Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


Visiting the Church at Gladbach

While at Gladbach, Sister White was charmed by the well-kept grounds at the Doerner home, ornamented with a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers. The beauty and fragrance acted like a natural healing therapy upon her body and mind. She walked in the garden reflecting upon creation's lovely wonders. EGWE 283.6

She wrote later: EGWE 284.1

“While I was in Europe, a sister ... who was in deep distress, wrote to me, asking for some word of encouragement. The night after I had read her letter I dreamed that I was in a garden, and one who seemed to be the owner of the garden was conducting me through its paths. I was gathering the flowers and enjoying their fragrance, when this sister, who had been walking by my side, called my attention to some unsightly briers that were impeding her way. There she was mourning and grieving. She was not walking in the pathway, following the guide, but was walking among the briers and thorns. ‘Oh,’ she mourned, ‘is it not a pity that this beautiful garden is spoiled with thorns?’ Then the guide said, ‘Let the thorns alone, for they will only wound you. Gather the roses, the lilies, and the pinks.’”—Steps to Christ, 116, 117. EGWE 284.2

Mrs. White then asked: EGWE 284.3

“Have there not been some bright spots in your experience? Have you not had some precious seasons when your heart throbbed with joy in response to the Spirit of God? When you look back into the chapters of your life experience do you not find some pleasant pages? Are not God's promises, like the fragrant flowers, growing beside your path on every hand? Will you not let their beauty and sweetness fill your heart with joy?”—Ibid., 117. EGWE 284.4

That afternoon she preached a touching sermon from John 15:1-3, Brother Conradi interpreting. She seemed to feel her subject intensely. “The truth was to me a reality,” she explained, “and I felt that God indeed gave me special strength and imparted to me of His Holy Spirit while speaking. I saw before me an intelligent company who had but few privileges and little labor from the ministering brethren. We hope and pray that this meeting may prove a blessing to those who were present.”—The Review and Herald, October 11, 1887. Often during her lifework did the Lord's servant preach from John, chapters 14 and 15. EGWE 284.5

The next morning the little itinerant company boarded the cars for Hamburg on their way to Copenhagen. “We saw as we neared Hamburg,” wrote Ellen White, “that there was a great fire. The flames seemingly reaching to the sky above us, lighting up everything around. It was a grand scene. We learned that the ships and warehouses were in flames from petroleum which had exploded.”—Ibid. EGWE 285.1

One half hour later at Altona, “beyond Hamburg,” Ellen White's party changed cars and proceeded by rail and ferry on to Copenhagen. EGWE 285.2