Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


The Eastern Camp Meetings

When we arrived at the camp ground at Groveland, Mass., we found an excellent meeting in progress. There were forty-seven tents on the ground, besides three large tents, the one for the congregation being 80 x 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. LS 225.2

Sunday morning boats and trains poured their living freight upon the ground in thousands. 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. LS 225.3

In the afternoon it was difficult 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 full, and thousands stood outside, making a living wall several feet deep. My lungs and throat pained me very much; yet I believed that God would help me upon this important occasion. The Lord gave me great freedom in addressing that immense crowd upon the subject of Christian temperance. While speaking, my weariness and pain 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, and the very best attention was given throughout. LS 225.4

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.” 1 John 5:4. We all felt the blessing of God resting upon us. LS 226.1

We then assembled in the large tent; my husband met with us, and spoke for a short time, uttering precious words from a heart softened and aglow with a deep sense of the mercy and goodness of God. LS 226.2

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 two hundred came forward for prayers, ranging in years from the child of ten to gray-headed men and women. More than a score of these were setting their feet in the way of life for the first time. In the afternoon thirty-eight persons were baptized; and quite a number delayed baptism until they should return to their homes. LS 226.3

Monday evening I stood in the stand at a tent meeting in progress at Danvers, Mass. A large congregation was before me. I was too weary to arrange my thoughts in connected words; I felt that I must have help, and asked for it with my whole heart. I knew if any degree of success attended my labors, it would be through the strength of the Mighty One. LS 226.4

The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me as I attempted to speak. Like a shock of electricity I felt it upon my heart, and all pain was instantly removed. I had suffered great pain in the nerves centering in the brain; this also was entirely removed. My irritated throat and sore lungs were relieved. My left arm and hand had become nearly useless in consequence of pain in my heart; but natural feeling was now restored. My mind was clear; my soul was full of the light and love of God. Angels of God seemed to be on every side, like a wall of fire. LS 227.1

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. LS 227.2

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 was one of the best camp meetings I ever attended. LS 227.3

In the afternoon Elder Haskell took us in his carriage, and we started for South Lancaster, to rest at his home for a time. LS 227.4

We decided to travel by private conveyance a part of the way to the Vermont camp meeting, as we thought this would be beneficial to my husband. At noon we would stop by the roadside, kindle a fire, prepare our lunch, and have a season of prayer. These precious hours spent in company with Brother and Sister Haskell, Sister Ings, and Sister Huntley, will never be forgotten. Our prayers went up to God all the way from South Lancaster to Vermont. After traveling three days, we took the cars, and thus completed our journey. LS 227.5

This meeting was of especial benefit to the cause in Vermont. The Lord gave me strength to speak to the people as often as once each day. LS 228.1

We went directly from Vermont to the New York camp meeting. The Lord gave me great freedom in speaking to the people. But some were not prepared to be benefited by the meeting. They failed to realize their condition, and did not seek the Lord earnestly, confessing their backslidings and putting away their sins. One of the great objects of holding camp meetings is that our brethren may feel their danger of being overcharged with the cares of this life. A great loss is sustained when these privileges are not improved. LS 228.2