Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


The Voyage

In company with a lady friend and Elder J. N. Loughborough, I left San Francisco on the afternoon of June 10, 1878, upon the steamer Oregon. Captain Conner, who had charge of this splendid steamer, was very attentive to his passengers. As we passed through the Golden Gate into the broad ocean, it was very rough. The wind was against us, and the steamer pitched fearfully, while the ocean was lashed into fury by the wind. I watched the clouded sky, the rushing waves leaping mountain high, and the spray reflecting the colors of the rainbow. The sight was fearfully grand, and I was filled with awe while contemplating the mysteries of the deep. It is terrible in its wrath. There is a fearful beauty in the lifting up of its proud waves with roaring, and then falling back in mournful sobs. I could see the exhibition of God's power in the movements of the restless waters, groaning beneath the action of the merciless winds, which tossed the waves up on high as if in convulsions of agony. LS 229.3

As I looked upon the white-capped, roaring billows, I was reminded of that scene in the life of Christ, when the disciples, in obedience to the command of their Master, went in their boats to the farther side of the sea. LS 230.1

When nearly all had left for their staterooms, I continued on deck. The captain had provided me a deck chair, and blankets to serve as a protection from the chilly air. I knew that if I went into the cabin, I should be sick. Night came on, darkness covered the sea, and the plunging waves were pitching our ship fearfully. This great vessel was as a mere chip upon the merciless waters; but she was guarded and protected on her course by the heavenly angels, commissioned of God to do His bidding. Had it not been for this, we might have been swallowed up in a moment, leaving not a trace of that splendid ship. But that God who feeds the ravens, who numbers the hairs of our heads, will not forget us. LS 230.2

The last night we were on the boat I felt most grateful to my heavenly Father. I there learned a lesson I shall never forget. God had spoken to my heart in the storm, and in the waves, and in the calm following. And shall we not worship Him? Shall man set up his will against the will of God? Shall we be disobedient to the commands of so mighty a Ruler? Shall we contend with the Most High, who is the source of all power, and from whose heart flows infinite love and blessing to the creatures of His care? LS 230.3