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


Prescott's Effective Preaching

Again and again in her report Ellen White mentioned the effectiveness of W. W. Prescott's meetings, stating that “the Lord ... has given Brother Prescott a special message for the people,” the truth coming from human lips in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. Those attending, she said, exclaimed: 4BIO 232.1

You cannot appreciate the change of feeling about your meeting and work. It has been commonly reported that you do not believe in Christ. But we have never heard Christ preached as at these meetings. There is no life in our churches. Everything is cold and dry. We are starving for the Bread of Life. We come to this camp meeting because there is food here.—The Review and Herald, January 7, 1896. 4BIO 232.2

“On every side,” she wrote, “we hear discussion of the subjects presented at the camp meeting.” She told the readers of the Review of how Corliss, stepping out of a train, was stopped by the conductor, who hurriedly asked him to explain certain Scripture texts. While the crowd rushed by, Corliss gave the conductor a hasty Bible study. By earnest and urgent request the three-week camp meeting was stretched into a successful five-week evangelistic series. Ellen White spoke twenty times at length and many times twenty or thirty minutes (Letter 105, 1895). It was difficult for her to find words to describe her ecstasy as it related to the meetings and the response. To S. N. Haskell she wrote: 4BIO 232.3

The Word is presented in a most powerful manner. The Holy Spirit has been poured out upon Brother Prescott in great measure.... Brother Prescott has been bearing the burning words of truth such as I have heard from some in 1844. The inspiration of the Spirit of God has been upon him. 4BIO 232.4

Unbelievers say, “These are the words of God. I never heard such things before.” Every evening the tent is full, and even on weekdays there is an intense interest to come out and hear the truth.—Letter 25, 1895. 4BIO 232.5

In the light of the above, Ellen White's urging in 1909 that Prescott enter evangelistic work in the large cities is easily understood. 4BIO 233.1

In another communication Ellen White made an interesting observation: “We cannot now gather in the sheaves. It takes the people in the colonies a long time to make up their minds to obey; but while the interest is at its height, we cannot move our place of meeting.”—Letter 51, 1895. “Three weeks this meeting has been in session,” she wrote to Haskell, “and the camp meeting proper will not close until next week, Tuesday or Wednesday. Then if the same interest is manifested, the tent will remain on the ground two weeks longer, and as many as choose may remain in their tents to attend the meetings. At the close of the two weeks, Professor Prescott and my family, W. C. White and wife, and my two workers will go to Tasmania.”—Letter 25c, 1895. 4BIO 233.2