Ellen G. White Writings

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Camp-Meetings Their Object, and How to Conduct Them, Page 15

only a small margin of time and effort remains in which to treat of the practical relation of truth to the soul. Ministers are diverted from their work of building up the children of God in the most holy faith, and the camp-meeting does not meet the end for which it was appointed. Many meetings are conducted in which the larger number of the people have little interest, and if they could attend them all, they would go away wearied instead of being refreshed and benefitted. Many are thus disappointed at the failure of their expectation to receive help from the camp-meeting. Those who came for enlightenment and strength return to their homes little better fitted to work in their families and churches than before attending the meeting.

Business matters should be attended to by those specially appointed for this work, and, so far as possible, they should be brought before the people at some other time than the camp-meeting. Instruction in canvassing, in Sabbath-school work, and in the details of tract and missionary work, should be given in the home churches or in meetings specially appointed. The same principle applies to cooking-schools. While these are right in their place, they should not occupy the time at the camp-meeting.

The presidents of conferences and the ministers should give themselves to the spiritual interests of the people, and should, therefore, be excused from the mechanical labour attendant upon the camp-meeting. The ministers should be ready to act as teachers and leaders in the work of the camp when needed, but they should not be wearied out. They should feel refreshed, and be in a cheerful frame of mind; for this is essential for the best good of the meeting. They should be able to speak words of cheer and courage, and to drop seeds of spiritual truth into the soil of honest

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