The Review and Herald


September 27, 1898

Week of Prayer in Australia—No. 1


In all our Australasian churches the nine days from May 28 to June 5 were set apart as a special season of self-examination, prayer, and thanksgiving. RH September 27, 1898, par. 1

Appropriate readings were published and sent out to the officers of the churches, and to isolated families of Sabbath-keepers. In these readings the perils and duties of the present time were clearly set before our people, with fervent exhortations to purity of life, godliness, and consecration. RH September 27, 1898, par. 2

A review of the special blessings of the year showed clearly that the Lord has had a constant care for his people, and is ever working in their behalf. As individuals, as families, and as churches, we have felt his loving care; and in the growth of our Conferences and the development of our institutions, we see material advancement. During the year, churches and companies of Sabbath-keepers have been raised up in several places, and two commodious meeting-houses built, one in Cooranbong and one in Stanmore. RH September 27, 1898, par. 3

One year ago there were about fifty students attending the school. During May of this year, one hundred were in attendance. Last year at this time the health home was struggling to win back the patronage it had lost through the interruption of its work on account of the sale of the building it occupied, which necessitated moving; now it is full to overflowing with patients, and earning something with which to make up the losses of last year. The Echo Publishing Company has erected a large and convenient building, which will double its capacity for work; and the New Zealand Tract Society has just completed the erection of a commodious building, in a good location in Wellington, which furnishes abundance of room for the book depository, and provides a good meeting-hall for the Wellington church. RH September 27, 1898, par. 4

And right here I wish to express my thanks, and the hearty thanks of our brethren in these colonies, to our brethren and friends in America and in Africa, who have responded so heartily to our appeals for assistance to build meeting-houses in the important centers in these colonies; and whose timely assistance has enabled us to erect plain but commodious meeting-houses in Melbourne, Sydney, Ashfield, Wellington, Hobart, Epsom, Christchurch, and Cooranbong. Great care has been exercised in the use of the funds given for this work, and in no case have appropriations been made till the brethren in the locality where a house was needed have lifted to the extent of their ability. It would have been hardly possible in any of these places for our people, unaided, to build a suitable place of worship. RH September 27, 1898, par. 5

Our Institutions

The Lord has entrusted his people in the Australasian colonies with manifold blessings with great responsibilities. The Echo Office, the school, the health home, and the tract society depositories are centers of influence, established in the providence of God as places through which he may work in a special manner. By the appointment of these centers, God designs to bring human beings into connection with himself, that humanity may touch humanity; and that men, controlled by the Holy Spirit, may increase in knowledge, strengthening every principle of character according to the divine similitude. RH September 27, 1898, par. 6

It is of great importance that the workers in all these institutions shall fully understand their privileges and their responsibilities. If this is not done, self will be woven into the work, and will take the place that should be given to God. The managers of our institutions should teach the workers, by precept and example, that in all things the excellence of God is to be made prominent. And church officers must teach this also in the churches. The standard of the Lord must be uplifted. All should be made to see that our institutions are of God's appointment. Those who depreciate one of them, representing, from selfish motives, that it is an inferior affair, must render to God an account for their words and influence. The Lord designs that everything connected with his work shall be treated as sacred. Let all be warned that no common fire is to be used in place of the sacred fire, that common things are not to be mingled with God's appointed agencies. RH September 27, 1898, par. 7

Let all beware how they weave self-serving and self-pleasing into the work. If they do this, they dishonor God, and he can not use them to his name's glory. When trial comes to prove us; when we can not see an increase of prosperity and comfort before us, but a probable lessening of these things; when there is a pressure necessitating a sacrifice on the part of all, how shall we receive Satan's insinuations that we are going to have a hard time, that everything is going to pieces, and that there is sore trouble ahead of us? If we listen to these suggestions, unbelief in God will spring up, bringing blindness to the soul. RH September 27, 1898, par. 8

We ought to believe that God has always had a care for his people and for his institutions. We ought to look at the work that he has done, the reforms that he has wrought. We ought to gather up the fragments of heaven's blessings, and all the tokens of good, saying: “Lord, I believe in thee; I believe in thy servants and in thy work. I will trust in thee. Thou hast made this institution a center of light. It is thine own instrumentality, and we will not fail nor be discouraged. We are greatly honored in being connected with thy work. We will be true to the work of God. We will act faithfully our part. We will keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” RH September 27, 1898, par. 9

God has sent trials to his institutions, to prove who will stand faithful under the severe temptations of the enemy. Those who have shown themselves ready to listen to the voice of a stranger rather than to the voice of God, have lost much. They have loosened their hold on Christ, and chosen a broken reed on which to lean. For them, there is but one way of escape, and that is to learn to be afraid of themselves, carefully to reject false principles and wrong theories, accepting the invitation, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” RH September 27, 1898, par. 10

The Lord would have the Echo Office stand as a living witness for the truth. Rays of light must be shed abroad through various avenues. Therefore the commercial work should not be entirely cut away, but it must be cleansed of all that is offensive in character. It would be a mistake for our offices of publication to build up barriers to exclude all work from the outside; for this would close an avenue through which rays of light and knowledge should be given to the world. RH September 27, 1898, par. 11

The Echo Office, and our publishing houses in Europe and America, should give more attention than they have done to the education of the workers. Each institution should be a school for the training of laborers. Patient effort should be bestowed upon the youth. Every good attribute is to be cultivated and developed with kindness, love, compassion, and tenderness. There should be no scolding, no fretting, but much praying with the learners. Do not fret, do not worry. By looking at appearances, and complaining when difficulties come, you show an enfeebled, sickly faith. Show your faith by earnest, cheerful work. The Lord is rich in resources. He made the world. He is never bound by circumstances. We need to look heavenward, in faith. Let us look to God, who has light, and power, and efficiency. God will open heaven, and let us see that he is light, and that in him is no darkness at all. God will bless every one who is in a position to communicate light and love to others. RH September 27, 1898, par. 12

With these, and many other words, I presented to the workers in the Echo Office, and to our laborers in our established centers, the principles that should guide us in our present work in Australasia, where there are so many open doors, so many ripening fields, and so few laborers to go forth with the message which is due at this time, and for which thousands are hungering. RH September 27, 1898, par. 13

The managers of our institutions in every land should constantly study how they may enlarge the sphere of their usefulness. The work in our publishing houses is ever in danger of being crippled by the influence of unconsecrated workers, and restricted by narrow plans and prejudices. We must ever strive to make our printing-houses, as well as our sanitariums, training-schools for home and foreign missionaries. RH September 27, 1898, par. 14