Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 37, 1874

White, J. S.

Medford, Minnesota [Campground]

June 29, 1874

Portions of this letter are published in UL 194.

Dear Husband:

This is the last day of our meeting, except the parting meeting tomorrow morning. Everything must be gotten ready tonight preparatory to leaving on the cars in the morning. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 1

This has been a meeting which has called for hard labor. There are from three to four hundred on the ground. There are a great many Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians. They are the very best on the ground. The Swedes have spread a large table close by the water and invited Brethren Butler, Haskell, Willie and myself to take our meals with them. We have a most hearty welcome. They set a most tasteful, bountiful table. They spare no labor or expense to tempt our appetites, but I have had but little appetite since I left California. I cannot eat. My strength is kept up mostly by drinking lemonade. Nothing else do I enjoy. The heat is so intense, it is very trying. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 2

We have been pulling away at the people. Today I read to them about thirty-five pages of letter paper in regard to the tithing system, God’s requirements of us. I have seen the good influence of this testimony upon the people. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 3

I have spoken every evening. The heat was so intense I did not dare to speak in the daytime. Sabbath evening I spoke, with the special help of God, an hour and a half, then made a call for those who wished to seek God to come forward. The angels of God seemed to move souls. About fifty came forward, many for the first time. We engaged in earnest prayer for these souls, and the peace of God did indeed rest upon us. Our people are moved by my testimony. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 4

Sunday, with its crowds, passed by; I spoke in the evening upon Christian temperance. I had freedom and the crowd listened with intense interest. A brother heard four young men talking after the meeting closed. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 5

“Let’s have a good drink,” said one, “to close up on.” 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 6

“No,” said another, “I shall never drink another drop of liquor as long as I live.” The one who proposed to drink did so and handed the jug to the other whom he addressed, “Oh, let’s drink. Don’t be foolish.” 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 7

“No,” said the other firmly, as he grasped the jug. “I never shall allow another drop of liquor to pass my lips.” He dashed the jug against a tree saying, “That woman’s sermon has converted me. I never heard the matter presented in such a manner before.” 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 8

There were a couple of Scotch people who came from Indianapolis, named Cooley. His brother-in-law is Brother Fulton who lives at Hutchinson. Cooley came from Nova Scotia and was a staunch Presbyterian. He was a man of means. His wife embraced the truth but she met great opposition from her husband, who was set and would not yield an inch of his ideas. For some reason, to please his wife, he came with her to the camp meeting. He told her he would go with her to please her, but he should never, never leave his views. Just as surely as the sun rose in the east and set in the west, he should go to the meeting a Presbyterian and not be persuaded from his faith, but return a Presbyterian. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 9

After I spoke at the commencement of the Sabbath, and asked for sinners to come to the front seats, he was there. All left and he remained; some forty others came forward also. It was through the blessing of God that the words spoken that evening convicted him so deeply he could not shake it off. He went to his tent and solicited his wife to go out and pray for him. The tall, stern old cedar was falling. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 10

I spoke one hour Sunday morning before breakfast upon the mission on the Pacific Coast. He felt again deeply. Sunday evening I spoke again with great freedom. He left for his tent again under the deepest conviction, trembling under the most terrible burden he had ever carried. He again solicited his wife, whom he had so bitterly opposed, to pray for him. This morning I read some thirty-five pages, a deep, stirring appeal to God’s people upon selfishness and the tithing system. He felt it all. After I ceased speaking, we had a conference meeting which lasted till twelve o’clock. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 11

Brother Cooley arose and spoke. He repeated what he had told his wife and seemed to feel deeply because he had stood out so hard and been so bitter an opponent. As soon as he ceased speaking, I spoke for him for the first time, encouraging him to go forward. He said it was the words I spoke that broke his stubborn heart. He has been conversing with me upon baptism. He was baptized in his infancy. I tried to make the subject plain before him. He felt terribly burdened. “Why,” said he, “I am in full communion with the Presbyterian church. I have taken a wonderful step now. What will they say or do with me? This is tough work. I know I ought to be baptized, but I would rather wait.” Finally he gave up his will in this and took his seat beside his good wife for baptism. He stated he came to meeting to hinder her from baptism. The wife is so happy she doesn’t know what to do with herself. They were proud, very dressy people. He seems to think that I am his mother, and has all that deep attachment peculiar to the Scotch, because it was my labors that convinced him of his sinful course and led him to decide to be one of our people. He had never attended one of our meetings before this. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 12

Our forenoon meeting was a very precious meeting. About fifty came forward after Brother Butler gave a discourse. Some bore their testimony who were for the first time manifesting their desire to be Christians. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 13

The Lord has indeed worked at this meeting. Quite a number of candidates are now preparing for baptism. The conversion of this Scotchman to the truth is worth all the expense of the meeting. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 14

Brother Curtis came to the meeting and brought with him several Seventh-Day Baptists. Brother Curtis has identified himself with us fully. I think he will do good. An intelligent Seventh-Day Baptist is convinced of the truth and bore an excellent testimony. A Methodist minister has taken his position with us as the result of this. I know not his history. The Seventh-Day Baptists who came to this meeting are mightily stirred. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 15

We met here a man by the name of Richard Lewis from Dear Hill China, Maine. He was well acquainted with Father White and with your first labors. He has taken the Sabbath and as he was an Adventist before, he is with us. He is quite an old man, of good spirit. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 16

June 30, 1874

All broke up. Must take the cars in fifteen minutes. Thought you would be anxious to hear and will send this unfinished. 2LtMs, Lt 37, 1874, par. 17

Your Ellen.