The Review and Herald

785/1902

July 30, 1895

Interesting Experiences in Australia

EGW

[The following letter from Sister White to Brother Olsen, we are permitted to present to the readers of the Review. The brethren everywhere will be interested in the happy experiences which it records.—Eds.] RH July 30, 1895, par. 1

North Fitzroy, Australia,

May 27, 1895.

On Sabbath, May 25, we had a precious meeting in the hall where our people meet at North Fitzroy. For several days before the meeting, I knew that I was expected to speak in the church on Sabbath; but unfortunately I had a severe cold and was quite hoarse. I felt inclined to excuse myself from this appointment; but as it was my only opportunity, I said, “I will place myself before the people, and I believe the Lord will answer my earnest prayers, and remove the hoarseness so that I can present my message to the people.” I presented to my Heavenly Father the promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.... If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Again, Christ says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” RH July 30, 1895, par. 2

The word of God is sure. I had asked, and I believed that I would be enabled to speak to the people. I selected a portion of Scripture; but when I rose to speak, it was taken from my mind, and I felt impressed to speak from the first chapter of second Peter. The Lord gave me special freedom in presenting the value of the grace of God. How much is his grace to be appreciated! The apostle says: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” RH July 30, 1895, par. 3

I was enabled by the aid of the Holy Spirit to speak with clearness and power. At the close of my discourse, I felt impressed by the Spirit of God to extend an invitation for all those to come forward who desired to give themselves fully to the Lord. Those who felt the need of the prayers of the servants of God were invited to make it manifest. About thirty came forward. Among these were the wives of the brethren A., who for the first time made manifest their desire to come near to God. My heart was filled with unspeakable gratitude because of the movement made by these two women. I could then see why I was so earnestly moved to make this invitation. At first I had hesitated, wondering if it were best to do so when my son and I were the only ones whom I could see who would give us any help on that occasion. But as though some one had spoken to me, the thought passed through my mind, “Cannot you trust in the Lord?” I said, “I will, Lord.” Although my son was much surprised that I should make such a call on this occasion, he was equal to the emergency. I never heard him speak with greater power or deeper feeling than at that time. He called upon brethren Faulkhead and Salisbury to come forward, and we knelt in prayer. My son took the lead, and the Lord surely indited his petition; for he seemed to pray as though in the presence of God. Brethren Faulkhead and Salisbury also presented fervent petitions, and then the Lord gave me a voice to pray. I remembered the sisters A., who, for the first time, were taking a public stand for the truth. The Holy Spirit was in the meeting, and many were stirred by its deep movings. RH July 30, 1895, par. 4

At the close of the meeting many pressed their way to the platform, and taking me by the hand, requested me with tears in their eyes to pray for them. I answered heartily, “I will.” The sisters A. were introduced to me, and I found that their hearts were very tender. RH July 30, 1895, par. 5

I will tell you a little more definitely about the situation of these A. brothers and their wives. Brother Somerville was the first one who interested these men in the truth. He requested the help of brother Starr in giving them Bible readings, and through these influences they were led to come upon the Brighton camp ground. They were delighted with the cotton city, and decided to have a tent for their families, and thus be able to receive the benefit of the meetings. The wives could be on the grounds whenever they chose, but the husbands could only attend the meetings when their business permitted. But they did this, placing themselves in the channel of light where the heavenly current could flow to their souls. They were converted and baptized. From that time they closed their music-store on the Sabbath. The father was very much troubled over their course, for they not only refused to do business themselves, but would not allow him to open their music-store to do business on the Sabbath himself. It was a very trying experience for them, but through the help of the Lord the matter was adjusted, and the brothers went on with their business without leaving the truth. They had to suffer the affliction of opposition from father and mother and relatives. The mother of one of the sisters who has now taken her position on the truth, has been a most bitter opposer, and has threatened that if her daughter did become a Sabbath-keeper, she would not allow her to enter her home; for the mother would look upon her as a disgrace to the family. Mrs. A. had often made the statement that she would never join the Seventh-day Adventists. She had been brought up in the Presbyterian Church, and had been educated to think that it was very improper for women to speak in meeting, and that for a woman to preach was altogether beyond the bounds of propriety. She enjoyed hearing Elders Daniells and Corliss, and thought them very clever speakers, but she would not listen to a woman's preaching. Her husband had prayed that God would so arrange matters that she might be converted under the ministry of sister White. When I made the appeal, and urged those to come forward who felt their need of drawing nearer to God, to the surprise of all, these sisters came forward. The sister who had lost her little one, said that she was determined that she would not move forward, but the Spirit of the Lord so forcibly impressed her mind that she dared not refuse. When the brethren A. saw their wives going forward, they said they felt like leaping and praising God. They could hardly believe their own eyes. These men have proved God's promise true; for in asking they have received, and their faith has been greatly increased in him who has made every promise sure in Jesus Christ. RH July 30, 1895, par. 6

My faith also was rewarded, and although difficulty was brought upon me by the prevailing epidemic, the Lord sustained me, and lifted upon me the health of his countenance. I feel so grateful to my Heavenly Father for his loving-kindness in bringing these two precious souls to unite with their husbands in obeying the truth. They have counted the cost before they have entered upon the Christian warfare. For some time these sisters have been attending the Sabbath school. They brought the little children with them that they might receive the benefit of the instruction in the smaller classes, while they themselves have felt that they have gained much instruction in studying the lessons of the senior division. They were much nearer belief in the truth, nearer the kingdom of heaven, than they themselves had thought. RH July 30, 1895, par. 7

This Sabbath day was a precious day. Was there not joy in heaven over these two souls who had received Christ? John says, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.... And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” RH July 30, 1895, par. 8

This precious experience is one of the results of the Brighton camp-meeting. The influence of that meeting is far-reaching. The people have not yet forgotten it, but far and near it is spoken of in decidedly favorable terms. Should another camp-meeting be held in the vicinity of Melbourne, we have no doubt but that it would accomplish great good. It would be the means of aiding many who have received light and have not yet acknowledged the truth, to take their position in the ranks of commandment keepers. RH July 30, 1895, par. 9

Today I have been in a council meeting where a resolution was offered to the effect that the next camp-meeting should be held in Ballarat, but before the vote was taken, I said: “I fear you are making a mistake in deciding to hold our camp-meeting in Ballarat this year. The Brighton camp meeting was successful far beyond our expectations, and from the light I have received concerning that meeting, I know that none of us have had a proper estimate of its wide spreading influence. Impressions have been made upon minds that nothing has been able to efface. The efforts of ministers and people to undo the work of that camp-meeting have to a large degree been unavailing. Hundreds are reading their Bibles with heartfelt desires to know the truth. The Spirit of the Lord is drawing them to himself, though at present they are confused by the conflicting opinions of men. The Lord has wrought since the camp-meeting in Brighton. One season has passed since it was held, and should another season pass by, it would result in great loss. There are many who are far from Melbourne who may not be able to be present at the camp-meeting should it be held there, but the Lord has done much for his people. RH July 30, 1895, par. 10

“As an outgrowth of the Brighton camp-meeting, several churches have been raised up. I visited the church in Williamstown, and rejoiced to see that many have had moral courage to manifest their loyalty to the commandments of God in spite of the continual opposition and contempt that have been heaped upon them and upon God's holy law. They had sought earnestly for truth, and the feelings of the earnest seeker after truth are expressed in the words of the psalmist, where he says, ‘It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way. Thy testimonies are wonderful; therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.’ RH July 30, 1895, par. 11

“A church has been also raised up in Hawthorne and another in Brighton. About sixty belong to these two churches. A large number of new members have been added to the Prahran church and to the church in North Fitzroy. A number of members have also moved away; but persons are continually coming in who heard the truth at the Brighton camp-meeting. The Lord is drawing, and some are responding to his drawing. It would be a mistake to take the camp-meeting to Ballarat. Let the meeting be held where the people are, that they may not only attend; but sustain it. Let it be held where persons who have had their minds exercised may have the benefit of hearing again the reasons of our faith. The truth may be presented also to a class who have never before heard it. Were the tents pitched in a new locality, a new class of hearers would be reached. RH July 30, 1895, par. 12

“Some will say that these camp-meetings are very expensive, and that the Conference cannot afford to support another such meeting; but when we look at the three churches that have been organized, and are prospering in the faith, can we hesitate in answering the question, Will it pay? Shall we not raise our voices in decided affirmation, It will pay?” RH July 30, 1895, par. 13