The Review and Herald


September 25, 1894

First Australian Camp-Meeting


While in the colonies, I have tried to encourage the people to work to the point of building plain houses of worship, and have talked much upon economy, and its necessity in order to advance the work in this field. The hard times which are felt in America have made a serious impression in Australia. But notwithstanding the hard times, we felt it was essential to have a camp-meeting in Melbourne before we could leave this country. We felt that, as far as it was consistent with our circumstances, we must make all things in the camp-meeting after the divine order, so as to leave the right impression upon the people as to what constitutes a camp-meeting after God's plan, that it should give character to our work. We knew this was right; but all such advanced movements involve expense. Tents had to be made, yet every arrangement was planned after the strictest economy. We planned closely, and studied economy in every part, feeling that each one was connected with all, and the whole assembly to God. Some of us who know, had a realization of the fact that we were devising and planning under the supervision of heavenly intelligences. Angels were viewing the care taken by the workers, the neat, tasty appearance of the tents, and the orderly arrangement of the grounds. They saw the effort made rightly to represent us as a people, and the truth we believe. RH September 25, 1894, par. 1

In this first camp-meeting in Australia we felt that we must have everything arranged in a manner that would be approved of God; for we were a spectacle unto the world, who knew us not, and to angels, and to men. We were regarded as a peculiar people by the world. In the sight of God we are regarded as a peculiar people in a different sense from that in which the world regards us. “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all the people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them; he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.” “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” RH September 25, 1894, par. 2

We knew that all heaven was interested in our preparation for the camp-meeting, and the Lord had promised to be our Counselor, if we would be guided by him in all things. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye”. In the order of our camp we were to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness, into his marvelous light. The effect upon the people was more than we had dared to expect. The whole encampment left an impression upon those who visited it that the truth was of great importance, and that the missionary spirit is the true spirit of the gospel. Thus we did honor to our cause; but above all we honored God in doing his will, and in making so favorable an impression on the people. RH September 25, 1894, par. 3

Our people who encamped on the ground, sought to make the visitors as welcome as possible, and thus testified to them that they were seeking to follow Christ. It is the privilege of every one to have a drawing influence, through the endowment of the Holy Spirit. The Christian is to have an atmosphere surrounding his soul that shall be full of pleasantness, courtesy, and kindness, and represent the Spirit of Christ. These qualities of character are to be perseveringly cherished, and employed in the work of God, giving character to that work in representing Christ to the world. Human influence, deriving its efficacy from heaven, is ordained of God as an instrumentality by which the transforming, sanctifying power of the truth may be demonstrated. RH September 25, 1894, par. 4

The Lord is dishonored with anything that is done in connection with his service, in a lax, slipshod manner. In everything concerning the camp-meeting we desired to show that the influence of the truth was an uplifting influence, and that it fashioned the heart, the manner, and the taste of the human agent after the divine similitude. This we sought to do as far as it lay in our power. We have had a decided purpose not to merge our ways and conform our habits and practices to the mold of the habits and practices of the colonials. God would not be pleased to have us do this, and catch up their sentiments, their manners of speech, and method of pronunciation. Christ is our model, and we are to change our reason, our affections, our speech, our habits, according to his divine example, rather than seek to meet the customs, practices, and habits of education of any nation. We are to receive our mold from Christ. He is to see himself in the character of his followers. We are to copy his Spirit, to have our lives hid with Christ in God. In every true believer the character of Christ is to be reproduced. The Spirit of Christ is to be made manifest through human efforts. As those who have been transformed by the truth come in contact with others who have had a false education, and have received perverted ideas, they are to represent Christ, in order that the deficiencies of those who have had but little experience may disappear, and the mold of Christ may be seen upon them. The followers of Christ are to represent his tenderness, his courtesy, and his love toward others. His solicitude for human souls is to be reproduced in those who believe in him. They are to lift Christ up in order that he may draw all unto him. The world should see a representative of Christ in each of his believers. RH September 25, 1894, par. 5

It is not in the power of those who have named the name of Jesus to give him more than is his own. He has bought every human agent with an infinite price, and we are his property for both time and eternity. He owns every moment of our time, and our gifts of reason and talent belong to him. We cannot glorify God unless we express our obligation to him. Every soul converted to the truth, not only takes the name of Christian, but is under the responsibility of putting on Christ in spirit, in word, and in conduct. This invests him with the same kind of influence as had the one who through the power of the Holy Spirit led him into the light of truth. Then the likeness of Christ appears in his character; and he is a laborer together with God, and draws souls by the divine power of the grace that has been imparted to him. RH September 25, 1894, par. 6

Christ took humanity upon him. He was our substitute and surety. He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.... For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth; and he will show him greater works than these; that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.” RH September 25, 1894, par. 7