Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 110, 1886

White, W. C.; White, Mary

Torre Pellice, Italy

November 4, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in EGWE 237-238; 8MR 354.

Dear Children:

We reached this place this morning, half-past eight o’clock, and found mail for us. Read all the letters I thought, but upon a more thorough investigation, found one yet unopened, and which contained the important news of the birth of your second daughter. I was very thankful that the crisis was past and that Mary was doing well. I shall be much pleased to welcome the little one. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 1

I sent you letters from Nimes in regard to Abel [Bieder], who has recently taken his stand with us, coming to Basel. I had so great faith that he would be encouraged to come that I loaned him $9, as he had no means, and has had but two dollars per week for his labor; could not lay by anything. He had to purchase some underclothing which he needed. I hope he will be received well, and I would be glad if he could [be] a member of our family because it will be the very best thing for him, and the best missionary work we can possibly do. This I desire only for a little while until he has received a mold that he has never yet had. You will be much pleased with his spirit and his general deportment. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 2

I remembered the shepherd was represented as taking the lost sheep on his shoulder and carrying it with rejoicing back to the fold. I think this is the very thing that God requires us to do, to bear the straying, wandering sheep until it has strength to go alone. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 3

There is very much I would be pleased to say to you. I am glad I did not leave Nimes until last Monday, Nov. 1, the very day the little one was born. We left Nimes for Valence. There we found only four keeping the Sabbath. As no appointment had been given out, we therefore did what we could to strengthen the little few. One was present, another noble young man who had given up the truth. Elder Bourdeau talked some, Elder Ings talked some time, and then I talked to them. Elder Bourdeau was very anxious we should remain another day and speak next evening. I finally consented. He did all he could in visiting some of his friends and urged them to attend the meeting. They promised to do so. He rode ten miles out in the country to see a man who kept the Sabbath, but he was at work a great distance, and no word could reach him time enough to come into the meeting. Elder Bourdeau was chilled through, and that is all that trip amounted to. He did all he could do. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 4

That afternoon he had us accompany him to the cathedral and look upon the bust of Pius VI who was noted in prophecy, who was led into captivity and died in captivity. Here was the one marked in history who received the deadly wound. His heart is encased in the marble monument beneath where the bust is placed. We felt rather solemn as we looked upon the monument of this man noted in prophecy. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 5

It rained hard all the afternoon and evening, so that no one was out except the few keeping the Sabbath and the young man, a carpenter, who was a man of excellent ability. I spoke to the little few one hour with as much freedom as though talking to hundreds. The next morning slept none after half-past two. We left for the cars quarter of five. It was still raining. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 6

Elder Bourdeau rendered us good service in going to the depot and seeing us situated in the third-class cars. By going in this way we could save twenty-one francs. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 7

We rode from Nimes to Valence six hours in the third class very comfortably and saved fifteen francs. We were crowded with people going in and going out of the compartment we were in on the first part of the journey. I lay down, but a great burly man came in and sat upon my feet, and I thought best to draw them up and arise. It made us smile to see two young men, good, wholesome looking, come in the cars with the baggage they brought. Really was more than we carry. They could not possibly store them away and therefore one held a large valise in his arms. Well, we did very well until we reach Modan. Mary and you are acquainted with that place. It is where our baggage is examined. We changed cars here and lo, found the third class full of emigrants, just from the boats and cars, [going] to their destination. There were thirty-three emigrants, but as there was no smoking allowed, we got along very well. There was an Italian woman, daughter, and granddaughter in the cars, and they were astonishingly dirty. They could talk English. They were from Iowa, Cedar Rapids. Well, we got along nicely and felt pleased that we had saved thirty-six francs on that trip. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 8

Elder Bourdeau said when we reached Modan, we must take second class. We did so and had the compartment to ourselves with the exception of one woman who could talk German; and Sister Ings and she had quite a chat together. Had we taken the third class, we would have had to wait four hours at Modan and then been on the slow train which would reach Turin at 2 o’clock A.M. We had in taking the second class to wait only half an hour and then were on the express train which reached Turin at 6 P.M. We went to the hotel and tarried for the night. We had good accommodations for seven francs, but we had a desperate time getting off in the morning as the officials could not understand German or French. But after a time we got our tickets all right and had compartment to ourselves and reached this place half-past eight A.M. Elder Bourdeau was at the depot to meet us. They are usually well, with the exception of his son who remains in a bad state of health. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 9

Now, my children, there are some things rather discouraging here. Cocorder has commenced again, just as he did when Mary and I were here. He has sent for all the evidence he can get, all the falsehood he can gather from Grant against me. He has hired a hall in the place where Bourdeau labored with the tent, and it is a little perplexing to know what it is best to do. Will you advise? It is so hopeless an outlook to try to withstand such an influence when the people cannot tell what is piped or what is harped. They think one talks well, and another entirely the opposite in faith talks well. Not all as I can learn are keeping the Sabbath as the result of the tent effort yet. Elder A. C. says they have many friends. Cocorder has issued his flaming notices that he would give the history of the Adventists from the beginning. Now this bad man will say all he can;and if I had known of this, I would not have come to Italy till they said [he] was past. But we decided to go on as we did here last fall, take no notice of them, make no reference to them. But I wish I understood just what way we can please the Lord best. If He has sent me here just at this time for some purpose, I would not shun the conflict. I want to do my whole duty. A. C. will give an appointment for me in Villar Pellice Sunday afternoon. He speaks there Friday evening, but an additional minister has been sent to aid the one already there, and a minister and his wife have watched and taken the names of every one of the church members that they saw go to the meetings to deal with them. So you see the devil is astir in these valleys. We are here and do not like to leave without doing something. We are all of good courage. I had decided exactly as you had written to tarry over one Sabbath and Sunday at Lausanne on way to Basel. We may also visit Reinach and Tramelan and save an extra trip there. I fear I shall be in a hurry to get home now; but if we carry out our purposes, we may not be at home in one month. Had we better go to Naples while here or wait till some future time? A. C. would be much gratified could we go now. He thinks this as good a time of the year as we can go. I fear all that will be done on the books will not amount to much. I mean Volume One. I want to do my whole duty for Europe. Will not hold me very many months longer. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 10

Now about my work at Nimes. I became acquainted with Gilley, and he sent me a note begging me not to go from Nimes yet, to remain a little longer and call upon their minister, and to visit their establishment for orphans and fallen women. So we concluded to remain another week, and we did visit their institutions. We think it an excellent establishment, well conducted. We called on the minister; also he was the proprietor in connection with Mr. Gilley. He was a noble looking man, received us with great courtesy, and we had a very pleasant interview. I spoke of my appreciation of what they were doing, and it seemed to mellow the heart of this minister who is chief manager at once. He gave me books and pictures of the institution and the history of their work. Next Sabbath he came to the meeting in the afternoon in company with his wife and the directress of the institution and one who preaches to them, but they were too late, for I had just ceased to talk and I was sick and left the meeting; but this party carried all through the social meeting, and then all came to see me at Elder Bourdeau’s. We had another good visit. They expressed the warmest friendship and confidence in my work. These all attended the evening meeting with fifty of their students, for they have a large school in connection with their work. The minister thanked me for what I had spoken and hoped it would do much good. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 11

I told Elder Bourdeau if our visit did no more, it would spike their guns so they would not make a raid upon me. Mr. Gilley thinks everything of (Volume 4) and of the Life Sketches. Now if you could send him Life Sketches in the new binding and the (Volume 2,) then he would be much pleased. He reminded me of it twice. Said he wanted them very much. He has a good spirit. What it will all amount to I cannot say, but the Lord will work in His own time, and in His own way. I would be pleased to give the minister a set of my books also. 4LtMs, Lt 110, 1886, par. 12