The Review and Herald


May 18, 1876

The Sparta Camp-Meeting


We arrived at the camp-ground about 7 o'clock Wednesday evening, June 30, 1875. We found the meeting in a very pleasant place. Eleven tents were already up. The most of these tents were unusually large. It was yet early, and a large gathering of our people was expected. Our tent, kindly furnished us by our brethren at Monroe, was soon pitched and furnished, and we were again at home in our cotton house. RH May 18, 1876, par. 1

Our labors closed in Minnesota Wednesday morning. After riding from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. we were again upon camp-ground. We took a night's rest in our tent, and Thursday morning at 10 1/2 A.M. our labors commenced. Wednesday, while riding in the cars, we had not the privilege of resting. Eld. Smith, my husband, and myself, were all engaged in writing important matter while the train was moving swiftly onward. Attending camp-meetings every week leaves us no leisure time for rest and recuperation. Notwithstanding our weariness, we have good courage, and God has greatly blessed us with health, for which we feel deeply grateful to our Heavenly Father. RH May 18, 1876, par. 2

Bro. Smith spoke at the stand at 10 A.M., giving an appropriate discourse. RH May 18, 1876, par. 3

At 2 P.M. I read Matthew 18:1. I dwelt especially upon the necessity of humbling ourselves before God, and having our minds withdrawn from self, in sympathy and love for others. Especially should we engage in personal effort for those out of Christ. When self shall be submerged in Christ, then shall we walk in humbleness of mind, simplicity, and unselfishness, doing others good. It requires a thorough conversion to follow Jesus closely, a singleness of purpose, a purity of motive. RH May 18, 1876, par. 4

Friday, July 2, we had a conference meeting under the tent. After a prayer and singing, Bro. Sanborn bore a short testimony. Said he, “I love the precious truth, and the work of preparation necessary to insure eternal life. I have come to this meeting to get a fitting up, a renewal of the grace of God, that I may do his work acceptably. I am seeking the Lord for myself, and I desire to help others to seek him.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 5

A brother says, “I have peace and joy in my soul. I came to camp-meeting to get more of the love of God. I rejoice to see my brethren and sisters rejoicing in the truth and pressing their way to the happiness of Heaven. To those souls who are inquiring concerning our faith, I feel certain that if they really desire light, by which to see the truth and understand it for themselves, they may receive it, and be sanctified through it.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 6

A brother says, “I am thankful for this privilege. I, too, am seeking the Lord. I have received great good since I came to this meeting.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 7

A Swedish sister says, “I am truly renewed since I came here. I feel strong in the faith. Jesus has paid me for coming, in giving me peace and love. I want to be a humble follower of Christ. I want the seal of God upon my forehead.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 8

A brother says, in much brokenness of spirit, “I am rejoiced to see so many of our faith testifying to the goodness of God. I feel the blessing of God in my heart. I want to glorify my Redeemer by doing good to others.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 9

A brother says, “I feel the presence of God in this meeting. I am trying to do my Father's will, and gladly yield to the obligations of his law. I rely upon the merits of the blood of Christ to save me from all sin.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 10

A brother says he has only been permitted to attend two of our yearly gatherings. He is trying to be an overcomer that he may have a part with God's children. He means to live a godly life before the world. RH May 18, 1876, par. 11

A brother says it is indeed a blessed privilege to enjoy the light of the truth. He has come a great way to attend this meeting, and wants to take home the spirit of his blessed Master. RH May 18, 1876, par. 12

A brother says it is good for him to be here. He has cause to be thankful that God has spared his life to meet his brethren here. Thank his holy name that he saw fit to show him where he was standing, and to point him to the way of life. Hereafter he will live close to Christ his Saviour. RH May 18, 1876, par. 13

A brother says that he is truly thankful he is on the Lord's side. It is in doing the will of God we gain strength; he has been blessed just according to his endeavor. There are blessings in store for each of us; for every sacrifice he has made in doing the will of God, he has realized the smile of his approval. This meeting will be a great blessing to the people assembled here, if they will consecrate themselves to God without reserve. He is thankful for the grace of God he has felt at this meeting; he wants to be meek, and contrite, and lowly of spirit, like his Saviour. He feels himself as nothing before God; in an instant he could blot him from the face of the earth; yet he permits him to live and enjoy the benefits of his mercy. He wants to glorify God and to draw near the blessed Saviour, ever drinking of his love. For twenty-six years he has traveled, and three times he has been around the world. He has beheld many of the wonderful works of God by the land and by the sea. The Lord has delivered him from many dangers on the great waters. He will love God; he will hope in his great mercy; he claims the blessed Jesus for his Saviour. RH May 18, 1876, par. 14

He would work while the day lasts. The Lord is blessed. His heart is filled with love to overflowing. He has received a great blessing while seeking God, and praying to him in secret. He is determined to take heed to his ways and not fail in zeal and earnestness. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me.” “Praise the Lord for his wonderful works to the children of men.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 15

A brother praises God for the promises given him. He has seen the light of precious truth. He has entire confidence in God. RH May 18, 1876, par. 16

A sister says this is the work of the Lord. She knows it by her own experience. God has been with her, amid trials and temptations; has strengthened her in every instance. She has been led to love God and his holy commandments, and her whole soul blesses his holy name. RH May 18, 1876, par. 17

An appropriate hymn was then sung:

“Come to the living waters come.
Obey your Maker's call,
Return ye weary wanderers home,
My grace is free for all.”
RH May 18, 1876, par. 18

Our second conference meeting commenced Thursday, at 9 a.m. While the rain was gently falling, we assembled under the canvas. After singing, and several prayers had been offered, we listened with deep interest to many excellent and cheering testimonies. RH May 18, 1876, par. 19

Bro. Decker said he wished the meeting to commence just where it left off the previous morning. He hoped that the young converts to the truth would be free to bear their testimony. He felt the rich blessing of God in his heart. He had enjoyed such fullness in Jesus that his spirit had been melted. He hoped each one present would be faithful during this meeting, and that its influence would be felt long afterwards. He trusted no one would experience a loss by neglecting duty. RH May 18, 1876, par. 20

A brother said he felt the power of God upon him. He had been using tobacco for years, had tried to overcome the habit, but had failed to do so. He scarcely knew which way to turn; finally he took his burden to the Lord in prayer. Jesus has said, “My grace is sufficient for you;” he had found these words true; he had overcome, in the name and strength of Jesus. The struggle was hard, but the victory was complete. Now he felt that he was clothed and in his right mind. Old things had passed away and all things had become new. He felt that he was washed clean in the blood of his Redeemer, and that the love of God was in his heart. RH May 18, 1876, par. 21

A brother said he wanted to become strong in the service of his Master; each day of his life he wanted to feel his approval. Time is short and the probationary period granted us here should be improved to the uttermost. He was sorry not to have set a better example before his associates. RH May 18, 1876, par. 22

A brother said, “I am old in years, but am a new convert to this faith. I did not coincide with the views held by this people until I had read their publications, comparing their doctrines with the Bible. I investigated the matter closely, with a desire to know the truth for myself; the Lord opened my eyes to the light of his word. I can now appreciate the love of God; I will always obey the truth, and do every thing I can for the cause, if I can at last be an heir of Heaven.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 23

A sister said she felt thankful for the camp-meeting; she wanted the blessing of God, that she might live out the truth. RH May 18, 1876, par. 24

A brother said he had newly come into the faith; light had entered his heart; he had clearly understood the third angel's message. He was full of praise to God for his goodness; he had received a great blessing upon this camp-ground. RH May 18, 1876, par. 25

A sister said she had long anticipated this meeting; she had come here for no idle purpose; she was earnestly seeking for entire consecration to the will of God. She desired meekness and lowliness of mind, that she might do her work acceptably to her Maker. RH May 18, 1876, par. 26

A sister said she had kept the commandments of God for one year and a half. It did her heart good to enjoy the blessings of this meeting. She wanted to be a Christian at home, living right every day before God, that when Jesus comes she may meet him in triumph. RH May 18, 1876, par. 27

A brother says, “I am thankful for this privilege of tenting on the ground. I feel a good degree of the Spirit in these meetings. I want my heart baptized with the Holy Spirit; I want to obey the precepts of God and faithfully follow out the teaching of the third angel's message, discharging my daily duties, and seeking to aid others in the way of life. I want light from Heaven to shine into my own heart, and from me to be diffused among my associates. I want to love God entirely and unreservedly.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 28

A sister said she rejoiced in the great goodness of the Lord. She loves the truth and the cause of God. His Spirit has been made manifest at this meeting. She had been greatly benefited by it. RH May 18, 1876, par. 29

A brother said he desired to testify to the goodness of God. This was the first camp-meeting in which he had ever taken a part. He had not enjoyed the peace of God till he came to this meeting. He was sorry his companion could not have been with him. Bless God for the light of the third angel's message; himself and many others would now be in utter darkness, ignorant of the great truth, but God had sent to them his servants, to teach them the great message of mercy; he could now work understandingly and in the strength of Jesus, and walk in uprightness before him. RH May 18, 1876, par. 30

A sister felt deeply grateful to God for the privilege of this meeting. She had gathered strength here to carry the light before her friends and neighbors. She knew she had neglected duty in many ways. She saw her sins as she had never seen them before. She was glad to feel the Spirit of God here. The truth was precious to her soul; it had led her to be desirous of glorifying Jesus. God was calling her. He had brought her from darkness to light. In one week he had taken from her four of her little children; they had been hurried from her sight; she had parted with them in agony of spirit. This providence had turned her from her infidelity; she was brought to see herself a sinner against the law. Before she could not see Christ, now she was a firm believer in this good faith. RH May 18, 1876, par. 31

Another sister said she had felt that the power of the Lord was in this meeting. She knew for herself that God is a rewarder of all who diligently seek him. RH May 18, 1876, par. 32

A brother said this was a good place to be in. He had felt to rejoice while listening to the cheering testimonies given at this meeting. This was indeed a feast to his soul. He wanted to be a witness for Jesus, a living witness for the truth. He wanted a home in Heaven when the redeemed shall return to Zion with joy and everlasting triumph. RH May 18, 1876, par. 33

A sister said the Lord was surely with us; she had never felt so much of his good Spirit before. She had received help at the Lodi Camp-meeting last year. She had been enabled to draw near to God since that meeting. She had tried, in the fear of the Lord, to submit her will to his; she had found a blessing, and her peace had been like a river. She wanted Jesus and the truth to be uppermost in her mind. She wished to be contented with her lot and to do every duty devolving upon her, that she might at last live with Jesus forever. RH May 18, 1876, par. 34

A brother says, “I feel that the Lord is good and greatly to be praised. His mercies are as enduring as eternity. If at last we are found to be the children of God, what an honor, what a privilege it will be to meet in that happy gathering above, where there will be no partings, no farewells ever spoken. Praise God for the good and great work he is doing, in bringing out souls into the light of the truth. My prayer is that God will move onward the glorious work. RH May 18, 1876, par. 35

A sister said she could truly say that it was good for her to be here. The Spirit of the Lord was in the meeting. She wanted to overcome all her defects of character and meet the pure and blessed in the kingdom of glory. RH May 18, 1876, par. 36

A brother said the Lord had done a great deal for him, but he had done but very little for the Lord. He had but little experience in this good work. He wanted to walk humbly, and closely follow his Redeemer. RH May 18, 1876, par. 37

A brother said he felt thankful for this meeting. He had already been richly repaid. He had listened with deep interest to the truth here spoken. He saw faults in himself that he had never before perceived, and this was what he wanted, to know his errors that he might correct them before it was too late. He wanted to love God more, and imitate the self-denial of Jesus, to be a perfect overcomer in his name. RH May 18, 1876, par. 38

A brother said he felt thankful that God was a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. He knew that his Spirit was here. He rejoiced in his love. He rejoiced that Jesus lives; he has said, “I will pray the Father for you.” He had prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” He rejoiced in the light of that truth. He wanted to lean more completely upon his Redeemer, the source of all his strength and his exceeding great reward. He came fifty-five miles to attend this meeting, and had been many times repaid for coming. The preaching that he had heard had put new life into him. He rejoiced in the truth; he wanted a more perfect understanding of it, that he might do his duty at home and among his neighbors. RH May 18, 1876, par. 39

A sister said she thanked her dear Saviour for the light she had received at this meeting. She understood better how to live the life of a Christian. She wanted to keep all the commandments of God and live in the faith of Jesus. RH May 18, 1876, par. 40

A brother said he wanted to be an overcomer. He wanted to worship God in spirit and in truth, and live in obedience to all God's commandments. He wanted to be sanctified in obeying the truth. He had been at a great distance from God; his besetting sins had separated him from his Redeemer. He wanted to put away from him all these sins. As he has been drawn nearer unto Jesus, he had felt his spirit respond to his efforts. Praise his dear name! RH May 18, 1876, par. 41

A sister said she had felt that the blessed Saviour was very near her. She was very grateful for the privileges of this meeting. She loved the Lord and loved the truth. She must be a devoted follower of the meek and lowly Jesus. RH May 18, 1876, par. 42

A youth said, “I want to be a child of God; pray for me, pray for our family, that we may have a home in Heaven.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 43

An aged brother said, “Beloved, my mother and my brethren, if Jesus’ little ones are here, then are they my relatives. One said to Jesus, long ago, ‘Thy mother and thy brethren desire to speak with thee.’ Jesus looked around upon his disciples and said, ‘Behold my mother and my brethren.’ The Saviour is speaking to us, saying, ‘My little ones, keep the Father's commandments: take up the cross and follow where I shall lead.’ I entreat you, my brethren, to be firmly established in the faith. Agrippa said unto Paul, ‘Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.’ Almost will never save any of us. Those who not only believe but obey the commandments of God, and rely upon the merits of the blood of Christ, will meet him with joy and triumph, when he comes in the clouds of Heaven.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 44

A sister, weeping, said, “I have two children; I want them to give their hearts to Jesus at this meeting. Bro. White said, Parents, come, and bring your children with you! I have brought mine with me, and I entreat your prayers that their hearts may be convicted and converted to the truth.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 45

A sister said she was very thankful for this blessed privilege. The Lord is good. He blesses her. She wants to humble herself under the hand of God, that she may be exalted in due time. RH May 18, 1876, par. 46

Another sister said she was still strong in the truth, striving, by the grace of God, to overcome her sins and gain eternal life, if it be by the loss of all other things. RH May 18, 1876, par. 47

Still another sister said she was striving to be a Christian. She had no desire to turn back, but wanted to follow her Saviour, humbly and fully. RH May 18, 1876, par. 48

Another sister said, “I am thankful for what my eyes behold and my ears hear and my heart feels. The mercies of God are indeed great. I have been sick and nigh unto death. I looked towards the camp-meeting and prayed, Lord, let me go! but nevertheless, do as thou pleasest with me; I was strengthened by the grace of God; and I endured the journey of seventy-five miles, and gained in strength all the way. I have been out to all the meetings and have been greatly blessed. We have heard precious truths; they are committed to our trust, and we should profit by them. I hope that I shall be prepared to live more humbly and be more zealous in the cause of God. When I hear from those who are young in the faith, I feel my unworthiness deeply, that I am so poor a follower of Jesus. But the Lord has done great things for us, whereof our hearts are glad. Praise his holy name!” RH May 18, 1876, par. 49

A sister said, “I want to have feeling and faith for others; I want to help my friends and neighbors, in the right way. I love to hear the testimonies of those who have recently embraced the truth; I am glad for the precious light that has filled my heart with hope and courage. Since I have come with this people, I have been greatly blessed. The truth that I have heard from the stand has done me great good. I want my children to be converted: they keep the Sabbath in form, but not in spirit. Pray for them.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 50

A sister said, “I am the Lord's. I love the dear Saviour. I have been blessed at this meeting. I want my ways to be right before God. I want a part in his kingdom.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 51

A sister said, “I have no temptation to yield the truth. I came to this meeting to gain strength and spirit. Thank God, I have been brought out of darkness into his marvelous light. The truth is precious to my soul.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 52

A sister said, “I feel it is my duty to acknowledge that this is a precious privilege to me. I felt that I must come to this meeting to gain instruction in the way of life. I cannot be left behind. I must have an interest in the resurrection. I want my name recorded in the book of life.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 53

A sister said, “I am glad to find a people who are keeping the commandments, in faith. I want to be one with them and meet the Lord in peace.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 54

A sister said, “This is the second camp-meeting I have attended; I feel thankful that I have received the blessing of God since I came here. I give thanks to the Lord for sparing the life of my husband. This is a heart-searching time. I used to think that I was sure of the kingdom, but since I have heard the third angel's message, I see of a truth where I was standing. I feel as nothing in the sight of the Lord. I rejoice that I have the light of this message. I feel that I must have hope and faith, and rely wholly upon my Redeemer, who can save to the uttermost.” RH May 18, 1876, par. 55

(To be continued.)