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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1877
(Vol. 49, #25)
The human mind is susceptible of the highest cultivation. A life devoted to God should not be a life of ignorance. Many speak against education because Jesus chose uneducated fishermen to preach his gospel. They assert that he showed preference for the uneducated. Many learned and honorable men believed his teaching. Had these fearlessly obeyed the convictions of their consciences, they would have followed him. Their abilities would have been accepted, and employed in the service of Christ, had they offered them. But they had not moral power, in face of the frowning priests and jealous rulers, to confess Christ, and venture their reputation in connection with the humble Galilean.
He who knew the hearts of all, understood this. If the educated and noble would not do the work they were qualified to do, Christ would select men who would be obedient and faithful in doing his will. He chose humble men and connected them with himself, that he might educate them to carry forward the great work on earth when he should leave it.
Christ was the light of the world. He was the fountain of all knowledge. He was able to qualify the unlearned fishermen to receive the high commission he would give them. The lessons of truth given these lowly men were of mighty significance. They were to move the world. It seemed but a simple thing for Jesus to connect these humble persons with himself; but it was an event productive of tremendous results. Their words and their works were to revolutionize the world.
Jesus did not despise education. The highest culture of the mind, if sanctified through the love and the fear of God, receives his fullest approval. The humble men chosen by Christ were with him three years, subject to the refining influence of the Majesty of Heaven. Christ was the greatest educator the world ever knew.
God will accept the youth with their talent, and their wealth of affection, if they will consecrate themselves to him. They may reach to the highest point of intellectual greatness; and if balanced by religious principle they can carry forward the work which Christ came from Heaven to accomplish, and in thus doing be co-workers with the Master.
The students at our College have valuable privileges, not only of obtaining a knowledge of the sciences, but also of learning how to cultivate and practice virtues which will give them symmetrical characters. They are God's responsible moral agents. The talents of wealth, station, and intellect, are given of God in trust to man for his wise improvement. These varied trusts he has distributed proportionately to the known powers and capacities of his servants, to every one his work.
The Giver expects returns corresponding to the gifts. The humblest gift is not to be despised or left inactive. The little rivulet does not say, I will not flow along my narrow channel because I am not a mighty river. The spires of grass do not refuse to grow because they are not forest trees. The lamp does not refuse to give its little light because it is not a star. The moon and stars do not refuse to shine because they have not the brilliant light of the sun. Every person has his own peculiar sphere and vocation. Those who make the most of their God given opportunities will return to the Giver, in their improvement, an interest proportionate to the intrusted capital.
The Lord does not reward the great amount of labor. He does not regard the greatness of the work so much as the fidelity with which it is done. The good and faithful servants are rewarded. As we cultivate the powers God has given us here, we shall increase in knowledge and perception, and be enabled to comprehend and value the immortal life. Those who have abused their God given privileges in this life, and have been content with their ignorance, having their minds completely occupied with subjects of trivial value to themselves or others, will not comprehend personal responsibility, subdue evil tendencies, and strengthen high resolves for a purer, higher, holier life.
The youth should be learners for the next world. Perseverance in the acquisition of knowledge, controlled by the fear and love of God, will give them an increased power for good in this life, and those who have made the most of their privileges to reach the highest attainments here, will take these valuable acquisitions with them into the future life. They have sought and obtained that which is imperishable. The capability to appreciate the glories that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard," will be proportionate to the attainments reached in the cultivation of the faculties in this life.
Those who will empty their hearts of vanity and rubbish, through the grace of God may purify the chambers of the mind, and make it a storehouse of knowledge, purity, and truth. And it will be continually reaching beyond the narrow boundaries of worldly thought, into the vastness of the Infinite. The justice and mercy of God will be unfolded to the moral perceptions. The grievous character of sin, with its results, will be discerned. The character of God, his love manifested in giving his Son to die for the world, and the beauty of holiness, are exalted themes for contemplation. These will strengthen the intellect, and bring man into close communion with the Infinite One. By Mrs. E. G. White.
(Vol. 50, #9)
Kokomo, Ind., Aug. 14.--This meeting has been one of the largest and most successful ever held by our people in this State. Twenty-six tents were on the ground, and three hundred of the brethren and sisters were assembled together. The camp was well located in a beech grove, quite open on the ground, but canopied by interlacing branches that formed a natural roof of leaves, so dense that during a slight shower, scarcely a drop of rain sifted through, and not a parasol or umbrella was raised while the sun was shining. The weather was generally favorable, excepting on the Sabbath, when a heavy rain storm interrupted the sermon of Eld. S. H. Lane, in the forenoon, and broke up the meeting for the time. In the afternoon, the people assembled under the large tent, and we spoke to them on the subject of Peter's ladder of sanctification, making temperance a prominent point in the discourse. We had the very best attention throughout. The tent was crowded, quite a large representation being from the city of Kokomo.
As we looked upon the people assembled in camp, and then remembered the first campmeeting we ever attended in Indiana, we could not forbear saying, "What hath the Lord wrought?" It was a very small company that were then gathered together, not numbering more than fifty believers; and the appearance was not at all encouraging for missionary labor in that field. But we were now rejoiced to see over three hundred believers encamped upon the ground; and we have not met at any of our campmeetings a more intelligent, earnest, and truth-loving people than in Indiana. Many of them are persons of education and influence.
The truth has been handled successfully here, demonstrating what can be done, through divine help, by earnest and persistent effort. The refining influence that the truth has upon the life and character of those who receive it, was exemplified very strongly here. While speaking, we asked those to arise who had been addicted to the use of tobacco, but had entirely discontinued its use because of the light they had received through the truth. In response, between thirty-five and forty arose to their feet, ten or twelve of whom were women. We then invited those to rise who had been told by physicians that it would be fatal for them to stop the use of tobacco, because they had become so accustomed to its false stimulus that they would not be able to live without it. In reply, eight persons, whose countenances indicated health of mind and body, arose to their feet.
How wonderful is the sanctifying influence which this truth has upon the human life, making stanch temperance men of those who have indulged in tobacco, wine, and other fashionable dissipation. We here saw young men giving their hearts to God and becoming acquainted with the truths revealed in his Word. Many young men in this Conference will be workers in the cause of God. We formed a pleasant acquaintance with Dr. Hill and his wife. The latter has been an active worker in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Rochester. They have both accepted the truth, and were at the campmeeting--the first one which he had attended for eighteen years.
The Conference meetings were excellent. Brethren and sisters were prompt in occupying the time. There was no necessity for urging faithfulness in bearing testimony. Frequently from two to four were on their feet at the same time. There was no shade of complaining, but nearly all expressed gratitude and joy that they had been privileged to hear and accept the truth. The testimonies were brief, full of life, and cheerful hope, and edifying to all who heard them. The influence of the Spirit of God was present, and the tearful eyes, and broken utterances of many indicated its softening effect upon their hearts.
The editor of the Kokomo Dispatch was on the ground upon the Sabbath. He afterward issued notices to the effect that we were to address the people on the subject of Christian Temperance, at the camp ground on Sunday afternoon. The day was pleasant, and the ground free from dust, because of the rain on the preceding day. Eld. Waggoner spoke with great freedom in the forenoon to a good congregation, on the subject of the Sabbath. Three excursion trains poured their living freight upon the grounds. The people here are very enthusiastic on the Temperance question. At 2:30 P.M. we spoke to about 8,000 people on the subject of Temperance, taken from a moral and Christian standpoint. We were blessed with remarkable clearness and liberty, and were heard with the best attention from the large audience present.
We left the beaten track of the popular lecturer, and traced the origin of the prevailing intemperance to the home, the family board, and the indulgence of appetite in the child. Stimulating food creates a desire for still stronger stimulants. The boy whose taste is thus vitiated, and who is not taught self-control, is the drunkard, or tobacco slave of later years. The subject was taken up upon this wide basis; and the duty of parents was pointed out in training their children to right views of life and its responsibilities, and in laying the foundation for their upright Christian characters. The great work of Temperance Reform, to be thoroughly successful, must begin in the home.
In the evening Eld. Waggoner spoke upon the Signs of the Times, to a large and attentive audience. Many remarked that this discourse, and his sermon upon the Sabbath, had awakened new thoughts in their minds, and that they were determined to investigate these subjects.
On Monday the meetings were of deep interest. We were suffering from congestion of the lungs, as the result of a severe cold, and feared the exercise of speaking would be injurious, but while addressing the people upon the trials and difficulties endured by the apostles in establishing the Christian Church, our weariness, and pain were forgotten, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon us, and upon many of our hearers. After speaking one hour and a half, we invited sinners and backsliders--all those who had not the evidence that they were connected with Heaven--to come forward and join their prayers with those of God's people. Fifty responded to the invitation, fifteen of whom there made their first start in the Christian life. An unusual solemnity rested upon the congregation, while persuasive appeals were being made to seek salvation. The seasons of prayer were earnest. The Saviour of sinners seemed to be in our midst, compassionately inviting: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink."
Those who came forward were given opportunity to speak if they desired to do so. Many bore testimonies that they were for the first time seeking the Saviour. Two young ladies, who were sisters, lifted the cross, and expressed a determination to commence a new life. It was indeed an interesting sight. Christ says, "There is more joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance." With quivering lips and tearful eyes many confessed their backslidings, and their firm resolve to return to the Lord, that he might return unto them, and heal all their backslidings. An appointment was then made for those who were seeking the Saviour to meet in one of the tents for special labor in their behalf. This meeting was one of the best of its kind that we ever witnessed. The seekers all sought the Lord for themselves, presenting their petitions to the pitying, sin-pardoning Saviour.
A most interesting feature of this meeting was the case of a daughter of Bro. and sister Hill, a mute of sixteen years of age. She united with the supplicating ones, and prayed by signs; it was a most solemn and impressive sight. Fifteen were baptized, among them Dr. and Mrs. Hill, and their mute daughter. Quite a number in addition will be baptized upon their return home. Tuesday morning Bro. Bartlett was ordained to the ministry. The meeting upon the occasion was a very precious season. The Lord placed his signet upon the work, and blessed Bro. Bartlett, and Brn. Waggoner and Lane, who officiated at his ordination. Mrs. Ellen G. White.
(Vol. 50, #11)
On Thursday, August 23, our little company, consisting of Eld. Smith, my sick husband and myself, accompanied by sister Ings, left Battle Creek for the campmeeting at Groveland, Mass. This movement of ours required considerable faith. To judge from appearances, it looked like presumption for my husband and myself to attempt the journey. I had been, and was still suffering much from a severe cold, taken while on the Indiana campground, and had been under treatment at our Sanitarium, being much of the time a great sufferer.
My husband had been laboring incessantly to advance the interests of the cause of God in the various departments of the work centering in Battle Creek. His friends were astonished at the amount of labor he was accomplishing. Sabbath morning, August 18, he spoke in our house of worship. In the afternoon his mind was closely and critically exercised for four consecutive hours, while he listened to the reading of manuscript for Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3. The matter was intensely interesting, and calculated to stir the soul to its very depths, being a relation of the trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ. Before we were aware of it he was very weary. He commenced labor on Sunday at five o'clock in the morning, and continued working until twelve at night. In this time he accomplished a great amount of business.
The next morning at about half-past six he was attacked by giddiness, and was threatened with paralysis. We greatly feared this dreaded calamity; but the Lord was merciful, and spared us the affliction. However, his attack was followed by utter physical and mental prostration; and now indeed it seemed impossible for us to attend the Eastern campmeetings, or for me to attend them, and leave my husband depressed in spirits, and in feeble health.
On Wednesday we had a special season of prayer that the blessing of God might rest upon him, and restore him to health. We also asked for wisdom that we might know our duty in regard to attending the campmeetings. The Lord had many times strengthened our faith to go forth and work for him under discouragements and infirmities; and at such times he had wonderfully preserved and upheld us. But our friends pleaded that we ought to rest, and that it appeared inconsistent and unreasonable for us to attempt such a journey, and to incur the fatigue and exposure of camp life. We, ourselves, tried to think that the cause of God would go forward the same if we were set aside, and had no part to act in it. God would raise up others to do his work.
I could not, however, find rest and freedom in the thought of remaining absent from the field of labor. It seemed to me that Satan was striving to hedge up my way, to prevent me from bearing my testimony, and from doing the work God had given me to do. I had about decided to go alone, and do my part, trusting in God to give me the needful strength, when we received a letter from Bro. Haskell, in which he thanked God that Bro. and sister White would attend the New England campmeeting. Eld. Canright had written that he could not be present, as he would be unable to leave the interest in Danvers, and also that none of the company could be spared from the tent. Eld. Haskell stated in his letter that all preparations had been made for a large meeting at Groveland; and it was decided to have it, with the help of God, even if he had to carry it through alone; and that when once he had made this decision the bitterness of death was past.
This statement of the situation brought a burden upon me, and I was more than ever convinced that it was my duty, sick though I was, to go forward in faith to the work, trusting God to give me strength. We again took the matter to the Lord in prayer. We knew the mighty Healer could restore both my husband and myself to health, if it was for his glory to do so. It seemed hard to move out, weary, sick, and discouraged. At times I felt that God would make the journey a blessing to us both, if we went trusting in him. The thought would frequently arise in my mind, Where is your faith? God has promised, "As thy days, so shall thy strength be."
I sought to encourage my husband; he thought that if I felt able to undergo the fatigue, and to labor in camp, it would be best for me to go; but he could not endure the thought of accompanying me, in his state of feebleness, unable to labor, his mind clouded with despondency, and himself a subject of pity to his brethren. He had sat up but very little since his sudden attack, and seemed to grow no stronger. We sought the Lord again and again, hoping that there would be a rift in the cloud, but no special light came.
About an hour before we stepped on board the train, my husband and myself had a special season of prayer. We then both decided to walk out by faith without evidence, and to venture all on the promise of God. Upon taking our seats in the car we felt that we were in the path of duty. We rested in traveling, and slept well at night.
About eight o'clock on Friday evening we reached Boston. There was no train that night to take us out to Groveland, but we took the first train in the morning. When we arrived at the campground, and stepped from the car, the rain was literally pouring. We found our brethren waiting for us at the station, which was just outside the camp, and they protected us with umbrellas till we were safe in the tent. Elder Haskell had labored constantly up to this time, and excellent meetings were reported. There were 47 tents on the ground, besides three large tents, the one for the congregation being 80 by 125 feet in dimensions.
The meetings on the Sabbath were of the deepest interest. The church was revived, and strengthened, while sinners and backsliders were aroused to a sense of their danger.
Sunday morning the weather was still cloudy, but before it was time for the people to assemble the sun shone forth. Boats and trains poured their living freight upon the ground, as was the case last year. Elder Smith spoke in the morning upon the Eastern question. The subject was of special interest, and the people listened with the most earnest attention. It seemed to be just what they wanted to hear. In the afternoon it was difficult for me to make my way to the desk through the standing crowd. Upon reaching it, a sea of heads was before me. The mammoth tent was fully seated, the seats having comfortable backs. These were all filled, yet thousands stood about the tent, making a living wall several feet deep.
My lungs and throat pained me very much, yet I believed God would help me upon that important occasion. My text was, "To him that overcometh," etc. Rev. 3:21. The Lord gave me great freedom in addressing that immense crowd upon the subject of Christian Temperance. I labored to show that temperance must be lived out in our homes; that our children must be trained to temperate habits from the cradle, in order for them to be firm of principle, correct in their morals, and able, not only to withstand all temptations to intemperance themselves, but to wield a powerful influence over others in favor of the right. In their ignorance or carelessness, parents give their children the first lessons in intemperance. At the table, loaded with injurious condiments, rich food, and spiced knickknacks, the child acquires a taste for that which is hurtful to him, which tends to irritate the tender coats of the stomach, inflame the blood, and strengthen the animal passions. The appetite soon craves something stronger, and tobacco is used to gratify that craving. This indulgence only increasing the unnatural longing for stimulants, liquor drinking is soon resorted to, and drunkenness follows. This is the course of the great highway to intemperance.
While speaking my weariness and painful throat and lungs were forgotten, as I realized that I was speaking to a people that did not regard my words as idle tales. The discourse occupied over an hour, with the very best attention throughout. There were many more attentive listeners than we had on a similar occasion at the same place last year, because of the greater number of comfortable seats, which accommodated a third more than those of last year. As the closing hymn was being sung, the officers of the Temperance Reform Club of Haverhill solicited me, as on last year, to speak before their association on the following evening. Having an appointment to speak at Danvers I was obliged to decline the invitation. They then desired me to speak one week from the following Monday, but as we expected to attend the Eastern campmeetings, we could not comply with this request.
Monday morning we had a season of prayer in our tent in behalf of my husband. We presented his case to the great Physician. It was a precious season; the peace of Heaven rested upon us. These words came forcibly to my mind, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." We all felt the blessing of God resting upon us. We then assembled in the mammoth tent, and my husband, in his feebleness, was able to meet with us, and spoke for a short time, precious words from a heart softened, and aglow with a deep sense of the mercy and goodness of God. He spoke to the point of bringing the believers in the truth to realize their privilege of receiving assurance of the grace of God in their hearts; that the great truths we believe should sanctify the life, and ennoble the character, and have a saving influence upon the world. The tearful eyes, and sympathizing looks of the people showed that their hearts were touched and melted by his remarks.
We then took up the work where we had left it on the Sabbath, and the morning was spent in special labor for sinners and backsliders, of whom 200 came forward for prayers, ranging in years from the child of ten to gray-headed men and women. More than a score of souls among them were setting their feet in the way of life for the first time. In the afternoon thirty-eight persons were baptized, quite a number delaying baptism until they returned to their homes.
The Danvers Tent.--Monday evening I stood in the stand of the Danvers tent. A large congregation was before me; I never stood in the presence of a more intelligent looking people; they were evidently of the best class of society. The tent was full, and about 200 persons stood outside the canvas, unable to find room inside. I went into the stand with great weariness and trembling. My throat and lungs were very painful, and in a state of congestion; but I had found comfort in pleading with God for help in this emergency. I knew that if any degree of success attended my labors, it would be through the strength of One mightier than I. Committing myself to God, I commenced to speak from the words of Christ in answer to the question of the learned scribe as to which was the great commandment in the law: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," etc. Matt. 22:37-39.
The blessing of God rested upon me, and my pain and feebleness were forgotten. Before me were a people whom I might not meet again until the Judgment; and the desire for their salvation led me to speak earnestly, and in the fear of God, that I might be free from their blood. Great freedom attended my effort, which occupied one hour and ten minutes. Jesus was my helper and his name shall have all the glory. The audience was very attentive, I had the pleasure of speaking with quite a number who had lately embraced the truth. There is a growing interest in Danvers. The community is stirred, and many have received the light, and have been led into the path of holiness and obedience. May the good work progress, and sinners continue to yield their hearts to God.
We returned to Groveland on Tuesday to find the camp breaking up, tents being struck, our brethren saying farewell, and ready to step on board the cars to return to their homes. This has been one of the best campmeetings I have attended. Before leaving the ground Elders Canright, Haskell, my husband, sister Ings, and myself sought a retired place in the grove, and united in prayer for the blessing of health and the grace of God to rest more abundantly upon my husband. We all deeply felt the need of my husband's help, when so many urgent calls for preaching were coming in from every direction. This season of prayer was a very precious one; and the sweet peace and joy that settled upon us was our assurance that God heard our petitions.
In the afternoon we started for South Lancaster, to rest at the home of Eld. Haskell. He took us there in his carriage, by easy stage across the country. We preferred this way of traveling, thinking it would benefit our health. We are now resting at the good, quiet home of Eld. Haskell, enjoying the peace of God, and rejoicing that we have been so wonderfully sustained on our journey, and in our work. Mrs. E. G. White.