Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Ms 27, 1887

A Storm at Sea

En route to U. S. A.

August 1887

Portions of this manuscript are published in EGWE 317.

We left Grimsby for Liverpool, August 2. Arrived 11 A.M. at Liverpool. Here we had the pleasure of meeting my daughter Mary K. White and children, whom we had not seen for two months. W. C. White was left in Basel to complete some work that demanded his special attention. 5LtMs, Ms 27, 1887, par. 1

We had the pleasure of meeting a number of friends at the house of Brother Drew in Liverpool. We were pleased to meet and converse with one brother who has recently embraced the Sabbath, Pastor Smith. He has been a minister of the State Church and was separated from the church because of his receiving the doctrine of immortality of the soul only through Christ, in accordance with the Word of God. “Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:15, 16. 5LtMs, Ms 27, 1887, par. 2

There were several who united in a company and met mutually to benefit each other. But when the light on the seventh-day Sabbath came to the understanding of some, and they accepted the light and sought to reflect it upon others, then these found oppression and opposition among those even of this company of reformers who had associated together to secure freedom to express their faith. They found there was no liberty for them to speak in regard to the seventh-day Sabbath and there was the necessity for another coming out. 5LtMs, Ms 27, 1887, par. 3

We had a storm at sea—not the most violent. I was upon deck all day, never tiring of watching the rolling waves—awful in their beauty, burnished like the heavens in their varied reflections as they rise as if in terrible wrath. The senses are fascinated with the sight. The waves scatter their spray like an overflowing cataract when lashed into fury by the merciless winds. They caused the strong, massive boat to tremble. They seem to be in a wild passion. One of the sails was rent in twain, and a broad ribbon was torn from the sail and carried out on the waters of the broad Atlantic. We heard a shriek on deck and saw two dozen passengers fleeing in every direction, for the waves had washed completely over the deck, giving them a thorough drenching. 5LtMs, Ms 27, 1887, par. 4

We had solemn thoughts. The massive boat was but a speck on the broad waters. Men who waste their lives in vain struggles after happiness are represented by the troubled sea when it cannot rest. I looked upon the change and conflict through which the deep waters were passing in all their varied aspects of light and darkness—the placid waters like the crystal sea, the gale and the storm, and this proud boat riding upon the storm-tossed waves. Card-playing, dancing, and mad mirth upon the boat in mid-ocean have seemed entirely out of order and inappropriate at any time. The waters, unless kept within their appointed bounds by a perpetual miracle of divine power, would, in storm and tempest, in their wild, boisterous vehemence, wreck the fairest vessels and hurl the living freight to a watery grave. What a thought—a solitary ship upon the boundless deep! Day after day we may look upon the heavens above us, the waters beneath. No landmark we can see—nothing that our eyes rest upon that stands still. Shall we ever reach our homes, or shall we be swallowed up in the waters of the great deep as thousands upon thousands before us have been? God, the infinite God, how great His power! Shall we fear to trust Him? 5LtMs, Ms 27, 1887, par. 5