Ellen G. White Writings

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Ms 3, 1894

Ms 3, 1894

The Brighton Camp Meeting.

Campground, Middle Brighton, Victoria, Australia

January 21, 1894

Previously unpublished.

Sabbath, January 20th, has passed with its burden of record into eternity. And what a Sabbath! From the early morning meeting until the close in the evening, every hour was marked with the special blessing of God. It was such a day of the manifest presence of God as will never be forgotten. The Word of God was presented in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. The meetings began at six a.m., and with short intermissions continued until evening. There was social meeting in the morning at six o’clock, meeting at eight in the district tents, at half past nine Sabbath School in the large tent, at eleven Elder Corliss preached and the Spirit and power of God attended the Word.

Many came forward for prayers, and the Lord wrought upon human minds in the manifest movings of His Holy Spirit. There was melting of hearts before God, and the interest was so great that the meeting could not close until two p.m. I spoke at half-past three, the service being delayed because of the protracted meeting that proceeded it. The tent was full, citizens from Melbourne and the surrounding towns were present. There were quite a number of fine vehicles in the enclosure, the owners being under the canvass.

The Lord gave me freedom in speaking one hour and a half and the people listened with most earnest attention. Tears were in many eyes as I dwelt upon the greatness of the gift of God in sending Jesus into our world to save perishing sinners. The next service was a most solemn ordination. Brother Hickox was set apart to the ministry. Elder Corliss prayed in the Spirit and power of God. Elder Olsen gave the charge. Everything was of the most elevated, solemn character, calculated to make a deep impression. Outsiders came in the morning and remained until the last meeting in the evening.

Last Sunday one hundred and ninety took supper in the dining tent at sixpence each, twelve and a half cents. On Friday eighty took supper there.

Here comes Elder Starr to speak to me in reference to the special meeting that was held in one of the larger tents, to receive about thirty young men who wished to ask questions upon points of our faith. This is the second meeting of the kind that has been held. Oh, how much we need to pray that the Lord Jesus will preside in every one of these meetings, that no words shall be spoken unadvisedly. It is a very nice matter to deal with human minds and not stir up a spirit of strife.

We all need to walk guardedly, always having a spirit of self-control, not speaking one condemnatory word, nor permitting a spirit of judging to come in, for this will surely have an influence to repel those who are inquiring. All should be treated tenderly and should be patiently drawn to the light. Questions of vital importance must not be crowded and urged upon minds that are not prepared to receive them. Time must be given, patient, well-directed effort must be put forth, in the spirit of tenderness and love, for the souls for whom we labor. There must be no haphazard work in dealing with human minds.

In the meeting of young people last night a Baptist minister was present. Oh that these souls would receive the truth in the light of God’s Word! “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] This does not mean those deficient in intellect, but those who are in heart simple enough to be learners, having a childlike confidence in our heavenly Father. May the Lord work by His own power and by His own Spirit upon the minds of these inquiring young men. We differ from them in faith; they differ from us. Satan will seek to press his suggestions into the mind, he will seek to imbue it with prejudice, and great care should be taken that every word shall be spoken in wisdom.

The lesson we all need to learn is the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord has a most tender interest and regard for the youth who have been born into a world full of temptation, wickedness, and pollution. Many a child has had the sinful course of the parents as an example. If parents could trace the results of their actions, looking from cause to effect, and see that they have perpetuated and increased the power of sin by their example, a change would certainly be made in them; they would break the spell of tradition, and no longer believe and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. How quickly men find an excuse for turning away their ears from the truth and being turned unto fables.

One gentleman stated that he had entertained at his house a friend who was a believer in the truth we advocate. He said to that friend, “What if I should say I cannot see the doctrines you present?” The answer was, “I should say that Satan had blinded your understanding.” Unwise words, that do not reflect one ray of light, or increase intelligence one jot or tittle.

Those who have had opportunity to know the truth, who are familiar with the truth, should have great patience with those who hear the truth as a strange doctrine. How can they feel at liberty to make sharp answers and retaliate upon men who are in darkness, and who cannot distinguish truth from error? Oh that they had something of the long-suffering and gentleness of Christ! Then they would never utter words that cannot convert, but will only create hardness of heart, and that may prove a savor of death unto death.

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