Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


A Lesson in Contrasts

At Torre Pellice that evening, as she stood up to speak to the 20 believers who had walked through a driving rain to celebrate the beginning of the Sabbath, she could not help contrasting the plain, whitewashed walls of the building with the elegance she had seen in Milan. EGWE 176.2

“Here in this little upper chamber of a dwelling house, there was nothing in the exterior to charm the eye, nothing in the interior to absorb or attract, but we had a Guest that day, and we all felt the warmth of His love and the value of His pardon. This precious Jesus could forgive sin. There was no uncertainty here. It was a precious season. I had not one desire for the grand temple and its cold worship. I prize the warmth of Jesus’ love.”—Manuscript 62, 1886. EGWE 176.3

Sabbath, too, it rained, but the believers came to hear her speak just the same. Sunday morning she awoke at five. The skies were cloudy, but the peach, cherry, and plum trees were in blossom, making the air heavy with their fragrance. “I see a providence in all God's works,” she wrote, and making the best of the situation, she went on to observe, “Clouds are not pleasant for present convenience, but an unseen hand is at work blessing the earth, making nature very lovely.”—Manuscript 54, 1886. EGWE 176.4

In spite of the continuing rain, they hired a horse and started up the mountain for Villar Pellice, where she had an appointment for four in the afternoon. The horse they had rented would only go at a slow walk, so they were late for the appointment. They found the meeting place literally packed with people. “The peasant women were intelligent looking,” Ellen White observed. She was especially charmed by the “neat blue dresses and white bonnets.” EGWE 176.5

Her sermon that afternoon described Christ's triumphal ride into Jerusalem. Elder Bourdeau translated into French, and some in the audience were translating quietly into Italian for those who spoke only that language. The message of Christ's love and mercy got through to the people, and the Lord's servant noticed that some of her hearers were weeping. EGWE 177.1