Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)


Chapter 25—The Crucial Meeting at Berrien Springs

Sunday evening, May 15, Ellen White, with the party traveling to the Lake Union session, boarded the cars in Washington en route to Berrien Springs. 5BIO 329.1

In the group were W. C. White, A. G. Daniells, W. W. Prescott, and Ellen White and her helpers, Sarah McEnterfer and Maggie Hare. The train was an hour late leaving, which meant that they were late reaching Milford Junction, Indiana, where they were to change trains for Berrien Center. That caused a five-hour wait. 5BIO 329.2

The waiting room in Milford Junction was filled with tobacco smoke, which was very annoying to Ellen White, so her son set out to find a home where his mother could rest and wait the five hours until the next train came through. It was late afternoon. About five minutes’ walk from the station he found the home of a Mrs. Muntz, who consented to allow the elderly traveler to come and spend a few hours in her home. 5BIO 329.3

Ellen White, Sara, and Maggie made their way to Mrs. Muntz's house and were made comfortable in the living room. The old-fashioned rocking chairs appealed to Ellen White. She described her hostess as an elderly lady, a Dunkard or German Baptist, a very pleasant woman, who seemed to enjoy talking with her visitors. She had a respect for all Christians, and when Ellen White told her she was a writer of books, Mrs. Muntz's face brightened and she said her late husband would have enjoyed visiting Ellen White, for he had been a great reader. While they were visiting, a young woman came in with her child. She was the wife of the night operator at Milford Junction. It was soon discovered that the woman was a Seventh-day Adventist, the only one in the community. 5BIO 329.4

Another neighbor came in during the evening. During the course of the conversation this woman asked Ellen White whether she would explain to her about the Sabbath. She describes what then took place: 5BIO 330.1

I began by reading a text in the first of Genesis. Then I read the fourth commandment. When I had read this, they said, “Yes, but Sunday is the seventh day.” I explained to them that Sunday is the first day, and that the day called Saturday by the world is the seventh day. Then I read the last six verses of the thirty-first chapter of Exodus, where the Sabbath is clearly specified as the sign between God and His people. 5BIO 330.2

I had not time to say much, but what I read was sufficient, I hope, to lead them to search the Scriptures for themselves. I told them that Christ kept the Sabbath, and that the women rested on the seventh day, “according to the commandment,“and on the first day of the week brought spices and ointment to His sepulcher. 5BIO 330.3

I read several other texts, and Mrs. Muntz wrote down all the references as I gave them. Before we parted, we had a season of prayer together, and they seemed to appreciate this greatly.—Letter 163, 1904. 5BIO 330.4

At half past nine, with Mrs. Muntz carrying a lantern—for the night was dark and foggy—Ellen White, her two women helpers, and the two local visitors, walked to the station, where they bade farewell. Ellen White noted Mrs. Muntz's invitation that if she were ever to come that way again she wished her to call at her home (Ibid.). 5BIO 330.5

Rather than complaining of the delay, Ellen White observed, “This was our experience at Milford Junction. We think that perhaps our delay was in the providence of God. It may be the means of arousing an interest in the truth.”— Ibid. 5BIO 330.6

They waited until eleven o'clock for the train to come through. Within half an hour it deposited them at Elkhart, Indiana, where they stopped at a hotel for the night. It was about noon the following day when they reached Berrien Springs. Ellen White and her traveling companions were taken to Professor Magan's house, where they were made comfortable. Professor Magan was at Kalamazoo at the time, nursing his wife, who was very ill. So the party had the use of the Magan home. 5BIO 330.7

Soon after her arrival Ellen White was urged to speak each morning at eleven during the union conference session, and this she consented to do. 5BIO 331.1