Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Chapter 16—(1894-1895) “Is There Not a God in Israel?”

The Ashfield camp meeting closed November 5, 1894, with no decisive action concerning the location of the school. This was most disheartening. From the light given to her there was no question in the mind of Ellen White that the estate at Cooranbong was the place, but several members of the locating committee hesitated and questioned. They battled in their minds between their understanding of Ellen White's clear convictions and their judgments supported by adverse soil reports rendered by the government agricultural experts. 4BIO 176.1

Sunday morning, November 4, the last full day of the camp meeting, Ellen White was certain the time had come for action. That day she wrote, in part: 4BIO 176.2

This morning as I awoke I was repeating these words to my son Willie: 4BIO 176.3

“Be careful that you do not show any distrust of God in your decisions concerning the land upon which our school should be located. God is your Counselor, and we are always in danger of showing distrust of God when we seek the advice and counsel of men who do not make God their trust, and who are so devoid of wisdom that they do not recognize God as infinite in wisdom. We are to acknowledge God in all our councils. When we ask Him concerning anything, we are to believe that we receive the things we ask of Him. 4BIO 176.4

“If you depend upon men who do not love and fear God, who do not obey His commandments, you will surely be brought into very difficult places. Those who are not connected with God are connected with the enemy of God, and the enemy will work through them to lead us into false paths. We do not honor God when we go aside to inquire of the god of Ekron.”—Manuscript 1, 1895. 4BIO 176.5

In harmony with these deep impressions, Ellen White summoned W. C. White, chairman of the locating committee, and A. G. Daniells. In most earnest tones she demanded of them: “Is there not a God in Israel, that ye have turned to the god of Ekron?”—As told to the author by W. C. White. 4BIO 177.1

The records available seem to indicate that the committee planned to return to Cooranbong to take another look at the Brettville estate. Monday, November 5, she addressed a letter to those who would be going: 4BIO 177.2

Dear Brethren,

As you go to Dora Creek, my prayers shall follow you. This is an important mission, and angels of God will accompany you. We are to watch and pray and believe and trust in God and look to Him every moment. Satan is watching to communicate to you through men those things which will not be in harmony with the mind and will and work of God. Only believe. Pray in faith as did Elijah. Let prayer be the breath of the soul. Where will God direct to locate the school? “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”—Letter 154, 1894. 4BIO 177.3

In the meantime, however, members of the Foreign Mission Board found it difficult to put out of their minds their knowledge of the fact that Ellen White, with the light given her of God, was firm in the conviction that the Brettville estate at Cooranbong was the place for the school. By formal action they removed their objection to plans to establish the college there. Word to this effect brought courage to the committee on school location in Australia. On November 20, the Australian Union Conference committee took the following action: 4BIO 177.4

Whereas, The Foreign Mission Board has withdrawn its objections to our locating the Australasian Bible School in the Brettville estate at Cooranbong, and ... 4BIO 177.5

Whereas, We believe that the Brettville estate can be made a suitable place for our proposed school.... 4BIO 177.6

Resolved, That we proceed to the establishment of the Australasian Bible School on the said Brettville estate.—Minutes of the Australasian Union Conference, November 20, 1894, in 5 WCW, p. 197. 4BIO 178.1