The Banner of Light, August 25, September 15, 22, October 20, 27

First Spiritualist Mass Camp Meeting; announcement and proceedings.

The following selections document much of the proceedings of the first spiritualist camp meeting, held in the summer of 1866, at “Pierpont Grove” (an ad hoc name for the site, meant to honor the recently-deceased, revered spiritualist John Pierpont).  As is clear from the proceedings, the idea for a camp meeting was conceived and implemented by ex-Methodists who had become spiritualists, some of whom had previously staged camp meetings.  They spoke extensively on this occasion in order to explain how a spiritualist camp meeting should be different from a Methodist one, and also to compare the spiritualist event favorably to Methodist meetings they had previously attended or organized.  Spiritualists were religious Liberals and “Rationalists,” and therefore often regarded religious revivals—with their appeal to irrationality and emotionalism and to the fear of eternal punishment—with a deep suspicion.  Prior to this, spiritualist gatherings—apart from séance circles—consisted mostly of “conventions,” based on the model of reform conventions, and day excursions for picnics in the countryside, based loosely on the lyceum model.  The ex-Methodist organizers of this camp meeting conceived of their idea from the day-long summer gatherings of people seeking an “influx” of healing power, who visited ex-Universalist minister Uriah Clark’s “spiritual resort” outside Boston.

This camp meeting’s success appears to have surprised almost everyone—despite the huge crowds, few of the established “stars” of the spiritualist lecture circuit that had developed by this time appeared on the platform.  Nevertheless, camp meetings for spiritualists very soon multiplied all over the country, until they became as important for the movement as any other form of organization, and their organizers became part of the movement’s leadership.  The annual camp meeting in Western New York State at Cassadaga Lake, for example, spawned the year-round spiritualist settlement at Lily Dale, which continues to this day as the headquarters of the movement in America.  During the late 1870s, the largest of the spiritualist camp meetings, such as the one at Silver Lake, New York, drew crowds of almost twenty thousand attendees.  These were also the years in which the Chautauqua movement began.

Many of the speakers at the first camp meeting, as reported below, were quite comfortable with the Bible and treated spiritualism as a kind of purified form of Christianity.  The proceedings of later spiritualist camp meetings record a much more diverse set of views, including many that were not comfortable with the traditions and scriptures of the church.  Religious, social, and political radicals within spiritualism assumed a larger role in later camp meetings.  In addition, later camp meetings fostered opportunities for mediums to conduct séances and to demonstrate the spiritualistic “phenomena”—such as rappings, levitations, slate writing, and materializations—which were not present in this first camp meeting.—JB

[Banner of Light, August 25]

The undersigned committee appointed by the Malden and Melrose Grove Meeting, on Sunday, July 29th, having duly deliberated and made all preliminary arrangements, are happy to announce that the first Spiritualist Mass Camp Meeting will be held in Lynde’s woods, about half way between Malden and Melrose, Mass., commencing on Thursday, Aug. 30th (the week after the Providence National Convention), and continuing till Sunday evening following.  The grove is beautiful, cool, quiet, retired, and well adapted in every particular.  It is near the public highway, and a short distance on the west side of the Boston and Maine Railroad, one mile from Malden Centre, and the same distance from Melrose, and less than half a mile from Wyoming Station, the nearest station to the grove.  Cars leave Boston and Maine Railroad station, Haymarket Square, at 7, 7:45, 10:15 A. M., 2, 2:30, 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 P. M.  Fare 20 cents.  Fare to Malden, 15 cents.  Omnibuses and job wagons will be at the station, to carry passengers and baggage.  Omnibuses will run from Malden and Melrose to the camp ground.  Horse cars run every half hour between Boston and Malden, till 11 P. M.  Fare 15 cents.

Parties desiring tents put up for them on the ground can secure the same by writing before hand to Dr. P. Clark, 15 Marshall street, Boston, Mass.  Terms for a whole tent, accommodating from eight to ten, one dollar a day, or three dollars for the four days.  Single individuals can be accommodated by writing to the same.

Parties wishing a tent, and desiring to provide for themselves and stay through the meeting, can bring a few utensils, pillows, blankets, etc., and they will find all kinds of provisions for sale on the grounds at the market prices.  H. F. Taylor, of Malden, will spread tables in a large tent, to accommodate those who wish single meals, or will board visitors for one dollar per day.  He will also furnish refreshment stands, straw for tents, fuel, and water.  Though no disorder is anticipated, yet police officers will be on the ground and cooperate with the executive committee to insure order and harmony.  No phenomenal exhibitions or disorderly manifestations will be permitted, either in or outside of the tents.  The strictest order and decorum will be preserved.  A corps of efficient speakers is already engaged, and all accredited speakers and workers are cordially invited to attend and participate.  Public services, 10 ½ A. M., 2 and 7 ½ P. M.

P. CLARK, M.D., Boston
G. W. BACON, Melrose
J. S. HOPPIN, Melrose
C. C. YORK, M.D., Charlestown
G. W. VAUGHN, Malden
L. MOODY, Malden
DR. U. CLARK, Malden
C. E. THOMPSON, Malden

[Banner of Light, September 15:4]

between Malden and Melrose, Mass.
Aug. 30th and 31st, and Sept. 1st and 2nd, 1866.


Pursuant to the call published in the Banner of Light, the first Spiritualist Mass Camp Meeting was opened in Joseph Lynde’s woods, between Malden and Melrose, on Thursday morning, Aug. 30th, and continued till the following Sunday evening; during which time the best judges estimated the attendance to be not less than ten thousand.  A large stand for speakers, and seats to accommodate two thousand hearers were erected; and quite a number of tents began to dot the camp-ground as early as on Wednesday afternoon.  At the west entrance of the grove stood the police tent of Capt. Lurvey, and the large boarding tent, cook-house and refreshment stand of Mr. Taylor, caterer.  The appearance of the grove on first entering was such as to extort notes of exclamations from every new comer.  The grounds embrace about four acres of thickly studded woodland, composed of almost every species of forest trees, from the smallest up to giants, reaching their arms more than a hundred feet into the open blue heavens, and glittering sunlight shimmering down through the luxuriant foliage like innumerable angel-eyes.  About two acres of the grounds are nearly level, and then on the southwest and south there is an even rise of land, forming a vast amphitheatre.  A more quiet, beautiful, secluded, and accessible retreat for the first Spiritualist camp meeting ever held, could not be found within twenty miles of Boston, while it is only six miles from the city; and it is a matter of great congratulation to learn that G. W. Vaughn, C. E. Thompson and Dr. U. Clark, of Malden, and J. S. Hopkins, of Melrose, have permanently leased the grounds for the exclusive use of Spiritualists, and have the refusal in case the land should be for sale.

Thursday Morning Session—About three hundred persons having arrived at 11 A. M., and the bell rung, the meeting was called to order.

The following were selected as the presiding officers of the meeting: Dr. Uriah Clark, of Malden, Mass., President; A. Goodell, of Moravia, N. Y., and Dr. Presby Clark, of Boston, Vice-Presidents; Mr. and Mrs. Dr. B. M. Lawrence, of Boston, Secretaries; C. E. Thompson, of Malden, Treasurer.

The rules for the order of the Camp Meeting were presented, as follows:

1. Three public services, two hours long, each day: 10 ¼ A. M., 2 and 7 ½ P. M.  Morning session devoted to a conference meeting of volunteer speeches, experiences, narration of facts, singing and devotional exercises; speakers limited to ten minutes.  Afternoon and evening session to open with a discourse from a selected speaker, limited to one hour, to be followed by volunteer fifteen minute speeches.

2. The audience will in no case call for speakers to continue beyond the time allotted.

3. No speaker will speak the second time without giving opportunity to those who have not spoken.

4. The names of speakers shall be distinctly announced in full from the stand on their rising to speak, and all speakers should previously hand in their names, that the speaking may be arranged in due order.

5. No persons, unless invited or permitted by the Committee, shall speak except in harmony with Spiritualism, as explained by representative intelligences; and all are recommended to avoid every species of personality antagonism, denunciation and offence, endeavoring to speak the truth in love.

6. The managers of the meeting will not hold either themselves or Spiritualism responsible for the individual sentiments of speakers, yet they recommend the broadest freedom of speech in harmony with the objects of the meeting and the spirit of fraternity.

7. No phenomenal exhibition, or disorderly manifestations, either in the form of speaking or otherwise, will be permitted.

8. The civil authorities grant camp meetings the right of forbidding the erection of booths, stands or tents, for trading or trafficking within one mile of Camp Grounds.

9. Provisions, refreshments, wood, straw, water, single meals or board by the day, will be furnished by H. F. Taylor, the authorized caterer, at his large tent at the west entrance of the Camp Ground, and teams and vehicles will be taken care of on applying to the same.

10. The bell will ring fifteen minutes before each public service, at the sound of which, all persons not necessarily engaged will repair to the seats around the speakers’ stand.  During public services no persons will talk or make any noise, or walk, or stand around in sight of the stand unless the seats are full; and all exercises in the tents and on the grounds, and cooking and eating, shall be suspended, unless at the caterer’s tent.

11. Parents with infants or small children will occupy back seats during services, and will retire from the audience if hearers are liable to be disturbed.

12. No collections taken up to the audience, and no business or other notices shall be given out, not in the direct interests of the meeting.

13. No smoking allowed within the enclosure bounded by the tents.

14. Persons desiring to build fires will apply to the Executive Committee, tent No. 1.

15. No cutting or marring of any wood, fences, trees or saplings on the ground.  The owners of neighboring woods, fields orchards, meadows, yards, &c., caution all persons against trespassing on their grounds.

16. No teams or vehicles will enter the Camp Ground during the public services, and none will stop on the Ground any longer than is necessary to unload.  No teams or vehicles will remain on the Camp Ground.

17. At the ringing of the bell at 10 o’clock at night, all persons having no tents or lodging on the Ground, will leave the Grove; and those who have tents or lodgings will repair to the same; and the Police Officers and Executive Committee will visit each tent, and patrol the Grounds, to become assured that order and quiet prevail.

18. Though it is believed that no intentional violations of these rules will be practised, yet should such be the case, immediate reports will be made to the headquarters of the Police, at their tent on the ground, or to the Executive Committee.

Subsequently a rule was adopted recommending the Committee not to assume the responsibility of introducing any speakers on the stand except those who were known to be able to hold large audiences, though all persons were at liberty to volunteer during the morning services.

The choir, with an organ accompaniment, under the lead of Mr. and Mrs. Dr. B. M. Lawrence, sang, “Now let our voices join,” &c.

Dr. P. Clark read a portion of Revelations, fifth chapter, and offered some appropriate opening remarks.  While his countenance indicated strong emotions, he declared that he never felt so deeply affected and never so happy as on this occasion—inaugurating the first spiritual camp meeting ever held.  He had been in the Methodist ministry many years, and had attended numerous Methodist camp meetings, but none which, he felt assured, would resemble the meeting now opening.  We have no angry God frowning down through the foliage of this beautiful temple of Nature, no endless hell yawning beneath our feet to devour the shrinking souls of countless myriads.  This leafy canopy is vocal with angel voices and radiant with the angel-light of beloved ones come to baptize us with the inspirations of another Pentecost.  This meeting is prophetic of a grand new movement in the interests of Modern Spiritualism, and it will send out influences spreading over our whole country.  Let us prepare our minds and hearts, and the love of God and Angel-hosts will fill our souls till they overflow in behalf of each other and all humanity.  We welcome you all here on this consecrated ground, and may it become to us all the house of God and the gate of heaven.  The speech of Dr. C. was well-timed and effective.

Dr. J. N. Hodges, of Rockland, Me., a graduate from the blacksmith’s shop to the spiritual apostleship, took the stand and made a sledge-hammer speech, every word of which struck straight home to the understanding of the auditors.  He was glad to attend the first meeting of this kind.  Such a place, out in the glorious church of Nature, was just the place for a Spiritualist gathering, for we believe in none but a natural religion.  Here we are free from all the false influences of towns and cities, halls and meeting houses, forms and ceremonies, and our mnds are free to esuch be the case, immediate reports will be made to the headquarters of the Police, at their tent on the ground, or to the Executive Committee.

Subsequently a rule was adopted recommending the Committee not to assume the responsibility of introducing any speakers on the stand except those who were known to be able to hold large audiences, though all persons were at liberty to volunteer during the morning services.

The choir, with an organ accompaniment, under the lead of Mr. and Mrs. Dr. B. M. Lawrence, sang, “Now let our voices join,” &c.

Dr. P. Clark read a portion of Revelations, fifth chapter, and offered some appropriate opening remarks.  While his countenance indicated strong emotions, he declared that he never felt so deeply affected and never so happy as on this occasion—inaugurating the first spiritual camp meeting ever held.  He had been in the Methodist ministry many years, and had attended numerous Methodist camp meetings, but none which, he felt assured, would resemble the meeting now opening.  We have no angry God frowning down through the foliage of this beautiful temple of Nature, no endless hell yawning beneath our feet to devour the shrinking souls of countless myriads.  This leafy canopy is vocal with angel voices and radiant with the angel-light of beloved ones come to baptize us with the inspirations of another Pentecost.  This meeting is prophetic of a grand new movement in the interests of Modern Spiritualism, and it will send out influences spreading over our whole country.  Let us prepare our minds and hearts, and the love of God and Angel-hosts will fill our souls till they overflow in behalf of each other and all humanity.  We welcome you all here on this consecrated ground, and may it become to us all the house of God and the gate of heaven.  The speech of Dr. C. was well-timed and effective.

Dr. J. N. Hodges, of Rockland, Me., a graduate from the blacksmith’s shop to the spiritual apostleship, took the stand and made a sledge-hammer speech, every word of which struck straight home to the understanding of the auditors.  He was glad to attend the first meeting of this kind.  Such a place, out in the glorious church of Nature, was just the place for a Spiritualist gathering, for we believe in none but a natural religion.  Here we are free from all the false influences of towns and cities, halls and meeting houses, forms and ceremonies, and our minds are free to exercise reason in regard to all we are called on to believe.  All the laws and principles of our religion are natural and in harmony with every department of our being, as well as in harmony with the whole universe.  We see God in all his works; and how appropriate that we should assemble here and mingle our voices with the song of birds and music of the rustling foliage.

Prof. Parks, of Boston, a venerable man of large thought and experience, rose simply to say that he congratulated himself on attending such a meeting.  He invoked the spirit of love and harmony in the name of the Nazarene and the angel-world.

Dr. Luke A. Plumb, of Biddeford, Me., known at home by the name of “Happy Luke,” said he had been waiting fifteen years to find a spiritual meeting like this.  Already he began to feel the droppings of the Pentecostal shower coming.  There is an element in this meeting, without which Spiritualism is little or nothing; it is the religious, the Christian element.  Some may ignore this element because the Church has abused it; it is ours to use it aright.  Shall we ignore camp meetings because they have been abused and sectarian?  If we are wise, we shall avail ourselves of all that is good, and true, and useful, whether it is in the Church or out.  All the creeds and doctrines of the past have had their use.  Primitive Christianity embodied the primary elements of all religion, and Christ was a type of the human and divine which will live through all time.  His teachings were faultless, and his inspirations in harmony with those which come to-day.  Dr. Plumb closed his speech with a fervor intensely felt by the audience.

Dr. B. M. Lawrence extended a happy greeting to the people.  He thought we ought not to object to camp meetings or anything else, merely because they had been used by others.  No sect or people has a right to monopolize a good thing.  Out here in this primitive temple of Nature, we recall the primitive ages when man drew pure and natural inspirations from all the altars of the universe.  We need a natural religion.  The primitive teachings of Christianity commend themselves to our reason and affections, because they are illustrated by parables drawn from Nature, and are reducible to the practical issues of life.  In the Gospels, the Church, and everywhere, we can find more that is good and true and in harmony with Spiritualism, than otherwise.

Josiah Warren, the venerable radical author, of Boston, arose in response to a call from the stand, and apologized for not speaking, at the same time expressing the deep interest he felt in the meeting.

Ex-Rev. E. Sprague, of Schenectady, N. Y., said he felt at home here.  He had been an old camp-meeting stager, but never felt such mighty influxes from the eternal world as he felt here.  The air is filled with the living presence of the Almighty and his celestial hosts.  Let us lift up our souls and mingle with the invisible throng hovering over this encampment.  The heavens are bending with blessings ready to drop as soon as we are in conditions to receive.  Let us rid ourselves of all that can obstruct the inflowings of the heavenly world, and when we go house from this meeting we shall carry a regenerating influence to be felt by all around us.

The morning session came to a happy and harmonic close, the choir, joined by the people, singing, “How cheering the thought that the spirits of bliss,” &c.

Thursday Afternoon Session—Before this session opened, the visitors on the camp ground numbered about five hundred, and every horse-car and steam-car from Boston added largely to the number, till before night as many as one thousand persons had appeared.

Dr. J. N. Hodges, after the choir had sung, was introduced.  He narrated his experience as an Infidel and an Atheist; he examined all sides, and was left with no faith, no religion, no hope beyond this world till Spiritualism gave him demonstration of immortality.  For a time he resisted the evidence, but it came so powerfully resistance was in vain.  At last the invisibles began to call on him to go forth and speak to the world, and heal the sick.  But he stoutly resisted the call, and tried to “quench the spirit.”  The spirits threw a prostrating influence over him, and he lay on his back nearly helpless threw weeks, as a discipline and retribution for his Jonah-like disobedience.  The speaker then gave a lucid explanation of the leading phases of Spiritualism, its manifestations, inspirations, prophesies, etc., proofs of immortality and spirit communion, showing that all sects, ages and nations had maintained something analogous to these.  The Bible abounds with facts and evidences.  Why, then, is Spiritualism opposed, since it embraces everything that is good, true and sound?  But Spiritualism is something more than to commune with spirits.  It enjoins on us an individual work in our own behalf and in behalf of others.

Here the speaker took high ground, and dwelt with great earnestness on the practical test imposed on Spiritualists.  Their lives, their works, their words of truth and love, their aims in behalf of humanity, will tell more than all mere professions.  The largeness of our faith should open our hearts and hands toward all the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the church, the clergy, till the entire family of earth and heaven is encircled within the arms of everlasting love.

Miss Julia J. Hubbard, of Malden, Mass., a young woman of twenty, trance and inspirational speaker, was next announced.  The twofold nature of man, the material and the spiritual, is involved in mysteries ofttimes perplexing the mind and leaving mortals amid clouds of impenetrable gloom.  While passing through the labyrinths of this rudimental life it is difficult to realize the spiritual, the divine and eternal.  Mortals are so much absorbed in things external and material, they can only now and then lift up their souls in communion with the sainted loved ones gone on before; they entertain nothing more than a faint and feeble conception of the glorious world beyond this.

[Here Miss Hubbard, speaking rapidly, was instantaneously entranced, though with her eyes open, as is usual with her under influence, and a spirit, giving the name of William Henry Spinny, narrated a touching experience.]

I speak through this young medium in order that I may reach the young whom I see in the audience.  I was suddenly hurried out of the earth-form into spirit-life.  I left a mother weeping and wailing over my departure, because she feared I had gone to a world of eternal woe.  Day and night her sorrow was unutterable, until at last, thank God, I was enabled, through this medium, to come back and give her proofs that I not only lived, but loved, and had entered a life of endless progress.  Oh ye who mourn over the dead and lost, lift your faces heavenward, and behold the veil parted for the beloved and beatified to come and wipe away all tears, and point beyond the grave over which we have triumphed.  There is no other way in which earth’s poor mourners and sufferers can be comforted and sustained.  (Voice in the audience, “Glory halleluiah!”)  Our mission to mortals is in behalf of everything relating to the well-being of humanity.  We come to sustain no evil, but to advance everything that is good and pure and true.  We see all the changes in your individual experiences, and all the agitations and reforms going on in social, civil and religious life.  Laws and customs and creeds are being shaken, and the old must pass away to give place to the new order of the kingdom of heaven.  Fear not these changes; fear not the trials and labors that await you; fear not the revolutions which agitate every department of society; the angels of Almighty God hold you in charge, and through you are working for humanity.  Your work begins within your own souls; save yourselves from all that is false and unkind and selfish.  Become Christ-like in behalf of others.  Remember there is no soul, however low or lost, but can be reached by the all-redeeming love of God and the angel-world.  God never made a soul which he cannot, will not save.  Many may seem lost here, but there is an eternal world beyond, where all souls shall at last come under saving influences.  The soldier falling in the battles of his country joins the celestial army of immortal patriots, and comes back comforting the mournful, and fighting, with spiritual armor, the battles of truth, right and liberty, till the banner of heaven floats with your starry banner over a land redeemed and glorified.  But do not, oh beloved friends, do not wait for us to do all the work which belongs to you!  Go after your brothers and sisters, however or wherever they are.  Remember how the white lily comes up from the mud and mire the most lovely and fragrant of all the flowers.  And so, with kindly care and culture, you may cause many a soul to bloom with beauty and love, in spite of all the unfavorable elements and conditions around.

[Miss H.’s address was listened to with deep emotion by the audience, and many faces were wet with tears of joy.]

J. Madison Allyn, of Woodstock, Vt., a young trance and inspirational speaker of good promise, sound sentiments, and already known as not without reputable success, next took the stand.  He said this camp meeting was called by angel-intelligences, and they had plans and purposes looking beyond all external sight.  The angel-world is in brother hood with this, and all on earth and in the spheres belong to one cooperative family.  Heart and hand, as brothers and sisters, we are joined by angel hosts in the redemption of the race.

Mrs. J. D. Ricker, of Chelsea, Mass.  She said she came to hear, not to speak.  She took the stand because the brother who invited her said it was understood that she was a sort of Methodist or Orthodox Spiritualist, and it was desirable to hear every phase of Spiritualism.  Mrs. R. then gave her highly interesting experience; how she used to speak while in the church; how her spiritual conversion was under direct spiritual influences; how her soul had been lightened, blessed, comforted, happified by angel-communion.  As a bereaved mother she had suffered untold sorrow, but was consoled at last by communicating with her children.  She was not bound to any church, yet she loved the church for its legitimate uses.  It was associated with the sacred memories of childhood, and hallowed by the religious reminiscences of ages.  We do injustice to our religious nature and to a harmonic spiritual philosophy, if we denounce in wholesale either the church or the Bible.

Dr. U. Clark vacating the presidential chair to vice-president A. Goodell, remarked in substance, that however unduly severe and personally critical and objectionable Mrs. Ricker may be been considered oftentimes in her remarks, yet some of her positions are invulnerable.  We cannot accept either the Bible or the church as authority in the popular sense, yet we can no more leave the Bible out of human history, than we can leave out any record of the past; and to denounce the church in wholesale, is to denounce the chief archives which have through centuries preserved and handed down to our age, the only institutions commemorative of that sacred religious element of man’s nature, which uplifts him in communion with the Infinite Spirit of the universe.  We ought to be about some business better than that of hunting up faults and errors in Bibles, churches, or among our fellow beings.  Great God! with all that is good, and true, and great, and grand, and glorious in this world, and over our heads in the broad spheres of the stellar universe, have we no employment better than that of assailing Moses and the dead of olden times, battling the church, hurling brickbats and sham thunder-bolts at the clergy, and dealing in everlasting suspicions, tattles and slanders?  It is like hunting rat-holes in the grand old corridors of the Coliseum at Rome, while we pass unheeded the solemn and sublime memorials everywhere peopling its walls and arches.

[Banner of Light, September 22:3-4]

Thursday Evening Session—At the ringing of the bell at 7 ½ o’clock P. M., nearly two thousand assembled around the speakers’ stand.  Seats had been provided for one thousand, and as many more were standing or quietly moving round.  The grove was lighted with large lanterns, and the whole spectacle was surpassingly impressive.  Notwithstanding the immense size of the gathering, made up of all classes, and a very large proportion of young people, the most perfect order reigned throughout the evening all over the camp ground.

Dr. U. Clark, resuming the Chair, kindly and politely requested the assembly to preserve quiet and harmony, not because an ample police and committee were on the ground but because the love of order was what all should desire to cultivate.  He preferred to appeal to the politeness of the people, rather than to the police.  Not the remotest threat was made in the name of the civil authorities.  The result of the appeal was obvious.  There was no loud talking or laughing, no noisy walking about and whenever the police or committee had the least occasion to check some persons who were innocently forgetful, the utmost quiet and order immediately ensued.

Dr. P. Clark, of Boston, after the choir and audience had sung, was introduced.  Having offered an invocation, he spoke for half an hour on the existence of Deity, the nature of man, the progress of the race, and modern unfolding.  God was everywhere, in all things, and the whole universe was a manifestation of his attributes.  Man is a development of the Godlike, and is endless in progress.  No species of animals indicate the intelligence and the progress of man.  The beaver builds now as he did ages ago, but man improves in every department.  Steamships, railroads, telegraphs, and all the arts and sciences of to-day indicate the possibilities of the future.  He spoke of flying machines.  Man has elements within him which may one day enable him to fly, and sweep his course through distant worlds.  The speaker referred to an early experience of his in which he verily believed he flew.  Phillips was carried through the air thirty miles from where he was talking with the eunuch to Arzotus.  Why was Spiritualism opposed by the Churches?  The hymn books are full of spiritual communion, and so is the Bible.  He believed in spiritual inspiration years ago while he was a Methodist preacher.  Camp meetings were his favorite meetings; he had attended them over thirty years, but never attended one so full of glory as the present.  Now, thank God, we draw no inspiration, from a fabled hell below, but we draw down from the angel hosts above who are beaming down on us from the opened heavens.  The speaker closed with a potent, practical appeal, urging reform in the social and other relations of life, that men and women might become pure and be fitting receptacles of heavenly influences.

Mrs. Fannie Allyn, of Woodstock, Vt., a young lady neatly dressed somewhat after Dr. Dio Lewis’s hygienic reform style, and whose whole appearance elicited a lively appreciation before the audience, was the next speaker introduced.  In a high inspirational condition, she became the medium for a poetic message, which reached the hearts of all who heard.  She spoke of the labors, sorrows, struggles, sicknesses and deaths of our sorrows, struggles, sicknesses and deaths of our sphere, all as having their divine uses, every tear becoming a jewel to deck the crown of final joy and triumph.  Her beautiful improvisation closed amid the sensation and applause of the audience.

Mrs. Hattie Sturtevant, of Maine, said the hour had now come when the spiritualistic religion must be reduced to practice in every relation of life.  We need reform workers everywhere.  It is beautiful for us to commune with the departed, and we sing, “Shall we know each other there?”  Let us begin to know each other here.  Social communion with each other here is what we need first, and angel intercourse will hallow that communion.  Too many are left alone, cold, neglected and unknown, through all the long journey of life, and we are afraid to seek each other out, and come into those fraternal relations which embrace the divinest affections of our nature.  The speaker made an effective appeal, which met hearty response.

E. F. Brewster, a pioneer reformer from the domain of the North American Phalanx, Red Bank, N. J., offered fervent congratulations to this first grand spiritual camp meeting.  It was a new Pentecostal era in the Millennial dispensation; an outpouring of the upper world, and a spontaneous gathering of the people.  Another call had come from the celestial hosts: “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  The old order of things must pass; the kingdoms of this world shall crumble; the uprising millions of the people shall roll from off their backs the oppressive burdens of centuries; and the kingdom of heaven,, with angels ministering, shall take the place of social, civil and ecclesiastical rules which have wrung groans and tears of blood from the suffering masses.

The first evening session of the camp meeting closed, leaving the very best feeling among the multitudes in attendance, and after a doxology had been sung, the people quietly, amid the genial starlight of the summer night, repaired to their tents and their homes.

Friday Morning Session—At an early hour the camp ground began to swarm with many new arrivals, each one bringing a smiling face and heart happy with new hopes of spiritual life.  At the ringing of the bell, about two thousand people gathered around the stand.  A thousand new seats had been erected early in the morning.

After the singing of the “Song to Angels,” Mrs. Bruce, of Boston, offered an invocation.

Dr. Clark, presiding, read a portion of Acts ii, giving an account of the primitive Christian Pentecost.  He said this was a people’s camp meeting; we come here each one to open the soul heavenward for direct influxes from the eternal world; we want to call out all who are able to give in their testimony for the vast truths of the age; let men and women who feel moved to speak, rise and speak without being called from the stand.  This is no meeting for the idolizing of star-speakers; we have had enough of that sort of thing; many of those who are regarded the most popular speakers have been invited here, yet but few if any of them will come; they will fail, till too late, to appreciate the magnitude of this new camp meeting movement; many feared it would be a failure and prove unpopular, but in the end all will fall in and shout its praises as they had inaugurated it.  Away with all sham notions of reputability!  Away with all discordant criticisms and fault findings!  Before we can come into that harmony which will enable us to receive the highest influences of angel-life, we must utterly cease from every thought, word and deed not calculated to promote love, peace and good will among each other and the world around us.  We must be in a state of mind and heart open to the inspiration of the beloved and beautified ones whose inspirations we would invoke.

Harmony in our own souls will attract the eternal harmonies of the heavens, till these harps of our own immortal being shall echo back the sweet and sublime strains, evermore pealing through the vast empyrean.  Let us come here as they came together in Jerusalem, all “of one accord and in one place,” and “like the rushing of a mighty wind,” shall come down those celestial influxes, which shall compel thousands to exclaim within, “Men and brethren, what shall we do to be saved!”  Oh ye congregated intelligences of the eternal life.  Ye hero-souls, who bathed in the baptism of fire and blood, centuries ago.  Ye martyr spirits, gone up from the altars of other ages.  Ye beloved ones, beaming with white faces and outstretched hands from the Paradise land of everlasting love—grant these waiting souls some fresh beatitudes, enabling them to realize this as “the house of God, and the gate of heaven;” that when we go hence we may carry with us new hopes to light the future new faith, new fortitude, and new impulse in all that is great, good and glorious.

E. F. Brewster, of New Jersey, again took the stand to conclude the remarks of the previous evening.  He urged the need of reducing Spiritualism to practice, in the inauguration of a new order of things.  Nothing in the present state of the Church, of society, or government, was in keeping with the principles of our religion.  Wrong, injustice, inequality, oppression, poverty, misery, temptation to crime, were everywhere encouraged by the old systems, and they had no elements within them to effect a change for the better.  But the eternal principles which we recognize, are the principles of divine government, and we propose to agitate them, until the “kingdoms of this world” are overthrown by the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven.  And this camp meeting, with its thousands of earnest, listening, seeking souls, is in prophecy of the thousands and millions of people who are now ready to rise up and join the grand phalanx of spiritual progress.

Dr. P. B. Randolph, late of New Orleans, now engaged in founding a school for the education of freedmen teachers, and well known as one of the earliest inspirational orators, was next introduced to the audience.  He spoke facetiously of the decease of the Satan of old theology, whose death had been hastened by the modern phenomena of Spiritualism.  We are now freed from the bondage of fear, and freed from everything hindering us in the grand march of endless life.  Bearing within us the impress of the Infinite, we claim kindred with the gods, with the loftiest intelligences peopling the highest heavens.  Our ideas of God and everything, take from and shape from the interior perceptions of our own nature.  The gods of the past have been created from a lower standpoint of human idealism.  The gods believed in the uncultivated masses of the people, have not been the God believed in by men of intelligence.  The religions of the past have been adapted to cruder conditions of humanity, not to the highest needs of the race.  So with the gods.  The God of Israel was unable to move one of the small chariots anciently used in warfare.  What would such a deity do with one of modern American iron-clads?  The speaker closed in one of his most moving strains of eloquence, peculiar to himself, baffling all report—a portion of the audience unbounded in enthusiasm, while others regretted some unqualified expressions which wounded the honest religious convictions of many church friends who were present.

Mrs. Bruce, of Boston, said she had been a Methodist, and had attended camp meetings, but never so good a one as this.  All the best feelings and affections of our nature are quickened here, and the scenes and associations uplift us in communion with each other, and the sainted souls who are beckoning us from the summer-land.  Mrs. Bruce’s remarks took high devotional ground, and seemed acceptable to the people.

Ex-Rev. E. Sprague, of Schenectady, N. Y., now known as a competent spiritual lecturer, took the stand again.  He spoke of a spirit-circle to which he once belonged, and of a spirit who came through one of the mediums.  The spirit seemed exceedingly lonely, and lost and dejected, and for some time refused to give his name, and tell the cause of his loneliness.  At last he said he used to be a hard-shell Baptist church there!  Thank God, there is something better there!  There was a time when he would sympathize with that poor minister; but the time had gone by; he had found a better religion; all his old sectarian Methodism had gone; now he was unable to get up even an old fashioned holy grunt, he felt so full of the holy ghost, or the influences of the holy host.  He had attended and taken part in seventy-nine Methodist Camp meetings; this was the eightieth camp meeting, and better than all the others put together.  What a glorious contrast!  I used to preach and portray hell in such vivid language, the whole multitude would sway to and fro with horror, as though the lava waves of hell were just ready to sweep them away into the awful vortex of eternal damnation.  But here I stand before this sea of smiling faces, lighted by the radiance of angel hosts, and proclaim the angel-gospel of glad tidings to all people.  It is the happiest day of my life.  But the past has had its uses; the preaching and doctrines of other times prepared the way for the present.  Faith and imagination, in our old revivals, took the wrong direction; we Spiritualists are to direct them aright.  We are here for this purpose.  We not only believe and imagine, but we know.  We open our minds, and our visions sweep the horizon of the opened heavens, till all the celestial empire glows, myriads bending over us with blessings.  The speaker ended with a fervor of devotion and inspiration, which reminded the devout hearer of the olden apostolic times of primitive history.

Mrs. S. L. Chappell, now of Boston, the radical social individualizer, said she stood alone in her ideas of Spiritualism.  Perhaps it is so with all; we all have some views peculiarly our own; yet we all agree in certain things, certain fundamental principles.  There is more common ground of agreement among Spiritualists than among any other class of people, notwithstanding the great diversity and seeming contradictions among us.  We can afford to disagree.  We are accused of speaking irreverently of the Bible, the Church, of hell, of God, of religion, and many other things, and the accusation is often too just.  There are some speakers and writers who seem to forget that other persons of different beliefs and no belief have honest feelings and convictions, which are deeply wounded by their unguarded, wholesale manner of speaking and writing.  Some things have been said on this stand which are liable to do more injury than good.  Why talk against the Church?  We all believe in something like a Church.  So in regard to hell; we believe in some kind of a hell.  Yes, in hells, and we are passing through them for our discipline.  In one sense I reverence the Church, and all its old ideas of God, heaven, hell, Satan, ordinances.  The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and every other form and ceremony of the Church, have their sacred significance.  It is hard to put off at once all the old garments we wore in earlier years, and to pass from the old to the new.  In the changes ensuing many for a time are seemingly made worse in their moral, social and religious conditions.  The speaker did not know that she was as good now as she was years ago, but she hoped and trusted that the discipline through which she had passed and was still passing, and which made her in appearance worse than she was before, would eventually work out a higher condition of life.  Thrown back on ourselves by the terrible experiences of this transitional era, we are compelled to seek within our own souls the nucleus of a diviner life, and if we make the right use of these fearful strugglings through which we are passing, we shall gather new strength, and find ourselves sustained by the ministering angels of our Father.

Dr. U. Clark, leaving the Chair to announce the next speaker, remarked that in the transitional period of spiritual life, many persons found themselves so full of what they never saw or felt before, they were alarmed, and seemed as though they were under the obsession of diabolical influences.  A ragged, snarly-haired, snub-nosed, dirty-faced little boy, out West, had never looked into a mirror till one day he peeped into one that hung in the parlor of a new neighbor who had a medium in his family, and of whom the boy had heard all sorts of diabolical stories.  The boy, on seeing himself in the glass, ran home with hair erect with alarm, and frantically exclaimed that he had just seen an awful looking little devil staring right into his eyes.  Let those who misjudge Spiritualists, and those who attribute every little unpleasant influence to devils or evil spirits, be sure they first take a look into the mirror of their own souls, and see themselves as they are; seemingly diabolical from another world.  Cast from out of your own perverted selves all that is devilish, and no devils from beyond will ever more trouble you.

Dr. B. M. Lawrence sang his amusing and instructive reform song, “What we want,” and the session closed.

[Banner of Light, September 29:3-4]

Friday Afternoon Session—At the ringing of the bell an immense concourse of people had assembled on the camp ground.  The number was not less than three thousand.  Every horse-car and steam-car came loaded, and the long caravan of vehicles from Malden to the grove, swarmed like huge bee-hives with their happy human burdens.

“My days are gliding swiftly by,” was sung by a grand chorus, composed of the choir and hundreds of voices in the audience.

Isaac P. Greenleaf, the well-known and efficient lecturer, of Kenduskeag, Me., was announced, and he began speaking on the law of progress.  Without the doctrine of progression, but little hope would be entertained either for individuals or the race.  The history of mankind illustrates how one age after another has unfolded improvements for the advancement of art, science, philosophy and religion.  But while we are expatiating so loudly in regard to the progress of the race as a whole, we should remember as first in importance, individual improvement.  There are periods in our lives when we grow faint, weak and disheartened.  We sink in our esteem, and the way looks dark before us.  Let us at such times come under the influence of old theologic teachings, and we grow still more disheartened.  But on the other hand, let us learn the law of progress, learn that by nature we are progressive and immortal beings, destined to an unending march onward and upward, learn that all the labors, drawbacks, and trials of life have their use in testing, strengthening, and advancing us, and we shall go on our way with gladsome hope of ultimate triumph.  There is no other way for us to succeed in the grand aims and objects of life, than to work our way amid whatever comes.  We must work our way through this world, and work our way to Heaven.  There must be no murmuring, no repining, no whining, no wincing; it is ours, like heroes and heroines, to bear whatever is rolled on our back, and bear bravely.  It is not our always to judge what we need most; hence we murmur and wish our lot changed.  But our celestial guides know best, I know by experience.  I have suffered as many of you have suffered.  If I have not borne enough, let the angel-world pile on more and more, and still more, and I will bear it all like a man.  The old religion taught us that we must be made miserable before we could be made happy; we must have an experience.  Let us accept whatever good hints the Church of the past has left us.  I once went through a Church conversion which lasted only four days; the bad conduct of Church members drove me away with sorrow and repulsion.  But I am grateful for the experience, and grateful for all I have endured, though like David I have been down into “the lowest hell.”  The discipline of sufferings and sorrows which the world can never know, has brightened the armor of my spirit for the great warfare still before me, and chastened my affections to enable me to commune more clearly with beloved ones here, and beloved ones gone on before.  Mr. Greenleaf closed with a practical appeal which left a lasting impression.

Ex-Rev. J. G. Fish, Principal of the East Jersey Normal Institute, located on the domain of the North American Phalanx, Red Bank, N. J., was next introduced.  He spoke of ancient and modern evidences of Spiritualism, or immortality.  The Bible gives different views on the subject of immortality.  Many of its writers make no allusion to a future state; some of them take grounds in seeming conflict with others.  One thing is certain, the only proofs of immortality given by the Bible, are those which are based on manifestations, communications and inspirations coming direct from the spirit-world—proofs analogous to those of modern Spiritualism.  In all ages, the religious element has been the mightiest force to move the masses.  An appeal to God, or the gods, has been adequate to move the people.  Moses availed himself of this religious element in appealing to the people of Israel.  Communing with the guardian spirits of the Israelites, he used the name of Jehovah, God and Lord.  Like other ancient religious revelators, he deified the spirits communicating with mortals, and worshiped them as gods.  After Moses had become established in the confidence of the people, he prohibited all spiritual phenomena among the masses, in order that he might maintain an ecclesiastical monopoly.  This has been the course of nearly all ecclesiastical combinations; they have put themselves between the people and the spirit-world, to shut out all light, liberty, and truth which did not come through their authority.  And the result has always been a relapse of faith.  Constant evidences are needed to keep alive the religious faith and interests of the people.  There are Spiritualists who say we need no more manifestations.  But we do need them; thousands and millions of them; we shall always need the phenomena in order that we may keep the faith and fact of immortality demonstrated.  Mourners cannot be comforted by being told that Jesus rose from the dead centuries ago; they want proof that their friends are not dead.  We to-day must give the mournful and the unbelieving what was given the same class years ago.  The New Testament is full of phenomena analogous to the modern.  Mr. Fish then went into an interesting and a scholarly narration of the spiritual facts of the Bible; the experiences of the primitive Christians; the testimony of Tertulian and other early Christian fathers in conformity with Spiritualism; and on the whole made one of the most substantial addresses heard during the meeting.

Mrs. S. L. Chappell said she was understood to be extremely radical, and perhaps unpopular.  Yet she could afford to wait for the time to come when men and women would take no alarm, and be prepared for whatever utterance might come.  Her experiences had taken her through the severest ordeals like Gethsemene and Golgotha.  She thanked God for the glorious example of the Nazarene.  We must be saved and perfected like him, through suffering.  Divinest strength comes to us through sympathy with Jesus.  He is the highest ideal of a true, noble, spiritual, divine life.  We are just beginning to understand the Bible in the light of Spiritualism—not as a book of final authority, but a record of the past.  We are just beginning to understand the beautiful character of Christ, and our unfoldment will never be complete till we attain the Christ-plane.  Then we shall deal no more in hate, suspicion, selfishness, slander, but learn to overcome evil with good.  The speech of Mrs. Chappell was regarded by many in the audience as one of the finest eulogies on a rational, spiritual Christianity.

John Wetherbee, Jr., of Boston, the man of the people, yet the State street magnate of stocks and mines, always full of the spiciest deftest things needed by the practical multitude, was next introduced to close the afternoon session.  He said he wished he had some terms better than “brothers and sisters,” with which to greet the many happy faces before him.  We are here for a great work in behalf of ourselves, and the said, suffering, sorrowing, laboring millions of our kindred.  The masses of the people are bearing burdens of which we but little realize.  We are looking for a better era for the redemption of the race from various forms of evil.  Physical, mental and spiritual revolutions succeed each other in human history; we are now coming into a great spiritual revolution destined to overthrow all forms of religion which oppress and benighten the mind.  The bondage of fear is broken.  The light of science is dispelling all superstition.  A wag undertook to frighten Cuvier by dressing himself up with hoofs and horns in imitation of some pictures of the devil.  But Cuvier quizzed the fellow of shorn hoofs and horns, and put him to flight.  So with the masses of the people to-day.  You are not to be scared by representations of devil, hells, or threats of damnation.  Over all the fearful legends of the past, Spiritualism is spreading its benign radiance, in prophecy of the better time coming.

After the singing of a doxology, the immense congregation adjourned in perfect order, till the evening session.

Friday Evening Session—Additional lights having been put up in the grove, the camp ground presented a cheerful and brilliant appearance as twilight faded, and the great temple of Nature sparkled in every leaf.  The scene was one of indescribable interest as the immense throng of people poured in from every direction, till more than three thousand were gathered around the speakers stand.

Dr. U. Clark presiding, announced “Cambridge,” as the opening hymn of the evening, and the audience joined with the choir in making the woodland echo with the sound of thousands of voices.

Dr. P. B. Randolph, of New Orleans, a delegate to the Southern Loyalists’ Convention, and known as one of the earliest spiritual orators, graduating from a barber’s shop in Utica, N.Y., in 1852, was introduced as the opening speaker.  His theme was Spiritualism.  Though one of the earliest investigators and mediums, after all he had learned and experienced, seen, heard, felt, said and written, the speaker confessed that he knew but little of this greatest of all themes.  There was a time when he thought he knew all about it—spirits, angels, archangels and God.  But now after having begun to realize the vastness of man, Deity and universe, and the eternity of being, all he knew vanished into insignificance before the immeasurable unknown.  God is infinite, and baffles our finite capacity to comprehend his entire being.  Man, made in the image of God, is likewise infinite; and there are thoughts, emotions, aspirations and capabilities wrapped up within him, which lift him up, and out and on, till he is lost in the immeasurableness of the universe.  Let our faith and fancy soar off until we seem to take in one solar system after, till we attain to the highest standard of angels, archangels, yea, of the mightiest gods reigning enthroned in the heavens, and after all, we have attained nothing compared with what is before us on the highway of endless progress.  There are immortals walking yonder upper spheres of celestial glory, compared with whom the wisest mortals are mere idiots.  In the meanest, lowest, blackest being bearing the image of God, there is a regal soul destined to take the loftiest place of which our imaginations can conceive.  Every step of our history, from childhood to the last stage of this mortal life, gives indications prophetic of eternal progress.  This view of our nature and destiny imposes on us perpetual duties which tax every power of our being.  There is no room for idleness.  We have too much to do and learn.  Our way must be worked all through this world, and we shall have something to do in heaven more than sing psalms, and play on harps, and sit on high benches through all eternity.  All that is false must be unlearned; that has been wrong, must be atoned for.  The employments in the spirit-world will be infinitely more various than they are in this.  And there we shall be free; free from all evils, sickness, sorrow, suffering, death, hell, and free from all slavery.  [Dr. Randolph’s allusion to the slavery of one of the races to which he belongs, elicited great sensation and applause.  Then followed a graphic description of the spirit-world, which no reporter could well re-produce on paper.]  There no limits will bound our pursuit of knowledge, or our pursuit of aught which our immortal natures demand.  But before we take our place on the highway of this glorious and eternal destiny, we must become entirely disencumbered of everything appertaining to the selfish, sordid, sensual.  We must, in some way, make atonement for every thought, word and deed which has wounded, wronged, or injured a friend or fellow-being.  Peace of conscience and hope of happiness can be purchased only by a self-consecration like that of Jesus.  [The speaker concluded by alluding to his mission among the colored population of the South, and made a powerful and successful appeal to the sympathies of the audience.]

Mrs. Clara Dearborn, of Worcester, Mass., a lady endowed with fine abilities and excellent address, though lacking the public experience sufficient to develop power enough to hold the large assembly, after offering congratulations on the happy and auspicious occasion of the evening, made some good remarks on charity, and gave an exhortation as to the need of constant effort in behalf of everything pure and ennobling.

Mrs. Fannie Allyn, still persisting, as she means to do, in her neat, saucy, tidy, well-becoming Dio-Lewis short-dress, Half-Turkish attire, was again called to the stand and welcomed by an applauding multitude.  She was favored with the happiest inspirations flowing from the sea of faces around her and the unseen throng above.  In fine poetic measure she made a most practical and appropriate allusion to everything and everybody connected with the camp-meeting—the scene before her, the lighted grove, the glimmering stars, the tinted foliage, the speakers, mediums, the angel couriers of the air, the thousands of sparkling eyes and beating hearts, the earthly home and the home beyond, the great spiritual cause, the Banner of Light and, in short, everything which seemed calculated to arouse the better thoughts and feelings of the assembly and send them home happy, harmonic and blest; and, as she closed, there was a loud and long-clapping of thousands of hands.  The beauty, genius, originality and appropriateness and rapid, ready utterance of this poetic effusion, left no doubt of the inspirationality of the young speaker.  The substance of the closing stanzas was nearly as follows:

Ye have gathered in God’s temple, with immortals very near,
Whispering words of holy comfort, of loving, hopeful cheer,
Lifting up your aspirations to the angels’ Summerland,
While they pour, in showers upon you, inspiration from their band.
Listen, then, oh, kindly, to the soothing music notes
Coming from the higher love-realms which around ye ever floats,
Till it wakes the God within you with its harmony profound,
As ye gather here in peace to-night on this camp-meeting ground.

Ye have listened, men and women, ye have heard, oh, sire and youth,
The inspiration flowing from the brilliant fount of truth!
Ye have caught the gleams of knowledge, and your souls these thoughts can view.
Test your theories by practice; yours it is this work to do.
Spirits, with their love returning, with their words of truth and right.
Use that noble, grand, old standard, the Banner of (true) Light,
Will you rally round its glist’ning folds, in this army grand be found,
Thus blessing with your words and deeds our own camp-meeting ground?

For its editor, brave and fearless, advocates the truth to-day;
Aid him, oh, ye men and women! sustain him in his way!
There are hosts of others working ‘neath this Banner of (true) Light,
Side by side, and ever onward, with our own unselfish White.
Join this army marching upward, and let kind thoughts be your creeds,
Your sermons be your noblest thoughts, your invocations deeds.
Resolve to-night, so do, and dare to be with actions crowned.
Ye’ll always then look back with joy to this camp-meeting ground.

And Western hands have reared a shrine; go onward to its aid.
Philosophical religion can never die or fade,
While little gems are sparkling with a light ye may behold,
Shining down within the children’s hearts that blossoms may unfold.
Men of wealth and souls of talent, work, and let your watchword be,
“Light is o’er us, and religion brings eternal liberty.”
Faithful do your duty ever, bear the cross and wear the crown,
While the angels flood with glory this grand camp-meeting ground.

The meeting then adjourned to the next morning.

[. . . Saturday . . .]

[Banner of Light, October 20:4]

Sunday Morning Session—“The last great day,” of the Camp Meeting opened fair and beautiful.  The tents were nearly all beautifully decorated with flowers and appropriate devices, conspicuous among which was the Banner of Light tent, tastily ornamented by Flora, in compliment of the Dear-born representative who stood at the door dealing out books and Banners.  At an early hour, Pierpont Grove began to swarm with countless hosts pouring in from the regions around, and from Boston.  As no cars ran from Boston except the horse-cars, hundreds if not thousands were unable to find conveyances, though the horse-cars ran numerous extra trains.

Dr. U. Clark, in the Chair, read Mark xvi.

E. S. Wheeler, of Boston, made the opening speech.  Spiritualism sought for the good and true in all things; it could spare nothing; it reaches down to the lowest and ascends to the loftiest; it stops short of nothing but the salvation of all souls.  A touching allusion was made to Pierpont.  Mr. Wheeler’s discourse, occupying half an hour, was highly inspirational, and moved the audience in the right direction.

Dr. B. M. Lawrence spoke on the parable of the marriage feast, and felicitously illustrated the need of a marriage between the front and the back brain, in order that the animal propensities might be used as propelling powers to the intellectual, moral and religious nature of man.

A. C. Robinson, of Salem, Mass., an able inspirational speaker, referred to his experience in passing through several religious phases, and rejoiced now in the enjoyment of a religious which satisfied the whole nature of man.  He spoke with emotion, and evinced an earnest soul.

Mrs. Litch extended a spirit-greeting to the audience, and sang a song.

“My days are gliding swiftly by,” was sung in full chorus by the multitude, and the old rocks and woodlands never rang with chorus so loud and harmonic.

J. Gurney, of South Hanson, Mass., advocated a religion not appealing to the emotions, but rather to the intellect.

Mrs. J. D. Ricker gave a lucid exposition of the Spiritualism of the New Testament in comparison with the modern, referring to the transfiguration, the casting out of demons, the curing of the sick, etc., and in closing made an appropriate practical appeal, urging, if it needs be, that we should sometimes fast and pray in order that we might put ourselves in conditions receptive to celestial influences.

Dr. E. Sprague said he rejoiced anew, this morning, in the glorious gospel of Spiritualism, calling out so many thousand people.

J. N. Hodges offered the closing remarks of the morning, and left the audience in a good condition to be dismissed.

Sunday Afternoon Session—At the opening of this session it was estimated that over seven thousand people were on the camp-ground, and yet all was quiet and orderly.

“Come, holy spirit, heavenly dove,” was sung by the choir and the assembled throng.

Judge J. S. Ladd, of Cambridge, Mass., delivered the opening half-hour address, and it was a masterly effort, laying the foundations of Spiritualism, strong, broad and deep, on the bases of science, philosophy and experience, and no thinking minds could resist the overwhelming evidences of his sound logic, clear reasoning, and his calm, winning eloquence.

E. S. Wheeler followed with moving words, reaching the heads and hearts of all.  His closing appeal urged Spiritualists to their great work in all the issues of the hour.

Jonathan Pierce, of Boston, took the stand, and offered the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted by silent assent:

Resolved, By the conductors of this Spiritualistic Camp Meeting, that they hereby tender to the ladies and gentlemen who have attended the several sessions held in this Pierpont Grove, their sincere thanks for the uniform courtesy and harmony existing throughout the continuance of the meeting.

Resolved, That they heartily thank the Police force under Capt. J. T. Lurvey, of Melrose, for the efficient manner in which they have performed the duties devolving upon them.

Resolved, That they feel under great obligations to Mr. H. F. Taylor, of Malden, for the admirable manner in which he has provided for the accommodation of the audiences attending the meeting.

Resolved, That to all the speakers and singers they feel under lasting debts of gratitude, for the efficient aid furnished by them individually in making this, the “first Spiritualist Camp Meeting of Malden and Melrose,” held in Pierpont Grove a permanent success.

Resolved, That words are inadequate to express their heartfelt thanks and gratification to Joseph Lynde, Esq., for his kind tender of the use of the beautiful grove which we now occupy.

Resolved, That to the proprietors of the Banner of Light we hereby express our gratitude for the gratuitous publication of the call for this meeting, and respectfully commend their journal to believers and seekers after truth, knowing it to be the faithful and unflinching pioneer exponent of the Spiritual Philosophy.

Resolved, That when this Camp Meeting adjourns, it adjourn to meet again in Pierpont Grove, on the last Monday in August, 1867, and that we hereby extend a cordial invitation to all friends and inquirers, and speakers interested in our glorious cause throughout the country, to keep this adjournment in mind, and make due preparations to attend the grand Pentecost of the coming year.

[Banner of Light, October 27]

Sunday Afternoon Session continued—Abraham James, the Artesian Well medium of Chicago, Ill., a young gentleman of excellent address, gave an earnest greeting from the great prairies of the West.  He did not claim to be a public speaker, he said, yet his whole being was enlisted in the great practical issues of Spiritualism, and he rejoiced in the opportunity of giving in his testimony before the vast assembly before him.  He had fully tested the intelligence purporting to come from the bourne beyond, and the startling evidences he had received were sufficient to settle his faith and afford him knowledge adequate to govern him in all the affairs of life.  Mr. James’s manly voice and earnest words elicited a hearty response from the audience.

Prof. John H. W. Toohey, of Boston, was introduced on the stand for the first time, having been previously detained by illness.  He referred to Mr. Wheeler’s saying that he should like to talk till he made them all weep; he, Mr. Toohey, said he should prefer to make them laugh, Sunday though it was.  Our religion has been too solemn and sober-faced; a larger, liberal religion calls into legitimate activity every faculty of our natures.  This was happily illustrated by an anecdote told in reference to a Catholic Irishman attending worship in a Methodist Church, where he fell into sad and grotesque blunders, and grew perplexed on finding no altar of sacrifice in the house.  The popular religious idea has been to incorporate something like penances or sacrifices into all our relations.  Spiritualism is many-phased, touching every department of humanity, and quickening all our faculties into a rounded and robust manhood.  I stand here an Irishman yet the blood that flows through all Ireland is the blood coursing through all the veins of our common human brotherhood; and the same Infinite Mind that rules the universe, is God over all in every age and clime.  The appeal of our age, as many-voiced as the angels of this last dispensation of the nineteenth century, comes pleading in the name of humanity for a religion whose great soul was educated by New England and the angel-world, and to-day I glory in standing in your midst with a soul beating in sympathy with the masses of New England, whose sentiments of progress go sweeping over the great West.  In prophecy of the regenerated Republic soon destined to triumph over all despotism, and reign queen of all earthly empires.  We Spiritualists are deemed irreverent, but we are not.  If with severity we sometimes handle things deemed sacred, it is because we ignore all superstitious authority and have more reverence for sacred principles underlying the grand substratum of all things.  Our religion teaches us to be cheerful and to cultivate the love of the beautiful.  Young men and young women vie with each other in excelling in the beautiful and attractive, and nothing is more legitimate when extremes are avoided.  Make yourselves beautiful, free, pure, noble, and worth of the divinity of your being.  Mr. Toohey closed with one of the grandest appeals to Spiritualists, fixing on them the responsibility of their mission as the vanguards of the age and the pioneers of reform destined to make our republic the evangel of the nations.

John Wetherbee, of Boston, opened with some facetious remarks about his not being the John of the New Testament, who was the forerunner of him who was the light of all, yet he supposed he had some little light, and if it would aid others, he was willing to let it shine.  Spiritualism is the great light of the century, shining alike on all who will open their eyes.  It assures us that life is no failure, and that there is a world beyond, where all our hopes and aspirations shall have eternal scope.  No wonder that millions have rallied around this great light of the age.  We are now a religious body, with which no power on earth can successfully cope.  All the sects and the people are coming into a recognition of the grand idea of immortality demonstrated.  Everybody sings, “John Brown’s body lies a mouldering in the ground, but his soul is marching on.”  To us this is a reality.  All souls are marching along, and there is no end to their progress.  From this fact, Mr. Wetherbee drew encouraging inferences, enabling every Spiritualist to feel happier and better in their faith than ever before.

Miss Julia J. Hubbard, of Malden, by special request, again took the platform, and said: I stand before you, as you see, but a young girl.  I am a Spiritualist and a medium, thank God, or I might have been carried away by the follies of the world, like many of my age and sex.  As I told you in my experience yesterday, I have been raised from the borders of the grave, in order that I might go forth and proclaim this glorious gospel of angel-life.  When I remember that I am an uneducated girl, coming forth from no high station in society, I sometimes falter; but I know there are teachers who have me in charge—spirits there are who can educate and sustain us beyond what all mortals can do.  I make no undue professions; I cannot boast, yet I know I am a better Christian now than I was before I became a believer and a medium.  We Spiritualists are accused of casting away everything sacred-—he Bible, prayer &c.  I do not reject the Bible; it is more sacred now than every before, and so is genuine prayer.  If you want to know what Spiritualism is, go home to your closets, take your Bible, and read it by the light of heaven and under the inspiration of the angel-host.  Read it with clear mind and pure heart, and the loved ones of the better world will draw near and reveal themselves to your inner life.  I appeal to you, oh ye, my young as well as old friends, and when the light of conviction dawns on your souls, you will arise with new life, and if needs be, will be prepared to give up all else.  I have give up all for Spiritualism, and I would not exchange my faith, nor my mission, hard and terrible though its trials may be at times, for all the honors and treasures of this outer world, for all these shall fade away before the crowns which shall one day bedeck the martyr souls offered up on the altars of humanity.

After the choir and congregation had sun an appropriate doxology, the services of the afternoon closed, and the multitude dispersed in peace, almost every person on the ground indulging in exclamations of satisfaction and enjoyment.

Sunday Evening, and Closing Session—Contrary to expectations, at the ringing of the bell the audience assembled was larger than on any former evening.

Ex-Rev. E. Sprague was again announced.  He felt an unusual degree of the spirit.  Allusion was made to the Provincetown Methodist Camp Meeting which he attended, and to a colored brother who shouted, “I’m going home!”  We are all going home; this meeting soon closes, and we depart to our homes here, and many will soon depart to the long home of many mansions.  Our parting here, as soon we must part, is the saddest of the meeting.  But how unlike is our parting compared with the partings at other meetings.  We separate with the full assurance of meeting again on yonder glorious camp ground in the eternal summer-land.  We part, knowing that our labors here have not been in vain.  There is no mourning, no fear nor trembling lest this may be the last time we shall meet, save at the bar of an angry God, who may thunder a doom of endless woe on millions.  Let us carry to our homes and into the labors and walks of every-day life, the good influences of this meeting, that our light may shine on the pathway of all who are around us.

Mrs. Kittridge, who had never spoken publicly before, made some practical remark on the need of reform.

Dr. B. M. Lawrence enforced the duty of self-abnegation; the need of subjecting the animal to the spiritual, and insisted that there were times when fasting and prayer were essential, in order that the spirit might become clearer and purer for the reception of heavenly influences.

E. S. Wheeler enjoined our need to “Seek first the kingdom of heaven;” the soul and body must be consecrated and made meet for the indwelling of the divine and angelic; all that appertains to the false, earthly, selfish and external, must be subjected to the heavenly.  To realize the “kingdom of heaven,” we must enjoy a full measure of the celestial, and heed nothing that would bind us to the old, false, material.  I am a radical in all things, and yet conservative in everything good and true.  I have been deemed an outlaw, because I dare utter my honest convictions on whatever comes uppermost.  I am excommunicated by those who themselves have been excommunicated, and yet I am still in the great church of God and humanity, to which there is no outside, for it takes in the universe.  I was a great reformer once; I took reform very badly, it struck in, and then broke out in blotches all over; and since that I have been better; and now Spiritualism to me sums up all reforms in regard to slavery, rum, tobacco, and everything else.  We have had reform conventions, and reform resolutions without number, and what have they accomplished without the life-giving power of Spiritualism?  We want something more than speech-making, and something more than phenomena.  Blind enthusiasm and wholesale credulity have had their day; and yet there are many Spiritualists whose Spiritualism consists in nothing save questionable phenomena; this was illustrated by an incident; an old lady asking the raps if her “Son Moses had sawern the sperit of his sitern Sally Ann in the sperit-land,” and on getting an affirmative response, she exclaimed, “Du tell! Oh, isn’t that a powerful tester.”  From which the speaker drew a moral, urging the need of applying the practical test to all our faith and philosophy.

Miss Julia J. Hubbard, having been specially requested again took the stand, and made an appeal to the young.  Many young friends had greeted her during the meeting; and she rejoiced in the good influence she had felt while communing with so many noble hearts and minds.  There is something good in all of you, and on coming here, the better elements of your nature have been called out, and we have all been held in order and harmony.  Just so it will be at all times and everywhere, if we only keep our souls pure, and open to each other and the angel-world.  The sunlight of God’s love shines down on all who are prepared to receive it, and all we have to do is to open the windows of our being, and keep our spirits pure and clear.  If we are the true children of our Father; we shall love all as he loves, and as the angels love, and we shall not say or do aught to wound or injure each other.  We come not to destroy, but to save.  It is not our mission to tear down, but to build up.  Why should we wrangle with the church, or seek to tear it down?  It has its divine use, and must needs exist until its work is done.  Woman has her peculiar mission in our age; her influence is needed in every work of progress, and she must stand side by side with man, to lend him her inspirational aid and influence; if she was first to tempt him out of Eden, she must now become the Messiah to get him back again.

Dr. U. Clark, yielding the chair, was announced by Vice-President A. Goodell.  He spoke of the contrast between this meeting and meetings where multitudes sat trembling under the dogmas of olden times and shuddering in dread of the impending doom of eternal death or eternal woe.  A rapid glance was taken of bible phenomena, and the analogous phenomena of modern Spiritualism.  The feeble faith of the Church and of the masses of the people left millions mournful, desolate and despairing.  A touching incident was narrated; a mother wailing over the loss of an only son who had gone without hope of eternal life, and threatened with appalling insanity, till at last her son came back with a message, drying her tears and gladdening her soul with the light of the spirit-land.  And how many thousands will go from this camp meeting baptized with the radiance of that morning-land where we shall all strike hands and harps in harmony with the everlasting paeans echoing through the measureless arches of the empyrean glory—gleams of that celestial empire already burst through the rifted clouds lowering for ages, and lo! the long weary sentinels watching on the ramparts of humanity, the martyr warriors worn on many bloody battlefields, lift up their eyes, and behold the mountains and the heavens filled with marshaling hosts gleaming with sun-clad armor, and sounding the bugle-call of the century.  Up for life’s great conflict, oh brothers and sisters! and let the shout of your onward march blend with the angel shout, “Glory to God in the highest!”

Mrs. Hattie Sturtevant gave some suggestive hints on the reforms we needed.  “Simon, Peter, lovest thou me?”  “Feed my lambs.”  Above all else, we must remember the young, those who were young in wisdom and knowledge, as well as young in years.

Dr. P. Clark, having been an old camp-meeting stager, and though not an old man, but the oldest on the stand, was called on to offer the valedictory remarks.  He made happy allusions to the various sessions of this the first Spiritualist camp meeting, and gave all the attendants and participants their equal share of praise and thanksgiving.  It was the biggest and best meeting he ever attended.  To say that he felt full and running over, was nothing compared with what he wanted to say; he felt full of glory, and covered all over and over again with glory, glory, glory, halleluiah!  He wanted to shout, he wanted everybody to shout; he wanted all the trees of the woodland, and the rocks, and the floods, and all the stars of heaven to shout, as the angels of glory were shouting and carrying the tidings of the meeting home to the millions on the other side of Jordan.  The Doctor said he was almost ready to go himself, but he concluded to stay here a little longer, long enough to attend several more such camp meetings, and so he wound up his good old-fashioned valedictory, felling as gloriously good as ever, and leaving the throng with a benediction and happy good-night.

And the First Spiritualist Camp Meeting adjourned to meet again in Pierpont Grove the last week in August, 1867.

DR. URIAH CLARK, President.
DR. P. CLARK, Vice-President.
A. GOODELL, Vice-President.
MR. and MRS. DRS. B. M. LAWRENCE, Secretaries.


Thus ended one of the most significant series of meetings ever called together under the auspices of Spiritualism.  The idea of a Spiritualist Camp-meeting was at first scouted by a majority of the prominent believers in this vicinity.  It was deemed exceedingly unpopular, and many supposed it would be impossible to maintain order.  The holding of such a meeting originated with Messrs. Vaughn, Tompson, Hopkins, and some other friends in Malden and Melrose, who were interested in the meetings begun at Dr. U. Clark’s Rural Home Cure in Malden, last June.  At last they took a tour of observation, selected the grove, and held Sunday afternoon meetings during the summer.  Dr. P. Clark, of Boston, was the first one who named the proposed Camp-meeting publicly, and he predicted its success.  While Dr. U. Clark also predicted that it would inaugurate a new era in the propagandism of modern Spiritualism.

It is an interesting fact that all who attended the meeting, no matter how prejudiced they were before, went away free from all prejudice, not only against Spiritualist camp-meetings, but against Spiritualism.  Those who were at first timid, were in the end bold and loud in praise.  Most of the Boston Dailies sent reporters, and gave none but respectful reports.  The horse-car company ran extra cars, and had signs specially painted for the purpose: “To Spiritualist Camp.”  The Superintendent of the Boston and Maine Railroad declined making any arrangements with reference to the meeting, and his lack of faith in the meeting lost the company from five to ten thousand fares, a loss which may probably enlighten the company before next August.  The Sunday sessions of the meeting drew so largely on the surrounding churches, many ministers prayed for anything but spiritual camp-meetings.  At one of the prayer-meetings rain was prayed for, but in vain, for the weather was fair throughout, while during the weeks of each of the large Methodist camp-meetings held in New England, rains were singularly copious.  Was it because the Methodist’s God was too far off or too incompetent to interpose, while the spirits had power to control the elements, as Jesus did the winds and waves of Galilee?  Many incidents could be cited in illustration of the good effects of the meeting on the minds of those who came there only to laugh and scoff.  A party of young folks from Melrose attended for the avowed purpose of making fun; but they proved perfectly orderly, and, on being asked if they had any sport, the ringleader said he “didn’t see or hear anything to make sport of.”


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