Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)

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Ms 32, 1887

Diary, May 1887

Germany

May 26-31, 1887

This manuscript is published in entirety in 2MR 121-130.

Visit to Germany

May 26, 1887

Thursday night we left for Prussia to hold meetings in connection with Elder Conradi at Vohwinkel. I was unable to eat and was not able to sit up much. W. C. White could not accompany us. Sister Ings and I went alone except for a young man who was returning to his home from the office at Basel for a visit to his parents. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 1

We stepped on board the train at half-past nine o’clock, May 26, and had the compartment to ourselves. I slept well during the night; changed cars twice. We met Brother Conradi at Mainz. He accompanied us on the rest of the journey. We changed cars at Cologne. Here we had several hours to spend, but I was too weak to go out to see anything except the cathedral. We went inside of this building. It is a rich, costly edifice. There is but one greater in the world. It has been six hundred years in building, and there is someone at work on it constantly. It was commenced in the 13th century and is not fully completed yet. Workmen were still at work upon the inside of the building. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 2

This is the place where cologne water is manufactured. Here the depot is prepared as if to be solely devoted to a dining hall. This is no convenience for travelers. A table is before every sofa, so arranged that travelers will feel compelled to patronize this restaurant. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 3

[Vohwinkel, Germany]

Friday, May 27, 1887

We arrived at Vohwinkel about three o’clock. We were met by a brother, the elder of the church. We took a lunch and drove about two miles into the country. Here we found our brethren were living in a pleasant location. They have felt the oppression of landlords and have been wisely preparing, as far as possible, to have little homes of their own. There are in small houses no less than three families in a dwelling. A brother owns the home and rents to Sabbathkeepers. Brother Conradi spoke Friday evening. I spoke Sabbath morning [May 28] at ten a.m. from the words in the prayer of Christ, that His disciples may be one as He was one with the Father. Then Brother Conradi told me they had never had a social meeting. They had met together for prayer, but not to bear testimony. We thought it a favorable time to break them in, and our meeting was good, lasting three hours from its commencement. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 4

I was urged to speak again in the evening at eight o’clock, which I did, upon the subject of making special efforts for harmony and the necessity of the church having their minds occupied with thoughts upon the truth, the Saviour, and the future life. By living and walking in the truth themselves, they will not be employed in talking of the errors and mistakes of others. After I had ceased speaking, Brother Conradi continued the meeting until midnight. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 5

May 28, 1887

Vision at Vohwinkel

[Sabbath.] Last night [May 27] I dreamed that a small company was assembled together to have a religious meeting. There was one who came in and seated himself in a dark corner where he would attract little observation. There was not a spirit of freedom. The Spirit of the Lord was bound. Some remarks were made by the elder of the church, and he seemed to be trying to hurt someone. I saw a sadness upon the countenance of the stranger. It became apparent that there was not the love of Jesus in the hearts of those who claimed to believe the truth, and there was, as the sure result, an absence of the Spirit of Christ and a great want both in thoughts and feelings of love for God and for one another. The assembling together had not been refreshing to any one. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 6

As the meeting was about to close, the stranger arose, and with a voice that was full of sorrow and of tears, he told them that they had a great want in their own souls, and in their own experience, of the love of Jesus which was present in large measure in every heart where Christ took up His abode. Every heart renewed by the Spirit of God would not only love God, but love his brother, and if that brother made mistakes, if he erred, he must be dealt with after the gospel plan. Every step must be followed according to the directions given in the Word of God. “‘Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted,’” (Galatians 6:1) he said. “Rememberest thou not the prayer of Christ just before He left His disciples for His long, agonizing struggle in the garden of Gethsemane, before His betrayal, His trial, and His crucifixion (John 17:15-23)? 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 7

“Are you not forgetful of the sufferings of your Lord? Are you not forgetful of the estimate He has placed upon man whom He has purchased with His own blood? You seem willing to wound and bruise the hearts of one another. Is this the pattern Jesus has given you? Where is His manner of dealing? Do you find yourselves sustained in having so little love and forbearance, so little patience for your brethren? Have you forgotten the words of Christ, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another’ John 13:34, 35? ‘He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself unto him’ John 14:21. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 8

“You are not cultivating love to God or love to your brethren. Be careful how you treat the purchase of the blood of Christ. There will be need of plain and faithful reproving of evil works, but let the one who takes this work upon him know that he is not separated from Christ by evil works himself. He must be spiritual and restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. Unless he has this spirit, he has no duty to reprove or to correct his brothers, for he would create two evils in the place of curing one. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 9

“One condescended to clothe His divinity with humanity and came to our world in the likeness of men. He is the living fountain of life, the living manifestation of pure religion in our world. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is but one Way, one Truth, one Life, and they that believe in Him receive power to become sons of God, and these are no more in the world, but are chosen out of the world. The world knoweth them not because it knew Him not. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 10

“The spirit and character of Christ are manifested in the chosen of God by their heavenly conversation, their meekness, their blameless conduct. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. They are united to Christ as the branches are united to the one living vine. They walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. These are living examples of Christianity in the world. They are called Christians because they are like Christ and because Christ is in them. Of a truth they are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. The help of the Spirit and the words of eternal life are their wisdom and their strength. And they are led into all truth because they are willing and obedient. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 11

“That which distinguishes the character and conduct of Christians from all others is the principle of holy, Christlike love, which works in the heart with its purifying influence. The true Christian will work the works of Christ in giving expression in deeds of love one to another. With this living, abiding, working principle in life and in character, no one can resemble the world. If you know the character and works of Christ, you will know the disposition and conduct of Christians. Christ hated evil so much that sin and evil met a strong rebuke from His lips and from His example. While He hated sin, He loved the sinner. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 12

“Our Lord and Saviour loved every creature. He laid aside His dominion, riches, and glory and sought after us, sinful, erring, unhappy, that He might make us like Himself. He humbled Himself and took upon Himself your nature that He might be able to teach you to be pure, correct in character, and free from all impurity of sin, that you might follow Him to heaven. He suffered more than any of you will be called to suffer. He gave all for you. What have you given to Jesus for this great love? Have you practiced the same toward your brethren? Have you copied His example in patience, in self-denial? You cannot equal the Pattern, but you can resemble it. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 13

“There has been committed to you the sacred knowledge of the truth, not for you to quarrel over and to become estranged from one another, but that you may be the light-bearers to the world. According to your individual ability will the Master reckon with you when He comes. What have you done to persuade men to accept the precious truth? All around you are those for whom Christ has died that they might be made pure, holy, and sinless. Have your works as Christians been fruitful and productive of much good? Have you in meekness and in faith tried to sow in the hearts of others the seeds of truth that they may bring forth fruits unto righteousness? How much greater strength you might have had as sons and daughters of God if you had loved God supremely and your neighbor as you love yourself. How much higher ground you might stand upon if you had been following on to know more and more of the truth and gathering more and more divine light to shine forth in good works to all around you. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 14

“Your works are not pleasing to God, but pleasing to the enemy. You have lessons to learn in the school of Christ before you will be fitted for heaven. Your self, your ways, your sharp traits of character make you unskilful in dealing with minds and hearts. You are oppressive where you should be kind. Your words and your works are the channels through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. Then if you are not cultivating personal piety, you cannot be the light of the world. If you allow yourselves to be dictatorial, accusing, and judging your brethren, and with unsanctified hearts and unholy tempers seeking to mend their wrongs, you do unskilful work and drive souls away from the service of Christ. The believers will be a source of weakness to one another in place of a source of strength and courage, unless they are truly abiding in Jesus. There can be no healthful building up, binding together principles, unless the transforming grace of Christ shall be felt upon your hearts and characters. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 15

“Everyone who has a knowledge of Jesus Christ—especially the elders of the church—must not carelessly allow the members to be irregular in conduct and thus let evil and sin strengthen in the church, thinking this is the way to show love for one another. God requires faithfulness in watchcare. You must take hold of God with one hand while with the other hand, in love, you lay hold upon the erring and the sinner and draw them to Jesus. Pray with them, weep with them, feel for their souls, love them, and never let go of them. This is the love Jesus has expressed for you. You must ever strive for unity and forbearance and love. Never draw apart, but press together, binding heart to heart and making supplications in the Spirit. Then the power of God will work in your midst, and many souls will be brought to the truth through your influence.” 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 16

He was again seated, and the sun which had been hidden beamed forth and shone full upon his person. What a revelation! All knew in a moment who had been speaking to them. They said one to another: “It is Jesus; it is Jesus!” and then such confessions of sins as were made and confessions to one another. There was weeping, for the hearts seemed to be broken, and then there was rejoicing and the room was filled with the mellow light of heaven. The musical voice of Jesus said, “Peace be with you.” And His peace was [present]. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 17

Sunday, May 29

Brother Conradi spoke in the morning upon missionary work. At three o’clock I spoke to those assembled from First John 3, verses 1-3. I felt much freedom, although weak for want of food which I could not take upon my stomach. Brother Conradi labored with them faithfully, and I think with good success. There was a healing of their difficulties, except with one brother who left the meeting. Brother Conradi went after him and labored with him until two a.m. with a good prospect of the difficulties being healed. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 18

We here had an opportunity to see the work our brethren and sisters are engaged in for a livelihood. Brother _____ has a wife and four children. He weaves the most beautiful fabric, which sells for eight dollars per yard. He obtains for his work about seven or eight francs and can weave only three quarters of a meter a day. The sisters weave silk handkerchiefs. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 19

[Gladbach, Germany]

[Monday,] May 30, 1887

We left Vohwinkel at seven a.m., for Gladbach. We had an appointment to speak Monday night. We arrived at Gladbach about ten a.m. We found friends waiting at the depot for us. We took a hack for Sister Doerner’s, who owns the building where they live. Her daughter is living with her. We were shown to a very pleasant room which we were to occupy during our stay. Breakfast was ready, but I could barely taste of the breakfast because I was constantly so sick to my stomach. The breakfast was comprised mostly of cake and bread and coffee. We had an invitation from the son of Sister Doerner to take dinner at his house. A hack took us to the place, a sister of Brother Doerner accompanying us. We had gone but a few rods when the hack lurched to one side and came up against the curbing of the sidewalk, and the horse with the thills was separated from the hack. We were soon out; the only trouble was that someone had failed to put in the linchpins that held the thills to the hack. Nothing was broken, and we went on without further trouble. The wife of Brother Doerner met us at the gate. She is a pleasant-looking little woman with three little children. She is the daughter of Brother Linderman, one who has kept the Sabbath twenty-five or thirty years. He is still living. He is eighty-three years old and is a second child. It is through his influence that the Doerner family received the Sabbath. There are three brothers, Doerners, believing the truth. They are in company ownership of a large manufacturing establishment in which cloth and cotton goods are made. It is a large building and a large business. The brother lives in this establishment where we were visiting. He has large grounds and trees and flowers. He is very pleasantly situated. This brother was the last to accept the Sabbath. One brother, the eldest of the three, is lying at the point of death with cancer of the throat. It is a great affliction to his family, none of whom are keeping the Sabbath. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 20

The 30th of May was a holy day, the second day of Pentecost, so no work in the factories was done on this day. Colors were flying from buildings, and the people were pouring out in crowds to services. At five we met in Sister Doerner’s house. The room was not large and was full. I spoke from John fifteen, verses one to three. Brother Conradi interpreted for me. I had considerable freedom. I had special help from the Lord, else I could not have stood on my feet. I bore a very plain testimony. This was an intelligent company to speak to. Brother Conradi mentioned a request from the afflicted brother for the prayers of the children of God. We prayed for the sick and dying brother. Brother Conradi talked for some time to those assembled. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 21

[En route to Hamburg, Germany]

[May 31, 1887]

I rested well during the night, but the same inability to eat continues. We left about eleven o’clock for the cars to take us to Hamburg. At Düsseldorf we changed cars. We were obliged to wait in the depot two hours and had a little opportunity to study human nature and witness the exhibition of vanity in those who came and went. It awakened most painful thoughts. Two young ladies entered the ladies’ room, stood before the mirror, and then sought to beautify their appearance as much as possible, exhibiting themselves before the mirror, turning around this way and that, putting powder upon their faces. Oh, thought I, if they would be one half as particular to beautify their character by the great standard of God’s holy law, His mirror, His detector of the defects in character, there would be far less vanity for the outward appearance and far more for the inward adorning, the perfection of character, the possession of the meekness of Christ. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 22

At two o’clock we were again seated in the compartment for ladies, with every convenience, and were glad to be alone and to rest. I was sick and tired, unable to eat. We had no further change until we reached Altona, about one-half hour’s ride from Hamburg. We had a grand sight—a ship on the water, or a warehouse close by the water, was on fire. It was thought that petroleum must have exploded. The flames reached so high, and the light was so great and far reaching. The last change was made at Altona; we had no further disturbances till after this. 5LtMs, Ms 32, 1887, par. 23