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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    (Discourse in the Tabernacle, Thursday evening, February, 28.)

    I WANT to talk to you a little to-night in a very familiar way about the work in Great Britain, and perhaps I may say some things further not particularly about that field. This country is not so far away as it was a few years ago; and it strikes me, when I think of it, as very strange that no Seventh-day Adventist should ever visit this country until as late as 1878, when Brother William Ings visited his native land. The country is just about equal in area to New Mexico; it is about as large again as New England if you take out the States of Rhode Island and Connecticut, but it has a population of very nearly two thirds that of the United States. Brother Holser tersely remarked the other day that we were to estimate a field by its inhabitants. If we do that with reference to Great Britain, the field will not be neglected by this people.GCB March 4, 1895, page 453.3

    With a population of nearly forty million, you can see at a glance that they are packed in about as thick as they need be. We have in that country a half dozen cities with over half a million each. We have about forty towns of over one hundred thousand each, and seventy towns of over fifty thousand each. I would like to say a word with reference to the climate of this country, because Great Britain is so abused concerning its climate. My friends on my returning here sympathize with me on all sides for having to live in England; but I want to tell you if it were a matter of choice between living in Great Britain or living in Michigan, the choice on my part would be in favor of the other side of the water. We do not get the intense freezing cold you have here, nor do we get the burning heat, ordinarily speaking.GCB March 4, 1895, page 453.4

    The average winter day of Great Britain is thirty to forty degrees above zero. We have only a few days, ordinarily, when the thermometer falls below freezing. One year ago the present winter I am quite sure we did not have over ten days when the thermometer went below twenty-eight above zero, and the coldest day we had was about twenty above zero; and of course the Englishman thinks that a terribly cold day. In the summer time the thermometer very seldom rises to eighty; that is uncommon. On an average summer day the thermometer runs from sixty to seventy-five. So we have no occasion for thin clothing, such as I used to wear when I lived in Massachusetts.GCB March 4, 1895, page 453.5

    But says one, “Are not those London fogs a terror?” Well, the London fogs are not the worst things I ever saw. And here is a remarkable fact I wish to state, and I am saying these things for a purpose; for I hope there will be a goodly number of individuals before the next General Conference shall come round who will go from this field where there are so many Seventh-day Adventists, and take up the work in Great Britain, and I am saying this for the benefit of such: It is a remarkable fact that London, in spite of its fogs, which some look upon as a terror, stands in its death rate lower than any large city in this country by considerable, notwithstanding its vast population, a portion of whom ignore entirely every sanitary regulation, if they are not forced to do otherwise. There is a great influx into that city from the Continental cities every year, hundreds and thousands of them come, with no idea - I was about to say of common decency - and yet in spite of all these circumstances, it is a remarkable fact that London has a death rate standing lower than some other cities in that same kingdom.GCB March 4, 1895, page 453.6

    Some of the canvassers here have inquired of me if we have any towns yet that have not been canvassed with our publications. We have hundreds of them into which no one has yet gone, and into which scores of individuals with the spirit of the Master in their hearts ought speedily to go.GCB March 4, 1895, page 454.1

    I will not dwell longer upon the territory itself, but I wish to call your attention to another thought in connection with this, and that is, — the relation which Great Britain sustains to her colonial possessions. It seems to me this ought to impress upon our minds the importance of this field. Let us glance at it a moment. Coming here to North America, we have the British possessions on the north. They talk about those possessions in England in about as large a way as the average American does about his country here; and they are looking forward to the time when England will send her sons to fill those possessions, and it will become a great country. They have the territory here, and they have several millions of people. Then passing down to the West Indies, we have several islands there that England controls. Going on to Africa, you know something about the British possessions there. There is Cape Colony on the south, the Province of Natal on the east, etc., with other possessions farther in the interior, all under British rule.GCB March 4, 1895, page 454.2

    Now let us glance at India. This country, with its 260,000,000 people, is ruled by Great Britain. Her gracious majesty, Queen Victoria, is empress of India. And I do not know any better place in my remarks than right here, to say a word about that great country. The question ought to come to your heart and mine, What is going to be done for that great field with its 180,000,000 Hindus, with its more than fifty million Mohammedans, — educated people, people of keen intelligence, people that are not savages, but civilized, — millions and hundreds of millions, who as yet know nothing about the gospel of the blessed Son of God. But somebody says: “What have I got to do about that?” That commission of Jesus Christ, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” does not mean simply the man that this General Conference singles out and says to: You go to India, and you go to China, and you go to Japan. I believe the day is coming when all believers in this truth will have just as much interest in all these questions that come up, in any of these enterprises that are proposed to be carried forward, as the individual who happens to come directly in contact with the work to be done.GCB March 4, 1895, page 454.3

    There is one statement of the Saviour that has lately given me a great deal of encouragement and hope. He said that the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard, and when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into the vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market place, and he said to them, “Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, I will give you.”GCB March 4, 1895, page 454.4

    Now it is Christ that sends men to the ends of the earth to carry the gospel. And when he sends them, he promises, “Whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.” Why, the thought of that brings joy to my heart, since I have read it in that light. “Whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.” He does not say: Perhaps you will get it; he does not say: If circumstances come around in a proper way, then the thing which is right you will get. No. But he says, “Whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.GCB March 4, 1895, page 454.5

    Well, somebody says: I do not know. Then you do not believe that it is so. There was a time when I did not believe that text, and when circumstances came up that seemed to be against me, I found myself saying, I don’t know about this. But where was the trouble? O, it was in this, — I was simply following my own way instead of the way of Him who bade me follow in his footsteps; and just as surely as you and I do that, just so surely the pay which you and I will get will be all right, and it will be all right because his promise is to give us whatsoever is right. Well, one says, that depends. No it does not depend on anything. The getting of whatsoever is right depends simply on my following in the footsteps of Him who has made that promise to me. Yes; but somebody else says I tried to follow him as best I could, and then a set of circumstances came that threw me into trials; and I am satisfied, and have been ever since, that if it had not been for those circumstances, I could have gone on, and done an excellent work. Well, you could not, and the Lord knew you could not, and the reason why he gave you those things was to develop that very feature in your character that will fit you for the place in his work that he designs you to fill.GCB March 4, 1895, page 454.6

    The case of Joseph illustrates this. It was all right for Joseph to go down into Egypt. How do I know it was right? — Because the Lord sent him there. “He sent a man before them, even Joseph,” and he “tried him,” says David, “by the word of the Lord.” He sent a man before them into Egypt; that man was Joseph, and the Lord does not do a thing that is not right.GCB March 4, 1895, page 454.7

    Now when we go to some of these fields to take up the work we are not going to find everything to our liking, naturally speaking. We are going to find a good many things that, right on the start, in ourselves, we would say ought to be changed. But there is one thing that I have learned in recent years, that if we have our eyes open, we can learn something more among any people, and every people, wherever we may be, and something worth learning, too.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.1

    Now I want to say just a word further on what is needed in Great Britain in the way of canvassers for our publications. We need a much stronger force than exists there at the present moment. We still plead for this. Since the last General Conference, four or five have been sent, but a good many more are needed to take up those lines of work, and other lines as well. The progress of the work has been encouraging. In 1878 Elder Loughborough first went to that field. The work went along as best it could for a time; but there was but little means to invest in the field then. The General Conference had to say to the men who went there at that time: You will have to depend largely upon your own exertions, for we have not much money to give you to carry on the work; and so they had to labor in that way.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.2

    Coming down ten years later than that time, to 1888, the whole tithe paid in that field for that year, 1888, was simply $700. Then, to show the growth of the work since we began to take hold of it in a little different way, and since the Conference has said, We must put some money into it, the change has come. That is the secret of the change; it is not because of the men. The tithe for the four years, from 1889 to 1892, was $9036.67. Then taking the next two years, it was nearly a thousand dollars more than it was for the four years preceding; and this last year was $5076.96, being an average for each member of $13.98.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.3

    Now one thought more on the workers’ going to another country: You will find different circumstances from what you have been accustomed to, in a good many respects; but as you find these, do not begin to contrast them with what you have had. Do not go to any field with your mind made up not to like it. If you have any thought of that, then you would better not go at all. When you and I go into any field where the providence of God may call us, if we will take that statement of Jesus Christ I referred to a little while ago, that “whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive,” banish from our minds and hearts all complaining and all murmuring at whatever circumstances we shall be called to meet and to pass through, we shall be enabled by the grace of God to do the work that he has committed to us to do.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.4


    No Authorcode

    As the matter of island work has been prominently before the Conference, the following copies of letters lately received from there will be of special interest to the reader. The first is from Elder Cole, on Norfolk Island, where he lately went, with two families from Australia, intending himself to go to some other field. The second is from Brother and Sister C. D. Baron, who have lately gone to Lord Howe’s Island from Sydney. This little island is near Norfolk. The letters were written to Brother W. C. White, of Sydney, who has kindly furnished copies.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.5

    It will be noticed that they are in a familiar style, and were not intended for publication.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.6

    NORFOLK ISLAND, Dec. 25, 1894

    No Authorcode

    Dear Brother White:—GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.7

    A ship will soon be here on her way back to Sydney, and I must write a little to you. We had a very pleasant trip: the sea was quiet. My letters that I sent with the lumber were never delivered, so no one knew anything about our coming until our arrival. The steamer arrived here Sunday, as was expected, and the magistrate made quite a fuss about it, and made the captain stay until after midnight; but the people began right away to get ready cargo for the ship, and long before midnight all were pulling boat-loads of stuff to the ship.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.8

    The people made such a fuss with the captain that they had no time to notice us. I did not tell anyone what the brethren came for, or try to explain our movements. Brother Belden and I worked all night taking the things off the ship. We got all off by daylight, but we were very tired.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.9

    After the hurry was over, and we got the pony cart put together, my wife and I went up to the magistrate. I told him about the coming of the brethren, and their object in coming; that it was not to make money, but to help the people in any way they could. He seemed pleased that I had come to him direct, and made known to him the facts, and he said, “The island is the king’s highway, and we cannot stop anyone.” That lifted a load from me.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.10

    They had a public meeting, and decided to give us the walls of the old church which we had asked for. Most of the old men were set against it, but the young men, with whom we have held some young people’s meeting, all voted for it. Captain Bates, a nephew of Captain Joseph Bates, spoke in favor of it. He spoke of how we had visited the sick and had tried to lift up the fallen, and he did not see but those who kept the seventh day were good Christians; and, for himself, he said he could bid us God-speed.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.11

    This speech helped us much. But after all this the preacher thought of another thing: Those walls had been consecrated to the Church of England, and they could not let them go; but even that was of no avail. A few minutes after we landed, Brother Belden took hold of a tool to look at it, and one man said: “I know what that man is here for, he is a carpenter, I can tell by the way he handles tools; he has come to build a church for them.” It has been raining, but Brother Belden has been busy fixing old clocks. I think they will make friends before long. We have found a house for Brother Belden. There are five rooms, and about five acres fenced for cultivation. There are six orange trees and other fruit-trees bearing, and there is a nice piece of ground for bananas. They can have this place for two years, or more, by paying a bill of five pounds that is against it.GCB March 4, 1895, page 455.12

    Brother and Sister Belden seem pleased with their new home. Sister Belden is busy visiting from house to house nursing the sick, and making them nice porridge. He is out to-day planting potatoes. Brother Anderson will speak to-morrow; I hope they will like him. That is all I can think of on this point just now. I can only write short letters, as I have very little time, and much to do.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.1

    I have been thinking of Fiji. There is a grand field for work. There was a good opening when the ship was there. Many of our books have been sold there. The field is large. What would you think of my going there? The expense would not be much, no more than going to Sydney. J. M. COLE.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.2

    LORD HOWE’S ISLAND, Dec. 30, 1894

    No Authorcode

    Dear Brother White:— I suppose you will be looking for a letter from us to let you know how we are faring in our island home. On our arrival, quite a number of the men in their small boats came alongside the “Burksgate,” and Elder Cole introduced me to several of them, and asked them to give us all the assistance they could.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.3

    We got all our things safely ashore, and then I found the gentleman who had charge of Mrs. Langley’s house, and asked him if we could have the use of the house until it was settled whether we should buy the place or not. He did not feel inclined to grant us that privilege, and I felt rather disappointed; but a Mr. Thompson took us in hand, and let us have the use of part of a house he owned. We have a comfortable and nice little kitchen to ourselves and a bedroom.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.4

    I have been casting about for some plans for a future home, and we found a very comfortable spot of about a quarter of an acre, closed in on three sides by fences, and cleared of all bushes and timber. It is the property of Mrs. Thompson, from whom we are receiving thoughtfulness and little kindnesses every day; and so I asked him what he would be willing to sell or lease it for, and this morning he has decided to let us have it on a lease of five years, or under, for a shilling a year, and he will give the wire to fence the side which still lies open.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.5

    The situation is about the most protected we could get on the island, and that is a very great advantage here, as the wind often sweeps with tremendous force over the place, and many times makes sad havoc with anything exposed to its fury. We shall be midway between two sides of the island, and within five minutes’ walk of either. Should the ground which will surround our house be insufficient to grow what we want, we have been offered, near by, a small garden (a name which is here given to a piece of land under cultivation), in which to extend our operations. I am inclosing the list of what will be required to build us two rooms, and I estimate the cost to be about L70.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.6

    I have cut everything as fine as I possibly could, making the outside walls do also for a finish inside. I can also make the doors here, instead of buying them ready made. Later on I can put up a kitchen at the rear of the first two rooms, but the material for that, I can make out of what grows on the island. I planned having a thatch-roof; but then the only water we can get for our household purposes will be what we catch off the roof, and the water that thatch-roofs gives is always colored, and not fit for domestic purposes, so will plan for iron. The wells that are dug here are nearly all brackish, and the water only fit for cattle.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.7

    We feel that we are indeed highly privileged in being allowed to labor in this part of the Lord’s vineyard, and we know that God has here some who will obey him as he calls to them in his last warning message. As we look at ourselves, we can see that we are unworthy to engage in the work; but our prayer is to learn of Christ, and to reach hearts in his divine way.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.8

    The second Sunday that we were here, we opened our Sunday school at 3 P.M. in the dining-room of the lady’s house with whom we stay. There were nine scholars, and we had a nice time with them. We found them fair pupils to deal with, and last Sunday there were eleven scholars, and we felt cheered. Mrs. Baron teaches the lesson, and then I review, with the aid of impromptu blackboard, some crayons, and pictures. We believe that the remaining children on the island will eventually come to our school.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.9

    The public school located here has been closed for lack of sufficient pupils, the minimum for a school being fifteen. It is not a fact that the island cannot find that number, but two families have withdrawn their children because of some difference of opinion with their neighbors and the teacher. The parents have but little time, and some have less ability, to instruct their children. I thought and prayed over the matter, and have decided to take them in hand myself, for three hours in the morning, five days in the week. The government school-house blew down some time ago, and now lies in its wrecked condition. I went to see the late schoolmistress and her husband, the constable, to see what we could do about the school building, and they say that we can re-erect the building, and that I can have the use of the things in their charge for day-school. Another advantage is that we can use it for Sunday school, and also for other meetings that we may want it for.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.10

    I did not think that we could do anything else that would so practically show the people here that we have their welfare at heart, as to try to educate the children. It will take a good deal of my time away from growing necessities, but I feel that we shall in no way be losers; for the people will help us by giving us what they can spare of whatever we may need of the stuff that they grow. We cannot look for any remuneration for our service in this line, as the people have had their children taught for nothing, and as many have all they can do to provide clothing and those articles of food which do not grow on the island.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.11

    As regards our food, we have thus far had an abundance of all we could wish for: butter, milk, eggs, potatoes, cabbages, bananas, peaches, etc.; and the only things that we shall probably have to pay for will be the butter and milk. We have the advantage of being vegetarians. If we had not done so before, we should now have to adopt that regimen, for meat is expensive here, with the exception of fowls and hogs.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.12

    We would be glad if Sabbath-schools in Parramatta or Sydney would save up copies of the Little Friend, and let some one send them to us every quarter, as we want to give them to the children every Sunday. We are sure they will appreciate them. We have a few on hand at present, but they will not last us very long.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.13

    We have found the days rather too short, so far, as there is so much to do. We have been of some service to our fellow-islanders in sewing, mending, and various other ways. We hope to be ready to take hold wherever we can do so, in any way.GCB March 4, 1895, page 456.14

    With best Christian love, we remain your fellow-laborers in Christ.GCB March 4, 1895, page 457.1


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