The Review and Herald


October 4, 1906

Closing Days at the Oakland (Cal.) Camp-Meeting


It was my privilege to attend the Oakland camp-meeting from beginning to close, July 19-29. The meeting was held on a large block in a residence district of Oakland, within easy access of San Francisco and neighboring Bay cities, by trolley and railway. It was reported that there were about two hundred tents pitched, for the accommodation of over six hundred campers. The attendance of our brethren and sisters from the surrounding towns was good, and on Sabbaths and Sundays the large pavilion was well filled. RH October 4, 1906, par. 1

For several weeks prior to this meeting I had been somewhat feeble. But I went trusting in God, and he wonderfully sustained me. I spoke seven times, with no feeling of weariness. Despite the fact that the congregations were often large, and I was under the necessity of speaking so as to make all hear, I was refreshed physically, and was able to do much writing every day. A feeling of peace seemed to take possession of mind and heart from day to day. RH October 4, 1906, par. 2

The closing Sabbath was a day marked by many rich blessings. At the morning service, the large tent was literally packed with people. Every seat was taken. Elder S. N. Haskell opened the meeting with prayer. I then spoke for about forty-five minutes, on the privileges and the responsibilities of the Christian life, as brought to view in the first chapter of Paul's epistle to the Colossians. RH October 4, 1906, par. 3

This scripture very clearly teaches us that we may constantly grow in spirituality through Christ our Lord. “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse,” the apostle Paul wrote: “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.” RH October 4, 1906, par. 4

Paul rejoiced in the fact that the church-members at Colosse manifested a spirit of brotherly love toward one another. “For this cause we also,” he declared, “since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” RH October 4, 1906, par. 5

To every one who constantly yields his will to the will of the Infinite, to be led and taught of God, there is promised an ever-increasing development in spiritual things. God fixes no limit to the advancement of those who are “filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” RH October 4, 1906, par. 6

Through prayer, through watchfulness, through growth in understanding, we are “strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” Thus we are prepared to communicate the word of the living God, the truth for this generation, acceptably to all with whom we are brought into contact. O, let us give “thanks unto the Father,” who, in the language of the inspired apostle, “hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” RH October 4, 1906, par. 7

God's plan for us is so broad, so full, so complete, that we have every reason for co-operating whole-heartedly with him in carrying it out. There is no reason for hesitancy on our part. The sacrifice of Christ atones for every sinner. Christ is the One “in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” All that is required on our part is a complete surrender of our thoughts and purposes, our will, all that we have and are, to God, to be used as he may direct. RH October 4, 1906, par. 8

It matters not how great the sin: he who returns to God, with full purpose of heart, is assured of pardon and peace. “You, that were sometime alienated,” the apostle continues, “and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death.” RH October 4, 1906, par. 9

And what rich assurances are given to the steadfast,—to those who remain true to their allegiance to the God of heaven! “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled,” the promise reads, “and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven,” the Redeemer will “present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable” in the presence of his Father in the kingdom of glory. Wonderful, wonderful assurance! How cheering, indeed, is the hope of the Christian! Naught in this world can compare with the reward set before those who will “be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” RH October 4, 1906, par. 10

As these thoughts were dwelt upon before the great congregation Sabbath morning, my heart was moved with an intense desire that not one soul in that vast assembly should fail of appropriating the rich promises of the gospel. I appealed to the parents to unite with their children in making sure work for eternity. In these closing hours of probation, none can afford to be listless or half-hearted. A world is to be warned. To every Christian God has given some work to do for the saving of souls. O that every one who claims to be a follower of Jesus, would labor as the Saviour labored for mankind! This would bring untold blessing both to the laborers and to those whom they would be able to lead to the foot of the cross. RH October 4, 1906, par. 11

To every one who has named the name of Jesus, is given the commission to go and tell others that which they have learned of the way of salvation. As they go, Jesus declares, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Anointed by the Holy Spirit, as were the disciples of old, they are to labor in tender sympathy and love for souls ready to perish. RH October 4, 1906, par. 12

I appealed to the brethren and sisters in Oakland and in the surrounding cities, to rise to their opportunities, gird on the Christian armor, and labor for God in whatever way he may direct. If the members of the Oakland church do all that it is possible for them to do through the power imparted by the Holy Spirit, a great missionary work will be done in this city—a work exceeding anything that has ever been done heretofore in this portion of the Lord's vineyard. RH October 4, 1906, par. 13

A work of this character must necessarily be accomplished through daily consecration and earnest prayer, through faithful and continued searching of the Scriptures, and through obedience to all the divine commands. We need to draw fresh supplies daily from the great storehouse of God's Word. This will give no time for novel reading, or for anything else that does not edify and strengthen for every good work. RH October 4, 1906, par. 14

May the Lord help us to choose this day whom we shall serve. Let us make our decision now, at this meeting, to serve God forevermore. The riches of heaven are at the command of God's children. There is set before us the hope of a life that measures with the life of the Eternal. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Make thorough work for eternity. RH October 4, 1906, par. 15

After I had finished speaking, the order of the meeting was changed, and Elder G. B. Thompson led out in an earnest revival effort. He appealed most urgently to the unconverted and the backslidden, and called upon all who had not made a full surrender, but who today desired to stand wholly on the Lord's side, to come forward. RH October 4, 1906, par. 16

The response was most encouraging. The front seats were vacated, and a large number who desired special prayer and help came forward. Every vacated seat was filled. A second move was made to make room for others coming to the front. Several more rows of seats were rapidly filled. I was so thankful to God for this evidence of the working of his Holy Spirit upon hearts. RH October 4, 1906, par. 17

While the people were coming forward, there was singing by the choir; then several prayers were offered. The Lord Jesus was in our midst. While praying, I felt that it was my privilege to lay hold on the arm of the Infinite, and to cling fast in behalf of the ones who so much needed divine help and blessing. I pleaded for a full surrender on the part of all who signified their determination to leave the ranks of the enemy and to take their position henceforth under the standard of Prince Emmanuel. RH October 4, 1906, par. 18

Many children and youth were among the number who bowed low before God in repentance and confession of sin, while God's servants offered prayer in behalf of these trembling souls. Afterward, the general congregation was dismissed, and those who had come forward were separated into two groups,—the children, and the older ones. A special season of prayer and of counsel was held with each group. Of the children who gathered in the kindergarten tent, thirty gave in their names for baptism the following day. Several of the older ones, including some whose heads were gray, also followed their Lord in baptism. RH October 4, 1906, par. 19

Those who bore the responsibilities of this camp-meeting felt as if the good work begun must not be allowed to remain unfinished, and so they decided to leave the large tent standing, and continue evening meetings. A company of workers remained encamped on the grounds, and have daily engaged in house-to-house labor. RH October 4, 1906, par. 20

At the urgent request of the California Conference Committee, Elder S. N. Haskell and his wife consented to conduct a Bible training-school for workers while this special effort is being put forth for Oakland. They are now training a group of workers for effective service. RH October 4, 1906, par. 21

It is planned that Elder W. W. Simpson shall begin a series of meetings in Oakland within a very few weeks. With him should be associated a strong force of house-to-house workers. Bible readings should be held in the homes of the people, and our literature should be circulated. Truth, precious truth from the Word of God, is to be presented, both in public and in house-to-house visitation. We have a message that is to prepare a people to stand amid the perils of the last days, and in proclaiming this message we need many men and women filled with the Holy Spirit and with a knowledge of God's Word. RH October 4, 1906, par. 22

Only a little time remains in which to labor. Now is our golden opportunity to give the third angel's message in the large cities. This is especially true of Oakland. Nothing of an ordinary character will be effective in awakening the people of Oakland to a realization of the times in which they are living, and the meaning of signs rapidly fulfilling. A powerful message must be borne, and faithful house-to-house work must be done by consecrated laborers. May the Lord lay upon many the burden of service. RH October 4, 1906, par. 23