(Written September 28, 1897, from "Sunnyside," Cooranbong, N.S.W., to A. G. Daniells.)
I received your letter this afternoon. We are pleased that you have found grounds for the camp meeting. Our only fear is that you will be limited for space. I cannot see where you will find room to erect the large tent, the buildings necessary, and the family tents. It is altogether the smallest ground I have ever heard of for a camp meeting.
In reference to the question you asked me, I consider it an altogether different matter. You have had your printing establishment long enough in North Fitzroy. This has given character and standing and influence to our cause there. The showing in Melbourne is altogether different from that in Sydney. With your printing press you have opportunity to publish anything you deem essential, without long delay or large expense, to meet any emergency that may arise. I would say, Follow your convictions. You have altogether a different community in those who have embraced the truth. There are many composing the number who claim to believe the truth whose judgment is too limited to carry through any large work intelligently in the line you propose to do in Melbourne. I have nothing, not one drawback to your plans, in the light that the Lord has given me. All my fear is that there will not be that humble, contrite spirit that would insure the blessing of God.
When one has such a breadth of intelligence that he has outgrown his simplicity and dependence upon God, then we cannot depend on him, for Christ says, "Without Me, ye can do nothing." When by faith we have a right hold from above, we have an experience that we are walking with God as did Enoch. We have nothing to fear in an emergency. They that are for us are more than they that can be against us. If we are wholly consecrated to God, we shall be laborers together with Him.
If it were left to us to manage the interest of the cause of God in our own way and according to our disposition and strength, we would not need to expect much; but if self is hid with Christ in God, all our plans and methods will be wrought in God. God has imparted to us our moral powers and all our religious susceptibilities. We must draw nigh to God. We must be laborers together with Him, else weakness and mistakes will be seen in all we undertake. Let us have faith in God at every step. While we realize our own weakness, let us not be faithless, but believing. Let us learn the precious lesson you recently learned in Ballarat.
I firmly believe that we shall see of the salvation of God if we will take Him at His word. The very gospel that we present to save perishing souls must be to us the gospel that saves our own souls. We must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. We must receive the word of God. To all intents and purposes, we must eat the word, live the word. It is the flesh of the Son of God. We must drink of His blood, the spiritual attributes of Jesus Christ, and constantly develop as the result of the nourishment which the soul receives in eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Then our lips will utter His praise.
If in our camp meetings we will only walk humbly with God, if we will work in the spirit of Jesus Christ, none of us will carry heavy burdens. We will lay them upon the great Burdenbearer. We may expect triumphs in the presence of God in the communion of His love, from the beginning to the end. The camp meeting may be a love feast, because we have the assurance of God's presence. We shall have a signal manifestation of His glory.
If we as believers enjoy the truth because we practice it, we shall give the impression that the truth is not a yoke of bondage, but that it has given us our emancipation papers, and we are free in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Lord Himself will make impressions on the people, and they will say, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." A foretaste of Christ's mercy, His abundant love and compassion, will be felt by his people.
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." All darkness, all murmuring, all complaining, all talking unbelief, must be crucified. The Christ will put a new song on human lips, even songs of praise to our God. There should be far more thanksgiving and less murmuring and complaining; for all this kind of exercise is displeasing to our God. We have enough for which to praise God. He would have us walk in the light as He is in the light. Why do we not do this? Why do we not talk of His love, and tell of His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men?
We must learn what it means to believe in God. When will we learn to be not faithless but believing? Can God say any more than He has said to
inspire us with faith and hope? We have no excuse for our conversation taking a low, desponding level. We need not exalt self, neither need we take special words to God, to depreciate self. We are the Lord's property. He declares, "Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." How shall we glorify Him? "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth God." From His throne above He calls to us, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, . . . for I am God, and there is none else."
Oh, why are our lips so ready to exalt and praise ourselves? Why have we so few words of praise to give our Lord Jehovah? Have we not fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us? Are we not commanded to be joyful in our King? Jesus is our living Advocate in the presence of our Father. Talk of Him as the One who can does save to the uttermost all who come unto God through Him. Let us learn to speak His praises. "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation" [Isa. 12:2]. If we have tasted that the Lord is gracious, let us show that we are able intelligently to make Him known. Let us talk faith, helping others who are in the region and shadow of death.
Well I did not expect to write as much as I have. But I will say a few words more. We must rely wholly upon God. It is your only safety to let your tendrils entwine about God. We must educate our tongues to speak more hopefully, with thanksgiving to His dear name. We want to encourage and educate every soul who claims to believe the truth, to talk of Jesus. He is the resurrection and the life.
None of us need flatter ourselves that while the world is progressing in wickedness we shall have no difficulties. It is these very difficulties that bring us to the audience chamber of the Most High, to seek counsel of One who is infinite in wisdom. He loves to have us seek Him, to trust Him, and believe in Him. If we had no perplexities, no trials, we would become self-sufficient and lifted up in ourselves. The true saints will be purified and made white and tried.
Will you do your best to awaken the dormant energies of the people of God, to seek the Lord with all the heart, that they may find Him, and to keep His love burning in their hearts because they love the truth as it is in Jesus? I am determined not to be discouraged. I am determined to keep my face lifted up to the Sun of Righteousness. I want the light and power of God in my soul. We need not become cold and dark and Christless. We are to pray and believe, and watch unto prayer.
I am glad you are to have a period of rest in Cooranbong. I hope soon to see Willie and others who will come with him. Be of good courage, and joyful in the Lord. Talk faith, and you will have faith --Letter 42, 1897. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. May 2, 1985. Entire Letter.