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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1876
(Vol. 47, #17)
We should have been on the campground at Eagle Lake, Minnesota, Thursday evening, June 24, 1875; but we learned that there was an impassable break in the road, occasioned by the severe storm of the previous night, which would detain us twenty-four hours. We took a room at the Jewell House, and were weary enough to have a thorough night's rest at Winona.
Friday noon we took the cars at Winona and went on about sixteen miles, and came to a halt. We were informed that we could go no farther, for the freight train in passing over the repaired break had broken through. We remained on the track six hours. This delay brought us to Eagle Lake at three o'clock Sabbath morning. We met a hearty reception from our brethren. Nearly everything upon the ground was drenched by the recent heavy rain, but they did not appear discouraged. Meetings had been in session since Thursday. Three discourses had been given with good effect.
Sabbath morning meetings were commenced under the tent for prayer and conference. Bro. Smith made appropriate remarks at the beginning of the meeting. I felt free in speaking about fifteen minutes, entreating all present to improve this opportunity of seeking the Lord. Our first work should be to search our own hearts and put away from them everything that is grievous to the Spirit of the Lord. Here in this convocation meeting was a favorable time for all of us to humble our hearts, by confessing our sins and faults, and to come near to God by repentance and faith, that we might feel an assurance of his love.
We lack in faith and love. We must exercise faith in God and cherish love in our hearts for him, love for the truth, and love for one another. We must do this if we prepare the way for the Holy Spirit.
Many then bore testimony, the substance of which I will give as the brethren and sisters spoke.
A sister says she is one of the most needy. She has had quite an experience in the work, but has not made that advancement which she might; she now feels that she must make an entire surrender to God.
A brother says he cannot be satisfied until he becomes strong through Jesus and gains the victory over sin in his own heart.
Another brother is thankful God had spared his life to be present at this meeting. He has come to gain strength to be a better Christian, a man devoted to God, carrying out his faith in his everyday life.
A sister says she is determined to live like a humble follower of Jesus. Her trials sometimes seem greater than she can bear; then, again, she thinks these trials are to help her to endure and be a more perfect follower of Jesus. She wishes her daily life and her conversation to redound to the glory of God. She wants to be approved of her Heavenly Father.
A brother says he came a long way to this meeting, that he might receive a blessing here; he did not want to go away disappointed. He feels that he has an individual work to do; he wants to accomplish this work; he wants the crown that is to be given to the faithful.
A sister says that she loves Jesus, but feels that she has not the spirit of prayer and deep sympathy for his cause that she should have.
A brother says that he wants to get right before God, and thanks him for the good he has received during this meeting. He has here realized the blessing of God. Another brother says he has been admonished of the fact that the minister cannot do the work assigned to him. He must perform it himself; he must humble his heart, confess his sins and live a better life; contact with the world has had a chilling and withering influence upon his spirituality. Today he wants to be sanctified through the truth. It is the truth that makes us free. Another brother testifies that he is earnestly seeking for sanctification through the truth.
A brother bears testimony that it is good to be engaged in the work of God. He has been trying to redeem the failures of his past life. In searching his heart, that he might the better understand his own defects, he has felt the blessing of God. He wants to derive all the benefit possible from this meeting.
A brother rejoices that he feels a hungering and thirsting for righteousness. He desires the Christian graces to be continually growing in his character and life.
A sister rejoices to meet so many friends interested in the truth. She had made a great effort to come to the meeting, and was trying to overcome the enemy and make sure of the kingdom.
One brother says he is reminded by this gathering of the great assembly which shall meet, from the east and the west, the north and the south, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of Heaven.
A sister feels most unworthy of all. This is the first campmeeting she has attended. She thanks God for the good she has received.
A brother says he was at the campmeeting one year ago, and there resolved to live a better life. He thinks he has made some progress and has been struggling to gain a victory over his sins. Another brother came to the meeting hoping to receive the blessing of God, and he has not been disappointed. He says if we place ourselves in a right position toward God, we may have a rich flow of his Spirit in our hearts.
A brother says, he is seeking to bring his body into subjection, that appetite and passion may be under the control his will.
A brother says it is good for him to be here. He has progressed some since one year ago. If we put our trust in God he will not forsake us. He has been blessed this morning. He sees that he has done many things that are wrong; he has indulged appetite to his injury; he has used tobacco; he feels that it is necessary for him to overcome this unnatural appetite. He wants to serve God with his whole soul, mind, and strength. The Lord has a work for him to do, which no one can perform for him.
Another brother says that God has spared his life and granted him the desire of his heart in enabling him to come to this campmeeting. He wants to put himself in the way to receive the blessing of God. He has been afflicted--been brought near the gates of death; he had promised the Lord to surrender all to Christ. He has been searching his heart and finds he has much to do to perfect a Christian character. He has suffered much pain because of the violation of the laws of his being. He feels that he has been taken into the stripping room, where, through a severe process, the Lord has brought him to see himself, in all his sinfulness. He must make clean work for eternity.
A sister says she is thankful that God has spared her life to enjoy this privilege. She wants to be a Christian; she knows it is a great thing to become one, for it is to be Christlike. She does not want to be almost a follower of Jesus, but a full, earnest, cheerful, disciple of her Saviour.
Another sister expresses great thankfulness that she has the privilege of attending the meeting. She has been keeping the commandments of God.
A Swedish sister desires the help of God, that she may smooth off the sharp and rough points of her character. She wants to see her companion love and obey the law of God. A brother says he came a long way to attend this meeting, hoping to obtain more strength and grace; he has not been disappointed. He wants to live the life of a faithful Christian.
Another brother says he wants to stand as a witness for God. He is unworthy to bear the name of Christian; his life has not done honor to his profession; if God will be so gracious as to spare him to meet his friends in campmeeting another year, he will endeavor to have a better testimony to bear.
A sister says she wants the rubbish removed from the door of her heart, that the spirit of Jesus may come in. Her heart has been troubled; she has carried her burden to Jesus, and knows that he will not forsake those who trust in him. She wants to be worthy to be called, with truth, a child of God. Her trials have been great, but God will not call her to pass through more than he will give her grace to endure.
A Swedish brother says that one year ago he promised that he would go home from that meeting and try to live up to his profession; his efforts have been with some success, but as he looks back today and sees how many crooked paths his feet has made, he feels deeply humbled. He is inclined to be hasty and impatient of speech in his family, he will make more earnest efforts to overcome this failing; he must be right at home in his actions and example, and he will be in the strength of God.
A sister says she will now, just now, open the door of her heart and let her Saviour in. She desires to get nearer to God.
A brother says he is determined to walk in all the commandments of God. Last year he heard other give their testimony, but he did not take his cross nor do his duty; he now felt that he must confess his fault. Let us all confess our faults, and pray for one another, that we may be healed of our infirmities.
A Seventh-day Baptist minister says he came to this meeting, after weary weeks of anticipation, to obtain the blessing of God. That blessing he has found. He was deeply affected, said he was a stranger to the most of those present, yet he felt that he was brought near to his brethren through the love of Jesus Christ. He came for the purpose, first, of receiving the blessing of God. Secondly, to observe and hear. He wanted to ascertain if professing a greater light and deeper truth was accompanied by a fuller consecration; if we are no better than other people who do not profess to have received new and greater light, then our faith is of no more virtue than theirs. He was rejoiced and made glad to hear the testimonies that were reaching down into the heart, seeking a deeper work of grace, equally important as, and corresponding with, the great and sacred truths which are professed, seeking for a better, higher, diviner life. If this is your aim and object, as I trust and believe, let me call you brethren, and we will unite as one. Let no discouragement deter you; some have felt, as they have expressed themselves, almost like giving up, because of the trials that beset them. They should remember that these afflictions are helpers in their spiritual lives, if only they stand fast under them, and bind them closer to their Father.
Yesterday the storm broke down a tree upon the encampment; this tree had stood among many trees, sheltered and protected by them; had it stood alone, in the open ground, and been blown hither and thither, its roots would have struck deeper down, and become more firmly established in the soil; it could have then resisted the tempest, and stood firmly beneath the shock of the hurricane. When great trials oppress you and threaten to crush you, dig deep and plant your roots firmly in the unyielding truth and wisdom of God, that you may stand and be strong. After a quarter of a century spent in enduring the conflicts and storms of life, he was more determined than ever before to hold fast the hope and fight the good warfare to the end.
A brother says he cannot allow this meeting to pass and this precious opportunity to be lost without testifying as to what God has done for him. He has been, for years, seeking to serve God. He now sees, as never before, what slow progress he has made. He is just beginning to see the sharp points and rough corners of his character; he feels that these traits are becoming more firmly fixed; he has asked God to help him to overcome them, to cherish humility and to bear the cross; but the cross has lacerated him in bearing it. The commandments of God are very broad; he wants to claim the Father's blessing through obedience.
A sister says she is trying to keep God's law and to love her Saviour with all her heart. Another says she has been trying to prepare her heart to receive a blessing and has been amply paid.
Still another sister says that the more and better we love God, the better we can see our guilt in transgressing the law of God. The blinder we are to our sins, the less importance we attach to the keeping of that law. The better we love God's commandments, the more precious will Jesus be to us, and the more grievous will sin appear.
A brother says his heart has rejoiced since he came on the ground; he is glad to meet old familiar friends. The enemy has tried hard to get him, but he is determined to press his way to the kingdom, there to meet his brethren and sisters, and rejoice with them in the final triumph.
A sister testifies that she loves Jesus and present truth; she has to make quite a sacrifice, but the Lord blesses her in making it. A brother says he is thankful indeed for this great privilege.
A sister is determined to press onward and make sure progress Heavenward.
A brother says that seventeen years ago, in the State of New York, he enlisted in the army of the Lord; he had idols which he could not then give up; the truth did not take deep enough hold on his heart to enable him to overcome; he had been opposed to the gifts, but for five or six months he has been strong in keeping the law of God, and has patiently endeavored to break off his wrong habits. This brother came, and with weeping confessed the bitterness of feeling he has had toward me, and the hard speeches he has made to others in regard to me; he asked my forgiveness. I told him I forgave him as freely as Christ forgave me.
A brother says he has been keeping the commandments of God some two years; he feels more at home in the company of God's children than with his own relatives who oppose our faith; he feels that he must deny self and bear the cross.
A brother wants to stand as a witness for Jesus; he confesses that when he left home his motives were not right in coming to this meeting; he wanted to see what was to be seen, to visit with friends, and have a "good time;" but now he feels that he must have a work done for himself; he wants to be strong in the truth, to study his Bible and consecrate himself fully to the work of God.
A brother says he is glad that he loves God and loves his people. He has tried to keep the Sabbath for more then twenty years; it is his experience that "great peace have they who love Thy law." He has unwavering faith in the Scriptures; he has no doubts regarding their truth; but he must have works accompanying his faith; for faith without works is dead, being alone. He desires to know the will of God and to live in obedience to it, and be sanctified through the truth. Brethren, let us hold on to God and his promises, pleading with him for strength to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold of eternal life.
A brother rejoices that he has this privilege. The meetings have done him good; he wants to make progress Heavenward; it is good for him to hear the testimony of those whom he knew years ago. He desires to be true to his profession. He has had trials; sometimes they seemed more than he could well endure; he has called upon God and laid his troubles before him, and he has been greatly strengthened in so doing.
A brother says he has rough ways that he wants to make smooth; he must break off from all things that hinder his advancement in the divine life; the love of God should be uppermost, and he should be willing to make everything subservient to His cause. He wants to gain the blissful shore. He wants all his acts and words to be in direct harmony with the will of God.
A brother says he believes the great and glorious gospel truths. He wants to go to the kingdom. He feels unworthy; he knows that it depends upon his actions whether he makes his way to Heaven or not. He knows that God weighs his deeds in the balance, and he wants a clean record in Heaven.
A sister says she thanks God for this meeting, but is sorry to confess that she lacks patience in her family; she wishes us to especially pray that she may overcome this sin.
A brother says he feels like pressing on; he has trials, and almost every discouragement with which to contend. He has set up idols and it is difficult for him to sacrifice them; he does not progress as he should if he had cut loose from these hindrances; he feels that he must give up everything that would be in the way of his spiritual advancement, and be diligent to make his calling and election sure.
A sister says she is thankful that she came up to this meeting. There was the appearance of a storm; she asked God that the storm might be stayed. It looked very dark all night, but did not rain, and they started the following morning. They rode a part of the way in the rain, but this she did not mind; she had received many rich blessings since she came on the ground. She had many trials, but thought they were all for the best, and would trust in God to bring her through them all.
A brother says he desires to serve God in spirit and in truth; he wants his daily life to be acceptable in the sight of God. He has but a short time to serve the cause of truth, he wants the principles of truth to be exemplified in his every act, and the fear of God kept continually before him.
Four now rose at the same time. A sister says that she is a great sinner and wants to be converted.
A brother says, "I feel thankful for what mine eyes have seen and mine ears have heard. These cheering testimonies have met a response in my heart. I want to be strong in hope and faithful in obedience to all the commandments of God, and at last receive the reward of eternal life."
A Methodist sister says the Lord is here. She is thankful that he has given her enough of his Spirit that she can recognize the power and love of God manifested in the souls of this people. She is not of this fold, but feels that the Lord is among them.
A sister says she feels that, only through Christ, can she overcome. She has faults that she must put away. During the past year, when she thought she was strong, she was made to see her weakness. She came to this meeting to find Jesus. She wants to hide behind that Friend, as sister White has shown us it is only through the assisting grace of the Redeemer that we can overcome and have eternal life.
A sister says she loves the Lord, but she often says and does that which is wrong; this has hindered her progress. She has had severe conflicts and passed through many trying scenes; but the Lord has sustained her, and been to her a very present help in time of trouble.
A brother says that he has learned it is good to serve God. He has dedicated his entire self to the Lord, and feels that it is too small a gift. He is determined to serve him to the best of his ability.
A brother says he has been trying for many years to keep the commandments of God. He can say with truth that it pays even in this life to serve God. He intends to try, from this day, to serve him more faithfully.
A sister says that it is good to be here. She thanks God that he has seen fit to call her into his service. She knows that if she does her part, he will not fail to do his. We may always trust him; for he will never forsake us.
A brother says he feels great need of humbling himself before God. He has been guilty of a disposition to find fault; he feels like asking the forgiveness of God and his brethren and sisters.
A sister testifies that the Lord has been good to her. She praises his name for his Spirit which she has felt in her heart since she came to this campmeeting. She feels that she must give herself and all she has into the hands of God, and trust him to keep and care for that which she has intrusted to him.
A sister says she is waiting for Jesus; she wants to be among the children of God when he shall appear. She feels that she must forsake her sins and obey the requirements of God, watching, waiting and praying, that she may be, at last, of that number that have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
A brother says he feels happy in the Lord, although he knows himself to be an unworthy follower and keeper of his commandments. He has had a hard time to get along, but he is not discouraged, but means to press on till he gains the reward of him who overcomes.
A Danish brother says he feels that the truth that he has heard is testing his heart. He knows that he must get nearer to God. It is an individual work that must be done in each heart, and his only course is to cling to the Father.
His heart beats in unison with the hearts of his brethren, and his soul cries out, "Your God is my God, and your people are my people." If he cannot live in peace and harmony with his brethren in this world, he surely cannot in the world to come.
A Norwegian says he wants to try to seek the Lord and be a complete overcomer. He says that the Lord has been very good to him, and very merciful in his dealings with him. He has not a single complaint to make.
Four upon their feet at once. A brother says that it is good for him to be here. He is glad to hear these good, cheering testimonies. He is trying to seek God that he may have a correct understanding of his will, and do the work that God has given him to do. He feels that it is an important time for all. We must not neglect the work of God, and our souls should be fruitful in the knowledge of his will.
A sister says she rejoices in the good prayers and testimonies she has heard: they have done her good. She wants a new conversion to God and to his service.
A brother came up here with the desire and expectation of receiving a great blessing on this campground. He thinks that it is necessary for him to humble his heart before God, before he can enter upon his work with renewed zeal. He feels that he must have the patience, meekness and humility of Christ. He is determined to be a better man, through the grace of God, that his labors may be acceptable to him. He wants to be a faithful servant of Christ, that he may share the glorious reward promised to them who remain steadfast to the end. (To be Continued.)
(Vol. 47, #18)
Sabbath afternoon, June 26, I had freedom in speaking to the people from Luke 19:41, 42. There was a solemn impression left upon the audience.
We invited those who felt that they were not in favor with God, and those who had never professed our faith, and those who had backslidden from God, to come forward. About one hundred promptly responded to the call. Opportunity was given for all who felt burdened to relieve their feelings by saying a few words to the point.
A sister said she felt that she needed the prayers of God's people. She had prayed the Lord to open the way for her to come to this meeting, that she might here seek God with all her heart. There was a very tender spirit in the congregation.
A brother said he feared that we did not realize the sacred work in which we are engaged, and do not feel the necessity of making sure work for eternal life. The truth never looked brighter than today.
A sister said she must have a stronger hold on God. She has led a praying life, but has not felt right. Her life has not been worthy of the name of Christian.
A sister said she had done wrong. Nothing, as she now views it, has been good and right in her life. She wants her heart cleansed. She has been living in doubts and fears, and knows that she cannot honor God by such a life.
A brother said he was laboring to find rest for his soul, but he does not feel free. He said that he had felt an antipathy to a certain brother. He begged his brother to give him his hand and forgive him for his feelings. This confession was well wet down with tears.
A sister said she wanted a consecration to God. She had not devoted time to the study of the Bible and had not given time to the education of her children. There has not been a day that she has not said or done something which she afterwards regretted. She seemed to be overcome, and dropped upon her knees before God, weeping, confessing, and praying for the forgiveness of her sins. She confessed that she had been at times impatient with her family and faultfinding with her brethren and sisters.
A sister said she desired to be a child of God. She sometimes felt thankful to God for his mercies, but she longed to get nearer to God, and wanted to feel more anxiety for her children. She wanted a conversion that would make her love sinners more. She thought if she came forward to ask the prayers of the servants of God, he would cause a deeper work in her heart, and she would receive strength to do the duties that God had left for her to do.
A Danish sister said she had tried to serve the Lord, and wanted more of the Spirit of God.
A brother confessed that he was a sinner, by coming forward to these seats. He wanted a deeper work of God in his heart. He came up to humble himself before God. Unfaithfulness he felt was written on all his works. He felt that he must have a pure conscience; for the pure alone shall see God.
A brother said it had been only three months since he commenced to serve God and obey his commandments. He wanted to surrender all to God and love him with all his heart.
A brother said he had made a profession of the truth, but he had never felt satisfied with his position. He felt that he must have a deeper work of grace in his heart. He wanted to get right here at this meeting. He must work from the foundation. The foundation must be sound. He must dig deep and lay it firmly upon the Rock. Unless the law of God was written in his heart he felt that he could never be saved, and hear from the lips of Christ, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
A brother had loved Christ one year, and he felt that the commandments of the Father are holy, just, and good. He felt that he was a most sinful being. He had much to hinder him. He wanted to give up all his sins. For the past few weeks he had had a deep conviction of sin. He felt with the brother who had spoken just before him that he must dig deep, get down to the very bottom of his iniquity, and root out every evil. He knew it was a trying time and a turning point in his life and experience. The law of God is exceedingly broad. The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. This conversion he must experience in his life.
A Dane spoke in his own tongue. Bro. Nelson interpreted his words. The brother said he had done many wrong things in his life, for which he was heartily sorry. He repented of his sins, and wanted to love Jesus with undivided affections and obey the commandments of God.
A sister said she had been many years a professed Christian, but she was convinced from what she had heard at this meeting, that she must have a deeper work of grace in her heart. She came here, that she might have her strength renewed. She made a confession to her brethren and sisters of her neglect of duty. She wanted to be a wholehearted, daily Christian. She wanted a thorough work of grace in her heart, that she might be a blessing to others.
A sister said she came to this meeting to obtain the blessing of God. She was convicted of sin, and convinced that she has lived at a great distance from God. She has feared the cross of Christ. She loved the Lord's people and these truths. From a child she has had a love for the truth. The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are precious to her. She wants to be a wholehearted Christian and honor her Redeemer.
A brother said he realized that he was in the presence of the all-seeing God. He knoweth all things. He knoweth our hearts better than we can know them ourselves. If he should deceive men he knew that it was impossible for him to deceive God. He had not knowingly wronged his neighbor. He wanted to realize the claims of God upon him, and to love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. He was thankful that he came to this meeting. If he did not hear another word spoken, he could say that he is fully paid. He said he was determined to live more consecrated to God.
A sister requested the prayers of God's servants for her husband. He came to the meeting, but because of dampness and wet, had to leave. He was a great sufferer from neuralgia. She felt that she must give herself anew to God, and hope continually in his salvation.
A brother said he had for two years professed to keep the commandments of God. He confessed he had not fully lived out his holy profession. His friends said he was foolish to believe these things. He had come to the meeting to see what there was here. He thanked God for what he had felt. He wanted God and the leaders in this work to forgive him for his unbelief. He wanted to dig deep around his own heart. He wanted his life spared a little longer, that he might get right. He hoped all his friends would forgive him his wrong doing. Oh! said he, how shall we feel when professedly keeping the commandments of God to find out that we are transgressors of the law? He said that he was convinced by the law of God that he was a sinner.
A sister said that she has received some tokens from God that she is indeed a child of his.
A brother said he came forward to confess his sins. He was convicted that he was a transgressor of the commandments. He feels that he must without delay identify himself with God's commandment keeping people. His friends are astonished to think he has commenced to keep the Sabbath. He feels thankful for the publication of tracts and especially for the Voice of Truth.
A brother felt guilty that he had not lived up to the light, and will try to walk in the light henceforth as Christ is in the light.
A brother thinks that some may look upon this movement of his in coming forward, as a strange thing after professing to be a Christian for forty years. But he has promised to crucify the old man with his deeds. His children had come to accountability, and he felt to repent before God that he had not set the example before them that he should. He wanted to know from day to day that he is doing the will of God, and to so live before his family and the world that they may know that he is one of the family of God.
A sister said she once enjoyed the blessing of God, but she had got into a fretful way with her family. She wanted to do her duty to her little boys, that they might see that their mother had true love for them. She wanted to be strengthened of God, that she might do her duty to her family and the world. Time is short, and she felt that we must get deep at the root of the work. She asked forgiveness of her friends, that she had not given them a better example in her life. She prayed God to forgive her for her lack of love to him.
A sister said she wanted to get nearer to God. She did not want to be found following the fashions of this world.
A Danish sister said there were many things which must be done away with in her heart. She did not want to profess the truth and deny it in her life. She asked forgiveness, that she has sinned by her coldness. She wanted to feel the Spirit of God uniting with her spirit, that she could daily have the evidence that she was indeed a child of God. She did not feel that she could say today that she was a child of God.
A brother said he wanted to be deeply interested in the work of salvation. The present truth, had searched his heart. He felt that he must have the grace of God in his heart. He had been a Methodist for forty years. About one year ago, when he began to keep the commandments of God, charges were made against him, and he was turned out of the church. He felt that he wanted to be a thoroughly converted man. He knew not how soon his case might be brought in review before God. He must have a blameless life, a faultless character.
A brother said he had been keeping the commandments of God for six months. He felt that he needed a deeper work of grace in his heart. The truth is indeed precious to him; he had never realized the sinfulness of sin until he had seen the light in regard to the law of God.
A Norwegian sister said she has just come out to keep the commandments of God. A few obey the truth. They have meetings, and the Lord meets with them. She wanted more of the grace of God--to be brought into greater nearness to him and to be humble. If she had grieved any of her brethren because of her course, she asked forgiveness. She did not want to be merely half right, but just right.
A brother one year and a half ago was on the wrong track. He was ashamed to say he was a Sabbath breaker, but now he wanted to be a Christian commandment keeper.
A brother said he was not satisfied with his condition. To be a Christian is to be Christlike. We must be all right, sanctified through the truth. A Christian will bear the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, and peace. He was frequently overcome by an impatient spirit. He felt that he must overcome this; for he did not believe a fretful Christian would get into Heaven. He had made solemn vows to God before he came on the ground. He felt that he must pray much. We are too near the end to be trifling with eternal interests. The pure in heart alone shall see God. He must be a Bible Christian.
A brother said he wanted to get all right. He felt that this was the day and the hour of salvation. He has been for twenty years keeping the Sabbath, yet he is not satisfied with his present attainments. He wanted complete victory over every sin and over everything that offends the Lord.
A little child said she wanted to be good and go to Heaven.
A sister confessed that it is very humbling to acknowledge that while she has been trying to live a Christian life she has not walked before her family as she ought. She has at times been impatient, and feared that this sin would keep her out of Heaven. She wanted to be an overcomer. She knew her besetting sin to be impatience. This grieves the Spirit of God and brings darkness to her soul.
A brother said he resolved a few weeks ago to keep all of God's commandments. He wanted to take hold of the work anew and commence at the foundation. If he had wronged any one he asked to be forgiven.
A brother had been striving to keep the commandments of God one year. He wanted to be a perfect overcomer.
A brother said he felt that he needed a deeper work of grace, that he might perfect a Christian character and walk before his family and before God with acceptance.
A brother said he had followed the Lord for one year. He wanted from this time to strive more earnestly for eternal life.
A sister said it had been only five months since she commenced to keep all of God's commandments. She thanked God that she had the help and example of a good mother.
A brother said he belongs to the church at Grove Lake. The truth found him steeped in tobacco. He had at times used a little when his brethren did not know it. He kept it secret from them, but he could not carry this burden any longer. He confessed that he had indulged his appetite to his injury; he is decided now to put it entirely away, and forever.
A brother wanted a deeper work of grace in his heart. He had professed to serve God, and came out in the truth about one year ago, but he was not willing to yield all. He wanted to make an entire surrender to God on this campground.
A brother said he was naturally irritable, and he had been thus in his family. He wanted to set a better example before his family, that they might be brought into the truth.
A sister said she thought if we would set a right example before our children, they would grow up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
A sister said she felt herself to be a great sinner. She had not had patience toward her children. She felt that great responsibilities rest upon parents. The blood of our children will be required at our hands unless we are more faithful to do our duty to them.
A brother said he was not a member of our denomination. He has not been a member of any denomination. For the last twenty years he had been floating about, feeling perfectly safe until three months ago. He had been reading our publications, and investigating. He never heard a sermon until yesterday. He was searching for himself. Since being at this meeting, he saw things in a different light. He wanted truth. He thought he had a right to know something for himself. He came seventy-five miles to become acquainted with this people. He wanted to know what he is, and what he must be in order to be saved. He should not have come seventy-five miles if he had not had an interest to obtain light and truth. He believed that he had heard the truth, and he would take hold upon it, and walk in its light.
A brother said his course was onward. He wanted to enjoy the presence of God, he wanted to get in a position to work. He had been cheered up a little since he came to this meeting. He found there were Sabbathkeepers within five miles of him who have been keeping the Sabbath two months. He was one year ahead of them. He hoped to see brighter days.
A sister said she had five children in the grave. She wanted to live a consecrated life before God, and gain Heaven.
A brother said he loved Jesus, he loved the blessed truth. He had been much blessed since he came to the campmeeting.
A brother said he was ashamed to occupy the seat as a sinner after professing to follow Jesus twenty-six years. He ought to be telling of victories and triumphs. He came to the campmeeting determined to seek God with all his heart. He had for a time back been drifting away from God, and he had not had the assurance of his acceptance with God. He had been blessed since he came upon the ground.
A brother thanked God for the privilege he has had of attending this meeting. He would strive to live near to God. He had not been satisfied with himself at all. He must draw near to God and have more love in his heart.
A brother said he had been practicing self-denial. He had wanted to speak but felt great disinclination. He thought he ought to love his neighbor as himself. He was a member of the Methodist church for four years. He had been a believer in the Advent faith ten years, and had been keeping the Sabbath one year. He had a desire to keep all the commandments of God. He could not say that his life had been acceptable with God. He did not feel discouraged, and had tried to give himself wholly away to God today, trusting in his mercy. Since 1844 he had not felt that the last day was far distant, as many of the church had done. In his youth the Methodists used to preach the near coming of Christ, but those days are past in the popular churches. The cry has gone forth, "Be ye also ready." It was not the wise or great men of earth whom Jesus called to be co-workers with him, but poor fishermen. He hideth these things from the wise and prudent and revealeth them unto babes. He wanted the prayers of the servants of God for his family. They did not oppose him, but they had not yet embraced the truth. He would be glad to meet them in the kingdom.
A brother felt that he was drifting away from the Lord. He wanted to get where the Lord desired him to be, and where he could have pleasure in daily communion with him.
A sister, six years ago, started to keep the Sabbath, has no family or acquaintance in the truth. She has felt the blessing of God, but for some reason a season of darkness has come over her, and she scarcely knows which way to turn. She knows what the love of God in the heart is, and wants to realize his love again.
A brother wants to signify his willingness to have God's people pray for him. Darkness has come over him and he feels sad on his own account. He must have the darkness driven away. His sins are great, and he has gone as far as it is possible for him to go. He wants to realize the blessed hope that has been pictured out before him today. He wants to be an overcomer.
A brother promised if the Lord would bless him he would live a better Christian life. He feels that he must take up the cross. He asks his brethren to watch and see if he keeps his promise, and to pray for him, that he may have strength to do his whole duty.
A brother says he praises the name of the Lord that he has been blessed on the campground.
A Swedish sister wants to press forward. She wants to have her sins forgiven. She wants the grace of God, to live a holy life hereafter.
A brother says he has neglected prayer because of discouragement. He has neglected duty and lacked faith in God. As he has moved forward the cloud has been lifted and he feels the necessity of his heart being made pure and clean before God. He feels like beginning anew to serve God.
A brother has been one year and a half keeping the commandments of God. He has found it good to obey the Lord. "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." He means never to turn back. He knows that there is a great chance for improvement. He must have the grace of God in his heart, and resist lukewarmness which presses upon him.
A sister, weeping bitterly, says she wants to have her sins forgiven.
A Swedish sister says the Lord has been very good to her. She loves Jesus. She loves the law of God; in keeping his commandments she has found great peace.
A brother had been twelve years in the Baptist church. Three years ago he began to read his Bible and study it, and God gave him light. He saw the Sabbath in the word of God, and commenced keeping it; found rest and peace in the love of Christ and in obedience to the law of God.
My husband then spoke a few words to those who were seeking the Lord. He said that many had been very much discouraged by the wrong views taken of God. They seek him with doubt and fear. Their hearts murmur, "I am not sure that he will forgive me." They look upon God the Father as a being of stern majesty and justice, devoid of sympathy and love. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not, with him, freely give us all things?" "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Is not the gift of Christ a pledge of the Father's love for sinners? I would say unto you who have come forward here, The Father loves you.
In the popular churches, we hear but little except, "Do you love Jesus?" The love of the Father is scarcely mentioned; it is only Christ, Christ. God the Father has given unto man the greatest gift that Heaven held. "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." I believe that the heart of the great God is touched and moved by the condition of sinners today, as when he gave his Son to die for the sins of the world. Christ says, "I and my Father are one." Sinners and backsliders, it is your duty to believe that God loves you this day, and that Christ loves you. The Redeemer of the world made a great sacrifice to purchase for you life everlasting. Can you now say, "Here on my heart the burden lies, And past offenses pain my eyes?"
The Father has given a pledge to sinners, in that he withheld not his dearly beloved Son, but gave him a sacrifice for them. Christ has given the pledge of his love to sinners, in that he gave his life to save them. If the Father has manifested his love for sinners by giving his only son, will he not freely give every mercy and blessing? On account of disease, or surrounding discouragements, some drift into despair, and gloom overshadows them. From this they may find entire freedom, and again become hopeful and expectant to overcome. The thought that Jesus loves them, pure angels love them, and our gracious Heavenly Father loves, pities and wants to save them, should inspire them with faith and confidence in God. The Father takes no pleasure in the death of the sinner, but he wants him to repent of his sins and turn to righteousness and be saved. When the sinner desires the approval of the Lord more than any thing else, and is willing to make any and every sacrifice for the love of Jesus, he may settle it in his mind as a fact that, if he perseveres, he will stand finally in the city of God upon the gold paved streets.
Go forward in faith, you that have taken your position upon these front seats, and thereby acknowledge your desire to serve your Heavenly Father. Expect that you will be saved , if you comply with the conditions laid down in the word of God. Take advance steps in faith. Make efforts in and through Jesus, relying upon the merits of his blood. You must have repentance toward God, because it is the Father's law which you have transgressed; and you must exercise faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as the sinner's advocate, to plead in his behalf. Come, sinner, to the Father and the Son! All Heaven invites you to come and gain eternal life.
Jesus wants you to come. If you stumble once and again, do not give up in despair. If you are brought into trial, if you are overcome and do wrong, repent sincerely before God, but do not despair. Try again, laying hold more firmly of the merits and strength of Christ. When sinful man has no righteousness of his own to rely upon, Christ becomes his righteousness. When he feels that he has no strength, Jesus offers to put his arm beneath him. The sinner may then indeed say, Christ died for me, and his blood cleanseth me from all sin. I know in whom I have believed; from him I derive strength for the daily toils and trials of life and to resist the strong temptations of Satan.
When our son Henry was dying he seemed as if inspired. He had a word for all just appropriate for each case. With the Spirit of God resting upon him, he said to his next younger brother, "Don't give up, try to do right." How many will sink down because they make some mistakes. They should never be discouraged, but try again. Under trials and discouragements many lose their faith. Jesus wants to save them. His arms are extended to receive them, and all their burdens if they will come. We hope your hearts will go out to Jesus in loving trust. He will then unite your heart to his by mysterious hidden links joining your soul to his. "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit."
We then united in earnest supplication to God for his Spirit and his pardoning love to be manifested upon that occasion. We had the assurance that our prayers were heard. The sweet peace of Heaven rested upon those present, and many were rejoicing in the evidence that Jesus had indeed spoken peace to their hearts. (Concluded next week.)
(Vol. 47, #19)
Sunday morning June 27, at 8 o'clock, by request I spoke about one hour for the benefit of our Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian, as well as American brethren, in regard to the work the Lord is doing in Europe, in bringing present truth before those of other tongues. It was interpreted to them. This was an encouragement to our brethren and sisters of other tongues, and also to our American brethren. Sunday, at 10 A.M., my husband spoke from the stand with great freedom and power, giving the reasons of our faith. The congregation was very attentive. We hope the good seed sown will spring up and bear fruit to the glory of God.
At 2 1/2 P.M., I spoke to the people about one hour and a half upon Peter's ladder of sanctification consisting of eight rounds. I dwelt upon temperance and the importance of parents' teaching their children self-denial, and self-control, guarding the appetite and taste from indulgence at the expense of mental, moral, and physical strength.
The lessons upon self-control and self-denial are to be received by education, in childhood and youth. The appetite is to be restrained and educated, and this is the responsible work that devolves upon parents. The youth in generations past have been the index to society.
If parents had done their duty in spreading the table with wholesome food, discarding irritating and stimulating substances, and at the same time had taught their children self-control, and educated their characters to develop moral power, we should not now have to handle the lion of intemperance. After habits of indulgence have been formed, and grown with their growth and strengthened with their strength, how hard then for those who have not been properly trained in youth to break up their wrong habits and learn to restrain themselves and their unnatural appetites. How hard to teach such ones and make them feel the necessity of Christian temperance, when they reach maturity. The temperance lessons should commence with the child rocked in the cradle. "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rocks the world."
I was requested by the Swedes and Danes to write out the subject just as I presented it to the people, and have it translated into the different languages. I promised to do this when I had a favorable opportunity. Bro. Smith spoke to the people in the evening.
Monday morning at 5 o'clock a business meeting was held. At 8 o'clock my husband spoke from the stand to the people, in regard to the present condition of the cause. I spoke to the people Monday at 10 1/2 A.M., with great freedom. It seemed to fall to my lot to speak in the afternoon also. The Lord blessed and strengthened me greatly. I spoke above one hour. I felt the special power of God upon me while speaking. Bro. Smith spoke in the evening with his usual clearness. These discourses from Bro. Smith were a feast to many who could appreciate the clear points of argument on our position.
Tuesday morning, June 29, at 8 o'clock, my husband spoke to the people from the stand, upon baptism. He had great freedom and power. I spoke to the people at 10 1/2 o'clock from James 1:22, 25: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves; for if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
The Lord blessed the word spoken. Invitation was then given for any who desired to be children of God, those who were backslidden from God, and those who for the first time were convicted that they had been living in transgression of the law of God, to come forward. About forty responded to the call.
Liberty was given to any who wished to relieve their minds by bearing their testimony. An aged sister said she came forward to receive the prayers of the servants of God. She had professed to be a Christian for years, but since these meetings commenced she was convinced that she had been breaking the law of God, and from this time she should take her position with this people to keep all of God's commandments. The law of God has convicted her as a sinner. She has felt that the Spirit of God was with this people. When the invitation was given upon a former occasion to go forward, she did not accept the invitation and let the opportunity pass. She felt that she had done wrong. She was sorry that she had transgressed the law of God. Her good and gracious Heavenly Father, who is plenteous in mercy and loving kindness, has not left her in her blindness. She wants to be cleansed from all sin. (This sister was a member in good standing in the Methodist church.)
A brother thought he could get no encouragement in coming up to this meeting, but he had received great good, and thanked God for this precious privilege.
A Danish brother said he rejoiced in these truths. He thought the truth which was so clear to him would be seen and understood by all of good sense when presented before them, but he was terribly disappointed. Those who did see, would not acknowledge the light, and many he could not make see the evidences of the truth which were so plain to him.
Bro. L. said, "You may some of you be surprised to see me forward here for prayers among sinners and backsliders." He said he found scripture which was applicable to his case. Num. 11:1 "And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; and the Lord heard it, and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp." He wants to be fully in union and harmony with his American brethren. He has grown up outside of the ranks of Adventists. Circumstances have kept him there continually watching and severely tempted in regard to the feelings of the Americans toward his Swedish brethren. When his eyes rested upon the above passage in regard to murmurers, the Spirit of the Lord applied these words to his mind. He felt reproved of the Lord for being in the outermost part of the camp. This was a wrong position for him to gain strength. He will from this time take his stand among his brethren. He would be more reasonable. "May God bless my brethren," said he. "I want to put all my strength in the great work. I rejoice in the Lord that I see the half a dozen of my countrymen who can scarcely understand a word of English coming forward for prayers." It reminded him of the blind men feeling their way to Jesus. In a touching manner he talked in Swedish to those who came forward. The searching Spirit of God was in the meeting; his melting power was felt upon many hearts. Bro. L. continued, "May the Lord bless you all, and grant that we may all unite around the throne to praise his name."
A young sister feels that the Lord is very near her. She wants to leave the vanities of the world and follow her self-denying Redeemer.
We repaired to the water about three miles distant over a rough road. Eighteen were buried with Christ in baptism. This baptismal scene was an interesting occasion. Children went into the water so very calmly, with light and peace expressed in the countenance. Surely the blessing of the Lord rested upon candidates, administrator, and those who were interested spectators.
In the afternoon I spoke to the people with great freedom. I then invited sinners and backsliders forward for prayers. A large number responded. We gave them all an opportunity to talk out their feelings.
One man arose and said that probably there was not a person on the ground who had passed through so great trials as himself. He was in the Indian massacre. He received several balls in his person. He saw his family massacred. He would not detain the people with the relation of his experience. He wants to set out now at this meeting to serve God, and do the best he can to save his own soul. If Job and Daniel were in the land, they could only deliver their own souls. They could not save son or daughter.
A brother says he is an unworthy subject of religion. He has been a Baptist in profession. Many years he had loved the people of God. He had pointed sinners to the Lamb of God, but had long been down by the cold streams of Babylon. He had not given a right example to his friends and neighbors. He is not without trials. He wants to be a Christian. He does not feel the love that he once felt, and that help from the courts of Heaven he once had. He said he was glad he came to the Adventist campmeeting. He had received ideas at this meeting that were entirely new to him. He has had something hard and bitter in his heart against Mrs. White's visions. He had said many wrong things in regard to her for which he is now ashamed. He believes in the prayers of the children of God. He requests them to pray that he may think and act right, and see clearly all things as we see them. He does not see all points as this people see them, but hopes to be fully with us yet in the faith.
A brother says he finds himself far behind. He wants to confess his wickedness before all present. He wants to make an entire surrender to God.
Another brother says it is only a few months since he has been enlightened in regard to the truth by reading a Review. He received the Signs of the Times also; and became convicted through reading these papers that Saturday was the Sabbath of the Lord. He felt that he must have something more than merely the light upon the Sabbath. He wanted to know some things for himself which had never been told him. He offered his first prayer forty miles from home while in camp. He sought the Lord then and there, and had come to this meeting to obtain further light and to follow it. This brother received the ordinance of baptism, and fully identified himself with this people.
A brother then arose stating that the one who had just spoken had stated his case exactly. The Voice of Truth had first convicted him. He saw that this people had the truth.
A Dane stated that her mother had lived a Christian life and instructed her. She was trying to be a Christian also. She had made many crooked paths. She had been a backslider and wants to start out anew. She wants the prayers of God's servants, that she may have grace to labor for her neighbors that they may be brought to the truth. She has learned many good things of Adventists.
A brother finds that by gazing into the looking glass as sister White mentioned, there was a lack. He had not the love of God in his heart as he should have it. He did not want to forget what manner of man he was. He wanted to see his defects revealed to him in the law of God.
A young sister says she will not let her crown go. She wants to get to Heaven. She will watch and pray that no one may take her crown. She is determined to stand firm and consecrate her life wholly to God.
A brother says no doubt many will be surprised to see him rise for prayers. He had made a profession of religion for a long time, joined the Baptist church, united with those of our faith in Illinois, came to Minnesota; since that time had become rather cold. He had backslidden and felt that he should be doing more than he was then doing. He had resisted the strivings of the Spirit of God. He wanted to consecrate all to the will of Christ. If it was his duty to bear the message he would do so. His wife had taken her seat with him to seek God that they might the better know and do his will from the heart.
June 30. Last morning upon the camp ground. Assembled under the tent at the ringing of the bell about five o'clock.
Meeting opened with singing and prayer. Bro. Smith made some appropriate remarks, then others followed with their testimonies.
A sister realizes her weakness, but rejoices that she has a Saviour to help those who put their trust in him. She wants to train her children aright that they may gain the kingdom at last. She thanks God for what he has done for her. He has given her husband unto her as a companion in this good way.
A brother rejoices in the goodness of God to him since he has been to this meeting. He has not felt his acceptance with God for a time, as he desired; but since these meetings he has enjoyed the blessing of God, and he wants to retain this precious blessing under all circumstances.
A brother says he never felt greater gratitude to God than he does this morning. He has a most earnest desire to follow him and be better prepared to live in his kingdom. He was much affected.
A brother rejoices for the blessing he has received at this meeting. He does not want to be forgetful of the words of truth, warning, and encouragement heard since coming here.
Another brother says he has been blessed in attending this campmeeting. He feels that the Spirit of God and of Heaven has come nigh unto us. He desires to go home and live better for the time to come than he has done, that rays of light may pass from him to others, that they may know that he has been learning of Jesus. Unless he makes quick steps he fears that the message will get ahead of him, and he be left behind.
A sister says she is resolved to go to Mount Zion, lay all on the altar, and strive earnestly to do her Master's bidding.
A brother says he is glad that God has put into his heart a desire to be a soldier of the cross, and bear that cross cheerfully till he shall exchange it for a crown.
A Danish sister says she is thankful for the instruction she has received at this meeting. She wants to carry out the things she has heard. In all the departments of life she wants to gather with Christ. If we lose the influence of these meetings it will be to us a great loss.
A sister feels that she has been greatly privileged in attending these meetings. She has been much discouraged. It seemed to her that she should never overcome, that with her the war was nearly ended. She has thought she could never obey the truth, her will had not been sufficient to enable her to do so. But she feels more hopeful, and is now willing to take hold anew and strive to overcome, and in every department of her life seek to work right to the point, let her surroundings and circumstances be as they may. She wants to live right before the Lord. She requests her brethren and sisters to tell her frankly when they see her out of the way, and she will receive it kindly and love them better for it. She desires to remember what she has heard, and the good words of instruction she has received at this meeting, and put them into practice when she returns home.
A brother came up here to get a blessing. He had been sick, and was obliged to leave the ground. He had the privilege of the last day's meeting. The Lord has blessed him; although he is afflicted, he will put his trust in God, and will praise him while he lives.
A brother says he has not kept his seat because he had nothing to say or had not an interest in the work. "My heart, with you, loves God." He has many things to overcome, and he has been strengthened, and encouraged.
A sister says she is determined to keep the law of God, and to love the truth.
Another sister says she thanks God for this great privilege. She means to profit by it. The Lord is willing to show us our faults as fast as we are willing to put them away and overcome them. She exhorted her brethren to faithfulness, to do nothing to bring a reproach upon the precious cause of God.
A brother thanks God for the privilege of being here and having a part in the good cause. He loves the people of God more than he ever has before. He has more confidence in this work than he has ever had.
One brother has been only a few months in the truth. He has enjoyed at this campmeeting a feast of fat things. While the great looking glass has been held up before him, he has seen the imperfections in his character. He feels that he must be in earnest to remove the spots and stains, or he can never enter the pure kingdom of Heaven.
A sister says she is grateful for the instructions received, and will improve upon what she has heard.
A sister says she is thankful for this privilege. The light given has shown her sins. She wants to do the will of God daily and overcome every wrong in her life and gather with Christ.
A sister says she has received good instruction at this meeting. She could not, because of ill health, get to the meeting until yesterday morning; but she has been richly paid by what she has received, and wants her heart and hand in the truth and work of God, growing stronger every day.
A Swedish brother is thankful for the privilege of speaking a few words. He feels very happy. He has enjoyed the blessing of God. If he had missed this campmeeting it would have been a great loss to him. He has had to leave his father and friends. He has had an experience in leaving parents for the truth and Christ's sake. He hopes to see them yet turning to the truth. "Let us instruct our children in the way of life, that they may not be led astray by heresy, but be saved with the people of God. Let us, my Swedish brethren, be united with the people of God, that none of us be led astray from the fold. How sorry should we be if any should fail to meet us there, when the obedient shall receive their reward."
A brother says he has more confidence in the message today than ever before. He has gained strength on the campground. At this meeting, he has gained an experience worth having.
A sister has been led, at the meeting, to feel the necessity of having a greater consecration to God.
A sister said she had had a precious season of the grace of God. She wanted a share in the kingdom with the redeemed.
Another sister spoke in behalf of a sister who was baptized in Wasioja. She is now in Canada, and has written a letter saying she has passed through great trials, but she can now rejoice in God because her husband has taken the truth. She is very poor, but she sent twenty-five cents of British money to aid in publishing these truths she so highly prizes. She said in her own behalf that the truth she has heard at this meeting will be a savor of life unto life to her and her family. She hoped they would be a united family in the kingdom of God.
A sister said she is thankful to God for this privilege and the instruction she had received, and was determined to follow on to know the Lord.
A brother had a very great desire to gain spiritual strength. He had been cheered and strengthened greatly at these meetings.
A brother said he was thankful that he had received the blessing he so much desired at this meeting.
A sister had been seeking to follow the Saviour. She received the ordinance of baptism yesterday. After coming out of the water she was greatly blessed.
A sister said the Lord has richly blessed her. Yesterday as she came out of the water a gleam of light from Heaven shone upon her. If clouds gather henceforth upon her soul she will strive to remember the sun shining beyond the cloud. She thanks God for the blessed results of this meeting.
A brother said he had been much blessed at this meeting. His faith was increased and he had been greatly strengthened.
Another brother thanked God for what he had done for his soul in this meeting. He was determined to live nearer to Jesus and serve him better. He wanted to overcome all his besetments. When the truth came to him at first, it found him going the downward road. He saw that he was a transgressor of God's law, and he had been trying to turn from his sins and choose the path that leads heavenward.
A sister spoke in behalf of our aged sister Gibson, who could not come to the meeting. She is eighty years old, and this is the first campmeeting she has missed of those held in the State. She wept because she was not strong enough to come to the meeting. She loves the truth. She desired the prayers of her brethren and sisters who attended the meeting.
A brother had at this meeting received encouragement to press on and be faithful in setting a right example.
A brother said he had enjoyed this meeting. He desired to live nearer to God. He had recently started to serve him.
A brother said his heart had been filled with gratitude to God for his blessing received at this meeting. He was determined to buckle on the armor anew and not lay it off until his Master bade him.
A sister said she had love for Jesus. She thanked God for all things, even for poverty, for this was among the all things which shall work together for good to them that love God.
A sister said she could say as never before, "My Lord and my God." Jesus wanted to save her. The Lord wanted to save her, and angels of God wanted to save her, and why should she be unbelieving?
A brother had looked forward with great expectations to this meeting. He had enjoyed it very much. For some reason a cloud had disturbed his mind for the last two days. He had felt like Peter that Satan desired to sift him as wheat. He wanted to enter into the kingdom of God. He wanted to go forth better prepared to work for God. He left his companion to go forth to his field of labor.
A brother Spicer said he had not yet been ground down to rigid discipline. God had tried him, that he might see his way clear to work for him. He wanted to be in earnest, lest the message get ahead of him. Two hundred years ago the Lord planted Sabbathkeepers in America. They prospered for awhile, then seemed to hesitate. God raised up a people to carry on the work. We see what we do at this time. Blessings have been taken away from those who have proved themselves unworthy of them and given to others who would be more faithful to their trust. If we are not faithful to the message before us the blessing will be removed from us and given to others. We feel like saying to you who are attending this meeting, We feel like pressing forward and entreat of you to be faithful, be true, do not turn back. The promise is to those who endure unto the end.
My husband responded and presented the case of Bro. and Sr. Spicer, that they become members of the Conference. A rising vote was taken, not a dissenting voice.
So closed our last meeting on the ground. By Mrs. E. G. White.
(Vol. 47, #20)
We arrived at the campground about 7 o'clock Wednesday evening, June 30, 1875. We found the meeting in a very pleasant place. Eleven tents were already up. The most of these tents were unusually large. It was yet early, and a large gathering of our people was expected. Our tent, kindly furnished us by our brethren at Monroe, was soon pitched and furnished, and we were again at home in our cotton house.
Our labors closed in Minnesota Wednesday morning. After riding from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. we were again upon campground. We took a night's rest in our tent, and Thursday morning at 10 1/2 A.M. our labors commenced. Wednesday, while riding in the cars, we had not the privilege of resting. Eld. Smith, my husband, and myself, were all engaged in writing important matter while the train was moving swiftly onward. Attending campmeetings every week leaves us no leisure time for rest and recuperation. Notwithstanding our weariness, we have good courage, and God has greatly blessed us with health, for which we feel deeply grateful to our Heavenly Father.
Bro. Smith spoke at the stand at 10 A.M., giving an appropriate discourse.
At 2 P.M. I read the 18th chapter of Matthew. I dwelt especially upon the necessity of humbling ourselves before God, and having our minds withdrawn from self, in sympathy and love for others. Especially should we engage in personal effort for those out of Christ. When self shall be submerged in Christ, then shall we walk in humbleness of mind, simplicity, and unselfishness, doing others good. It requires a thorough conversion to follow Jesus closely, a singleness of purpose, a purity of motive.
Friday, July 2, we had a conference meeting under the tent. After a prayer and singing, Bro. Sanborn bore a short testimony. Said he, "I love the precious truth, and the work of preparation necessary to insure eternal life. I have come to this meeting to get a fitting up, a renewal of the grace of God, that I may do his work acceptably. I am seeking the Lord for myself, and I desire to help others to seek him."
A brother says, "I have peace and joy in my soul. I came to campmeeting to get more of the love of God. I rejoice to see my brethren and sisters rejoicing in the truth and pressing their way to the happiness of Heaven. To those souls who are inquiring concerning our faith, I feel certain that if they really desire light, by which to see the truth and understand it for themselves, they may receive it, and be sanctified through it."
A brother says, "I am thankful for this privilege. I, too, am seeking the Lord. I have received great good since I came to this meeting."
A Swedish sister says, "I am truly renewed since I came here. I feel strong in the faith. Jesus has paid me for coming, in giving me peace and love. I want to be a humble follower of Christ. I want the seal of God upon my forehead."
A brother says, in much brokenness of spirit, "I am rejoiced to see so many of our faith testifying to the goodness of God. I feel the blessing of God in my heart. I want to glorify my Redeemer by doing good to others."
A brother says, "I feel the presence of God in this meeting. I am trying to do my Father's will, and gladly yield to the obligations of his law. I rely upon the merits of the blood of Christ to save me from all sin."
A brother says he has only been permitted to attend two of our yearly gatherings. He is trying to be an overcomer that he may have a part with God's children. He means to live a godly life before the world.
A brother says it is indeed a blessed privilege to enjoy the light of the truth. He has come a great way to attend this meeting, and wants to take home the spirit of his blessed Master.
A brother says it is good for him to be here. He has cause to be thankful that God has spared his life to meet this brethren here. Thank his holy name that he saw fit to show him where he was standing, and to point him to the way of life. Hereafter he will live close to Christ his Saviour.
A brother says that he is truly thankful he is on the Lord's side. It is in doing the will of God we gain strength; he has been blessed just according to his endeavor. There are blessings in store for each of us; for every sacrifice he has made in doing the will of God, he has realized the smile of his approval. This meeting will be a great blessing to the people assembled here, if they will consecrate themselves to God without reserve. He is thankful for the grace of God he has felt at this meeting; he wants to be meek, and contrite, and lowly of spirit, like his Saviour. He feels himself as nothing before God; in an instant he could blot him from the face of the earth; yet he permits him to live and enjoy the benefits of his mercy. He wants to glorify God and to draw near the blessed Saviour, ever drinking of his love. For twenty-six years he has traveled, and three times he has been around the world. He has beheld many of the wonderful works of God by the land and by the sea. The Lord has delivered him from many dangers on the great waters. He will love God; he will hope in his great mercy; he claims the blessed Jesus for his Saviour.
He would work while the day lasts. The Lord is blessed. His heart is filled with love to overflowing. He has received a great blessing while seeking God, and praying to him in secret. He is determined to take heed to his ways and not fail in zeal and earnestness. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me." "Praise the Lord for his wonderful works to the children of men."
A brother praises God for the promises given him. He has seen the light of precious truth. He has entire confidence in God.
A sister says this is the work of the Lord. She knows it by her own experience. God has been with her, amid trials and temptations; has strengthened her in every instance. She has been led to love God and his holy commandments, and her whole soul blesses his holy name. An appropriate hymn was then sung:-- "Come to the living waters come. Obey your Maker's call, Return ye weary wanderers home, My grace is free for all."
Our second conference meeting commenced Thursday, at 9 a.m. While the rain was gently falling, we assembled under the canvas. After singing, and several prayers had been offered, we listened with deep interest to many excellent and cheering testimonies.
Bro. Decker said he wished the meeting to commence just where it left off the previous morning. He hoped that the young converts to the truth would be free to bear their testimony. He felt the rich blessing of God in his heart. He had enjoyed such fullness in Jesus that his spirit had been melted. He hoped each one present would be faithful during this meeting, and that its influence would be felt long afterwards. He trusted no one would experience a loss by neglecting duty.
A brother said he felt the power of God upon him. He had been using tobacco for years, had tried to overcome the habit, but had failed to do so. He scarcely knew which way to turn; finally he took his burden to the Lord in prayer. Jesus has said, "My grace is sufficient for you;" he had found these words true; he had overcome, in the name and strength of Jesus. The struggle was hard, but the victory was complete. Now he felt that he was clothed and in his right mind. Old things had passed away and all things had become new. He felt that he was washed clean in the blood of his Redeemer, and that the love of God was in his heart.
A brother said he wanted to become strong in the service of his Master; each day of his life he wanted to feel his approval. Time is short and the probationary period granted us here should be improved to the uttermost. He was sorry not to have set a better example before his associates.
A brother said, "I am old in years, but am a new convert to this faith. I did not coincide with the views held by this people until I had read their publications, comparing their doctrines with the Bible. I investigated the matter closely, with a desire to know the truth for myself; the Lord opened my eyes to the light of his word. I can now appreciate the love of God; I will always obey the truth, and do every thing I can for the cause, if I can at last be an heir of Heaven."
A sister said she felt thankful for the campmeeting; she wanted the blessing of God, that she might live out the truth.
A brother said he had newly come into the faith; light had entered his heart; he had clearly understood the third angel's message. He was full of praise to God for his goodness; he had received a great blessing upon this campground.
A sister said she had long anticipated this meeting; she had come here for no idle purpose; she was earnestly seeking for entire consecration to the will of God. She desired meekness and lowliness of mind, that she might do her work acceptably to her Maker.
A sister said she had kept the commandments of God for one year and a half. It did her heart good to enjoy the blessings of this meeting. She wanted to be a Christian at home, living right every day before God, that when Jesus comes she may meet him in triumph.
A brother says, "I am thankful for this privilege of tenting on the ground. I feel a good degree of the Spirit in these meetings. I want my heart baptized with the Holy Spirit; I want to obey the precepts of God and faithfully follow out the teaching of the third angel's message, discharging my daily duties, and seeking to aid others in the way of life. I want light from Heaven to shine into my own heart, and from me to be diffused among my associates. I want to love God entirely and unreservedly."
A sister said she rejoiced in the great goodness of the Lord. She loves the truth and the cause of God. His Spirit has been made manifest at this meeting. She had been greatly benefited by it.
A brother said he desired to testify to the goodness of God. This was the first campmeeting in which he had ever taken a part. He had not enjoyed the peace of God till he came to this meeting. He was sorry his companion could not have been with him. Bless God for the light of the third angel's message; himself and many others would now be in utter darkness, ignorant of the great truth, but God had sent to them his servants, to teach them the great message of mercy; he could now work understandingly and in the strength of Jesus, and walk in uprightness before him.
A sister felt deeply grateful to God for the privilege of this meeting. She had gathered strength here to carry the light before her friends and neighbors. She knew she had neglected duty in many ways. She saw her sins as she had never seen them before. She was glad to feel the Spirit of God here. The truth was precious to her soul; it had led her to be desirous of glorifying Jesus. God was calling her. He had brought her from darkness to light. In one week he had taken from her four of her little children; they had been hurried from her sight; she had parted with them in agony of spirit. This providence had turned her from her infidelity; she was brought to see herself a sinner against the law. Before she could not see Christ, now she was a firm believer in this good faith.
Another sister said she had felt that the power of the Lord was in this meeting. She knew for herself that God is a rewarder of all who diligently seek him.
A brother said this was a good place to be in. He had felt to rejoice while listening to the cheering testimonies given at this meeting. This was indeed a feast to his soul. He wanted to be a witness for Jesus, a living witness for the truth. He wanted a home in Heaven when the redeemed shall return to Zion with joy and everlasting triumph.
A sister said the Lord was surely with us; she had never felt so much of his good Spirit before. She had received help at the Lodi Campmeeting last year. She had been enabled to draw near to God since that meeting. She had tried, in the fear of the Lord, to submit her will to his; she had found a blessing, and her peace had been like a river. She wanted Jesus and the truth to be uppermost in her mind. She wished to be contented with her lot and to do every duty devolving upon her, that she might at last live with Jesus forever.
A brother says, "I feel that the Lord is good and greatly to be praised. His mercies are as enduring as eternity. If at last we are found to be the children of God, what an honor, what a privilege it will be to meet in that happy gathering above, where there will be no partings, no farewells ever spoken. Praise God for the good and great work he is doing, in bringing out souls into the light of the truth. My prayer is that God will move onward the glorious work.
A sister said she could truly say that it was good for her to be here. The Spirit of the Lord was in the meeting. She wanted to overcome all her defects of character and meet the pure and blessed in the kingdom of glory.
A brother said the Lord had done a great deal for him, but he had done but very little for the Lord. He had but little experience in this good work. He wanted to walk humbly, and closely follow his Redeemer.
A brother said he felt thankful for this meeting. He had already been richly repaid. He had listened with deep interest to the truth here spoken. He saw faults in himself that he had never before perceived, and this was what he wanted, to know his errors that he might correct them before it was too late. He wanted to love God more, and imitate the self-denial of Jesus, to be a perfect overcomer in his name.
A brother said he felt thankful that God was a prayer hearing and prayer answering God. He knew that his Spirit was here. He rejoiced in his love. He rejoiced that Jesus lives; he has said, "I will pray the Father for you." He had prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." He rejoiced in the light of that truth. He wanted to lean more completely upon his Redeemer, the source of all his strength and his exceeding great reward. He came fifty-five miles to attend this meeting, and had been many times repaid for coming. The preaching that he had heard had put new life into him. He rejoiced in the truth; he wanted a more perfect understanding of it, that he might do his duty at home and among his neighbors.
A sister said she thanked her dear Saviour for the light she had received at this meeting. She understood better how to live the life of a Christian. She wanted to keep all the commandments of God and live in the faith of Jesus.
A brother said he wanted to be an overcomer. He wanted to worship God in spirit and in truth, and live in obedience to all God's commandments. He wanted to be sanctified in obeying the truth. He had been at a great distance from God; his besetting sins had separated him from his Redeemer. He wanted to put away from him all these sins. As he has been drawn nearer unto Jesus, he had felt his spirit respond to his efforts. Praise his dear name!
A sister said she had felt that the blessed Saviour was very near her. She was very grateful for the privileges of this meeting. She loved the Lord and loved the truth. She must be a devoted follower of the meek and lowly Jesus.
A youth said, "I want to be a child of God; pray for me, pray for our family, that we may have a home in Heaven."
An aged brother said, "Beloved, my mother and my brethren, if Jesus' little ones are here, then are they my relatives. One said to Jesus, long ago, 'Thy mother and thy brethren desire to speak with thee.' Jesus looked around upon his disciples and said, 'Behold my mother and my brethren.' The Saviour is speaking to us, saying, 'My little ones, keep the Father's commandments: take up the cross and follow where I shall lead.' I entreat you, my brethren, to be firmly established in the faith. Agrippa said unto Paul, 'Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.' Almost will never save any of us. Those who not only believe but obey the commandments of God, and rely upon the merits of the blood of Christ, will meet him with joy and triumph, when he comes in the clouds of Heaven."
A sister, weeping, said, "I have two children; I want them to give their hearts to Jesus at this meeting. Bro. White said, Parents, come, and bring your children with you! I have brought mine with me, and I entreat your prayers that their hearts may be convicted and converted to the truth."
A sister said she was very thankful for this blessed privilege. The Lord is good. He blesses her. She wants to humble herself under the hand of God, that she may be exalted in due time.
Another sister said she was still strong in the truth, striving, by the grace of God, to overcome her sins and gain eternal life, if it be by the loss of all other things.
Still another sister said she was striving to be a Christian. She had no desire to turn back, but wanted to follow her Saviour, humbly and fully.
Another sister said, "I am thankful for what my eyes behold and my ears hear and my heart feels. The mercies of God are indeed great. I have been sick and nigh unto death. I looked towards the campmeeting and prayed, Lord, let me go! but nevertheless, do as thou pleasest with me; I was strengthened by the grace of God; and I endured the journey of seventy-five miles, and gained in strength all the way. I have been out to all the meetings and have been greatly blessed. We have heard precious truths; they are committed to our trust, and we should profit by them. I hope that I shall be prepared to live more humbly and be more zealous in the cause of God. When I hear from those who are young in the faith, I feel my unworthiness deeply, that I am so poor a follower of Jesus. But the Lord has done great things for us, whereof our hearts are glad. Praise his holy name!"
A sister said, "I want to have feeling and faith for others; I want to help my friends and neighbors, in the right way. I love to hear the testimonies of those who have recently embraced the truth; I am glad for the precious light that has filled my heart with hope and courage. Since I have come with this people, I have been greatly blessed. The truth that I have heard from the stand has done me great good. I want my children to be converted: they keep the Sabbath in form, but not in spirit. Pray for them."
A sister said, "I am the Lord's. I love the dear Saviour. I have been blessed at this meeting. I want my ways to be right before God. I want a part in his kingdom."
A sister said, "I have no temptation to yield the truth. I came to this meeting to gain strength and spirit. Thank God, I have been brought out of darkness into his marvelous light. The truth is precious to my soul."
A sister said, "I feel it is my duty to acknowledge that this is a precious privilege to me. I felt that I must come to this meeting to gain instruction in the way of life. I cannot be left behind. I must have an interest in the resurrection. I want my name recorded in the book of life."
A sister said, "I am glad to find a people who are keeping the commandments, in faith. I want to be one with them and meet the Lord in peace."
A sister said, "This is the second campmeeting I have attended; I feel thankful that I have received the blessing of God since I came here. I give thanks to the Lord for sparing the life of my husband. This is a heart searching time. I used to think that I was sure of the kingdom, but since I have heard the third angel's message, I see of a truth where I was standing. I feel as nothing in the sight of the Lord. I rejoice that I have the light of this message. I feel that I must have hope and faith, and rely wholly upon my Redeemer, who can save to the uttermost." By Mrs. E. G. White. (To be Continued.)
(Vol. 47, #21)
At the commencement of the Sabbath, we met under the large tent for prayer and conference. The meeting opened with singing and prayers. A brother then rose and said, "I love the Lord. I have come a long way to worship him, and I wish to discharge every duty. I want my light to shine forth upon others."
My husband said, "What an interesting hour this is. The sun, God's great timekeeper, is going down. The laboring days of the week are just in the past. The Sabbath is drawing on. In Europe, our Sabbath keeping friends are locked in midnight slumber. In an hour or two, the Signs of the Times Office, in Oakland, California, closes up, and our people will be preparing to keep the holy Sabbath, the rest day of Jehovah. Bro. Bourdeau, engaged in the French mission, is now in conference with his brethren in Illinois. Many little companies are assembling to worship God.
"In regard to the summer campaign there is a large field for workers. Many little companies are just entering upon the work. We may look east, west, north, and south, and be assured that hearts are there, beating in unison with ours. We never found before such unanimity of feeling as we have realized at all the campmeetings we have attended this season. We never read of such perfect union, except during times of persecution, when common suffering bound all hearts together in the tenderest sympathy.
"The power of the truth is taking hold of minds, and striking down deep into many hearts. Last winter, in Illinois, a French lady walked, regularly, several miles to attend the little gatherings upon the Sabbath, although she could not understand any thing that was said, not being acquainted with the English language. Her sister asked her why she took so much trouble to attend the meetings, when she could not understand what was spoken there. She answered that she was sorry she did not comprehend what was said, but she could feel the blessing, and her heart was so strengthened and encouraged that she felt this influence all through the week. It did her so much good that she felt it a great loss to miss one meeting. I am glad in God that I find my heart stirred as I see minds thus affected and embracing the truth. But few turn back; nearly all hold on, faithful and true."
"I do not think we can spend this hour at the commencement of the Sabbath in any better way than bowed before God, in solemn, earnest, thankful prayer; especially let us thank God for the blessed work progressing on the Pacific Coast."
After a most precious season of prayer, a hymn was sung--"Stand up and bless the Lord."
My husband then continued his remarks, and as he spoke he was greatly blessed. Heaven's light and glory were reflected from his countenance, as he shouted the high praise of God. Heaven seemed very near. As the bright golden rays of the setting sun gilded and tinted the leaves of the sacred grove, the Sun of Righteousness beamed upon those assembled to worship God; their countenances shone with the reflections of heavenly light. It was a most holy season, long to be remembered.
Said the speaker, "There was a time when one man had more power than all the mighty ones on the face of the whole earth. He prayed in faith, and his prayer closed up Heaven, and the earth received neither dew nor rain for more than three years. Warriors, philosophers, and great princes who then lived, were unable to bring one drop of rain to the parched earth or prevent this one man from uniting his faith with the Infinite One. The Lord is good. He is great. He can dispel the gloom that oppresses the mind. More faith, brethren; we must have more faith to bring us nearer to God. Prayer does not change our Heavenly Father, but prayer does change our relations to him. We are thus brought nigh to God, and are enabled to unite our finite strength to his Infinite power. God grant that we may, by simple faith, take hold of his arm of strength and mercy, and receive his greatest blessings. He is the source of all good."
Bro. Decker said, "I feel the blessing of God upon me in great measure. I am filled with his love. I have no words to express my feelings. His presence has overpowered me with such a fullness of joy that I cannot give utterance to my feelings."
A brother said, "I feel that it is good to be here. The Lord has given us the presence of his Holy Spirit tonight. I want to work for the glory of God. Time is short. The Lord is preparing a people for his kingdom, and I want to be of them."
A brother said, "I feel the sweet influence of the Spirit of the Lord here. The still small voice has spoken to my heart. I want my will swallowed up in the will of God. I look towards the holy law, which I have transgressed, and then view the matchless love of Christ in becoming my advocate in the court of Heaven. I rejoice in the law of God. All the opposition cannot, for one moment, drag down that holy law. It is eternal, imperishable as the throne of God. I am trying to walk humbly, trying to be meek and lowly. I do feel the Spirit of God in my heart witnessing with my spirit that I am a child of God."
A sister said, "I feel it a duty to speak in favor of Jesus. I love the precious truth, and mean to follow my Saviour. I have received so much benefit at this meeting that I fear I am not half thankful enough for God's goodness to me. My heart praises him continually."
A brother said, "I thank the Lord for what mine eyes have beheld today of the goodness and wisdom of God. I desire to be a perfect overcomer and receive a crown of rejoicing at the Master's hand."
A brother said, "I am grateful to God for this precious meeting. I came not here to be an idle spectator. I came to gain the blessing of God. I trust in the Lord, and he pours his blessings upon me."
A brother said, "Thank God that this glorious truth ever came to me. My heart is too full to speak. 'Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.' I must be with him upon his throne."
A sister said, "Praise God for the love of my precious Saviour. He has forgiven me my sins. I have the evidences of his love. The devil has deluded me to believe that Jesus would not forgive my terrible sinfulness; but what blessings have I enjoyed in this place! I now know the way of the Lord more perfectly. He discovers our hearts; he reads our thoughts. I will confide in his mercy as long as I live."
A brother said, "Praise the Lord; I want my entire being to praise him. He is good to me. I love him! I love him!"
A sister said, "This is a precious privilege that I am enjoying. This is the best campmeeting that I ever attended. I never heard so many cheering testimonies before."
A brother said, "This is a Pentecostal season to my soul, and to the whole encampment; it is a time of wonderful grace and power. I would take, if necessary, ten times the trouble that I have taken to come to such a meeting as this. I have been richly repaid. I cannot go back from the good way I have chosen, but will press onward to victory."
A brother said, "I feel the blessing of God flooding my soul. I want to be always rejoicing in God, pressing onward and upward, higher and higher, till the work closes."
A sister said, "I feel God's blessing upon me. There are angels hovering around! The heavenly atmosphere of peace and joy is here."
A brother said, "I have been serving the Lord for twenty-one years. I have attended fifteen Methodist campmeetings. I was never at an Adventist campmeeting before. I see a great difference; there is a spirit of love manifested here that I never met before."
A brother said, "I believe the truth. I have not been as faithful as I should have been. I must come nearer to my God and get his love in my heart. I have now started for life; I will live every day to glorify God."
A brother said, "I want a part with the people of God. I have been much blessed at this meeting. I still feel the need of more grace. I want to live in faithful obedience to all of the commandments of God, and receive the heavenly reward with my brethren in the Lord."
A brother said, "Praise the Lord! I want to press onward, and keep pace with the third angel's message. If we become careless and neglectful of our duty, we shall lose sight of the work God is doing in these last days. We need to daily cherish gratitude to God for our present privileges and blessings."
A sister said, "'Praise God from whom all blessings flow.' I have been blessed this night! The Lord has hedged us in with truth. Notwithstanding all the temptations of Satan, there is a tower of strength to which we may cling. Glory to God! He is merciful; for he has given his dear Son to die for me, a sinner. Precious Jesus will lead me, even unworthy me, and will bring me to the haven of rest at last, if I humbly follow where he leads."
A brother said, "God wants no cowards in his cause. I want courage and strength to follow my Redeemer in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice. I have been too weak, but I have been growing stronger during this meeting."
A brother said, "I want a part with the people of God. The Lord has kept me from going downward. He sent this precious, glorious truth to be a light to my path. I rejoice in the goodness and mercy of God. I feel much encouraged by the reports of the progress of the truth upon the Pacific Coast. I want to have a part in the work here on earth, and a part with the ransomed in Heaven."
A sister said, "I thank God for this opportunity of meeting with his people. My heart truly rejoices in God my Saviour. For fifty years I have been trying to live a Christian life. I praise his holy name that he has spared me to see this blessed day. I am thankful for the loving kindness of God to me. I want to so live out the truth daily that others may see the light which, to me, is so precious."
A sister said, "I feel thankful for this privilege. I have been greatly discouraged, but my faith and hope and courage are now renewed."
A brother said, "Thank God for the answer to prayer. In every emergency, here is help and relief for the burdened and distressed. I want to love God and keep his commandments. God has answered my prayers, even mine. Jesus has great power. When he was upon earth he healed the sick. He will surely hear the prayer of faith, if we come sincerely and humbly before him. I want to be an entire Christian, a temperate man in all my habits. I want to lay aside every thing that will prove injurious to health, or demoralizing in its effects. I have used tobacco from a child. I have tried to leave off the pernicious habit, but it has seemed impossible. The physicians have said it would kill me. I know I cannot do this in my own strength, but God will help me, and in him I trust. Here goes my idol, tobacco! [Here he threw a large package of tobacco upon the ground.] Now I hope to be more worthy of worshiping a pure and holy God! My Saviour, preserve me from this debasing appetite! Purge me from this polluting habit! Supported by your prayers, brethren, and clinging to God myself, by faith, I shall be victor. Brethren, do not forget to pray for me."
Before proceeding with the testimonies of this meeting, I will say that we afterwards went to the tent where this brother, Bro. Strong, made his home. We found the tent's company in prayer. We earnestly besought God in behalf of our brother, that strength and grace might be given him, through Jesus' name, to overcome this strong appetite for tobacco. We felt the assurance that it would be done. The blessing of the Lord rested upon us while we prayed. August 17, Bro. Jordan reported that Bro. Strong was firm in the truth. He had had no appetite for tobacco since we united in prayer to God for him. He was cheerful in the Lord, and felt that through the all-powerful help of Jesus he had gained a great victory in overcoming his appetite for tobacco. He is a happy man. We will now return to the meeting.
A sister followed this brother, saying, "I can sit still no longer. I wish to declare that I am resolved to live out the truth every day of my life."
Another sister said, "I cannot longer keep my seat. The Lord has blessed me. Praise his great and holy name! He will save to the uttermost all who come unto him."
A brother said, "Thank God for the influence of his Holy Spirit! The salvation of Heaven is here! I want to be pure in heart, that I may be received into the kingdom of God, and have a crown of life!"
A Swedish sister said she could not command language to express her feelings. She was thankful that Jesus gave his dear life that she might be saved. For twenty-seven years she had professed to love Jesus, but had not walked so close to God as she should have done. She thanked God for the Sabbath. New light shines upon the precious word of God.
Another Swedish sister said, "I want a humble part in the work of God. I cannot neglect duty. I turned from darkness to the light twenty years ago. I have often studied and pondered over the fourth commandment. God gave me light upon the Scriptures thirteen years ago. I feel to thank the Lord for the privilege of this meeting. This is the first campmeeting I have attended. When the Lord shall gather up his jewels, I want to be among them."
A sister said, "I, for one, am perfectly astonished to see strangers to each other meet together from all parts of the country, and express such unity of feeling and views--all of the same mind, all of the same judgment, perfect love flowing from heart to heart. Jesus has done everything for me. I have done almost nothing for him. I want to work for those who have no hope in Christ. Let us pray for them. There is much of this work to be done. The Spirit of God will assist our efforts, if we labor in faith and love. If we are the means of saving one soul what a rejoicing will there be in the kingdom of God. Oh, that the Lord would sanctify the whole camp."
The meeting now closed, all felt that it had been a blessed season of nearness to God.
Sunday morning there was another prayer and conference meeting. My husband said, "This meeting is a very solemn one to me. I have felt the presence of God in a special manner. The Spirit of the Lord may abide upon this assembly and yet no element of fanaticism be here. All things may be done decently and in order, for the worship of God. There is order in Heaven, and there should be order upon the earth, especially in regard to the sacred worship of God. Everything in this connection should be done with solemnity and to edification. The language of the prophet is. 'O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.' I am glad the word of the Lord is in language to be understood. Scripture truth is given us to study. Here is a rich volume of inspiration for old and young. Here are writings running through different dispensations, and in order to understand their meaning we must become Bible students, and search prayerfully and critically for light upon the revealed word. There are inexhaustible streams of light to reward the research of the greatest minds. The Bible is an expression of God to man, in language simple and easy to be understood. Six days of labor were given to man, but the seventh God set apart for himself. If men will take the Bible, just as it reads, they will make no mistake in regard to the true Sabbath of Jehovah. The question with all should be, "What is truth?"
Then followed testimonies from those present. A Norwegian brother said, "I am glad for the mercies of God surrounding us. I want to enter into the work of the Lord. While God has been leading us into a knowledge of the truth, he has been giving us an experience in his work. We all of us need to search our hearts prayerfully and strictly, that no sin be left lurking there. We need to dig deep and lay our foundation sure. I am truly thankful for what the Lord has done for us. I still cry out, from my soul, 'Nearer my God to thee, nearer to thee!''
A sister said, "'Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord and thought upon his name. These testimonies repeated over and over may seem a simple thing to an observer, but it is these very testimonies that are written in the book of remembrance before God. The Lord gives his attentive ear to that which he considers of so great importance, and when he makes up his jewels, all these faithful, God fearing souls, whose testimonies are recorded in that book, will he spare, as a man spareth his son who serveth him."
A sister said, "I am thankful for the privilege of attending the campmeeting. My soul has been refreshed. I have been drawing nearer to God, and yet the language of my heart is, 'Nearer my God to thee.' I have received light since I came here. I want to understand the depth and breadth of perfect love."
A sister said, "I came here to worship God. Here I want to put away my sins, and place myself in the hands of God to be molded as he wills. I wish to humble myself at the foot of the cross, and exalt my Saviour while I crucify self."
A brother said, "I bless God for the truth. I am a stranger to most of you, yet I feel that you are my brethren; for my heart says this morning, Bless God for the Sabbath! I love to meet the Lord's children upon that holy day. Where I live I am alone in keeping the Sabbath. I miss the companionship of the followers of the truth. I bless God for the prospect of meeting the people of God where parting shall be no more."
A sister said, "I am thankful for this privilege. I came here to get my soul refreshed. The Lord has drawn near to me. He will never leave nor forsake those who trust in him. I want to know the length and breadth, the height and depth, of the love of God."
A brother said, "Thank God for the light of truth. I love my Saviour because he first loved me. 'With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.' I feel it a sacred duty to testify to the saving power of Christ Jesus."
A sister said, "I have been keeping the Sabbath twenty months. I have had help from God in the crosses of my new life. I have enjoyed more of the Spirit of the Lord during these few months than I have during my previous religious profession for the last twenty-four years. The power of the truth has opened before me with clearness and beauty that which I could not before understand, and I can say truly that my soul is established on the truth of God's word. I thank God that I accepted the truth when I heard it. I intend to be faithful in all my duties. I want to escape the mark of the beast through obedience to all God's commandments."
A brother said, "I want to unite with this people in seeking the Lord. I want to receive the blessing which I came here to secure."
A sister said, "Praise God for his goodness. I have been greatly blessed in coming to this meeting. I have long looked forward to this blessed privilege. I came a long distance. I want the blessing of God. I have been very much prejudiced against campmeetings, but this one has been a great benefit to me. I want to go home and live a true Christian life, constantly led by the Spirit of God unto the true doctrines of the Bible. We have the truth! let us live in its light. The nearer we live to God the more influence will we have over those who are not walking in the light of the truth. God will make us instruments to bring others to a right understanding of his word and to share his salvation.
A brother said, "I desire to have a part with the people of God. I anticipated pleasure in attending this campmeeting for two reasons: First, because my parents resided in this place; and, secondly, because I desired to gain spiritual strength I have been passing through a severe struggle in regard to my parents. They are kind and affectionate, but have no interest in the truth which is so precious to me. My affections are strong. I felt that I could not give them up and have labored and prayed in their behalf. I want to live for Heaven and obey the truth, and if this causes a separation, may God give me grace and fortitude to bear it. I must love and serve God at any sacrifice."
A brother said, "I want to live a life of humble obedience. Jesus is the source of my strength. These yearly gatherings are a great blessing to me and mine. Jesus is soon coming. I want to walk the golden streets in the city of God."
A brother said, "Thank God for this blessed privilege. The peace of God has rested upon me. I want to sink deeper and deeper into the will of the Lord."
A sister said, "The Lord has graciously spared my life to meet with his people upon his holy Sabbath and in these free meetings. I praise his holy name for this precious privilege. I feel the love of God in my heart. I am strengthened to do his will, and I am determined to be more faithful in future."
A brother said, "I am thankful to be with you. About four years ago I commenced to keep the Sabbath with my family. We are still holding fast to the faith. It takes courage to live out the present truth before the world. I want to go home with mind and heart full of the blessing of God."
A Swedish brother said, "Praise God for his goodness to me! This is the first campmeeting I ever attended. I love God. I love his truth. My heart rejoices in my Saviour. I desire to be a perfect overcomer."
A brother said, "I feel that this encampment is holy ground. There is a sacred influence surrounding us. My heart's desire is to be sanctified by divine truth, that I may live a Christian life, grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth, finish my Christian warfare with triumph, and receive the crown of victory."
A sister said, "My heart is glad for this privilege. I seldom have the opportunity of meeting with such friends on God's holy day. I am alone, yet not alone; for Jesus is with me, and angels help me in the love of the truth. I want to be purified through a knowledge of the truth. I rejoice that I have eaten the manna that will sustain me in my loneliness and great tribulation."
A brother said, "The love of the Lord is flowing in my heart. I have been skeptical in regard to the truth, but my mind is now firmly fixed. I want to work for my blessed Master. I never had so perfect faith as now. I have never seen the Spirit of God manifested as I have seen it here. I have never known such power as I have witnessed and felt here. I have a mother in Pennsylvania. I am sending our publications of the truth to her, praying that God may open her eyes to see wondrous things out of his law. My heart swells with joy at the prospect of the immortal life to be given to the faithful."
A sister said, "I am thankful for the goodness of God. I have been blessed at this meeting. I will here start anew to serve God."
A sister said, "I am sorry to have had no stronger faith. I must have a greater nearness to God. My whole heart must be in the work. 'What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest him?' I feel that I must put aside all fear of the world, and serve my Master faithfully. This is the first meeting of the kind that I ever attended, and I have been amply repaid."
A brother said, "I have come to seek Jesus. As I listen to the testimonies my heart goes up in thankfulness to God that he has enlightened my understanding, so that I can see the present truth. The moments are golden. We must improve them in working for Jesus. Soon these precious privileges will be past. Those who come for the blessing may have it by asking for it. All the campground may be lightened by the presence of God." By Mrs. E. G. White. (Concluded next week.)
(Vol. 47, #22)
At 8 o'clock A. M. on the Sabbath, prayer and conference meeting commenced.
A brother said, "My course is onward and upward. I have been benefited since I came here. If we have a burden of sins, we may take them to Jesus, and he will give us peace and rest."
A brother said, "I am thankful for this privilege. The Lord is good to me. He strengthens me to do my duty. I realize the goodness of God to me more fully than I have in the past."
A sister said, "I feel unworthy of this privilege. Since I have embraced the truth the Spirit of the Lord has been striving with me, impressing me with the belief that I ought to tell my brethren in Sweden these great truths. I am afraid the Lord will take away his blessing from me if I resist his power and neglect his voice."
A sister said, "I am thankful for this privilege. I feel encouraged when I hear the testimonies of God's commandment keeping people. I want to keep pace with the truth."
A sister said, "It is a great cross for me to speak here. I love the truth. I have not had one doubt in regard to it since I first embraced it. If our fellowship below is so sweet, what heights of rapture shall we realize when we meet around the great white throne to praise God and the Lamb forever."
A sister said, "I give God the praise for the blessing I have felt at this meeting. I want a deep work of grace in my heart and to live right in the sight of the Lord every day."
A brother said, "The Lord is good. I feel great interest in the work. I do not feel anxious for merely a happy flight of feeling, but I want a solemn sense of the importance of this sacred work."
A sister said, "I feel weak and unworthy; I want to be strong in overcoming every defect in my character. Notwithstanding my weakness and unworthiness, I believe Jesus loves me and will help me to live aright."
A young sister said, "I do feel determined to overcome my sins and meet you on Mount Zion."
A sister said, "I feel thankful for the privilege of this meeting; I want to be an overcomer and share in the certain reward at last. I praise my Heavenly Father for the light of truth. I want to walk humbly before God, doing every duty."
A sister said, "I feel that it is my privilege to claim more blessings from the Lord. I can and must step out by faith into a clearer knowledge of the truth and a deeper love of God."
A brother said, "This is the first campmeeting I have attended. I have anticipated this blessed privilege for several weeks, and have felt great joy in coming here to meet with the Lord's people. I feel thankful for the blessing which has been poured out upon this people. I want to shout glory when I shall see the Lord coming with power and majesty in the clouds of heaven."
A brother said, "I rejoice in God today that he has permitted me to see the light of the truth. It has been but a little time that I have kept the commandments of God. I have not for one moment felt a doubt of the truth."
A sister said, "I am thankful that God sent the truth to me. I am determined to overcome by the grace of God and have a home in the kingdom."
A sister said, "Praise the Lord! I want to be a meek follower of my Saviour, and know for myself how to perform every duty. Jesus loves me. I love the truth. I want, through grace, to overcome all my sins and be right with God and have the crown of life."
A brother said, "I have strayed from my Heavenly Father and earnestly desire to return and overcome my evil ways."
A sister said, "I thank God that I see so many witnesses for the truth. I love you all. I love the truth. I love my Heavenly Father. Praise his holy name! 'Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.'"
A brother said, "I came to this meeting with the expectation of receiving a great blessing. The second sermon I heard here I felt belonged to me. I could not get rid of the impression. I prayed to the Lord in the grove and found relief. Nothing has delighted me so much as these meetings. The testimonies of my brethren have strengthened me. I feel happy this morning. God has heard and answered my prayers."
A sister said, "I feel truly thankful for the truth. It has done a great work for me."
A sister said, "I feel to praise God, looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. We need a blessed, holy, purifying work at the hands of God. Precious grace is always ready for us when we really desire it to help us in our work."
A brother said, "I feel almost discouraged sometimes, but I am convinced that if I go to God in faith and ask him to help me, he will not refuse. I felt sure this morning of the Spirit of God in my heart. I have not felt so deeply for years. Good angels are around us now. While here at this meeting the current runs smoothly, but when we go home, we again take up our daily labors and we must row against the stream. We must get much of the Spirit of God to carry with us and help us on our way. We know that Jesus loves us and will assist us each day. Watch unto prayer. Every action should be performed with an eye single to the glory of God."
A sister said, "I feel very thankful for the privilege of this meeting. I have not kept the Sabbath long. I have received light upon the health reform for which I praise God."
A sister said, "Praise God this morning for the precious truth! I hope to be ever steadfast, clinging to the unchanging word of God. I want to develop a holy character, and be guided by God's Holy Spirit. I feel that angels are around us. God has blessed us. I love to be with his dear people, refreshed with them by showers of grace."
A brother said, "I can truly say my heart rejoices in God. I have enlisted in a good cause. I trust in my Saviour. Thank God that he has caused me to see the light and beauty of the truth. Today is the holy Sabbath of the Lord. This the word of God plainly declares. I want to give the world a bright example by living out the truth every day."
A sister said, "We are alone in Kilbourn, but we desire to so watch and exert a right influence that others may take knowledge of us that our daily walk accords with our profession."
A brother said, "I am thankful for the goodness of God; I have received a blessing on this campground. I have thought it was useless for me to try to overcome, but I dared not give up the effort. Now I am determined to serve the Lord, and will watch and pray that I may resist the temptations of the enemy."
A sister said, "The first sermon I heard from Bro. Smith, I felt that now was the time to waken out of sleep. This first sermon roused me and did my soul good. The second one I heard from sister White was from the text, 'Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.' This discourse seemed to apply to me. I needed it, and I am trying to improve according to its precepts by humbling my heart before God."
A sister said, "This is a blessed privilege for me. I have been among the lonely ones for fourteen years, trying to do my duty without the encouragement of mingling with the people of God. I have never heard the truth preached before. I feel to rejoice that at last I have had that blessed privilege. The Lord has blessed me abundantly. I want to do his will, overcome, and finally wear the crown of immortal life."
Another sister said, "I am truly thankful for this blessed privilege. One year ago the Lord sent his precious truth to me. I praise his name that I ever received this light. I want to be faithful in every duty and receive the reward at last."
Still another sister said, "I feel thankful to God for the light of truth and for his presence here. I feel that my wisdom is all weakness, but I pray God to make my influence such as will lead others to a knowledge of the truth. The Lord has blessed me with his Holy Spirit, and my heart is made glad by the promise of eternal life."
A German brother said, "I am thankful for this precious privilege of meeting with the people of God. I want to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. I feel happy in the love of God, and the knowledge that Jesus pleads even for unworthy me. If I should keep my seat, not offering my testimony here, I feel that I should be denying Christ, and slighting the opportunity to speak of his mercies to me. My brother cannot do my duty for me. I must acknowledge the truth on my own account, and the goodness of God in my behalf. I cannot express my feelings as some can, but God knows my heart and will accept my humble efforts if I do the best I can in his service. A few years ago one hundred Sabbathkeepers met at Battle Creek. Today I am astonished at the prosperity of the cause. We see around us a multitude taking hold of the truth. I want to work for my countrymen. I want to do something for this glorious cause which God will approve and accept."
A sister said, "I rejoice to see and feel the saving Spirit of God in this meeting. I am glad of this opportunity. My sands of life are running out. I thought I might live till Jesus came in the clouds of heaven. It may be I shall yet live to see that day; for I believe in the soon coming of the Saviour of the world. I have experienced much toil and pain and sorrow in my life, but the blessed hope of a future life has sustained me through all my tribulations. By the grace of God I hope to sing the new song of praise and deliverance over on the other shore."
A brother said, "My mind for some time past has been upon the things of this world; but I feel that this will not do, that I am thereby periling my chance of eternal life, and I am determined to be more zealous in the service of the Lord. I praise God for the great blessing that has been given me at this meeting. I feel that I am unworthy of so great a privilege. Praise the Lord for his mercies unto me!"
Another brother said, "It is encouraging to hear what the Lord is doing for his people. I came out from the scoffing world and embraced this precious truth, and have never had cause to regret so doing; for I have found great peace and happiness in the path to immortal life."
Still another said, "I am thankful to God for his many blessings. I am trying to overcome, that I may meet the saints of God in his everlasting kingdom."
And another said, "I am rejoiced to see so many of God's people obeying his truth. The Lord looks down upon his children and loves them. He cares for his people and will shield them from calamity. Let us work out our salvation with fear and trembling, looking forward to the reward of the faithful."
A sister said, "I love God. He has done great things for me. Christ has made known to me my duty. Two years ago I felt that I ought to change my course and strive to subdue my stubborn heart, but I would not yield to obey the truth till one year ago when I began to live a Christian life. The prayers offered in my behalf were answered. Thank God, I could be hard and stubborn no longer. I had been long enough a sad stumblingblock in my husband's way, but I trust now to help and comfort him."
A brother said, "Thank God for his blessing which rejoices my heart. The good testimonies borne here have strengthened and encouraged me. Praise God for his love and favor! Four years ago I commenced to keep the Sabbath. I believe in the soon coming of my Saviour. I do not want to look backward, but forward toward immortal life. Between thirty and forty years ago my mother began to keep the fourth commandment, and has kept it ever since that time and will keep it while she lives."
A sister said, "I want to overcome every sin in myself and try by my conversation and example to lead sinners to God."
A brother said, "I thank God for this privilege. I am rejoicing in the pardoning grace of God. I have been pleading with the Lord in the grove, and I have been greatly blessed. I have tried to serve God for thirty-five years, but I have been careless in reading his word, and have not seen the Sabbath and kept it. To shun the appearance of evil I have kept Sunday as the Lord's day. In regard to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, I thought with Paul, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." I commenced to search the word of God, to see for myself the evidences upon the Sabbath, not for the purpose of opposing any doctrine or faith, but to gather the facts. In consequence of this earnest study, I became settled upon the Sabbath question, and now I keep the commandments of God, and my soul is happy. I feel that I have gained a great victory, and I praise the Lord for His grace that has permitted me to see and understand the truth." By Mrs. E. G. White.
(Vol. 48, #13)
When the Lord of glory left his station of high command to become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, accepting ignominy and death in order to deliver man from the consequence of his disobedience, he did not consult his own convenience or pleasure. Jesus died, not to save man in his sins, but from his sins. He is to leave the error of his ways, to follow the example of Christ, take up his cross and follow him, denying self, and obeying God at any cost.
Said Jesus, "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
If we are true servants of God there should be no question in our minds as to whether we should obey his commandments or seek our own temporal interests.
If the believers in the truth are not sustained by their faith in these comparatively peaceful days, what will uphold them when the grand test comes, and the decree goes forth against all those who will not worship the image of the beast, and receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands? This solemn period is not far off. Instead of becoming weak and irresolute, the people of God should be gathering strength and courage for the time of trouble.
Jesus, our great example, in his life and death, taught the strictest obedience. He died, the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty, that the honor of God's law might be preserved and yet man not utterly perish. Sin is the transgression of the law. If the sin of Adam brought such inexpressible wretchedness, requiring the sacrifice of God's dear Son, what will be the punishment of those who, seeing the light of truth, set at naught the fourth commandment of the Lord?
Circumstances will not justify any one in working upon the Sabbath for the sake of worldly profit. If God excuses one man, he may excuse all. But, says one, why may not a man who is poor work upon the Sabbath to earn means for a livelihood when he might by so doing be better able to support his family? Why may not other brethren, or all of us, keep the Sabbath only when it is convenient to do so? The voice from Sinai makes answer: "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God."
Listen to these solemn words of promise addressed to all: "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
God will visit with judgments those who profess to serve him, yet really serve mammon. They who disregard the Lord's express injunction in order to advantage themselves, are heaping future woe upon themselves. The people of God should inquire closely if they have not, like the Jews, made the temple of God a place of merchandise. Christ said, My Father's house shall be called a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Are not many of our people falling into the sin of sacrificing their religion for the sake of worldly gain; preserving a form of piety, yet giving all the mind to temporal pursuits? God's law must be considered first of all, and obeyed in spirit and in letter. If God's word, spoken in awful solemnity from the holy mountain, is lightly regarded, how will the testimonies of his Spirit be received? Minds that are so darkened as not to recognize the authority of the Lord's commandments given directly to man, can receive little good from a feeble instrument whom he has chosen to instruct his people.
Age does not excuse any from obeying the divine commands. Abraham was sorely tested in his old age. The words of the Lord seemed terrible and uncalled for to the stricken old man; yet he never questioned their justice or hesitated in his obedience. He might have pleaded that he was old and feeble, and could not sacrifice the son who was the joy of his life. He might have reminded the Lord that this command conflicted with the promises that had been given in regard to this son. But the obedience of Abraham was without a murmur or reproach. His trust in God was implicit.
The faith of Abraham should be our example; yet how few will patiently endure a simple test of reproof of the sins which imperil their eternal welfare. How few receive reproof with humility, and profit by it. God's claim upon our faith, our services, our affections, should meet with a cheerful response. We are infinite debtors to the Lord, and should unhesitatingly comply with the least of his requirements. To be a commandment breaker it is not necessary that we should trample upon the whole moral code. If one precept is disregarded, we are transgressors of the sacred law. And if we would be true commandment keepers, we should strictly observe every requirement that God has enjoined upon us.
God allowed his own Son to be put to death in order to answer the penalty of the transgression of the law; then how will he deal with those who, in the face of all this evidence, dare venture upon the path of disobedience, having received the light of truth? Man has no right to question his convenience or wants in this matter. God will provide; he who fed Elijah by the brook, making a raven his messenger, will not suffer his faithful ones to want for food.
The Saviour asked his disciples who were pressed with poverty, why they were anxious and troubled in regard to what they should eat or how they should be clothed. Said he, "Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" He pointed to the lovely flowers, formed and tinted by a divine hand, saying, "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" By Mrs. E. G. White.
(Vol. 48, #17)
If you are grieved because your neighbors or friends are doing wrong to their own hurt, if they are overtaken in fault, follow the Bible rule: "Tell him his fault between thee and him alone." As you go to the one you suppose to be in error, see that you speak in a meek and lowly spirit; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. The erring can in no other way be restored than in the spirit of meekness and gentleness, and tender love. Be careful in your manner. Avoid any thing in look or gesture, word or tone of voice, that savors of pride or self-sufficiency. Guard yourself against a word or look that would exalt yourself, or place your goodness and righteousness in contrast with their failings. Beware of the most distant approach to disdain, or contempt, or an overbearing spirit. With care avoid every appearance of anger; and though you use plainness of speech, yet let there be no reproach, no railing accusation, no token of warmth but that of earnest love.
Above all, let there be no shadow of hate or ill will, no bitterness nor sourness of expression. Nothing but kindness and gentleness can flow from a heart of love. Yet all these precious fruits need not hinder your speaking in the most serious, solemn manner, as though angels were directing their eyes upon you, and you acting in reference to the coming Judgment. Bear in mind that the success of reproof depends greatly upon the spirit in which it is given. Do not neglect earnest prayer that you may possess a lowly mind, and that angels of God may work upon the hearts you are trying to reach, before you, and so soften them by heavenly impressions, that your efforts may avail. If any good is accomplished, take no credit to yourself. God alone should be exalted. God alone hath done it all.
You excuse yourself for speaking evil of your brother or sister or neighbor, to others before going to him and taking the steps God has absolutely commanded you. "Why! I did not speak to any one until I was so burdened that I could not refrain." What burdened you? Was it a plain neglect of your own duty, a thus saith the Lord? You were under the guilt of sin, because you did not go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If you did not do this, if you disobeyed God, how should you be otherwise than burdened, unless your heart was hardened while you were trampling the command of God under foot, and hating your brother or neighbor in your heart? And what way have you found to unburden yourself? God reproves you for a sin of omission, not telling your brother his fault; and you excuse and comfort yourself under his censure by a sin of commission, by telling your brother's faults to another person! Is this the right way to purchase ease, by committing sin?
All your efforts to save the erring may be unavailing. They may repay you evil for good. They may be enraged rather than convinced. What if they hear to no good purpose, and pursue the evil course they have begun? This will frequently occur. Sometimes the mildest and tenderest reproof will have no good effect. In that case, the blessing you wanted another to receive by pursuing a course of righteousness, ceasing to do evil and learning to do well, will return into your own bosom. If the erring persist in sin, treat them kindly and leave them with your Heavenly Father. You have delivered your soul. Their sin no longer rests upon you. Your are not now partaker of their sin. But if they perish, their blood is upon their own head.-- Testimony No. 15, pp. 40 and 41. By Mrs. E. G. White.