The Signs of the Times


October 5, 1876

Camp-Meeting in Indiana


Peru, Ind., September 14, 1876.—The camp-meeting in this place has been one of the best we have attended this season. There was quite a good representation of our brethren, although we learned that many were detained at home because of sickness. The meeting had been in progress two days when we came upon the ground. Sabbath morning the prayer and conference meetings were very interesting. Sabbath forenoon my husband spoke with freedom upon the subject of faith. Luke 12:1. ST October 5, 1876, par. 1

In the afternoon I spoke to the people upon the barren fig-tree. It stood forth among the leafless trees with its apparently flourishing branches far in advance of all other trees. Christ sought for fruit upon this tree from the topmost bough to the lowest branches, but finding nothing but leaves, he passed an irrevocable sentence of doom upon it. ST October 5, 1876, par. 2

Christ invests the fig-tree with moral qualities, and makes it the expositor of divine truth that he may teach a lesson to his disciples, and not only to them but to all who should believe on the Word. Many, like the portentous fig-tree, make high profession of godliness, but bear no fruit to the glory of God. They have not responded to the sacred influences which God has given them. Opportunities have been unimproved, blessings have been unappreciated, warnings and reproofs have been rejected. The fostering love and care of the Redeemer has been unrequited, and like the barren fig-tree they stand forth fruitless, having nothing but leaves. ST October 5, 1876, par. 3

The word seemed to reach hearts. I then invited those who had never identified themselves with the people of God, and backsliders, and those who felt that they must have a new conversion, to come forward. Seventy-five responded to the call. My husband spoke with great freedom and power to the people, and addressed those who came forward particularly in regard to their having faith in the promises of God. He dwelt upon the simplicity of faith. Opportunity was given for all who wished to speak to relieve their minds. Many testimonies of confession were borne, well wet down with tears. A number stated that this was the first Sabbath they had kept. Others said they were making a start to serve God and had come forward for the first time. Very deep feeling pervaded the meeting. My husband led in prayer, and his faith fastened upon the throne of God. Heaven seemed to be very near. Praying and weeping was mingled, and earnest, agonizing prayer went forth from unfeigned lips. The solemn power of God rested upon the company bowed in humiliation before him. I thought of the day of Pentecost, when the power of God came upon the worshipers like a mighty, rushing wind. I have not witnessed such an exhibition of the manifest power of God for years. There was no wild fanaticism, but a sweet, soft, subduing spirit, bringing the entire company in harmony with Heaven. There were no wild, unintelligible shrieks, but the praise of God was upon almost every lip. ST October 5, 1876, par. 4

Testimonies were universally borne that they never had realized the blessing of God as upon this occasion. And who could doubt it. Their countenances were all aglow with the reflection of the light beams of the Sun of Righteousness. It was sunshine and rain; tears were bedewing the cheeks that were illuminated by the Sun of Peace. The scene will never be effaced from my memory. The setting sun in his mellow radiance reflected through the opening of the trees directly in the center of the congregation, sifting its gleam of glorifying light upon the happy company who were assembled. The light of the setting sun mingling with the light borrowed of Heaven made this a hallowed spot, a little Heaven below. ST October 5, 1876, par. 5

We assembled at the stand at half-past two in the afternoon and remained there until half-past six. All felt reluctant to leave the place made so sacred by the presence of God. ST October 5, 1876, par. 6

Eld. Canright spoke in the evening upon the Sleep of the Dead. He spoke with great clearness and perfect freedom. Sunday morning he again spoke upon the Sabbath question, and many testified that they never heard the subject presented with such clearness. At half-past one my husband took the stand, speaking with freedom upon the reasons of our faith and hope. The gathering was large for the place, and the audience seemed charmed by the new and startling facts of truth brought before them. Men of repute from Peru who listened to the two discourses stated that an overwhelming array of argument had been presented in favor of the Sabbath which had knocked the last prop for the sacred observance of Sunday from beneath them. ST October 5, 1876, par. 7

At half-past two I spoke upon the subject of Temperance, taking for my text Revelation 3:21: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” ST October 5, 1876, par. 8

The congregation listened with solemn interest as I dwelt upon the neglected duties of mothers in educating and training their children for the better life, and the necessity of fathers acting their part in teaching the children. Many fathers excuse themselves by saying that they have no time to devote to their children. But the time squandered daily in smoking might be made of highest value to their children in giving them important lessons and in becoming acquainted with them. Tobacco and liquor lie at the foundation of a large share of the crime and violence that is polluting our world. I pointed them to Jesus, their Redeemer, who commenced the work of redemption where the ruin began on the part of appetite. ST October 5, 1876, par. 9

After the meeting closed, Bro. Weber, a man of good repute in the city of Rochester, who attended our camp-meeting in Kokomo two years since, related his interesting experience, dating from that meeting. He stated that he had used tobacco for forty years, commencing its use when a child. His father and mother used it, and he thought it would cost him his life to give it up. But when I was speaking upon the evils of the indulgence of appetite for tobacco, strong convictions of the sinfulness of this indulgence forced themselves upon him, and he threw his tobacco from him with the determination never to taste or handle it again. He experienced a severe struggle, but through the strength of Jesus overcame the appetite so that it is now very offensive to him. This brother feels deeply grateful to God that he can stand forth, in the strength of his God-given manhood, free from the slavery of appetite. ST October 5, 1876, par. 10

E. G. White.