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


Beneficial Contacts with Capt. and Mrs. Press

A Capt. Press and his wife, of Williamstown, attended some of the meetings. Mrs. Press was the president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and for several years had been a vegetarian. She sought an interview with Mrs. White, and visited with her in her tent. Mrs. Press requested Ellen White to address her group and urged participation on the part of Seventh-day Adventists in the work of the WCTU. The WCTU president called for someone to give the union members lessons in hygienic cooking; when told the Adventists had no one in Australia well enough qualified, her response was, “Tell us what you do know.”—Letter 88a, 1894. Mrs. Press also urged Ellen White to take an all-out stand to banish all meat from her own table. As to this point Mrs. White wrote: “I have had much representation before my mind in the night season on this subject.”—Letter 76, 1895 (CDF, p. 488) but with her travels, with a diversity of cooks of varied skills, and with the pleading of certain of those who ate at her table, she had not taken a stand that would have cleared the table entirely of meat. In this connection, while on the Brighton campground, she wrote: 4BIO 118.5

As a denomination we are in the fullest sense total abstainers from the use of spirituous liquors, wine, beer, cider, and also tobacco and all narcotics, and are earnest workers in the cause of temperance. All are vegetarians, many abstaining wholly from the use of flesh food, while others use it in only the most moderate degree.—Letter 99, 1894. 4BIO 119.1

A year later she could write, “Since the camp meeting at Brighton, I have absolutely banished meat from my table. It is an understanding that whether I am at home or abroad, nothing of this kind is to be used in my family, or come upon my table.”—Letter 76, 1895 (CDF, p. 488). 4BIO 119.2

It was with difficulty that Ellen White found words to speak adequately of the camp meeting and its influence. In her report to Jones she declared: 4BIO 119.3

This is the first camp meeting that Melbourne has seen, and it is a marvel of wonder to the people. There is a decided interest to hear the truth. This interest we have never seen equaled among those not of our faith. The camp meeting is doing more to bring our work before the people than years of labor could have done. ... Yesterday the most noted physician in North Fitzroy was here to listen. Some ministers have been here, and a large number of businessmen.—Letter 37, 1894. 4BIO 119.4

Writing to Edson White, she said, “Taking it in on all sides, this is the best camp meeting we have ever attended,” and added: 4BIO 119.5

Many visitors come from long distances, and as it used to be seen in 1843 and 1844, they bring their lunch and remain through the day. A number of the citizens of the place have declared that if they were not living close by, they would hire tents and camp with us on the grounds. They value the privilege of hearing the Word of God so clearly explained, and they say the Bible seems to be full of new and precious things, and will be like a new book to them.—Letter 86, 1894. 4BIO 119.6