Ellen G. White Writings

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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598], Page 241

MR No. 1550—Oregon's Camp Meeting and Ministerial Needs in 1878

(Written June 27 and 28, 1878, from the campground at Salem, Oregon, to James White. At this time Salem was the largest city in the Northwest, with a population of about 6,000.)

Your card came yesterday. Glad to learn that you were as well as could be expected. I am in some respects improving in health. The meeting opened this morning at six o'clock. We did not get upon the ground till the ten o'clock meeting. Elder Loughborough spoke from these words: “What think ye, that He will not come to the feast?” John 11:56. I was not present. In the afternoon I addressed the people with freedom.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Brother Maxson and wife, and Sister Wood, their daughter. Brother Maxson is a very pleasant-appearing old man. His wife does not bear so pleasing an appearance, but they say she is a very good-hearted woman. This looks like a small meeting indeed, compared with our camp meetings [in the] East. But the people here think it is a big thing.

I see and feel that although Brother Van Horn is an excellent man he lacks the qualifications for a successful laborer. He is slow and dull. He is, I think, affected with heart difficulty. At any rate, there should be a man to connect with him who is energetic and thorough in financial ability. He does not discern good opportunities and seize them, making the most of the situation. I tell you there is a serious lack. If anything is accomplished here in Oregon in the future, some man must come here who is quick to see and understand the wants of the cause.

No one has made a word of complaint of Brother Van Horn, but I see his deficiencies. Someone must connect with him of altogether a different organization. There is one universal testimony, that Brother Van Horn is a good man. His discourses, they say, are pure and elevated; as a speaker he cannot be excelled. But I see great need of qualifications that he has not, and never will have.

Brother Waggoner was highly esteemed on this coast and should not have left. If Brother Jones could have the right starting in, he would make a promising young man, but here again I fear he will not commence right and be balanced by experienced laborers. Brother Jones is young and needs to be molded. He is a conscientious young man; he feels deeply and is sensitive. All these peculiarities are good, but need to be balanced aright. There is no one here to teach him—no one that he can look to for education or example.

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