Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 12, 1899

Walling, Addie; Walling, May

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 26, 1899

This letter is published in entirety in 13MR 105-110. +Note

Dear Addie and May Walling:

Newcastle has been considered the hardest place where we could begin labor, but during our camp meeting we had special evidence that the Spirit of the Lord had prepared the way before us. There has been nothing like it in our entire experience. There was such perfect order among those who came to the grounds. There was very little of the usual strolling about the grounds for sightseeing. There was no murmuring or complaining. There seemed to be a holy hush, a quietude, upon the entire encampment. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 1

The ground was large, containing about five acres, with a piece of brush at one side. From the brush there ascended many earnest prayers from ministers and church members. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 2

We had our old family tent which we purchased from Brother Hickox at the Brighton camp meeting. This was occupied by members of my family. We had also a dining tent and a cooking tent. W. C. White had a tent on the ground. We had also two pleasant rooms, about two minutes’ walk from the ground. I had one of these, and the other was occupied by W. C. White, May, and the twins. The measles was prevalent, and W. C. White’s family were attacked. All who came to the campground had to return home. W. C. White himself was threatened. But by the last week of the meeting the trouble was over, and the whole family were on the campground. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 3

The grounds are very pleasant. There is a thick mat of grass, so that but few tents had to be floored. The use of the ground was granted us free. The steam tram cars stopped at the encampment at the time of the afternoon and evening service. This was not their usual stopping place, but the managers seemed ready to favor us. Indeed all seemed ready to accommodate us, and glad for the opportunity. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 4

We have never attended a meeting where such an intense interest was manifested, and we have never seen a more promising congregation assembled. People came from all the churches, and in our social meetings excellent testimonies were borne by church members. All were free to express themselves that the meetings were a blessing to them. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 5

Nearly every day a health talk was given by one of the doctors from Sydney, usually Dr. Caro. The physicians are doing all they can in advancing the health reform and medical missionary work. This finds favor everywhere. There has been strong solicitation for a branch of the medical missionary work to be planted in Newcastle Merchants, bankers, the very first class of the community, are ready to co-operate with our people in the work. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 6

This camp meeting was at the right time and in the right place. All the way from Newcastle to Cooranbong there are places all ready to be worked. It is of great consequence to us and the school at Cooranbong that a solid church be raised up at Newcastle. It is so near us that after the special work of gathering in the harvest has taken place, the work can be carried forward to quite an extent by helpers from here. Several have already taken their position to keep the Sabbath, and yet the work continues. We have a large new tent, which was purchased by donations. The cost was about $300. Herbert Lacey and his wife remain in Newcastle for a time to assist in the work. Brother and Sister Starr are there with a number of Bible workers and canvassers. Brother Colcord spends a portion of his time there. His family are in Cooranbong, occupying the convent building. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 7

The wonderful interest aroused by the camp meeting has been a great surprise to all. At the evening meetings through the week there was an attendance of not less than a thousand persons, and on one occasion, it was nearly three thousand. All were as quiet as if it were a church. At the last of the third week the crowds were tremendous. It was a sight to see the great tent packed full of people. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 8

In the morning and sometimes in the afternoon children’s meetings were held, and on some occasion nearly four hundred children were present. These meetings were under the supervision of Sister Peck, with the assistance of a number of Sabbath school teachers. It was a pleasant sight to see all through the week a large number of children, neatly dressed, assembling to receive instruction. Meetings were held for the instruction of teachers in Sabbath-school work. There were superintendents of Sunday schools who came to obtain all the information possible. They said that new methods must be brought into their schools. This will give some idea of the influence of the meetings. A great work was done. We know that the Lord’s host was on the encampment, and the Holy Spirit is still striving with hearts. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 9

This is a coal mining district. The superintendent of one of the mines told some of our people that it was impossible for us to estimate the good that had been done by this camp meeting. “It has penetrated all through our mine,” he said, “and we seem to be breathing a purer atmosphere.” This is the opinion expressed by leading men, merchants, bankers, and all kinds of people. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 10

This is a most favorable situation for medical missionary work. The large class of miners need the gospel as verily as do the far-off heathen. In this very location there is an abundance of work to be done in the Lord’s vineyard. This field, almost in the shadow of Cooranbong, is fully as essential to be worked as Africa or India. And the fact that they are English-speaking people gives them a special claim upon us. I see a great work to be done. The Lord knew just where to locate the school in Australia. His wisdom has planned that these miners should have a chance. There will be a work for many of our students to engage in which is fully as essential as in the missionary fields afar off. The temperance and medical missionary work should be established here. A large work can be done, and we must see that it shall be carried forward solidly. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 11

We shall have to erect meetinghouses in different places. There is an old stone meetinghouse at Wallsend, ten miles this side of Newcastle. It has been left vacant and has been roughly used, and is now offered for sale cheap. If we can get the means, we will purchase it, and put in new floor, windows, and roofing. The ground is high, and the location excellent. The truth must be presented in all the suburbs of Newcastle. This place being only a short distance from Cooranbong, we can send workers there, and we long to do this. The church can be purchased for about £80. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 12

All our ministering brethren are convinced that there is not a better location for our school. We are not a great distance from Queensland, and from the light given me of the Lord, I know that all the places on the way to Brisbane—Newcastle, Maitland, Singleton, Toowoomba, are to be like links in a chain reaching to Cooranbong. And from Cooranbong there are places to be worked all along the line to Sydney. O, it is a great field, just as dark as heathen lands, unless the light of truth shall pass through it as a lamp that burneth. The Lord has looked upon the darkness. “And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” [Genesis 1:3.] “I am,” said Christ, “the light of the world.” [John 8:12.] 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 13

The souls that are here to be saved are just as precious as are souls thousands of miles away, and we can work for them with far less outlay of means. This work means business. It means much to us. Christ is indeed the light of the world, and the Holy Spirit is waiting to communicate to the eye of the soul that power of sight which will reveal to the perishing the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is to be uplifted before the people. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 14

Yesterday a telegram was received from our workers at Newcastle, asking us to send our carriage to the station for a party coming from that place. A family came to see the school, with the purpose of placing in it one of their sons. There were father, mother, daughter, about thirty years old, and two boys. They have several stores in Newcastle, in the drapery business. They were much pleased with the place, and decided to send their son to the school. These people were interested and deeply impressed at the camp meetings. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 15

Several families are thinking of sending their children to the school. There was a Jew, his wife a Christians, from Maitland, who thought of moving to Cooranbong with his family, that he might send his daughter to the school. He was present on the last day of the camp meeting, and heard me speak on Sunday afternoon. Many said he was deeply impressed. He was also much impressed by the evening discourse. After the meeting he went home, and talked with his wife to a late hour. He said, I must acknowledge that this people have the truth. He felt deeply. The next morning he was found dead in his bed. He died from heart disease. I do not know what course the family will not take, but they will be visited. They are in comfortable circumstances, having several houses in Maitland. May the Lord save the souls of that family is my prayer. 14LtMs, Lt 12, 1899, par. 16