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


Visit to Denmark

They were met Thursday morning at Copenhagen, Denmark, by J. G. Matteson. He took the travelers to his home and led them up six flights of stairs to the apartment occupied by his family. While it was somewhat of a struggle to get to the apartment, once there Ellen White found it afforded a fascinating view: 3BIO 317.2

Just across the street were beautiful grounds which had the appearance of an extensive park or garden. We were somewhat surprised to learn that it was a cemetery. The tombstones were mostly concealed from view by trees and shrubbery. Evergreen hedges separated the enclosures, and choice flowers and shrubs were scattered everywhere. Close by was the large botanical garden and floral nursery, containing rare trees and shrubs, and the most beautiful flowers in almost endless variety. 3BIO 317.3

Toward the sea we saw the huge windmills used for grinding grain. A little to the right is the glistening dome of the Greek church. This dome, we are told, is overlaid with gold.—Ibid., 179, 180. 3BIO 317.4

Seventh-day Adventists in Copenhagen worshiped in a little hall on the fourth story of a building not far from the Matteson apartment. Friday evening Ellen White spoke to about thirty-five who assembled there. A third of these constituted the local church group; the others came in from adjacent churches. Her topic was “The Parable of the Fig Tree.” She found the hall to be damp and cold, but Sabbath morning she was back. Although suffering from some teeth that had been improperly treated, a problem accentuated by the cold and dampness of the hall, she spoke to the well-filled room on “The True Vine.” 3BIO 317.5

Halls where religious meetings might be held were difficult to secure in Denmark, but one was found, a basement room capable of seating two hundred but equipped for only half that number. Meetings were held each evening throughout the week. One evening, attempts were made by half-intoxicated rowdies to break up the meeting. Commented Ellen White, “If it is necessary to speak in such places, we will do so cheerfully.” She added an interesting note: 3BIO 318.1

There were some in the audience who seemed deeply interested, persons of talent whose countenances I remembered, for they had been presented before me. These persons had been pleasure lovers, enshrouded in darkness and error, but God was permitting beams of light to shine upon them from His Word.... I felt such an intense interest while speaking to these souls that I lost sight of my surroundings; I felt that some were in the valley of decision, and I longed to see them take their stand fully and decidedly upon the side of Christ.—Ibid., 183. 3BIO 318.2

As there was opportunity, she, Willie, and Sara were guided by Matteson in some sightseeing. She admired the broad streets, the spacious ground around large buildings, and the “ships standing in the inlet of water, crowded as thick as possible” (Manuscript 25, 1885). But she found Copenhagen a city in dire need of Christ's saving power. She spoke five times while there, and then the traveling worker group left by ship for Sweden. 3BIO 318.3