Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 64, 1886

Diary, April - May 1886


April 30 - May 23, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3MR 228-229, 373-374; 5MR 27-28.

Labors in Switzerland—No. 5

April 30, 1886


We arrived at Geneva about eight o’clock last night. We found Brother Daniel Bourdeau’s family waiting at the depot for us. We found ourselves in a rainstorm. Our baggage was soon placed in a truck and we were taken to Brother Bourdeau’s house, where we were comfortable and cordially entertained. We retired early, as we had risen at four o’clock in the morning. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 1

We rested well until about five o’clock, then arose and commenced writing. Mary and I visited a bathroom and were refreshed by a good bath. Then I lay down about half an hour. Could not sleep, and arose and engaged in writing. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 2

We had an interview with a gentleman that Brother Bourdeau had become acquainted with. His brother was his companion in Grand Lion Mission, Canada. His name was _____. This man had received letters from Illinois repeating the same scandal that Elder Grant repeated in Torre Pellice, Italy. One of the editors of a paper received the same scandal and printed it. One of the same denomination, a man of influence, sent him a reproof and told him that was not the way for a Christian to do—to put down that which they considered error in doctrine by assailing the life and character of individuals. We had a very pleasant interview with this stranger. I gave him Volume IV of Great Controversy. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 3

Friday night at eight o’clock, after the commencement of the Sabbath, I spoke to a number assembled in Brother Bourdeau’s house. The president of the temperance society was present, and several others who understood English. I was much blessed in this meeting and several were in tears. The Lord is not confined to the large assembly. We hope the meeting will do good. A Paul may plant and Apollos water, but God giveth the increase. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 4

May 1, 1886


I did not rest well last night, after speaking and feeling intensely for the souls of those to whom I spoke. It is impossible for me to throw off the burden of the work, the deep earnestness that souls shall be converted to the truth. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 5

We took the cars at half-past seven for Lausanne. We arrived at Lausanne about ten o’clock and walked directly to the hall hired by our people in which to hold meetings. I spoke from the last verses of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. I was followed by Elders Bourdeau in French, Conradi in German. I felt assured that the presence of the Lord was with us. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 6

After I had finished my discourse, we had a social meeting. Many testimonies were borne by those who had recently embraced the truth. Three took their position decidedly that day to observe the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, there must be joy in heaven over the seventy souls who have, through searching the Scriptures like the noble Bereans to see if these things were so, seen evidence from the Scriptures and taken their position upon the commandments of God. The experiences given by those who have recently come to the truth were earnest and sincere and evidenced that the Lord had been at work with their hearts. We rejoiced to see that the efforts made in Lausanne had not been fruitless. If there can be a light set on a candlestick in this beautiful city, that it shall give light to all that are in the house, we will give God the glory and take courage. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 7

In the evening I spoke to the Germans, Brother Conradi interpreting. I believe the Lord set home the words spoken to the hearts of many. My text was Luke 10:25-28. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 8

May 2, 1886


I spoke to the workers today about one hour as to the best manner of reaching the people. Brother Ademar Vuilleumier translated for me. I sought to impress upon the minds and hearts of those present the necessity of daily learning in the school of Christ lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart, that they may be able to reach people through God. We hope this effort will not be lost upon the workers. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 9

In the evening we met a good congregation in the hall. This evening the translation was in French. All listened with deep interest and I felt deeply for the souls present. Quite a number were in the valley of decision. Bible readings had been given to many families and some very interesting cases were developed, but will they obey unpopular truth? Brother Conradi called upon several in the afternoon of Sunday. We had Bible readings with several. We called upon one lady who had manifested considerable interest in the Bible readings. There was a Methodist minister who had come to the place. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 10

Friday, May 21, 1886

Leave Basel for Neuchâtel this morning. Go by private conveyance with my own horse and carriage accompanied by John Vuilleumier, interpreter, W. C. White, Sarah McEnterfer. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 11

Addition to Ms 64, 1886

May 20, 1886

Laufen, Switzerland

We are about fourteen miles from Basel. We are now sitting down under a widespread oak, which is a shelter to us from the rays of the noonday sun. The faithful horse in unharnessed. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 12

May 21, 1886

Moutier, Switzerland

In the hotel. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 13

May 21, 1886

Tramelan, Switzerland

We have had a very interesting morning’s ride, fifteen miles from Moutier to this place. We arrived here about noon. Were heartily welcomed by Brother Roth (pronounced Rote). They have a large, interesting family. Seven boys and three girls are living. One died in the faith a few years since. They are engaged in business and live in a large house. They have a merchant tailor establishment, another department for groceries, another for hats, another for shoes and sundries, and a large bakery establishment. They have a good business and are in very superior circumstances for Switzerland. Their children are all with them in the truth. They have two sharp, intelligent boys—one nine years old, the other eleven or twelve. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 14

Friday night eleven came from Chaux-de-Fonds and our meeting room was in a good-sized room of Brother Roth’s house. I was requested to speak to those assembled, and did so, although I was much tired. I did not sleep until after midnight. When before the people, I feel so deeply in earnest that they should come up to the holy standard erected by our Lord that I am unable to lay off the burden. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 15

Sabbath, May 22, 1886


The church in this place has an interesting Sabbath school. I then (after Sabbath school) spoke to the congregation from Revelation 15:2-4. The Lord gave me freedom in speaking and the Lord did bless the hearers. The room for meeting was crowded full and many present were affected to tears. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 16

In the afternoon there was a social meeting and many good testimonies were borne. Nearly all present took part in the meeting. I slept but little that night. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 17

May 23, 1886


We rode out about five miles. The scenery was beautiful. Tramelan abounds in rich pine forest groves. It is mountainous. There is fine pasturage for cattle. Cows seem to be in great abundance here, and in this respect the milk, butter, and cheese must be far superior to that in Basel, where the cattle are mostly tied up in stables, or used as oxen to work the land. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 18

After dinner we rode about ten miles out to visit an old convent nearly two hundred years old. On the way the clouds began to gather, the lightning to flash, and the thunders to roll, and soon came a violent shower of hailstones, some as large as hickory nuts. The cattle, cows, and horses were running wildly about as if distracted. We drew up our cover to the carriage, put on our wraps, and were comfortable, but the horse was drawing the heavy carriage up the rising ground and he made haste slowly. Brother Oscar Roth was driving. He called to men at a farmhouse, who threw open the doors of their barn, and we drove in, horse and carriage. We were thankful for a refuge. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 19

A man and his sister lived in the house joined to this barn—for universally the barn is one half of the house. The smallest half is the dwelling part for the family. These two, brother and sister, are strong Catholics, and they are devoted to the Catholic religion, but they treated us with the greatest courtesy. They wanted to make us a dish of coffee or tea, or serve us with cake and wine, but all this was declined. They urged us to come into the family rooms, but I could sit in the carriage and look out through the large open doors and see the showers of hail, and I did not wish to go into the house where I would be deprived of this sight. The shower of hail came thick and fast, but the hailstones were less in size. We gathered up handfuls of the hail and ate them. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 20

The master of the house unharnessed our horse and put him in the stall and fed him with grain. He was well acquainted with Oscar Roth, and he told him that he did not want anything more to do with him since he published such things as he did about the Catholics in the French Signs. He said he was greatly offended, and Oscar told him that neither he nor his sister Mary, who was with us, was responsible for these pieces being put in the Signs. He smoothed down after a time and said, “Well, we will talk no more about it. We will talk of something else.” We look upon this as being an interesting little bit of experience. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 21

In the morning it was thought to be too warm even to ride out. All the forenoon it was very warm. At about three o’clock we had the thunder, lightning, and hail. Then it was as pleasant and mild as we could wish. After the rain ceased we pursued our journey. We were free from dust and everything in nature looked refreshed and smiling. We were upon a high elevation and the scenery in forests of dark green pine, intermingled with the bright and living green of the maple and ash upon the mountainsides, made a picture in nature that the penciling of artistic skill cannot possibly approach. 4LtMs, Ms 64, 1886, par. 22