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Manuscript Releases Volume Twelve : Page 345

70. Ellen White and the Stanmore Church in Sydney, Australia

Soul Winning at Stanmore --I feel very grateful to my heavenly Father for the strength He has given me to reach this place. At Morisset we got into a ladies' compartment, in which were three women, one young girl, and one well-behaved baby. The seat was hard, and I had to sit up, but I was not tired. When we reached Gosford, we changed into a second-class compartment, and the seats were in every way as good as in the first-class car.

The change of trains at Strathfield was rather hard for Sara, but she got all fixed up nicely. After the change was made, we had to wait about three-quarters of an hour for a train to Stanmore; and at Stanmore we could find no conveyance to take us the short distance up the hill to the home for the workers. Sara had to find a cart that would take all our luggage, and then I took her arm and walked slowly up the hill.

Oh, how pleased I was to enter the room that was waiting for us. It is a very pleasant room, with two windows and two doors, one opening into the hall, the other onto the piazza. I lay down at once, and then heard a little about the meetings here. I have written a few words to Brother Wilson, which I wish you and the family to see.

Last Sunday the tent was not only crowded, but the people stood ten feet deep on the outside. From what little I have heard, the interest seems

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to me to resemble that which was manifested in 1844. The work of the Spirit of God upon hearts has indeed begun. All the heavenly intelligences are waiting for channels through which they can communicate the light of truth, and to help in the work to be done in human hearts. The whole community is stirred.

Mrs. Gorick is keeping the Sabbath. One of her neighbors, a member of the High Church, wished her to meet Cardinal Moran at her house, and she consented to do so. When he came in, the lady of the house fell on her knees before him, and kissed first one hand and then the other. This both astonished and disgusted Mrs. Gorick. She was then introduced to him. He began questioning her, and entered into conversation with her, giving a lengthy talk in regard to the church and its delegated power and authority. He then spoke of a very desirable piece of land they were anxious to purchase, telling her that he thought Mr. Gorick could in some way secure this land for them without letting the owners know for what purpose it was to be used. He asked her if they could not help them. She told him that they were deciding to unite with the Seventh-day Adventists, and would help them build a church. She had accepted the seventh-day Sabbath, she said, which was the Sabbath of the Bible. The first day was not the Sabbath.

Cardinal Moran told her that all Protestants should keep the seventh day, that they had no reason for keeping Sunday as a holy day. The Roman Catholics, he said, had a right to keep Sunday; but Protestants had nothing to base their faith upon in their observance of that day. She told him that she had been considering this matter very thoroughly, and had come to the true church.

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They had, I believe, a very earnest talk, but Mrs. Gorick is more firm and decided than before this interview. She can see plainly that the authorities of the Catholic Church set themselves above God, assuming the place of God, and speaking with the authority of God. This interview will not only enlighten her eyes, but, through her, the Lord can enlighten the eyes of many others.

The people act as if they had never read their Bibles. Many are thoroughly aroused. Sister Haskell has just come in, and tells us that another lady has been found keeping the Sabbath. This lady begged that her husband might be visited. She wants him to be converted, as she has been. They promised to visit him. Every day new Sabbathkeepers are found. Some have been keeping the Sabbath since before the camp meeting closed.

I will tell you more when I learn more. This is a wonderful interest. The Holy Spirit is working on human hearts. The people are apparently greedy for the truth. They appreciate the Word of God; it seems so wonderful to them.

I can see more clearly now why the light was given me to give to our people in regard to advertising the camp meeting. Elder Daniells wrote to Brother Baker saying a company of workers should begin labor in Sydney and its suburbs some weeks before the opening of the camp meeting. He wrote me in regard to the matter. That night, after receiving Brother Baker's letter enclosing a copy of the letter from Brother Daniells, the Lord gave me light. I saw that it was not the best thing to do to make our plans known, and advertise the meeting to be held; for in doing this we would prepare the

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way for the ministers of the churches to arm themselves with all their implements of warfare, and by their falsehoods in their publications make the people bitter opponents to the truth. I was shown that the best plan on this occasion was to come on the people as a surprise, and let them have an opportunity to hear for themselves before the ministers of all denominations should rally their forces to misinterpret our work and pour in their false reports.

Well, Brother Baker carried out this instruction to the letter. The cautions given were heeded. The light given was, When the seed of truth has been sown in the hearts of the people by the laborers at the camp meeting, then those who remain to follow up the work will, through the Spirit's power, be prepared to ripen off the work and gather in the harvest. The means used before the camp meeting would not be one-third as successful as the same expense and labor put forth after the influence of the meeting had been felt. In many cases such large advertising and distribution of publications hedges up the way instead of preparing it. Now we see a large, deep interest, and if the working forces will walk softly before God, if they will walk humbly, and pray, and watch unto prayer, they will have the cooperation of heavenly angels. Christ will work by His Holy Spirit upon human hearts.

The work is advancing, and all are of excellent courage in the Lord. I am so glad, so thankful to God for all His benefits and blessings. I felt the peace of God in my heart in coming to this place. Now in my weakness I speak to the people on the morrow (Sabbath). After three weeks of sickness,

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I go forth in the name of the Lord. He has given me a message to bear to the people, and He will give me strength to bear it. My heart cries out after the living God. I shall pray, I shall believe and praise God, because I believe He will help me.

I have been thinking that it would be a good thing to send down all those little books by Brother Haughey on the coming of the Lord. I have saved some to carry to different places, but will now have them sent down here. Then there are our papers, Present Truth , the Signs of the Times , Youth's Instructor , and our church papers. Gather up what you can find in my room, and send them down. We will try to get subscribers for some of these papers. I want to see those who are interested furnished with reading matter.

Now comes the donation of perhaps fifty or one hundred of my books, just as necessity demands. I have brought some with me, and have several others in mind. I must have Patriarchs and Prophets and The Great Controversy . I do so want that book on temperance. I need also books on the life of Christ. I want to get these things in the hands of those who do not have them. Will you see if there are some of the best-bound books in my stock? Let there be quite a box of books--a variety of what I have on hand--sent. This is the time I can show liberality to some purpose, to help establish souls in the truth.

But the Sabbath is drawing on, and I must close and mail this. Believers and unbelievers are all deeply interested. They say, You are going to build a meetinghouse, are you not? and they are all ready for the proposition. Next Sunday night the matter of building will be laid before the

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people. All will be given an opportunity to donate. The time has come to "arise and build." We need much more faith to stir us up to zeal and good works. Now the time has fully come for a house to be built for the Lord. God will help all those who are pushing forward and not holding back. The Lord has a great work to be done in the city of Sydney. We will advance as long as we hear the word, "Go forward." May the Lord bless you all.--Letter 37, 1897. (Written to Marian Davis, Nov. 19, 1897, at Stanmore, Sydney, N.S.W.)

Church Building Needed in Stanmore --I have been meaning to write to you for some time, but other things have crowded upon me, and now I can write only a short letter for Maggie to copy.

My health has not been good this summer. I have been very much exhausted for some time, but I am now improving, and I feel very grateful to God for this.

I learn that your health is not as good as it has been. My sister, look to the Lord. He would have you live, I believe, to care for your family. Take right hold of the power of the mighty Healer. Whatever may be your affliction, the Lord would have you come to Him in faith, believing in Him as the One who can heal both soul and body by His mighty power.

I point you to the great Physician. He will, I believe, undertake your case. Only believe, and you will see the salvation of God. After you have done all on your part, you may rest in God, feeling that you have committed

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the keeping of soul and body to Him. You are His property and His child. He loves you, and He can make you well if it is for His name's glory.

Come to the Lord just as you are. Cast your helpless soul and body upon the mercy and care of the tender Shepherd; and believe, believe, believe. You will indeed see the salvation of God. Let your trust in God be unwavering. Present the promise, and then rely upon the Word that says, "Ask, and ye shall receive." Read the fifth chapter of James, and follow the directions as best you can, and if it is for the Lord's glory He will raise you up. But act your part faithfully, and cling to the mighty One.

There is a large interest in Stanmore since the camp meeting. The tent has been crowded most of the time. Meetings have been held every night with the exception of Monday evenings. Now and then they have dropped out the evening after the Sabbath, for so many calls come in for visiting that they have to give up that evening to holding Bible readings. Brother and Sister Haskell, Brother and Sister Starr, and Brother and Sister Wilson are the chief workers. Brother and Sister Haskell have charge of the mission, where quite a number are being educated as Bible workers, and others are being educated to sell papers and tracts, that the work may be made as far as possible self-sustaining.

All day long there is but one person in the home, the girl that does the cooking. Visits are made, and Bible readings given from house to house, for invitations are constantly coming in, and the different families invite their neighbors in to hear. The people seem to be of a better class intellectually than is usually the case, and they will be able to teach the truth to others. Much praying is being done.

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Quite a stir is now being made among those newly come to the faith in regard to erecting a meetinghouse. Forty souls have already come to the faith, and my soul grasps no less than one hundred, for the interest is wide and deep and is constantly increasing.

Two weeks ago I spoke in the tent on Sabbath and Sunday. I also spoke last Sabbath and Sunday. The tent was well filled with interested listeners. I have an appointment for next Sabbath and Sunday.

It now becomes necessary to build a house of worship for the Stanmore believers. This will serve also for the Sabbathkeepers in Newtown, who now meet in a hall. We see that the land is going to cost us as much as the meetinghouse, 600 pounds. If this house could be erected now, the new believers would have a place where they could worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. Some of the most reliable families are now hanging in the balances, uncertain whether to obey the light and risk the consequences. We greatly desire that these souls shall venture everything for the truth's sake.

We now purpose to arise and build, and if any of our people can donate something toward this object, we shall be very thankful to God. We want the standard raised very near Sydney. We desire that the last message of mercy shall be sounded in these suburbs. We ask if there are any who will [come] up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty power of darkness.

Every device possible is being set in operation to hinder the work, but those newly come to the faith move right forward, and say what they will do.

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Some have already pledged ten pounds and others five pounds, and as yet no pledges have been asked. It is a great undertaking. Brother Shannan, a builder in Sydney, says that he will be responsible for half the brick. He says that it is nearly as cheap to build with brick as with wood. The matter of location is being discussed. There are some beautiful places there, if the price is not too high. We are praying and waiting and watching. We expect to arise and build; for there is nothing else we can do; and may the Lord help us, is my most earnest prayer. If any of you can help us, do so, and the Lord will bless you.--Letter 58, 1897. (Written to Sister Wesley Hare, Dec. 18, 1897, from Sunnyside, Cooranbong, N.S.W.)

Successful Evangelism in Stanmore --I have commenced letters to you several times, but have not been able to finish them before something else came in that must have immediate attention. I would be much pleased could I have a long talk with you face to face. This may be some time. I was seventy years old last November. I am still engaged in writing.

We are now in the midst of the hot weather. Fruit is being canned vigorously. We have been at work canning for quite a while. I often think of the time when you and I first came here, when we used to hire a horse and carriage, and drive around. As I drive over these roads now, I often think of you. We have a very thrifty orchard, which bore a considerable number of beautiful peaches last year. I think I never saw such beautifully tinted peaches. No artist could have so blended the darker and lighter shades of red with the green. Some of these peaches weighed half a pound each, and they were delicious.

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I would have said to you, Come to me again, but I knew that it would not answer for you to work the typewriter. I can get persons to keep my books, and although I have missed you very much I could not ask you to join me in my work, fearing that your health would suffer by thus doing.

The amount of writing that I have been compelled to do has been greater than at any former period of my life. Maggie Hare and Minnie Hawkins are doing good work. I feel so thankful that Fannie is not with me. She has not known what manner of spirit she is of, and I do not think she ever will, for she is deluded by the enemy in regard to her own talents. If she would be converted and remain transformed in character, no one would be more happy than I. But even then I would say to her, Remain in America; never come across the water again. But I have no such thought or feeling in regard to you. I would be very glad to have you with me, but I do not think it best, for reasons which I have written.

A very precious work has been going on in Stanmore, a suburb of Sydney a few stations from Ashfield. Forty have embraced the truth since the camp meeting. Twenty-seven have been baptized, and still others are to go forward in baptism next week. The interest continues to be good. Brother and Sister Haskell, Brother and Sister Starr, and Brother and Sister Wilson are at work. Meetings have been held in the tent on Sabbaths and Sundays, and every evening in the week except Monday.

The workers visit from house to house, laboring personally with the people. They have so many calls that the three married couples separate, one going to one place and the other to another, to hold readings with those who are interested. New families, one after another, are soliciting help,

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and the workers say that ten or twenty more could be employed to good advantage. In the mission there is a company of twelve. Two classes are held everyday, that the workers may receive instruction from the Bible, and know how to work to enlighten others. Many calls have been made by sick people, and the young ladies at the mission, who are receiving their education, are visiting the sick and doing what they can to relieve their sufferings. This opens the way to gain access to still others.

Now there must be a meetinghouse built in or near Stanmore. This will cost quite a sum. The believers who assemble in a hall at Newtown, called the Sydney church, will meet with the church at Stanmore as soon as ground can be procured on which to erect a house of worship.

Brother Humphries is re-converted. He has pledged 25 pounds to help in building the church, and loaned Brother Starr 100 pounds more, which he proposes to use in building the church. He hopes to get this back in donations. Several who have newly come to the faith [have] donated, some 25 pounds, some 20 pounds, others ten pounds. A beginning has been made, and when the new ones see that the land is purchased, they will be led to donate further. We see that we must all strain every nerve and muscle to do our level best.

Our people have long talked of building a house of worship in Sydney. Now Brother Humphries and his wife are aroused to do something. Brother Shannan is all interested to act his part. We feel courage in the Lord to advance. The house is to be built of brick, and Brother Shannan says that he will furnish half the brick. I hope we shall not be unbelieving, for the Lord has a location for us, and He will clear the way.

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Those who have already embraced the truth are in better circumstances than those who embraced the truth after the Ashfield camp meeting. Already several have commenced to pay their tithes. The work in Melbourne is just as promising as it is in Sydney. Since the camp meeting held there, 43 have decided to keep the Sabbath. Brother A. T. Robinson and his wife are the main workers, and Brother Herbert Lacey and his wife are also engaged in the work. I have no doubt but that no less than 100 souls will be added to the church in Melbourne, and 100 souls in Sydney. The Lord will help us.

As those who profess to believe the truth, we are called, not only in these cities, Melbourne and Sydney, but everywhere, to rise up in the spirit and mind of Christ, and with a firm purpose of heart separate from all worldly influences, break every worldly link, laying aside every weight in order to wear the armor of righteousness and be co-workers with Jesus Christ. We are to be absolutely and completely for Him in this world, as He is for us in the presence of God. If Christ abides in the heart, the work will go forward; but if there is a reserve--an undercurrent in the soul, any secondary object, any worldly motive, any selfish aims or ends--the work that the Lord means should be done, will not be done. We must make the kingdom of heaven and the glory of God our best and whole interest. We want to see the work advancing.

I often think that if those who are church members in Battle Creek would do their best, and realize that the work of saving souls is of the utmost importance, the work would move more rapidly. The banner of truth must

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be held firmly, and in the spirit of Christ. Open the Word, and present from it the lines of truth that concern the salvation of souls. The truth is to be presented as it is in Jesus. We need hearts filled with love and tender compassion. Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. If all in Battle Creek would stand firm, separating from the world, and drinking from the water of life, they could refresh thirsty souls.--Letter 6, 1898. (Written to Miss Emily Campbell, January 12, 1898, from Sunnyside, Cooranbong, N.S.W.)

Progress and Trials at Stanmore --We have been in Stanmore since Thursday evening. Your brother Willie came down Monday, January 31. Sabbath, January 29, I spoke to the congregation assembled under the tent. The Lord gives me His Spirit as I stand before the people. The attendance is not decreasing, but is increasing. But, Edson, it is a hard pull.

Sunday I spoke again. There was a good attendance. The Lord gave me a message for the people, and I spoke in a decided manner. After I had finished speaking, we made a revival effort in the old American style. We know that many were on the eve of deciding, but did not have moral courage to take the step. A break was made, some came forward, and we had a precious season of prayer. Several decided to obey the truth.

There are now no less than 50 who have taken their position; but we have strange elements to deal with. One man who took his position on Sunday has held the position of postmaster in Stanmore for, I think, 18 years. He

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owns several houses. His wife has been baptized. A lady--for this she is in every sense of the word--was brought to the tent in a carriage, and then carried inside and placed in a chair. She is soon to be baptized. Several of her children have become interested, and in a week or so one will be baptized with her mother.

The interest here is broadening and deepening. The men in government employ who are interested are afraid to come out and say to the authorities, I will keep the Sabbath; but two have taken their stand, and they are both enjoying the blessing of the Lord. One, Brother Sharp, lost his position and was out of work for one week only. He was then employed by another firm at the same wages he had been receiving, and was much more comfortably situated. The other, Brother Stuckey, was baptized. He then told his employer that he could not work on the Sabbath, and the Sabbath was given him. Others who have good positions are interested, but the cross seems heavy. Those who have taken their stand are sharp, intelligent business men, and if all their talents are cultivated they will be a great blessing to the church. . . .

We have had great trials in securing a lot on which to build a church. We decided on one, but were not able to pay the large sum asked-- 600 pounds for a 100-foot lot--and therefore had to give it up. We have found another lot, and are going to take it if it can be secured for 500 pounds. It is 200 feet by 90 feet. The owner, a woman, lives at quite a distance from Stanmore, but we hope to receive an answer in a few days. The building itself will cost 700 pounds, but a meetinghouse must be built. When wind and rain come, the tent is not a proper place for meeting.

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Last Sabbath, before I rose to speak, the tent master told Brother Haskell that there had been a breakage in the gearing of the tent, and that two slender ropes were all that were keeping the tent from falling. He said that these ropes might snap at any minute. Brother Haskell kept praying that the Lord would keep us from harm and danger, and the Lord did hold the tent up by His own power. We felt thankful that no one was hurt. Just as soon as the Sabbath closed, the tent was quickly lowered, and the rope mended.--Letter 38, 1898. (Written to Edson and Emma White, Feb. 2, 1898, from Stanmore, Sydney, N.S.W.)

Finding a Building Site in Stanmore --Our brethren are working very hard to secure a lot for a meetinghouse in Stanmore, a suburb of Sydney. These lots cannot be obtained for less than six or seven hundred pounds sterling. We really need help, and if you can help us we would be very grateful; and if you can get help from any others, please do so. I expect to have to visit Sydney and Melbourne soon. There will be a general rally then and meetings will be held over two Sabbaths and Sundays. The weather is extremely hot in both these places.

There is a great work being done in Melbourne--forty or fifty have embraced the truth. Brother Robinson has been very anxious that I should come to Melbourne but I have not dared to leave the interest in Stanmore, as Sydney is a large center. We must have small houses of worship built in the suburbs, and we are now in selection of land seeking to get as near Sydney

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as possible. We are to commence labor in Sydney proper if we can get a suitable place for a tent to be pitched and if the Lord opens the way for the standard to be raised.--Letter 8, 1898. (Written to Sister Gotzian, Feb. 4, 1898, from Sunnyside, Cooranbong, N.S.W.)

The Stanmore Church Dedicated --Since the camp meeting held at Stanmore last November, a meetinghouse, so constructed that it will hold 600 people, has been erected in that suburb. As a fruit of the work done in that place, 75 souls have taken their position to obey the commandments of God. A few weeks after the camp meeting, some of these interested ones introduced the subject of a meetinghouse, and stated what they would give toward it. Afterward, when we had decided that we must build, several of these doubled their donation.

In the providence of God, land was secured in a beautiful locality, and the workmen began to prepare the material for the building. Again, for this enterprise, the help of our American brethren was solicited, and they gave of their means, even when a financial pressure was crippling their resources, We thank every liberal soul who came to our assistance in the time of our great necessity.

During the erection of this building, we were favored by God, for not for one day were the workmen hindered by rain. April 24 and 25 the dedicatory services were held. The auditorium was full, and the heavenly Guest was present. His blessing rested on the worshipers. We thank the Lord for

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the precious privilege of presenting to Him a house in which His people can assemble to worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness. This house will stand as a living testimony, a memorial of the Sabbath given at Creation. After the Lord had spent six days in creating the world, He rested on the seventh, and was refreshed. The He blessed the day on which He had rested; and while the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, He gave it to man as a rest day, to be kept holy throughout all time.

The hearts of all who had carried the burden of this work were filled with thanksgiving and joy. The tent had been used for a tabernacle for nearly six months. Several times, on account of the weather, they had been unable to hold services in it; and for nearly a week now, we have had both rain and wind every day. When the last meeting was held in the tent, many expressed regret at leaving a place where the blessing of God had often rested so signally upon them. But had they been compelled to leave the tent standing for two more Sabbaths, it would have been of no more service to them.

I feel grateful to my heavenly Father that we have in Stanmore a neat, comfortable chapel, that the people could leave the tent, so long used as a tabernacle, where many souls had heard the truth for the first time, and where they had felt the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shining into the chambers of the mind and into the soul temple.

The building of this meetinghouse has drawn largely upon many, and some of the means invested have had to be withdrawn from the school. But we

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knew that the Lord was in the work of building the Stanmore meetinghouse.--Manuscript 59, 1898, pp. 2-4. ("Notes of the Work.) White Estate Washington, D. C. July 7, 1983