Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Still in Uncertainty Concerning Australia

In the South Pacific, anticipation of Ellen White's visit heightened. James Harris, of New Zealand, wrote: 4BIO 17.5

Our Sabbathkeepers, and indeed outsiders also, are on the tiptoe of expectation in the contemplated visit of Sister White. We believe her sojourn among us will disarm much of the prejudice at present existing in the minds of those opposed to our principles and teaching.—Ibid., October 13, 1891 4BIO 17.6

At the last minute Sara McEnterfer was stricken rather seriously with illness. As it was clear she could not accompany Ellen White across the Pacific, Miss Fannie Bolton was chosen to go in her stead. She had been one of Ellen White's literary assistants, and it was thought she could render a dual service (Ibid., September 15, 1891). But Ellen White still questioned the matter of going. To O. A. Olsen she wrote on October 12: 4BIO 18.1

I am considering, Can it be my duty to go to Australia? Shall I not meet the same objections in the sanctuary line in Australia that I met in Switzerland? What can I do? I am presenting the case before the Lord and I believe He will guide me.—Letter 57, 1891. 4BIO 18.2

Why, as one who was so close to the Lord, and one to whom He had so often communicated in positive ways that could leave no question, was she left without some special light from God? Was it that she, like others who serve in God's cause, after carefully and prayerfully examining all the factors involved, must make a decision? Was this an experience that would prepare her for the difficult days ahead? The question was one to which she would have occasion to come back again and again. But the die was cast. She would go. 4BIO 18.3