Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 61, 1886

Diary, January - March 1886

Basel, Switzerland

January 1 - March 21, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in EGWE 148.

Labors in Switzerland—No. 4

New Year’s Morning, January 1, 1886


We have a cloudy morning. Light fall of snow. Clear before noon. It is bright sunshine. We make no provision for New Year’s. Have written thirty pages of note paper today. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 1

January 2, 1886


I have had a singular dream last night. I thought I was attending meeting in a new place. A lady introduced her husband as a doctor. As soon as the introduction was ended, I saw, directly opposite me, W. C. White looking so natural, but very serious, I thought. I turned to those around me and said, “It is Willie White risen from the dead.” I embraced him and kissed him. Said I, “W. C., you have come a long journey.” “Yes,” he said, “but I must return.” “How did you get up here?” Said he, “The doctor brought me in his carriage.” I turned to the friends. Said I, “What a wonderful miracle is this!” Willie said, “Mother, I have a message for you. I would like to see you alone.” I went to find a place of retirement, but I could not find Willie; and while searching the house, he was gone. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 2

This morning Kristine came into my room very early and wished to talk with me. She stated she wished to be a Christian and to be baptized today. Oh, how thankful I felt that she had strength to do this—to identify herself with the people of God. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 3

January 2, 1886


It is rather unpleasant and cool today. Meetings were held as usual. Sabbath School in forenoon. I spoke to those assembled at half-past ten from John 5:28, 29. I was followed by two interpreters, German and French. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 4

In the afternoon two were baptized. One was Kristine Dahl, a young girl living in our family. She came with me from Christiania, Norway. Her mother and sister, living in Norway, both believe with us and both were very anxious for Kristine, that she should believe the truth. She has now taken her stand and prays with us at the family altar. We all read at family prayers, some of us read in English. Mary in French. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 5

The sacrament was administered in the afternoon. After a discourse on baptism, three were immersed, and then followed the ordinances. We received several letters from America. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 6

January 4, 1886


Walked out with Mary and little Ella. It was very disagreeable under foot. The rain and sun had melted the snow, so it was wet and muddy under foot. We called upon Sister Ertzenberger, but she was prepared to walk out to call upon Brother Aufranc. We walked with her and called upon our Brother and Sister Aufranc. He has served as translator for the office in Basel for years. His health has failed, like many others, when obtaining an education. He studied too hard to obtain his diploma and entered upon his work a broken-down man. He has been much afflicted of late and if we may judge by present appearances will not be able to serve in any capacity long, for he is a broken-down man. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 7

January 5, 1886


This has been a day of labor for me in preparing and writing communications. Some have been struck off on the calligraph and some written by my hand. Sent many pages to Brother Ings and several pages to Brother and Sister Lockwood. This has taxed me sorely. My head pains me. My left eye is inflamed, but I am glad the letters are off and I will now feel free for a time. Sent letters to Brother Butler and W. C. White. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 8

January 6, 1886


Arise as usual at four. Enjoyed a sponge bath and went to work, but grew faint. My head ached. Was obliged to lie down, and the morning reading and prayers were without me. I had a sick day all through Tuesday. Could do but little. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 9

January 7, 1886


We rode out, Sister Whitney accompanying me. We took little comfort. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 10

January 9, 1886


Spoke to the little church in Basel, Switzerland, from Hebrews 6:18-20. I felt some of the blessing of God while speaking to the people. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 11

January 10, 1886


Arose early. Dictated a letter to Elder D. T. Bourdeau. Sarah McEnterfer copied on calligraph. Walked out with M. K. White for exercise. Wrote ten pages. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 12

January 11, 1886


Brother Whitney returned last night. I had an ill time this morning. Some difficulty of the heart. Was not able to write through the day. There seems to be great prostration upon me. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 13

Tuesday, January 12, 1886


Wrote ten pages. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 14

January 14, 1886


I rested better last night than I have done. Walked out with Ella. I was unfortunate enough to get lost in the streets of Basel, Switzerland, and no one that I met understood English and could tell me my way to our printing office; but after walking one hour, we found the railroad that went by the street where we lived. We followed the track and found ourselves in the right road to our home. I felt really grateful to God for this, for I might have been much troubled to find my way because I could come across no one who understood English. When we reached home we found our friends much troubled, and all were about to go in search of me, when they saw me in the distance. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 15

January 15, 1886

January 23, 1886


I spoke to the people upon the rebellion in heaven, Satan’s work upon the earth, and the mission of Christ to our world. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 16

January 25, 1886


Received letters today from America from W. C. White, from Elder Canright, from my twin sister Lizzie Bangs; Great Grimsby, England, from Elder Sands Lane. Interesting letters. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 17

January 28, 1886


My heart was drawn out in prayer to the Lord for health and strength. My eyes have pained me for more than one week. My head has been congested, forbidding my using the pen, but my prayer is ascending to God for healing power to come to me and fit me up for His work. He will hear, He will not turn me empty away. I shall be healed. I shall be renewed by His power to continue my writings. The Lord Jesus seems very near to me today, and I will trust in Him with unwavering faith. I have precious seasons of prayer and communion with God. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 18

January 29

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Brother Whitney has received letters from Russia, from India, from Italy—from parts of Italy our people have never yet visited. They express great thankfulness for the Signs. One from Italy wishes Brother Whitney to thank Sister White for the articles in the paper. He said they had been a great benefit to him, and not to him only, but to many others who read them. The writer of the letter said he had come across an almost worn-out paper, French Signs, and was so interested he sent for them, wishing to become a regular subscriber. The letters from Russia and India are really encouraging, showing that the standard of truth is being raised in all countries. From France there comes a letter from a young man who has accepted the truth from reading the French Signs. He presented the arguments in favor of the Sabbath. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 19

January 30, 1886


I spoke to the people today upon Cain and Abel, followed by two interpreters in French and German. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 20

February 20, 1886


Spoke to the church in Basel—followed by two interpreters—upon how Enoch walked with God. All were deeply attentive, and in the afternoon social meeting many spoke of being profited by the discourse given. This effort wearied me much. Was obliged to lie down the remainder of the day. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 21

February 27, 1886


Spoke to the church upon Noah and the destruction of the old world by a flood. I wrote twelve pages upon the trial of Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 22

February 28, 1886


It is snowing quite fast. The ground is already covered with a white mantle of snow. I have written twelve pages today. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 23

March 12, 1886

Mailed today to Daniel Bourdeau eight pages letter paper; Ademar Vuilleumier two pages letter paper; to A. C. Bourdeau seventeen pages, partly letter paper and nine pages of scratch book. Wrote two articles for workers at Lausanne. Monday, wrote eight pages to R. G. Lockwood, two pages for Johnny. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 24

Friday, wrote eight pages note paper to Elder Rice; six to Eliza Burnham. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 25

March 17, 1886

Mailed four pages to A. C. Bourdeau, five pages to Mary Chinnock, four to Professor Brownsberger, six pages to Brother Lockwood. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 26

March 19, 1886

Left Basel at two p.m. for Bienne, sixty miles from Basel. We were four hours on the route. We saw mountain scenery. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 27

Spoke to a room crowded full in Brother Virgil Vuilleumier’s house. Brother Ademar Vuilleumier translated for me. The text was, “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. ... Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.” [John 17:15, 17.] The people manifested deep interest. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 28

Slept but little during the night. We assembled about the breakfast table. Four women were seated at table, all with plain white sacks over their full [?] skirts. These skirts are quite nice. They are black, quilted on the bottom. Our food was baker’s bread, hot milk, fresh butter, and a dish of sauce—a simple preparation, and healthful. All ate heartily. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 29

I spoke in the forenoon from James 3:13-17. I had much freedom in speaking. I was advised to sit down because of my crippled ankles, but I chose to stand, even with pain and inconvenience. The people seemed to receive the message given them. Supported by W. C. White, I ventured to walk on the ground a short distance, which I have not ventured to do for weeks. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 30

March 21, 1886

Bernese Alps

The sky is clouded, but the sun’s rays are beaming upon the snow-covered Alps, making a most magnificent picture. We see on the right one yard terraced by stone walls to the very top of the mountain. The peaked Alps seem to touch the heavens. There is a beautiful lake. The Alps appear more distinctly. We see the house Chorske [?] built. 4LtMs, Ms 61, 1886, par. 31