Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4

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Eastern Meetings

Upon arriving at Battle Creek, we learned that an appointment had been made for me to speak Sunday evening in the mammoth tent pitched on the college grounds. The tent was filled to overflowing, and my heart was drawn out in earnest appeals to the people. 4T 298.2

I tarried at home but a very short period, and then, accompanied by Sister Mary Smith Abbey and Brother Farnsworth, I was again on the wing, bound for the East. When we arrived at Boston, I was much exhausted. Brethren Wood and Haskell met us at the depot and accompanied us to Ballard Vale, the place of meeting. We were welcomed by our old friends with a heartiness that, for the time being, seemed to rest me. The weather was excessively warm, and the change from the bracing climate of Colorado to the oppressive heat of Massachusetts made the latter seem almost unendurable. I tried to speak to the people, notwithstanding my great weariness, and was strengthened to bear my testimony. The words seemed to go straight home to the heart. Much labor was required at this meeting. New churches had been raised up since our last camp meeting. Precious souls had accepted the truth, and these needed to be carried forward to a deeper and more thorough knowledge of practical godliness. The Lord gave me freedom in bearing my testimony. 4T 298.3

On one occasion during this meeting I made some remarks upon the necessity of economy in dress and in the expenditure of means. There is danger of becoming careless and reckless in the use of the Lord's money. Young men who engage in tent labor should be careful not to indulge in unnecessary expense. As tents are entering new fields, and as the missionary work is enlarging, the wants of the cause are many, and, without stinginess, the most rigid economy should be used in this matter. It is easier to run up a bill than to settle it. There are many things that would be convenient and enjoyable that are not needful, and that can be dispensed with without actual suffering. It is very easy to multiply hotel bills and railroad fares, expenses that might be avoided or very much lessened. We have passed over the road to and from California twelve times, and have not expended one dollar for meals at the restaurants or in the attached dining car. We eat our meals from our lunch baskets. After being three days out, the food becomes quite stale, but a little milk or warm gruel supplies our lack. 4T 299.1

On another occasion I spoke in reference to genuine sanctification, which is nothing less than a daily dying to self and daily conformity to the will of God. While in Oregon I was shown that some of the young churches of the New England Conference were in danger through the blighting influence of what is called sanctification. Some would become deceived by this doctrine, while others, knowing its deceptive influence, would realize their danger and turn from it. Paul's sanctification was a constant conflict with self. Said he: “I die daily.” His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did the will of God, however unpleasant and crucifying to his nature. 4T 299.2

We called on those who desired to be baptized, and those who were keeping the Sabbath for the first time, to come forward. Twenty-five responded. These bore excellent testimonies, and before the close of the camp meeting twenty-two received baptism. 4T 300.1

We were pleased to meet here our old friends of the cause whose acquaintance we made thirty years ago. Our much-esteemed Brother Hastings is as deeply interested in the truth today as he was then. We were pleased to meet Sister Temple, and Sister Collins of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and Brother and Sister Wilkinson, at whose house we were entertained more than thirty years ago. The pilgrimage of some of these dear ones may close erelong; but if faithful unto the end, they will receive a crown of life. 4T 300.2

We were interested in Brother Kimbal, who is a mute and has been a missionary among the mutes. Through his persevering labors quite a little company have accepted the truth. We meet this faithful brother at our yearly camp meetings, surrounded by several of his mute converts. Someone who can hear writes out as much as possible of the discourse, and he sits surrounded by his mute friends, reading and actively preaching it over again to them with his hands. He has freely used his means to advance the missionary work, thus honoring God with his substance. 4T 300.3

We left Ballard Vale Tuesday morning, September 3, to attend the Maine camp meeting. We enjoyed a quiet rest at the home of young Brother Morton, near Portland. He and his good wife made our tarry with them very pleasant. We were upon the Maine camp ground before the Sabbath, and were happy to meet here some of the tried friends of the cause. There are some who are ever at their post of duty, come sunshine or come storm. There is also a class of sunshine Christians. When everything goes well and is agreeable to their feelings, they are fervent and zealous; but when there are clouds and disagreeable things to meet, these will have nothing to say or do. The blessing of God rested upon the active workers, while those who did nothing were not benefited by the meeting as they might have been. The Lord was with His ministers, who labor faithfully in presenting both doctrinal and practical subjects. We greatly desired to see many benefited by that meeting who gave no evidence that they had been blessed of God. I long to see this dear people coming up to their exalted privileges. 4T 300.4

We left the camp ground on Monday, feeling much exhausted. We designed to attend the Iowa and Kansas camp meetings. My husband had written that he would meet me in Iowa. Being unable to attend the Vermont meeting, we went directly from Maine to South Lancaster. I had much difficulty in breathing, and my heart pained me continually. I rested at the quiet home of Sister Harris, who did all in her power to help me. Thursday evening we ventured to resume our journey to Battle Creek. I dared not trust myself on the cars any length of time in my state of health; so we stopped at Rome, New York, and spoke to our people on the Sabbath. There was a good attendance. 4T 301.1

Monday morning I visited Brother and Sister Ira Abbey at Brookfield. We had a profitable interview with this family. We felt interested, and anxious that they should finally be victorious in the Christian warfare and win eternal life. We felt deeply anxious that Brother Abbey should overcome his discouragements, cast himself unreservedly upon the merits of Christ, make a success of overcoming, and at last wear the victor's crown. 4T 301.2

Tuesday we took the cars for Battle Creek, and the next day arrived at home, where I was glad to rest once more and take treatment at the sanitarium. I felt that I was indeed favored in having the advantages of this institution. The helpers were kind and attentive, and ready at any time of day or night to do their utmost to relieve me of my infirmities. 4T 301.3