The Review and Herald

982/1902

April 11, 1899

The Newcastle Camp-Meeting

EGW

It was a serious question in the minds of the leading men of the New South Wales Conference whether we could hold a camp-meeting this year in this Conference. The meeting held last year in Stanmore was a marked success. From it the truth was sounded forth to the people of Sydney; and through the attendance of visitors from the country, the knowledge of the Sabbath and Advent message was carried to scores of towns and villages throughout the whole colony. But the expense of this meeting had left our little Conference in debt, and it was feared that we would have to forego a camp-meeting this year, for lack of funds. RH April 11, 1899, par. 1

Finally, it was proposed that we hold the meeting in Newcastle. As there had never been a camp-meeting in Newcastle, there would be no unfavorable comparisons if this was a small one. Being only twenty-five miles from Cooranbong, it was thought that the brethren of the Avondale church could assist much in fitting up the grounds, and in furnishing supplies, which would help to carry the meeting through without great expense. It was also thought that the time had fully come for us to make a decided effort to present the truth to the eighty thousand people of Newcastle and its surrounding towns; and we knew that the best possible way to do this was by holding a camp-meeting, following it with tent-meetings, accompanied by visiting, Bible work, the selling of the Bible Echo and religious and health books, and by Christian Help work, and the establishment of a medical mission. RH April 11, 1899, par. 2

Repeatedly during the last five years, it has been presented to me that a great work is to be done in the cities of Australasia, that the present is a favorable time to work, and that no time should be lost; and recently light has come to me, encouraging us to put forth greater efforts in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, and indicating that the time has come for us to enter Newcastle and its surrounding towns. Several small companies were presented to me, and with them two larger companies that were stretching out their hands imploringly, saying, “‘Come over, ... and help us.’ We are starving for the Bread of life.” In the two larger companies some were praying, some were weeping. A voice said, “They are as sheep without a shepherd. I will feed my flock. I will give them the living Bread from heaven.” During the camp-meetings just held in Brisbane and Newcastle, I recognized in the congregations assembled the two larger companies that I had seen calling for help. RH April 11, 1899, par. 3

We had feared that this would be a small, thinly attended meeting, but our people came out well. From a membership of four hundred in the Conference, there were over two hundred at the camp-meeting. And in the outside attendance we were pleasantly surprised. At the first evening meeting there were a thousand present. Contrary to our fears, it was proved that the holiday season was the best to secure a large attendance of the most earnest, serious people. I have never attended meetings where a deeper, more abiding interest was manifested. RH April 11, 1899, par. 4

During the first Sabbath of the meeting, we felt that the heavenly angels were in the camp. The outside elements seemed to be working against us. There was a severe tempest of wind and rain, but no one seemed to be discouraged. The heavenly streams of the love of God flowed into our hearts, and the countenances of some revealed the Holy Spirit's work. Several not of our faith took part with us in thanksgiving and praise to God. When the rain came down in torrents, we poured out our thanksgiving in songs of praise. Many testified that it was the best Sabbath meeting they had ever enjoyed. RH April 11, 1899, par. 5

An Impressive Dream

During the night of the first Sabbath of the Newcastle meeting, I seemed to be in meeting, presenting the necessity and importance of our receiving the Spirit. This was the burden of my labor,—the opening of our hearts to the Holy Spirit. On one occasion Christ told his disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye can not bear them now.” Their limited comprehension put a restraint on him. He could not open to them the truths he longed to unfold; for while their hearts were closed to them, his unfolding of these truths would be labor lost. They must receive the Spirit before they could fully understand Christ's lessons. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,” Christ said, “whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” RH April 11, 1899, par. 6

In my dream a sentinel stood at the door of an important building, and asked every one who came for entrance, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost?” A measuring-line was in his hand, and only very, very few were admitted into the building. “Your size as a human being is nothing,” he said. “But if you have reached the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus, according to the knowledge you have had, you will receive an appointment to sit with Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb; and through the eternal ages, you will never cease to learn of the blessings granted in the banquet prepared for you. RH April 11, 1899, par. 7

“You may be tall and well-proportioned in self, but you can not enter here. None can enter who are grown-up children, carrying with them the disposition, the habits, and the characteristics which pertain to children. If you have nurtured suspicions, criticism, temper, self-dignity, you can not be admitted; for you would spoil the feast. All who go in through this door have on the wedding garment, woven in the loom of heaven. Those who educate themselves to pick flaws in the characters of others, reveal a deformity that makes families unhappy, that turns souls from the truth to choose fables. Your leaven of distrust, your want of confidence, your power of accusing, closes against you the door of admittance. Within this door nothing can enter that could possibly mar the happiness of the dwellers by marring their perfect trust in one another. You can not join the happy family in the heavenly courts; for I have wiped all tears from their eyes. You can never see the King in his beauty if you are not yourself a representative of his character. RH April 11, 1899, par. 8

“When you give up your own will, your own wisdom, and learn of Christ, you will find admittance into the kingdom of God. He requires entire, unreserved surrender. Give up your life for him to order, mold, and fashion. Take upon your neck his yoke. Submit to be led and taught by him. Learn that unless you become as a little child, you can never enter the kingdom of heaven.” RH April 11, 1899, par. 9

“Abiding in Christ is choosing only the disposition of Christ, so that his interests are identified with yours. Abide in him, to be and to do only what he wills. These are the conditions of discipleship, and unless they are complied with, you can never find rest. Rest is in Christ; it can not be as something apart from him. RH April 11, 1899, par. 10

“The moment his yoke is adjusted to your neck, that moment it is found easy; then the heaviest spiritual labor can be performed, the heaviest burdens borne, because the Lord gives the strength and the power, and he gives gladness in doing the work. Mark the points: ‘Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.’ Who is it that speaks thus?—The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. He desires that your conception of spiritual things shall be purified from the dross of selfishness, the defilement of a crooked, coarse, unsympathetic nature. You must have an inward, higher experience. You must obtain a growth in grace by abiding in Christ. When you are converted, you will not be a hindrance, but will strengthen your brethren.” RH April 11, 1899, par. 11

As these words were spoken, I saw that some turned sadly away and mingled with the scoffers. Others, with tears, all broken in heart, made confession to those whom they had bruised and wounded. They did not think of maintaining their own dignity, but asked at every step. “What must I do to be saved?” The answer was, “Repent, and be converted, that your sins may go beforehand to judgment, and be blotted out.” Words were spoken which rebuked spiritual pride. This God will not tolerate. It is inconsistent with his word and with our profession of faith. Seek the Lord, all ye who are ministers of his. Seek him while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” RH April 11, 1899, par. 12

As I presented these principles to the people in the Sabbath meeting, all seemed to feel that the Lord had spoken through the feeble instrument. We called upon those who wished to consecrate themselves to the Lord, and several responded. After these had borne their testimony, the rain came down in torrents. It seemed as if the windows of heaven were opened. I made this a symbol of what the Lord will do for his people in letting the latter rain of his rich blessing in truth and righteousness fall upon them. We devoted some time to singing “The Evergreen Shore,” “Is My Name Written There?” “When the Mists Have Rolled Away,” and similar songs. As soon as the storm abated, we had a season of prayer, and Elders Daniells and Robinson prayed in the Spirit, as I had never heard them pray before. The meeting then closed. RH April 11, 1899, par. 13