Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 59, 1886

Sketch of Journey to England


September 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3Bio 354; EGWE 216-217.

In company with Brother Aufranc and Sister McEnterfer, we left Basel September 14 at half-past nine o’clock p.m. We were fortunate in having a compartment where there were three passengers besides ourselves—an English-speaking lady and her two children. There was not room for us to lie down, with the exception of myself. The seats were very hard, and we could not obtain much rest or sleep; we were very glad to hail the first tokens of the day. At twelve o’clock we crossed the channel, which is always rough. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 1

There was a crowd on the boat, and, as we had second-class tickets, we were assigned a position in the boat that was anything but desirable. We thought best to pay our two English shillings each for a more favorable position in the boat [than] to sit upon benches without cushions, and in the confusion of all the sailors passing before us, coming and going, and passengers on every side with white, sick faces with a wash bowl before them. Sarah became very sick and lay down upon the baggage, for she could not sit up. There was no other way but for me to be sick. The boat was pitching and rolling. One moment I would be in a profuse perspiration and the next a chill. But few men and women escaped being sick. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 2

How glad we were when the boat reached its destination. We had been only two hours on the boat, but long enough to get generally stirred up, for everything seemed to be in motion, and it was joy to leave the boat and look upon something that stood still. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 3

Our party had scarcely strength to roll up our bundle. We were weak, nervous, and trembling. This delayed us some minutes, but we found it was to our advantage, for all the second-class cars were occupied and the conductor opened a first-class apartment, and for the first time we rode in a car that was equal to the palace cars in America. The conductor said he would see that we went through to London all right. It was a great blessing to lie down upon the soft, cushioned seats and give ourselves up fully in our weakness to rest and sleep. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 4

We were conveyed [in London] in a cab quite a distance to the great Northern depot, deposited our baggage, and went only a short distance to the Great Northern Hotel. Here we were conducted up several flights of stairs to the fifth story and found pleasant, commodious rooms and excellent beds. We were weary enough to sleep well. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 5

We left London at a quarter-past five A.M. for Great Grimsby. Changed cars twice. We were glad to meet Brother Wilcox and Sister Ings at the cars, and soon we were in the mission home, being welcomed heartily by Brother and Sister Lane. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 6

I awoke early in the morning with a great desire for the Spirit of the Lord in large measure to be imparted to me. I arose early and sought to draw nigh to God. I felt wholly inefficient for the work before me unless the Lord should help me then and there. How could I be a help and blessing to others unless my own soul was quickened and abundant grace supplied? I must work for the Master, giving myself unreservedly to Him; and, catching the divine rays of light from Jesus, I must impart them to others. This is the work of every Christian. He must live to do others good. There were important questions to be settled; and without the wisdom that cometh from God, we should make very imperfect work. I was in great need of physical strength and spiritual enlightenment. Without more than human wisdom, we would accomplish nothing. We have a part to act. Without Christ, all we do will be defective. We must sow the seeds of truth; we must sow no tares. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 7

My soul yearned after God, and I was enabled to exercise some faith in the promises of God and wait to see what opportunities I shall have for doing good to others. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 8

Friday. This day opens without fog or clouds, but a strong east wind. I joined [our workers] in their early morning meeting. I gave a short talk to those assembled. “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8. About thirty were present. I felt that Jesus was very near us and that to bless. There were a number of excellent testimonies borne; and I hope and pray that this day may be a blessing to those who have come in to the meetings. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 9

The meeting in England, from the commencement to the close, was one of great labor for me as well as for others. We had some precious seasons, but not all that we might have had. We did not break through and receive the rich blessings that we might have had. The Spirit of the Lord is grieved with the spirit of self-sufficiency so natural to the human heart. There is not that living faith and love that should exist in large measure with those who have the solemn work before them of giving to the world the last message of warning. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 10

How important are these councils where business is being transacted which shall reach into eternity. And earnestly should every one seek God and make most earnest efforts to rid the soul of everything of a selfish character, that love and union and harmony may characterize these meetings. None should watch to see if they cannot find an opportunity to dissent from their brethren’s propositions. 4LtMs, Ms 59, 1886, par. 11