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    October 28, 1886

    “California Camp-Meeting” The Signs of the Times, 12, 41.

    E. J. Waggoner

    This meeting was the largest and the best camp-meetings ever held in this State. Such is the universal verdict. Indeed, all said that it was the best camp-meeting they had ever attended. It was located just outside the limits of the city of Woodland, in a field, which the owner, not an Adventist, kindly granted free of charge. The Woodland Water Company furnished water for the camp, free. This was no small item in the saving of expense. Very much smaller meetings, for one-half the time, have often paid sixty dollars or more for water. The Puget Sound Lumber Company also greatly favored the camp, by taking back, without charge, all lumber that was not cut.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.1

    There were one hundred and eighty-five tents pitched, and about eight hundred people camped on the ground. There were more Sabbath-keepers who attended, as some came to the first part of the meeting and went home to allow others to come to the last part; but the average attendance was about eight hundred. The attendance from town was not large, except on the first Sunday. There would have been more present the second Sunday if it had not rained. Those who did attend were well pleased, and the meeting seemed to have a good impression on the community.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.2

    During the thirteen days’ meeting there were twenty-nine regular Bible-readings, besides several meetings for instruction in holding Bible-readings, twenty children’s meetings, six meetings of the Conference, four of the Tract and Missionary Society, three of the Sabbath-school Association, besides prayer and social meetings, teachers’ meetings, ministerial examinations, and class instruction in canvassing, and in keeping church, missionary, and Sabbath-school records.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.3

    The ministerial examinations were a new feature in this Conference, but were highly appreciated by all the ministers. The instruction given was most valuable, and we believe that the introduction of this feature will tend to greatly raise the standard of the ministry. In this connection we may say that there was never before so great a degree of harmony and brotherly love among the ministers as now. Never before was there so little of the spirit of criticism as during this meeting. This same may be said of the rank and file. This certainly augurs well for the future prosperity of the cause. During the entire camp-meeting we heard not an impatient word or an unkind allusion.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.4

    The business meetings were especially interesting. They were the most profitable meetings held. Those who stay away from business meetings, thinking of them uninteresting, deprive themselves of a great blessing. We are thankful that there were not many such at this camp-meeting. The business pertaining to the Conference and Tract Society was performed without the slightest discord. It was especially noticeable that in these meetings the entire congregation was often moved to tears. There was never before so deep an interest taken in the spread of the work, and the salvation of souls.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.5

    The addresses from Mrs. E. G. White, that were read at different times, added greatly to the success of the meeting. Her appeals for greater consecration and union had good effect; and as the nearness of the end was vividly set before the people, an increasing spirit of solemnity rested on the congregation. The fact that probation for sinners will soon end, and that the Lord is soon coming, seemed more real to very many than ever before. Heartfelt confessions were made, and as God’s tender mercy was manifest in Christ, was set forth, many were enabled to grasp by faith the living promises, and to go free in the Lord. The most encouraging feature was that almost from the first, individuals at the meetings in various parts of the camp would with tears of joy praise God for the blessing of sins forgiven. There was marked evidence throughout the meeting that the Spirit of the Lord was working.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.6

    The children’s meetings were very profitable, and the interest in them increased till the close. The average attendance at these meetings was about sixty. It was the aim of the leaders to give simple instruction in the great principles of the gospel. The little ones showed great interest in studying the Bible to learn both faith and duty, and the Spirit of the Lord made a deep impression on their hearts. During the meetings twenty-eight children gave their hearts to God, and there was every evidence that they were intelligently and hopefully converted. Several of these were baptized before they left camp, and others who had to leave will be baptized a home.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.7

    At three different times during the camp-meeting, efforts in behalf of the unconverted and backsliders were made in the large congregation. At each of these times from one hundred and fifty to two hundred came forward for prayers, and the most of these were labored with personally. At such a meeting on the last Sabbath, thirty-two arose in response to an inquiry as to how many had resolved at this meeting to keep the Sabbath. And the last Monday of the meeting thirty-four were baptized, and probably nearly as many more left the ground designing to be baptized at home at the first opportunity. Among those baptized was a young Chinese convert, who has been keeping the Sabbath for several months, having made considerable sacrifice to do so. We believe that he is the only Chinese Sabbath-keeper in the United States.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.8

    The Sabbath-schools on the two Sabbaths were interesting and profitable occasions. Lessons were well learned by both old and young. The class contributions for the two Sabbaths were $102.21.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.9

    The persons who were appointed to canvass for periodicals during the meetings, did their work well, and met with a good degree of success. The number of subscriptions taken was 314, classified as follows: For the SIGNS OF THE TIMES, 76; American Sentinel, 53; The Review and Herald, 19; Bible Echo, 22; Sabbath-School Worker, 72; Pacific Health Journal, 72. The sales at the bookstand amounted to something over $700.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.10

    On Sunday morning, October 17, Elder Haskell gave a little talk on the work in Australia, New Zealand, and Central Europe, and a letter was read from Brother W. C. White, giving an account of the progress of the work in Russia, and of the imprisonment and release of Elder Conradi. The wants of the cause in California were also briefly stated, and then those who felt that it would be a pleasure to assist the cause with their means, were asked to pledge. Only a general call was made, and there was absolutely no urging, yet in a short time over one hundred thousand dollars was pledged for home and foreign missions. There was one feature of this movement that is worthy of note. Heretofore the bulk of the money raised has been by the poor class, but these pledges were mostly by the more wealthy. To be sure much of this amount was pledged on condition of disposing of property, but there was a strong determination expressed by the wealthy brethren to sell, even at a sacrifice, and to give not only of their means, but themselves to the cause of God. These pledges were not made in a burst of enthusiasm, but were the deliberate action of cool-headed businessmen who knew what they were about, and no one who knows the people of California will doubt that every dollar pledged is good. These men and women have been successful in gathering together earthly treasure, and are now determined to have treasures in heaven.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.11

    Besides these pledges, quite an amount of each was contributed in small amounts by those who could not pledge; an organ valued at $125 was donated to the New Zealand Mission, $75 was contributed towards buying an organ for the Australian Mission, and a good cow was given to the San Francisco City Mission. These liberal contributions were only the natural result of the good meetings which had preceded, and of the conviction that the end of all things is at hand, and that God is now saying to the servants, as to Moses of old, “Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.” At the close of this meeting the Doxology was sung with a heartiness that showed that the people felt blessed in the sacrifices which they had made.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.12

    Monday, October, baptism was attended to, and ministers were appointed to their various fields of labor. In the evening Elder A. T. Jones gave a stirring half hour talk on National Reform as it concerns Seventh-day Adventists. This was followed by a praise meeting of an hour, after which Brother R. S. Owen was set apart to the work of the gospel ministry, Elder Loughborough offering the prayer, and Elder Haskell giving the charge. Then the congregation united in singing, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” Thus closed the meeting which will never be forgotten by at least a large part of those who attended it, and whose influence will be felt in the work until the saints meet in the kingdom of God. W.SITI October 28, 1886, page 646.13

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