Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 9, 1895



March 16, 1895

Previously unpublished.

Saturday, March 16. This morning Bro. Lacey, his daughter May, and myself drove in our phaeton to Ashfield. Over one hundred listened as I spoke on the precious words of Christ in John 14 and told them why we were called Adventists and why we reverenced the Sabbath of the Lord. I was given great freedom in speaking, and the people seemed to be deeply interested. An excellent social meeting was held. One week ago, five persons kept their first Sabbath, and today two more rested for the first time on the day commanded by God. On the morrow, eleven will go forward in baptism. Nine of these attended the camp meeting in Ashfield, and two have taken their position at Petersham. They are the first fruits from that place. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 1

Brother Lacey remained to attend the forenoon meeting at Petersham, but as I have been troubled with severe pain in my heart for the last twenty four hours, I decided to come home with May. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 2

March 17

I could not sleep past two o’clock this morning. In the meeting yesterday, Brother Squires bore a good testimony. He says that the men where he works are thoroughly stirred up over the subjects they hear in the tent, and that these things are the theme of conversation among them. Many had no idea that the Bible contained such wonderful truths, and on every hand the inquiry is, “Why have not the ministers told us of them? We have had the same subjects over and over again, but no fresh light has been given to us.” The message of truth they have heard is to them a new revelation, and yet it is all in the Old and New Testaments. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 3

The same Teacher that instructed ancient Israel, as recorded in the Old Testament, which the prophets were inspired to write, gave to the apostles the wisdom to compile the New. By faith those who live in 1895 may derive the benefit of the writings of both the prophets and the apostles. The scenes they present to us, although hoary with age, through faith are clothed with freshness and power and appear like new revelations. They are as real to us as though transpiring in our day, and as though witnessed by our own eyes. The lessons of Christ were given to the disciples and the people at the time when the scribes and Pharisees were teaching for doctrines the commandments of men with bold assurance and positive assertion as to their authority. The subtle reasonings of these false teachers had, to a greater or less degree, influenced the minds of even the disciples. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 4

How were the disciples to obtain clear and distinct ideas of the teaching of Christ? How were they to distinguish truth from the falsehoods taught by the scribes and Pharisees? Christ promised them the Comforter for this purpose. He said, “When the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, shall come, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” [Verse 26.] The Comforter is the “Spirit of Truth” and “He shall testify of me, and ye also shall bear witness of me.” [John 15:26, 27.] The testimony of the Holy Spirit and of the prophets and apostles comes to us, and through belief in it, the believers become the agencies through which every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God is repeated with the authoritative power of the Holy Spirit. The words and works of Christ are as real to believers as if witnessed by their own eyes. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 5

Sunday morning. Yesterday we listened with deep interest to Brother McCullagh’s account of his visit to Richmond, which was made at the urgent request of one who had been attending the meetings at Ashfield, and who is greatly agitated over the truth. A gentleman, with horse and sulky, met him at the station and drove him eight miles into the mountain regions. About fifty people were assembled at a private house. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 6

Some who could not find standing room inside, stood around the door, and all seemed deeply interested while Brother McCullagh proceeded to show the inspiration of the Bible, and to read some promises regarding the second coming of Christ. They gave evidence of their interest by earnestly entreating for more meetings; but nothing could be promised them definitely. It seems impossible to divide the forces now engaged in the work about Ashfield and Petersham, in the present stage of the work, and although these sheep are hunting for the shepherd, we cannot supply help for them. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 7

The whole region round about Ashfield and Petersham is stirred, and meetings are being called for in the different suburbs of Sydney. Where the Lord works, the enemy will also stir up his forces and devise every possible means to divert the minds from the consideration of the truth of heavenly origin. A man has been holding outdoor meetings in Petersham, using the most violent language against those who are presenting the truth in the tent. He calls them devils, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and other not very flattering epithets. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 8

We can but recall the times when Christ was upon the earth, when the priests and Pharisees declared, “He hath a devil,” and when the wonderful miracles wrought by Jesus Christ were charged to Beelzebub, the prince of devils. [John 10:20; Matthew 12:24.] This same spirit is manifested in 1895 where the truth is presented. The Holy Spirit is today moving upon the consciences of men, shining into the chambers of the mind and heart, speaking strength to the servants of God warnings and invitations. The Holy Spirit accompanies the believers by the way, impressing their hearts and comforting the souls of those that decide to obey the truth. This makes the words spoken efficient. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 9

The Unseen is working in every home and in every region, through His appointed agencies making Himself manifest to all men. Those who hear are also to bear witness of Him. “Ye also,” said Christ, “shall bear witness of me,” holding forth the “Word of life.” [John 15:27; Philippians 2:16.] “Ye are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] The pure, holy lives of believers will be a living sermon, an effective argument through which the Holy Spirit may convince and convict. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 10

The confession of the truth by those who see light in truth, their love, their self-denial, and self-sacrificing spirit, are living witnesses to the power of the truth. The change wrought in human hearts, in the transformation of human characters, are miracles which reveal an ever-living Saviour, working to save souls, seeking the lost sheep. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle today. A fervent zeal in behalf of perishing souls is the true fruit of genuine conversion. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 11

A heavenly spirit is kind, tender, and sympathetic, overflowing with love for those who are in peril. These are the fruits of that faith that works by love and purifies the souls. This grace of Christ is an almost irresistible power. It is thus that we may “compel them to come in.” [Luke 14:23.] This is what Christ referred to when he said, “Greater things than these (miracles) shall ye do, because I go to my Father.” [John 14:12.] 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 12

We do not force men, but they are compelled to repent by the working through us of the Holy Spirit, convicting them of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. The conscience is aroused by the views of truth in contradistinction to error, and there is deep regret in the soul because of the past guilt, and because of remaining so long in darkness and so long dishonoring God, transgressing His holy law and refusing to accept Christ as their personal Saviour; and they are constrained to seek for a knowledge of what they shall do to be saved. 10LtMs, Ms 9, 1895, par. 13