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


The Large Sunday Temperance Meeting

After spending most of Sunday, November 8, in writing, Ellen White met a five o'clock appointment in the soldiers’ military gymnasium, the largest hall in the city. The president of the temperance society had extended the invitation to her to speak. As she entered the hall, she observed what she considered a special courtesy—“An American flag was placed as a canopy above the pulpit.”—Ibid., 207. An audience of about 1,600 assembled, which she noted were of “the higher class of society” who had come to “hear the woman from America speak” (Manuscript 27, 1885). Among her listeners were the bishop of the state church and a number of the clergy. As the people listened with deep interest, she spoke for an hour and twenty minutes, presenting temperance in a manner they had not before heard. 3BIO 326.1

I showed them that the Bible was full of history upon temperance. I showed them the part Christ had taken in temperance. It was all due to Christ that man was given a second trial after Adam's fall. Christ redeemed Adam's disgraceful failure and fall by withstanding every temptation of the wily foe. I mingled Christ in this temperance lecture from beginning to end.—Ibid. 3BIO 326.2

Her lecture over, Dr. Nisson, the president of the society, profusely endorsed her presentation and introduced her to leading temperance men and women. They expressed their gratitude, and some declared that they had never listened to a temperance discourse like the one they had just heard. She was invited to address them again, but she declined, feeling that she must preserve her strength for her labors with the church during her last week there. “I feel,” she said, “that our people here need my help and I must do all for them that is in my power.” Revival meetings were held evenings through the week, and on some days she had interviews with members who sought her counsel. 3BIO 326.3

W. C. White had not, up to this time, discussed with his mother the conviction that he should attend the 1885 General Conference session, called to convene in Battle Creek on November 18, lest it disturb her in her important work in Norway. But on Wednesday night, November 11, he broached the subject. At first she was startled and surprised, but as they talked it through, she concluded that this was the course he should follow. He could take to the General Conference a full firsthand report of the work in Europe and its needs. At three o'clock Friday afternoon he took a ferry across the North Sea en route to Liverpool, where he could catch a steamship bound for New York. He planned to return in two months. 3BIO 326.4