Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 152, 1898

Notes of Travel


November 20, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 634; HP 101; 4MR 257-258, 412.

On Wednesday evening, October 12, we left home for Queensland. W. C. White accompanied Sara McEnterfer, Minnie Hawkins, and his mother to Newcastle, to see us off safely. Sister McEnterfer and myself secured a sleeper; Minnie traveled with about twelve young ladies from the school who will take up the work after the camp meeting canvassing, giving Bible readings, and selling papers. At Newcastle Brother Herbert Lacey and his wife met our party. We had only thirty minutes in which to change cars. Sara and myself were shown into the sleeping car, where there were two single berths all ready for us. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 1

It was eleven o’clock before we were prepared to retire, after parting with W. C. White and our friends at the station. We had plenty of air in our sleeping compartment. I felt very peaceful and quiet in the Lord. I prayed most earnestly that the Lord would impress those who attended the camp meeting with the fact that it would not be what they could do that would make the meeting a success, but that their success depends on their entire surrender to God. If men desire to place themselves where they can be used by God, they must not criticize others to make their defects apparent. This is Satan’s special temptation, whereby he strives to hinder the work. The Lord cannot bless hearts that are not meek and lowly. We are not to seek to humble others. The Word of God exhorts us, “Humble yourselves under the hand of God, and he will lift you up.” [1 Peter 5:6.] 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 2

The meeting which we are traveling from Cooranbong to Queensland to attend is to be a holy convocation, where we shall assemble to worship God. At this meeting there will be many precious souls who are seeking for light, but who know not the reasons of our faith. Nothing could be more unjust than that these souls, who are precious in the sight of the Lord, and who have been walking in all the light they have had, should be condemned for not believing the truth. God has not forsaken them, although they do not walk in the way of His commandments. They have supposed that they were obedient, and have testified that they have accepted Christ as their personal Saviour. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 3

The Bible is so precious to me. The more I read it, the more light in Christian experience I gain. God’s Word seems to be written purposely for me, for in it a balm is provided for all my cares and worries. I love my Saviour because I believe His Word. And many others have this same experience. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 4

The next morning Sara and I did not rise from our berths until eight o’clock. I was awake quite early, some time before daylight. I had a spirit of earnest prayer that the Lord would be with us in our meeting. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 5

During the night season I was hungering and thirsting for righteousness. In my dreams I was standing before many people, urging them with deep earnestness to trust in God, to have increasing faith and confidence in Jesus. He is the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. In Him all hope of eternal life is centered. In all our ways we are to acknowledge Him, thanking Him for the benefits He gives us. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 6

We do not recount God’s mercies often enough. Scarcely any thanksgiving flows back from us to God. By our failure to express gratitude we are dishonoring our Maker. His angels, thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, are commissioned to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They guard us against temporal evil, and press back the powers of darkness, else we should be destroyed. Why do we not value God’s watchcare? If Satan had his way and carried out his designs, destruction would be seen on every hand. Why do we not remember that we are mercifully shielded from peril? Have we not reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our pathway? Cannot we trust our heavenly Father? 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 7

After I had spoken many words to the people, I awoke. I looked from the window of the sleeper, and saw two white clouds. I fell asleep again, and in my dreams the words were spoken to me, look at those clouds. Just such clouds enshrouded the heavenly angels who came to herald the birth of Christ to the watching shepherds. “Lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 8

I looked from the window of my car, and again saw the two clouds. They were pure white, and occasionally touched each other, and then separated. And until twelve o’clock, when we changed cars, they were in full view. I enjoyed the most precious peace and comfort. My thought was, The angels of the Lord are enshrouded in those pure, beautiful clouds. We have the guardianship of the angels. I felt an assurance that we were to see the salvation of God in the meeting to be held in Brisbane. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 9

At twelve o’clock we changed cars. A lady, quite young, with two children came into our compartment. One of these children was eighteen months old, the other about three and a half years. They had had an all-day journey, but their behavior was excellent. How many times I wished that all mothers would manage their children as well as did this woman. She was kind and thoroughly attentive to the wants of her little ones. In the afternoon the car became exceedingly hot. Sara and I lay down, thinking that we might get a little sleep, but there was too much noise for this. The children could not sleep, and they became very weary. At Toowoomba they left us, being met by their father and husband. Then Sara and I were alone, and we both had a good sleep. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 10

At Brisbane, as we drew up to the station, we were met by Elder Daniells, Brother and Sister Wilson, Brother and Sister Haskell, and Brother Palmer. There we were provided with a hack, and rode four miles, loaded down with our parcels and bundles of bedding. I feared that we should be capsized, but we landed safely at the house, where our bedding was carried up a steep incline. We were so glad that the journey was ended. This house furnishes sleeping rooms for Brother and Sister Haskell, and Brother and Sister Wilson. Sara and Minnie have one good sized room. I also have a good room. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 11

We did not get to rest before midnight, and then I could not close the door of my mind. It would think, think. I have been instructed that at this meeting we must look to the Lord, and not to one another, saying, What shall this man do? Each must seek the Lord most earnestly to know what he himself must do in service for God. Says the apostle, “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmen, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ... Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:8-10, 19-22.] 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 12

It takes all kinds of timber to fitly frame this building, and Jesus Christ Himself is to be the chief cornerstone; “in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” [Verse 21.] This is the work that is to be done in this meeting. We are to build together, not separately, but unitedly. Every stick of timber is to find its place, that a united framework may be made, an habitation of God through the Spirit. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 13

This matter was so urged upon my mind that I felt that I must bring it before my brethren at the earliest opportunity. Let none of us strive to be first, for if we do this the spirit of self will work until there is no room for the Spirit of God. Our brethren and sisters are to understand that they have a part in the work. Their work is essential, according to their ability. “We are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] We must give to every man his place, for God has given to every man his work; and if this work is neglected, a complete habitation for God will not be built. 13LtMs, Ms 152, 1898, par. 14