Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


The Visit to Father Harmon

Robert Harmon, now very feeble, was living with his daughter, Sarah Belden, and her family in Kensington, Connecticut. This was not more than ten miles from Rocky Hill, where the first of the Sabbath Conferences was held in the Albert Belden home in 1848. Rapidly declining in health, Robert was eager to have Ellen make a visit so they could have a little time together. From the Abbey home she wrote to Edson on Sunday, October 7: 2BIO 154.5

I am preparing to go to Connecticut. Your father is still very feeble. Willie will remain with him. I think I never was more perplexed in my life to know what is my duty. 2BIO 155.1

Your grandfather Harmon is very low and cannot live long. He feels that he cannot be denied seeing his Ellen once more. He talks of it by day and by night, and here is your father so sick. If I leave him I fear I shall not see him again. He is too sick to accompany me. 2BIO 155.2

Your father feels that it is my duty to go to my father's dying call. I am worn with anxiety and want of sleep. Today while I was praying over the matter, duty seemed to demand I should go to your grandfather.—Letter 5, 1866. 2BIO 155.3

She added a few words of a personal nature: 2BIO 155.4

I have prepared you comfortable clothing for winter, which I send to you by Elder Loughborough. I hope they will give you as much pleasure in wearing them as I have taken pleasure in making them for you. I have sat up late and arisen early, before anyone was astir, to work upon them. Prayers that you may be clothed with Christ's righteousness are stitched into these garments.—Ibid.

By the weekend she was with her father and her sister Sarah and her family, and wrote of the five children, who were doing well. Finding her father at death's door, she sent for her twin sister Elizabeth and older sister Mary. Sabbath she met with the church for morning and afternoon meetings. Before returning to Brookfield and her husband, she made a brief tour that took her to several churches and down to New York City. Her father passed to his rest a few days after her visit. 2BIO 155.5

It was “leaf season” in New England. “The scenery,” she declared, “was beautiful.” She added: 2BIO 155.6

The trees with their varied hues, the beautiful evergreens interspersed among them, the green grass, the high and lofty mountains, the high bluffs of rocks—all are interesting to the eye. These things I could enjoy, but I am alone. 2BIO 155.7

The strong, manly arm I have ever leaned upon is not now my support. Tears are my meat night and day. My spirit is constantly bowed down by grief. I cannot consent that your father shall go down into the grave. Oh, that God would pity and heal him!—Letter 16, 1866. 2BIO 156.1