Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 136, 1897

Winslow, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 7, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 335-338.

Dear Brother and Sister Winslow:

We were much pleased to see W. C. White again. He is looking better healthwise than when he left us, ten months since. He did not come to his home in Cooranbong until after the Sydney camp meeting closed. Mrs. May White, Ella and Mabel, James Henry and Herbert, all went to Sydney to meet W. C. White. I remained in Cooranbong until a place could be made ready for me. For the accommodation of our two families on the campground, we had a large square tent, floored, which was partitioned off as parlor and sleeping room for our family. We had a dining tent, W. C. White had a dining tent, and both families used the cooking tent. Ella and Mabel White slept in W. C. White’s dining tent. They had a bedroom partitioned off with curtains. We also hired three rooms in a house near the ground. W. C. White, May, and the two boys occupied one room. I slept in a good room upstairs, opening on to a piazza, and a member of my family, an old gentleman seventy-seven years old, who boards with us, and is a devoted servant of God, slept in the room below. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 1

Stanmore is only a few stations from Sydney. It is a thickly settled suburb, and is a very popular place. Here we found a most beautiful, grassy plot of ground, so thickly carpeted with grass that we needed no board floors. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 2

The camp meeting just held in this place is the best camp meeting we have held in this country in this respect. So thick was the grass that the dust troubled us very little. Only two camp meetings have been held in New South Wales. Of this one, no notice was given in the papers. The village of tents was speedily erected, and seemed to be a surprise to the inhabitants of Stanmore. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 3

Thursday evening was appointed for the first meeting. Small paper notices had been distributed by diligent workers, and we were pleased to see the people flocking to the ground, and quietly taking their seats in the large tent, until it could hold no more. A crowded wall of people stood outside the tent. All listened with interest to Elder Daniells, who spoke with clearness and power. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 4

Friday morning at 6 a.m. a meeting was held in the tent, and the largest number assembled that we have yet seen at our early morning meetings in Australia. A season of prayer was held, and testimony meeting followed. There was no dragging. All seemed to have come prepared to witness for God. Short, spirited testimonies of praise and thanksgiving was the order of the meeting. I had something to say, and had freedom in speaking words of encouragement, hope, and thanksgiving to God. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 5

Thus our meeting opened well. Most of the students were present. Before the school closed twenty of them had been baptized. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 6

But I have not strength to tell you of all the good things that I might in the history of this meeting. The meetings continued over two Sabbaths. I spoke Sabbath, Sunday, and Wednesday afternoons. At each meeting the large tent was crowded. To the very last of the meeting there was no falling off in numbers. On Sunday, in order that the crowd might be seated, the children were called into a forty foot tent to a meeting of their own under the charge of good workers. Then our own people were invited to give the outside people room. I believe the angels of God were upon the ground. There was complete order, with the exception of one or two who asked questions. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 7

On the last Sunday afternoon and evening the largest crowd was out. Everything was as quiet as in a meetinghouse. You may depend that there had been much praying in regard to this meeting. I do not see how it could have been improved. We had most excellent ministerial help in Elders Farnsworth, Robinson, Daniells, Hare, Starr, W. C. White, and your humble servant E. G. White. But I almost forgot to mention Brethren Hughes, Wilson, Colcord, and Crothers. The people had an opportunity to hear for themselves before the ministers could get their congregations together and warn them not to come and hear. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 8

As the time appointed for the close of the meetings came, the interest seemed to be at the very highest, and the question was asked, Shall the meetings be continued one week longer? The outsiders voted decidedly for it, with upraised hands. Although it was decided not to prolong the camp meeting, as some had to go to Melbourne to prepare for the meeting to be held there in two weeks, Elders Haskell, Starr, Baker, Farnsworth, and Robinson remained over Sabbath and Sunday, and will remain until the following Thursday to follow up the interest. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 9

I spoke six times to large crowds, besides five times at the early morning meetings. I left the camp last Monday, to return home for rest, preparatory to uniting with our people who remain in Sydney to carry on the interest there, or to go to Melbourne if not too much exhausted. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 10

The interest has extended to the suburbs all round Sydney. Several kept the Sabbath for the first time last Sabbath. Several have been baptized, and many are deeply convicted. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 11

A house has been hired as a home for the workers, and in which to hold a Bible school to teach them how to work. They will sell Echoes and get into the homes to give Bible readings. We are seeking the Lord most earnestly for wisdom to manage this interest wisely. We need the angels of God in the home and in the tent and with every worker. We have not seen an interest that has been so great as this since coming to this country. This work will require means to carry it forward. We need the Holy Spirit every day to work with human agents. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 12

If the Lord strengthens me, I expect to leave Cooranbong for Sydney next Thursday, and wait there for light as to where I am most needed, in Stanmore where there is a most important work to be carried forward, or in Melbourne. May the Lord direct me. For one week I have been in a suffering, exhausted condition. I have been home one week tomorrow, but have not yet been able to sit at table with the family. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 13

The goods came today, and I was much pleased to receive the token you sent me. Thank you, my sisters. There were several tokens of regard from my friends in Battle Creek. I fear I shall not be able to write to them all personally this time, for I was not able to write during the camp meeting, and have been very ill for most of the time since I returned home. But I have felt that I must write to you, for we were once so closely bound together, your father and mother, Fannie and yourself, James White, Henry White, and Ellen G. White. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 14

Time has wrought great changes. In a few weeks I shall be seventy years old. Only think of it. Yet we are still here to work for the dear Lord, whose service is dearer to me than my life. I love the Lord Jesus. I love the souls for whom He has died, that they might not perish but believe in Him and have eternal life. Thank the Lord that His power can save to the uttermost all who believe in Him. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 15

Willie lives on the other side of the road, in a comfortable cottage. He is much pleased with the house I have built for him. It has two broad piazzas, where the boys can run and play. They are fine healthy, sturdy boys. The father and mother think much of them, and we are all in no way behind in this. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 16

I would be so pleased to see you, and have a long talk with you. In much love to yourselves and family. 12LtMs, Lt 136, 1897, par. 17