Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 13, 1897


“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 27, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 125; 4Bio 335. +Note

Dear Brethren:

I must place before you ideas that I cannot withhold. Is it at this time best to let every one possible know that there is to be a camp meeting held by Seventh-day Adventists? By the putting of God into the constitution as a religious enactment, the religious liberty question and Seventh-day Adventism have been pretty thoroughly ventilated. Will it be best to call much notice to our camp meeting? Will it not rather be best to set up the tents, and then let the people know; after the meeting has commenced doing the work of advertising? In spreading the intelligence of a Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting, are we not furnishing ammunition to our foes, the priests and rulers, encouraging them to make Seventh-day Adventists their target, and by misinterpretation, falsehood, and every other method, warn the churches and keep the people away? Would we really be advancing the work, or retarding it? 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 1

I present this matter before you. After an interest has been created by the camp meeting, then is the time that a special work should be done in following up the interest created. The greatest secrecy is needed in some cases, lest there be created an intense opposition that will prevent the people from coming to the meeting to hear for themselves. The spies were sent out to search the land, but they were to go secretly, lest the forces of opposition should strengthen themselves against them for warfare, and make it much harder to go up and possess the land. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 2

Great wisdom should be used that no unadvised move be made, and satanic agencies stirred up to oppose, before the people shall have a chance to hear and know what they are opposing. If a camp-meeting can be started, to break in upon the community unexpectedly, the opposing elements will not be aroused with an intensity moved by Satan’s agencies to hold the people in error and darkness. The warning must be given, but let us give as little chance as possible for Satan to work, by moving cautiously and making no stir before. Let all the effort possible be put forth after the meeting closes. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 3

I understand that the ground you happened to select at Stanmore is absolutely refused you. Try in other places. It was not a bad ground on which the camp meeting was held in Ashfield. I know it would be much better to have the camp meeting in a new locality, but if the way seems to be hedged up, you cannot do less than look at the ground where the meeting was held three years ago. The Lord will open the way, we shall see His hand guiding and directing us where to hold our camp meeting. If every other door is closed, there is Parramatta or Granville. A meeting would do almost as much good there as in the suburbs of Sydney. But the suburbs are our first choice. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 4

Now in regard to the letter you sent in reference to the young man. I will take it to the school this morning and see what is the word. If they do not see light in his working through vacation, I will encourage you to send for him, and will venture to encourage him that he can have the advantages of the school. I will see that his school expenses are paid. You can, Brother Baker, send the money to get him here, and if the school does not see fit to take this responsibility, I will do it. He must have the benefits of the camp meeting, if possible. I will see Brother Haskell and Brother Hughes this morning. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 5

We had counted on having Brother Baron to act in his line as builder in the erection of the church here in Cooranbong. If he should go to Sydney, we must be at the expense of sending for an experienced carpenter. There are men right around you whom you can employ, and when he can be spared from this job, he can do the work you want done, and be with you in the position he has heretofore occupied. Brother Baron agreed to come next Monday and get to work, and we need him very much if this church is to be done in the appointed time. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 6

With respect. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 7


Brother Baker wrote me that he had received a letter from Elder Daniells in regard to the work to be done in advertising the camp meeting by distributing notices and Echoes, thus preparing the people to manifest an interest in the truth that is to be presented. At that time, Brother Baker alone was here to engage in the work. It was proposed to send others to carry the work through. But light was given me by the Lord that it was not the best plan to make a display of what we were going to do, for just as soon as our intentions were made known, our enemies would be roused to block the way. Ministers would be called into the field to resist the message of truth. Warnings from the pulpit would be given to the congregations throughout Sydney, telling them the things that the Adventists designed to do. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 8

From the light given me by the Lord, I have a warning to present to our brethren. Do not wise generals keep their movements strictly secret, lest the enemy shall learn their plans, and work to counteract them. If the enemy has no knowledge of their movements, they have an advantage. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 9

We are to study the field carefully, and are not to think that we must follow the same methods in every place. If we move wisely, without one tinge of boasting, without stopping to challenge the enemy, if we advance one line of truth after another, crowding in the most important and soul-testing, the Lord will take care of the result. But just as soon as men think themselves able and efficient, they will fail. They may have some knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures, but if they do not understand from whence their help cometh, they will not do as much as simple, humble laymen, who understand how to pray and believe and trust in God. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 10

Wait; pitch the tents when the time for camp meeting comes. Put them up rapidly, and then give notice of the meetings. Whatever may have been your former practice, it is not necessary to repeat it again and again in the same way. God would have new and untried methods followed. Break in upon the people. Surprise them, without going into large expense to publish to Sydney what our purpose is. Let men stand, as it were, still, while the strength of God advances. Then follow. When it is apparent that the time has come to advance in new lines and new ways, do so, if possible. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 11

I have another warning to give. If any minister shall seek to draw the workers into debate or controversy on political or other questions, take no heed to his persuasions or his dares. Carry the work of God forward firmly and strongly, but as silently as possible. Let no human boasting be heard. Let no sign of self-sufficiency be made. Let it be seen that God has called us to handle sacred trusts, to preach the Word, to be diligent, earnest, and fervent. Lie low, if you would have clear views of truth and clear views of duty. Cease not to pray earnestly and humbly that God will work in you, to will and to do His good pleasure. God is willing to do much for His people, if man will not interfere by taking the work out of God’s hands into His own finite hands. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 12

At our yearly camp meetings there should be abundant ministerial help. Leave not one man to do all the ministering. A variety of gifts is needed. Fresh capabilities must be brought into the work. Let God vivify human agents. The Holy Spirit must work on the mind. Then the voice will be heard speaking with freshness and power. It is not the best policy to allow a constant strain to come upon one or two men. Under this strain they become physically and intellectually exhausted. They are rendered incapable of doing the work appointed them in behalf of their fellow men. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 13

God calls upon men to co-operate with His power. He alone can make the Word effective and give the increase. Faith must be kept in constant exercise, that the Christian duties to be done for those who shall attend our camp meetings may be faithfully performed. Those who do the commandments of God will in every tent effort add to their faith virtue, “and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity; and if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:5-8.] 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 14

The Lord calls upon His servants to have faith. In the past unbelief has kept away His richest blessings. His servants have not in contrition of soul made God their entire trust. Truth in its solemn reality has not been comprehended. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 15

In this great work our ministers must have a more thorough sense of their responsibility to God. This is the most powerful of all motives to spiritual advance and earnest effort. It is the efforts springing from and carried out by man that are such a hindrance that God has little room to work. Lower motives mingle with sacred responsibilities, and unsteady efforts result. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 16

A selfish confinement of the work of God to finite business principles is weakening and not strengthening. The work of God is susceptible of more breadth and fulness in every respect than it has yet [had]. The self-interest that has come in has ruined the work in Battle Creek. The Lord will not bless a line of work that is prescribed to certain limits. Selfishness woven into the publishing interests and tract and missionary branches of the work is a deadly foe to its purity, excellency, and high, exalted character. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 17

Ambition, if brought into the different lines of work, is a hindrance rather than a blessing. Disappointment and disgust is always the outgrowth of doing business selfishly. God’s work must never again be carried on as it has been in Battle Creek—interwoven with unjust principles. It is now like a poor, stranded bark, a leaky vessel, because men were eager to control and monopolize everything. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 18

But God said, I will bring it to nought. Unholy impulses have spread wider and wider. Men have thought that if they took in everything, they could control everything, and make all a success. The warnings of God have been cast aside as not meaning what they declared. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 19

All the branches of God’s work must move upon unselfish, pure, holy, elevated, and sanctified principles. Then there will be complete unity in every branch. The work will be a complete whole. God will be regarded as the great efficiency. The workers will act with a steady, harmonious balance, drawing in even lines, with steady and ever increasing force onward. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 20

God will permit disappointment to come, to test and prove us. Perfection of character cannot be secured without the testing and proving of God. God makes it necessary for us to call faith into exercise, that this faith may bring the needed results. But unless our souls are constantly guarded, high-mindedness will creep in. The thought will intrude, “We will make a high record. We will exalt others,” when really, it is for ourselves that we are planning to get glory. Thus self-deception comes upon us. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 21

Satan is active and cruel in his devising. Let none of us talk humility and practice high-mindedness. Let us fear lest we fail of the grace of God. We need the simple faith in Christ that works by love and purifies the soul. Faith in Jesus, if it is genuine faith, always means conversion. He who has this faith gives diligence to make his calling and election sure. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 22


Thursday night, at the first meeting of the camp, the large tent was crowded, and the people stood like a wall on the outside. Elder Daniells spoke with clearness and force. On Thursday night just as large a congregation gathered. We see that the Lord is at work. May He create an interest in the hearts of those that come to the meetings. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 23

All seem to be interested in the meetings. One lady and then another told me that they had read my books. One lady told me that she had Great Controversy, and her daughter had Patriarchs and Prophets. She said that she had never read anything that made so deep an impression on her mind. She mentioned several books that she had which treated on present truth. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 24

On Sabbath morning Brother Haskell presented the truth in the Spirit and power of God. The tent was full. In the afternoon I spoke from 1 John 1:1-4. The tent was again filled, and numbers stood on the outside. 12LtMs, Lt 13, 1897, par. 25