Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 27, 1897

Belden, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 10, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 335-336.

Dear Brother and Sister Belden:

I arise some time before day to write you a few lines to go out in the mail. I know not when a steamer for Norfolk leaves. I have written to you by every steamer that I learned was going to Norfolk. I was told that the last steamer went by Auckland and that you would not get your letter for three months. I will send this at once, but I do not know when the steamer will leave. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 1

I have been quite sick since the camp meeting. This meeting was very like our American camp meetings. How I did wish that Brother Nobbs and your two selves were with us. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 2

Some weeks before the meeting word was sent by Elder Daniells to set all the forces possible in operation to circulate the Echo, and work zealously in various ways to advertise the meeting. Thus we have been accustomed to do to wake up a lively interest in the meeting, and secure an attendance. But my mind was deeply impressed that this was not the best thing to do in this case. We must not always keep the very same routine of working. We must not make a stir, but keep as quiet as possible. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 3

When armies are preparing for battle, the generals and officers do not give publicity to their movements. In quiet and secrecy they make known to a few trusted men who have charge of the enterprise their plans and the manner of conducting the battle. Should they lay open their designs to all, there would be plenty to meet them. Others would be enlightened as to what methods to set in operation to defeat the plans made. It is considered a betrayal of important trust to our enemies as to how the battle is to be conducted. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 4

We should be careful and close when entering new fields to proclaim the truth, and more so in localities where the truth has been presented and opposed from the pulpit and by mob raids. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 5

I knew that the very best way would be to secure the ground, and then surprise the people by rapidly building our city of tents, having sufficient help and facilities to do rapid work, and giving as little time as possible for the ministers to commence their warnings from the pulpits and push forward the circulation of their false statements. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 6

We must devise and plan wisely, that the people may have an opportunity to hear for themselves the important message of warning to be given to all that will hear. It is the last message of mercy to the world. The people should be warned to make ready for the great day of God, which is right upon them. We have no time to lose. We must do our utmost to reach the people where they are. All that can be done should be done without delay. The great day of the Lord is near; it hasteth greatly. The world is now reaching the boundary line in impenitence and disregard for the laws of the government of God. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 7

In every city of our world the warning will be proclaimed of its sure ruin, because the inhabitants imagine and practice evil, and that continually. Horse racing, gambling, betting, drunkenness, and all kinds of lasciviousness is seen on all sides, almost without limit. “The wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 8

Now every soul who has a knowledge of the truth should practice the truth, and appreciate and rejoice in the truth, that they may shine amid the moral darkness that is covering our world like the pall of death. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 9

Our meeting has ended. From the very first day, October 21, up to the present time, the interest has not abated. At the first meeting the large tent was crowded, and a wall of people stood round the outside. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 10

I spoke six times on Sabbath, Sunday, and Wednesday afternoons to the crowd that assembled, and five times in various lines to our people. We had the best of ministerial labor. Elders Haskell, Daniells, Farnsworth, Robinson, Hare, Colcord, Baker, Starr, Professor Hughes, and Brother Crothers were present. The word was spoken in no faltering, hesitating manner, but in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power. The interest was superior to anything we have seen in any camp meeting in this country. We feel very grateful to the Lord for this opportunity of making known the light of present truth. As in Christ’s day, the people listen, and are astonished and captivated. They say, “We never heard anything like this. O how I wish I could have heard all these things before. I never knew such things were in the Bible. I see that the work before me is to search the Scriptures as I have never done before.” 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 11

The Word of God has indeed been like a sword, quick and powerful. The crowds of people listened interestedly for one and nearly two hours without showing any appearance of weariness. O I am so glad, so thankful. I praise the Lord with heart, and soul, and voice. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 12

Brother Haskell and wife, Brother Starr and wife, and several workers are keeping up the interest in Stanmore. This interest does not flag. The big tent has been taken down and sent to Melbourne. The forty foot tent is being spliced in the center, so that it will seat as many as possible, and will be used here. A house has been rented to accommodate the workers. A room has been prepared for me, and if I am able, I shall probably go to Sydney this week to join the workers. We must do all we possibly can to make this effort a success. Elder Haskell writes cheeringly in regard to the work there and the unflagging interest. 12LtMs, Lt 27, 1897, par. 13