“I thought this was getting pretty close home,” he later wrote, “when she started to talk to me in reference to what I was doing in the lodges.”— Ibid., N. D. Faulkhead Letter, October 5, 1908. 4BIO 52.1