Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 37, 1894

Jones, A. T.

George’s Terrace, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

January 14, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in TM 227-229; VSS 401-402; 14MR 200-202; 4Bio 117-119.

Dear Brother:

After speaking to a large audience, assembled in the tent, and also crowded about its borders, we left the campground last evening. We rode five miles to the place we are now stopping, that is the school building, and I have risen early this morning for the purpose of tracing some lines to you. I am very thankful to my heavenly Father because he is blessing me with health and clearness of mine, and giving me power to speak the words of life to the people. There are a hundred and nine tents on the ground, and four hundred and ninety six encamped. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 1

This is the first camp meeting that Melbourne has seen, and it is a marvel of wonder to the people. There is a decided interest to hear the truth. This interest we have never seen equalled among those not of our faith. The camp meeting is doing more to bring our work before the people than years of labor could have done. Every afternoon and evening the tent is filled to its uttermost capacity, not with the cheaper order of society, but with people of intelligence. Yesterday the most noted physician in North Fitzroy was here to listen. Some ministers have been here, and a large number of business men; the Lord is impressing hearts. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 2

As Willie came to escort me to the tent yesterday he said, “Mother, the forenoon meeting was held from eleven a.m. until two o’clock p.m., and a special effort has been made.” Elder Olsen labored on this occasion. Willie continued, “I think you had better speak but a short time, as the wind is blowing a gale, and the dust storm is very disagreeable, and there will probably be but few outsiders this afternoon.” But when we entered the tent, we found it full of people, and fully one-half were outsiders. A few minutes later a large number arrived, for the train came in to the station and the people began to come from all directions. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 3

It is not common at any of our camp meetings on Sabbath afternoon to have many outsiders at the tents, but this Sabbath afternoon marks an exception. So large was the attendance from the outside that our people were invited to give up their seats and stand, which they did cheerfully. The Lord gave me His Holy Spirit, and I bore a testimony to the people to which they listened with the deepest interest. Many came to speak with me after the service, to tell me how they were comforted and refreshed. Deep convictions are upon many minds, and there will be many who will decide for the truth. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 4

The first Sabbath of the conference meeting three commenced the observation of the Sabbath, and yesterday five more took their position on the truth. Two business men with their wives and relatives, numbering eight, begged for tents in order that they might remain on the ground, and attend early morning and evening meetings. One of the men will return every day with his horse and carriage to Melbourne, a distance of eight or ten miles, and look after the business, returning at night. These two brothers keep a large music establishment and are convicted of the truth and, we believe, will yet take their position. Far and near the sound has gone out concerning this city of tents, and the most wonderful interest is awakened. Now is the time to use every workman in Melbourne and in the surrounding towns. We wish we could put a hundred men into the work to fill the calls, and to enter the doors now open for missionary effort. Every one of our people are filled with amazement at the way the work is going. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 5

There seems to be no stubborn opposition awakened as they listen to the truth for this time. The power of God is among us. It is the Lord’s work, and every opposing power is cut down before the truth. Thousands have visited the encampment and give expressions to their amazement in beholding the order, the nicety of the arrangements in the white canvas tents. The truth is new and strange, and yet it is taking hold of the people, because we preach the Word of God, and the Lord sends it home to the hearts of the hearers. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 6

Elder Olsen and Dr. Kellogg say they have never seen such a deep and wide-spread interest created among outsiders before. There has been some special efforts made through distribution of reading matter before the camp meeting began, and since its meetings were in progress. God has co-operated with His workers, and had we tents, many from the outside would camp with us upon the ground, who never heard that there were such people as Seventh-day Adventists until this time. We have already extended the meeting one week, and may have to extend it still longer. The Lord is among us working to His own name’s glory. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 7

The weather has been all that we could ask until yesterday when the sandstorm came upon us. Sentinels were placed at every post of the tent so that there was no flopping of the tent or raising of the poles, for they were held down. Three family tents and two larger tents were blown down. The large tents were blown down because the center poles broke; but these circumstances do not disturb us, since the Lord is at work. The Lord is encamped on the ground, and will take care of His own work. The prince of darkness may use his power to annoy and perplex us, but he cannot overthrow us. We gave up our tent to those who were without shelter, and came to the school building. There is now, and there will be still more in the future new openings for the truth. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 8

Brighton has sent in a petition that a minister be left in this place when the tents are removed, promising that a beautiful hall will be furnished, and assuring us that there will be a good attendance. So many calls are now coming in that we need wisdom as to how to supply the calls with the help we have and not have any disappointed. May the Lord guide us in every thing, for without Jesus we can do nothing. Help from America has come none too soon, and we need, O, so many more to engage with us in the work. This work is manifestly of God, and not of our own creating. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 9

The Lord is soon to work in greater power among us, but there is danger of allowing our impulses to carry us where the Lord would not want us to go. We must not make one step that we will have to retrace. We must move solemnly, prudently, and not make use of extravagant expressions, or allow our feelings to become overwrought. We must think calmly and work without excitement, for there will be those who become easily wrought up who will catch up unguarded expressions, and make use of extreme utterances to create excitement, and thus counteract the very work that God would do. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 10

There are a class of people who are always ready to go off on some tangent, who want to catch up something strange and wonderful and new; but God would have all move calmly, considerately choosing our words in harmony with the solid truth for this time, which requires [that it] be presented to the mind as free from that which is emotional as possible while still bearing the intensity and solemnity that it is proper it should bear. We must guard against creating extremes, guard against encouraging those who would either be in the fire or in the water. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 11

I have received letters from some in America stating that you have endorsed Anna Philips’ revelations, and that you read them to the people, giving the people the impression that you are reading from the testimonies of Sister White, and afterwards they learn that it is an entirely different matter. I want you to consider this carefully; for the Lord has given me light to the effect that the attention of the people is not to be called to Anna Philips. God has spoken His words through testimonies, and the late claims that Elder Rice is making so much of are not to be presented to the people, for these claims are not true. I am sorry you have done this. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 12

Elder Rice, and those who advocate this new source of supposed revelation, have not sent a line to me, or asked me for a word of counsel. They have withheld everything from me, although they are making so much of this matter. Why have they kept this matter so secret? I have given no special attention to this before, because I had confidence in our ministering brethren, and thought they would not catch up such a matter without the most thorough evidence that the Lord has chosen one through whom to work. The spurious and counterfeit are in the field, and minds must be under the constant control of the Spirit of God in order to detect the counterfeit from the genuine. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 13

I write this to you, because I learn that it is reported that you have read her productions in the Battle Creek church. I am surprised that you should catch up a matter so readily that does not bear the divine credentials. Let this thing be encouraged, and Satan will work to give our people plenty of false doctrines. The woman is not so much to blame as those who have encouraged productions. I will send you a copy of that which I have written to Elder Rice. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 14

I beseech you to weed out of your teachings every extravagant expression, everything that unbalanced minds and those who are inexperienced will catch up and [so] make wild, immature movements. It is necessary for you to cultivate caution in every statement you make, lest you start some on a wrong track and make confusion, that will require much sorrowful labor to set in order, thus diverting the strength and work of the laborers into lines which God does not design shall be entered. One fanatical streak exhibited among us, will close many doors against the soundest principles of truth. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 15

Oh, how careful should every worker be not to rush on before the Master, but to follow where He leads the way! How it would rejoice the enemies of our faith to get hold of some statement made by our people which will have to be retracted. We must move discreetly, sensibly, for this is our strength, for then God will work with us and by us and for us. My brother, hide in Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 16

God has in a special manner used you and Brother Waggoner to do a special work, and I have known this. I have given all my influence in with yours, because you were doing a work of God for this time. I have done all that is possible for me to do in Jesus Christ to stand close to you, and help you in every way; but I am very sorrowful when I see things that I cannot endorse, and I feel pained over the matter. I begin to be afraid. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 17

Elder Waggoner has entertained ideas, and without waiting to bring his ideas before a council of brethren, has agitated strange theories. He has brought before some of the people ideas in regard to organization that ought never to have had expression. I supposed that the question of organization was settled forever with those who believed the testimonies given through Sister White. Now if they believe the testimonies, why do they work contrary to them? Why should not my brethren be prudent enough to place the matters before me, or at least to enquire if I had any light upon these subjects? Why is it that these things start up at this time when we have canvassed the matter in our previous history and God has spoken upon these subjects? Should not that be enough? 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 18

Why not keep steadily at work in the lines that God has given us? Why not walk in the clear light He has revealed, and in place of tearing to pieces that which God has built up, work on the side of Jesus Christ? Oh, how Satan would rejoice to get in among this people, and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential, and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God. We want to hold the lines evenly [so] that there shall be no breaking down of the system of regulation and order. In this way license shall not be given to disorderly elements to control the work at this time. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 19

We are living in a time when order, system, and unity of action is most essential. And the truth must bind us together like strong cords, in order that no distracted efforts may be witnessed among the workers. If disorderly manifestations appear, we must have clear discernment to distinguish the spurious from the genuine. Let no messages be proclaimed until they have borne a careful scrutiny in every jot and tittle. Let not you nor Elder Waggoner be incautious now and advance things that are not proper, and not in accordance with the very message God has given. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 20

Should you be led into any error, reflections would be cast upon the work God has given me to do, as well as upon the work you have both been doing, which has always been held in suspicion and opposition by a certain class. Should you fall into any mistake, they will feel justified in their past ideas and jealousies, their watchings and suspicions. It becomes you both since God has led you, and given you a work to do, to mingle caution with every move you make. Be sure that the enemy does not lead either of you into any false path: I was shown your dangers and I write this because I dare not withhold it. If you will walk in all meekness and lowliness of Christ, and not rely upon yourselves, not rely upon your supposed wisdom and knowledge, but sit daily at the feet of Jesus and learn of him, you will be guarded from mistakes. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 21

My soul is much burdened for I know what is before us. Every conceivable deception will be brought to bear upon those who have not a daily, living connection with God. In our work no side issues must be advanced until there has been, before, a thorough examination of the ideas entertained, that it may be ascertained from what source they have originated. Satan’s angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light, will proclaim as new and wonderful things, and while in some respects the message is truth, yet it will be mingled with men’s inventions and will teach for doctrine the commandments of men. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 22

If there ever was a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. There may be supposable things that appear as good things, and yet they need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from the path which leads to holiness and heaven. But the eye of faith may discern that it is diverging from the right path, though almost imperceptibly. At first it may be thought positively right, but after a little while it is seen to be widely divergent from the path of safety, from the path that leads to holiness and heaven. My brother, I warn you to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. 9LtMs, Lt 37, 1894, par. 23