Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


The Carriage Trip to Charlotte

An invitation to spend a weekend at Charlotte, thirty miles northeast of Battle Creek, had come to the Whites. A. O. Burrill was holding evangelistic tent meetings there. James was glad that he had given word that he and his wife would drive over, for it would give her the change and rest she needed. The weekend activities were like a camp meeting. James White spoke three times and Ellen four. Many from the community attended the meetings. There was none of the strain of the preceding week in Battle Creek, and Ellen claimed she gained some rest (The Review and Herald, July 26, 1881; Letter 8a, 1881). Not long after this carriage trip she recalled their conversation as they drove through the countryside: 3BIO 165.7

My husband seemed cheerful, yet a feeling of solemnity rested upon him. He repeatedly praised the Lord for mercies and blessings received, and freely expressed his own feelings concerning the past and the future: ...“The future seems cloudy and uncertain, but the Lord would not have us distressed over these things. When trouble comes, He will give us grace to endure it. What the Lord has been to us, and what He has done for us, should make us so grateful that we would never murmur or complain. 3BIO 166.1

“Our labors, burdens, and sacrifices will never be fully appreciated by all. I see that I have lost my peace of mind and the blessing of God by permitting myself to be troubled by these things. It has seemed hard to me that my motives should be misjudged, and that my best efforts to help, encourage, and strengthen my brethren should again and again be turned against me, but I should have remembered Jesus and His disappointments.... 3BIO 166.2

“Had I ever left all my perplexities with the Lord, thinking less of what others said and did against me, I should have had more peace and joy. I will now seek first to guard myself that I offend not in word or deed, and to help my brethren make straight paths for their feet. I will not stop to mourn over any wrong done to me. I have expected more of men than I ought. I love God and His work, and I love my brethren, also.”—Manuscript 6, 1881 (see also In Memoriam, pp. 50, 51). 3BIO 166.3

Returning to their comfortable Battle Creek home on Wednesday, July 27, they picked up their tasks there. One of the first things Ellen White did that day was to write to the children in California of the experience of the past two weeks and of the meeting she and James had with Dr. Kellogg. “I have been alarmed at the state of things,” she wrote, but was glad to add: 3BIO 166.4

I think Father views matters in a different light. In some things I think he is striving hard for the Spirit of God. He seems more humble, more guarded in words and actions. He has a hard battle before him. I shall help him all I can.... 3BIO 167.1

I have felt crushed and heartbroken for months, but I have laid my burden on my Saviour and I shall no longer be like a bruised reed.—Letter 8, 1881. 3BIO 167.2

As the new week dawned they were looking forward to more labor in the field. The Review of August 2 carried the following back-page note signed by both James and Ellen White: 3BIO 167.3

The Eastern Camp Meetings: We have been urged to attend the camp meetings to be holden at Magog, P.Q. [Province of Quebec], Morrisville, Vermont, and Waterville, Maine. We shall attend these meetings, and others, as the providence of God opens the way for us, and we have health and strength to labor. 3BIO 167.4

But James and Ellen were not at these meetings. Instead, the next issue of the Review carried the notice of James White's death. 3BIO 167.5