Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 86, 1894

White, J. E.; White, Emma

Middle Brighton, Melbourne, Australia

January 12, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 115, 117, 119.

Dear Children:

We are now on the ground where to all appearances there is a veritable camp meeting. Our first meetings were workers’ meetings, and lasted for several days. Our conference began on Friday, January 5th. We had an excellent meeting in the smaller tent. The larger pavilion had not yet been pitched, because it was holiday time and nothing can be obtained on holidays however urgent may be the want. On the 2nd of January the tent was well pitched, and prepared for meeting. I spoke to the people, and was surprised that so large a number of believers were on the ground. The large tent was well filled, and the question was, where shall we have room for the outsiders? It was a perplexity to us all. If the Lord favors us with good weather, we shall have a large outside attendance, and we shall place seats all around the tent, and lift up the canvass, making the sides a canopy to cover the people as far as they can be made to reach. 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 1

Those who came early to the workers’ meetings, have been listening to most precious things from the Word of God. The truth as presented from the treasure house of God, shines like precious jewels, of far greater value to those who receive them in the heart, and are doers of the Word, than the most precious things that earth can afford. The truth is as much higher than the things of earth as the heavens are higher than the earth. 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 2

Elder Corliss has come to us with the precious truth. There are those in attendance at the meeting that have kept the Sabbath for four years, and they state that this is the first opportunity they have had to testify to the truth in the congregation of God’s people. Many are here who have been scattered in the highways and the byways, and the Lord has moved upon their hearts to come up to this holy convocation. They are now for the first time hearing the living preacher. Papers and publications have been silent messengers from God to them and have sown the seed of gospel truth in their hearts, and God has watered the seed sown. You can hardly imagine the delight of these persons as they feast upon the rich banquet that heaven has prepared for them, and their hungry souls are filled. 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 3

A holy joy pervades the encampment. I see countenances lighted up, plainly impressed with the divine image. Many voices are heard expressing the gratitude of joyful hearts as men and women contemplate the precious truth of the third angel’s message, and come to realize the paternal love of God. They relate their experience as to how they were first led to see the light, and in many instances we find that it was through reading the Great Controversy that the Sabbath truth was revealed to them and that they were led to search the Scriptures and to take their position upon the truth. Others embraced the truth by reading Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation. 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 4

Many have been much blessed by reading Steps to Christ, and those who have thus embraced the truth through reading are feasting their hungry souls upon the rich truths of God’s word. They are led to see what is comprehended in the third angel’s message—that all self must be renounced, all dependence in self must be given up, and the Lord Jesus must be received in the heart as a complete Saviour. They are led to believe that they are born of God, and entitled to the privileges of sonship. His Spirit witnesses with their spirit that they are children of God. It is made manifest before us that the words of John are verified when he says, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [John 1:12, 13.] 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 5

Taking it in on all sides, this is the best camp meeting we have ever attended. There are features in this meeting which testify clearly that the Spirit of God is working upon human hearts. The camp is in a good locality, the surroundings are favorable, and there is a large number in attendance. Many visitors come from long distances, and as it used to be seen in 1843 and 1844, they bring their lunch and remain through the day. A number of the citizens of the place have declared that if they were not living close by, they would hire tents and camp with us on the ground. They value the privilege of hearing the Word of God so clearly explained, and they say that the Bible seems to be full of new and precious things, and will be like a new book to them. 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 6

Ministers of different denominations come to the meetings. A request was made that Mrs. White should speak some evening during the week, for many wished to hear her who could not come out on Sunday or Saturday afternoon because of other engagements. An appointment was made to meet their wishes. Many of the people had read Great Controversy, and this had awakened an interest to see and hear the woman who had written it. 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 7

Last Sabbath we had the largest attendance we have had, to my knowledge, on Sabbath afternoon or evening. The tent was filled up, then all the chairs that could be obtained from the tents were brought in, and Brother Rousseau asked, What shall we do? Our own people were requested to give up their seats to the strangers. Many were standing, both of believers and unbelievers, as a wall about the tent. Thus we see that the Lord is at work. In this afternoon I spoke to the people about one hour, and the large congregation were as orderly as though we were in a meeting house. The people seemed to be intensely interested. 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 8

On Sunday there was a large crowd out and in the afternoon and evening the people crowded about the tent in large numbers. I spoke in the afternoon upon the subject of temperance. Several influential ministers were out to hear. One said he would preach in a pulpit nearby on Sunday evening. He there took up the leading points of our faith and stated the same quite accurately. He then told the people that we as a people understood these Scriptures literally, but that he understood them in a spiritual sense. He gave the highest recommendation to our people, but will he improve this opportunity to accept and rejoice in the light? 9LtMs, Lt 86, 1894, par. 9