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


The Maitland Camp Meeting

The next camp meeting was in Maitland, a little less than thirty miles northwest of Cooranbong, in the mountains. The meeting, opening Thursday, November 2, was to run for ten days. Ellen White and Sara McEnterfer drove from Cooranbong Thursday morning. The weather was rainy and attendance small the first day or two, but on Sunday the sky cleared, and there blossomed forth a large and gratifying attendance. The meeting was very much like the one held in Newcastle the year before, with good interest and good attendance (six hundred to one thousand), and even included a bad storm that struck the camp midweek, flattening twenty-two of the twenty-seven family tents. 4BIO 436.1

[The storm] damaged quite a quantity of literature, and thoroughly drenched a large number of the campers and their effects. Although soon over, its fury was terrific while it lasted, breaking large ropes like threads, bending one-inch iron stakes into semicircles, and tearing several of the poorer and older tents into shreds.—Ibid. 4BIO 436.2

But the campers kept up their courage. As at Newcastle, the occupants of nearby homes invited the distraught campers into their homes; tents were repitched, and the large tent, wet and torn, was soon repaired and up again, and meetings were in progress. The principal speakers were A. G. Daniells, G. B. Starr, W. A. Colcord, Mrs. E. G. White, and Dr. Edgar Caro (Ibid.). Ellen White spoke on all three Sabbaths and Sundays (Letter 194, 1899). The interest was such that the meetings were continued through the third weekend. When the camp meeting was over, the large tent was moved near the center of the city, and evangelistic meetings continued. 4BIO 436.3

On the first Sunday after the moving of the tent, Ellen White spoke. It was her birthday, and she was entering her seventy-third year. As she recounted the experience in a letter to Dr. Kellogg, she declared: 4BIO 436.4

Before me I saw the very faces that were presented to me more than a year ago as sheep having no shepherd, men and women who were receiving from their ministers chaff instead of wheat. Many of them I have seen bowed before God in prayer. Others with arms outstretched pleaded, “Come over and help us. We are hungering for the bread of life.” Still others I saw coming from the different churches who were distressed and cast down. All were in need. 4BIO 436.5

My Guide said to me, “These are as sheep having no shepherd. Speak My word faithfully to them, for unless their ministers are converted, they will sleep on until the judgments of God will come upon the world. Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show My people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.” 4BIO 437.1

She wrote of the influence of Dr. Caro's work and told of how gratefully the medical missionary work was received in Australia, and added: 4BIO 437.2

This place has been presented to me as second in importance to America, and the same work which has been carried forward there is to go forward in this country, only in more advanced lines.—Letter 198, 1899. 4BIO 437.3

So keen was the interest following the camp meeting that for several weeks she insisted on being there for weekend meetings. 4BIO 437.4

Ellen White and Sara made the twenty-seven-mile trip between Cooranbong and Maitland by carriage. As it was in the heat of the summer, they usually started very early in the morning, one time at three o'clock. 4BIO 437.5