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


Vision Concerning Size of the Building

Last night, August 23, I seemed in a vision of the night to be in Ashfield. Several of our brethren were present. I said to Elder Haskell, “This church will answer for this place, but the church at Cooranbong must be larger in width and longer than this building. It must be larger than you have estimated, and should seat four hundred people.” 4BIO 319.3

Then I saw papers where the length and breadth were marked out and the figures given. I had thought thirty-two by fifty was not enough, and we were saying it must be lengthened. Then the width of the Ashfield church was given, and the width of the chapel, which was wider than the Ashfield church, and after consideration the chapel was enlarged, and as the size was stated in figures, all seemed to be pleased with width and length.—Manuscript 175, 1897. 4BIO 319.4

Wednesday morning, August 25, Haskell called on Ellen White to report a very successful buying trip to Sydney; materials had been secured at lower figures than anticipated. Later in the day, sample seats were displayed at the school, and Ellen White was invited to participate in the decision of the type to be ordered. Four experienced carpenters were employed at six shillings per day, and some would make a donation of half their wages. 4BIO 320.1

Ellen White's letters and diary entries through the next month provide almost a day-by-day account of the work on the church building and of God's special providences. Interestingly enough, hers were not on-site observations, for Ellen White decided it would be best to keep away as the work progressed. “I felt,” she wrote, “that the building was under the especial supervision of God; and it was so, the circumstances had been arranged by the Lord, without any of our wisdom.”—Letter 162, 1897. So what she wrote of the work was based on reports brought to her by Sara and the Haskells. 4BIO 320.2

She wrote: 4BIO 320.3

The workmen have put heart, cheerfulness, willingness, into the work. They have expressed that they felt the angels of God were round about them.... We had stated seven weeks to complete the building. Ten days—lumber did not come. If we had had the lumber, it would have been done before the seven specified weeks.—Letter 162, 1897.

“We know,” she wrote, “that the angels of God were with the workers. When anything came up that was perplexing to the workmen, Elder Haskell was on hand to encourage them. He would say, ‘Let us have a season of prayer’; and the presence and blessing of God came upon them. Their hearts were subdued and softened with the dew of Heaven's grace. I never saw a building where we had greater evidence that the Lord managed the matter as in this.”—Letter 91, 1897. 4BIO 320.4