Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 63, 1900

Barnes, Sister [Edward] and Son

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 24, 1900

Previously unpublished.

Edward Barnes
South Lancaster, Massachusetts

Dear Sister Barnes and Son:

Brother Haskell writes me that you have entrusted to the cause of God some money to be used to advance the work in Australia. I thank our Heavenly Father for this evidence of his love for us. He has moved upon you, his stewards, to be touched with sympathy and compassion for this needy, destitute field. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 1

This part of the Lord’s vineyard is being worked. We are drawn out constantly to enter new fields. After each camp meeting the word comes, Advance. Add new territory to the Lord’s kingdom; proclaim the message in new places. Uplift the standard on which is inscribed, The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 2

In every place where camp meetings are held, the Lord works and gives power to the proclamation of His truth. People who have not entered a church for sixteen and twenty years come to our meetings. As they hear the truth for the first time, they are convicted and converted. Church members are also convicted. They say, We are hungry for truth, Bible truth. We have heard more of the Bible during this camp meeting than we have heard before in all our life time. We are feasting on the Word spoken. These, having lived up to all the light they have, and having been praying for greater light, gladly take hold of the message of truth. They are then baptized, and unite with the people of God. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 3

Then comes most bitter opposition from the churches. Every thing is said against the truth that can be said. False reports are circulated against Seventh-day Adventists. These have to be refuted. Yet notwithstanding the opposition, the truth advances step by step. The Lord is glorified. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 4

After a church has been organized, a humble house of worship is built. We then leave the church under proper guardianship, and enter another portion of the Lord’s vineyard. Additions are constantly being made to the churches raised up in this way. Men of all ranks and from all churches embrace the truth. The churches thus erected in cities and towns are God’s memorials. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 5

The different denominational churches manifest great zeal in clinging to traditional and hereditary opinions and practices. As new light from God’s Word is presented, bitter opposition is shown, for the church members declare that no innovations must be made, that their venerable theories must not be disturbed. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 6

Is it not passing strange that the churches should thus reject advanced truth? Has not light been increasing and precious truth been unfolding? We are to see increased light shining through the Word. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 7

You would be astonished at the ignorance that prevails among ministers and church members in regard to the plain, written Word. During the recent camp meeting in Geelong, our ministers read and explained the Word with great power. The gospel was made plain, rich currents of light attending the exposition of the Word. Christ’s words and the words of His disciples were presented in a way that made them mean so much that the people declared that Seventh-day Adventists had a Bible which was not the same as their Bible. One man came to one of our ministers to get a Bible just exactly like the one he preached from. One said, “I never in all my life heard such wonderful things.” 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 8

The presentation of gospel truth, which is the sure word of prophecy, in straightforward simplicity, held thousands as if spellbound. To some this was altogether another gospel from that which had been presented to them in the churches. One woman listened earnestly, and was trying to find the passages in her Bible when an elderly man went to her and said, “You need not look for such things in your Bible; for they have a different Bible.” But our people assured them that the Bibles were all the same. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 9

Thus it was evident that the shepherds had not fed the flocks with pure provender, thoroughly winnowed from all human sophistry, maxims, and traditions; that they had wrested the Scriptures, interpreting them according to their own vain philosophy, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, giving force and sanctity to Sunday, and trampling on the law of Jehovah. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 10

We are glad to see the work in this country making advance moves. Our work here at Cooranbong is growing. Our Retreat building is full of patients, and more room must be made for others that are waiting to come. The school is full of students, who are preparing themselves to enter new fields of labor. We are just beginning to do printing. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 11

We cannot accomplish as much in this line as we would like because we are so cramped for room. But our laborers in the Islands are calling for tracts in the different languages, that they may present the truth to the natives, and we are endeavoring to get some tracts into their hands which the natives can read. As fast as the Lord sends us means, we try to appropriate it where it will tell most. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 12

Our sanitarium work in Sydney is accomplishing a great deal of good, and we are very anxious to get a building erected on our own land which we have purchased. This land is just a little way from Sydney, in one of the most healthful locations in the colony. At present we have to rent several small houses in the neighborhood of the sanitarium to accommodate the patients, and even then the accommodations are so poor that we cannot do justice to the sick ones. But the work is the Lord’s, and we know that He has the means wherewith to carry it forward. My prayer is continually that the Lord will give His people increased faith and a desire to invest of their means to carry forward His work. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 13

Trusting that you and your mother may enjoy much of the blessing of the Lord, and receive rich reward in the kingdom of heaven, 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 14

I remain, 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 15

Your sister in Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 63, 1900, par. 16