N. D. Faulkhead and the Convincing Testimony

     On the day school closed, W. C. White called a meeting of the available members of the school board. N. D. Faulkhead, treasurer of the publishing house, came to attend. As the meeting closed at about four o'clock, White spoke to him, telling him that Ellen White wanted to see him. As he started down the hall to the room where she was staying, there came to his mind a dream that he had had a few nights before, in which Ellen White had a message for him.

     Mr. Faulkhead was a tall, keen, apt, and energetic businessman, genial and liberal in his disposition, but proud. When he became a Seventh-day Adventist, he held membership in several secret organizations, and he did not withdraw from these. As he wrote of his experience some years later in a general letter to "My Dear Brethren in the Faith," he told of these affiliations:

        I was closely connected with the Masonic Lodge, . . . I held the highest positions in the following lodges that could be conferred upon me: first, I was Master of the Master Masons' Lodge, (or Blue Lodge); second, I was First Principal of the Holy Royal (of Canada); third, I was Preceptor of the Knights Templars, besides many other minor lodges, the Good Templars, Rechabites, and Odd Fellows, in which I also held high positions.--DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead letter, Oct. 5, 1908.

     As the Faulkhead family--Mrs. Faulkhead was a teacher in the  public school system--accepted the third angel's message, his unusual ability was recognized, and he was employed as treasurer in the Echo Publishing Company. He served well at first, but as time advanced he became more and more engrossed in his lodge work, and his interests in the work of God began to wane.

     This was his situation when Ellen White arrived in Australia in December, 1891. As matters involving the publishing house workers were opened up to her in a comprehensive vision a few days after her arrival, she wrote of conditions there in general; she also penned testimonies to a number of the individuals involved, including Mr. Faulkhead and his wife. The document addressed to them dealt with his connection with the publishing house and his affiliation with the Masonic Lodge, and filled fifty pages. When she thought to mail it to him, she was restrained from doing so. She said, "When I enclosed the communication all ready to mail, it seemed that a voice spoke to me saying, 'Not yet, not yet, they will not receive your testimony.'"--Letter 39, 1893.

     Ellen White said nothing regarding the matter for almost twelve months, but maintained a deep interest in Mr. and Mrs. Faulkhead and their spiritual welfare. Some of his associates in the publishing house were very much concerned as they observed his growing infatuation with the work of the lodge and his waning spirituality and decreasing concern for the interests of the cause of God. They pleaded with him, urging him to consider the danger of his course. "But," as Mr. Faulkhead states, "my heart was full of those things; in fact, I thought more of them than I did of anything else."—DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead letter, Oct. 5, 1908.

     He defiantly met the appeals with the bold statement "that he would not give up his connection with the Freemasons for all that Starr or White or any other minister might say. He knew what he was about, and he was not going to be taught by them."—Letter 21b, 1892. It was clear to those in charge of the work that unless a marked change came in his attitude, he would soon have to find other employment.

     Mrs. White wrote of this experience: "None could reach him in regard to Freemasonry. He was fastening himself more and more firmly in the meshes of the enemy, and the only thing we could see to be done was to leave him to himself."--Letter 46, 1892. His condition was shown to her to be like that of "a man about to lose his balance and fall over a precipice" (MS 4, 1893).

     For a period of months. Mrs. White held messages for him and thought to send them, but was restrained.

     In early December, 1892, J. H. Stockton, one of the first Seventh-day Adventists in Australia, was talking with Mr. Faulkhead. He asked him what he would do if Ellen White had a testimony for him in regard to his connection with the lodge. To this Faulkhead boldly retorted: "It would have to be mighty strong."  Neither man was aware that almost a year before, the whole matter had been opened to her.--DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead to EGW,

Feb. 20, 1908.

     It was shortly after this, on Saturday night, December 10, that Mr. Faulkhead dreamed that the Lord had shown his case to Ellen White, and that she had a message for him. This, with his defiant reply to Stockton in regard to what would be his attitude toward a message through her, led him to serious thought. At the time of this dream Mrs. White was at Ballarat, but on Monday, December 12, as noted earlier, she had returned to Melbourne. The next day she attended the closing exercises of the first term of the Australasian Bible School.

     With this dream vividly in his mind, Faulkhead found Ellen White, who greeted him cordially. He asked her whether she had something for him. She replied that the burden of his case was upon her mind, and that she had a message for him from the Lord, which she wished him and his wife to hear. She called for a meeting in the near future, when she would present that message. Faulkhead eagerly asked, "Why not give me the message now?"--Letter 46,  1892.

     Although she was weary from her journey and her work that morning, Ellen White went over to a stand and picked up a bundle of manuscripts. She told Faulkhead that several times she had prepared to send the message, but that she "had felt forbidden by the Spirit of the Lord to do so" for the time had not fully come that he would accept it.

     She then read and talked. A part of the fifty pages that were read that evening was of a general nature, relating to the work in the Echo Publishing Company and the experience of the workers employed there. But the major part dealt more particularly with Mr. Faulkhead's experience and his connection not only with the work in the office but also his affiliation with the Masonic Lodge. She pointed out that his involvement with Freemasonry had absorbed his time and blunted his spiritual perception. She read to him of his efforts to maintain high principles for which the lodge claimed to stand, often couching her message in Masonic language. She also told him where in the lodge hall she had seen him sitting and what he was endeavoring to do with his associates. She spoke of his increasing interest in the work of these organizations and of his waning interest in the cause of God; of her seeing in vision his dropping the small coins from his purse in the Sabbath offering plate and the larger coins into the coffers of the lodge. She heard him addressed as "Worshipful Master." She read of scenes of drinking and carousal that took place in the lodge meetings, especially after Mr. Faulkhead had left.--DF 522a, G. B. Starr," An Experience With Sister E. G. White in Australia."

     "I thought this was getting pretty close home," he later wrote, "when she started to talk to me in reference to what I was doing in the lodges."N. D. Faulkhead letter, Oct. 5, 1908.

Ellen White Gives the Secret Signs

     She spoke most earnestly of the dangers of his connection with Freemasonry, warning that "unless he severed every tie that bound him to these associations, he would lose his soul." She repeated to him words spoken by her guide. Then, giving a certain movement with her hands that was made by her guide, she said, "I cannot relate all that was given to me."--Letter 46, 1892.

     At this, Faulkhead started and turned pale. Recounting the incident, he wrote:

     Immediately she gave me this sign. I touched her on the shoulder and asked her if she knew what she had done. She looked up surprised and said she did not do anything unusual. I told her that she had given me the sign of a Knight Templar. Well, she did not know anything about it.--DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead letter, Oct. 5, 1908.

     They talked on. She spoke further of Freemasonry and the impossibility of a man being a Freemason and a wholehearted Christian. Again she made a certain movement, which "my attending angel made to me" (MS 54, 1899).

     Again Mr. Faulkhead started, and the blood left his face. A second time she had made a secret sign, one known only to the highest order of Masons. It was a sign that no woman could know, for it was held in the strictest secrecy--the place of meeting was guarded both inside and outside against strangers. "This convinced me that her testimony was from God," he stated.--

    Speaking further of his reaction to this, he wrote:

     I can assure you . . . this caused me to feel very queer. But, as Sister White said, the Spirit of the Lord had come upon me and taken hold of me. She went on talking and reading as if nothing had happened, but I noticed how her face brightened up when I interrupted her again and spoke to her about the sign. She seemed surprised that she had given me such a sign. She did not know that she had moved her hand. Immediately the statement that I had made to Brother Stockton, that it would have to be mighty strong before I could believe that she had a message for me from the Lord, flashed through my mind.--DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead letter, Oct. 5, 1908.

    When Mrs. White finished reading, tears were in the man's eyes. He said:

        I accept every word. All of it belongs to me. . . . I accept the light the Lord has sent me through you. I will act upon it. I am a member of five lodges, and three other lodges are under my control. I transact all of their business. Now I shall attend no more of their meetings, and shall close my business relations with them as fast as possible.1892.  He also stated, "I am so glad you did not send me that testimony, for then it would not have helped me." 1899. Your reading the reproof yourself has touched my heart. The Spirit of the Lord has spoken to me through you, and I accept every word you have addressed especially to me; the general matter also is applicable to me. It all means me. That which you have written in regard to my connection with the Freemasons, I accept. . . . I have just taken the highest order in Freemasonry, but I shall sever my connection with them all.--Letter 21b, 1892.

     When Mr. Faulkhead left Ellen White's room, the hour was late. He took the streetcar to the railway station, and while traveling up Collins Street he passed the lodge hall. It suddenly dawned upon him that he should have been there attending a Knights Templar encampment that very evening. As he neared the station, he saw the train for Preston pulling out, so he was obliged to walk the rest of the way home. He chose an unfrequented road so that he might have opportunity for meditation. The walk he enjoyed very much, for there had come to him a new experience. He so much wanted to meet Daniells, Starr, or W. C. White and tell them that he was a new man, and how free and how happy he felt in his decision to sever his connection with all secret societies. It seemed to him that a ton of weight had rolled from his shoulders. And to think that the God who rules the universe and guides the planets had seen his danger and sent a message just for him!

Faulkhead Resigns from the Lodges

     The next morning found Mr. Faulkhead at his office. Word quickly spread to the group of workers of his experience the night before; over and over again he recounted with one after another how God had sent a message to arrest him from a course of action that would have led him to destruction. As his first work he called in his assistant and dictated his resignation to the various lodges. Then A. G. Daniells came in, and Mr. Faulkhead told him of his experience. While the two were talking, his letters of resignation were passed to Mr. Faulkhead for his signature. He signed and enclosed them and handed them to Daniells to mail. In telling of it, Faulkhead says, "How his eyes did sparkle with pleasure to think that the Lord had gained His point at last, and that his prayers had been answered."--DF 522a, N. D. Faulkhead letter, Oct. 5,1908.

     But no sooner had Faulkhead given the letters to Daniells than a feeling of mistrust came over him; he felt that he should have mailed the letters himself. Then he thanked the Lord for what he had done, for he felt that he could not have trusted himself to mail the letters.  

Another Interview with Ellen White

     On Thursday, December 15, Mr. Faulkhead, accompanied by his wife, had another interview with Mrs. White. A number of pages of new matter were read to the two of them, and it was all accepted." I wish you to know," he told Mrs. White, "how I look upon this matter. I regard myself as greatly honored of the Lord. He has seen fit to mention me, and I am not discouraged, but encouraged. I shall follow out the light given me of the Lord."--Letter 21b, 1892.

     The battle was not entirely won with the sending in of the resignations. His lodge friends refused to release him, so he had to serve out his terms of office, another nine months. Most determined efforts were put forth to hold him to their society, but he had taken a firm position and stood by it. At times his church associates trembled for him. Ellen White wrote encouraging letters in support of his stand. He was victorious at last.

     With the expiration of his term as officer of several of the lodges, the complete victory was won, and Mr. Faulkhead was able, on September 18, 1893, to write to Ellen White and her son.

     Dear Brother and Sister White:

     It gives me much pleasure to tell you that my term of office as Master of the Masonic Lodge expired last month. And I feel to thank God for it. How thankful I am to Him for sending me a warning that I was traveling on the wrong road. I do praise Him for His goodness and His love shown toward me, in calling me from among that people. I can see now very clearly that to continue with them would have been my downfall, as I must confess that my interest for the truth was growing cold. But thanks be to God, He did not let me go on with them without giving me warning through His servant. I cannot express my gratitude to Him for it. . . 

        I can praise God with all my might, and then I cannot express my gratitude to Him for the love that He has shown me.                                                  N.D.Faulkhead --DF 522a.

Ellen G. White Volume 4 The Australian Years 1891-1900  

P 49-55