The Review and Herald

492/1902

July 23, 1889

Camp-Meeting at Ottawa, Kansas

EGW

We left Battle Creek, Mich., May 6, 1889, to attend the camp-meeting at Ottawa, Kan. After a pleasant and profitable visit with our friends at the Chicago mission, and a lay-over of five hours at Lawrence, Kan., we arrived at Forest Park, Ottawa, at eight o'clock, Tuesday evening. The worker's meeting had been in progress several days. Through the kindness of Bro. and sister Rousseau, who gave up their nicely furnished tent for our accommodation, we were pleasantly situated throughout the meeting. RH July 23, 1889, par. 1

The atmosphere was oppressive, and my heart was in so weak a condition that it was difficult for me to speak to the people. My continual prayer to God was, “Give me physical strength, mental clearness, and spiritual power, that through thy grace I may be a blessing to the people.” The words, “Look unto me, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth,” were very precious to me. I felt that I needed to be saved, to be healed physically, to be strengthened mentally, to be invigorated spiritually, that I might help those who were assembled to worship God. RH July 23, 1889, par. 2

There are powerful agencies continually at work to oppose those who are sent with messages of warning, reproof, or encouragement to the people of God, to strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. Satan is continually seeking to defeat the purpose of God, and he has his agents, who are blinded to the results of their evil course, by which he works to accomplish his designs. RH July 23, 1889, par. 3

There is danger that our brethren and sisters will become careless, and will be blinded to their spiritual needs, so that they will not be on their guard at these general meetings; and when they should grow strong by accepting light, they will become weak by refusing it, because they neglect to watch and pray. Wherever the people of God are assembled, Satan and his angels are found to exercise their power through human agencies. If the evil one can find one soul open to his suggestions, he presses his advantage. When earthly tendencies control the mind, the spiritual nature is benumbed, and men, “seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” The natural current of the thought is not spiritual, and it is difficult for those whose minds are open to suspicion, evil surmisings, envy, and unbelief, to receive the truth, or to be impressed with the message of God. RH July 23, 1889, par. 4

Satan finds ample opportunity to sow tares in the soil that is all prepared for the seed. If he can secure for his agents those who know the truth, through them he can come to others who have assembled to worship God, and the seeds of unbelief cherished in one mind, will find an entrance into the minds of many others. But although Satan may work diligently, we need not be discouraged; for the Captain of the Lord's host has said. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth;” “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world;” “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” RH July 23, 1889, par. 5

When the Lord gives us a work to do, if we do it in his fear, it will be wholly acceptable to God. Not one jot or tittle of his promises will fail to those who act their part with fidelity, who live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. We are to believe and obey the commandments of God. I have to fight many battles with the powers of darkness, that I may not yield to infirmities, and give up aggressive warfare for the cause of truth. I praise God that I have been enabled to look to Jesus, and go forward in my work when my feelings were opposed to the effort; and I bear testimony to the glory of God that his promises have not been like sliding sand to my feet, but as solid rock and a sure foundation. None of his words have failed. RH July 23, 1889, par. 6

I was never more certain that the Lord strengthened me, than at the Kansan meeting. Brn. A. T. and D. T. Jones, and others, had wrought perseveringly to impress the people with the truth, but it seemed difficult for the people to realize the necessity of exercising living faith. In a vision of the night, my work was laid open before me, and though weak and faint and trembling, I attempted to follow the directions given. No one but myself can know how difficult it was for me to engage in the work when my heart was in so feeble a condition. But the comforting assurance came to me, “Fear not, I am with thee. I have a message which must come to this people.” And strength was given me to every effort. At times I was greatly depressed in spirit, and on leaving my tent I would struggle with weakness; but as I stood before the people, strength, freedom, and power from God rested upon me, and I could say with assurance, “I know whom I have believed.” I knew that God alone could accomplish the work that was necessary to be done at this meeting. Christ has said, “Without me, ye can do nothing.” How vain are the wisdom and help of man! RH July 23, 1889, par. 7

I greatly feared that the work so essential to be done for the people assembled, would not be accomplished. The prince of darkness exerts his power in every conceivable manner to keep the moral sensibilities of our people paralyzed, that he may hold them under his control to support his cause. He watches every opportunity to work upon human minds, that he may influence them to serve his interest. He seeks to hold men in spiritual blindness, that they may not discern the voice of the True Shepherd. RH July 23, 1889, par. 8

At the Kansas meeting my prayer to God was, that the power of the enemy might be broken, and that the people who had been in darkness might open their hearts and minds to the message that God should send them, that they might see the truth, new to many minds, as old truth in new frame-work. The understanding of the people of God has been blinded; for Satan has misrepresented the character of God. Our good and gracious Lord has been presented before the people clothed in the attributes of Satan, and men and women who have been seeking for truth, have so long regarded God in a false light that it is difficult to dispel the cloud that obscures his glory from their view. Many have been living in an atmosphere of doubt, and it seems almost impossible for them to lay hold on the hope set before them in the gospel of Christ. RH July 23, 1889, par. 9

On Friday evening a heavy thunder-storm, with sharp lightnings, swept over the camp. We expected that this commotion in the atmosphere would purify the air; and as I listened to the roll of the thunder, my soul earnestly desired that the power of God might be displayed among the people, that the moral atmosphere also might be purified. On Sabbath, truths were presented that were new to the majority of the congregation. Things new and old were brought forth from the treasure-house of God's word. Truths were revealed which the people were scarcely able to comprehend and appropriate. Light flashed from the oracles of God in relation to the law and the gospel, in relation to the fact that Christ is our righteousness, which seemed to souls who were hungry for truth, as light too precious to be received. But the labors of the Sabbath were not in vain. On Sunday morning there was decided evidence that the Spirit of God was working great changes in the moral and spiritual condition of those assembled. There was a surrendering of the mind and heart to God, and precious testimonies were borne by those who had long been in darkness. One brother spoke of the struggle that he had experienced before he could receive the good news that Christ is our righteousness. The conflict was severe, but the Lord was at work with him, and his mind was changed, and his strength renewed. The Lord presented the truth before him in clear lines, revealing the fact that Christ alone is the source of all hope and salvation. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” RH July 23, 1889, par. 10

One of our young ministering brethren said that he had enjoyed more of the blessing and love of God during that meeting than in all his life before. Another stated that the trials, perplexities, and conflicts which he had endured in his mind had been of such a character that he had been tempted to give up everything. He had felt that there was no hope for him, unless he could obtain more of the grace of Christ; but through the influence of the meetings he had experienced a change of heart, and had a better knowledge of salvation through faith in Christ. He saw that it was his privilege to be justified by faith; he had peace with God, and with tears confessed what relief and blessing had come to his soul. At every social meeting, many testimonies were borne as to the peace, comfort, and joy the people had found in receiving light. RH July 23, 1889, par. 11

We thank the Lord with all the heart that we have precious light to present before the people, and we rejoice that we have a message for this time which is present truth. The tidings that Christ is our righteousness has brought relief to many, many souls, and God says to his people, “Go forward.” The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to our condition. How plainly is pictured the position of those who think they have all the truth, who take pride in their knowledge of the word of God, while its sanctifying power has not been felt in their lives. The fervor of the love of God is wanting in their hearts, but it is this very fervor of love that makes God's people the light of the world. The True Witness says of a cold, lifeless, Christless church, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Mark the following words: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Here is represented a people who pride themselves in their possession of spiritual knowledge and advantages. But they have not responded to the unmerited blessings that God has bestowed upon them. They have been full of rebellion, ingratitude, and forgetfulness of God; and still he has dealt with them as a loving, forgiving father deals with an ungrateful, wayward son. They have resisted his grace, abused his privileges, slighted his opportunities, and have been satisfied to sink down in contentment, in lamentable ingratitude, hollow formalism, and hypocritical insincerity. With Pharisaic pride they have vaunted themselves till it has been said of them, “Thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” RH July 23, 1889, par. 12

Has not the Lord Jesus sent message after message of rebuke, of warning, of entreaty to these self-satisfied ones? Have not his counsels been despised and rejected? Have not his delegated messengers been treated with scorn, and their words been received as idle tales? Christ sees that which man does not see. He sees the sins which, if not repented of, will exhaust the patience of a long-suffering God. Christ cannot take up the names of those who are satisfied in their own self-sufficiency. He cannot importune in behalf of a people who feel no need of his help, who claim to know and possess everything. RH July 23, 1889, par. 13

The great Redeemer represents himself as a heavenly merchantman, laden with riches, calling from house to house, presenting his priceless goods, and saying, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” RH July 23, 1889, par. 14

Let us consider our condition before God; let us heed the counsel of the True Witness. Let none of us be filled with prejudice, as were the Jews, that light may not come into our hearts. Let it not be necessary for Christ to say of us as he did of them, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” RH July 23, 1889, par. 15

In every meeting since the General Conference, souls have eagerly accepted the precious message of the righteousness of Christ. We thank God that there are souls who realize that they are in need of something which they do not possess,—gold of faith and love, white raiment of Christ's righteousness, eye-salve of spiritual discernment. If you possess these precious gifts, the temple of the human soul will not be like a desecrated shrine. Brethren and sisters, I call upon you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to work where God works. Now is the day of gracious opportunity and privilege. Let not one be a traitor to holy, sacred trusts, as were the Jews. Resist not grace, abuse not privileges, smother not in your human pride the convictions of the Spirit of God. Despise not warnings, settle not down in hardness of heart, in confirmed impenitence, as did Pharaoh, the rebellious king of Egypt. Let every one listen to the voice of the True Shepherd, and not only hear but obey, and it will be well with your soul. RH July 23, 1889, par. 16