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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]

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    MR No. 1547—Trials and Blessings at the Newcastle Camp Meeting; Abiding in Christ and Resting in His Love

    (Written December, 1898 from Hamilton, Newcastle, New South Wales, to Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell, who were laboring in Brisbane. Portions of this manuscript appear in My Life Today and In Heavenly Places.)

    Since coming here we have had a rather trying experience. Sara and I came on the ground Friday. The day was very oppressive. In the afternoon there was a smart shower and a high wind. On Sabbath I attended morning meeting at six o'clock. Quite a large number were present. I felt the spirit of prayer. I arose and spoke. I did not know that I spoke, but they say that I did. I seemed to be elsewhere.21MR 227.1

    All through the night I had seemed to be in meetings, presenting the subject of the reception of the Holy Spirit. This was my burden in laboring—somewhere, I cannot tell where. The whole subject was the opening of our hearts to the Holy Spirit. I was trying to present to those who were there the great necessity of receiving the Spirit. Christ told the disciples, “I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” Their own limited comprehension put a restraint upon Him, so that He could not open to them the things He longed to unfold, for it would be labor lost.21MR 227.2

    On the Sabbath Elder Starr spoke in the forenoon. In the afternoon I spoke from John 15. I sought to impress upon the people the lesson of that wonderful parable of the vine and the branches. John 15:1-6.21MR 227.3

    There are two kinds of connection between the branches and the vine. The one is deceptive, superficial. The crowd pressing upon Christ had no living union with Him by genuine faith. But a poor woman who had been many years a great sufferer and had spent all her living upon physicians but was made no better, but rather worse, thought if she could get within reach of Him, if she could only touch the hem of His garment, she would be made whole. Christ understood all that was in her heart, and He placed Himself where she could have the opportunity she desired. He would use that act to distinguish the touch of genuine faith from the casual contact of those who were crowding about Him from mere curiosity.21MR 227.4

    When the woman reached forth her hand, and touched the hem of His garment, she thought this stealthy touch would not be known by anyone; but Christ recognized that touch and responded to her faith by His healing power. She realized in a moment that she was made whole, and the Lord Jesus would not let such faith pass unnoticed. He turned Him about quickly, and said “Who touched Me?” All the disciples were pressing close around Him, and Peter said, “The multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.21MR 227.5

    “And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and cast herself at His feet, telling the whole story. For twelve years she had been afflicted, but as soon as her finger touched the hem of His garment she was made whole. Jesus said to her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” [Luke 8:45-48]. The mere touch of faith brought its reward, and how then can we doubt God?21MR 228.1

    Tuesday morning, December 27—The wind has been just fearful. After the rain ceased, clouds still encompassed the encampment and the wind blew. Sabbath morning I spoke to a larger number than we had reason to expect. Many not of our faith were present. I called upon all those who wished to give themselves to the Lord fully and seek Him, to come forward. Quite a number came forward and then bore their testimony.21MR 228.2

    A deep impression was made as I spoke from John 15 on the vine and the branches. I spoke of the wonderful contrast between the spurious branches and the true branches, those that have a vital connection with the parent stock. I read only a few verses, to imprint upon their minds the necessity of abiding in Christ.21MR 228.3

    I presented the invitation, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” [Matthew 11:28-30]. Simple enough, is it not? Thus it appears. The promise is large and far-reaching. Rest for the soul is comprehensive. It implies much. It means deliverance from constant, perplexing, uncertainty. The word rest is repeated—“I will give you rest.” In wearing Christ's yoke and learning from Him His meekness and lowliness, “Ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Here is a giving by Christ, and on our part, an acceptance of the promise, a conscious finding, a sense of relief from all perplexing doubt.21MR 228.4

    The reason why there are so many in perplexity is they take their case into their own finite hands, and manufacture yokes that are not pleasant for them to wear. They suppose they understand their own case, and will worry and plan and devise, when Christ stands inviting, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”21MR 228.5

    I said, If you have not found the rest that Christ has offered to give you upon condition that you learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart, would you not better without delay yoke up with Christ, bear only His burdens, and not pile upon yourselves burdens that weigh you down to the earth? All your trouble is that you are so anxious to run things yourselves that you do not wear the yoke of Christ, which He declares is easy. The yokes of your own manufacturing gall the necks that wear them. Christ says, Try My yoke, it is easy; lift My burdens, for they are light.21MR 229.1

    Will these hearers before me hear to a purpose? A Paul may plant, an Apollos water, but God giveth the increase. Christ gives rest to all who receive Him by faith. You are not to conjure up a variety of objects that you must enter into in order to find rest, assurance, confidence. Just leave that work, which none of the wisest of the human family can do, and put your trust in One who has promised rest to your souls. Do just what He has told you to do, and be assured that God will do all that He has engaged to do.21MR 229.2

    The invitation is, “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.” Have you come to Him, renouncing all your makeshifts, all your unbelief, all your self-righteousness? Come just as you are, weak, helpless, and ready to die. What is the “rest”? It is the consciousness that God is true, that He never disappoints a soul who comes to Him. His pardon is full and free, and His acceptance of you means rest to your soul, rest in His love.21MR 229.3

    But be sure that you act your part; cooperate with the One who has promised. By some the promise is grasped so eagerly that it becomes their own, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit is their experience. Others suppose that they must wait to become worthy. Never, never will you become worthy, for if this were possible the Prince of heaven would never have come to our world.21MR 229.4

    He in this action shows before all the universe of heaven that He has united humanity to Himself in order that humanity may stand on vantage ground through cooperating with Christ, that man may have his test, his trial. Through the merits of the Son of God he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” How is this? Fear lest you shall weave into the fabric your own threads of selfishness. Fear lest you shall err in choosing the timber for your character building. God alone can supply the solid timber.21MR 229.5

    Well may mortal man be afraid of weaving into his character the miserable threads of his own inherited and cultivated tendencies. Well may he tremble lest he shall not submit all things to Him who is working in his behalf, that God's will shall be done in him. God welcomes all who come to Him just as they are, not building themselves up in self-righteousness, not seeking to justify self, not claiming merit for that which they call a good action, not priding themselves on their knowledge of what constitutes righteousness. Put on the wedding garment, which Christ has prepared, and drop the old citizen's dress; then you can sit down in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.21MR 230.1

    While you have been walking in meekness and lowliness of heart a work has been going on for you, a work which only God could do, for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. And that good pleasure is to have you abide in Christ, rest in His love. You must not let anything rob your soul of peace, of restfulness, of the assurance that you are accepted just now. Appropriate every promise; all are yours on condition of your complying with the Lord's prescribed terms. Entire surrender of your ways which seem so very wise, and taking Christ's ways, is the secret of perfect rest in His love. Giving up one's life to Him means much more than we suppose.21MR 230.2

    We must learn His meekness and lowliness before we realize the fulfillment of the promise, “Ye shall find rest unto your souls.” It is by learning the habits of Christ, His meekness, His lowliness, that self becomes transformed—by taking Christ's yoke upon you and then submitting to learn. There is no one who has not much to learn. All must come under training by Jesus Christ. When they fall upon Christ, their own hereditary and cultivated traits of character are taken away as hindrances to their being partakers of the divine nature. When self dies, then Christ lives in the human agent. He abides in Christ, and Christ lives in him.21MR 230.3

    Christ desires all to become His students. He says, Yield yourselves to My training; submit your souls unto Me. I will not extinguish you, but will work out for you such a character that you shall be transformed from the lower grade to the higher school. Submit all things to Me. Let My life, My patience, My longsuffering, My forbearance, My meekness, My lowliness, be worked out in your character, as one that abides in Me and I in Him. Then you have the power. Not only, “I will give,” but, “You shall find rest to your souls.”21MR 230.4

    God calls for an entire surrender. You cannot receive the Holy Spirit until you break every yoke of bondage, everything that binds you to your old, objectionable traits of character. These are the great hindrances to your wearing Christ's yoke and learning of Him. The abiding rest—who has it? That rest is found when all justification of self, all reasoning from a selfish standpoint, is put away. Acquaintance with Christ makes you want to abide in Him and to have Him abide in you. Entire surrender of self is required.21MR 230.5

    In my dream last Friday night a sentinel stood at the door of an important building and said to every one who came for entrance, Have you received the Holy Spirit? A measuring line was in his hand, and but very, very few were admitted into the building. Your size as a human being is nothing. Your size as the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus according to the knowledge you have had will give you an appointment to sit with Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb, and you will never know the extent of the great advantage given you in the banquet prepared for you.21MR 231.1

    You may be tall and well proportioned in self, but no such ones can enter here. None can be admitted who are grown-up children, with all the habits and customs, the disposition, the characteristics, which pertain to children. You have nurtured your suspicions, your criticisms, your bad temper, your self-dignity, and you cannot be permitted to spoil the feast, for all who go in through this door have on the wedding garment, woven in the loom of heaven.21MR 231.2

    Your leaven of distrust, your want of confidence, your power of accusing, closes against you the door of admittance. Within this door nothing can enter that can possibly mar the happiness of the dwellers here by marring their perfect trust in one another. Those who have educated themselves to pick flaws in the characters of others have thus revealed a deformity of character which makes families unhappy, which has turned souls from the truth to choose fables. You cannot join the happy family in the heavenly courts, for He will wipe all tears from their faces. You can never see the King in His beauty if you are not yourself a representative of the loveliness of Christ's character.21MR 231.3

    Abiding with Christ is choosing only the disposition of Christ, so that He identifies His interests with yours. When you give up your own will, your own wisdom, and learn of Christ as He has invited you, then you shall find entrance to the kingdom of God. Entire, unreserved surrender He requires. Give up your life for Him to order, mold, and fashion; take upon your neck His yoke; submit to be led and taught as well as to lead and teach; learn that unless you become as a little child you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Abide in Him, to be and do only what He wills. These are the conditions of discipleship.21MR 231.4

    Unless these conditions are complied with, you can never have rest. Rest is in Christ, and cannot be found as something He gives apart from Himself. The moment the yoke is adjusted to your neck, that moment it is found easy, and the heaviest labor in all spiritual lines can be performed, the heaviest burdens can be borne, because the Lord gives the strength and the power, and He gives gladness in doing the work.21MR 232.1

    Mark the points: “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Who is it that speaks thus?—The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. He desires that your conceptions of spiritual things shall be purified from the fog of selfishness, the defilement of a crooked, coarse, unsympathetic nature. There must be the inward, higher experience. You must obtain a growth in grace by abiding in Christ. And when thou art converted, thou wilt not be a hindrance, but thou wilt strengthen thy brethren.21MR 232.2

    As these things were spoken, I saw that some turned sadly away, and mingled with the scoffers. Others with tears, all broken in heart, were making confessions to those whom they had bruised and wounded. They did not think of maintaining their own dignity, but asked at every step, What must I do to be saved? The answer was, Repent, and be converted, that your sins may go beforehand to judgment, and be blotted out. Words were spoken greatly to rebuke all spiritual pride, for this God will not tolerate. It is inconsistent with His Word and with our profession of faith.21MR 232.3

    “Seek ye the Lord,” all ye who are ministers of His. Seek Him “while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” [Isaiah 55:6, 7].21MR 232.4

    There was much presented to me. As I presented the principles before the people all seemed to feel that the Lord had spoken through the feeble instrument.21MR 232.5

    After those who came forward had borne their testimony, the rain poured down in torrents; it seemed that the windows of heaven were opened. I made this a symbol of what the Lord would do for His people in letting the latter rain of His rich blessing in truth and righteousness fall upon us. We devoted some time to singing “The Evergreen Shore,” “Is My Name Written There?” “When the Mists Have Rolled Away,” and similar songs, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon the people.21MR 232.6

    As soon as the rain lightened, we had a season of prayer. Elder Daniells and Elder Robinson prayed in the Spirit as I have never heard them before, and the meeting closed. Many unbelievers were present. One Salvation Army man bore an excellent testimony upon practical religion. That night, notwithstanding the inclement weather, the large tent was well filled. The blessing received on Sabbath made a decided change in the atmosphere of the meeting. All were cheerful.21MR 232.7

    On Sunday I did not attend the morning meeting. I was not strong; I have not been strong since leaving Brisbane. In the forenoon Brother Tenney spoke. In the afternoon I spoke to a tent crowded full, and a crowd on the outside. The Lord gave me freedom in speaking to the people from John 14, making a specialty of keeping the commandments of God.21MR 233.1

    The wind blew hard the evening after the Sabbath, also Sunday night, and did some damage to the tents. During the day on Sunday there was less wind, and the afternoon and evening were quite pleasant. We have our three horses and the platform wagon and the phaeton here. I had my first ride yesterday.21MR 233.2

    Last night, Monday, the tent was full. Brother Colcord gave an excellent discourse. There seems to be a good interest here, notwithstanding the variety of holiday attractions. I do not know what the collections have been. This tent is much better proportioned for all to hear than the large tent we used in Brisbane. We see now that the meetings must be extended one week longer.21MR 233.3

    They are drawing hard for W. C. White and me to go to Ballarat, but it will be a hard thing for me to do. My workers cannot work to advantage when I am away so much. They will do their best, but there are things that I could put into their hands for my books. If I have to labor in Ballarat and Victoria it means one, and maybe two, months out of my work. I do not see how I can do this.21MR 233.4

    W. C. White and Elder Daniells have had some conversation with me upon school matters, but I tell them that W. C. W. will hold no office with my consent while he is connected with me and my work. His health is poor, and this burden shall not come upon him again. It is hard enough when his work is appreciated. I cannot think of going to Victoria and keeping under a constant load. The Lord does not require it. I want every jot of W. C. White's strength in my work, and we shall try to get some long-neglected work done. Brother Robinson pleaded yesterday, and I almost weakened, but I am more decided today not to go just because my brethren desire it. If the Lord says, Go, I will go; but if I have no positive convictions, I shall not go.21MR 233.5

    Large interests are started right here, and if there is a company raised up, a meetinghouse will be the next thing to be thought about. New-castle spreads over a large territory. Much canvassing has been done in this place and many books have been sold here. Many of my writings, large works, have been sold in Newcastle and Maitland. I have never had better attention when speaking in any place than here, and I have never seen a better-appearing class of people. This interest must be attentively looked after; we cannot neglect it; once started, it must be carefully and thoroughly ripened off. A most solemn impression was made Sabbath and Sunday.21MR 233.6

    W. C. W. can help me in my work. He can be with me in Newcastle. I shall speak to the people this afternoon. I must now lay down my pen to go to meeting.21MR 234.1

    Received and read your letter after dinner, also the copy of the one to Elder Daniells. I thank Sister Haskell for writing. I have thought that Sabbath and Sunday were a trial of our faith, especially Sabbath. But we had the victory; thanks be to God who giveth us the victory. But the letter—what a sad one! It was all that I could do to keep from weeping aloud. But we must hold on to life for Brother Wilson; then if God lets him go down into the grave, every one of us must say, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.”21MR 234.2

    Our time here is short. Let us live, not holding ourselves in our own hands, but as seeing Him who is invisible. We have no time now to nurse grievous things; we have a work of great importance before us. We shall not fail nor be discouraged. We are kept for the Master's use. We must have a trustful disposition toward God. We must cultivate love and confidence toward our brethren and sisters in the faith. We must have the habit stronger and stronger to be always thinking of Him who is our life, our crown of rejoicing. He has bought us with the price of His own blood.21MR 234.3

    The Lord has a right to claim from all His disciples that He shall be trusted. Let not the thought be entertained whether such erring ones can be Christ's. He will be our all-sufficient Helper, so that we shall not remain erring, but be enabled to attain to the holiness to which we are called through a close and intimate communion with Christ. If we fall short it will be through unbelief, and that is sin. With God there is no shortcoming in fulfilling His word.21MR 234.4

    At three o'clock Tuesday afternoon I stood before a large tent full—the seats were not all taken but there were hundreds there. I spoke from 1 Peter 1:1-9. The Lord gave me much of His power and there seemed to be much interest to hear. There were people from all the suburbs round. They will have something to carry away with them. We have had a good day.21MR 234.5

    On Tuesday I called the ministers together and told them I could not speak in the morning as I had done; the atmosphere in the large tent has no vitality in the morning, and it takes away my strength. I eat no suppers, and in the morning I have no strength to go to meeting. If I eat, that unfits me to take my breakfast. Without eating I exhaust my strength. If they would give me one hour in the afternoon, then I would improve it to the best of the ability granted me by God. So this afternoon I spoke to hundreds, who were just as quiet and well-behaved as in any church building. May the Lord water the seed sown.21MR 235.1

    We do pray that this meeting may prove a success. Some of the people say they never heard anything from any of the greatest speakers equal to the speaking on this ground. Everything, they say, seems to be demonstrated by the Bible, and it is so clearly proved.21MR 235.2

    During the trial of our faith we thought that Satan was busy in this gale and powerful rain. But all received such a blessing on the Sabbath that they had not a word of complaint to offer, although almost every man in camp had to be out Saturday night to keep the stakes firm so as to hold the tents from blowing over. All hands were busy, but the Sabbath day was most precious. We felt that the Lord Jesus was among us.21MR 235.3

    We greatly long for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God upon every soul that receives the truth, that they may be transformed in character, sanctified and made pure and holy, fit vessels for the Master's use. [1 Peter 1:22, 23, quoted].21MR 235.4

    I hope to get this into the mail tonight, but I do not know that I can have it copied. Your letter in regard to the lot and building is reasonable. I think you will certainly get help. The Lord will not leave us with a dearth of means. The Lord will help us and will not allow our way to be hedged up. Just keep strong faith in exercise. Means will come. Our Lord will see that we have means with which to work here in Newcastle, and He will help you in Brisbane. Only have faith in God. I have much desire that you should go to Ballarat, but I see no consistency in our going.21MR 235.5

    I talked to the people today, urging them to have faith in God. There is as much need for our ministering brethren today to resurrect their faith as there is to inspire faith in those who have no knowledge of God and the way of salvation. Our faith must not be of that kind which goes no farther than sight. We need so much to be reconstructed upon faith principles and to leave self out of the question. We must put on Christ; we must have the mind that is in Christ Jesus.21MR 235.6

    One sister wrote me that she had three hundred dollars to create a fund for educating our youth in the school at Avondale. The money is to be lent to students, and when they earn means, they are to replace it for some other youth to use. It is a good idea. The money is in the Pacific Press, to be sent to me.—Letter 130, 1898.21MR 236.1

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    January 17, 1991.

    Entire Letter.

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