Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12

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Lt 37, 1897

Davis, Marian

Stanmore, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

November 19, 1897

This letter is published in entirety in 12MR 345-362.

Dear Marian:

I feel very grateful to my heavenly Father for the strength He has given me to reach this place. At Morisset we got into a ladies’ compartment, in which were three women, one young girl, and one well behaved baby. The seat was hard, and I had to sit up, but I was not tired. When we reached Gosford, we changed into a second class compartment, and the seats were in every way as good as in the first class car. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 1

The change of trains at Strathfield was rather hard for Sara, but she got all fixed up nicely. After the change was made, we had to wait about three quarter of an hour for a train to Stanmore; and at Stanmore we could find no conveyance to take us the short distance up the hill to the home for the workers. Sara had to find a cart that would take all our luggage, and then I took her arm and walked slowly up the hill. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 2

Oh, how pleased I was to enter the room that was waiting for us. It is a very pleasant room, with two windows and two doors, one door opening into the hall, the other onto the piazza. I lay down at once, and then heard a little about the meetings here. I have written a few words to Brother Wilson, which I wish you and the family to see. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 3

Last Sunday the tent was not only crowded, but the people stood ten feet deep on the outside. From what little I have heard, the interest seems to me to resemble that which was manifested in 1844. The work of the Spirit of God upon hearts has indeed begun. All the heavenly intelligences are waiting for channels through which they can communicate the light of truth, and to help in the work to be done in human hearts. The whole community is stirred. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 4

Mrs. Gorrick is keeping the Sabbath. One of her neighbors, a member of the High Church, wished her to meet Cardinal Moran at her house, and she consented to do so. When he came in, the lady of the house fell on her knees before him and kissed first one hand and then the other. This both astonished and disgusted Mrs. Gorrick. She was then introduced to him. He began questioning her and entered into conversation with her, giving a lengthy talk in regard to the church and its delegated power and authority. He then spoke of a very desirable piece of land they were anxious to purchase, telling her that he thought Mr. Gorrick could in some way secure this land for them, without letting the owners know for what purpose it was to be used. He asked her if they could not help them. She told him that they were deciding to unite with the Seventh-day Adventists, and would help them build a church; she had accepted the seventh-day Sabbath, she said, which was the Sabbath of the Bible. The first day was not the Sabbath. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 5

Cardinal Moran told her that all Protestants should keep the seventh day, that they had no reason for keeping Sunday as a holy day. The Roman Catholics, he said, had a right to keep Sunday; but Protestants had nothing to base their faith upon in their observance of that day. She told him that she had been considering this matter very thoroughly, and had come to the true church. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 6

They had, I believe, a very earnest talk, but Mrs. Gorrick is more firm and decided than before this interview. She can see plainly that the authorities of the Catholic church set themselves above God, assuming the place of God, and speaking with the authority of God. This interview will not only enlighten her eyes, but, through her, the Lord can enlighten the eyes of many others. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 7

The people act as if they had never read their Bibles. Many are thoroughly aroused. Sister Haskell has just come in, and tells us that another lady has been found keeping the Sabbath. This lady begged that her husband might be visited. She wants him to be converted as she has been. They promised to visit him. Every day new Sabbathkeepers are found. Some have been keeping the Sabbath since before the camp meeting closed. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 8

I will tell you more when I learn more. This is a wonderful interest. The Holy Spirit is working on human hearts. The people are apparently greedy for the truth. They appreciate the Word of God; it seems so wonderful to them. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 9

I can see more clearly now why the light was given me to give to our people in regard to advertising the camp meeting. Elder Daniells wrote to Brother Baker, saying that there should be a company of workers begin labor in Sydney and its suburbs some weeks before the opening of the camp meeting. He wrote me in regard to the matter. That night, after receiving Brother Baker’s letter, enclosing a copy of the letter from Brother Daniells, the Lord gave me light. I saw that it was not the best thing to do [to] make our plans known and advertise the meetings to be held, for in doing this we would prepare the way for the ministers of the churches to arm themselves with all their implements of warfare, and by their falsehoods in their publications make the people bitter opponents to the truth. I was shown that the best plan on this occasion was to come on the people as a surprise, and let them have an opportunity to hear for themselves before the ministers of all denominations should rally their forces to misinterpret our work and pour in their false reports. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 10

Well, Brother Baker carried out this instruction to the letter. The cautions given were heeded. The light given was, When the seed of truth has been sown in the hearts of the people by the laborers at the camp meeting, then those who remain to follow up the work will, through the Spirit’s power, be prepared to ripen off the work and gather in the harvest. The means used before the camp meeting would not be one-third as successful as the same expense and labor put forth after the influence of the meeting had been felt. In many cases such large advertising and distribution of publications hedges up the way instead of preparing it. Now we see a large, deep interest, and if the working forces will walk softly before God; if they will walk humbly, and pray, and watch unto prayer, they will have the co-operation of heavenly angels. Christ will work by His Holy Spirit upon human hearts. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 11

The work is advancing, and all are of excellent courage in the Lord. I am so glad, so thankful to God for all His benefits and blessings. I felt the peace of God in my heart in coming to this place. Now in my weakness I speak to the people on the morrow (Sabbath). After three weeks of sickness, I go forth in the name of the Lord. He has given me a message to bear to the people, and He will give me strength to bear it. My heart cries out after the living God. I shall pray, I shall believe and praise God, because I believe He will help me. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 12

I have been thinking that it would be a good thing to send down all those little books by Brother Haughey on the coming of the Lord. I have saved some to carry to different places, but will now have them sent down here. Then there are our papers, Present Truth, the Signs of the Times, Youth’s Instructor, and our church papers. Gather up what you can find in my room, and send them down. We will try to get subscribers for some of these papers. I want to see those who are interested furnished with reading matter. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 13

Now comes the donation of perhaps fifty or one hundred of my books, just as necessity demands. I have brought some with me, and have several others in mind. I must have Patriarchs and Prophets, and The Great Controversy. I do so want that book on temperance. I need also books on the life of Christ. I want to get these things in the hands of those who do not have them. Will you see if there are some of the best bound books in my stock? Let there be quite a box of books—a variety of what I have on hand—sent. This is the time I can show liberality to some purpose, to help establish souls in the truth. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 14

But the Sabbath is drawing on, and I must close and mail this. Believers and unbelievers are all deeply interested. They say, You are going to build a meetinghouse, are you not? And they are all ready for the proposition. Next Sunday night the matter of building will be laid before the people. All will be given an opportunity to donate. The time has come to, “Arise and build.” [Nehemiah 2:20.] We need much more faith to stir us up to zeal and good works. Now the time has fully come for a house to be built for the Lord. God will help all those who are pushing forward and not holding back. The Lord has a great work to be done in the city of Sydney. We will advance as long as we hear the word, “Go forward.” May the Lord bless you all. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 15

Much love to all. 12LtMs, Lt 37, 1897, par. 16