Lt 199, 1899

1899

Lt 199, 1899

Haskell, Brother and Sister [S. N.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 3, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 305.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

We feel very much interested in Maitland. All that I have seen since we commenced work in Maitland answers to the description given to me by the Lord when I saw before me large and small companies. Oh, what a representation that was of the hunger of souls for the genuine gospel! There are many churches in Maitland, but in them very little of the gospel that makes men wise unto salvation is held forth. The ministers should give the people the truth of the Word of God, but instead they give them sophistry and fables. They preach sermons of war and bloodshed. The African war is the gospel now presented to the people by many of their religious teachers. They report that we teach strange doctrines, but it is not we but they that do this. They do not preach or practice the Word. Lt199-1899.1

Paul wrote to Timothy, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] What a work there is before us in this country! Church members are aware that their ministers do not feed them with the bread of life. When they come to the tent and listen to the message presented from the Word of God, they are like men and women entranced. They express themselves freely. Some say, I have attended the meetings for a long time. I could not but be interested in the talks given. I have heard more of the Word of God from the talks given in the tent than from all the teaching I have heard in the churches. Lt199-1899.2

There are three brothers, Kerr by name, who are greatly interested in the truth. They are merchants, and have a large drapery establishment in Maitland. This store is divided into three parts, one of which each brother manages. These brothers are married and have homes of their own. They have attended many of the meetings. We know that they are interested and convicted. I have given each of them a book, Desire of Ages, and Great Controversy, and Patriarchs and Prophets. I gave the youngest of the Kerr brothers The Coming King, and Desire of Ages. He called upon me, and expressed himself as highly pleased with the books, saying that he looked upon my giving them to him as a great favor. Lt199-1899.3

After I had finished speaking on temperance Sunday afternoon, a man said to Elder Daniells, “What a discourse that was! Mrs. White cut me through and through when she spoke of the teachers of the people and the youth using tobacco. I have been a tobacco user, but Mrs. White left me nothing to stand on. The sermon was truth, and tremendous truth.” Lt199-1899.4

The ministers of today smoke, attend theaters, and play games. One minister in Maitland is paid five hundred pounds a year, but seldom does he visit his flock. The eldest of the Kerr brothers, in talking with me, used the very same words I heard used when in the visions of the night companies were presented to me who, with outstretched hands, were saying imploringly, “Our souls are not being fed. We want the gospel. Give us Bible truth.” I know that many who are during the meetings in Maitland have been cut to the heart were the very ones who were pleading, “Will you not come over and help us?” Lt199-1899.5

I was requested by the president of the Maitland branch of the W.C.T.U. to speak to them one evening. She said that they would be very glad to hear me, even though I spoke only for ten minutes. I asked her if ten minutes which she proposed for me to speak was all the time that was allowed, because sometimes the Spirit of the Lord came upon me and I had more than a ten-minute talk to give. “Oh,” she said, “your people told me that you did not speak in the evening, and I specified ten minutes as the time, thinking that I would not get you at all if I made it longer. The longer you can speak to us, the more thankful we shall be.” I spoke with freedom for an hour. Lt199-1899.6

I asked Mrs. Winter, the president, if it was her custom to read a portion of Scripture at the opening of the meeting. She said that it was. I then asked for the privilege of praying, which was gladly granted. Some of the women present that night afterward attended the meetings in the tent. Lt199-1899.7

The attendance at the Maitland camp meeting was not so large as at the Brisbane meeting, but those who came were of the best class of people. The Lord has indeed imbued His ministers with His Holy Spirit, and great light has shone forth as messages of warning and encouragement have been given. The people seem to greatly enjoy the singing of our plain, simple hymns. God has given Sister Hickox a special talent in this direction. Lt199-1899.8

I have just been drawn out to write to Brethren Starr, Colcord, and Hickox, who have been left in charge of the work in Maitland. Vigorous work has been kept up, and is still going forward. The ministers of the other churches are making every effort to work against us. False statements are being made. The minister of the church, of which the Kerrs are members, took the eldest Mr. Kerr, and talked and scolded and tried to intimidate him. Nevertheless he and his brother came to the tent Sunday afternoon to hear Mrs. White speak. Lt199-1899.9

When Mr. Kerr heard that we were thinking of pitching a tent in East Maitland, he seemed to be troubled. Please consider this matter fully, he said. You will make a mistake in dividing your forces. Now, when the tent is to be moved from the Park to another place is your most important time. We told him that we had already decided that the time had not come to enter East Maitland. Lt199-1899.10

People in the farming districts round Maitland, and also in the mining districts, are calling for meetings. One day twenty men and women walked from a town, Greta, several miles away to our meeting. Some of our ministers will go and visit these places, while others keep up the interest in Maitland. A letter received from Brother Starr today is full of encouragement. Lt199-1899.11

One week ago last Monday we left Maitland to drive to our home. The weather was very hot, so Sara got up at one o’clock and fed Jasper and Jessie White. We drove moderately, and entered our gate at eight o’clock a.m. On Thursday Brother Starr and Brother Paap rode over from Maitland on their bicycles. Early Friday morning they went back, and reached Maitland in four hours from the time they left Cooranbong. Lt199-1899.12

For several days the heat here has been something terrible. We have had to keep all our windows closed to shut out the hot air, which was just like the breath from a furnace. On Sabbath I spoke to our people in Cooranbong. I tried to impress them with the fact that as members of the body of Christ, they must be active, living stones in His building. My message was taken from the commission Christ gave His disciples just before His ascension: “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8.] We have a worldwide message. No needless display should be seen on our persons or in our houses. Simplicity in everything must be encouraged. Lt199-1899.13

Believers are to shine as lights in the world. And by His example Christ has shown us that believers can best do the work required of them when their vital energies are organized in church fellowship. Christians are to stand out distinct from the world as God’s standard-bearers, showing in their lives the influence of the transforming grace of Christ. They are raised up together to sit with Christ in heavenly places, that they may reveal to the world, to angels, and to men an enduring representation of the eternal world. They are to hold forth the Word of life, warning men of the binding claims of God’s law. God wants His servants to be of a high order. He wants them to obey laws of a higher order than the laws of the world—laws which are the transcript of His character. Lt199-1899.14

God’s work is supreme. He calls for all the powers of the intellect, all the spiritual endowments. They are to be consecrated to Him and to the service of humanity. He calls for workers who are partakers of the divine nature. Those who really believe in Jesus will be colaborers with Him, showing to the unfallen worlds and to the fallen world a character which is after the divine similitude. They are to show that they have a higher, holier order of enjoyment than the world can bestow. Lt199-1899.15

God will bestow the power of the Holy Spirit upon all who will co-operate with Him in the cultivation of all their endowments and talents, that they may stand on vantage ground. Seventh-day Adventists have all the promise of all that Christ can bestow if they will believe in Him. They are to be distinguished by their uprightness, their faith, their tender regard for one another. Bound together by the holy cords of Christian fellowship, bound up with Christ in God, they are to stand on the highest of all platforms—the Rock of Ages. All heaven is open to the doers of God’s Word. Lt199-1899.16

To be a teacher of sacred truth means to have an experimental knowledge of what it means to reveal in life and character, in word, in spirit, and in doctrine the powers of the world to come. When we have this knowledge, our example will not make Christ ashamed of us, as He is today ashamed of a large number, who are strangers to His Spirit. Christ’s followers are to seek to improve the moral tone of the world, under the influence of the impartation of the Spirit of God. They are not to come down to the world’s level, thinking that by doing this, they will uplift it. In words, in dress, in spirit, in everything, there is to be a marked distinction between Christians and worldlings. This distinction has a convincing influence upon worldings. They see that the sons and daughters of the Lord do separate themselves from the world, and that the Lord binds them up with Himself. Those who will not see or understand the necessity of being separate from the world know not God or Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Lt199-1899.17

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, ... nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Has this reformation taken place? “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.” [1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 14.] Who is willing to be raised to the highest level? Lt199-1899.18

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, ... which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [Verses 19, 20.] Lt199-1899.19

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” [2 Corinthians 6:1.] Those who, while claiming to believe the truth are not decidedly transformed in character, serve the devil with far more power and far more influence than if they had never heard the truth. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 7:1.] Lt199-1899.20

I am alarmed for the spiritual state of those who, knowing the messages God has sent to them to repent, do not receive the Holy Spirit, do not let their lives become one with Christ in God. They guide themselves; they do as they please. They are not cleansed from sin; they are not holy; and their final state will be as much worse than the state of the heathen as their advantages, knowledge, and privileges were greater than those of the heathen. Self-righteousness will not stand the test of the judgment. God calls for thorough humiliation. He calls upon those who stand in sacred places as managers, as teachers, as ministers, yet who walk contrary to the warnings God has given them, who, self-deceived, walk in the sparks of their own kindling, to rend their hearts and not their garments. Lt199-1899.21