The Review and Herald


April 18, 1899

The Newcastle Camp-Meeting


There were no business meetings held at the Newcastle camp-meeting; therefore the people were free to devote their whole time to the spiritual interests of the meeting. The annual session of the Conference had been held in the winter, just after the week of prayer; and the matter of raising funds for the school, the sanitarium, and the health food factory had been presented to all the churches a few weeks before. This gave to the ministers and the people time to study the Word, time to meditate, and opportunity to converse with those who visited the camp. It also left us free to organize strong companies of workers to go out during the camp-meeting into Newcastle and its various suburbs to distribute literature, and invite people to the meetings. By this means, hundreds of persons were secured as regular attendants during the last half of the meeting, who might otherwise have thought little about it. RH April 18, 1899, par. 1

The responsibilities of the meeting were wisely distributed among many workers, so none were borne down by a crushing load. Brethren Daniells, Tenney, Colcord, and Starr spoke to the large audiences in the evenings. I usually attended the morning meetings, and spoke in the afternoon four times each week. Brethren Tenney and Lacey conducted daily meetings with the young people. The Bible studies on practical lessons given at these meetings were greatly appreciated; and before the camp-meeting closed, many of our young people took advanced steps in consecration. Bible studies were conducted in the large tent each day by Brethren Starr, Tenney, and Robinson. RH April 18, 1899, par. 2

Lectures on health topics were given almost every day at five o'clock in the afternoon, by Dr. Caro and Brethren Semmens and Reekie. These lectures awakened a great interest, and led to the organization of a large health club. This work, if properly followed, should result in the establishment of a well-organized medical mission in Newcastle. But where can we look for the workers to conduct it, without weakening our work in Sydney? Our Sanitarium in Sydney ought to be put on such a footing that it could establish branches in other cities; and we pray earnestly that it may receive the support which the character of its work demands. RH April 18, 1899, par. 3

Children's meetings were organized and led by Sister S. E. Peck, assisted by efficient Sabbath-school workers. A large number of children attended daily, but they were so quiet and orderly that by many their presence in the camp was hardly noticed. They seemed enthusiastic in their enjoyment of the meetings, and they exerted a strong influence for the encouragement of their parents to attend. I will give a brief outline of the work done, as written out by one who had a part in it. RH April 18, 1899, par. 4

The Children's Work

In the work done with and for the children at this meeting, an effort was made not only to help them, but to instruct and aid those who had been working, and others who wished a preparation for work, with the children in our Sabbath-schools. RH April 18, 1899, par. 5

With this in view, on the first Sabbath the children were organized into departments and classes, and the teachers began their work. Each day the teachers met for counsel and instruction. A part of the time of these meetings was devoted to a consideration of such subjects as RH April 18, 1899, par. 6

What Makes a Successful Teacher.
How to Secure Well-learned Lessons.
Value and Danger of Object-lessons.
Need of Order, and How to Secure It.
Use of the Blackboard.
RH April 18, 1899, par. 7

The rest of the time was given to a careful study of the lesson to be given to the children. RH April 18, 1899, par. 8

The subjects of the lessons given were as follows: RH April 18, 1899, par. 9

“Make Straight Paths for Your Feet.”
Parable of the Houses on the Rock and on the Sand.
Parable of the Good Samaritan.
“ ” “Prodigal Son.
“ ” “Sower.
     Sabbath, December 31, 1898.
The Sabbath-school Lesson.
Song Service.
A Happy New Year, and How to Make It.
The Evils of Small Sins.
Parable of the Tares.
Parable of the Lost Sheep.
God's Record Books and the Book of Life.
The New Jerusalem.
The Sabbath-school Lesson.
“The Candle Sermon:” “Ye are the Light of the World.”
A Lesson from Flowers and Fruit.
RH April 18, 1899, par. 10

The motto for the first week was, “This Week for Jesus;” at the beginning of the second week, it was changed to, “This Year for Jesus.” RH April 18, 1899, par. 11

At the beginning of the work, there were six children in the primary department and about fifteen in the kindergarten. As soon as the children living in the surrounding neighborhood learned of the meetings being held for them, they began to attend, and each day found from twenty to thirty new ones added to our classes. The average daily attendance from the outside was between eighty and one hundred, and most of the children were very regular. The same spirit of earnestness, attention, and order which characterized the services among the older ones, marked the children's meetings. Both in the class work and in the general review exercises the work was so arranged that the children had a part in doing as well as listening, and in this way they soon felt at home, and their eagerness to bear some part in the work testified to their interest. RH April 18, 1899, par. 12

Each lesson opened with a general exercise, which was followed by the class studies; and at the close all reassembled for a brief review and song. In the opening exercises, after the song and prayer, the motto and all the memory verses previously learned were recited, either in concert or individually, or both. A short, appropriate reading or recitation was given by one of the children who had previously volunteered to prepare it. The “Scripture alphabet” was learned and recited by the children, each choosing his own letter and verse. The selection and learning of the verses were done at home, and these responsibilities placed upon the children proved an additional incentive for them to be present the following day, and to be regular in attendance. RH April 18, 1899, par. 13

The ready responses in the review exercises testified that the interest in class work had been marked, and that many valuable truths had found their way into the minds and hearts of the children. As the children returned to their homes, the parents were surprised and pleased to hear them repeat the whole lesson. Many parents expressed, in various ways, their appreciation of the work that had been done for the children, and regretted that we must leave so soon. RH April 18, 1899, par. 14

Several teachers from Sunday-schools attended the meetings, and expressed themselves as greatly pleased and benefited by the work done. One gentleman, a Sunday-school superintendent, came on the grounds at the first of the meeting, as he afterward said, discouraged with his own work, and with a feeling of opposition to ours. He attended the children's and teachers’ meetings regularly, and said that he gradually felt all his opposition leaving him, and found himself in hearty sympathy with our work. Before he had attended three lessons, he said he would like to become one of us; for he could feel a power present which he did not know among his own people. RH April 18, 1899, par. 15

Parents sometimes came with their children, and seemed as much interested as the little ones. Others, though not in harmony with our views, took the trouble neatly to dress their children, and allowed them to come. Some parents remarked that they did not know what we did with their children, but that one thing was certain,—the children would come, and they could not keep them at home. Some of the children came long distances, and we have every reason to believe that much of the seed sown fell into good ground. RH April 18, 1899, par. 16

Closing Work of the Meeting

On the second Sabbath the revival work was continued. After the morning service an appeal was made to the unconverted and those who desired to renew their connection with God. A large number responded. Then the congregation separated, those who were seeking a new experience being invited to another tent for prayer and counsel, while the rest of the congregation remained to engage in prayer for them. The effort was greatly blessed. To many it did indeed seem to mark the beginning of a new life. RH April 18, 1899, par. 17

On the evening after the third Sabbath, Dr. Caro spoke to nearly three thousand persons on the subject, “The Man and the Habit.” The lecture was illustrated by lime-light views showing the terrible power of habit as seen in the downward course of the drunkard, from the innocent child to the sin-hardened criminal. Solemn and instructive was this object-lesson. The effects of the tobacco curse, the liquor curse, the opium curse, were vividly portrayed. Then a powerful appeal was made for the shielding of the youth from evil associations, and for the offer of a helping hand to the tempted and the fallen. At the close, several hymns—“God Be with You till We Meet Again,” and others—were shown on the screen, and sung by the whole audience, with an earnestness and feeling that made my heart glad. RH April 18, 1899, par. 18

I never before attended a camp-meeting where it seemed so much as if the stately tread of the mighty host of heaven was among us. Newcastle with all its suburbs is deeply moved, and the interest extends to other towns and cities. Several ministers and workers are to remain here, and meetings will be continued in the large tent. We pray for an abundant harvest from the seed that has been sown. RH April 18, 1899, par. 19