Lt 4, 1899


Lt 4, 1899

Kellogg, J. H. and Associates

Hamilton, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

January 6, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 264-265; 4MR 414-415. +Note

To Dr. Kellogg and all who are connected with him in the Sanitarium Board and councils

Dear Brethren:

The past night has been to me one of great burden. I was in a meeting where there were about thirty members of your board and councils, and I said, God has given me a burden which I have long carried, and now the time has come for me to lay this burden upon you. Years ago, when the work, newly started in Australia, was in need of help, our brethren in America desired me to visit this field. They urged that as one whom the Lord was specially teaching, I could help the work here as others could not. I felt no inclination to go, and had no light that it was my duty. The journey was a dread to me; I desired to remain in my home, and to complete The Life of Christ and other writings. But as the matter was introduced, and the responsible men of the conference expressed their conviction that I, in company with others, should visit this field, I decided to act in accordance with their light. I feared that my own unwillingness to go was the reason why I had no more evidence on the point. Lt4-1899.1

So I made the long journey, and at the conference held in Melbourne immediately after our arrival, I bore a decided testimony. The Lord gave me tongue and utterance to reprove, to entreat, and to present principles of the greatest importance to the people and to the work. The burden was heavy upon me, and just before the conference ended, I was stricken down by severe illness. For eleven months I suffered from malarial fever and rheumatism. This period of severe physical suffering was made a blessing to me. And although not raised up in answer to earnest prayer, I found a compassionate Saviour, who loved me, and revealed to me His presence. The comfort and blessing I received in answer to prayer helped me to bear my great suffering. I decided that God had determined something concerning me which I could not see nor understand, and I was content to trust all with Him. I could commune with God, and had visions of hope. Lt4-1899.2

I kept saying, “God knows what is best; He sees in my humanity that which I do not see. ‘Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.’ I will not murmur, I will not fret, I will not give up to discouragement. I will leave myself perfectly surrendered to God. He will not leave nor forsake me while I put my trust in Him. He will transform me into His image, and accomplish His will in me.” I saw others who were working at cross purposes with God, murmuring and complaining at Him. While God was meaning one thing for them, they meant another thing for themselves. But I yielded up my will to my Saviour, and Oh, what peace, what comfort, what enlightenment, was mine. Lt4-1899.3

My right hand was not afflicted, neither my head nor my heart; and during my illness I wrote twenty-five hundred pages of letter paper—letters of warning, reproof, caution, and encouragement to the brethren in California, in Battle Creek, and in Africa. In great feebleness I went to Adelaide, and remained three months. There I began slowly to improve, so that I could walk a little. Then came the second annual conference in Melbourne. The Lord worked through me during that meeting, and there it was decided that we must visit New Zealand. In company with W. C. White and Brother and Sister Starr I went to that country, where I spent nearly one year. While there, and ever since that time, I have been engaged in constant labor. Lt4-1899.4

In the meeting before which I seemed to be speaking last night, I related the difficulties we had to meet in establishing our Australasian school, and traced step by step our experience in this country. It has been push, push to advance the work, and up to the present time, it has advanced slowly. Lt4-1899.5

Recently I have had a decided experience. Light has come to me from the Lord that Sydney, Maitland, Newcastle and the suburban towns must be worked. Several small companies were presented to me, and with them several larger ones, two especially, that were stretching out their hands imploringly, saying, “Come over and help us. We are starving for the bread of life.” In the larger companies, some were praying, some were weeping. A voice said, “They are as sheep without a shepherd. I will feed My flock. I will give them the living bread from heaven.” In the congregations seen in the camp meetings at Brisbane and Newcastle, I recognized the two large companies I had seen calling for help. We have never attended meetings where a greater interest was manifested than in these two places. Lt4-1899.6

We had planned the work in Newcastle with the expectation of having a small, thinly attended camp meeting. And there was no prodigality in the expenditure of means. We invested nothing for the sake of attracting sightseers. Only one tent besides my own was floored, and this for safety of health. But at the very first meeting, held on Thursday evening, the large tent was filled to overflowing, not less than twelve hundred people being present. Lt4-1899.7

On the first Sabbath of the meeting we knew there was in the camp the mighty host of the heavenly angels, with their General at their head. The outward elements seemed to be working against us, but the Lord gave freedom to the word spoken. The heavenly streams of the love of God flowed into our hearts, and some not of our faith took part with us in thanksgiving and praise to God. Some of our brethren were so blessed that their countenances revealed the Holy Spirit’s work. Everything moved appropriately. When the rain came down in torrents, we poured out our hearts in songs of praise. Many bore testimony that it was the best Sabbath meeting they had ever enjoyed. Lt4-1899.8

January 10

Through the holidays, in the afternoons and evenings, we had most intelligent audiences, from one thousand to twelve hundred. On the evening after the last Sabbath, Dr. Caro gave a lecture on the Power of Habit, illustrated by limelight views. He presented the downward course of the drunkard, from the innocent boy to the sin-hardened criminal. The tobacco curse, the liquor curse, the opium curse, were all vividly presented, and the doctor made a powerful appeal to the immense audience of nearly three thousand people. Solemn and instructive was this object lesson, not a word of trifling or levity was uttered by the speaker, and his voice could be heard all through the congregation. We thanked God for this lesson, which all appreciated. At the close, several hymns—“God Be With You Till We Meet Again”—and others—were shown on the screen, and sung by the whole congregation with an earnestness and feeling that made my heart glad. Lt4-1899.9

On Sunday at the afternoon meeting there were twelve hundred people who listened attentively while I spoke upon Christian Temperance. In the evening Elder Daniells spoke with much power to two thousand people. The collections from the two services on Sunday amounted to $48. The collection for the entire meetings were over $200. Throughout this meeting the people have been as orderly and interested as at any such meeting that I have ever attended. Lt4-1899.10

Newcastle and all the suburbs are deeply moved. I never attended a camp meeting that seemed so much as if the stately tread of the mighty host of heaven was among us. Several ministers and a number of workers remained, and evening meetings will continue in the large tent. After Newcastle and its suburbs, Maitland must be worked. We see that God has given us influence with the people. They have open ears to hear, and hearts that respond to the truth. Now is the time for our work to be firmly established in this locality, and we ask for help that this may be accomplished. Lt4-1899.11

The visions of my head in the night season have revealed to me that the fields about us are opening all ripe for harvest. Laborers are needed who will put forth the proper effort. Lt4-1899.12

During the camp meeting, lectures on health topics were given almost every day, and they awakened a deep interest. This should be followed by a well-established medical mission. But where can we look for men and means? We ought to have in Sydney a well-equipped sanitarium, able to establish branches in other cities. Lt4-1899.13

The pitiful beginning of our sanitarium in Sydney was the very best we could do under the existing circumstances. The lack of experience and faith among our brethren in the sanitarium work, and their financial discouragement, prevented their giving needed assistance. It was a difficult matter to raise money for the rent and for the furnishing of the building. I tried to help by paying the rent for one room, which I furnished at a cost of about $130. Then I paid the rent of a small bedroom for the use of our ministering brethren who visited Sydney. Lt4-1899.14

Brother and Sister Baker rented two rooms for their own use, and the conference allowed Brother Semmens a pound a week for a part of his time to be used in the work. I lent him £20, and this, with Dr. Kellogg’s gift of money and health foods, was the greater part of his capital. Brother Semmens took in a few patients, and he served in almost every capacity, making no complaints. By the strictest economy, the rent was paid, and little by little the place was meagerly furnished. The Lord recognized these efforts, and blessed the work. Lt4-1899.15

But I often questioned with myself why some of our brethren in America, keen-minded men who had tact and quick perceptive faculties, did not discern our need and give us help. Here we were in this new world, with only a very few churches, mostly composed of poor people who were not prepared to give financial aid to the work. How could we meet the requirements in establishing churches and conferences, and build up the work in medical missionary lines? We needed health foods, but we had no money to purchase material or machinery with which to prepare it. Lt4-1899.16

Then I thought of what we had done and were doing here to help the poor, to lift up the bowed down and oppressed, to clothe the naked and feed the hungry, all of whom were just as precious in the sight of the Lord as the same class in America. In a variety of ways we were carrying on the very same line or work that you are doing, but we had not numerous churches to draw upon. We helped one man pay for his place, advancing him money to be returned when he was able. Another must have money to pay rent on his place. To another we loaned a cow. Those who were wounded and sick and ready to die we took to our own home, feeding and nursing them free. For ten days we boarded one boy and his nurse, Sister McEnterfer giving them both treatment. Then came another boy with an injured knee. Sister McEnterfer gives him treatment daily. Lt4-1899.17

But it is not our duty to let all the Lord’s money flow in these channels. There is a sacred, solemn work to be done in lifting the standard high among those who have yet to hear the very first call to the gospel feast. Every kind of work is to come in its order. We are to lift the voice and proclaim the message upon the highways, and gather in all who will come to the marriage supper of the Lamb. This we are doing. We are placing our camp meetings in cities and towns where the message of present truth has not been heard. We do not at first proclaim to these souls doctrinal subjects of which they have no understanding. The very first and the most important thing is to melt and subdue the soul by presenting our Lord Jesus Christ as the Sinbearer, the sin-pardoning Saviour, making the gospel as clear as possible. Lt4-1899.18

When the Holy Spirit works among us, as it surely has done at the camp meeting in Newcastle, souls who are unready for Christ’s appearing are convicted. Many come to our meetings and are converted who for years have not attended meetings in any church. The simplicity of the truth reaches their hearts. It touches all classes. The tobacco devotees sacrifice their idol, and the liquor drinker his liquor. They could not do this if they did not grasp by faith the promises of God for the forgiveness of their sins. Is it not worth a decided effort to save these souls? This work is not neglected in any of our camp meeting labor. It is a part of every gospel mission. We are instructed first to let the truth as it is in the word come before the ones who will hear and receive the message. Then they become worker with us and with God, and a strong force is raised up to labor harmoniously. Then we must build a church, making a center where believers can worship. This is our work. Thus the work has gone in Brisbane, Queensland, and in Newcastle. Now, shall we carry on this work? Shall we in every place raise up a company of believers who will unite with us in uplifting the standard of truth and working for rich and poor? Or shall we set every talent to work for the lowest out cases? Lt4-1899.19

God says, “Begin in the highways; thoroughly work the highways, prepare a company who in unity with you will go forth to do the very work that Jesus did in seeking and saving the lost.” This is the kind of work that Sister White has ever seen should be done. We are not to strain every spiritual sinew and nerve to descend to the lowest depths, and make that work the all and in all, neglecting to bring to the Master others who need the truth, who are bearing responsibilities, and who will work with all their sanctified ability for the high places as well as for the low places. Lt4-1899.20

The Lord will work through human agencies, but the workers must themselves first be worked. Then through these is seen the display of the grace of Christ. “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” [Psalm 32:2, 1.] These with the peace of Christ in the soul have a right to peace. They believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; they accept Christ as their personal Saviour. O, these camp meetings are just what is needed to reach all classes and convert all who will come to Christ, and give themselves to Him as a continual, holy sacrifice. Lt4-1899.21