Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 109, 1886

Walling, Addie

Nimes, France

November 1, 1886

Previously unpublished.

My dear daughter Addie:

We have been in this city two weeks and two days. This is a very ancient city, and it has one hundred thousand inhabitants. It is a very wicked city, and it is only within a few years that Protestants could find a foothold here. Now there are several Protestant churches. But it is a hard place to labor in. About fifteen good souls are now keeping the Sabbath, and we think some more will yet take hold of the truth. These have taken their stand, I understand, recently. All that is gained here is by the hardest. I have spoken twelve times, Brother Ings ten times, and he has done much good in this place and is much esteemed here. They say he makes everything so plain that they can get hold of it. 4LtMs, Lt 109, 1886, par. 1

Sister Ing’s health is improving. She is cheerful, and we hope she will enjoy her stay here in Europe. Sarah McEnterfer did not accompany me here. In the absence of Elder Whitney, Willie has a great burden upon him, and Sarah could be a great help in every way to him, especially in copying on the calligraph and taking dictations. I have written one hundred pages since coming to this place, besides my speaking. I labored very hard in England, contracted a severe cold which made me sick for a couple of weeks, notwithstanding I felt obliged to write. This place is ancient and noted for its ancient buildings and monuments. There is a fountain here that springs up from the earth like a bubbling spring and furnishes a deep, wide stream of water, very pure. The depth has never been ascertained. It flows in channels of its own and forms an island. On this island is the statue of the Goddess Diana, and her family and other statuaries in marble. There is solid masonry and inscriptions showing the Romans used this place for their baths. This hard, granite pavement was before Christ, and the statuary was before Christ. There is a large, immense building partially torn down, the temple of Diana, imitating, it is supposed, the temple in Ephesus. It was before the days of Christ. There are towers that I visited and climbed to the top which covered acres of ground that have been removed except the tower itself which history places far back to the days of Christ. I saw a whole floor of mosaic in the museum which is of the finest work of art—probably belonged to a king’s palace. 4LtMs, Lt 109, 1886, par. 2

Mr. Gilley, who has lived here all his life and is above sixty years old, is a man who has been a minister here for many years. He says that the people were taking down some old buildings to be replaced by new when they struck, in digging for cellars, a hard substance and could go no farther. Direction was given to the workmen to move carefully in their work and remove the earth which was several feet beneath the surface. Mr. Gilley was on the ground himself and saw this piece of work, which was very fine, taken up out of the ground. It is 30 feet by 20. In 1883 this piece of fine art was unearthed. There is a large amphitheater which is a short two-minutes’ walk from where Elder Bourdeau lives. This dates back to 1700, and up to this day in the arena are bullfights and large doings of the kind. There is an entire building that has been buried up in the ruins after invading armies have done their work, and many ancient inscriptions show that the building can be traced back seventeen hundred years. 4LtMs, Lt 109, 1886, par. 3

There are many things I have seen which I shall give a more full account of in the future. I have not been able to go out as much as I would have liked to do because it has rained much, and the prefect, the man who is in highest authority, has left to visit a place not but a few miles from here, where the inhabitants have been forced to leave their homes because flooded out and were then finding a refuge on higher ground of the graveyard. 4LtMs, Lt 109, 1886, par. 4

We leave at eight o’clock for Valence, six-hours’ ride on the cars, spend a day and two nights there speaking to the people. A few Sabbathkeepers are in the place and then go on our way to Italy to labor there two weeks and then visit the churches in Switzerland on our way to Basel. 4LtMs, Lt 109, 1886, par. 5

I have made some very pleasant acquaintances in this place. I visited the establishment for orphans and fallen women; was shown over buildings that are situated upon a high ascent of ground, one building on steep hillside above another. Mr. Schultze is a minister of the congregation called “Evangelical Order.” He showed me great respect as well as Mr. Gilley—both ministers and teachers of schools, the proprietors of the schools and of the institution. Sabbath, Mrs. Schultze came to our meeting and then proposed after meeting to call upon us with the proprietors of the schools and asylum and accompanied by his wife. We had a very social interview, and they expressed with much warmth their wish that God would spare my life to continue in the good and great work I was engaged. These all came to hear me in the evening as I spoke twice that day and brought fifty of the students of the school to hear me speak. Sunday they came out again, some of them, not all. Well, I am glad I showed them special attention and have their goodwill, for at least it will do as much as to spike their guns so they will not make a raid on me and will help the growing work in this place. 4LtMs, Lt 109, 1886, par. 6

I will be glad to get home to California when my work is done, but when will that be? 4LtMs, Lt 109, 1886, par. 7