Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

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Lt 119, 1886

Walling, Addie

Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

May 30, 1886

Previously unpublished.

My Dear Niece Addie:

I have wanted to write to you for some time, but I have been very much afflicted and could not write anything that I was not actually compelled to write. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 1

We left Basel June 20 and were one day and a half in reaching Tramelan. Here are a goodly number keeping the Sabbath; in this place they worship in a large room in a private house. Eleven came from Chaux-de-Fonds, and others came in from other places. Two rooms were well filled. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 2

I was much wearied, but spoke that night, for I knew our time was short and wished to crowd in all the work I could. Sabbath I spoke again to the people with much freedom. They have but little preaching in these churches, and therefore they are hungry for the truth. The family are all united in the faith. Brother and Sister Roth have seven sons and three daughters, all with them in the faith. How gratifying it is to meet with such a family! They are in business. The father is a merchant tailor, his oldest son is in the same business, but independent of his father; the next oldest son is in a large and successful business of city baker. He has large custom. He is a most excellent young man and is now giving himself to the missionary work. He shows that he can be depended on as a laborer in the cause of God. He is growing in grace and the knowledge of the truth. He leaves a flourishing and successful business to give himself to the work of God. I wish there were many more young men of this stamp of character who feel that the work of God comes first. This family is much respected in this place and we are sure will accomplish much good. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 3

A life devoted to the service of God will be as sweet fragrance to God. I know that if our youth knew what they may do, and what they may be through constant advancement in the path of duty and religious experience, they would not be in the hesitating, halting position that they now are in. Time that is not employed by them in doing any real good to others is doing harm to many. No one can be in a position where he is doing neither good nor evil. If one is not decidedly doing good, he is decidedly doing evil. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 4

I spoke to the church in Tramelan three times. Sabbath our meeting was very interesting. I was led out by the Spirit of God. My mind was fruitful in the truth. My text was Isaiah 8:15-16, 20. I did not gain my strength, because I felt constantly the burden of the work—so much work to be done and so few to do it. Oh, that life and spirit and devotedness and zeal would come into the hearts of those who profess to believe and love the truth. We have the truth as a people, but we need the power and divine workings of God’s Spirit in our hearts. I fear greatly for a form of godliness without spirit and life. We need the deep inward working grace in the heart which will leave a softening, subduing influence upon the life and character. Tuesday we rode fifteen miles to Bienne and attended a missionary meeting with the church. There I spoke about one-half hour. Willie [White] and Albert [Vuilleumier] spoke to the people, telling them how to work the best they could. Wednesday we rode thirty miles to Chaux-de-Fonds. The scenery was very attractive. The fragrance of flowers and blossoms of fruit trees made it very grateful to the senses. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 5

Thursday we rode three miles to Locle, a village situated in a valley formed like a basin, hills rising directly all around it. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 6

We visited Brother and Sister Shields. There are about two dozen in this place keeping the Sabbath. I left an appointment to speak on temperance. Sunday night I returned and spoke in a hall to our people and a few outsiders. Thursday evening the weather was very unpleasant—rainy and a cold wind, but the hall was full. Sabbathkeepers came from other places and a goodly number were assembled. Sabbath I spoke in the forenoon with great freedom, and my own heart was blessed, softened and broken by the Spirit of God. The whole congregation was affected to tears. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 7

I felt urged to invite those who wished to return from backsliding from God, and those who were convicted of the truth, to come forward, but we were packed in so close I could only ask them to arise and bow their heads. The whole congregation was on their feet. I called Brother Ertzenberger to the stand, and he united in prayer, most earnestly and with deep feeling. The Spirit of the Lord was in our midst, and His blessing did come upon us. We then had a social meeting. Testimonies were given in quick succession—short and to the point; Brother John Vuilleumier interpreted to me. Nearly all took part. We felt that this meeting was beneficial to us all. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 8

Brother Ertzenberger spoke to them in the afternoon. Meetings were held Sunday. In the evening I spoke at Locle upon temperance. All say it was a success. This place has been deeply prejudiced against our faith. We had a good representation of people. The hall was large and well filled, and all listened with deepest interest. Our brethren and sisters were much encouraged. Early next morning we returned to Chaux-de-Fonds and then decided to go to Neuchâtel to see Brother Albert Vuilleumier, who had just returned from visiting Apaca [?]. Brother Ertzenberger was to bring our horse and carriage to Tramelan and we would go in the cars to Neuchâtel, hold one meeting there, and then come back on the cars to where we should meet our team. This day was a most painful one to me from an ulcerated tooth. I thought it scarcely possible for me to speak, but nevertheless I did speak to the people and had a painful night, and in the place of riding in the carriage, took the cars and came in company with Sara [McEnterfer] direct to Basel to the dentist I employed. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 9

I took a hack and drove to the dentist before going home. He said, “Mrs. White, I am so sorry you have suffered so much. I will relieve you. This tooth I have well filled. I will let it remain. I couldn’t consent to your request in extracting the tooth. With proper treatment, it will last you for years.” He then bored a hole through the tooth close to the gum. He said in one hour I would be free from pain. In one hour I was relieved and have had peace since. I was prostrated for a few days with the pain, but I am now going a little again. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 10

Next week—Monday or Tuesday—we go to Sweden. Direct your letter to Orebro, Sweden, after this. We remain there two or three weeks. I will write you as often as I can, but sometimes I am so weary with other writings, I cannot tax myself with letter-writing. I hope to write one to May today, but I dare not. I have been for a few weeks very much exhausted. I took that journey among the churches, hoping to be gaining strength, but there was so much evening speaking, so much climbing of stairs, up to the fourth story of almost every house, that [it] taxed me. I could not sleep till midnight, and then I could not sleep in the morning after three or four o’clock. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 11

Well, I trust the Lord. I shall be sustained. I found all well at home, but Christine. She was not well. Ella is well. Mary is well. Marian Davis is well as usual. The whole household is quite prosperous, I believe. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 12

There are to be twenty baptized at Tramelan on Sabbath or Sunday. Brother Whitney goes down and helps Brother Ertzenberger. Those subjects are from different churches. Tramelan is a more favorable place for this ordinance. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 13

The work moves along slowly; nevertheless it moves, and I am thankful, but we must see more done. The tent [meeting] starts in France now in a few weeks. Ertzenberger, Brother Bourdeau, and Albert Miller were all engaged in the work in the large city of Nimes. Brother and Sister Polisum [?] are in our family. They do not feel homesick. Both are excellent children, we think, and they love the Lord, and the Lord loves them. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 14

Addie, give my love to Sisters Stephens and Scott. Tell Sister Scott I wrote to her. Did she receive the letter, as there was no response? I feared she did not get it. I hope her health remains good. I hope she enjoys the sweet assurance of the love of Christ. This is of more value to us than everything else beside. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 15

Well, I have written this when not fit to write, but I do not want to delay longer. I love you, Addie, as my own child, and desire your best interest. Keep yourself in health and in the love of Jesus Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 16

Your Aunt. 4LtMs, Lt 119, 1886, par. 17