Manuscript Releases, vol. 15 [Nos. 1136-1185]

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MR No. 1138—Plans for Church Buildings; How to Secure the Best Soul Winning Results from Camp Meetings

(Written November 21, 1897, from Stanmore, N.S.W., to “Brother Evans.”)

I have [had] but [a] few minutes’ conversation with W.C.W. since his return to Australia. We met him in Stanmore at our camp meeting. This meeting was indeed a meeting of great interest, and the interest is being followed up as well as can be done to bind off the work here in Sydney. There must be no lax movements done, after an interest has been created in any place. There has been a house selected as a home in every way appropriate for the workers. Some are engaged in selling papers, small books, and pamphlets, and others who are experienced—Brother and Sister Haskell, Brother and Sister Starr, and Brother Baker—are engaged in meetings and holding Bible readings, and calling on the people as they are invited. 15MR 6.1

About 20 have taken their stand upon the Sabbath question; others are deciding. I came down here last Friday. For the past three weeks I have been very sick. My sickness was caused by overwork at the camp meeting. On Sabbath I ventured to speak in the tent. A hot wave had just passed over New South Wales, and the heat seemed as if it was coming from a burning furnace; yet the Lord gave me strength, and last night I rested in sleep. 15MR 6.2

This morning [I arose] at my usual [time]—at three o'clock—[and] I am writing these lines. I thank the Lord that I am being strengthened. This morning the atmosphere is cooler. There is work enough for 12 earnest workers. I have just written to Cooranbong for Brother Wilson and his wife to come to Sydney and unite in the work here. We expect them today; also W. C. White, on his way to Melbourne. 15MR 6.3

A telegram came from Melbourne last Thursday for Elder Haskell to attend the camp meeting there, but it is impossible for him to do so. The interest here requires all the force we have here, and even more helpers than we have here now. Not one can be spared. The class who are now becoming interested and taking their stand for the truth are those who will be able to assist in the financial part of the work, and also with their influence in helping to reach other souls. We feel very thankful to God for this encouragement. We are now hearing that precious souls are being moved by the Holy Spirit. We will continue to work and pray as well. 15MR 7.1

The souls who have newly come to the faith, and others who have not fully decided, are stirred in regard to building a church; we will call it a tabernacle. We have a neat, nice place of worship at Cooranbong, every way appropriate. It was dedicated without one penny of debt upon it. This can be a pattern for Stanmore, if proper grounds can be obtained; if not, we shall have to select some suburb nearer Sydney. We think there will be considerable help from outside parties. 15MR 7.2

We have no tabernacle in which to worship in the large city of Sydney, but if the people of Sydney will unite in this work we can build a tabernacle to accommodate the church in Sydney, Stanmore, and other suburbs; and when they are a little stronger in numbers, a house of worship must go up in Sydney proper, but work must first be done in Sydney. Next year a camp meeting should be repeated here in Stanmore or nearer Sydney, if the Lord wills. We have no time now to hesitate; the work must advance. 15MR 7.3

The class who are now taking hold of the work are of the higher class. These will help to reach the higher class. The Lord knows just how much we need to attain an influence over a class that can be a help in helping others to see the truth, and also to sustain and advance the work. We have no time to devote to hesitance and unbelief. The work must go. 15MR 8.1

In Newcastle and Maitland, places about 20 miles from Cooranbong, considerable work has been done in canvassing. Now there is an interest to hear the truth, and yet no labor has been given in [a] tent effort. There are also small towns between Morissett and Sydney, where there has been no labor. The work must go forward in these places. The standard must be raised. Fields are opening and calls are being made from every direction, Send us a minister. The people want a minister to present to them the truth. We need the inspiration of faith continually. 15MR 8.2

We have had the most successful camp meeting that has been held in New South Wales. It exceeded anything we had hoped. The light of the third angel's message has penetrated many dark places. We need every day a living connection with God. Our faith is not as strong as it should be. As a people we are not as devotional as we should be. We have great light, great opportunities, great privileges, and we now need to walk with the light and have a faith proportionate to the great and living truths we are handling. We must not trust in our own powers or in the powers and smartness of our speakers. We must lean our whole weight upon One who can help us in every emergency. Our work is aggressive; there must be no halting. There must be less, far less, hovering about the churches, and far more lifting the standard in new fields. Our ministers must give the trumpet a certain sound, lifting up Jesus and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” 15MR 8.3

The light of truth must flash forth upon the pathway of many who have never heard the message of warning. We want light to go forth everywhere. I am pleading for physical strength, mental clearness, and spiritual power. The Lord is my helper. He can be my efficiency. He will be our strength. We have no time to lose. The end of all things is at hand.—Letter 51, 1897, pages 1-3. 15MR 9.1

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

May 2, 1985.