Lt 128, 1898


Lt 128, 1898

Brethren in California

Hamilton, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

December 28, 1898

Previously unpublished.

One o’clock a.m.

Dear Brethren in California:

We received your draft yesterday. Thank you for this favor, which means more to us than you can see and understand. We have no facilities in Cooranbong, and while struggling with all the power we have to advance the work, we can do so little, because we have not the means to do with. The money you have sent will help us. Lt128-1898.1

I send you with this a copy of a letter from Brother and Sister Haskell. They are at work in Brisbane. A company has been raised up there, but a meetinghouse must be built, else the work will ravel out. I can invest something in this work, but the question is, Where is the money needed most? We need means to erect buildings for the students, means to make of Avondale all that the Lord designs it shall be as an object lesson. I shall seek wisdom from God. For the last six months I have not been able to pay my workers. A heavy grocery bill has been accumulating in Newcastle, the place where we trade, but the merchants have waited patiently for me to settle the account. Lt128-1898.2

Judging from the prospect here in Newcastle, we shall have to build a church here, and that without delay. Then Maitland, a beautiful town twenty miles from this place and twenty miles from Cooranbong, must be entered. These places are of great interest. If churches are raised up in them, it will be a great strength to the church in Cooranbong. We need all the help we can obtain to secure souls for Jesus Christ, souls who will co-operate with us in the great work for this time. Lt128-1898.3

Brother Herbert Lacey has been working here for six months. Before he came, not a discourse had been given by our ministers. Reading matter has been circulated freely. The place has been well canvassed, and now the camp meeting is being held here. Lt128-1898.4

It has been a trying time lately. We have had a severe drought, but on the first day of this meeting, there was a violent storm, with rain and wind. This made havoc of our tents. It seemed like the work of the enemy to discourage us. But our Sabbath meeting was excellent. The presence of the Lord was with us, and when the rain poured down the hardest, we lifted up our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving. This meeting told wonderfully on the unbelievers in the congregation. They felt that the presence of God was among us. After the heaviest downpour of rain, we had a season of prayer for those who had come forward for prayer, and the earnest petitions poured forth showed that the Holy Spirit was upon the ministers who prayed. Then we closed the meeting, which had lasted from three o’clock till nearly sundown. Lt128-1898.5

On Sunday the wind blew fiercely at times, but the meetings continued. Sunday afternoon the Lord gave me much freedom in speaking. The largest tent we have ever had in this country was filled to overflowing. The people who were standing, formed a wall outside the tent. This being the holiday season, many people came from the other suburbs of Newcastle. These will carry the news to all parts of the city and to other places. Hundreds are in attendance in the afternoons and evenings. Sabbath afternoon there was quite a congregation of outsiders. On Sunday large numbers were on the ground. Lt128-1898.6

Monday afternoon it was estimated that about five hundred were present at the meeting. On Tuesday I spoke to a tent full, and they listened with intense interest. They seem as in the days of Christ, astonished at the wonderful things brought from the Scriptures. The Bible, they say, will be a new book to them. Intelligent, noble-looking men and women compose our audiences, and we feel reproved that we have not had a camp meeting in Newcastle before. It means much to us if the Lord waters the seed sown. Lt128-1898.7

The people of this place and the surrounding suburbs are as sheep without a shepherd. Before we went to Queensland, there were represented to me different parties in the different suburbs, and I seemed to hear the Macedonian cry, “Come over and help us.” [Acts 16:9.] The words were spoken, “There are scattered sheep without a shepherd.” [See Mark 6:34.] If we could have workers and means sufficient to carry forward the work which the situation of the people demands, we should have churches established in all these central colonies. Some cities like Brisbane, scattered over a large territory, should have two small churches to accommodate the people. To this end we mean to work. May the Lord help the churches now established to become lightbearers to the world. Lt128-1898.8

The time to work is short. I cannot leave this country until I see the standard of truth planted in our cities and their suburbs. If the ministerial laborers are imbued with the Holy Spirit, souls will be converted, and we shall see of the salvation of God. There might be twenty workers employed where there is now one. May the Lord give the people for whom we are working an understanding heart. The work is not ours; it is God’s. The Lord Jesus bids us to let our light shine in clear and distinct rays. He tells us to lift the voice like a trumpet, to cry aloud, and spare not. [Isaiah 58:1.] Lt128-1898.9

There are thousands upon thousands who with defective spiritual eyesight are mistaking phantoms for realities, and realities for phantoms, calling a world an atom and an atom a world. They are practicing on themselves every deception of Satan, and accepting a succession of delusions in grasping for temporal gain. Christ urges them as they respect their own present and eternal good not to lose eternity out of their reckoning. The voice of warning must be given. The truth must be set before the people. The standard must be raised before their sight, extending and elevating their observation, bringing eternity to their view. As the pleasure-lovers and the worshipers of mammon make the religion of the Bible secondary to their own ambitious projects to attain worldly things, Christ will use His servants to speak His Word with clearness and power that man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. Truth, eternal truth, must be proclaimed in every place. Lt128-1898.10