Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists

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Return to Switzerland

On the 16th of November we left Christiania, on our return to Switzerland. William had parted from us a few days before, going by the way of the North Sea to England, and thence to America, to attend the General Conference. We had seen the necessities of the cause in the different European fields, and were impressed with the great need of means and laborers; and as we neared the time for General Conference, he felt that it was his duty to attend; that he could best serve the cause by presenting in person the wants of these mission fields, and assisting to arrange some business matters for the mission publishing-houses. When the matter of his going was first mentioned, I could not consent; but prayerful consideration convinced me that God had put this into his mind, and I would not bid him stay. Accordingly he left us at Christiania, and Bro. H. W. Kellogg accompanied our party on the return to Basle. HS 220.4

On our ride from Christiania to Gottenburg, Sweden, the wild mountain scenery in some places reminded us of Colorado. But neither the height of the mountains nor the grandeur of the landscape equals that of Colorado. We passed through extensive pine forests; but the trees do not grow to a large size; they are small, and set close together. The soil is rocky and sterile. We occasionally saw evidences of wealth and prosperity, but most of the dwellings are small and poor. It is only by constant industry and frugality that the people here obtain a livelihood. HS 220.5

This day we were favored with a sight of the most glorious sunset it was ever my privilege to behold. Language is inadequate to picture its beauty. The last beams of the setting sun, silver and gold, purple, amber, and crimson, shed their glories athwart the sky, growing brighter and brighter, rising higher and higher in the heavens, until it seemed that the gates of the city of God had been left ajar, and gleams of the inner glory were flashing through. For two hours the wondrous splendor continued to light up the cold northern sky,—a picture painted by the great Master-Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens. Like the smile of God it seemed, above all earthly homes, above the rock-bound plains, the rugged mountains, the lonely forests, through which our journey lay. HS 220.6

Angels of mercy seemed whispering, “Look up. This glory is but a gleam of the light which flows from the throne of God. Live not for earth alone. Look up, and behold by faith the mansions of the heavenly home.” This scene was to me as the bow of promise to Noah, enabling me to grasp the assurance of God's unfailing care, and to look forward to the haven of rest awaiting the faithful worker. Ever since that time I have felt that God granted us this token of his love for our encouragement. Never while memory lingers can I forget that vision of beauty, and the comfort and peace it brought. HS 221.1

At Gottenburg we embarked in a small boat which was to convey us across the channel to the coast of Denmark. Here I was provided with a state-room containing two sofas, and shut in by heavy curtains,—accommodations which we then thought hardly necessary for a day journey of only six hours. We had occasion, however, to change this opinion before reaching land. The first hour we spent on deck, in the cheerful and well-furnished ladies’ cabin. The weather was pleasant, the sea smooth, and we anticipated an enjoyable trip. But soon the captain, passing through the cabin, advised us to go below and lie down at once, for we were coming into rough water. We complied, though rather unwillingly. In a short time the boat began to rock violently; we could hardly keep our position upon the sofas. I became very ill, now in a profuse perspiration, as if every organ was struggling against the terrible malady, and then overcome by deathly seasickness. This was what I had dreaded in crossing the Atlantic, fearing the effect of violent wrenching upon my heart. At that time I happily escaped, but I now suffered all that I then anticipated. HS 221.2

The waters seemed lashed into fury by the merciless winds. The boat was wrenching and creaking as if going to pieces. Whenever we attempted to rise, we were thrown back with great force. Even our faithful stewardess, unable to keep her footing, was thrown across the room from side to side as the vessel rolled and pitched. As I lay helpless and exhausted, with closed eyes and ashen face, Sister McEnterfer feared that I was dead. She was herself unable to leave her sofa, but from time to time she called my name to assure herself that I was still living. Death seemed very near, but I felt that I could cling, with the firm grasp of faith, to the hand of Jesus. He who holds the waters in the hollow of his hand could keep us in the tempest. The waves of the great deep obey his voice, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” I thought how Jesus calmed the fears of his disciples as he stilled the stormy Galilee; and should I be afraid to trust to His protection who had given me my work? My heart was kept in perfect peace because it was stayed on him. The lesson of trust I learned during these few hours was very precious. I have found that every trial of life is given to teach me a new lesson of my own dependence, and of trust in my heavenly Father. We may believe that God is with us in every place, and in every trying hour we may hold fast that hand which has all power. HS 221.3

At 3 p.m. we arrived in Frederickshaven, and were glad to step off the boat, and to feel solid ground again beneath our feet. It was a welcome change to our compartment in the car, and the gentle, gliding motion of the train. We lay down upon the seats, and cared only to enjoy the luxury of rest. We were sleeping soundly when at three in the morning the cars stopped, and the guard informed us that we had reached the borders of Germany, and must all pass through the custom-house. It was bitterly cold, and Bro. Kellogg went to the officers and asked permission for the ladies to remain in the car, stating that one of them was ill, and must not be disturbed. But no, nothing would avail; sick or well, we must all appear for inspection. Two officials came to the car door, and the other ladies of the party at once started to leave the car, but they had only stepped on the platform when the officers said, “That is enough; you can go back.” But they were not fully satisfied about the reputed sick woman. As I lay covered with shawls and blankets, they evidently suspected that I might be a bundle of dry goods which our party were trying to smuggle into Germany. As the officers again came to the door, flashing the bright light of their lanterns into the compartment, I quickly sat up and said, “Here I am, gentlemen, please look, and see that I am a living woman.” I do not know whether they understood my words, but they burst into a hearty laugh, said in German, “All right,” and left us to compose ourselves to sleep again if we could after this untimely interruption. HS 221.4