Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


Counselor in the Sickroom

During the council Ellen White began to talk to Edith about her spiritual health: “In the afternoon [Wednesday, September 23] had a long, plain, pointed talk with Edith Andrews. She seemed to have some sense of her condition. We prayed together. I feel deep pity for this child.” *Manuscript 16a, 1885. EGWE 88.3

On Sabbath, October 3, Edith sought out Ellen White, and the two had another long talk about Edith's religious experience. After seeing both her cousin and uncle wasted by tuberculosis, Edith no doubt sensed what was ahead, and wanted to make sure she was ready to go and that she had made everything right. EGWE 88.4

Then followed two months of suffering for young Edith. During those two months Mrs. White visited the Scandinavian countries and Italy. When she returned to Basel in December, Edith appealed to her for assurances that the Lord had accepted her. Tenderly the Lord's servant spoke with the dying girl, pointing out that God had pledged to pardon every transgression if we would only return to Him with true repentance. EGWE 88.5

“I believe, Edith, that you have done this, and wherein you are too feeble to do the work as thoroughly as if you were well, Jesus’ precious mercy and merits supplies the deficiencies on the part of His repenting, humble ones.”—Letter 26, 1885. EGWE 89.1

Then she quoted from Exodus 34:6, 7: “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” EGWE 89.2

She asked Edith: EGWE 89.3

“Will you, my dear child, believe Him? What sins can be too great for Him to pardon? Every soul is precious in His sight. He is merciful, infinitely more willing to pardon than condemn. He is gracious. He is touched with the feelings of your infirmities.”—Letter 25, 1885. EGWE 89.4

Sister White continued, telling of the great love of Jesus, reminding the ailing young woman how He saved Peter when he was sinking in doubt. Tears came to Edith's eyes and ran down her feverish cheeks. “I believe He accepts me,” she said, “I believe He loves me and I all undeserving, have His peace.” EGWE 89.5

On Sabbath, December 19, the messenger of the Lord spoke twice, and that night she recorded in her diary, “I am impressed that this is the last Sabbath Edith will ever see.”—Manuscript 30, 1885. EGWE 89.6

Finally, on Thursday, December 24, at 5:30 A.M. the converted girl fell asleep. Blessed sleep! Sister White was confident about her salvation. “She has fallen asleep in Jesus.”—Letter 72, 1886. EGWE 89.7

On Christmas Day Mrs. White wrote in her diary: EGWE 89.8

“There is a great solemnity upon my mind. Edith is dead in the house. Her record is in the books of heaven, unchangeable. What a solemn thought is life, and how we live that life! We have evidence that Edith's life is not what it might have been, but her last days were days of penitence, repentance, and confession. We have reason to believe that the pitying Redeemer accepted Edith.”—Manuscript 30, 1885. EGWE 90.1

On the twenty-sixth Mrs. White had a bad day. Under the painful stress of Edith's death her mind turned back to the time only a few years before when James White, her husband of 35 years,* was snatched away from her by a sudden attack of malaria, then before that to the death of her firstborn, Henry, at the age of 16, and her baby boy, Herbert, at three months (see Manuscript 30, 1885). EGWE 90.2

But sorrow does not last forever, and on Sunday, she walked in the fresh snow and felt “much refreshed.” “It is not clear,” she wrote, “but the sun is trying to struggle through the mist and fog.” So she, like everyone else, had her good days and her bad days—struggling as all mortals do in a world full of sunshine and shadow. EGWE 90.3

Then she said cheerily in a note about her granddaughter, “Ella has a fine time trying to snowball her mother and grandmother.”—Ibid. EGWE 90.4