Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 22, 1885

Gibbs, Dr.

Basel, Switzerland

September 5, 1885

Portions of this letter are published in EGWE 35, 40, 43-44, 46.

Dr. Gibbs

Dear Brother:

Here we are in Europe at last. We have come through safely and have had a pleasant journey—no accident or harm has come to any of us with the exception of a severe cold contracted in Great Grimsby. Everything looks familiar as though I had passed through this country before. The odd, queer looking houses look as familiar as though I had been familiar with the sight. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 1

We reached Liverpool the eighteenth of August, but I will not be minute here, for I have written an article for the paper which you will no doubt see before this reaches you. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 2

We will state some few things for the satisfaction of those who know Bro. Drew. We found him comfortably situated in a convenient house with good furniture, easy chairs, and decorated with pictures and tasty ornaments. His wife is a French lady that was for years lady’s maid to a noble lady. They have a little Miss Drew nearly two years old. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 3

Liverpool has about three hundred thousand inhabitants. Brethren Drew and O’Neal from Southampton are engaged in the missionary work. But what can those do to let rays of light shine in this great city? I am filled with pain at heart when I consider the few workers and so much to be done. There will have to be help sent to this city Liverpool. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 4

August 19. We traveled on the cars to Great Grimsby. This is a very large place, but cannot have the honor of being called a city because it has no grand cathedral. It is the custom here to have outdoor meetings. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 5

I spoke in the temperance hall Friday evening on the subject of temperance. I spoke to our people in their place of meeting—twice Sabbath and once Sunday forenoon. There are some very substantial, noble souls who have embraced the faith in Grimsby. Several came from Hull and from Ulceby. A few in both these places were keeping the Sabbath and seemed to enjoy the meeting very much. I was urged with tears to come to both these places and speak to the people. I consented to have an appointment circulated for Monday night at Ulceby. Sunday night I spoke to the people assembled in the town hall. There were about one thousand present. The Lord gave me much freedom. The very best class of people were out to hear and gave the best of attention. Monday night I rode on the cars ten miles out to Ulceby. Here are two large families keeping the Sabbath besides other individuals alone in families. Brother Armstrong and his wife were convicted of the truth. He is a baker by trade. He has the general custom. He supplies with bread one of the lords who lived in Ulceby who was a member of or connected with the royal family; and when these great ones of earth patronize a merchant or trader, the people will all follow their example. Should he lose the custom of the nobility, he loses the custom of the people. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 6

Sister Armstrong received the truth and could only weep and pray for her husband. How could he keep the Sabbath, he queried, with a large family dependent on him? He hesitated some time, but was unable to find peace or rest until he decided to obey the law of God and trust his case in the hands of the Lord. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 7

He visited the mother of this lord and frankly made known his convictions and his purpose to obey. She thought it was very foolish in him to keep Saturday when all the world kept Sunday, and she told him they could never consent to eat any bread except warm, fresh, that-day baked. Brother Armstrong told her he would supply her late Friday night and early Sunday morning. But she said it would not do at all. So he was paid up and discharged. The nobility sent to Grimsby for their bread. It looked very dark for Brother Armstrong, but he said if he were left to want he would not break the Sabbath. One week passed; then he was summoned to the lord’s house. The mother had another interview with him and enquired if he had not changed his mind and given up that foolish notion in regard to the Sabbath. He told her he was more than ever decided that he must obey God in keeping all His commandments. Well, she said, I am sorry for myself and for you, but I think we must have your bread. I have had poor, sour bread since I discharged you. I think, said Bro. Armstrong, I was just the most thankful, happiest man in the town. The Lord was merciful. His power controlled this matter. You see by my relating this circumstance something how matters work. It is very difficult for poor people to keep the Sabbath. It is not luxuries that they lose, for they have not these; but it is the bare bread that sustains life that they lose. Many believe, but have no kind of a show of getting the simplest food to sustain life. I have faith that the wealthier classes will be reached through the lower classes, and then there will be men of business who will employ workers, and thus a way will be opened for the honest to receive the truth. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 8

We returned to Grimsby, and Wednesday we took the cars for Bexley and spoke under the tent. The Lord gave me His Spirit in large measure. We were obliged to ride from the depot in a dog cart. It was foggy and rainy. I took cold. The eastern breakfast I do not fancy—a little tea and thin slices of bread and a plate of cake. But we did the best we could with this, substituting water for the tea. You may imagine this shadow of a breakfast, dry lunch on the cars the day before, and no supper—speaking one hour and a half, and then this make-believe breakfast, but I let that go. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 9

We had a good attendance. The tent was full and one hundred outside. They listened as if spellbound. We could say as we looked over the congregation there were honorable women not a few. They seemed to drink in every word. After this meeting closed, all who could get access to me shook my hand heartily, saying, “God bless you for the words you have spoken. You are doing a good work. May the Lord long preserve you,” and thus one and another expressed their feelings. I mean, when a favorable opportunity presents, to go over the ground again and speak to these interested ones. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 10

We rode four miles in a rainstorm, but in a covered carriage this time. We reached London about half-past eleven o’clock where we met W. C. White and Brother Kellogg. W.C.W. left Grimsby to meet Brother Kellogg in London. Sunday night we tarried in London twenty-four hours, but I was not well. I could not sleep the night before until past one. I could not lay off the burden I felt for the souls in England. I was pleading with the Lord to arouse His people, that the missionary spirit might burn in the hearts of those who were now at ease in Zion, and that the warning message might be given to these great cities. There are five million of people in London, and one hundred workers would not be too many to try to reflect light on this great city. Who will come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty? Who will go without the camp bearing the reproach? I spoke in Southampton to the church three times and in the large hall Sunday night. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 11

I was taken sick Sunday morning; was unable to sit up; my head was throbbing; every nerve in my body seemed to be quivering. I was sick, sick, and I knew I could not talk that night without the Lord wrought in a special manner for me. I arose from my bed; was taken in a hack to the hall. There before me were more than a thousand people. I thought I would excuse myself and take my seat, but the Lord helped me. My hoarseness departed; my headache ceased, and I was free. I spoke one hour and twenty minutes with clearness and power. This is another token of God’s mercy. I thank Him with my whole heart for this blessing. The people listened with the most profound attention. Many wept, and I was better after speaking. Have been improving ever since. Spent two nights and two days in London, but was confined to the hotel, writing an article for Southampton weekly paper. We came to this place last Thursday, September 3. We found here a beautiful house, room and well situated; three good rooms on third story have been appointed to us. The view from our windows is not as grand as the view at St. Helena, but it [is] beautiful, beautiful. I spoke yesterday, [September] 4, to the believers in this place. There are about fifty assembled here to worship God. The meetinghouse or room is good. The room is about as large again as at St. Helena—well lighted and ventilated. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 12

I spoke followed by two interpreters—French and German. The people seemed to be blessed. There are now new ones embracing the truth all the time. The German interpreter is not keeping the Sabbath. Brother Bourdeau became acquainted with him while riding in the cars. He was out of work, and he recommended him to come to Basel and they might employ him. He is now translating Life of Christ into German. I hope he will keep the truth. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 13

A German has just come to Basel Friday. He is a professor in a school. He embraced the truth by reading, and of course he could not retain his place. He begged the privilege of substituting Thursday for Saturday, and it was granted until another teacher could supply his place. The work moves slowly, but hearts are certainly being convicted and converted. I feel deeply in regard to Europe. We want money! We want workers in this broad field! May the Lord give no rest to those who are now feeling irresponsible and may feel indeed “I am my brother’s keeper.” 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 14

We do not forget you at St. Helena. I have written to Brother Rice and Sister Ings, but no letter of response comes; and I now write to you. Perhaps you will be able to write or dictate to another a few words of reply. I will not be able to write many private letters, but will write occasionally. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 15

I feel sure that if each one connected with the Health Retreat will work with the Spirit of Jesus, there will be drawing in even cords. There will be harmony and love and unity of action. I believe, Dr. Gibbs, that the Lord will set His hand to help you in the discharge of your duty, if God is made your dependence and your trust. If all connected with the Health Retreat will have faith unfeigned, they will see the institution prosper. We must make God our counselor, and He will give us of His wisdom. The Bible is our directory. Let us study its pages and closely follow the precepts of God’s Word. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 16

You can have a great influence for good as a physician. You can lead souls to trust in the Great Physician. You need daily a living experience in the things of God. You want a personal knowledge of the truth, that you may be a physician of the soul as well as of the body. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 17

The Lord has a work for us all; and if we do this work with fidelity, we shall receive the reward of everlasting life. There is no place on earth where religion is so appropriate as in an institution like the Health Retreat. I hope that there will not be a want of devotion in any one connected with this institution. In God, it will prove a success; without the wisdom of God, it will be a failure. The people will have growing confidence in the institution as they see that it is conducted from a religious standpoint. I think much can be accomplished by lectures upon the false habits and wrong customs, and presenting the true and healthful habits in contrast. There are so many who are ignorant of the laws of life and health. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 18

I have not questioned at any time but it was in the providence of God that you should connect with the Health Retreat Institute, and God will bless you in your efforts. Only walk humbly before Him. Your life has not been cast in pleasant places; but if you love, fear, and honor God, He will be to you wisdom, sanctification, and righteousness. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 19

How pleased should I be could I walk in and see you all and learn of the cases you have treated and the increased knowledge of the truth you are gaining, that you can guide others into the path of truth and holiness. We have but little time to work now. The day is far spent, and the night is at hand; then let us work with an eye single to the glory of God. Hide self in Jesus. All our works and our character are passing in review before the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity. Every one will receive of the Master as his works have been, whether they be good or evil. We want to so live that our names will not be blotted out of the book of life, but be confessed before God and the heavenly angels. Remember me to Sister Ings, Brother Rice, and Sister Klase, Sister Weatherwax, and the Crawford girls. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 20

Yours with respect. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 21

[P.S.] Please inform me how my cow and calf are getting along, and Kit. Have my cottages been rented? How many patients have you? 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1885, par. 22