Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 144, 1896

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Avondale, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 16, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 109; 4Bio 387.


I have been writing since half past one o’clock. It is Sunday morning. There was a heavy thunder storm that commenced Friday while the men were eating their dinner, at half-past twelve, and naught more could be done. It has rained nearly the whole of February. Our cistern has received water in the wrong time. But two feet of brick are laid. All must be bailed out this morning. Rain has fallen during the night. We fear much harm will come to the people in the colonies who are located on low land. Houses have been, and will be, swept away, causing distress and suffering in many locations. We are on a rise of land. Our creeks close by are rising, but they cannot harm us. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 1

I shall not be able to send the matter written on education, all of it, until two weeks more. I was much pleased with your book sent to me. Many of the illustrations are excellent. Some of the pictures would be very well in The Life of Christ, but we have fears that the people will say, “Oh, I have seen that in another book.” This bookmaking is serious business for me. Unless the Lord had been my Helper then I should not have been alive this day. We are still surrounded with workers; nevertheless I have done a large amount of writing. I have many books to complete and hope after we are really settled to have peace and rest. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 2

Willie will commence housekeeping after the mail goes tomorrow. That will make four less in my family. Would be pleased to have them all the time, but it is too much for Sarah Belden, who is not strong. She is so far ahead of the colonial cooks that I feel that I have a treasure in her. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 3

I had a long talk with Professor Prescott last Thursday or Friday in regard to school education. This will come out soon. I have a great work to do and must have the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Professor Prescott drew me out as your father used to do, and many things I could say and did say that I otherwise might not have spoken. Then he said I must write it. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 4

The Lord does want everyone to believe that the Lord Jesus is a sin-pardoning Saviour. My children, ever bear in mind your dependence is on God. He is the center and object of all our hopes. We may be called to share the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ. We must have an abiding Christ. It is no time to become discouraged. The work before us may look very complicated and impossibilities seem written on everything unless we rest it all in Jesus. He never requires of us impossibilities. The Holy Spirit is promised as a Comforter. The relation of the human soul to God determines the strength we will receive to do our work. Let us walk softly before the Lord. We do not trust the Lord as He has encouraged us to do. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 5

I am thankful you are determined to bind about your desire to engage in financial matters. This is right. The Lord is abundant in goodness. We have only to ask in faith in order to receive. Heaven is not enriched by withholding. The Holy Spirit will be dispensed in large measure, and perpetually, if we will rest in the love of God. As the heedless and unappreciative pass by the living Fountain of the water of life, what satisfaction and joy would it be to Him if they would receive. He is hoarded with the heavenly treasure, which He longs to bestow. He longs to make the human heart at peace with Himself. “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” [John 4:10.] 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 6

Why do we so readily let the enemy interpose himself between our soul and Jesus, our helper? In all your perplexities, learn to take them to the Lord in prayer. We must increase in faith, or decrease. We shall not look to God in faith but [that] all our situation is taken in. We may receive the influence of the Holy Spirit. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 7

You will see by the letters in the Review how carefully we need to move in reference to the Southern field. You may have this which I now send, but I do not know. I send it [to] you again, [so] that no temptation may arise that it is because my son is laboring in the Southern field that my interest has been awakened. Of course your being a laborer in the field has not decreased my interest in matters in regard to working the field. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 8

Oh, what privileges are ours to be colaborers with Jesus Christ! He comes to you as the Spirit of truth. Study the mind of the Spirit. Consult His dictates as your sure and unerring Counsellor. In following your own counsels your spirit has lost its hold on God, making it impossible for you to discriminate and determine moral power. The Lord has rescued you, reinforced your spiritual aspirations. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 9

You can stand forth as a living monument of the grace of God. Walk softly. Let your words be refined, elevated, ennobling. Said Christ, “I will manifest myself unto you.” [John 14:21.] You can help me where you are by keeping your own soul in the love of God. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 10

Oh, how precious is every human soul, and how careful should we be not to lay any cause of stumbling in the way of any soul. If the human heart will not resist the striving of the Spirit in the execution of its office work, the soul temple will be cleansed daily and sanctified for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will work you. Live in the Spirit; walk in the Spirit as in a hallowed atmosphere. Let your mind be attracted to heaven and heavenly things. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 11

I send you with this matter, more chapters on the life of Christ. Marian is very jealous of them. Read them when and where you think best. Send copies where you choose, but do not make another book of them until The Life of Christ comes into market. This is Marian’s request. I shall hope that you may see, after, some things in regard to Life of Christ. We now have it about ready for the printer. I do not know as you are situated where you can do anything, but you could read it to see if there is anything in proof sheet not right. Perhaps they have a reliable proofreader there. You might make some suggestions in regard to plates. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 12

I am waiting for their decision on royalty. I offered to take twelve and a half cents if they would stand all the cost of plates and publishing. If they refuse to do this, then we shall have to have royalty proportionate to the money I shall pay for printing the book. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 13

If they do not suit me in terms, I shall give the job to the Pacific Press. I will not consent to have the book come from the press in a cheap sort of style. We shall have two books. I wish The Sermon on the Mount had been after the same style of the book you have just arranged and compiled. The Parables I want should come out in the best style possible. They will follow the first volume. Book on temperance will come in next. Dr. Kellogg has the oversight of that. You see, do you not, that by your living in America you can be a help to me in some lines. If it is not best for you to be here, help me where you are with your suggestions. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 14

Children, I will not urge you to come to Australia. Your statement you make in regard to close application to writing or sedentary labor I understand, and should not expect you to do that kind of work demanding sedentary labor. It is a great task to Willie, and I wish he had it not to do. I am glad he is now so situated he can have work that will compel some exercise and change. He needs a good, judicious, conscientious worker with him. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 15

In regard to your book, I think it is well done, yet I have not had time to examine it critically. I wish you to help us in the line of illustrations, but as you have used these illustrations in books before Life of Christ, how could we use them? We want the very best illustrations we can obtain. You can help me there in this matter. If you do not come here, Marian feels that it is a mistake to use some of the best jots and tittles in your selections. I have not decided just what is best. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 16

There is now something like a strong desire expressed for your mother and Willie to come to Battle Creek for the next General Conference. I cannot express myself in reference to any matter so long in the future. I dare not say anything in reference to the matter. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 17

I say to you, Edson, follow the light the Lord gives you. I have felt almost desperate in regard to the few helpers I have, but the Lord knows all about it. I will trust in Him to work in my behalf. If I should go to America, then of course I would rather you would be there than here. But, Edson, we know not what a day may bring forth. I commit the keeping of my soul to God as unto a faithful Creator. My life is not my own. I am bought with a price, and must render to God full and entire service. Edson, I do not expect to come to America. I have no thought or desire to come. I have had, it seems to me, my full conflict and carried my burden in Battle Creek. I greatly desire to be out of the turmoil. I want peace and quietude in God. I must have time to contemplate and pray and write and communicate to others that which the Lord has communicated to me. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 18

A few days since, Marian brought to my notice a writing in reference to the colored people. You see the date is 1891, and it is a decided testimony. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 19

I am very much relieved and pleased with your letters. Oh Edson, I am praying that the Lord would place His signature upon the work that you shall do in His service. What can you do away down in the South to help me in any way in regard to the publishing of the first volume of Life of Christ? Will you suggest? I dare not trust the book committee who have sent me such illustrations to go into the book on the parables. Edson, have you seen those pictures? To think they should suppose I would permit such things to go into a book to represent the lessons of Christ! I felt just sick at heart and discouraged at the future prospect. What do the book committee mean? The book that you have had issued, whether under your special directions or with others to help you, is a fine thing—very pretty. If sacred lessons and scenes in the Old and New Testament history are represented, let it be in fine, elevated style. I want you to look at the picture in Patriarchs and Prophets of Abraham waking up his son Isaac, when he was to go at the command of God to offer up his son as a burnt offering. What a picture of the face of Isaac! I do not want it in another book. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 20


I thought I had finished twice, but I must say a word in regard to the children, Ella May and Mabel. They are good-behaved children. They both try to please me in everything. Mabel is as thoughtful and caretaking as a little woman. Such keen perception! She anticipates the wants of all. She is so wonderfully accommodating to me, and to others as well. Ella and Mabel are both little workers. They have outgrown the clothes I have made for them, which when made and worn made them look like small women, but they have expanded and lengthened, especially since coming here to Cooranbong. They work about home helping Sarah. I have a girl about Ella May’s age. These two help Sarah nicely. Mabel is not confined to any steady work. She is helpful everywhere. I do not think she should be taxed with sedentary work. If she is, her nose bleeds. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 21

Both girls are in excellent health. Their flesh is solid and they eat and sleep well. They are happy. Ella May White is a conscientious Christian. Mabel has a very tender conscience. I have not passed a disagreeable word with either of them. Their mother is always kind, cheerful, pleasant, and full of affection. The children love her as well as Mary Mortenson. They love Mary, too, and I want them to love her, but both are devoted to me. They are not a particle of annoyance, but a real blessed comfort. We are close neighbors, for our laundry and washhouse has been fitted up nicely for them. I am so glad that everything is so harmonious. Well, Sara has just come to see that I get to bed, for I have been up since half past one o’clock a.m. 11LtMs, Lt 144, 1896, par. 22