Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


Chapter 3—Bound for Europe

Ellen White's first overseas trip

Port: Boston

Ship: S.S. Cephalonia

Passengers: Included Ellen G. White and her party

Time of Embarkation: August 7, 1885

Destination: Liverpool

The prospects of a European trip, including the Atlantic crossing by boat, caused Ellen White's heart to beat a little faster! The anticipation that one experiences when he is about to take his first journey to another country is nearly always a pleasurable sensation, and Mrs. White's reaction, though freighted with a sense of solemn responsibility, was no exception. Besides, a trip to Europe back in 1885—particularly with a departure from historic Boston harbor—was a privilege comparatively few Americans enjoyed. EGWE 22.1

Ever since she had been invited by church leaders in Europe to come to visit them, she had been thinking about it and praying that the Lord would lead her. And now it was all settled, and she was ready to sail from the shores of her native land. EGWE 22.2

Her final day in America, Friday, August 7, was a busy one, with last-minute shopping and five or six letters to write. Then she headed for the harbor of the big port city where she boarded the Cunard Line's S.S. Cephalonia. The ship was not due to sail until the next day, but Mrs. White and her traveling companions wanted to get settled in their staterooms before the Sabbath began. They spent Friday night aboard ship. EGWE 22.3

With Mrs. White on this journey were her son William C. White, his wife, Mary Kelsey White, and their first child, vivacious little Ella, then three years old. Also in the party were Sara McEnterfer, Anna Rasmussen, Mrs. Bertha Stein, and two of A. C. Bourdeau's children, Arthur and Jesse. The two boys were traveling to Europe to join their father, who had been there since 1884. EGWE 23.1

Ellen White, sharing her stateroom on the Cephalonia with Sara, found it “large and commodious.” She confided in her diary: * “The Lord seems very near and I feel peaceful and restful.”—Manuscript 16a, 1885. EGWE 23.2

Mrs. White's relaxed state of mind was the immediate result of being aboard ship at last and feeling settled. She now had a sense of direction. She knew with a certainty that God in His providence was leading her. A month earlier she wasn't so sure that it was the Lord's will for her to accept the invitation to labor in Europe. Here is the interesting story of divine providence. EGWE 23.3