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


A Few Days at Long Point

On July 26, Ellen White felt that she needed a break in her work. “Our stay here is too monotonous,” she exclaimed. “One cannot keep upon one strain continuously without breaking down. It has been one steady strain early and late, but there must come a halt.”—Manuscript 81, 1893. 4BIO 100.2

At half past six in the morning Ellen White was writing, and the rain was coming down in torrents. The wind, which had been blowing all night, was shaking the house, and even shook the bed. As the clouds broke away in midmorning, she thought of the invitation she had just received from Martha Brown, who, when Ellen White had first come to Wellington, had helped with the cooking. Martha Brown was inviting her to bring Emily Campbell, who was badly worn, and come to Long Point for a few days’ rest and change. “We cannot well leave this week, but we will be off next week, if the Lord wills,” Mrs. White noted, and repeated, “We need some change.”—Ibid. 4BIO 100.3

It was not the next week but the next day that they were off for the little change. M. C. Israel accompanied them on the train to Paremata and Long Point, an hour and a half from Wellington. Describing the trip, she wrote: 4BIO 100.4

We passed through eight tunnels. The scenery was odd and romantic. Much of the road on this line is through a gorge, very deep in many places. Then we would see nice little farms in the valleys, and then again steep mountains and waterfalls.—Manuscript 59, 1893. 4BIO 100.5

At the station Martha Brown, a young woman in her late 20s, was awaiting them with a horse and gig to take them the mile to the Brown home. Situated on a rise of ground with a good view of the bay, and surrounded by flowers, shrubs, and trees and encircled by hills and high mountains, the large house was most inviting. Ellen White and those with her were given a hearty welcome and felt quite at home. Martha's mother, a congenial woman, had been a widow for eight years and was the mother of thirteen living children. She had had a rather hard life, and of course a busy one. In addition to the children at home, three unmarried children lived on a farm rented to them by their mother at quite a distance from Long Point. 4BIO 100.6

Martha was the first member of the Brown family to become a Seventh-day Adventist, followed by her mother. At this point they stood alone in that faith. Ellen White found herself in the midst of a needy mission field. She determined to let her light shine. “I labored with the family,” she wrote, “every morning and night.”—Letter 138, 1893. 4BIO 101.1

“Monday morning [August 7], at 1:00 A.M.,” she recorded in her diary, “I was awakened repeating these words, ‘While it is called Today ... Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.’ Hebrews 3:13-15.” 4BIO 101.2

In the night season I had been in different companies bearing a message to them. I was in the family of Sister Brown, and was instructed by the angel of God to call them to a decision by speaking to each one of the children by name. 4BIO 101.3

Isabella was 22 years old and had a strong influence with the younger members of the family. She was very worldly, with a love for parties and dancing. At family worship that Monday morning Ellen White addressed her: 4BIO 101.4

“Will you give your heart to Jesus? Will you cut the cords binding you to the world, its pleasures and attractions, and leave the service of Satan and be a follower of Christ?” 4BIO 101.5

She said, “I will.” 4BIO 101.6

Next was Alex, the only boy at home, and who was obliged to bear heavy responsibilities for a boy of 16. He was of quick understanding. I addressed myself to Alex. I said, “Will you decide this morning to confess Jesus Christ? ... Will you this very morning choose to be a child of God and engage to serve the Lord Jesus to the best of your ability?” 4BIO 101.7

He responded, “I will.” 4BIO 102.1

Victoria was quite grown up for a girl of 14 years. Turning to her, Ellen White addressed her by name: 4BIO 102.2

“Jesus says to you this morning, ‘Victoria, follow Me.’ Will you obey His voice? Will you enter the school of Christ to learn of Him?” 4BIO 102.3

She responded decidedly, “I will.” 4BIO 102.4

Then it was Charlotte to whom Ellen White spoke: 4BIO 102.5

“I am sure you wish to be a child of God. You wish to learn of Jesus. You love the Lord Jesus. Will you confess that you love Him?”

She responded. 4BIO 102.6

“And now my heart was broken before the Lord, melted with His love,” wrote Ellen White, “and we had a thanksgiving morning service. It was a precious season to us all.”—Manuscript 59, 1893. 4BIO 102.7

But that was not the full extent of the fruitful missionary endeavors. On Thursday night, August 3, a vivid scene had been presented to her, and at four o'clock in the morning she arose and began to write: 4BIO 102.8

The angel of God said, “Follow me.” I seemed to be in a room in a rude building, and there were several young men playing cards. They seemed to be very intent upon the amusement in which they were engaged and were so engrossed that they did not seem to notice that anyone had entered the room. There were young girls present observing the players, and words were spoken not of the most refined order. There was a spirit and influence that were sensibly felt in that room that was not of a character calculated to purify and uplift the mind and ennoble the character.... 4BIO 102.9

I inquired, “Who are these and what does this scene represent?” 4BIO 102.10

The word was spoken, “Wait.” 4BIO 102.11

I had another representation. There was the imbibing of the liquid poison, and the words and actions under its influence were anything but favorable for serious thoughts, clear perception in business lines, pure morals, and the uplifting of the participants.... 4BIO 102.12

I asked again, “Who are these?” 4BIO 103.1

The answer came, “A portion of the family where you are visiting. The great adversary of souls, the great enemy of God and man, the head of principalities and powers, and the ruler of darkness of this world, is presiding here tonight. Satan and his angels are leading on with his temptations these poor souls to their own ruin.”—Letter 1, 1893. 4BIO 103.2

The communication addressed to the mother and the children and sent to them after Ellen White returned home was blessed by God in leading these young men to the Lord. Among the eventual grandchildren were two who served the church as ministers and editors, and others as teachers and in other capacities. 4BIO 103.3

The visit to the home was to be for a week, but when Thursday came it rained so hard that they could not leave. Friday morning they went in the rain to the railway station and waited an hour for the train, only to learn that a landslide had occurred and there would be no train. Of the experience Ellen White wrote: 4BIO 103.4

We decided our work was not done and felt reconciled to the delay. We spent Sabbath with the family, and I labored hard to present before them the important crisis that is just before us, when there will be two distinct parties—the one elevating the standard of truth, the other trampling under foot the law of God and lifting up and exalting the spurious Sabbath.... It is God's great plan that the Sunday question shall be agitated and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment be exalted as the Lord's memorial sign of the creation of the world, and that a knowledge of truth upon the Sabbath question shall be brought before many minds as a witness.—Manuscript 59, 1893. 4BIO 103.5

The service in the Brown home that Sabbath morning commenced at 11:00 A.M., and did not close until 2:00 P.M. Monday, August 7, promised to be a good day, and Ellen White and Emily decided that they must return to Wellington. They felt they could reach the station between showers, and started out. 4BIO 103.6

“We did,” wrote Ellen White, “almost.” Bedding and trunks got wet, but the train was on time. The second-class car was full, and men were lighting their pipes. The three ladies (Martha Brown was with them), felt they must find some other provision. They were allowed to ride in the freight car, a more compact car than those in America. With her spring seat on a freight box and the bedding roll at her feet, Ellen White was quite comfortable. There was a box of dogs nearby, some rather smelly fish, and plenty of boxes of freight. At subsequent stops, they were joined by other passengers, until there were seven women sitting on boxes of freight, and about as many men were standing. “We were thankful to get home anyway,” she wrote, “after making this third trial.”—Ibid. 4BIO 104.1