EGW Endorsement of the 1895 Armadale Latter Rain Message
Ellen White Descriptions
A. October 19, 1895 (Letter w-82, 1895 to son Edson, unreleased)
“In the evening Prof. Prescott gave a most powerful discourse, instruction precious as gold. The tent was full, and many were standing outside. All seemed to be fascinated with the Word of God as the speaker presented the truth in new lines, separating the truth from the companionship of error, and by the divine influence of the Spirit of God making it to shine like precious jewels….
God has given brother Prescott a special message for the people. The truth comes forth from human lips in the demonstration of the Spirit and power…. We are hoping and praying for an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the people. We think that the best class of people are attending the meetings. The interest awakened exceeds anything we have yet had here in camp-meetings. The great object of the speakers is to sweep away the refuge of lies, by exalting Jesus higher and yet higher. We are doing our best to lead the people to look upon the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world….
Seldom can I give myself the pleasure of listening to discourses from our ministering brethren, but Sabbath forenoon I attended the meeting and heard Prof. Prescott preach. I know that since coming to this place he has had the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, his lips have been touched with a coal from off the altar. We know and can distinguish the voice of the shepherd. The truth has been poured forth from the lips of the servant of God as the people had never heard it before; unbelievers turn pale and say, “that man is inspired.” The people do not stroll about the grounds, but go immediately into the tent and listen as if spellbound.
B. October 22, 1895 (Letter 84, 1895 to son Edson, unreleased)
“The Lord has given Brother Prescott a message for the people, which is highly appreciated. His mind is fruitful in the truth, and the power and the grace of God are upon him. We feel that we are highly favored in having his services at this camp meeting. I long to attend every meeting.”
C. November 6, 1895 (Letter 25, 1895 to S. N. Haskell, unreleased)
“We are at this time in our camp-meeting having a feast of precious things. The word is presented in a most powerful manner. The Holy Spirit has been poured out upon Brother Prescott in a great measure…. Brother Prescott has been bearing the burning words of truth such as I have heard from some in 1844. The inspiration of the Spirit of God has been upon him. Unbelievers say, “These are the words of God. I never heard such things before.”
We have had the truth presented in clear lines. Bro. Prescott has never had such power in preaching the truth as he has had since coming to this meeting. The unbelievers sit with their eyes riveted on him in amazement, as the truth comes forth from his lips, vitalized by the Spirit of God. When I consider the responsibility resting upon all who hear this heaven sent message, I tremble at the word of the Lord. Who will receive the message sent to them?”
D. November 6, 1895 (MS 19, 1895, unreleased, emphasis supplied)
“I have just been listening to a discourse given by Professor Prescott. It was a most powerful appeal to the people. Those not of our faith seemed deeply interested. They say, “there is no life in our churches, everything is so cold and dry; we are starving for the bread of life.” The people are of the very best class of society, of all ages; noble looking men of white hair, sit and listen as for their life. Some men who are superintendents of Sunday Schools, are as eager to get the discourses as they see our reporters taking notes in shorthand. They say, “I do not want to lose one idea.” All the words, they say, are precious…. All say, “never did we have the privilege of hearing the Bible made so plain and brought to that simplicity in explanation, that we can not help but understand it ….”
Maggie Hare is reporting Professor Prescott’s discourses and my talks, for publication. Professor Prescott’s sermons will never seem the same, I fear, as when given by the living preacher: for the words are spoken in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power, his face all aglow with the sunshine of heaven…. I think I may safely say I have never in my experience seen so large a number attending meetings not of our faith who are so hungry for the truth.”
E. November 7, 1895 (Letter 51, 1895 to Bro McCullagh, unreleased)
“In the evening Elder Prescott preached. The tent was full, and scores, it is reported, could not get under the canvas and went away…. We have seen the power of God in human vessels as they have presented the truth at these meetings … the Lord is in our midst.”
F. November 17, 1895 (Letter 113, 1895 to J. H. Kellogg)
“I have been privileged to witness the past five weeks that which has given me much joy to see a people eager, hungry, and earnest to hear the Word of God presented in clear and new light. The Word of God has been presented in demonstration of the Spirit and with power. The Lord has sent Professor Prescott to us not an empty vessel, but a vessel full of heavenly treasure that he can give to every man his portion of meat in due season. This the people of God everywhere want….
As they see Maggie Hare taking the precious truths in shorthand, they act like a flock of half-starved sheep, and they beg for a copy. They want to read and study every point presented. Souls are being taught of God. Brother Prescott has presented truth in clear and simple style, yet rich in nourishment….
We have heard many in different localities where our camp meetings have been held, express themselves as very much surprised that we do believe in Jesus Christ, that we believe in His divinity. They say, “I have been told that this people do not preach Christ, but I have never attended meetings where Christ was more manifestly taught and exalted than in the sermons and in every line of work at these meetings.” How can Seventh-day Adventists preach any other doctrine?”
G. November 18, 1895 (Letter 83, 1895 to Edson White, emphasis supplied)
“The Lord has visited Brother Prescott in a most remarkable manner and given to him the Holy Spirit to give to this people…. Those who are not in the truth say, “That man speaks from the inspiration of the Spirit of God.” 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 the meeting they beg of Brother Prescott to give them a copy of these discourses….
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 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.”…
Abundant evidence has been given that the Holy Spirit of God has spoken to men through human agencies…. 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. 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, as the Sun of Righteousness to arise and shine forth upon the eager listeners. His preexistence, 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.”
H. November 21, 1895 (RH 01-07-1896 article “The Australian Camp-Meeting”)
“Our third Australian camp-meeting was held in Armadale, a populous suburb of Melbourne, about three miles southeast from the center of the city. During the early part of the year our brethren had planned for the meeting to be held in Ballarat, a city of thirty thousand people, about ninety miles north from Melbourne. There is a faithful little church there that needed strengthening, and as the Australian Conference is in debt, it seemed desirable to hold the meeting where it would be less expensive than in Melbourne.
But the Lord has been giving me light about the work to be done in our large cities. The people in the cities are to be warned, and the message should go to them now. The time will come when we cannot work so freely in the large cities; but now, the people will listen to the message, and this is our time to work most earnestly for the people in the centers of population. Many will hear and obey, and carry the message to others.
The interest which began to be awakened by the camp-meeting held two years ago in Brighton, should be carried forward by a camp-meeting in some part of Melbourne each year. When our brethren took these things into consideration, they decided that the meeting should be held in Melbourne, and in their search for a ground were led to locate in Armadale. The first plan was to locate the meeting at Northcote, where it would be convenient for our brethren and sisters. But the Lord hedged up the way at Northcote, and led them to a locality convenient to densely populated suburbs where the message had never been given.
During the meeting we have had abundant evidence that the Lord has been guiding both in the location and in the work of the meeting. A new field has been opened, and an encouraging field it appears to be. The people did not swarm upon the ground from curiosity, as at our first meeting in Brighton, and as at Ashfield last year. The majority came straight to the large meeting tent, where they listened intently to the word; and when meeting was over, they quietly returned to their homes, or gathered in groups to ask questions or discuss what they had heard.
The interest steadily increased from the beginning of the meeting. The evening discourses, given by Elders Prescott, Corliss, and Daniells, all presented the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. Hardly a discourse was given during the whole meeting that could be called a doctrinal sermon. In every sermon Christ was preached, and as the great and mysterious truths regarding his presence and work in the hearts of men were made clear and plain, the truths regarding his second coming, his relation to the Sabbath, his work as Creator, and his relation to man as the source of life, appeared in a glorious and convincing light that sent conviction to many hearts. With solemnity the people said, “We have listened to truth tonight.”
A Bible study was usually given at three o’clock each afternoon. These studies followed the same lines as the evening discourses, and they were regularly attended by scores besides those living on the camp-ground. The forenoons were mostly occupied by meetings of the Australian and Union Conferences, the tract society, the Sabbath-school association, and the publishing and school interests.
The early morning hour, before breakfast, was set apart and generally observed as a silent hour for individual study and prayer. Occasionally, a general meeting was held at this hour. We have found blessing in setting apart a season when every soul could feel that there was time to pray and to study the word of God without interruption. The half-past eight morning hour was devoted alternately to district prayer-meetings and general social meetings. Although quite feeble during most of the meeting, the Lord has strengthened me to bear my testimony here. During the three weeks of the meeting I have usually spoken Sabbath, Sunday, and Wednesday afternoons, besides short talks in the morning meetings.
Sabbath morning, Oct. 19, Elder Corliss gave valuable instruction to our people. In the afternoon, I spoke from the fourth chapter of John, dwelling upon the conversation of Christ with the woman of Samaria, in which he said, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” A testimony meeting followed, in which praise and glory were given to God for his unspeakable goodness and matchless love to fallen man in giving Jesus, his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All seemed to have a desire to lift up Jesus higher and still higher. Some outsiders took part, one minister testifying that the blessing of God was in the meeting, and that it was good to be there. We felt much pleased to see so large an attendance, and were impressed with the fact that more than half were persons we had never met in general meeting before.
Sunday morning, Elder Wilson, from New Zealand, gave a most profitable, although plain and simple, discourse. It was beautiful in its simplicity. The simpler the teaching, the more the under shepherd represents the Chief Shepherd. In the afternoon the tent was full to overflowing. Quite a number stood on the outside, and all listened with deep interest, and the Lord strengthened me as I bore a plain testimony to the people, dwelling especially upon our obligation to acknowledge God in all our ways, and to seek more and more to obtain a knowledge of God, as presented in Christ’s prayer in the seventeenth chapter of John.
In the evening Professor Prescott gave a most valuable lesson, precious as gold. The tent was full, and many stood outside. All seemed to be fascinated with the word, as he presented the truth in lines so new to those not of our faith. Truth was separated from error, and made, by the divine Spirit, to shine like precious jewels. It was shown that perfect obedience to all the commandments of God is essential for the salvation of souls. Obedience to the laws of God’s kingdom reveals the divine in the human, sanctifying the character.
In visiting the people with the Echoes, and inviting them to the meetings, one of the workers met a woman who had been keeping the Sabbath for about twelve months. She had never heard the living preacher, but in studying the Bible she was convicted that she was keeping the wrong day, that the seventh day was the true Bible Sabbath. She is now attending the meetings, and feasting upon the truth. There are many interesting cases developing, that are just on the point of taking their stand.
The Lord is working in power through his servants who are proclaiming the truth, and he has given brother Prescott a special message for the people. The truth comes from human lips in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God.
The meetings have been well attended by the people of Armadale and Malvern, both afternoons and evenings, and on Sundays and Wednesdays large numbers have come from the distant suburbs. The people say: “You cannot appreciate the change of feeling about your meeting and work. It has been commonly reported that you do not believe in Christ. But we have never heard Christ preached as at these meetings.” “There is no life in our churches. Everything is cold and dry. We are starving for the Bread of Life. We come to this camp-meeting because there is food here.” As they see our stenographers reporting the discourses, they plead that they be printed soon, and placed within their reach. One who is a Sunday-school teacher, took copious notes of Elder Prescott’s discourse on “God and Caesar,” and then made copies for two ministers who were interested in the subject.
On every side we hear discussion of the subjects presented at the campmeeting. One day as Elder Corliss stepped out of a train, the guard [conductor] stopped him with the request that he explain Col. 2:16. They stopped, and as the crowd rushed by, the explanation was given, and from Lev. 23:37, 38 it was shown that there were sabbaths besides the Sabbath of the Lord. Earnest requests have been sent in that some of the addresses be given in the Melbourne town hall. [Note: This was asked because Prescott declared what was nailed to the cross is our sins as declared in Colossians 2:14, which the early church also affirms]
As two gentlemen were coming to a Sabbath afternoon service, one remarked to the other, “These are a strange people. All we shall hear will be Moses and Sinai. After the meeting, he came to Elder Daniells, and expressed very great surprise at what he had heard. He told him what they had said, and added that he could hardly believe his ears. He had heard nothing but the plain gospel. Another man who had been considerably opposed to the work was prevailed upon to attend one of the meetings, and has since told a friend that it will be a distinct loss to the spiritual interests of the community when the Adventists go away; for Christ has been indeed exalted in these meetings.
A former Wesleyan local preacher’s family are all interested, and thoroughly convinced of the truth. Even the children ask why they should “keep the pope’s Sunday when they know it is not the true Sabbath.” A lady who lives some distance away has been reading the Echo, and came here expressly to attend some of the meetings. In the very first one she attended, Professor Prescott made a call for those who would follow the Lord to stand. She arose, and has since been baptized. A widow who has been attending most of the meetings has now kept three Sabbaths. One lady who was much prejudiced finally came to the meeting to satisfy her children, but just as soon as the service was over, she rushed out of the tent, not wishing to speak to any one. However, she came again, and it happened that the subject was “Sunday in the New Testament;” the choir followed with, “I Will Follow Thee, My Saviour,” and she says she could not get that song out of her mind; it rang in her ears continually. She is now earnestly seeking for truth.
Camp-meetings are a success in arresting the attention of the people. Many who attended the Brighton meeting two years ago have been present at the Armadale meeting. They went through that meeting without deciding to obey the truth, but are manifesting a greater interest here, and some have taken their position now in obedience to the truth. Twenty were baptized, Sunday, Nov. 10. Melbourne, Nov. 21