Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]

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MR No. 1293—A Report on Soul Winning Efforts, Office Matters, and Household and Family Items

(Written November 23, 1885, from Basel, Switzerland, to W. C. White.)

I have sent you one letter since coming back to Basel. In regard to Marian's coming I dare not say. If I was sure that we would go to America next May, I would not think it best to disappoint Marian's plans. I just want her to do the things that will be for her health and after-usefulness. If she really wishes to give some time to study, she ought to have the privilege of doing this. I dare not urge her to come to Europe. I will send matters to be published if I am able to write. I shall not write as diligently as I have done. 17MR 323.1

I certainly have never done as much work in the same amount of time as in the last four months, and I am thankful to the Lord for this. How long it will be duty to stay here, I cannot tell, but just as long as it seems to be duty to stay I will do this cheerfully, although expenses are going on of housekeeping at Healdsburg. I have my cow and horse that I have to feed, and my expenses are running on, but this is not of any consideration with me. I want to know my duty and do it cheerfully. 17MR 323.2

Although very weary I spoke to the people assembled on the Sabbath in the afternoon. Several not of our faith were present. There were four students from the theological college. Two came for the first time. The converted Jew has been turned out because he came to our meetings. This, Brother Whitney thinks, aroused the attention of other students, and two have come quite often to attend the meetings. They are interested. They have not heard a discourse but have come to the Sabbath afternoon meetings, and seemed interested. They have read the papers, and they came of themselves to talk with Brother Whitney and the hands in the office, of the reason for their faith. The name of one of the young men is Zree, and he says he will not be prevented from investigating. They seemed interested in the Sabbath afternoon meetings. Many good testimonies were borne. 17MR 323.3

Edith [Andrews] was brought into meeting and she bore her testimony, but I am sorry to say she is not spiritual and does not know how to come to the light. [It is believed that she was converted shortly before she died.] 17MR 324.1

Sunday morning I attended early meeting with the office workers, prayed with them and talked with them. They seemed interested and, some, deeply affected. Then after the meeting closed I talked with the girls in the office in relation to Edith and the close friendship and attention they were giving her. I told them they had made her an idol and had flattered her and petted her until she was entirely deceived in regard to herself. She was not awake to her needs. She felt not [that] she needed a Physician. They had helped her to this state of blindness by their worshiping her, that this extra love was so choice its fragrance could be permitted to go to only a few while others, more devotional, more worthy, were excluded. I told them that this deception would be fatal to Edith if it was kept up to the last. She wanted to be diverted and amused when the hours [given] to her [by God] were solemn and precious, to be devoted to preparation of heart to meet her Saviour in the morning of the resurrection. 17MR 324.2

I wished them to review the past and see if in one instance Edith had led their minds and affections heavenward, if they could think of any time she had talked of Jesus and heaven and the truth. I told them she had led their minds away from the truth, away from devotion of God, to human worship. They had an admiration society, seeking to be loved, praised, petted, and this had separated their affection from God so that not one of those who were so sympathetic, so loving, so devoted to Edith, was learning to wear Christ's yoke or to carry His burdens. They were backsliding from God, and in the place of giving Him the heart's best and loveliest affections they were placing confidence and love upon an earthly, erring creature. They did not love Edith because she was devotional, because she lived so near to Jesus, but because they thought her perfection. She pleased them but she did not please Jesus or really love Jesus. I talked to them very plainly and shall not see these young people deceived. I shall talk with Edwin and John Vuilleumier. 17MR 325.1

Brother Whitney has just come into our room and he says the two young men have come again to talk with them. He talked and prayed with them. One has investigated so that he sees now that he must lift the cross. He says he does not hesitate because he will be laughed at or reproached, but he feels keenly at the thought of disappointing his parents who expect him to be educated for a minister. He says he has stated to the principal his convictions and he tells him that if he does keep the Sabbath he must leave the college. Ministers have labored with them, then they bring the arguments to our brethren in the office, and they show them the difference between the teachings of the Bible and the sayings of men. The one who is convinced says he will write an essay on the Sabbath question and read it in his class. There seems to be quite a stir in the college just now. Oh, that God would move upon hearts, convict and convert souls. 17MR 325.2

Elder Bourdeau is thinking of holding meetings in a hall in Geneva while Ertzenberger and Vuilleumier are working in a place not far from there. Daniel feels like going into the work in earnest. Oh, that God would help His servants to be wise to win souls. Brother Bourdeau says that he can call these brethren in after an interest is awakened. 17MR 326.1

We go to Italy next Thursday. Mary accompanies me. Ella will remain at home with Sarah and Christine. Brother Whitney goes with us to Italy. Sister Bourdeau goes with us, to remain a few weeks. I think it will not be best to remain long now; a few weeks will be enough. If we see occasion for remaining sixty days, the length of our ticket, we can do so. Brother Whitney thinks [that] when I shall return here Brother Ertzenberger better commence meetings here and Brother Conradi join him and make a regular effort to bring souls to the knowledge of the truth. 17MR 326.2

We are all well under this roof except Edith, and Ella has had [a] cold and is not as well as usual. We see great improvements in Ella. We take great comfort with her. 17MR 326.3

Well, Willie, I hope you are well and that the blessing of the Lord is accompanying you in your meetings. We pray for you all assembled in conference. We shall follow you with our prayers. I now must stop writing, for I must rest. God bless you. May His peace rest upon you is the prayer of your Mother. 17MR 326.4

[P.S.] Willie, Mary was pleased with her cloak pattern. Come to see what she had, she had nothing fit to wear. Christine has cut it out and nearly made it. Mary and she are very busy now. Mary has got her an entire outfit from the remnant left of my dress, so we shall both have suits alike. I found Mary had purchased her nice flannel-cloth lined shoes and a beautiful pair of slippers lined with flannel. She thinks much of these comfortable things. Mary speaks from the dining room, “Tell Willie I like the cloak very much. We are really comfortably situated.” 17MR 327.1

Today I went down and selected one of those earthen stoves for my room, which is the parlor. I cannot keep warm with the coils, and the iron stove makes me feel continually oppressed. Have had nosebleed nearly every day since I came home. This stove is on the same principle as those white ones in Sweden, but this one we have purchased is about five feet high, brown earthenware. It is a beauty for $20; they asked $22. So you see we shall be nicely fixed here for the winter. 17MR 327.2

Christine is just the one we need, so handy with the needle and willing to do any kind of work. She went into washing Sunday, earnestly, and was down on her knees scouring the tile floor. I think we did well to secure so good help. Brethren Whitney and Kellogg are true and earnest to do all they can for us. Brother Kellogg boards with us. They seem to think I must have everything I need to make me comfortable. But very little has been expended for furniture. Things picked up and borrowed have fitted us out with three good bedsteads and mattresses. Both rooms have carpets, not entirely covered, but [they] answer all purposes. 17MR 327.3

Willie, please send Lizzie N. Bangs $20, and charge to my account. Send to Lizzie N. Bangs, West Gorham, Maine. I wish you would see if you can get some pumpkin powder from H. S. Gurney, and get dried corn and small dried fruit if you can. We shall need some books, and I will send in my next [letter] what books I want you to bring to me. 17MR 328.1

Ella says, “Tell Papa I want to see him and kiss him. When will he come home?” See Aunt Mary and tell me how she is getting along. No one mentions her. Give her my love, and tell her to write to me and I will answer it.—Letter 37, 1885. 17MR 328.2

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

September 3, 1987.

Entire Letter.