Lt 176, 1898

Lt 176, 1898

White, W. C.; White, May

Geelong, Victoria, Australia

March 21, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 343.

Dear Son Willie and Daughter May:

Brother Robinson, Sara, Maggie, and I came to Geelong last Friday. We found a good harbor with Brother and Sister Watson, Brother Robinson with another family—three maiden ladies, weavers, and their father, who is very bad with sickness and cannot live long. It cost us the heavy sum of eighteen pence each and return, on a certain boat. The cars would have been about eight shillings each and return. This was the cheapest boat, not as nice as another boat which left the landing at the time, but a penny saved is as good as a penny earned. There was no roughness on the water. We return today. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 1

Sabbath we had an excellent meeting, and what a pleasure it was to speak to a people who, although few in number, were hungry for the bread of life. I was free and blessed in speaking to this people. In [the] afternoon Brother Robinson spoke. He said he was very free. It did him much good to speak to those who were hungry to hear the truth. A nice hall was engaged for us Sunday. The congregation was not large, but they appeared to be interested. Most were outsiders; above one hundred were present. I spoke in [the] afternoon, then Brother Robinson in the evening. I do not know what congregation he had. A very disagreeable sandstorm came up in the early evening and this, I fear, would lessen the attendance. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 2

After you left I was not very well. Visited Brother and Sister Faulkhead. Brethren Salisbury and Faulkhead were at dinner. After returning to Brother Robinson’s I felt the same [as] I have felt on a number of occasions, a very heavy burden for the Echo office. It seemed that my soul and body were wrenched in twain. Every muscle and fiber of my being was in great distress. It was more like spasms of human torture of mind and of body. I could not sleep. I lay wide awake until half past eleven o’clock, and than I dressed and took my pen and wrote out some matters that gave me relief. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 3

I see clearly that there are things to be set in order at the office. Words are dropped, seed is sown here and there that will take root in minds, and Elder Daniells and Miller are linked up in sowing the seed. This I do not think is perceived by anyone, and the very same ground is being traveled that was passed over some months ago, when Elder Daniells’ unbelief was at the foundation of there being made the greatest mistake, that would involve dire consequences. Now matters assume different features in some respects, but will bring about the very same results. Elder Daniells has little faith in the commercial work that is being done by the office, and would narrow the work and bind it about with cutting off the outside commercial business, which I know is not the right thing to do. The light of truth is to shine forth openly to all that are in the house. We are not to shut ourselves up in a bushel or hide our light under a bed, but set it on a candlestick that it may give light to all the house, which is the very work to be done. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 4

I was in such agony of mind that night that the next day, Monday, I kept my bed. I could not write. I obtained about one and a half hour’s sleep. But these burdens seem as though they would kill me. I could not eat, and violent disturbances of the bowels came on. I became weak and could scarcely breathe. I had to get into the air, and rode out into the most retired places. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 5

Sister Robinson rode with us and showed us a home her husband had engaged. It was in the poorest part of a certain locality near where the meetinghouse is to be built, a dark, wretched house, and as soon as I saw it I said, “No, that is not the house for you. It is not convenient or healthful. It will require a great amount of fuel in the winter months.” It was engaged, but I said, “Disengage yourself at once,” and as no money had been paid we had that business as though it had not been. The next day Sara and I rode around some, for I must be in the open air. My heart was distressed and weak, my mind too burdened to write. We found a neat little cottage in a respectable, nice location, and the next morning Brother Robinson secured the cottage. I told them they must place themselves in a respectable cottage in a respectable locality. They move this week. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 6

We are glad that we made this visit. It is so near Melbourne that there should be a camp meeting here in this place just before the Melbourne meeting. Our light is not to be hid under a bushel. The warning must be given here and the attention of the people called to the truth and the reason of our faith. These new places must be entered and the work go forward, entering new localities. And the workers must be educated. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 7

Elder Robinson will go with us this week, if we can get through with the work in Melbourne, to hold a meeting in Ballarat. Then next week I spend in Melbourne and then start for home. I see no way to visit Adelaide. I would not think of going there without a minister. I cannot see that there is a minister to go, and I cannot see that now is the time to go. Too many things now need special attention as you will see by my letter in reference to the Echo office. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 8

This is going to be to me a soul-trying case again, for I see Satan is making his slimy, serpent-like trail in the work of God and men who ought to be wise cannot discern his subtlety. I will send you copies of the writings I shall read now, this week, to the picked influential workers. If ever there was a time when we all need the heavenly anointing eyesalve, it is now. It is no child’s play, the warfare that we enter and must take an active part in. There is no two-sided business in this work. God help me is my prayer continually. I am, since getting out of Melbourne, some better in health, but this climate is not much better than Melbourne. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 9

You speak of my making a donation for the church in Balaclava. I have pledged twenty pounds. I feel no duty to increase my pledge on the church in Stanmore, yet if they come into a tight place and I can help them, I shall try to do this. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 10

I feel now more reconciled that I should have every advantage for my health. I am sure it is best that I have that room. I think if I had awakened to the situation sooner it would have been wise to have planned this room before, and now I shall have no more drawback in my mind. I cannot huddle up with all my writings into one small room. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 11

I do greatly desire to accomplish much work on my writings. Now The Life of Christ is done, Marian can take hold of some of these things after the “Parables” are out. 13LtMs, Lt 176, 1898, par. 12