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    Chapter 25—The Secret Sign

    James White died in August, 1881, leaving Ellen to carry on alone with the work which they had shared.SMG 171.1

    This was the third time that death had come to the White home. Twenty-one years earlier they had lost Herbert, their youngest, at the age of three months. Three years later Henry, their sixteen-year-old son, the “sweet singer” of the family, was taken from them. He had been dearly loved and was now greatly missed. But neither of these bereavements was permitted to darken the parents’ lives. Rather than spend their time in fruitless mourning, they looked forward to the happy resurrection morning when they would again have their little family together.SMG 171.2

    Soon after James’s funeral my grandmother wrote, “My husband’s death was a heavy blow to me, more keenly felt because so sudden. As I saw the seal of death upon his countenance, my feelings were almost insupportable. I longed to cry out in my anguish. But I knew that this could not save the life of my loved one, and I felt that it would be unchristian to give myself up to sorrow. I sought help and comfort from above, and the promises of God were verified to me. The Lord’s hand sustained me.”SMG 171.3

    Four years after her husband’s death, Ellen White went to Europe. Six years later with her son William, S. N. Haskell, and a few other workers she boarded the steamship Alameda bound for Australia. While crossing the Pacific, she was shown in a night vision many things regarding the work in Australia. She was also given a special message for N. D. Faulkhead, treasurer of the Echo Publishing Company, our printing house in Melbourne.SMG 171.4

    Mr. Faulkhead was a keen, energetic businessman. He was tall, handsome, and genial, a man deeply loved by his wife and two children and respected by all his associates. When he first accepted the Adventist message, he was enthusiastic in his hope of the soon coming of Jesus. But he was a member of several lodges and held important positions in these secret societies.SMG 172.1

    As time went on, he gave more and more attention to the lodges and less and less to the work of God. He was often with men interested only in the things of this world, and he attended Adventist meetings less frequently.SMG 172.2

    His friends at the publishing office begged him to withdraw from the secret societies and give his entire time and strength to the work of God. They reminded him of the words spoken by Jesus, “No man can serve two masters.” But his positions in the various lodges brought him much honor, and he refused their advice, for he thought more of the lodges than of anything else in the world.SMG 172.3

    A few days after reaching Australia, Mrs. White was shown in another vision more about Mr. Faulkhead’s danger. She immediately wrote in a very long letter the instruction she had been given for him. But when she was about to mail it, she seemed to hear a voice say, “Not yet, not yet: they will not receive it.” So she laid the letter aside. But she felt anxious because in the vision she had seen that Mr. Faulkhead was like a man just ready to fall over a precipice. During the next few months she thought several times of sending him the message; but each time the voice said, “Not yet! not yet!” Nearly a year went by.SMG 172.4

    Then one day an Adventist who knew nothing of this asked him, “What would you do if Sister White should have a testimony for you?”SMG 173.1

    “It would have to be a very strong statement to make me believe the Lord had given her a message for me,” he replied. He respected Mrs. White and enjoyed visiting with her, but when it came to her testimonies—well, he wasn’t sure about them.SMG 173.2

    But the Holy Spirit was working on his heart. One night he dreamed that Mrs. White had a message for him from God. A few days later, after a board meeting, Elder William White stepped up to Mr. Faulkhead and said, “My mother wishes to see you before you leave.”SMG 173.3

    Though it was late afternoon, he went at once to her room. As he knocked, he thought of his dream.SMG 173.4

    “Do you have anything for me, Sister White?” he asked as she greeted him.SMG 173.5

    “Yes, I have a message for you and your wife, and I’d like to have a visit with you when you can arrange it.”SMG 173.6

    Thinking of his dream, he asked eagerly, “Can you give it to me now?”SMG 173.7

    Mrs. White knew that at last the time had come for her to deliver the message. She went to her writing stand, opened a drawer, and took out a package of typed sheets. She sat down in an easy chair and, with Mr. Faulkhead sitting near, began to read what she had written nearly a year before.SMG 173.8

    She read a description of some of the meetings of the secret societies to which he belonged, as she had seen them in the vision. As she read, he recognized the very words he had spoken in one of their meetings and the replies the men had made, expressed in the terms and forms of speech peculiar to the society. She even told him where he was sitting when he talked with the men, and what he was advising the men to do.SMG 173.9

    “I heard them address you as ‘Worshipful Master,’” she said. She described scenes of drinking that had taken place late at night after the regular meetings had closed and he had left.SMG 174.1

    She warned him of his danger. He was becoming so absorbed in the work of the lodges and so proud of the honors received that he was losing the love he once had for his Saviour. In the vision she had seen him contributing large sums of money to the lodge, whereas at church he searched his purse for small coins. She told him plainly that unless he broke his connection with his associates, he would give up the truth and lose eternal life.SMG 174.2

    After reading and talking to him for a long time, she said, “I cannot relate all that was given to me,” and she unconsciously moved her hands in the same manner the angel had used when he gave her the instruction.SMG 174.3

    Suddenly Mr. Faulkhead turned pale. In a startled voice he asked, “Sister White, do you know what you did just now?”SMG 174.4

    “No,” she replied, “I’m not aware that I did anything unusual.”SMG 174.5

    Attempting to control his excitement, he exclaimed, “You made a secret sign known only to lodge members!”SMG 174.6

    The two talked on. Again Mrs. White made another movement with her hands. Again he paled. When he had regained composure, he said, “You did it again, Sister White; again you made a secret sign. This one is known only to the highest order of the society.” He told her that only six persons in all Australia were entrusted with a knowledge of that sign. He had learned it himself only a few days before. He said, “It’s one that is never divulged to a nonmember, and no woman is ever told about it.”SMG 174.7

    Mr. Faulkhead needed no further evidence that God had revealed these things to Mrs. White in vision. He felt solemn to think that God had noticed him and had sent him a special message.SMG 176.1

    Mrs. White’s face brightened, for she could see that Mr. Faulkhead believed her words and would receive the counsel.SMG 176.2

    As Mrs. White continued reading and talking, May Walling, her niece, came to the room. “Aunt Ellen,” she said, “you should rest.” But Mrs. White said, “May, I have special word from the Lord for Brother Faulkhead, and I must give it to him.”SMG 176.3

    Later my father knocked at the door and protested, “Mother, you’re wearing away your strength; you’ve been talking with Mr. Faulkhead for nearly three hours!”SMG 176.4

    “Don’t disturb us; the Lord is giving me strength for the task,” she said quietly. She closed the door, and her son left.SMG 176.5

    Turning to Mr. Faulkhead, she saw that a great struggle was going on in his mind. Good and evil angels were battling for his soul. Soon his face lightened with heavenly joy. Looking up, he exclaimed, “Lord, I give myself unreservedly to Thee!”SMG 176.6

    With tears in his eyes, he said to Mrs. White, “I accept the light the Lord has sent me through you. I will act upon it. I’m a member of five lodges, and three others are under my control. I transact all their business. Now I shall attend no more of their meetings, and shall close my business relations with them as fast as possible. I’ve just taken the highest order in one of the societies, but I shall sever my connection with them all.”SMG 176.7

    It was now nearly time for the late train to leave for his suburban home. When he reached the station it had already pulled out, leaving him to walk the four miles. He chose the quiet streets, for he wanted to think. A great joy filled his heart as he realized that the God who rules the universe and guides the planets had seen his danger and had sent a message just for him.SMG 177.1

    Early the next morning he was at the publishing house, telling his associates of his decision. The news quickly spread through the offices, causing joy among his friends.SMG 177.2

    Calling his secretary, he dictated letters of resignation to the lodges. Then, afraid lest he should change his mind, he handed the letters to Elder Daniells to mail.SMG 177.3

    During the remainder of his life, Mr. Faulkhead gave his time to the work of the Echo office, spreading the message of Jesus’ soon return.SMG 177.4

    Through the years he frequently warned young men not to join secret societies, telling them of the temptations that had come to him. He would often show them a pile of invitations from governors, premiers, and other rich and honored men—invitations to parties of pleasure and revelry. But he said, “Every time I look at them they remind me of the devil’s snares.”SMG 177.5

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