The Review and Herald

698/1902

December 5, 1893

An Appeal for the Australasian Field

EGW

Dear Brethren and Sisters in America,

We have now been in this missionary field nearly two years. For eleven months of this time, because of sickness, I was unable to labor in public. At times, with much inconvenience and suffering, I spoke in the church at Melbourne; but although I could not labor in a public manner during these months of suffering, I was enabled to write 2400 pages of letter paper upon themes that were essential to the progress of the work. Christ was preciously-near to me during the time of my affliction, and the truth was presented to me in clear light, and the promises were viewed by me in their richness and fullness. I felt constrained to write by the Spirit of God even in my affliction and suffering; but I am now rejoiced to say that the Lord has been mercifully working for my restoration, and although not entirely relieved, I am in a much better condition of health, and have been strengthened so that I can stand before the people and bear to them my message, and in this work I have been marvelously sustained. RH December 5, 1893, par. 1

We have carried a heavy burden for these Australasian fields, and though our allotted time to remain here is almost expired, we see much unfinished work before us. We have sent in our appeals for men and means to carry forward the work in this far-off missionary territory, and we are thankful to our heavenly Father for that which has been done in response. We are glad that Brother and sister Wilson have been added to the number of missionary laborers by the General Conference. But we would be more rejoiced if our responsible men would not see so many ways to invest means upon that which is in the range of their immediate vision, and would extend their view, and see the necessity of providing facilities to start the work in new fields. There are many, many important cities that have not been entered; many, many places where the banner of truth has not been unfurled. We still plead for laborers for these colonies. We still plead for financial help to plant the standard of truth in these new fields. RH December 5, 1893, par. 2

Some of our responsible men seem only to take in the needs of the field on which their vision rests, and addition upon addition is made to well-established institutions, in which a large amount of means has already been invested, and where already a great amount of strength is centered. Yet to these very institutions large donations are appropriated to build them up still further, while other fields, such as this one, where there are no strength and no facilities, are left in their deplorable weakness, devoid of those things necessary to break up the soil for the introduction of the seeds of truth. RH December 5, 1893, par. 3

Brethren in America, I am praying day and night that the Lord may extend your vision, in order that you may see things that are afar off. How can the Lord Jesus approve of your absorbing so much means in increasing facilities whereby to advance the work in America, while foreign fields are destitute of means whereby to begin the work in parts where no beginning has been made? Knowing as we do, how well equipped are our institutions for publishing, for education, and for treating the sick, and what a firm basis the truth has in that field, we wonder that you should think it proper to expend more means there, when these foreign fields are so lacking in that with which you are so well furnished. Here are places all about us that have never been entered, and cannot be worked unless we shall have houses of worship, even though of the humblest character. We cannot call out the people to hear the truth in tents as in America; for in many places, as in Wellington, New Zealand, the wind would strip them to ribbons. We have not a place in these large cities where we can call out the people to hear the truth of God. We cannot unfurl the banner of truth; for we have no standing place. I am looking to the Lord for light, and I shall make appeals again and again, like the importunate widow, until you shall be compelled to hear, and attend to the call. I address the churches, and plead with them to do the very work that God would have them. I have been thinking very seriously of going to America in person to make appeals from church to church; for I am deeply moved over the destitute condition of these Australasian fields. RH December 5, 1893, par. 4

In this country, the denominational ministers tell the most unblushing falsehoods to their congregations in reference to our work and our people. Whatever false report has been started, is circulated by those who oppose the truth, and is repeated from church to church and from community to community. The circulators of these falsehoods take no pains to find out whether or not they are true, for many of those who repeat the reports, though not the framers of them, still love the false reports, and take delight in giving them a wide circulation. They do not, like honest, just men, come to those who are accused, and seek to find out what is the truth concerning what they have heard in regard to their faith; but without inquiry they spread false statements in order to prejudice the people against those who hold the truth. For instance, an effort was made to obtain the use of the hall at a village four miles from Hastings, where some of our workers proposed to present the gospel to the people; but they did not succeed in obtaining the hall, because a school-teacher there opposed the truth, and declared to the people that Seventh-day Adventists did not believe in the divinity of Christ. This man may not have known what our faith is on this point, but he was not left in ignorance. He was informed that there is not a people on earth who hold more firmly to the truth of Christ's pre-existence than do Seventh-day Adventists. But the answer was given that they did not want that the doctrines of Seventh-day Adventists should be promulgated in that community. So the door was closed. RH December 5, 1893, par. 5

The prejudice that exists in the smaller cities and towns of Australia and New Zealand is very bitter, and we have to put forth the same effort here to overcome prejudice as in America where our people are not known. The message and the messenger are not so well known in these fields as in America, so the prejudice is of longer duration; and until the people who are teaching the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are better known by personal acquaintance, these fields will be hard to work. It is difficult to break down these barriers, and obtain an opportunity to introduce the leaven of truth, and proclaim the last message of mercy and warning to the people. As in Christ's day, the ministers will not investigate the Scriptures, and candidly compare the doctrines presented with their Bibles, but rather seize upon some lying report, some scandal from far off or from near at hand, and present a false statement to their congregations as an evidence that they should close their ears to the “strange doctrines” of the Seventh-day Adventists. Through these lying reports, the people whose minds have been stirred up by the truth are quieted down, and as they have not the moral courage to investigate the Scriptures for themselves, or to ferret out the falsehood, they turn from the men who have the message of God. We are obliged to go over the very same ground in these fields that we had to go over in the beginning of the work in America. The history of the work, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, when they journeyed from place to place, and had to meet the opposition of opposers of the truth, is re-enacted in the work of the message for this time. RH December 5, 1893, par. 6

Prejudice in these fields is so strong that we do not see how the message of truth is to go to the cities and towns in these colonies, unless we shall be furnished with facilities by which we may work. In the history of the first gospel workers, we read that after the day of Pentecost, they set forth in earnest to fulfill the commission given them of Christ, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” I was rejoiced to hear of the outpouring of the Spirit of God in Michigan, and especially at Battle Creek. I rejoiced with heart and soul and voice; for I knew that something would be done to stir the souls of those who have had the shining of continual rays of light upon them, and who have not hitherto made a response in proportion to the light they have had. The Holy Spirit works in the heart of its receiver, and makes its possessor an agent for its designs. Those who are imbued with the Holy Spirit become channels of light to the world, and those who have had the Spirit of God will make a decided response to the appeals which the Lord is sending. RH December 5, 1893, par. 7

I ask my brethren and sisters in America, Are you, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, working the works of God? Are you becoming witnesses as did the early disciples to the power of him who sanctifies you, and enables you to consecrate yourselves to the very work that God would have you do? Have families aroused from their idle inactivity? and have they moved from Battle Creek into surrounding towns and villages to advocate and live out before the people the message of truth? The admonition to each one is, Work “while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” Who has opened his ears to the Macedonian cry that is coming from every direction. “Come over and help us”? Who have had their hearts stirred by the need of the people, and have decided to leave country and kindred to come to this far-off field in response to the urgent appeals that have been sent to you? Who have been stirred to give their substance to the cause, to devote their means to the advancement of the present truth in this field? RH December 5, 1893, par. 8

We have been sent here by the General Conference, and we are here on the ground; but we have not been provided with facilities to do the work, although urgent calls have been made for facilities, and the needs of the field have been repeatedly presented before our brethren. The trouble is that our brethren do not comprehend the appeal that has been made. But something more must be done, they think, to give additional strength to, and to multiply facilities in, America, where there is a great abundance of facilities; while the fields that have no strength, which need money and workers, are left almost entirely in their destitution, and the call for means and men is scarcely heeded. Workers now, and money now, would be of more value than double the financial assistance in two years from this time. I must now make an appeal to the churches. I must call upon you in America to help us at this time. I call upon those whom God has made stewards of his means to send us financial help, and let those who are willing to go out as did Abraham, leaving country and kindred, come as missionaries to this field, not looking to the Conference to pay your expenses, or to support you, but looking to God for grace to diffuse the light he has given you. RH December 5, 1893, par. 9

Wake up, brethren and sisters, wake up. Sleep no longer. “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” Jesus calls you, saying, “Go work today in my vineyard.” Whoever has received the Holy Spirit, will make it manifest; for all his powers will be employed in the most active service. All who actually receive Christ by faith, work. They feel the burden of souls. God now calls upon every one who has a knowledge of the truth, who is a depositary of sacred truth, to arise and impart the light of heaven to others. Those who have been illuminated by the Holy Spirit, will show its office work upon life and character. They will be mediums through which the Holy Spirit will communicate light and knowledge to others. The wonderful truth revealed to us in these last days, is to be revealed to others. “The end of all things is at hand.” The Lord has been speaking to you in America, and may the Lord forbid that at the time of great illumination, darkness should come upon you because you fail to walk in the light that has been given. Darkness corresponding to your light will surely come upon you, if you do not now arouse from your slumbers, and shake off your useless musings and selfish indulgences, and trade diligently with your Lord's goods. Move out from your pleasant homes. Develop the talents God has given you, and tell to others what the Holy Spirit has communicated to you. God requires you to work in proportion to the light he has given. RH December 5, 1893, par. 10

(Concluded next week.)