Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]


MR No. 1258—The Need for Church and Sanitarium Buildings

(Written May 1, 1899, from Summer Hill, New South Wales, to “Dear Brother Haynes.”)

We received your donation of two pounds. We thank you for it, for we stand very much in need of means. The Captain Norman who it was stated in our papers donated such large sums, has proved a fraud. Not one dollar has been realized. He has disappeared, no one can tell where. It is a strange affair and a great disappointment to us. We did hope for the financial help we so much needed, but this is one thing among the “all things” that work together for good to those that love God. 17MR 125.1

During the week of prayer I visited Newcastle accompanied by Miss Sara McEnterfer. We made our home with Elder Haskell and his wife. They have just hired a large brick house at Wallsend on which is painted in large letters, “Empire Clothing House.” It is a two-story building with good stable. It has no spare grounds; the house, barn, and outdoor kitchen occupy all the space. The owners promised that if Elder Haskell would take the place for one year they would put it in good order. It has quite a number of rooms and can be secured for ten shillings per week, $2.50 American currency. 17MR 125.2

One room, the sales room, can be used for a meeting place. If our people hired a hall there for only one meeting a week, they would have to pay ten shillings. We are all well pleased with the place, for we need our means to pay the workers who go out to give Bible readings. When we visited Brother and Sister Haskell they had only just moved into their new house and were not yet settled. There is repairing to be done while they occupy the rooms that are in a tolerably good condition. 17MR 125.3

In the same suburb, Wallsend, there is a stone church which has been closed. This place will seat about 250 people. The church has been misused; mischievous boys have felt at liberty to break up the flooring and the windows and pull down the pulpit. It will take about one hundred pounds to repair it and put in the seats. Then it will be a valuable little church. If we had the money we would purchase and repair it at once, but we dare not invest. 17MR 126.1

In Hamilton, where the camp meeting was held, we contemplate building a meetinghouse. The ground is purchased but there must be no debt on the place. Therefore we wait for the Lord to open the way. He will do this. His promise is as good as a deed. A portion of the money is already raised. I gave fifty pounds to the Brisbane church and another fifty to the church in Hamilton. When we receive money we will commence to build a humble house of worship. Just now, in midwinter, the people have to meet under a tent that has no flooring. They have no other place in which to assemble. 17MR 126.2

During the week of prayer we had good meetings in Newcastle. I spoke twice under the tent, Sabbath and Sunday afternoons. The Lord blessed me with freedom. I looked upon that people so interested in the word of God and called to mind how, a few months before, there was not a Sabbathkeeper in Newcastle. Now about thirty have been baptized, and ten more will soon go forward. We thank the Lord and praise His holy name for His wonderful works to the children of men. 17MR 126.3

On Monday we returned to Cooranbong. Twice I spoke to the students in the school. I also attended the morning meeting and bore my testimony. The Lord is moving by His Holy Spirit. I must see of the salvation of God. I long for it to come fully to all who are God's chosen people, that they may give to others that which God has given them, choosing a life of self-sacrifice and full surrender to God. 17MR 126.4

On Friday, Sara and Willie accompanied me to Sydney. We went directly to Sister Tuxford's home and found a room all prepared for me. That evening I was invited to speak to the workers in the Sanitarium, and the Lord gave me liberty in prayer and speech. I spoke to them plainly on the necessity of faithfulness in the discharge of every duty. All seemed to be interested and pleased, and all save one bore their testimony. On Sabbath I attended the afternoon meeting in Stanmore and spoke to a well-filled church. The blessing of the Lord was in the meeting. I longed to see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and I entreated the people to choose God as their portion. Many excellent testimonies were borne, and the Spirit of the Lord was with us. 17MR 127.1

Sabbath evening I again spoke to the workers in the Sanitarium, and the Lord blessed us. I remained seated while speaking, and this rested me. It was a great satisfaction to them all to hear the testimony I bore. I spoke to them once again before returning home. 17MR 127.2

We feel so distressed over the situation of our Sanitarium; we cannot see where the means is coming from to erect the building. The building now being used casts discredit upon us as a people. It was a dwelling house, and the bathrooms which should be large and convenient, are composed of a sleeping room partitioned off, one part of which is used for the ladies and the other for the gentlemen. The persons on one side of the partition can hear all that is going on in the next apartment. This cannot leave a favorable impression on the minds of the patients. We are praying that the Lord will send us means, and we believe that means will come. The Lord will help us in this work. The medical missionary work is to bring the truth before many others, and the Lord will open the way before us. The building they now occupy is full to overflowing and rooms have to be secured in another building. 17MR 127.3

The work must go forward in this new world. We are lifting the standard of truth in new places and the work is advancing. We shall be grateful for any assistance you can give us, and if you can interest others to help us we shall thank the Lord and thank the donors.—Letter 88, 1899. 17MR 128.1

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

June 4, 1987.

Entire Letter.