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


The Visit to Italy

Thursday morning, November 26, her fifty-eighth birthday, accompanied by Mary White and Whitney, Ellen White was on the train bound for Torre Pellice. She found it hard to realize that she was in Europe and had already labored in England, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and now was on her way to Italy (Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 226). Fortunately, the fog had disappeared and the sun was out in all its glory. Their journey took them through “wild and magnificent scenery.” As they skirted Lake Lucerne with its swans and flocks of half-tamed birds, she recognized that the terrain was “intimately associated with those historical traditions connected with William Tell, the so-called liberator of Switzerland from the Austrian yoke” (Ibid., 227). Her eyes feasted on the intricacies of the tunnels and bridges of the St. Gotthard pass, and as she traveled she informed herself of the building of the railroad that tunneled through the Alps. By midafternoon they were on the south side of the mountains; by ten o'clock, in Turin, Italy. 3BIO 332.1

After a night in a comfortable hotel they were on their way to the Piedmont valleys and Torre Pellice, the terminus of the railroad. A. C. Bourdeau had just located there with his family. Ellen White stated that the purpose of the visit was to “encourage the little company there who are striving under great difficulties to obey God” (Ibid., 231). The believers were meeting opposition on the question of the seventh-day Sabbath by one who had a few months before accepted it but was now a bitter opponent. Ellen White presented the picture of the beginning of her work in Torre Pellice: 3BIO 332.2

The next day, Sabbath, I spoke to the brethren and sisters in the hired hall in which they held their regular Sabbath meetings. Owing to a delay in getting out the appointment, few besides our own people were present. But I felt the same interest in speaking to the few that I would have felt in addressing hundreds. Choosing as my text Isaiah 56:1-7, I tried to impress upon them the importance of obeying God and walking in the light, regardless of the opinions or course of the world.—Ibid. 3BIO 332.3

She pointed out that the question may arise in some minds as to why commandment keepers are separated from the world into little companies, and she answered, “It is not because we choose to differ from those around us, but because we see the necessity of obeying all the requirements of God.”—Ibid. 3BIO 333.1