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


The Crucial Friday-Morning Workers’ Meeting

There was one special meeting that was particularly trying to Ellen White. That was the October 29, Friday-morning meeting with all the ministers and leading workers in the reception tent. With her special insights into situations, which gave her glimpses of the soul experiences of individuals, she had called this meeting. She saw a repetition of some of the situations that she had dealt with at the Ashfield camp meeting in 1894, “which will, if known,” she stated, “help some to take heed to be very careful in their words and in their deportment.” Her diary carried the record: 4BIO 337.2

We met at half past five, and I read many pages of that which the Lord had presented to us at that camp meeting. Then I bore a very plain testimony to correct existing evils that would lead to serious consequences. Confessions were made, and all seemed to feel that the Spirit of God had appealed to them in the testimony given. 4BIO 337.3

Elder Daniells expressed himself as greatly relieved, and all who spoke seemed to feel it was a real blessing to have their mistakes and dangers laid open before them. 4BIO 337.4

She noted further in her diary, “This duty was done at great cost to myself. I returned to my room and for some hours my heartache was so intense it seemed to me I could not live. But the Lord mercifully gave me rest and relief in my efforts to lay my burden upon Him. I was afflicted with physical suffering throughout the day.” 4BIO 337.5

She was to speak in the big tent Sabbath afternoon. But she would not speak of her feeling of helplessness lest the adversary, who cannot read man's thoughts, should take advantage of her depression. Her diary continued: 4BIO 337.6

Oh, how helpless I felt, how utterly weak, compassed with infirmities, yet not daring to express unbelief by drawing back. I could only say over and over again, “Without Thee, My Saviour, I can do nothing. Become my Strength. I may venture only because Thou hast promised, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’” 4BIO 337.7

I dared not open my lips to say to anyone, “I am weak; will you take my place?” lest I give the enemy advantage over me. Yet, sensing my littleness, I said, “Lord, I will go not in my own strength, but in Thy strength. Thou canst strengthen me.”—Manuscript 177, 1897. 4BIO 338.1

Sabbath afternoon she spoke for one hour and twenty minutes to an audience that crowded into the tent and overflowed, and held their interest to the very close. 4BIO 338.2

She spoke again on Sunday afternoon. Monday morning she found herself exhausted, and she noted in her diary, “I was admonished this morning that it was wisdom for me to return home without delay.”—Manuscript 178, 1897. Accompanied by Mrs. Haskell, she did so. Tuesday morning she reported that she had had a hard night, and she could “reason from cause to effect” (Ibid.). Plans for her to attend the next camp meeting to be held in Melbourne were called in question. 4BIO 338.3