The Review and Herald

240/1902

November 27, 1883

Notes of Travel

The Maine Camp-Meeting

EGW

I attended the camp-meeting held at Waterville, Me., September 6-11. Here, in my native State I met dear brethren and sisters whose interest has for years been identified with the cause and work of present truth; but some precious ones who ever met us with joy, and whose thoughtful care we have often experienced on the camp-ground, we shall meet no more in this world. Bro. Barker, who sleeps in Jesus, is one of these. His active, busy life is ended. He was a care-taker, a burden-bearer. He did not spare himself; he did not shirk responsibilities. We missed him upon the ground. I could deeply sympathize with Sr. Barker. Since we last met, we had each laid a companion in the grave. But we will not sorrow as those who have no hope. If we are faithful, when the Lifegiver comes we shall meet our loved ones again, never more to be separated. A brighter morning will dawn for all who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory, honor, and immortality. If we are steadfast in the hour of trial, we shall at last win a crown of glory that will never pass away. This prospect should be to the people of God a sunbeam shining continually amid the darkness and dangers of these last days. RH November 27, 1883, par. 1

Sr. Umberhind, a faithful mother in Israel, has fallen. Her work is in one sense ended; yet her precious example, her deep interest in the truth, her words of hope and confidence and faith, will continue to live. Her works follow her. Three sisters, children of Sr. Umberhind, have fallen under the power of the fell destroyer; death has done his cruel work in these three families. RH November 27, 1883, par. 2

We here met our dear Sr. Temple, who has been bereaved of four of her children. We could scarcely wonder that the mother's heart was torn as branch after branch was broken from the family tree, or that the wound seemed to her almost incurable; but when we learned that her treasures had been laid away in hope,—that these dear ones had died loving the truth and trusting in Jesus,—we felt that in the mother's heart the bright beams of hope and joy should light up the dark night of sorrow. RH November 27, 1883, par. 3

The ways of Providence cannot always be read or traced; they appear inexplicable to the wounded, stricken heart. The words of Jesus, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter,” are applicable to these bereaved ones. If our loved ones have given their hearts to Jesus, there is cause for joy. It is impossible to tell what might be their future. Many families experience a grief that is worse than sorrow for the death of friends. When their children pursue a course that will bring shame upon their parents,—when they become impatient of restraint, break the ties which bind them to father and mother, and renounce the vows that held them in holy, happy allegiance to their Maker,—then there is sorrow indeed. “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” Let the bereaved Rachels be comforted; for their children shall “come again from the land of the enemy.” RH November 27, 1883, par. 4

I was much gratified to meet several of our brethren and sisters from Aroostook county. They strongly urged me to visit them, and had it not been for other camp-meetings that I felt it duty to attend, I should have been glad to comply with their request. I hope to be able to visit them at some future time. RH November 27, 1883, par. 5

We had some very precious seasons at this camp-meeting. Many cheering testimonies were borne; but there was not that thorough work which we greatly desired to have accomplished. My heart yearned to see some who were backslidden coming to the cross of Christ. These are not ignorant of the way. They have been wrought upon by the Spirit of Christ; they have become acquainted with the matchless charms which in my Saviour dwell; and now the voices once heard in praise and gratitude to God, are silent. Will these persons leave the blood- stained banner of Christ, and take their position under the black banner of Satan, and choose his service? In the soon-coming conflict, will they risk sharing the fate of the arch-deceiver? God forbid. Oh that these souls would heed the words of the inspired prophet: “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” RH November 27, 1883, par. 6

There were children of Sabbath-keeping parents who seemed to be indifferent. I could not see that they were moved, either by the presentation of truth or by appeals that were made by the messengers of God. There is a great lack somewhere, or these things would not be. If all were letting their light shine as Christ has enjoined upon his followers to do, it would be otherwise. It is not always an easy task to hold the fort when there are great odds against us. RH November 27, 1883, par. 7

Improvements can be made in our manner of conducting camp-meetings, so that all who attend may receive more direct labor. There are some social meetings held in the large tent, where all assemble for worship; but these are so large that only a small number can take part, and many speak so low that but few can hear them. By districting the encampment, so that several meetings, each in charge of a leader, will be held in selected tents, all may be benefited. On the Maine camp-ground, some meetings of this character were very interesting and profitable; in others, much of the precious time was occupied by the leader in doing the talking himself, while the people had but little opportunity. In one tent the leader occupied all the time except ten minutes, and that meeting was a failure. Did this brother love his neighbor as himself? In some instances much time was devoted to singing. There was a long hymn before prayer, a long hymn after prayer, and much singing interspersed all through the meeting. Thus golden moments were used unwisely, and not one-half the good was done that might have been realized had these precious seasons been properly managed. RH November 27, 1883, par. 8

There should be Bible-readings in place of some of the regular discourses; even outsiders will be benefited by them. Our people, who are expecting such great and important events soon to transpire, should know the reasons of their faith, that they may be able to give an answer to every man that shall ask them a reason for the hope which is in them with meekness and fear. In his word, God has revealed truths that will benefit his church. As a people, we should be earnest students of prophecy; we should not rest until we become intelligent in regard to the subject of the sanctuary, which is brought out in the visions of Daniel and John. This subject sheds great light on our present position and work, and gives us unmistakable proof that God has led us in our past experience. It explains our disappointment in 1844, showing us that the sanctuary to be cleansed was not the earth, as we had supposed, but that Christ then entered into the most holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and is there performing the closing work of his priestly office, in fulfillment of the words of the angel to the prophet Daniel, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” RH November 27, 1883, par. 9

Our faith in reference to the messages of the first, second, and third angels was correct. The great way-marks we have passed are immovable. Although the hosts of hell may try to tear them from their foundation, and triumph in the thought that they have succeeded, yet they do not succeed. These pillars of truth stand firm as the eternal hills, unmoved by all the efforts of men combined with those of Satan and his host. We can learn much, and should be constantly searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so. God's people are now to have their eyes fixed on the heavenly sanctuary, where the final ministration of our great High Priest in the work of the judgment is going forward,—where he is interceding for his people. RH November 27, 1883, par. 10

There are large numbers of those who profess the truth in Maine who need a great work done for them. When I see how great this work is, my heart is drawn out in earnest prayer that for these precious souls the death of Christ may not have been in vain. Dear brethren and sisters, do not neglect this work of preparation too long, but take hold of it now, and lose not a moment more of probationary time. The want of genuine faith in our churches is making them very weak. There is a kind of faith that takes it for granted that we have the truth; but the faith that takes God at his word, which works by love and purifies the heart, is very rare. All who profess the truth are not converted, although they may think they are. Some mistake transient emotions, ideas, and fancies, or resolutions formed in their own strength, for conversion. But faith is a living, abiding principle. Its object is truth,—divine, eternal, changeless truth. Genuine, saving faith is inseparable from repentance and conversion, and will manifest the fruits of the Spirit. It is a continual, conscious trust in Jesus. The sinner's only hope is in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. There is no resting in any efforts of our own, yet these efforts must be made. RH November 27, 1883, par. 11

We have a solemn message, and it is not intrusted to ministers alone. Men and women who will never be called to the ministry, may have a part to act in warning the world. They must let their light shine. There are young men in Maine whom God would accept to do work in his vineyard, but they feel no burden of responsibility. They have had light, they have had knowledge; but if they refuse to walk in the path of obedience, that precious light will become darkness to them. Let these children of Sabbath-keepers make haste to find a refuge from the storm which is soon to come upon our world. Satan has such a bewitching power upon their minds that they are beguiled from the faith; and unless there is an increase of zeal, a more intense love for Christ and for precious souls, on the part of experienced members of the church, they will themselves fail of the grace of God, and there is great danger that they will have their portion with unbelievers. RH November 27, 1883, par. 12

The lay members of the church must make effectual efforts for their children. Brethren and sisters, you may have the blessed satisfaction of seeing souls enter the school of Christ as learners and as laborers as the result of your earnest efforts. You cannot afford to be selfish, seeking merely to save your own souls, while you are indifferent in regard to other souls for whom Christ died; for through this indifference, you will fail to secure even your own salvation. But if the love of Christ be in you and abound, you will not be idlers in the vineyard of the Master, nor unfruitful branches of the living Vine. Go to work, you that have the light of truth, unselfishly, devotedly, earnestly, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. RH November 27, 1883, par. 13