Manuscript Releases, vol. 5 [Nos. 260-346]


MR No. 266—The Roth Family

I carried a heavy burden while in Europe, and while there I left about two thousand [dollars] of the Lord's entrusted money to advance the work in its different branches. I accepted the charge of Mary and her brother Paul from the hands of a very dear family who love and fear God, pledging myself to be their friend and do to the utmost of my influence to see that they were properly cared for, and that Mary should at my expense receive treatment at the sanitarium at Battle Creek and that Paul, who is a conscientious young man, should be placed where he could be qualifying himself to become a laborer in Switzerland or wherever duty may call him to labor. Those who have shared with me in this work I am truly grateful to, for I consider it a good work.—Letter 4, 1888, p. 1. (To “Dear Brother and Sister W. W. Prescott, September 10, 1888.) 5MR 18.1

One week ago last Tuesday we returned home from visiting the churches in Switzerland. We traveled with our own horse and carriage and by thus doing obtained a view of the places and scenery of interest which we should not have done had we ridden on the cars. Switzerland is far ahead of Colorado for landscape scenes. The hills and mountains here are indescribably grand. I do not think I ever viewed scenery which made so deep an impression on my mind. It seemed as though my heart was lifted up to heaven as I viewed the works of God in nature. I could not refrain from saying, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty.” I looked upon the high rocks seamed by the mighty cataracts which had worn a channel through them, and at the mountains towering toward heaven and then down hundreds of feet into the ravine through which a rapid stream was noisily beating its way over the stones and rugged rocks. I was filled with awe as I looked upon this scenery. I meditated upon the things which my eyes were beholding. How great was the living God who held and controlled these wonderful places of the earth, holding the mountains of stone in their place by His own hand, subject to His will. Oh, what power and what majesty has our God! Himself is the Rock of Ages. 5MR 18.2

These mountains clad with forest trees and high towering rocks of every conceivable form are beautifully adorned with the fir, hemlock, and beech. The combination of colors is as beautiful as a bouquet. Interspersed with these are pure white blossoms resembling the snowball. All the beauties and the marvelous greatness of things in nature are open to our senses that we may better understand the love of God for man, and learn lessons of His wisdom and His power. These things which my eyes behold draw me personally and trustingly to my heavenly Father, for I recognize Him as the source of all our blessings.... 5MR 19.1

If our hearts were softened and subdued with the love of God they would be open to discern His mercy and loving-kindness, as expressed to us in every shrub and the profusion of blooming flowers which meet our eye in God's world. The delicate leaf, the spires of grass, every lofty tree is an expression of the love of God to His children. They tell us that God is a lover of the beautiful. He speaks to us from nature's book that He delights in the perfection of beauty of character. He would have us look up through nature to nature's God, and would have our hearts drawn out in love and affection to Him as we view His created works. The beautiful forests stretch out before us, and the groves where the merry songsters congregate and make our world vocal with their songs of praise and their rich and joyous music, should awaken the song of melody and gratitude to God in our own hearts. The Lord wants us to rejoice in the works of His creation. He rejoices in the work of His hands, which He has clothed with such a profusion of beauty. His glory is declared not only in the heavens, in the sun, moon, and stars, but in everything in nature, opening bud and blooming flowers, which His hand has created. 5MR 19.2

We may consider, as Jesus bade us, the lilies of the valley, and the beautiful flowers growing up around us should awaken in our hearts not only reverence but love to God. We need greater natural simplicity, and far more spirituality than we now possess in order to read aright the pages of the book of nature that God has opened before us. We want to grasp through faith the eternal, which He has set before us in earthly forms and semblances that the depths of our souls may be reached, that we may magnify and reverence the God of nature. 5MR 20.1

God designs that the scenes of nature should influence the children of God to delight in the pure, simple, quiet beauty with which our Father adorns our earthly home. Jesus tells us that the mightiest king that ever swayed a specter could not compare in gorgeous array to the simple flowers that God has clothed with loveliness. We wish to learn God's lesson out of His book. The heavens above are pure and lovely, in faint colors presented to our senses here upon the earth, and we may put the imagination to the highest stretch to grasp the glories which these represent in the paradise of God; and yet the eye hath not seen, the ear hath not heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those who love Him.... 5MR 20.2

We must be preparing for the white robe of character, in order that we may pass within the pearly gates of the city of God to a heaven of bliss. Revelation presents the scene—fountains of living waters, rivers that are as clear as crystal proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb, trees of living green growing on either side of this river of life. The foliage gives health and life to those who eat it, as well as the fruit. The walls and foundation of the city are of precious stone. The streets are paved with gold. 5MR 21.1

We have in the glorious things of nature a mere shadow of the original, which we shall see in their full loveliness in the Paradise of God. Let us learn the precious lessons which God designed we should. He who careth for the simple flowers in their season, will He not much more care for you whom He has created in His own image? Look upon these things of beauty. God prepared and clothed them with a robe of loveliness, and yet they perish in a day. All these earthly, temporal beauties are to be appreciated as the voice of God speaking to us of the treasures and glories of the unseen and the eternal. 5MR 21.2

It will be impossible for me to describe the scenery which I beheld on this journey. It is too awfully grand. I might write you much more upon this, but I will pursue my narrative of my journey. Our first day out from Basel at noon we halted under the wide-spread branches of a grand old oak. W. C. W. unharnessed Dolly, and John Vuilleumier brushed her down, using hay as a curry-comb, then left her to eat grass, which privilege she enjoyed, if we can judge from appearance. A bed was made for me on the grass. I had been sick for several days, and the proposition was made to defer the journey until the next week, [my] being unable, as they thought, to travel. This day, the twentieth of May, was very warm. I decided to undertake the journey, and if it was impossible for me to travel safely, to return to Basel. I was very weak, but my rest in sleep did me good. 5MR 21.3

Close by us was a large rock running up abruptly from the road, but in the rear was a platte of level ground which, without much difficulty, would bring one to the top of the huge rock. Here Napoleon placed his cannon upon the top of the rock, and his army must have stood upon the very spot we had chosen for our noon lunch. The name of this place was Laufen, fourteen miles from Basel. Sara McEnterfer prepared the luncheon, which is spread upon the ground upon smooth Manila paper used as a tablecloth. The blessing of God is asked upon our food, and the simple lunch is eaten with a relish. 5MR 22.1

W. C. W. engaged in writing letters on the calligraph, and Sara washed the dishes in a stream close by, and arranged the dinner basket to be strapped again on the back of the wagon. John took the German and French paper to a house not far distant where we obtained milk and did some missionary work. He obtained names to whom he could send these little messengers of light and truth. 5MR 22.2

The entire journey was one of interest for remarkable scenery. Having ridden thirty miles, we tarried that night in Moutter, a beautiful village located in a valley of loveliness. The inhabitants are mostly Roman Catholics. We had good accommodations, and early in the morning took a breakfast in our room consisting of bread and hot milk, and then were seated in our carriage again to continue our journey. We arrived at Tramelan about noon and were welcomed by the family of Brother Roth. Brother and Sister Roth are most excellent people, wholehearted in the truth. They have now living seven sons and three daughters. One daughter died in the faith not long since. All are established in the truth that are old enough to understand. Their family are in the best circumstances of any of our people in Switzerland. The father and eldest son are merchant tailors. The second son is a baker, but has given himself to the missionary work, and is fitting up for a laborer. He is a young man of superior ability. One young woman is working in the office at Basel. She understands French, German, and English. The third son is also working in the office. We enjoyed our visit with this dear family. Tramelan is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. It is high up among the mountains. There is much snow there in winter, and the summers are quite warm. I think we shall have a camp meeting in this place before we leave Europe. We had good meetings in Tramelan. I spoke three times.—Manuscript 20, 1886, 1-5. (Untitled, June 11, 1886.) 5MR 22.3

Do you remember Mary Roth, a girl about sixteen years old, whom you met in Tramelan? Her father and brothers are tailors, and another one is a baker. They say that you visited them in Tramelan. I think you found Mary not well. I went there three times to labor. The water-closets are in the house. The whole house is poisoned by the polluted air. I called the family together, and talked this matter strongly to them.... They receive everything I tell them as being so indeed. 5MR 23.1

Mary has been an apprentice in this office, but has not been well for some time. The blood is mostly in her head. Sara McEnterfer has been treating her for months—fomentations, foot baths, sponge baths, rubbings, and so on. A physician was called to give her an examination. He says her case is a complicated one, and she must leave the office. Her parents were afraid to have her come home, because I had set before them the poisonous atmosphere in the house, which they were inhaling all the time. I saw that the precious child would not get well here, so I finally proposed that Mary should go to America, to the sanitarium. They consented to let her go. Now I wish you to tell me if this is not the best thing to be done. The physicians here do not know how to take a case without drugging. They commended the way that she has been treated, and recommended her to go to an institution in Basel, under the care of the physician that attended Edith Andrews. The treatment is all given by men with masks on. Mary is a modest young woman, and she would not go there, she said, if she died. What do you think of my sending her to the sanitarium? She has had a hard time the past winter—her feet cold as ice, room not properly heated. Her ankles swell very badly. She came down unable to do anything. I could not spare Sara. She would work over her hours at a time, and I thought I would better be to the expense of her treatment at the sanitarium than have Sara take care of her here without conveniences whatever. 5MR 24.1

They intend to leave here sometime in May. Will forward you the examination paper. I sent for it some time ago to send to you. Her father sends one of her brothers to attend the college. I promised to pay his tuition and board. He gives this young man to the cause. He was raised up from what they feared would be his deathbed. The father made a vow that if the Lord would spare his life, he would give him to the cause of God. He is an excellent young man. I have devoted all the royalty on foreign books to be used in the foreign missions. I thought I would place a fund in the office to be used for the purpose of educating choice young men to become laborers for their own country-men. This young man will come with his sister. They are a nice family.—Letter 9, 1887, pp. 3, 4. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, April 15, 1887.) 5MR 24.2