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bath, he might receive some unmistakable evidence. short week his youngest daughter sickened and died. As he sat by her bedside and watched the young life ebbing away, he felt that God was speaking to him in that terrible affliction, and resolved that no matter what it cost, he would step out and obey the commandments. His wife joined him.
The following year Elder and Mrs. White visited his home. In time there grew up in the neighborhood a company of Seventh-day Adventists. For three years the Sabbath meetings were held at Brother Byington's house at Buck's Bridge. Then a church building was erected.
In 1857, at the request of James White, Brother Byington moved with his family to Michigan, settling in the southern part of the State. For the next fifteen or more years, he spent his time largely in driving about in his carriage, visiting the little companies of Seventh-day Adventists, giving them further instruction, and establishing them in the truth. He was closely associated with Elders White and Andrews and other leaders in aggressive plans for the work of the denomination; and when it was decided, at the General Conference of 1863, to elect General Conference officers, he became the first man to hold the office of president. He was re-elected the following year, and was succeeded in 1865 by James White.
Among the most active workers in New England in the late sixties and early seventies was S. N. Haskell, of South Lancaster, Mass. He was born the 22d of April, 1833, in the little town of Oakham, Mass., his parents being members of the Congregational Church. He was married when just under eighteen, and a year later, in 1852, heard his first advent sermon, which deeply interested him. He talked of that sermon to every one he met, and was presently asked by a neighbor why he himself did not preach, and replied that he would if his friends would get an audience together. The man did so, and young Haskell, not willing to "back down," as he said, repeated the sermon he had heard, although under great embarrassment.
In the following year Mr. Haskell resolved to give himself to preaching if he received evidence of his call in some one's being converted under his labors and wishing to be baptized. In the course of that summer he was sent on an evangelistic tour to Canada, and held meetings for ten days at a point known as Carrying Place, five miles from Trent. The schoolhouse was crowded, and many stood at the open windows. He says of his experience at this time, that he was so busy each day planning his sermon for the evening that he had no time to
talk with the people personally and inquire into their religios experience. But while he was walking to meet his next appointment, which had been given out for an adjoining neighborhood, he was overtaken by a man driving a farm wagon, who invited him to ride. The man told him that he and his wife had attended the meetings, felt that they had experienced conversion, and wished to be baptized. Some days later he returned to the neighborhood where he had held the ten days' meetings. and found about twenty-five persons who gave evidence of conversion. He took this experience as an evidence that he should give his life to preaching.
In the course of a second trip to Canada, in the same year. he met William Saxby, of Springfield, Mass., who gave him a copy of "Elihu on the Sabbath." He took the little tract into the woods with him at Trent, on his way to his destination at Carrying Place, and after studying the subject for the entire day, decided to keep the seventh-day Sabbath until he received further light. About the same time he learned that there were people who, on Biblical grounds, refrained from eating swine's flesh, and he decided to give up the use of that kind of food.
The Sabbath seemed so clear to him that he attended the First-day Adventist Conference in Worcester, Mass., in the summer of 1854, fully persuaded that he could convince every member that it was his duty to keep the seventh day. It was a great disappointment to him when his friends would not even listen to him. However, Thomas Hale, of Huberston, Mass., invited the young Sabbath keeper home with him, and in a short time he and his family, another family of four members, and certain others began the observance of the Sabbath.
In the following winter Joseph Bates visited S. N. Haskell at his home. He preached to him and his wife from breakfast till dinner, and then till evening, and the same night he addressed the members in the little church. Thus it went on for ten days, at the end of which time Mr. Haskell felt that he fully understood the doctrines of Seventh-day Adventists.
S. N. Haskell visited Battle Creek, Mich., for the first time in the year 1868, and was deeply impressed with the zeal of the brethren who were carrying responsibilities at the center of the work. As he listened to the earnest appeals of Elder and Mrs. White, calling for every believer to take an active part in the work, he resolved to do all in his power to forward the cause of present truth. Shortly after his return to New England he organized the first tract and missionary society in his own house in South Lancaster, Mass.
At this time among the Adventists in six New England States there was but one tent. Brother Haskell felt the need of a tent in his work, and as the brethren did not see their way clear to purchase one, he and P. C. Rodman, of Rhode Island, a Firstday Adventist preacher who had begun the observance of the Sabbath, purchased a fifty-foot tent, and had it pitched on the ground of the first New England camp-meeting, held between South Lancaster and Clinton, in the summer of 1870. At the camp-meeting the four States, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, and Connecticut, were organized into one conference. S. N. Haskell was ordained and elected president.
Tent-meetings were soon being held in different parts of New England and New York. The Eastern camp-meetings also grew in influence and power, and while the Adventists in attendance were not so numerous as in a few of the Western gatherings, the attendance on the part of the general public was in some cases even greater than in the West. Especially cheering was the large outside attendance, also the interest manifested, at the camp-meeting at Groveland, Mass., held in the summer of 1876. The camp was pleasantly situated in a grove of oaks and pines, along one edge of which ran the Boston and Maine Railroad. A few rods beyond the railway was the Merrimac River, where steam yachts landed passengers every hour on Sunday and twice daily on other days. There were fifty-five
family tents on the ground, and the meetings were from the first marked by great spirit and life.
Elder Haskell had taken care to have the meeting widely announced in the leading papers of New England, and the interest on the part of the public was keen from the start. Moreover, Miss M. L. Clough was at hand from the first to report the meetings, and as her full and spirited reports began to ap
pear in the prominent papers, the attention of the people was widely attracted.
The following description given by a reporter for the Haverhill Publisher, appearing in the issue of that paper for August 29, will give a fair idea of the attendance on Sunday:
"Sunday was the great day at the meeting in the woods at Bradford, by Seventh-day Adventists, bringing together the largest assembly of people ever convened in this region for a similar purpose. . . . The railroads were taxed beyond the utmost capacity of all their preparations for the occasion, and large numbers were prevented from attendance by not finding means of conveyance at the time the trains started, or by not finding the trains moving when their effervescent inclinations were just active enough to stimulate them to visit the scene. We understand there were thousands at the station in Lawrence who could not be accommodated with conveyance, all the cars at command being literally packed to overflowing. It was the same at this station, and in the afternoon we noticed a train of sixteen heavy-laden cars slowly pulling out for the camp. In addition, two steam yachts were very busy, and omnibuses and barges were constantly running,
while private carriages without number thronged in the way thereto. Had the cars run every half hour, they would have been full, and a much larger number of people would have passed over the road. As it was, it is thought fully twenty thousand visited the grounds during the day. But this was only an experimental occasion; another year an improvement can be made in the facilities for travel.
"The speaking through the day was almost continuous, it being in part an exposition of the doctrines of the sect, and was, therefore, 'seed sowing; in addition there were two addresses on temperance by Mrs. White, of California."- Review and Herald, Sept. 7, 1876, p. 84.
Mr. and Mrs. White each spoke twice, the former on the leading doctrinal features of the Adventists' belief, the latter on her favorite theme, Christian temperance. Her addresses were received with great favor, and she was urged to speak the following day at the Haverhill City Hall under the auspices of the Reform Club. She did so, and the hall, with a seating capacity of 1,100, was filled. Mrs. White spoke with her usual power. In the words of one who was present:
"She struck intemperance at the very root, showing that on the home table largely exists the foundation from which flow the first tiny rivulets of perverted appetite, which soon deepen into an uncontrollable current of indulgence, and sweep the victim to a drunkard's grave. She arraigned the sin of mothers in giving so much time to the follies of dress, instead of giving it to the moral and mental elevation of their households; and the sin of fathers, in wasting time, health, and means on the gross indulgence in tobacco in its various forms, instead of uniting with their companions in noble efforts to dot our land with model households, where the parents shall occupy their proper positions, and the children come up with wellbalanced and well-disciplined powers, to act a self-reliant and manly part in the world, and thus shut off recruits from the great army of tobacco and liquor devotees. Her remarks raised the audience to a high pitch of enthusiasm, which was manifested by several outbursts of applause while she was speaking, and by hearty hand-shakings and words of approval at the close."— Ibid.
Not only was an excellent impression made upon the thousands in attendance at this meeting, but a goodly number made the decision to keep the Bible Sabbath. On Monday morning, after an appropriate discourse, Dores A. Robinson, later a pioneer worker in Africa and India, was ordained to the gospel ministry. In the afternoon thirty-three candidates were baptized in the waters of the Merrimac.