THE GREAT MORMON CAMP-MEETING.
The animal Camp-Meeting—or Wood-Meeting, as they themselves choose to phrase it—of the Latter-Day Saints of New-Jersey and vicinity began last Friday, and was announced to continue through three days. It was held in Monmouth County, near the little vil-lage of Hornerstown. On Friday the muster was about three hundred, all told. On Saturday the gath-ering was somewhat larger, but the figure did not in-crease to thousands until Sunday, when the grand per-formances came off. We say performances, because on that day the presence of a brass band from Tren-ton, and their summary execution of an assortment of brazen airs, gave a character of worldliness to the affair which is seldom authorized by the rules of camp-meetings of those who claim to be the orthodox sects. To the doings of Sunday, therefore, will our particular description be confined.
is after the usual style in such case made and provided. The preparations for the reception and accommodation of those who are not numbered among the brethren were not of the most dainty description, so that re-porters and other unbelieving Gentiles were compelled on the preceding night to betake themselves to densely populated beds, whence they speedily arose with a most lively sympathy for those earlier martyrs who were cast to divers merciless animals to be devoured alive. If any misanthropic man be possessed of an unappeaseable spite against his species, and of a desire to wreak a bloody vengeance upon his fellow-man, let him go to Jersey and keep a country tavern. Fearful, indeed, must be that man's misanthropic ire, and ter-rible must have been the injury done him by society, who could rejoice in a retributive justice so sanguinary. When we remember us of the viands wherewith strangers were served, preparatory to the midnight sacrifice of blood, a huge sigh struggles upward from an aggravated stomach; there may be corn and wine in that Jersey land, and perchance milk and honey also; but when these delicacies of the season were distributed to the assembled Saints, reporters were not reckoned among the faithful; they were counted out. What were the ingredients of the messes served to those suffering reportorial unfortunates may not be told; hunger barred investigation. When ignorance is sat-isfactory, 'tis folly to be inquisitive. The price, how-ever, was exorbitant, even for the State of Camden and Amboy.
was all that could be desired—cool, bright and breezy, and could not have been bettered had Meriam been a true prophet, and made a special prediction for this occasion.
was a pleasant spot in a grove of oak and hickory, with a sprinkling of sassafras in the foreground, and a promise of blackberries in the distance. The camp-ground was surrounded on three sides by fields of tall corn, very tall and suggestive corn indeed, plenty tall enough to conceal a man from the gaze of the inquisi-tive and meddling world, should he feel inclined, in con-templative mood, to withdraw himself from the crowd and retire to the convenient cereal shades. The under-brush was cleared away, and seats were constructed in the inconvenient fashion peculiar to wood meetings; rough planks were laid with the ends resting upon timbers about four inches from the ground, making it impossible for people to sit down upon them with any comfort, until they shall be provided with some kind of patent adjustable legs, which shall be made to slide together like telescopes. These seats are all on the same level, so that even if people could sit upon them, the brethren in the front part of the meeting would completely intercept the view of the brother in the back part of the meeting, unless the eyes of the brothers in the back part of the meeting were sufficiently good to see through the bodies of the brothers in the front part of the meeting, who, "Saints" though they be, are not quite ethereal, but are to all appearances quite as opaque as other folks. There was but one speaker's stand, which was covered by a wooden shed; a single chair was the furniture, and a rough board was the preachers desk; this last was, in the early morning, decorated with three for-lorn watermelon rinds, which had been put there by some derisive lover of that colicy fruit, in the place generally assigned to the Bible and Hymn Book. Indeed, watermelons seem to be a favorite food of the faithful, and to have been providentially prevalent in that vicinity, for the ground was literally covered with the remains of the succulent vegetable.
There were no evening meetings held upon the ground, and no tents were provided for dormitories and cooking purposes, the crowd dispersing at sunset and diffusing itself through the neighborhood, to re-assemble at the morning meeting of the next day.
The lack of the customary white tents scattered among the trees, deprived the camp of one of the pic-turesque charms usually noticeable at camp-meetings. There were no fine effects of the night-fires in the forest, there was none of the usual gipsy wildness in the scene, none of the meet-me-by-moonlight romance for young lovers; in fact, looking at it with the eye of a painter, or a draughtsman for the pictorial news-papers, it was rather a tame and spiritless affair. There were but two tents on the whole ground, and these were filled, not with bevies of beautiful Mormon damsels bound for the happy "Valley" and the de-lights thereof—happy female Saints, firm in the faith and intent only on a speedy realization of the earthly felicities only attainable in that blissful spot—no, not a female; not a Saint. These two tents were the temporary abiding-place of worldly-minded men, in their shirt-sleeves, intent only on disposing of "Root "Beer, Cigars, Sarsaparilla, Watermelons and other "vegetables," to the thirsty crowd, at the highest market price, and which shirt-sleeved gentlemen dis-played a most remarkable proficiency in giving short change.
THE GATHERING OF THE CLANS.
Although the preaching, or, as the Saints have it, the "speaking," was not to begin until 10½ o'clock, people began to arrive at an early hour—some as early as 7 o'clock. First came a number of private car-riages, evidently from a distance. These were filled with a goodly assortment of ladies and children, the latter article being visible in great numbers. The brethren come out strong on babies, and seem very de-sirous to place their squalling commodities on exhibi-tion. All sizes were there, from those whose period of birth would not ante-date that of the pseudo Burdell-Cunningham, brat to those who were big enough to stray away from their anxious mammas and display their various degrees of viciousness to unsympathizing strangers. Long processions of vehicles of every pos- sible appearance soon began to come up—carriages, market-wagons, sulkies, buggies, hacks, peddlers' wagons, and a host of unclassified indescriba-bilities. Horseback riders came in sparingly, and the footmen last of all. Conspicuous among the gallant animals were several teams of mules, who con-ducted themselves with much gravity and decorum. All the teams were hitched to the trees in the immedi-ate vicinity, and there kept up a lively and apparently interesting conversation in the equine language among themselves, overstepping sometimes con-versational courtesies and the proprieties of and thereupon manifesting strong desires to break their halters and get at each other for belligerent purposes. These peculiar manifestations on the part of the out-siders contributed in no small degree to the liveliness of the scene.
The "Brass Band, from Trenton," made their ap-pearance singly, each one bearing under his arm a brass horn of most complicated and formidable ap-pearance.
Last of all, when an audience goodly in numbers and appearance had assembled, and were waiting im-patiently for the services to begin, the presiding elders, the big guns of the affair, appeared on the scene.
A number of portable groceries and restaurants had by this time been established, and were in full blast, ice-cream and cigars being the staple articles of trade. Next to the watermelons—the watermelons had de-cidedly the best of it. Those who were not munching watermelons were munching gingerbread, and those who were not munching were smoking.
On the outskirts of the congregation the usual amount of obscenity, scoffing and profanity was to be heard, this style of thing being, of course, directly traceable to the Gentiles, otherwise the outsiders. They were not sufficiently loud in their indecencies, however, to disturb the seriousness of the services.
The Saints were very strenuous and strict in exclud-ing liquors of every kind from the camp ground, save those delectable beverages, root beer and lemon soda. The bibulously disposed found, however, some place at which to gratify their anti-temperance tastes, and before the adjournment a number were sinuously per-ambulating. The proportion of colored people on the spot was very large, but whether they were brothers, converts, or merely disinterested spectators, is not in evidence.
There were, at 3 p.m., more than three hundred vehicles on the ground, in nearly every one of which a private pic-nic was in progress; but with strangers so great was the famine that those lively controversial-ists, Mr. Butler and Miss Peck, would have found ample scarcify for another poem, which they might entitle "Nothing to Eat." Of the many hundreds present, but very few participated in the services, by far the greater portion of the crowd being attracted by the novelty of the scene. The brethren exhibited very little enthusiasm, and on the whole we are dis-posed to set down the great Mormon demonstration as 'weary, flat, stale, and unprofitable." However, at the time announced, or a little after, commenced
Bro. W. J. APPLEBY, High Priest and President of the Eastern States, called the meeting to order at the usual hour, 10½ o'clock a. m.
Bro. R. D. TRESEDER, Presiding Elder of the Hor-nerstown branch, stated that the band from Trenton had been expected; the leader had come, but the band had not arrived. He gave out an ordinary hymn, which was sung by the congregation.
Bro. SAML. HARRISON, President of the Philadelphia branch, then offered up prayer. It was very much like prayers which are heard at other camp-meetings until the suppliant came to the following:
"Sustain and uphold thy servant Brigham, whom thou hast appointed Seer and Revelator of thy Church: may he continue to have thy confidence; may he be the protector of our sons and daughters; may he teach them those things that pertain to their hopes and happiness, and may he be sustained in his office and upheld notwithstanding all those that may speak evil of him. Bless his counselors, that all things may move along in peace and harmony, and joy and happiness abound in every soul. We also ask that thou shouldst remember the quorum of the Twelve. Pour out thy spirit upon them, that they may proclaim the Gos-pel unto the utmost bounds, and that many may be gathered to thy children in the valleys of the mountains."
The rest of the prayer would not have been out of place in most evangelical churches; at its close there was a general amen.
The following hymn was then sung:
"Hail to the brightness of Zion's glad morning,
Joy to the lands that in darkness have lain,
Hushed be the accents of sorrow and mourning;
Zion in triumph begins her glad reign.
"Hail to the brightness of Zion's glad morning,
Long by the Prophets of Israel foretold.
Hail to the millions from bondage returning;
Gentiles and Jews the glad vision behold.
" Lo, in the desert the rich flowers are springing,
Streams ever copious are gliding along;
Loud from the mountain tops echoes are ringing,
Wastes rise in verdure end mingle in song.
"Men—Will you? will you?
Women—Yes; we will.
Men—You say you will?
Women—In time I will.
Both—Go to the valley."
BRO. PETER CLINTON threw a TRIBUNE out of his pocket on being introduced by Bro. Treseder, said he wanted half an hour's attention, and proceeded to expose the plan of salvation. People thought, he said, that the Mormons did not believe in the Bible. He had a Bible before him, and he would take a text from it. The Gospel was the revealed will of God to man. People thought that the Mormons did not be-lieve it because the Mormons preached the doctrines of the Bible, and they had been taught by their preach-ers, whom they hired to do their thinking for them, that the Bible taught something else. The truth was, that Christ was crucified, raised again, and went to heaven. He had promised to send an angel, and he would come himself when the preparation was ready. This was the preparation. The angel of which John spoke had come to Joseph Smith. Jos. Smith came forward, as other prophets had anciently, a man of God. He continued in this strain:
Jos. Smith goes up and speaks to the human family without any exception. He told us that the angel had delivered him the eternal principles to believe on God and Christ and repent of sins. All people will say that is right. He said that they must submit to the laying on of hands, and receive the Holy Ghost. People would say that was ridiculous; they might say the same of Peter on the day of Pentecost. That one thing would have detected Joseph Smith if he had been an impostor. Twenty-six years, had it been preached, and it had spread through all the lands. By this time it might have been detected, if ever. But the testimony of the saints is that signs do follow. Wicked people say we don't see any. It was just so in the time of Christ. Signs and blessings are for saints and not for a "wicked and adulterous generation." You may have the right repentance, but not the right baptism. There are many baptisms. Jesus had to be taught by John what baptism is. We have got to be buried in the water as Jesus was and to rise again. They baptized in Enon then "because there was much watert there;" they put them clear under. But the ministers say that that was a dark age, and it is different now. If so, Heaven protect me from such an enlightened age as this. I want to say, that bap-tism is only for them that believe, and it was never intended for children. The wicked stories which are told by ministers and editors about the saints in Utah are all from the Devil. They are all lies, and they are of the Devil, the father of lies [Cries, ["That's true!" "Even so, Doctor."] When our people were persecuted, my good old Uncle Sam have laid back in his chair, and said, "Go it, boys!" I like my Uncle Sam, but I am afraid that a sedentary life and high living will give him the gout. I feel a little in hopes that soldiers will get to Utah, for when they get there they will have the Gospel preached to them—to beat their swords into plowshares, and earn an honest living by the sweat of their brow. My friends, there's other elders wishes to speak, so I will not speak any longer. It's rather popular to kill a Mor-mon nowadays, and Uncle Sam took no notice of it. But, I thank God, the Constitution is ours; it belongs to the Latter-Day Saints, and all honest men. May God help us to keep and protect it, both now and for-ever. Amen! ["Amen! "Amen!"]
Bro. SAMUEL HARRISON of Philadelphia was the next speaker. He argued the truth of Mormonism from the following prophecy:
"It shall come to pass in the last day, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the tops of the moun-tains, and all nations shall flow unto it."
Bro. Harrison referred them to the rest of the chapter, and was proceeding to other prophecies, when Bro. CANNON whispered a word in his ear and he soon closed.
Bro. STENHOUSE called for some music, and it was given by the brass pieces under the leadership of Elder Eardly from Trenton.
Bro. TRESEDER then said that they had a few hymn books left and one Book of Mormon, which were for sale, and a prayer by Bro. Cannon would end the morning meeting.
Bro. ANGUS M. CANNON and Bro. T. B. H. STEN-HOUSE are the Counselors of Brother Appleby in his Presidency. The meeting closed with a prayer, prin-cipally that the spirit of God might rest upon the Saints and all their rulers. During the prayer the platform fell, from the weight of people clinging to the outside. As it fell, however, only about two feet, the prayer was not impeded.
Six thousand Jerseyers eating, drinking, smoking, picking blackberries, wandering in the bushes, making love, devouring watermelons, and wishing it wasn't so hot. A number of the Gentiles amused themselves stealing apples, to the great scandal of the Saints.
In the afternoon, after music, Bro. R. D. TRESEDER called upon the name of the Lord.
President APPLEBY then commenced a discourse, of which the following may serve as a sample:
I wish the congregation to come to order. Those that don't want to hear I hope will go away. I wish the privilege of speaking myself for about half an hour. All that want to talk let them step to one side, and let the others come up who wish to hear. We wish all to hear our doctrines; whether they believe them or not is nothing to us. I feel happy and thankful this after-noon of seeing as large a congregation present as we have on the present occasion, and what little I do say—it is not my intention to detain you long, because my lungs will not admit of it—but what I do say I wish to lay before you in such a pure, unsophisticated way that all can understand it. I see many familial faces about me—my youthful associations, both men and women; and it brings to my mind past reminiscences and feelings of sorrow and pain when I was without a knowledge of the truth or of God in the world. But I have passed by that day and I feel thankful. People may look upon me and think I am deluded—that I am foolish and I am an im-postor. They have a right to think that way, and I am perfectly satisfied, an I am not a bit uneasy of getting salvation if I keep on in this path. I know that there is intelligence that the world does not know without they pass through the same ordeal I have. I have investigated the doctrines philosophically and religiously. I have compared what is called Mor-monism with the religions of the world, with the Scriptures, with history, sacred and profane, and the more I investigate, the more I am confirmed in the principles I have embraced. We throw down the gauntlet to the whole world, priests, editors and peo-ple—any principle that the Mormons believe in we'll not only take it on the Scriptures, but we'll take it philosophically. You can't find the first thing that will clash with the eternal truth. If all this the world can't overthrow, then I say we've got something that the world has not. It is the principle of eternal truth—the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has given his rev-elation to man; the prophets that lived on this earth thousands of years ago looked into the embryo of time; they wrote about what is to happen and wrote it on record. In fulfillment of this God has sent bright legates from the throne of heaven, blushing and burn-ing with intelligence, to earth, asserting the rights and principles of every one. Against this heavenly truth all the cold prejudices of the ungodly fail. Now in this short space of twenty-seven years, and with a literature that is sixteen years of age, what do we behold?
President Appleby went on to point out the wonder-ful progress of Mormonism from its beginnings with Joseph Smith—and our reporters took the readiest road to the city.
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