Lt 180, 1899

1899

Lt 180, 1899

Irwin, G. A.

Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

November 7, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Irwin:

In this place, Maitland, there is great wickedness. Churches of all denominations are here, and it can truly be said, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and is become the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. ... Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and receive not of her plagues.” [Revelation 18:2, 4.] In this place I recognize a people who are left without a true shepherd. They have not had a fair chance. The shepherds feed themselves, but do not feed the flock. They kill those that are fed, but do not reform them. Lt180-1899.1

We have had rain, I believe, every day since the camp meeting commenced. On Sabbath there were a good many people out. A number of unbelievers were present. In the afternoon I spoke from the fourteenth chapter of John. On Sunday afternoon the Lord gave me special strength and great freedom. In the evening Brother Daniells gave a discourse on the time of the end. It was a solemn, powerful discourse. Lt180-1899.2

The meetings have made a deep impression upon the minds of unbelievers. Some of the Wesleyan church members are very much troubled in regard to the worldliness of professing Christians. They are, as one member of the church expressed it, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. One man talking with Brother Starr, said that men who have never entered a church are attending our meetings. Merchants, bankers, and men in official positions are full of interest, and are soliciting us to remain another week. We may conclude to do this. Lt180-1899.3

There are men here who long to see truth and righteousness in the church. One said, I feel very sad over the ministry in our churches. He told us that they paid their minister five hundred pounds per year to preach to them, and he hires a curate to help him. But the minister plays tennis and other games, while the curate does his work. Amusements, church suppers, and a variety of things have come in to destroy the elevated character of Christianity. You cannot imagine the sorrow of my soul that we have not entered this place before. Almost every hindrance was presented before me at this time, but I told the brethren plainly that I should not change my mind until I saw some reason for doing so. Again and again Sydney, Lambton, Wallsend, were presented before me; but no, we could not hold the camp meeting there. Lt180-1899.4

East Maitland needs labor done in it. I see right near us fields of labor that are all ready for Bible truth. At any time in our experience we should consider this a grand opening. The higher classes are doing all in their power to accommodate us. While it has been so wet and rainy, invitations have come to us to occupy rooms in the houses near by, and when the cyclone struck our camp yesterday, taking down all our tents but five, we had many sympathizers. One man in the government office came to the ground, and when he saw the damage done by the storm, he said, I do hope you will not move the tent. There will be plenty of room for some of the campers in our home. I can take two couples. Two women can sleep with my wife and two men with me, and there are many families who have more room and bed furnishings than we have. Lt180-1899.5

Last night almost all the tents on the ground were unfit for occupation. There was nothing in the line of bedding that could be used. We hope that we shall have sufficient sunshine today to dry the bedding. The big tent was up, and there was a good attendance at the evening meeting. Lt180-1899.6

I know Maitland to be one of the places presented to me where the people were hungry for the Word of the Lord. This is a wealthy district, and there are not the hindrances to the truth that there are in many places. The best part of the people seem eager for us to stay another week, and we are inclined to think that this is the best thing we can do. Lt180-1899.7

Yesterday an invitation came for Mrs. White to speak to the women of the W.C.T.U., which seems to have a strong force here. I shall consent to speak to them if everything is favorable. I can see now how appropriate were the words spoken to me by my Instructor. Pointing to the companies large and small, he said, These are as sheep without a shepherd to care for their souls. They must have the message from the Word of God presented to them in a clear, decided manner. Lt180-1899.8

This is one of the many places to be worked, and I can now see more clearly the reason for our school being located in Cooranbong. In the place of our being isolated, we are in the very midst of fields that are waiting to be worked, fields where there are no shepherds to care for the poor sheep. Lt180-1899.9

Thus we are lifting the standard of truth in new territories, in one place after another. We find that there is no place where we can stand still. Lt180-1899.10

In haste. Lt180-1899