At the camp meetings, workers are gathered from all parts of the field, and it seems a favorable opportunity for considering business matters connected with the various branches of the work and for the training of workers in different lines. All these different interests are important, but when they have been attended to at a camp meeting, but little opportunity remains for dealing with 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 no interest, and if they could attend them all they would go away wearied instead of being refreshed and benefited. Many are 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 especially appointed for this work. And as 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 all right in their place, they should not occupy the time of our camp meetings.
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 labor attendant upon the meeting. The ministers should be ready to act as teachers and leaders in the work of the camp when occasion requires, 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 hearts, to spring up and bear precious fruit.
The ministers should teach the people how to come to the Lord and how to lead others to Him. Methods must be adopted, plans must be carried out, whereby the standard shall be uplifted, and the people shall be taught how they may be purified from iniquity and elevated by adherence to pure and holy principles.
There must be time for heart searching, for soul culture. When the mind is occupied with matters of business, there must necessarily be a dearth of spiritual power. Personal piety, true faith, and heart holiness must be kept before the mind until the people realize their importance.
We must have the power of God in our camp meetings, or we shall not be able to prevail against the enemy of souls. Christ says: "Without Me ye can do nothing."
Those who gather at camp meetings must be impressed with the fact that the object of the meetings is to attain to a higher Christian experience, to advance in the knowledge of God, to become strengthened with spiritual vigor;
and unless we realize this, the meetings will to us be