Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)


Travels and Labors in Early 1849

January, February, and March of 1849 found James and Ellen White traveling among the groups of believers. Ellen's health was good, and she stood the strain well. The visions were quite frequent, some giving them directions as to the couple's labors, and others opening up important lines of instruction for the emerging church. In the latter part of January the Whites were in Topsham, Maine. On Thursday, January 18, Ellen was given the vision recorded in Early Writings, 56-58, “Duty in View of the Time of Trouble.” One morning in early February, during family prayers in the Howland home, she was given a vision in which she was shown that it was their duty to visit Dartmouth, Massachusetts. She later explained why: 1BIO 158.2

Soon after, my husband went to the post office, and brought a letter from Brother Philip Collins, urging us to come to Dartmouth, for their son was very sick.—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 121. 1BIO 158.3

When they reached Dartmouth they found 13-year-old Gilbert near death with whooping cough. He had suffered for nine weeks. As they prayed for the recovery of the boy, James White picked him up and held him in his arms, exclaiming, “You will not die, but live!” They believed that God would be glorified in his recovery. Eight days later when the Whites came again to the home, Gilbert was completely well and had gained four pounds (Ibid.). Also on this trip Sister Temple in Boston was healed, and Sister Hastings in New Ipswich, as recorded in Ibid., 121-123. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hastings were sensitive in nature but fine Christians, and Ellen White wrote that her heart was knit with that of Sister Hastings as was the heart of David with Jonathan. 1BIO 158.4

James and Ellen White were back in Topsham on Wednesday, March 21, and were delighted to find little Henry well, happy, and growing. Journeying as they were called to do was sometimes far from pleasant. A little picture of conditions under which they sometimes traveled is provided in a letter written by James White on Thursday, March 22. To Brother and Sister Hastings, whose home they had just left, he reported: 1BIO 159.1

We came to Boston in Brother Nichols’ carriage, took the cars at 7:00 A.M., arrived in Portland at 12:30 P.M. Passed through the city to the other depot, took cars at 2:30 P.M. for North Yarmouth (eleven miles), then got into an old stage to ride sixteen miles more. This was our best route, as the boats do not run until April. 1BIO 159.2

Ellen [nearly five months pregnant] stood it all well until we got into the stage. Here we were shook up and down, to and fro, for three hours in snowbanks and mud sloughs. I began to pray to God for help, and He gave us help. 1BIO 159.3

On Friday, March 23, Ellen wrote to Leonard and Elvira Hastings: 1BIO 159.4

I can write but little now, as I am weak, but the Lord is very good to poor, unworthy me. While riding in the stage Wednesday, I thought I should have to stop at a private house and go no farther, but James and I united in faith together that God would give me strength, and suddenly I felt a visible change for the better and arrived here without accident or harm. Praise the name of the Lord. Yesterday I was unable to sit up; today I am free from pain, though weak. 1BIO 159.5

My faith is strong in God. I am ready to go anywhere He shall send me, knowing He will give me strength.—Letter 4, 1849. 1BIO 159.6