Ms 23, 1895

Ms 23, 1895

The Australian Camp Meeting

Melbourne, Australia

November 19, 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in RH 01/07/1896.

The Australian camp meeting was held this year in Armadale, one of the suburbs of Melbourne. The meeting was well attended throughout, and with the exception of one or two days when the wind blew quite hard, the weather was all that could be desired. Many souls have received new light upon the Word of God, and some are rejoicing in the light of the third angel’s message. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 1

We will try and give the readers of the Review and Herald a short sketch of the meetings, referring briefly to the evidence of the workings of the Lord among the people. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 2

The campground was located near one of the suburban railway lines, about five minutes’ walk from Armadale Station, in a fair sized vacant lot. The soil was of a sandy nature, and as it was quite dry, we were not troubled with dampness in the tents. The tents, of which there were about sixty-five, were plainly seen from the passing trains, which advertised the meetings better than newspapers. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 3

Our party left Sydney October 17, and reached here the next day about noon. Brother Israel had secured a nice little cottage for me about three minutes’ walk from the ground. I was afraid to risk living in a tent in this climate. We found the following ministers in attendance at the meeting: Professor W. W. Prescott, Elders Daniells, Corliss, Wilson, Israel, Colcord, and Dr. M. G. Kellogg, and Elder Rousseau arrived the next day. These, with Willie and myself, made up the ministerial help; but there were a number of good Bible workers besides. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 4

The interest steadily increased from the commenced of the meetings. Services were held every evening during the week, and at eleven and three Sabbath and Sunday. Each afternoon during the week there was also either a Bible study or speaking. On Sabbath, October 19, Elder Corliss gave some valuable instruction in the forenoon, and in the afternoon I spoke from John 14, dwelling especially on the Samaritan woman’s case. The Lord strengthened me to bear my testimony in the name of the Lord. A testimony meeting followed, in which praise and glory were given to God for His unspeakable goodness and matchless love to fallen man in giving Jesus His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All seemed to have a desire to lift up Jesus higher and still higher. Some outsiders took part, one minister testifying that the blessing of God was in the meeting, and that it was good to be there. We felt much pleased to see so large an attendance. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 5

Sunday morning Elder Wilson, from New Zealand, spoke to those who assembled under the tent. He gave a most profitable, although plain and simple, discourse. It was beautiful in its simplicity. The simpler the teaching, the more the under-shepherd represents the Chief Shepherd. In the afternoon the pavilion was full to overflowing. Quite a number stood on the outside, and all listened with deep interest. The Lord strengthened His servant as I bore a plain testimony to the people, dwelling especially upon our obligation to acknowledge God in all our ways, and to seek more and more to obtain a knowledge of God, as presented in Christ’s prayer in the seventeenth chapter of John. In the evening Professor Prescott gave a most valuable lesson, precious as gold. The tent was full and many stood around the outside. All seemed to be fascinated with the Word, as he presented the truth in such new lines to those not of our faith. Truth was separated from error and made, by the divine Spirit, to shine like precious jewels. It was shown that perfect obedience to all the commandments of God is essential for the salvation of souls. Obedience to the laws of God’s kingdom reveal the divine in the human sanctifying the character. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 6

In visiting the people with the Echoes to invite them to the meetings, one of the workers met a women who had been keeping the Sabbath for about twelve months. She had never heard the living preacher, but in studying the Bible she was convicted that she was keeping the wrong day, that the seventh day was the true Bible Sabbath. She is now attending the meetings and feasting upon the truth. There are many interesting cases developing, who are just on the point of taking their stand. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 7

The Lord is working in power through His servants who are proclaiming the truth, and He has given Brother Prescott a special message for the people. The power and spirit of the truth come forth from human lips in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. The Lord has visited Brother Prescott in a most remarkable manner. We are sure that the Lord has endowed him with His Holy Spirit, and the truth is flowing forth from him in rich currents. And these truths have been listened to by both preachers and people not of our faith. After the meetings some have begged Brother Prescott to give them a copy of his discourse. Ministers say, “I want to give that to my congregation.” Sunday school teachers say, “I want to give these points to my scholars.” Maggie Hare, my reporter, takes the discourse down in shorthand, and copies have been given to some, who accept them eagerly. Entire families are interested. They say the Bible is to them a new revelation. The camp meeting has been held a full month, prolonged on account of the deep interest. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 8

We cannot speak of all the meetings particularly, but they have all been characterized by a spirit of seeking after the truth. At the Brighton meeting two years ago, there were many who came on the ground out of curiosity; but there have been very few of that stamp here. They come straight into the meeting tent, sit down quietly, and listen intently to the discourse, and then go right home, unless they want to stop and ask the speaker some questions. Sometimes I have hardly been able to get out of the tent, so many strangers have pressed forward to speak to me and tell me how they have been blessed by what they have heard. I have spoken eighteen times, besides a number of short talks. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 9

(A man by the name of Stewart took up a position two Sundays on the opposite side of the street to the campground and railed against the truth. But he can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. Some of the people went over to hear him after our meeting was over, but he is doing nothing special. He mentioned my name in an objectionable light, and a man who had just heard me speaking said he would give more for one fiber of Mrs. White’s brain than he would for his whole brain and body; and many voices hissed him for attacking a woman. Our Lord is cognizant of the conflict His people will have with satanic agencies in these last days.) 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 10

With the greatest simplicity and candor He points out the dangers; He shows as the plan of the battle, the hazardous nature of the work to be done, and bids us count the cost before entering the conflict. At the same time He encourages all to take up their weapons and join the heavenly host to battle in defense of truth and righteousness. Although the confederacy of evil is arrayed against us, He bids us be strong and fight valiantly, for there is a heaven to win, and we have more than angels in our ranks—a mighty General of armies leads on the armies of heaven. God has promised us all power. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 11

It is not great talent that we want now, it is humble hearts who will engage in direct, consecrated, personal effort—watching, praying, working with all perseverance. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 12

Camp meetings are a success in arresting the attention of the people. Many who attended the Brighton meeting two years ago have been present at the Armadale meeting. They went through that meeting without deciding to obey the truth, but are manifesting a greater interest here; and some have taken their position now in obedience to the truth. Twenty were baptized Sunday, November 10. I understand these were not all new converts, but some came from other places to be baptized. The harvest truly is great and the laborers are few. The people in the suburbs of Melbourne are calling: “Set up your tents in our locality and let the people hear the things you have preached in Armadale; we all need the words that you have spoken there.” If we only had a supply of workers and money, we could keep several tents going in these suburbs. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 13

I must get my books published, as soon as possible, so that the people can have the light God has given me. And I want to use the royalties on these books to sustain the work in new fields. The last message of mercy is to be proclaimed in our large cities, and in the byways also. Already inquiries are being made, If we embrace the truth, where is the place to worship in? We see and feel the necessity of preparing a place where the sheep and lambs can be called into the fold as soon as they leave their churches. Meetinghouses must be built. It will not do to leave the people without a place where they can assemble to worship God. Oh, we see so many places to be worked! And where is the means? Every shilling is precious; there are so many ways that shillings can be invested. There is enough work to employ twenty workers right here in Melbourne and its suburbs. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 14

But our forces must be divided now. Elders Daniells and Prescott remain here to continue the work, while we go to Tasmania, where another camp meeting is to be held November 28 - December 9th. Professor Prescott may be able to attend toward the close of the meetings. If the interest in Hobart demands it, we may extend the meeting another week. 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 15

At this meeting we have had seasons of silent communion with God; a time set apart when every soul could feel that he could study the Word of God without interruption, that they might sharpen their weapons to do the best and most essential work in God’s great harvest field. We have precious golden hours wherein we can cultivate faith and perfect a Christian character. We need to watch and pray, Be sober and watch unto prayer. We have an inexhaustible storehouse, an ocean of love in the God of our salvation. I refrain, exclaiming with John, “Behold.” [1 John 3:1.] 10LtMs, Ms 23, 1895, par. 16