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


Large Temperance Meeting

On their return from the lake Ellen White was met by a committee consisting of Mayor Austin; W. H. Skinner, cashier of the First National Bank; and C. C. Peavy. They invited her to speak Sunday evening, July 1, in the new Michigan tent, lent to the temperance forces in the city for a mass meeting. Barnum's circus was to be in Battle Creek on June 28, and the Michigan Conference tent was used for a temperance restaurant aimed at keeping the crowds from seeking their repast at the saloons. The Sanitarium table in the center of the tent, more than thirty feet in length at first and then extended, with the addition of another table, to about fifty, proved to be the most popular of all tables set. Wrote James White: 3BIO 64.1

It was really encouraging to hygienists to see scores of hungry citizens and country people turning away from the side tables, laden with their favorite pork and beans, roast beef, salads, tea, coffee, et cetera, and crowding about the Sanitarium table with an almost childlike eagerness to secure a square hygienic meal. Not a seat was left vacant a moment, and there were usually a score or two of persons standing behind the long lines of diners, ready to drop into a seat the instant it was vacated. 3BIO 64.2

The popular prejudice, usually expressed in such terms as “bran bread,” “starvation diet,” and similar epithets, melted away “like mist before the rising sun“: and words of commendation were in the mouth of everyone. The whole affair was a grand success. More than one third of the tickets sold at 25 cents each were taken up at the Sanitarium table.—The Review and Herald, July 5, 1877. 3BIO 64.3

One evening in the tent, Dr. Kellogg gave a lecture on temperance from a medical and scientific standpoint. Sunday evening Ellen White addressed five thousand and spoke for ninety minutes on temperance, from the religious and home standpoint, to an audience who listened in “almost breathless silence” (Testimonies for the Church, 4:275). 3BIO 64.4