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


The Hastening Pace

On Wednesday, August 18, Ellen White noted in her diary: 4BIO 317.5

In the afternoon we visited Brother Hare and we came to an understanding upon some points in regard to building a church without delay. We cannot see the necessity or the least excuse for delay. When reproof comes that we have been negligent in regard to building a house for the Lord that we can dedicate to Him, we will feel clearly that we have not acted our part.—Manuscript 175, 1897.

Things were now beginning to move. On Thursday, August 19, Ellen White told of developments: 4BIO 317.6

Sara and I visited Brother Haskell and had a profitable talk with him in regard to the meetinghouse—plans for the size of the building, and the preparing of material. Sara and I rode again to the site which we thought the best place for the meetinghouse. Certainly it is the most beautiful spot upon the whole grounds. We cannot see where there can be a spot that will have greater advantages.... We will honor God in preparing a place where He can meet with His people who love God and keep His commandments.—Ibid. 4BIO 317.7

Friday morning Elder Haskell came to Sunnyside and had breakfast with the family, and there were further discussions of plans for the new church. Then he, Ellen White, and Sara rode to the school grounds to select the precise site for the church. They could see that they must have more than just one of the lots available, and talked of four or five. “Work will commence on Sunday morning, August 22,” she noted in her diary.—Ibid. 4BIO 318.1

Ellen White spoke at the worship service on Sabbath morning. She had no difficulty in selecting a text for the sermon, and read from Haggai 1:14 and 2:4, the call for God's people of old for the building of a house of worship. This had been urged upon her mind. She reported the matter in this way: 4BIO 318.2

I bore a clear and decided testimony, and appealed to all to rise up and build a house for the Lord. Elder Haskell spoke to the point, and we know the people felt indeed in earnest in the matter to do all they could.—Ibid. 4BIO 318.3

There was need for haste, for they wanted to dedicate the building not later than the close of school. A meeting was called for on Sunday evening to consider the plans for building. Sunday morning Elder Haskell was again at the White home, coming before breakfast. After breakfast there was further discussion regarding the erection of the church “now, without delay,” Ellen White wrote, underlining the words in her diary. They talked of carpenters, and she proposed that they visit Brother Hardy, a skillful workman and a good manager. They could also draw in Fred Lamplough, another master workman. It was raining, but they started by carriage through the woods to the Hardy home. Ellen White reported: 4BIO 318.4

He was at home and we laid the rough sketch before him, and he thought the dimensions proportionate. We advised with him, and he decided to stand with Fred Lamplough as directors over a large number of hands.—Ibid. 4BIO 318.5

That Sunday evening as the church family met, it was to study the proposition that they build a church, and build it “without delay.” Haskell and Lamplough reported to Ellen White on Monday morning that it was “a very stirring meeting.” When a show of hands was called for, all present, except Metcalfe Hare and C. B. Hughes, voted in favor of proceeding at once. Commented Ellen White in her diary, “I was sorry in my heart that these men did not unite with those who were in favor. May the Lord help us and open ways before us and strengthen the purpose of everyone to ‘arise and build.’” 4BIO 319.1

Tuesday, August 24, Haskell and Lamplough went to Sydney to purchase lumber; Hare came over to Sunnyside to converse with Ellen White in reference to the building of the chapel. “We talked about one hour,” Ellen White noted, and continued, “We hope that our words and ideas were not materially apart, but in harmony generally.”—Ibid. At family worship that evening Ellen White prayed “most earnestly” for the “Lord to manifest unto us His mercy and His will.” A voice spoke to her, “Tell the people, ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’”—Letter 177a, 1897. A little later that night, as she slept, instruction came to her. 4BIO 319.2