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Principles In Evangelistic Advertising

The following comes from Ellen G. White, Volume 4: The Australian Years 1891-1900 by Arthur L. White, pp. 334-335.

(The context is during the days of our early work when camp meetings were more like our modern day evangelistic meetings – the public was invited and our unique prophetic messages and doctrinal teachings were shared.)
“In early August, 1897, A.G. Daniells and W.L.H. Baker, presidents of the two principal conferences in Australia, had gone up to Cooranbong to counsel with Ellen White and others there regarding the two camp meetings to be held in the early summer. . .” “ „That night,‟ she wrote, „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 meetings to be held, for in doing this we would prepare 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. . . 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. – Letter 37, 1897.” “Immediately Ellen White addressed a letter to „Dear Brethren,‟ bearing the date of August 27, 1897. It opened, „I must place before you ideas that I cannot withhold. Is it at this time best to let everyone possible know that there is to be a camp meeting (evangelistic meeting) held by Seventh-day Adventists? . . . Will it not rather be best to set up the tents, and then let the people know, after the meeting has commenced doing the work of advertising? In spreading the intelligence of a Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting, are we not furnishing ammunition to our foes?‟ She added: „After an interest has been created by the camp meeting, then is the time that a special work should be done in following up the interests created. The greatest secrecy is needed in some cases, lest there be created an intense opposition that will prevent the people from coming to the meeting to hear for themselves. . .‟” “ „If a camp meeting can be started to break in upon the community unexpectedly, the opposing elements will not be aroused with an intensity moved by Satan‟s agencies to hold the people in error and darkness. The warning must be given, but let us give as little chance as possible for Satan to work, by moving cautiously and making no stir before. . .‟ Letter 13, 1897.”