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


The Two Weeks in Christiania

Christine Dahl and her mother, and N. Clausen, were at the depot to meet Ellen White and Sara when they arrived in Christiania a little after ten on Friday morning, July 2. They were driven to the old publishing house building, where two rooms were comfortably fitted up for them with a kitchen. She was pleased that Brother Hansen, the prominent Adventist building contractor, called on her soon after her arrival. As the Sabbath drew on, she noted in her diary her pleasure that traveling connections worked out comfortably. Then she wrote: 3BIO 346.6

I miss so much the strong arm of my husband to lean upon. He sleeps in Jesus. “Blessed sleep, from which none ever wake to weep.”—Manuscript 66, 1886. 3BIO 347.1

She was invited to take the Sabbath morning church service, held in the commodious chapel of the newly constructed publishing house. It was a room forty-one by fifty-five feet, with a twenty-two-foot ceiling. Most of the 175 Seventh-day Adventists in Norway were members of this church, the balance being divided between two much smaller congregations.—SDA Yearbook, 1887, p. 94. 3BIO 347.2

Before leaving America, she had been shown the low standard of piety in the Christiania church, and since she had been there only eight months before, she was constrained to bear a positive testimony: 3BIO 347.3

I spoke with great plainness and did not cut the corners of the truth to please anyone. I have been writing pointed testimonies for this church that is in a demoralized condition through several reasons—a neglect to keep the Sabbath properly, and a tolerating of meddlers.—Manuscript 57, 1886. 3BIO 347.4

She was pleased with the positive response in the testimonies borne by a number of the members. 3BIO 347.5

At ten-thirty that night she and her party took a boat for Larvik, some one hundred miles to the south. Here E. G. Olsen had raised up a church of thirty members in an area troubled by fanaticism. Many living in that region held to a spurious holiness. A hall had been secured, and Ellen White spoke Sunday afternoon at four. Her diary carries a description of the meeting: 3BIO 347.6

At four o'clock we went to a hall and had a good audience. I designed to speak to the hearers words that would not in any way offend them, but the Lord gave me a message to the people in regard to the false theory of sanctification and I brought the law to bear as close upon them as they ever heard it. 3BIO 347.7

I did not know what would be the result, for it was not in the style of Norway, but in true American style. It almost frightened Brother Edwin Olsen, for he said they had never had such talk as that before, but I had to give them the message the Lord gave me for them and I could not get away from the subject to any other. I presented before them the true Bible sanctification in contrast with the false, and the Lord gave me much freedom in doing this. 3BIO 348.1

Brother Edwin Olsen came to the hotel and stated that the believers were very much pleased and benefited and that it was just what they needed.—Ibid. 3BIO 348.2

Such experiences were a heavy drain on Ellen White's physical resources. Along with the weariness was the poisonous effect of the lead in the fresh paint in the rooms they were occupying. She was forced to take to her bed with a high fever. 3BIO 348.3

Tuesday, Matteson and O. A. Olsen, who had been holding meetings in Copenhagen, returned to Christiania to prepare for the session of the Norwegian Conference to be held from Thursday through Tuesday, July 13. 3BIO 348.4

At some point in the several days Ellen White was there she had had an opportunity to look over the publishing house, now comfortably located in the new building. When she was shown through the several departments, she expressed great joy over the thought that with the facilities thus provided, periodicals and books suitable for the field could be quickly printed and sent on their mission. When she reached the pressroom where the equipment was in operation, she took special interest and declared that she had seen that room and the presses years before—yes, it was nearly twelve years before, in the vision of January 3, 1875, in Battle Creek, Michigan (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 299). 3BIO 348.5