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


Visit to Northern Italy

Weary and worn from the arduous labors of our northern trip, I would gladly have rested a few weeks in our home at Basle. But the next morning after our arrival, the brethren presented the necessity of a speedy visit to Italy, as some there were becoming discouraged, and were in great need of help. Arrangements were therefore made to start the next Thursday morning, less than a week from the time we reached home. HS 226.1

The intervening time was spent in writing letters to some of the workers in Europe, and in earnest labor, both public and private, for the young people connected with the office at Basle. Various influences had been at work to draw their minds away from true devotion to God; and they had allowed their interest and affection to be divided, giving to others that place in their hearts which the Lord alone should occupy. Sunday morning I met with them in their season of prayer, and spoke about thirty minutes upon the necessity of faithfulness in their labors. At the close of my remarks, a request was made for all to rise who would from that time make most earnest efforts to reach a higher standard. All arose. My heart was greatly drawn out for these young people, that they might improve all the powers that God had given them, and become faithful, devoted soldiers of the cross of Christ. HS 226.2

In the Sabbath congregation we saw a number of new ones who had become interested in the truth through reading. Among these were several young men, students from a theological school in the city. One of them, although every inducement was held out by his relatives and by the college professors, has since taken his stand decidedly for the truth. He understands the French, the German, and the English, has served a two-years’ apprenticeship in a printing office, and is now doing good work in our office as German translator. As we near the end, and the work increases, we look for such conversions to be more and more frequent. All through these countries there is talent that God will yet use to advance his cause. HS 226.3

On the morning of November 26, I left Basle for Torre Pellice, Italy, accompanied by my daughter, Mary K. White, and Eld. B. L. Whitney. It was my fifty-eighth birthday, and surely it was to be celebrated in a way and place that I had little dreamed of. It seemed hard for me to realize that I was in Europe; that I had borne my testimony in England, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and was on my way to labor in Italy. In my youth I felt a strong desire to be a child of God, and as his Spirit began to impress my heart, and I tried in feebleness to obey its promptings, I received increased strength, and my desire to do good also increased. I have ever found plenty of work to do, and I have also learned that in Christ alone there is rest, peace, or happiness. In God is our only help. I have tried all these years not to build my hopes on this world, but to lay up a treasure above. HS 226.4

For several days before we started on our journey the weather had been foggy and rainy, and we feared that the clouds would hang as a vail over the scenery through which we were to pass. But the mist and fog soon disappeared, and the sun came out bright and pleasant. HS 227.1