Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 67, 1886

Diary, July 1886


July 16-27, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3Bio 352.

Second Visit to Denmark

Friday, July 16, 1886

Friday, half-past twelve o’clock we stepped on board the steamer for Copenhagen. We were very unwilling to travel upon the Sabbath, but there was no other way for us to do and reach our appointments. We retired early, before the Sabbath commenced, and we had a good night’s rest. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 1

Saturday, July 17, 1886

We had a cup of hot water in the morning and a little bread. We did not reach Copenhagen as early as usual because of head winds. Brother Brorson was at the depot waiting for us, and we took a hack to our rooms secured in a hotel, and we could get nothing to eat until four o’clock. We had eaten only a portion of bread and a few strawberries which we brought with us, and hot water, since Friday noon, and we were faint and hungry upon the boat. We rested much and slept considerable on the boat. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 2

Sunday, July 18, 1886

Copenhagen, Denmark

I have written a letter of eight pages to Dr. Kellogg on letter paper. Spoke in the evening from Hebrews 6[?]:24-26. This is a pleasure-loving city. Dancing and amusement of every kind are engaged in with zeal and earnestness, as though their eternal interest would be best secured by self-indulgence. There is beer drinking, card playing, and profligacy. The religious element of the churches is “Enjoy yourselves.” Self-denial and bearing the cross are not brought into their religious life. What kind of heaven would it be if these classes go there without a thorough transformation of character? Jesus the precious Saviour is not loved and honored by them here by practicing His life of humiliation. Christ’s life has no charms for them. Then how will they enjoy His presence in the world made new, or in the city of God? 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 3

The Lord blessed me in speaking. The hall was well filled. Many were obliged to stand, yet they all listened with attention; and I do hope the words spoken may set some to thinking and inquiring, “What shall I do to be saved?” [Acts 16:30.] If I had not felt the power of the Lord sustaining, I should have felt discouraged. But for the thought that this would be the sowing of seed which would bring forth good fruit, I should not have had any hope that our labors were producing results. But I was sustained in bearing the straight testimony. I had the assurance that Christ was by my side, inspiring my heart to utter the very message He gave me, and I was encouraged by Christ’s presence. I felt a signal manifestation of His rich grace and the interesting coincidences evidenced that the Lord Jesus was in the assembly. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 4

Monday, July 19, 1886


Attended morning meeting. Only twenty-four were present. Workmen have to be at their business or lose their place, and this would be a great calamity, for there are thousands in this city who can get no employment up to this time. There has been much building going on, but the times have changed. [Now there is] but little building, but little painting, and want and starvation are the only prospect before a large number of poor families. Those who came out were much interested. I spoke from Nahum 1:7. After I had ceased speaking, many excellent testimonies were borne. One man has been for six months searching the Bible and moving cautiously upon the truth. He was a sea captain; was a Methodist class leader; can speak English. The class he taught in Sunday school were much attached to him, but the minister told him it would not do to have him teach the class any longer. He has not yet united with the church, but intends to walk carefully. He is much respected. He has a commanding appearance. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 5

There is still another man who has newly come to the faith who designs to do colporteur work. He bears a good appearance. He and the sea captain and all present wept and seem to feel deeply impressed. They bore excellent testimonies. W. C. White and I walked out in the botanical garden. These grounds are open most all hours for all to enter, and there is a great variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers. We conversed some in regard to future plans and could not make decisions long beforehand, for we knew not what changes may take place with us. Our lives and time are the Lord’s. He will direct us as fast as He sees it shall be for our good and His glory. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 6

Tuesday, July 20, 1886


Arise at four. My heart is drawn out in earnest prayer to God that I may have His presence to go with me. I am weak and unworthy; but if the Lord can use me, frail and imperfect, to act a part in His work, I will consider it the greatest honor. How carefully we need to walk before the Lord, lest we shall feel self-confident and go forward in our own spirit. Jesus says, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Then we must not leave Jesus, but the language of our heart should be, “Abide with me.” I feel this morning that confidence in God that I can commit the keeping of my soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. I would trust Him as fully and simply as a child its earthly parents. It seems to me this morning that we can go about our work, doing our very best with watchfulness and with prayer, and dismiss our many anxieties and worries. The Lord would have us bring our burdens to Him, and He says He will give us rest. Do we believe His word? Will we comply with the conditions? Will we come to Jesus? If we remain apart from Him, we cannot wear His yoke, neither can we lift His burden. If we come to Him, we shall not be disappointed. He said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 7

Wednesday, July 21, 1886


Awakened at three o’clock and do considerable writing before breakfast. Then attend morning meeting. The numbers increase. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 8

Thursday, July 22, 1886

Friday, July 23, 1886

Saturday, July 24, 1886

Sunday, July 25, 1886

Monday, July 26, 1886

We left Copenhagen Monday morning. After riding two hours stepped on board the boat at Corsia for Kiel. We were surprised to find so large a number of English-speaking people on the boat. W. C. White generally writes on the cars and on the boat. While he was writing as usual, many gentlemen and ladies collected around him to see the calligraph, which was a new machine to them. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 9

After the wonder was over, several had something else to attend to. A man of the higher class of society began to smoke. He bore an intelligent, good countenance, but his face was very red. Others joined him and regaled themselves with tobacco to their hearts’ content. Then refreshments were called for, which consisted of a platter of fat pork and beer without bread. The red-faced gentleman and his lady enjoyed this repast. If it were to be a rough passage, it would do them no harm. The wind became very strong and the water somewhat rough, and the lady lay down on the upper deck. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 10

I had been up early preparing for our journey at 3 A.M. and went below into the ladies’ cabin. The atmosphere was not fresh, but musty and oppressive. I slept a short time and began to feel premonitions of sea sickness. I went at once on deck, where W. C. White was, and though the wind was blowing strong, it was grateful to me. I finally overcame the disagreeable sickness, but was giddy headed. I did not venture to trust myself below, but I observed several of the beer drinkers were throwing up their pork and meat. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 11

The lady who had eaten the pork and drunk the beer became very sick, as I expected she would. Her good-looking, red-faced husband kept up a continual smoking. She motioned to him that his cigar was making her sick. He turned his head a trifle but continued to smoke. Sarah went down below and lay down, and the lady had to be helped below by her husband. He kept up his smoking. His wife was very sick, and she moaned and cried like a child being punished. I think her pork on this occasion did her no harm. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 12

We were not any of us very level headed when we arrived at Kiel. We were not sorry to leave the boat. The waiting room was much larger than at Hamburg, but was arranged in a similar manner. A restaurant seemed to all the specialty here as in Hamburg. At every sofa was placed a table, and soon every sofa was occupied with families or gentlemen and ladies, and soon the foaming mugs of beer came on, and after the performing of clicking the mugs together they drank their beer. Some called for bread and cut it and drank the beer and placed the foaming glass to the mouths of their little children. And women drank just as freely as the men. Then that which I had dreaded came—the cigars—and there was the most earnest, devoted smoking, and this was continued. The gentlemen, if I may call them so, send forth clouds of poisonous tobacco smoke, puffing it directly into the faces of the ladies by their side. The effluvia of tobacco was almost unendurable, and this is all the room there was for the accommodation of travelers. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 13

We had favorable accommodations—a compartment to ourselves. We rode about two hours and changed cars at Hamburg. Our baggage had to pass through the custom house for examination. We were again favored with a compartment to ourselves and had good accommodations for the night. We have no sleeping cars attached to the trains as in America. In some compartments the seats can be adjusted and form a very good chance to sleep. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 14

Passing out of Hamburg we passed a beer garden. It is more than one hundred feet long by about forty feet wide. Although it was ten o’clock at night, this beer garden was well patronized. The garden was made most attractive. Large chandeliers hung from the ceiling, for the garden was roofed and the sides open. There were most beautiful plants, shrubs, and flowers and music, and here were men, women, and youth all engaged in beer drinking. I thought if tact and skill were employed to make eternal considerations attractive, then many more would be withdrawn from Satan’s snare and be attracted to truth and the loveliness of Christ. Any amount of money is expended to appeal to the senses, to allure away souls from God to travel the broad path that leads to perdition. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 15

July 27, 1886

We have passed as comfortable a night as possible on the cars, without sleeping berths. We reached Cologne about 9 o’clock. There we changed cars. In order to be free from tobacco we chose seats outside the depot, but we were not relieved, for tobacco smokers were before us and on every side, puffing their smoke directly into our faces. But this poisonous atmosphere we must breathe must be endured. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 16

This place has a cathedral which building was commenced in 1232. The spire is five hundred thirty-two feet high, and the building is the same number of feet long. This is over five thousand inches. Services are held there every day, and people go to the confessionals. If the extravagance displayed here had been spent in making the auditorium comfortable for the worshipers, it would be far more appropriate; but it is a mass of money spent in making a costly, extravagant display, while the worshipers are not benefited a whit by this outlay of means. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 17

Now come the market women. There are hundreds of them. They come—young women, middle-aged women, young girls, old women of grey hairs—with heavy, loaded baskets upon their heads, full of fruit and vegetables. They bring all kinds of products to market. It is raining, and the dresses are tucked up around the waist. One girl of eighteen has loaded herself down completely—a very large basket upon her head, two baskets on one arm and another with bouquets. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 18

We rode all day until eight o’clock at night when we reached Basel. We were thankful to be at home again. We found our dear ones all safe and well. Mary and Ella are well. Marian looks badly. She is not doing well at all. I am so sorry. She keeps up as well as possible. 4LtMs, Ms 67, 1886, par. 19