The Journals & Notebook of
 Nathan Bangs 1805-1806, 1817


Contents    Introduction    Maps    Images    Chronology    Bibliography    Archival Resources

Editorial Annotations

Bangs makes several references to Methodists "male and female" or "men and women" praying, worshipping, or working side by side throughout the camp-meeting. It is interesting to note that the revised 1863 version of this account retains the phrase "old and young" to express diversity, but not the phrases "male and female" and "men and women."  See link in right-hand pane for the revised text published in 1863.


[Saturday 28 September 1805] 

At 5 o'C the next morning, Sat Sep. 28 prayer meeting was held again at the Stage and continued till eight. Then a Sermon was preached by Br. Keeler on "And he preached Christ unto them" [Acts 8.5] which was applied with power. Exhortations followed in the demonstration of the spirit. At 12o'C Br. Ryan addressed us in the Name of the Lord on "My people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge, at the application" [cf. Hos 4.6] of which God made bare his potent Arm; for the Window of heaven was opened and the bursting power of God descended upon the congregation, in such an awful manner, that it raised a general outcry among the people, who began to be numerous. The travelling and local preachers descended from the Stage and ran among the crowed exhorting the impenitent, comforting the distressed, and encouraging the faithful, calling out Men and brethren help. The word of command was instantly obeyed, for old and young, Male and Female were now employed in carrying on the work of God.

The people of God were chiefly in a bunch by themselves when the camp took fire and the wicked formed a circle round about where they stood with astonishment to see the exercise, whilst many of them were constrained to cry aloud for mercy. As soon as any were wounded by the spirit of God, they were immediately surrounded by a group of men and women who were earnestly engaged with God for their deliverance, and such faith had they that five were left before they were enabled to sing the song of Redeeming love.[*] It might now be said of a truth, the God of of the Hebrews is come into the camp, for the noise was heard afar off. The groans and cries of the wounded, the shouts of the delivered, the prayers of the faithful, and Exhortations of the courageous penetrated the very heavens, and reverberated trough the neighborhood. This exorcise continued till about sunset, when in its ceasing Br. Steel preached on "Behold he cometh with clouds &c." [Rev 1.7] After several exhortations the exercise ran into a prayer meeting which continued all night without intermission; during which time 5 Souls were Justified, 8 Backsliders reclaimed[] and 25 Sanctified. Our grateful hearts could not but return thanks to our gracious Sovereign, for so manifest a token of his lovingkindness, therefore we sang Glory to God in the highest.

* Rawlyk has "Love" (150)
Rawlyk has "2 Backsliders" (150)

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Primary Sources

Abel Stevens Life and Times of Nathan Bangs Stevens and Bangs on the second day of the camp meeting



fire: Spiritual fire (cf. Mt 3.11, 1 Thess 5.19, Acts 2.3, &c.)

local preachers: Preachers who were not usually ordained, did not travel circuits, were often married, and were always unpaid for the duties they performed. Local preachers often assisted itinerants and, when no itinerant was available, would also lead worship services and preach on Sundays.

wounded: Those brought to a conviction of their own sinfulness and their need for salvation. 


Edited by Scott McLaren
Book History Practicum
University of Toronto