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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)

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    Lt 178, 1899

    White, J. E.; White, Emma

    Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

    November 6, 1899

    Portions of this letter are published in GH 01/1899; TMK 129; HP 162; ChL 19.

    Dear Children Edson and Emma:

    Here we are in Maitland, the place in which it has been my earnest desire that we should have a camp meeting. Our first meeting was held Thursday night. Meetings were held on Friday night and on Sabbath and Sunday. The meetings on Sabbath and Sunday were very important. Sunday afternoon and evening the large tent was crowded to its greatest extent. Chairs from the family tents were brought in and placed as close as possible to the stand. Then the children were invited to go into another tent, where a service would be held especially for them. This gave room for quite a large number of grown people.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 1

    Before I came to this place I was prostrated for one week. I had difficulty with my heart. I think I taxed my strength too severely by attending the camp meeting in Toowoomba, and then going to Sydney to look at land for the sanitarium. W. C. White could not accompany me to Toowoomba, so Sara and I went alone. I spoke six times during the meeting. After speaking on the forenoon of the last Sunday, I begged to return to Cooranbong. On reaching home, I was called to Sydney to look at a site for our sanitarium. All seemed to have confidence in my judgment regarding locations for our institutions.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 2

    The land at which we had looked just before going to Toowoomba was very a desirable place, containing thirty-two acres. This last piece contains seventy-five acres, fifteen of which is laid out in orchard; the rest is woodland.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 3

    Brother John Wessels, Brother Sharp, W. C. White, Elder Daniells, and Brother Salisbury accompanied me to this place. We spread our rugs on the ground and sat on these while we ate our dinner. It was a cold, windy day. I walked through the orchard, and drove all round the place with the sanitarium horse and sulky. Without a dissenting voice, decision was made to take the place.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 4

    We then went into Strathfield, where Brother Wessels lives. The next morning we had a council meeting with the brethren, and then started for home. A day or two later the American mail went out, and only a day later the African. This was too much for me. I had been in counsel with Brother Wessels upon important matters, and after the mails had gone I gave out, quite exhausted. For one week I could not gather strength. Then I decided to come here with my phaeton. We drove Jasper, the horse we bought from Brother Haskell.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 5

    I have just been interrupted. Brother Starr, Brother John Wessels, and Brother Sharp, who has been selected as business manager and accountant for the sanitarium, have come in to see me. I must talk a few minutes with them. Then Sharp and Wessels go back tomorrow to the sanitarium. Brother Wessels, Brother Sharp, and W. C. White have been making arrangements to give Dr. Rand a better fitting up to work in Newcastle and to give him a hold here in Maitland. There is always a great deal of medical work to do in both these places, and especially in Maitland. West Maitland is built on low ground. It is a very strange looking place. The houses are built right on the ground. When rains fall to any extent, the Hunter River, which runs through Maitland, overflows and the stores and dwelling houses are flooded. Then, of course, typhoid fever, influenza, and all kinds of illness, come. One of our physicians should be located here. A home for our workers must be made in this place. The work must be carried forward until the place has been worked.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 6

    I cannot tell you how thankful we all are to the Lord for the kindness that is manifested to us by all the people in West Maitland.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 7

    East Maitland is to West Maitland what Oakland is to San Francisco. The houses stand on higher ground, and are built after a more modern pattern. The floods are never high enough to reach this part of the city. But in order to reach the greatest number of people, we decided to hold the camp meeting in West Maitland rather than East Maitland. The next camp meeting will be held in East Maitland.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 8

    I see that the stars are shining this morning. I hope the cloudy, rainy weather is over. We never in any place felt greater need of the help of the angels of God than in this place. The Roman Catholic element is strong, and we know that this element poisons wherever it is introduced. Maitland is near Cooranbong, and we feel an immense desire that it shall receive all the light that it is possible to let shine upon it. And we have a neat little chapel built in Hamilton, Newcastle, twenty-five miles from this place. This is a rich farming district. Between here and Queensland there are large cattle and sheep stations.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 9

    How little we can do in our own power to help the people that are misled by the false theories that are ever kept before them by their false shepherds! Our earnest cry to God is, “It is time, O Lord, for thee to work; for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” [Psalm 119:126, 127.] We are in the midst of troublous times. Catholicism is making sure and decided inroads, embracing in its cruel arms the Protestant world. In disloyalty men and women are making void the law of God, and He will punish them for their iniquity. “The earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” [Isaiah 26:21.] “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; and will not at all acquit the wicked; the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” [Nahum 1:3.]14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 10

    If ever there was a time when those who claim to be Christians should be all that the name comprehends, it is now. Are we following Christ in very reality? As Seventh-day Adventists we must be on watch, guarding every point lest the enemy shall set up his standard among us. There is not one semblance of an excuse for our churches to be indifferent and careless. If ever there was a time when the members of our churches should see if they have oil in their vessels with their lamps, it is now, just now, without a moment’s hesitancy or delay. This is an individual work. We are to look earnestly to our own standing and accountability. While the Protestant world is being led by the wily sophistry of Catholic doctrines, while the mystery of iniquity is gathering to itself the world of professed Christians, what are we about?14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 11

    Are those who know the truth for this time anchored in Bible doctrines? Are our weapons, “Thus saith the Lord,” “It is written”? Is our anchor cast within the vail? Are we individually rooted and grounded in gospel truth, so that we may be established, strengthened, and settled in the faith? Are we, as those who have the knowledge of the mysteries of God, those to whom God has committed the living oracles, loyal and true to our stewardship? Those who are truly converted will reveal, as missionaries for God, what the truth means to them in its transforming efficiency and sanctifying power. If we are weighted with the treasures of eternal truth, we shall proclaim to a world perishing in sin what it signifies to have the sanctifying, redeeming love of Christ in the soul.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 12

    If we are verily and truly united to Christ, it is because truth has taken possession of the soul temple. We see so many who, while they claim to be Christians, show by their lives that they know not God and Jesus Christ by an experimental knowledge. The heart that has opened its doors to Jesus will love pure, cleansing, transforming truth, and will zealously contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Let no man stop short of entire, unreserved surrender to God. Begin the work in the heart. Look away from the course of action pursued by others to Christ. You have a soul to save or a soul to lose, and this is too important a question to be regarded indifferently. One of the most earnest prayers in the inspired Word is, “Create in me a clean heart, O God;” and from One who loved us and gave His life for us comes the great and important assurance, “A new heart also will I give you.” [Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:26.]14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 13

    Why are there so many men and women who have and still do occupy positions of great responsibility, who are spiritual failures, who have unsymmetrical characters? It is because they did not and do not, when they know the truth, begin to practice the truth as it is in Jesus. They do not let Him take away their faulty attributes of character, which are after Satan’s order, not after the similitude of Christ. He whose conversion is righteous carries righteous principles into all his life practices. He only is well grounded in the faith who lives by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 14

    There are many who testify daily, “I am not changed in character, only in theory.” The renovating, transforming work must begin in the heart, out of which flow the issues of life. Oh, how then can lip service be regarded as sufficient? If the Lord has ever spoken by me, your mother, I entreat of you, for Christ’s sake, do not stop at any halfway place, but press on, press on. Advance to the perfection of Christian attainments. Leave nothing insecure. Watch thyself with all diligence. Remember that you are responsible not to misrepresent Christ in character. Let us not, by our defects, lead others to practice the same sins.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 15

    My son, not all who stand in positions of responsibility are honoring God by practical godliness. They can gain through faith a conqueror’s crown, but they are not willing to engage in hand to hand warfare with their own imperfect dispositions. They retain attributes which make them offensive to God. Daily they are transgressing the principles of His holy law. If all would only learn the simple lesson that they must take and wear the yoke of Christ, and learn of the great Teacher His meekness and lowliness of heart, they would better fulfill their covenant to love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 16

    Is it not possible for those handling sacred responsibilities to remember that in their several positions of trust they are to manifest exactitude in every respect, as examples of Jesus Christ? Their position as superiors demands this of them. But whether they be superiors, equals, or inferiors, they must begin at the beginning. Christ says, “Take my yoke of restraint and obedience upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest.” [Matthew 11:29.] The heart will then be made right with God through the creative power of Christ. Partakers of His divine nature, they are transformed. Then the whole building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 17

    The world would not be what it now is if professed believers in Christ were receivers of His divine nature. It is the example of men who claim to believe the truth but who do not practice the truth that detracts from the influence of Christianity. They hold the truth as a theory, but unrighteousness surely characterizes their course of action. Many occupy high positions of responsibility, and yet reveal that they are far away from Christ, because they are destitute of Christianity. Please read the ninth and tenth chapters of Ezekiel. Should we not seek to understand the work which God requires us to do? Its results are sacred and awful.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 18

    If one thread of selfishness is woven into God’s service, He is greatly dishonored. Unless those who have a knowledge of the truth are sanctified through the truth, their profession counts nothing, and their condemnation will be proportionate to the light granted them, which they have not honored by walking in the light as Christ is in the light. Truth as it is in Jesus is the creating power of the grace of Christ. Those who claim to have advanced light must reveal the influence of that light in their words, their deportment, their voice, their actions, at all times and in all places.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 19

    The first work of teachers, physicians, directors, is to submit themselves to the yoke of Christ. They must obey the words, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” [Matthew 11:29.] This is the result of keeping self under the sanctification of the truth. Our first business, and that which should always be made the highest, is to expel from the soul temple everything that will not harmonize with Christ. His Spirit must abide in us by faith. We are to keep the heart with all diligence, “for out of it are the issues of life.” [Proverbs 4:23.] Then pleasant words will be spoken, notwithstanding that temptations are pressing in to occupy the soul temple.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 20

    The devil is not dead. He will seek to awaken jealous and evil surmisings. He will tempt those who are in positions of influence to take certain liberties, to appropriate advantages to themselves, while if those who are accounted as inferiors should take such liberties, they would be summarily dealt with. Here is the rock upon which many who ought to be examples of unselfishness have struck. Some have become examples of greed and covetousness. God has marked them as dishonest and unholy, and He will judge them for taking what should have been given to His needy servants, who are doing hard, faithful work.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 21

    But because of the wrong actions of those in positions of trust, do not let envious feelings fill the heart. They are to be judged according to the deeds done in the body. You only need to pity and to pray for them. The Lord knows every dishonest transaction, and will award them according as their work shall be. The Lord rewards every unselfish action. Pray with heart and soul and voice, “O God, impress more deeply upon my mind and heart the principles of Thy holy law, which is the transcript of Thy character. Let me by faith grasp the exceeding great and precious promises, that I may not in my duty and work fail or be discouraged, but perfect holiness in Thy fear.”14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 22

    My children, you are not to look to others to know your duty. You are not to wait for their invitations to attend general meetings. The Lord will teach you your duty, and will give you His message from the written Word. If you learn of Christ His meekness and lowliness, your spiritual advancement will not be hurt by evil surmising, envy, and jealousy. You are not amenable to any living man. They may place you in hard places, but this is not your sin if you do not place yourself there. God would have you meek and lowly in heart, so that He can safely trust you, and educate and train you by His Holy Spirit to help just where help is needed, to comfort the lowly, the sorrowing, the poor, and friendless. As you do this work angels of God will be very near to comfort those for whom efforts are being made in His name by human service.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 23

    Work, work, work to uplift, but never to depress. Do not worry about your books after you have done what you thought best, with much prayer for guidance. If you keep worrying, the blessing of God will not attend you. You must have faith. Do not be envious lest others shall gain the advantage. The Lord understands all about you. He knows what is for your best good, and what would prove an injury for you. Do not let your lips speak any word that will weaken the confidence the Lord desires your brethren to have in you and your work.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 24

    God has given you warning in regard to these matters. He wants you to give not the least occasion for others to war against you, or to work counter to the work God would have you do. There is work enough to be done everywhere. We must not say or do anything that savors of murmuring or criticism, for when we do this Satan comes right to our side and helps us. He will magnify the mistakes others have made so that you will lose the peace and restfulness the Lord would have you cherish. If you believe that every wrong action, either in yourself or in another, is an offense to God, you will not by word or action give your fellow men opportunity to sin against God. Every soul who does a wrong action to another, the Lord has shown me, will have that act rebound upon himself. Thus God punishes those who engage in any evil work. Be more anxious that the truth with its sanctifying power shall be in your heart, buried in your soul and in the souls of others. There are those who need all the help that you can give them.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 25

    Be not afraid to stand in Battle Creek, if this is the will of God for you, but do not educate yourself to stand as a critic. Take the Lord Jesus as your Counselor. The moment a man feels that he is not dependent on God for the breath he draws and for the watchcare he receives, that moment he will lay aside the yoke of Christ, and cease to learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart. Take the Word of God as the man of your counsel. The Lord has made you His witness. He wishes you to be converted every day, that you may become a channel of light. The truth must take control of the conscience, the understanding, the whole heart. In all that you undertake, not only in explaining the Word to others, in prayer and praise and worship, but in your everyday life, God must be your dependence. The truth will give a religious, Christlike character to all that is worth doing, in business as well as in religious lines.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 26

    In all your dealings with your fellow men never forget that you must represent the righteousness of Christ. Men are tempted enough by the devil. Let no word or action of yours awaken suspicion or distrust, and turn them away from that fellowship which Christ would have cherished. We must not work against that which Christ is doing for the souls that are tempted and tried. If the sanctifying influence of the truth is kept away from the heart, what good will it do to try to lead men to Jesus? If our profession of the truth produces no beauty in our own souls and lends no softening, mellowing influence to our own character, it is not the kind that Christ would have us receive. Our religion is a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. It is not enough that we be Christians when we feel like it, and at other times allow Satan to take full control of mind and voice and action. Surely such a man’s religion is vain.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 27

    God has given us rules for guidance. These rules form a standard for all His true followers. God’s will must be made paramount in all our experience. Then we will not be false guideposts.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 28

    We have not had opportunity, my son, to carefully consider the letters you have written us. There have been so many things to be considered. One important matter is related to another important matter, and these have driven W. C. White from place to place, from council meeting to council meeting, from Sydney to Newcastle, and from Newcastle to Maitland. Changing about so, sleeping in different beds in different places, he takes cold, and is unable to do that thinking and planning which he desires to do. So we shall have to put off until the next mail the answers to some of your questions. I was sick for one week, and could not have anything brought before me. But we will do our best.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 29

    Brethren Wessels and Sharp took W. C. White to Newcastle yesterday morning to arrange some important matters regarding the work of Dr. Rand there. Dr. Rand is without facilities, without bathrooms, without a horse and carriage to take him from place to place, without instruments with which to work. I have not seen Willie since yesterday morning. When we have new fields to work like Stanmore, Newcastle, and Maitland, it takes much thought and money to help the workers, to keep them advancing and not retrograding.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 30

    Oh, I am so glad, children, that the Lord is not dependent upon human agencies, but that human agencies must be dependent upon divine agencies. What patience the Lord has with His people! We cannot do without God, though He can carry on His work without us. Let us inquire, What is the way of the Lord? Let us not entertain one suggestion of Satan’s framing, but look to Jesus and trust in Him.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 31

    I must now heed the call for breakfast. I have written this letter, with the exception of two pages, since one o’clock a.m.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 32

    I have a few more words to say. Put your trust in God. Now is the time when each person must seek the Lord most earnestly for himself. You are to feel just as free to go to Battle Creek or any of the conferences or camp meetings and labor, but be sure that you stand in your lot and in your place. Speak the Word when you feel moved by the Spirit of God. The Lord has given to every man his work. The lamps of the soul must be kept trimmed and burning. Every precaution is essential, lest the light flicker and go out.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 33

    The responsibility of each human agent is measured by the amount of gifts he has in trust. All are to be workers. But upon that worker who has had the greatest opportunities, the greatest clearness of mind in understanding the Scriptures, rests the highest responsibility. Every receiver must hold himself accountable to God, and use his talents for God’s glory. He is not to become discouraged in his earnest, sincere efforts to do the work the Lord has given him, You, my son, have not placed yourself where you could accomplish all the good the Lord requires you to do in connection with your brethren. You had that which you could have imparted to them, and they in turn could have helped you. But now do your work with God in view.14LtMs, Lt 178, 1899, par. 34

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