Manuscript Releases, vol. 4 [Nos. 210-259]


MR No. 212—Ellen White's Birthdays

Your mother's birthday was spent in traveling on foot one mile across a rocky pasture and then a watery marsh, hopping from stone to stone and from knoll to knoll to keep from wetting my feet. We were on our way to visit Lou Curtis. Were coldly received. We prayed with them and left. Our dinner was gems, made of flour we brought, without sauce of any variety. For three days we lived on the bread I baked in the two pans they had for baking sweet cakes. The living was rather poor. They eat pork grease and this we could not touch.... 4MR 38.1

We had good meetings in Portland, and a good hearing—never better anywhere. The house was well filled in the afternoon. The nominal Adventists let me in their hall to speak. The hall was literally packed. We had excEllent attention. I had perfect liberty in speaking to the people. I walked one mile and back three times a day, and then visiting my sisters and cousins wore me.... Rest we must have. But we look forward to the time when “we'll lay our heavy burdens down, there's resting by and by.”—Letter 25, 1868, pp. 2, 3. (To “Dear Children Edson and Willie,” December 2, 1868.) 4MR 38.2

Today I enter upon my forty-fourth year. Oh, what has been the record of the past year? I see much to be grateful for. Many and abundant have been the blessings I have received from my Saviour. I feel glad that I have had opportunities to do some little good for our Saviour, who has done so much for me. But I see many errors in my past year's life to correct. I long to be more like my Redeemer. I resolve to be more humble, more watchful, more faithful, and reflect more perfectly the image of my Redeemer.—Letter 19, 1870, p. 1. (To “Dear Children, Edson and Emma,” November 27, 1870.) 4MR 38.3

My birthday is past without commemoration. Father and I went to Green Valley from Healdsburg California, fourteen miles and back. The road part of the way was bad. We wandered out of the way some. We arrived at Brother Ross's. They had nothing in the home to eat. I tended a babe, held it in one arm and prepared my dinner myself. Made a little mush, cooked some eggs and put on a few cold gems. This composed my dinner, birthday dinner, half a century old! Not much display in this. Then our birth does not amount to much. It is not of much consequence in regard to our birth—not half as much as in regard to our lives. How do we live? Our daily life will either honor or dishonor the day of our birth.—Letter 39, 1877, p. 1. (To “Dear Children, Willie and Mary,” November 27, 1877.) 4MR 39.1

Another year of my life is in the past. This past year has been one of conflicts, of anxiety, of much care and wearisome labor; yet I look back upon it as one of deep experience. I see many places where I have felt that the deep waters were going over my head, that circumstances would master me when light has shone amid the darkness and sweet comfort and peace has taken the place of sadness and discouragement. Yesterday was my birthday. We were in Plano. After two o'clock a.m., we rode to Dallas in what is here called a hack, but is a lumber wagon. We had two mules hitched before it, looking like two father rabbits, and we drove eighteen miles to Dallas. Stopped at Brother Miller's and warmed, then came three miles farther to Sister Cole's. So much for the anniversary of my fifty-first birthday.—Letter 57, 1878, p. 1. (To “Dear Children,” November 27, 1878.) 4MR 39.2

I enter today, November 26, 1882, upon a new year of my life. The past year has been a year of sorrow, of anguish of soul in consequence of my bereavement.—Manuscript 6, 1882, 1. (Spoken before public congregation in Healdsburg, California, November 26, 1882.) 4MR 40.1

I spent the first Sabbath after you left at Santa Rosa. The little house of worship was well filled. I had special freedom in speaking to the people and the blessing of the Lord rested upon me and those assembled. They all seemed to be so much encouraged. I was not where any parade could be made over my birthday and I am glad I was not. I think but little of these extra entertainments to celebrate birthdays. 4MR 40.2

Sister Chapman seemed to be so pleased to have us with her and she was so sad to have us leave her. She tries to be cheerful and bear up with good courage. Sunday, my birthday, I spent mostly at Sister Chapman's. 4MR 40.3

I thank you for your much-valued present. It was just as nice as it could be. I shall appreciate the gift and be reminded of the giver every time I look at it.... 4MR 40.4

We had a very simple Thanksgiving, as all ought to have.—Letter 23, 1882, pp. 1, 3. (To “Dear Willie,” December 1, 1882.) 4MR 40.5

We left Basel. I am fifty-eight years old today.... We took the cars bound for Torre Pellice, Italy. We were much favored. The sun partially dispelled the clouds. There was no fog and we could get a view of the country through which we passed.—Manuscript 29, 1885, 1. (Diary entries. First visit to Italy, November 26 to December 15, 1885.) 4MR 41.1

Sixty-three years are in the past. This day has been one of close application of my writing to prepare an article for the Week of Prayer. I had just time to pack my satchel after finishing my article.—Manuscript 48, 1890, 1. (“Reflections on Labors in Brooklyn,” November 26, 1890.) 4MR 41.2

We first took a streetcar as far as the bridge, then we climbed the stairs to the elevated railroad, then down the stairs after we crossed the bridge. We were on the crowded street of Broadway, dodging this way and then that way between teams, narrowly escaping being run over. We reached a car we wished to take, and it went very slowly, being obstructed with heavily loaded vehicles. Changed cars again and just as we were about to get on board a horsecar, there came a heavily loaded wagon drawn by two powerful horses. They almost collided with the streetcar.... I saw a place where we could dodge past the team and board the train. I ran, calling the others to follow with the baggage, which they did, and once more we were moving along. Soon we were obstructed with heavily loaded wagons. As we were near the wharf, we decided to leave the car and walk; it was only a few rods. We were able, after going before teams and behind them and between them, to pass down the gangplank into the boat. Here I am writing, sitting in my berth in my stateroom. 4MR 41.3

I was awakened out of my sleep by someone rapping on my door. I asked what was wanted and was asked where we were bound. I told them, To Norwich, Connecticut. At one o'clock the boat stopped. Then to our sorrow we learned that the gangway where all the luggage or freight was laden and unloaded was directly beneath our stateroom. There was the noise of trundling wheelbarrows, orders being given, and the loading of barrels until morning. A very poor chance to sleep! We were to be awakened at four o'clock, but our awakening commenced at one o'clock and continued until four. 4MR 42.1

We must take the cars at five o'clock. It was bitterly cold, yet beautifully pleasant. We walked quite a distance to the depot.... How glad I was to get on board the cars! 4MR 42.2

After riding about one hour we came to Norwich and decided to walk nearly one mile to Brother and Sister Greer's. We reached the place about six o'clock. It was hardly light. We rang the bell again and again but no one heard. We tried at another door with better success and roused Brother Greer and he let us in. Soon Sister Greer was up and we were made welcome. Thus ended my entering of my sixty-fourth year... 4MR 42.3

November 27 we were among strangers in a place we had never visited before. We had both E. G. W. and Miss Sara McEnterfer become so thoroughly chilled that it was very difficult to get the blood to the surface for good circulation. We walked out, Sara and I, about one mile, and the air was sharp and bracing. I came to the breakfast table at nine o'clock. Oh, how hungry I was! I ate very heartily. Dinner was at three o'clock and I was again hungry for dinner. It was Thanksgiving Day.... Brother Miles talked that night to the few assembled. The people are very much scattered and cannot readily assemble at the meetinghouse.—Manuscript 49, 1890, 1, 2. (Diary, November 26-December 3, 1890. “In Norwich, Connecticut.”) 4MR 42.4

We were refreshed with orange drink, and with grapes of excEllent flavor. There were besides, oranges of a variety unknown to us, and fruits which we had never before seen. These fruits tasted nice, but we dared not indulge to any great extent, fearing we should have to discharge our cargo in less time than it took to store it away! 4MR 43.1

After the meeting we drove to the ship and bade our friends good-bye. My sixty-fourth birthday came on Thanksgiving Day, a few days after leaving Honolulu, and the friends at Honolulu presented me with a ten-dollar gold piece as a birthday present, and Mr. Kerr, though a nonprofessor, gave me an upholstered rocking chair from his parlor set as a birthday present, because I happened to mention that it was an easy chair. It has been a great comfort to me on the voyage, when sitting on deck. 4MR 43.2

I have written about one hundred and fifty pages, but I expected to write as much as three hundred pages.—Letter 32a, 1891, pp. 2, 5, 6. (To “Dear Children,” J. E. and Emma White, December 7, 1891.) 4MR 43.3

Today I am sixty-five years old. I spoke to our people from the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah.—Manuscript 38, 1892, 6, 7. (Diary. November 26, 1892.) 4MR 43.4

Today I am seventy years old. I thank and praise my heavenly Father for the clearness of mind and the peace and grace of Christ I enjoy.—Letter 200, 1897, p. 2. (To “Dear Son Willie,” November 26, 1897.) 4MR 44.1

Seventy-two years ago today my life in this world commenced. I am still able to labor, to watch unto prayer, to speak to hundreds of people for more than an hour at a time.—Manuscript 158, 1899, 1. (Untitled, November 26, 1899.) 4MR 44.2

This is my seventy-fourth birthday. I thank the Lord for the grace and health He has given me up to this time.—Manuscript 127, 1901, 1. (Untitled, Tuesday, November 26, 1901.) 4MR 44.3

I am now seventy-eight years old. I am grateful to my heavenly Father that I am able to do my writing.—Letter 322, 1905, p. 1. (To Brother and Sister Belden, November 26, 1905.) 4MR 44.4

Nothing is so precious to me as to know that Christ is my Saviour. I appreciate the truth, every jot of it, just as it has been given to me by the Holy Spirit for the last fifty years. I desire everyone to know that I stand on the same platform of truth that we have maintained for more than half a century. That is the testimony I desire to bear on the day that I am seventy-eight years of age.—Manuscript 142, 1905, 1, 2. 4MR 44.5

My birthday comes upon the Sabbath. This gives me a most excellent opportunity to reflect upon the goodness and mercies of God to spare my life so many years to engage heartily in the work which He has given me to do.—Manuscript 60, 1910, 1. (Diary fragment—1910, November 26, 1910.) 4MR 44.6

Released July 8, 1968.