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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598] - Contents
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    MR No. 1581—The Melbourne Camp Meeting; God's Great Gift of Jesus

    (Written November 18, 1895, from Armadale, Melbourne, Australia, to Edson White.)

    I received your letters and chapters on the Life of Christ. I have not read them yet but we will read them before this letter shall be mailed.21MR 388.1

    Some things have been presented to me in lines of caution to you. I have written it, and if I can feel free to send it now, will do so.21MR 388.2

    We are in the midst of a decided interest. We have had from the very first a deep interest. The Lord has visited Brother Prescott in a most remarkable manner and given to him the Holy Spirit to give to this people. Delegates have come to the camp meeting from all directions—from New Zealand, Queensland, and Brother Knobbs from Norfolk Island. Those who are not in the truth say, “That man speaks from the inspiration of the Spirit of God.”21MR 388.3

    We are sure that the Lord has endowed him with His Holy Spirit and the truth is being poured forth from his lips in rich currents. The truth has been listened to by preachers and by people not of our faith. After meeting they beg of Brother Prescott to give them a copy of these discourses.21MR 388.4

    Maggie Hare is my reporter. She takes the discourses in shorthand. Copies have been given to certain ones and they accept them eagerly. They say, “I want to give that to my congregation.” Teachers in the Sunday schools say, “I want to give these points to my scholars.”21MR 388.5

    There are entire families that are interested. They say the Bible is to them a new revelation. One full month of camp meeting has now been in session. The meeting was designed to be closed last Monday morning but it was prolonged one day more because of the interest. The tents were taken down, many of them, on Tuesday.21MR 388.6

    Elder Corliss is an excellent Bible teacher. He has worked in Sydney and in its suburbs with intense interest, and success has attended his labors. He came to this meeting much worn. If he could have been favored with entire rest, if only for a few weeks, he would improve greatly. But where is the period of rest for any of us?21MR 388.7

    I have already spoken fifteen times on this ground and have been able to make all hear in and surrounding the large tent. But it taxes anyone to keep up the voice without favoring it in any way. Brother Prescott has spoken many times and those not of our faith have felt deeply and expressed themselves that he was speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. The interest last Sabbath and Sunday was very good, and many could not possibly get under the tent. In the evening crowds went away for it was cold because of a strong wind, and the exposure was dangerous.21MR 388.8

    Tasmania camp meeting follows this. The believers in Tasmania are poor and could not sustain a camp meeting, but all felt anxious that Hobart should not be neglected. There is a work that must be done in Hobart in getting the truth before the citizens of the place. We have learned in this country that you may be at any expense to hire a hall and frequently you can get but few hearers. Camp meetings are a success in arresting the attention of the people.21MR 389.1

    The camp meeting in Brighton two years ago was attended with the rich blessing of God. Several who attended that meeting have been present at the meeting in Armadale. Several went through that entire meeting but did not decide to obey the truth. These manifest a great interest at this meeting and some have taken their position now to obey the truth. Nineteen were baptized last Sunday. I understand these were not all new converts, but some who came from different places to receive baptism.21MR 389.2

    The Tasmania people did not see how it was possible for them to go through the expense of a camp meeting. I agreed to appropriate several pounds if as much more could be raised by those in Tasmania. It was accepted and preparations are being made for the tents from here to be transferred to Hobart and to hold our first camp meeting in that locality.21MR 389.3

    But here the whole community seems to be stirred where we have been at work the last five weeks. The decision has been made to continue the meetings evenings through the week and on Sabbath and Sunday. Our forces must here be divided. Elders Daniells and Prescott will remain here to continue the work while we go to Tasmania. There is work being done in this place in different families, giving Bible readings, and they are getting hold of a nice class of people. Professor Prescott may be able to attend the meetings in Tasmania during the last week. If the interest in Hobart demands it we can extend the meeting another week.21MR 389.4

    The harvest truly is great, the laborers are few. We feel to voice the words of our Saviour, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” [John 4:35, 36]. The people in the suburbs of Melbourne are calling, “Set up your tents in our locality and let the people hear the things that you have preached in Armadale. We all need the words that you have spoken to us here.”21MR 389.5

    If we only had workers and a supply of money to carry forward the work we could keep several tents working in the different localities of Melbourne. I must get my books published as soon as possible that the people shall have the light which God has given me, and I want to use the royalties on these books to sustain the work in new fields. The last message of mercy is to be proclaimed in our large cities and in the byways as well.21MR 390.1

    There are already inquiries being made, “If we embrace the truth, where is the place to worship in?” We see and feel the necessity—as soon as a company shall leave the churches there must be prepared for the sheep and lambs an humble place where they can be called to the fold. Meetinghouses must be built. There is in contemplation a meetinghouse to be erected in Hawthorn. It will not answer to leave the people without a place where they can assemble to worship God. There must be erected simple and neat churches which will give character to the important truths that we are advocating. Tasmania also must have a church built for the people to assemble in.21MR 390.2

    Edson, we see so many places to be worked, and where are the means? I have appropriated nineteen dollars a week to sustain workers in the field, and if I dared to express my desire I would say I will sustain still others. Every shilling seems precious. There are so many ways that shillings can be invested. There is enough to be done to employ twenty workers at this very time right here in Melbourne and suburbs. And here are the cities of Adelaide and Ballarat.21MR 390.3

    The promise had been made to hold the camp meeting in Ballarat this season, but when the brethren came to see me while I was at Brother Israel's last April to plan about this meeting I told them I had something to say. From the light God had graciously given me, this season the camp meeting should be in Melbourne. I said, “I know what you will say, brethren, ‘We are short of means and cannot be at such expense.’” But I presented my reasons and everyone saw that they were sound, and the matter was settled right then and there. And the Lord has ratified our decision by His Holy Spirit which He has imparted.21MR 390.4

    Here now is opened a new field of labor in this suburb. We know that the angels of God have kept guard, walking up and down upon this campground. There have been no disturbances. The people did not swarm upon the ground as at Brighton (the other suburb) from curiosity to see the tents, but came directly to the large meeting tent and sat for one and a half hours, listening as if spellbound to the discourses given by the servants of God in daytime and in the evening.21MR 390.5

    One clean, noble-looking man with white hair came to the stand to speak to me. Said he, “I must tell you I have received great light by listening to your discourse this afternoon. I have not listened to such a discourse for forty years. I see the Scriptures in a new light, and shall never forget the precious words that God has spoken through you today. They have made my heart warm with His love.”21MR 391.1

    I could scarcely get out of the tent, there were so many strangers who were waiting to speak to me, telling me how much good the discourse had done them. Several others expressed similar words, saying, “I must speak with you and let you know that I have been greatly blessed today.” Thus it has been all through the meeting, not only to me but others of our ministers have been spoken to in the same way.21MR 391.2

    But now comes the need of divine wisdom to know how to speak a word in season and give personal labor to those whose minds have been wonderfully stirred up by the presentation of the Word in a new light. Abundant evidence has been given that the Holy Spirit of God has spoken to men through human agencies. For “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” [2 Corinthians 4:7]. Large numbers testify that they have never heard the Word administered with such power and in the manifest demonstration of the Spirit as at this meeting.21MR 391.3

    God has said in the heavenly courts to His heavenly intelligences, “Let there be spiritual light to shine amid the moral darkness of accumulated error and fables, and reveal truth.” The Messenger of the covenant has come, and the Sun of Righteousness to arise and shine forth upon the eager listeners. His pre-existence, His coming the second time in glory and power, His personal dignity, His holy law uplifted, are the themes that have been dwelt upon with simplicity and power.21MR 391.4

    Said Christ, “All things that the Father hath are Mine. I and My Father are one. I appoint unto you a kingdom.” The Lord Jesus lays His hand upon the eternal throne of God with all the ease and assurance of one who rules and reigns, putting on His head the crown of Deity. He sits at the right hand of God and receives supreme honor as God, the glory He had before the world was. He distributes His gifts to all who by faith shall claim them.21MR 391.5

    We have had at this meeting seasons for silent communion with God, seasons set apart when the people could feel that they had a time and place to pray and study the Word of God without interruption, that they might sharpen their weapons to do the best and most essential work in God's great harvest field. We have no hesitancy in saying that the four angels are still holding the four winds that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The sowing time will soon be over.21MR 391.6

    The work of all believers is to sow the world with truth. Talk the truth, pray the truth, believe the truth, and communicate the truth. Scatter everywhere in abundance the incorruptible seed of truth. The world's Redeemer holds in His hand the key to unlock the treasure house of wisdom. He that lacketh wisdom, “let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” [James 1:5-7].21MR 392.1

    We have precious golden hours wherein we can cultivate faith and perfect a Christian character. We need to watch and pray. Be sober and watch unto prayer. We have an inexhaustible storehouse, an ocean of love, in the God of our salvation. He has placed in the hands of Christ all the treasures of the heavenly resources and says, “All these are for man in order to convince fallen, sinful man of My love, that there is no love in the universe but Mine, and for his happiness I am working and will work.” The happiness of man is to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.21MR 392.2

    It was to make this vast treasure house of all good available that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He sprinkled every gift with His own blood, making it one by this act. The richest gift, the most costly sacrifice, was selected by God to come to the world as His expression of the love of God to man. The gift of God to our world in sending Jesus is an exhibition of His grace which God Himself cannot surpass. While we live in this world, there will be new developments and the extensive glory of the great love He had for the souls He has created even in this world. But that love will be extending and expanding before the saints in light, and in characters of new and increasing interest, seen and joyously realized throughout eternity.21MR 392.3

    But one thing is impossible with God—the power of eclipsing the greatness of His gift, in showing His love for fallen man than He has given in Jesus. In this wonderful expression of His love He has given to man fallen, and to all the unfallen worlds, and to the universe of heaven [clear evidence] that there is no love but His love.21MR 392.4

    The Lord has paid this infinite price in giving His only begotten Son that through belief in Jesus Christ is belief in God, and that the righteous laws, the ten precepts of His decalogue, may appear to the world, even to as many as will believe on Jesus Christ, as His just requirements and are ever to be maintained.21MR 392.5

    Had God the Father come to our world and dwelt among us, veiling His glory and humbling Himself, that humanity might look upon Him, the history that we have of the life of Christ would not have been changed in unfolding its record of His own condescending grace. In every act of Jesus, in every lesson of His instruction, we are to see and hear and recognize God. In sight, in hearing, in effect, it is the voice and movements of the Father. But language seems to be so feeble! I refrain, and with John exclaim, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not” [1 John 3:1].—Letter 83, 1895.21MR 393.1

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    May 9, 1991.

    Entire Letter.

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