The Review and Herald

125/1902

August 23, 1877

Indiana Camp-Meeting

EGW

Kokomo, Ind., August 14

This meeting has been one of the largest and most successful ever held by our people in this State. Twenty-six tents were on the ground, and three hundred of the brethren and sisters were assembled together. The camp was well located in a beech grove, quite open on the ground, but canopied by interlacing branches that formed a natural roof of leaves, so dense that during a slight shower, scarcely a drop of rain sifted through, and not a parasol or umbrella was raised while the sun was shining. The weather was generally favorable, excepting on the Sabbath, when a heavy rain storm interrupted the sermon of Eld. S. H. Lane, in the forenoon, and broke up the meeting for the time. In the afternoon, the people assembled under the large tent, and we spoke to them on the subject of Peter's ladder of sanctification, making temperance a prominent point in the discourse. We had the very best attention throughout. The tent was crowded, quite a large representation being from the city of Kokomo. RH August 23, 1877, par. 1

As we looked upon the people assembled in camp, and then remembered the first camp-meeting we ever attended in Indiana, we could not forbear saying, “What hath the Lord wrought?” It was a very small company that were then gathered together, not numbering more than fifty believers; and the appearance was not at all encouraging for missionary labor in that field. But we were now rejoiced to see over three hundred believers encamped upon the ground; and we have not met at any of our camp-meetings a more intelligent, earnest, and truth-loving people than in Indiana. Many of them are persons of education and influence. RH August 23, 1877, par. 2

The truth has been handled successfully here, demonstrating what can be done, through divine help, by earnest and persistent effort. The refining influence that the truth has upon the life and character of those who receive it, was exemplified very strongly here. While speaking, we asked those to arise who had been addicted to the use of tobacco, but had entirely discontinued its use because of the light they had received through the truth. In response, between thirty-five and forty arose to their feet, ten or twelve of whom were women. We then invited those to rise who had been told by physicians that it would be fatal for them to stop the use of tobacco, because they had become so accustomed to its false stimulus that they would not be able to live without it. In reply, eight persons, whose countenances indicated health of mind and body, arose to their feet. RH August 23, 1877, par. 3

How wonderful is the sanctifying influence which this truth has upon the human life, making stanch temperance men of those who have indulged in tobacco, wine, and other fashionable dissipation. We here saw young men giving their hearts to God and becoming acquainted with the truths revealed in his Word. Many young men in this Conference will be workers in the cause of God. We formed a pleasant acquaintance with Dr. Hill and his wife. The latter has been an active worker in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Rochester. They have both accepted the truth, and were at the camp-meeting—the first one which he had attended for eighteen years. RH August 23, 1877, par. 4

The Conference meetings were excellent. Brethren and sisters were prompt in occupying the time. There was no necessity for urging faithfulness in bearing testimony. Frequently from two to four were on their feet at the same time. There was no shade of complaining, but nearly all expressed gratitude and joy that they had been privileged to hear and accept the truth. The testimonies were brief, full of life, and cheerful hope, and edifying to all who heard them. The influence of the Spirit of God was present, and the tearful eyes, and broken utterances of many indicated its softening effect upon their hearts. RH August 23, 1877, par. 5

The editor of the Kokomo Dispatch was on the ground upon the Sabbath. He afterward issued notices to the effect that we were to address the people on the subject of Christian Temperance, at the camp ground on Sunday afternoon. The day was pleasant, and the ground free from dust, because of the rain on the preceding day. Eld. Waggoner spoke with great freedom in the forenoon to a good congregation, on the subject of the Sabbath. Three excursion trains poured their living freight upon the grounds. The people here are very enthusiastic on the Temperance question. At 2:30 P.M. we spoke to about 8,000 people on the subject of Temperance, taken from a moral and Christian stand-point. We were blessed with remarkable clearness and liberty, and were heard with the best attention from the large audience present. RH August 23, 1877, par. 6

We left the beaten track of the popular lecturer, and traced the origin of the prevailing intemperance to the home, the family board, and the indulgence of appetite in the child. Stimulating food creates a desire for still stronger stimulants. The boy whose taste is thus vitiated, and who is not taught self-control, is the drunkard, or tobacco slave of later years. The subject was taken up upon this wide basis; and the duty of parents was pointed out in training their children to right views of life and its responsibilities, and in laying the foundation for their upright Christian characters. The great work of Temperance Reform, to be thoroughly successful, must begin in the home. RH August 23, 1877, par. 7

In the evening Eld. Waggoner spoke upon the Signs of the Times, to a large and attentive audience. Many remarked that this discourse, and his sermon upon the Sabbath, had awakened new thoughts in their minds, and that they were determined to investigate these subjects. RH August 23, 1877, par. 8

On Monday the meetings were of deep interest. We were suffering from congestion of the lungs, as the result of a severe cold, and feared the exercise of speaking would be injurious, but while addressing the people upon the trials and difficulties endured by the apostles in establishing the Christian Church, our weariness, and pain were forgotten, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon us, and upon many of our hearers. After speaking one hour and a half, we invited sinners and backsliders—all those who had not the evidence that they were connected with Heaven—to come forward and join their prayers with those of God's people. Fifty responded to the invitation, fifteen of whom there made their first start in the Christian life. An unusual solemnity rested upon the congregation, while persuasive appeals were being made to seek salvation. The seasons of prayer were earnest. The Saviour of sinners seemed to be in our midst, compassionately inviting: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” RH August 23, 1877, par. 9

Those who came forward were given opportunity to speak if they desired to do so. Many bore testimonies that they were for the first time seeking the Saviour. Two young ladies, who were sisters, lifted the cross, and expressed a determination to commence a new life. It was indeed an interesting sight. Christ says, “There is more joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance.” With quivering lips and tearful eyes many confessed their backslidings, and their firm resolve to return to the Lord, that he might return unto them, and heal all their backslidings. An appointment was then made for those who were seeking the Saviour to meet in one of the tents for special labor in their behalf. This meeting was one of the best of its kind that we ever witnessed. The seekers all sought the Lord for themselves, presenting their petitions to the pitying, sin-pardoning Saviour. RH August 23, 1877, par. 10

A most interesting feature of this meeting was the case of a daughter of Bro. and sister Hill, a mute of sixteen years of age. She united with the supplicating ones, and prayed by signs; it was a most solemn and impressive sight. Fifteen were baptized, among them Dr. and Mrs. Hill, and their mute daughter. Quite a number in addition will be baptized upon their return home. Tuesday morning Bro. Bartlett was ordained to the ministry. The meeting upon the occasion was a very precious season. The Lord placed his signet upon the work, and blessed Bro. Bartlett, and Brn. Waggoner and Lane, who officiated at his ordination. RH August 23, 1877, par. 11

Mrs. Ellen G. White.