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

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A Breathing Spell Between Camp Meetings

With this the sixth camp meeting coming to a close on Tuesday morning, July 4, James and Ellen White had a breathing spell until August 10, when the Ohio meeting would open. They hastened back to Battle Creek, hoping to get some rest and pick up several lines of work. She wrote to Willie and Mary, eager to report and hungry for news: 3BIO 42.1

Battle Creek,

July 17, 1876.

Dear children,

We arrived here the evening of the fourth.... We were just in time to witness the procession of the birds of paradise. The leader was represented as an Indian warrior; then followed the continentals—the signers of the Declaration of Independence dressed as they dressed, powdered hair, short breeches, and leggings. Some things were really interesting and some ridiculous, but I cannot write. I have kept on the strain so long I am now finding my level and I am not very intelligent. We cannot, Father, Mary, or myself, do anything now. We are debilitated and run down like an old clock.—Letter 33, 1876.

After getting some rest, Ellen White picked up her work of writing on the life of Christ. Financial times were hard, and James labored diligently to secure means with which to carry on the various interests—the school, the publishing house, and evangelistic campaigns. He also saw the new church hymnal, Hymns and Tunes, through the press, and oversaw the designing of charts for evangelists to use. 3BIO 42.2

In a day or two they left for New York State and then on to Philadelphia. They had hoped to get some articles off to the Signs, but were just too worn. Yet she could write: 3BIO 42.3

We never have attended a round of camp meetings with such satisfaction as these last thus far.—Letter 34, 1876. 3BIO 42.4