Manuscript Releases, vol. 3 [Nos. 162-209]

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MR No. 205—E. G. White Diary and Letter Material

Kopparberg, Sweden, October 22, 1885—It is a beautiful day. Clear and cold. We learned we could not leave this place until twelve o'clock p.m. Thursday. We called for breakfast. The custom in Sweden in houses and good-sized hotels is to keep a table whereon is placed bread, butter, cold meat, canned fish, and several other articles of food. It is the custom for all who are entertained to go to this table and help themselves, always cutting the bread and butter first at this large table. There are several smaller tables. If you call for food and specify the articles you want they are brought to you, and when anything on the large table is desired the guests arise, walk to the table and help themselves, and take it to the small table, but at the large general table you remain standing to cut bread and butter. It looked so odd to see men, one after another, come in, go to the long table, eat their bread and butter—walking about talking and eating—then sit at the small tables for a special dish; but eat and walk and talk from the long table until the dish they called for is brought in, and they take it to the small table and eat it, but always first eat the “butter goose”—which is bread and butter—at the large table. There is no stinginess manifested. There is a most liberal supply placed before you and you can eat plentifully of any and every dish for 40 cents each. 3MR 383.1

From this place I wrote six pages and sent a letter of this written matter yesterday and today to Brother E. P. Daniels at Healdsburg, California. Wrote three pages concerning our travels. I had some conversation with Elder Matteson in regard to whether children of unbelieving parents would be saved. I related that a sister had with great anxiety asked me this question, stating that some had told her that the little children of unbelieving parents would not be saved. This we should consider as one of the questions we are not at liberty to express a position or an opinion upon, for the simple reason that God has not told us definitely about this matter in His Word. If He thought it was essential for us to know He would have told us plainly. 3MR 383.2

The things He has revealed are for us and for our children. There are things we do not now understand.... 3MR 384.1

Grythyttehed, Sweden, October 23, 1885—We reached this place about four o'clock. At the depot we met Brother Hedin and wife, who led the way to their house. We were welcomed heartily by these dear friends. We regretted we could not speak to them in their own tongue. We were accommodated with two good rooms, well warmed, and good beds. The sky is cloudless. Stars and moon are shining in the heavens. I was unable to sleep for some hours after retiring. 3MR 384.2

In the morning a fire is kindled in the stove, which is built in the house of manufactured material. The surface looks like porcelain, white as milk and highly polished. These reach to the top of the room and a fire is made in them as in a fireplace. The draft at the top is opened. The doors are opened and we have a bright, cheerful fire which throws out its heat into the room. When the wood is burned down to a coal, then the draft is closed, the doors are closed, and this whole structure becomes warm and remains warm all through the day. At seven o'clock we were brought a cup of hot water and milk and bread. 3MR 384.3

At eight o'clock we were called to breakfast. There was a round table with a cloth upon it and a flower pot in the center, and bread, a quarter of uncut cheese, hot milk, and fried cakes, which constituted our breakfast. There were no plates at first, two knives and two forks. We were invited to come to the table, all standing. A blessing was asked and then we stood around the table, took something in our hands, and walked about, talking and eating. Plates were then brought in and we put our food upon the plates and I was offered a chair. Some seated themselves on the lounge, others walked about, eating with the plate in their hands. All the while when we wished anything we would take it from any part of the table. This was a new style to us but we shall get used to it, I think. After the meal is finished the guests shake hands with the landlord and landlady, thanking them for the food. 3MR 385.1

We walked out through the town and had the opportunity of looking into the old State church. The first room we entered was the priest's study. There was rather a priestly chair by a table, two small libraries of the priest's books, two windows. A more miserable, dismal place I would not want to be in. We then entered the auditorium. There was a circular altar with a cushioned seat for the communicants to kneel upon when taking the holy wafer and a place within the circle for the priest, for him to wait upon the people. Then in another corner of the house was an hourglass to measure the hours, and there were many steps which led up to the pulpit. It was very high. The seats were most uncomfortable—torturing to occupy. The backs had a piece of wood running the whole length of the seats, pressing you forward. The seats were very narrow, the backs high, and everything was cold and uncomfortable and seemed like a product of the Dark Ages. Everything looked as though it had been asleep for many hundreds of years—at least since Luther's day. 3MR 385.2

As I looked at this building, very large and roomy, constructed with logs and shingled upon the outside with tile-like shingles, I thought of the worshipers. They had been standing in positions generations back without making any advance. Old arbitrary laws made long ago, the most cruel and heartless, they had not life or light enough to change. They were retaining barbaric practices in their laws, not discerning the unreasonableness of their proceedings in this enlightened age. God had said to His people, “Go forward”; but this old State Church said, “No, I will stand still; I will do as my fathers have done before me.” If they had only lived up to the light and been as conscientious as their fathers were, then they would have been better men. But they did not even have the piety their fathers had, and they will not walk in the increased light which shines from God's word upon their pathway. They do not do as their fathers would have done had they been in their place. 3MR 386.1

The order of God in relation to His people is progress or continual advancement heavenward in the way of truth and righteousness. The necessary result of continuance in welldoing is increased knowledge and love of God till the warfare is over. But the worshipers in this church have the same spirit that the popes and priests had against those who embrace and walk in the light. The claims of the gospel are far in advance of their faith or obedience. They do not feel inclined to comply with the conditions on which hang the fulfillment of the promise. They jealously claim honor from men and the world, but they are unacquainted with the wisdom and power from above. They cannot reckon themselves dead unto sin or alive unto God. 3MR 386.2

This church cannot present the divine credentials that her doctrines and authority are of God. She does not say “The ... works that I do, bear witness of me” (John 5:36); and “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not” (John 10:37). Taking the name of Lutheran, she refers back to Luther, his works, his testimony, and while she has not cherished his spirit as a Reformer she reckons herself as the only lawful inheritor of the blessings God has promised to His church, as did the Jews. But she has turned away from the holy commandment, refused to walk in the brighter path of truth that would have renewed her knowledge and true holiness and given her the victory over the world. She is sitting in darkness and her condemnation is great in proportion as the grace and truth proffered her were abundant and powerful.... 3MR 387.1

Grythyttehed, Sweden, October 26, 1885—We rise this morning weak, but feeling better than yesterday. I have no appetite for food. Took a cup of milk and a couple of toasted crackers. We cannot leave this place before past three this afternoon. I feel deeply grateful that the Lord has sustained me in speaking to this dear people who have taken their position on the commandments of God. I feel so anxious for them that they may be overcomers and saved with the redeemed at last. 3MR 387.2

We had an interview with a Swedish sister who can speak English. She spent two years in Chicago. She was keeping the Sabbath when she went there. The family she worked for was kind to her and permitted her to keep the Sabbath. She says she had a place when she first went to Chicago where there was but little work but the mistress for whom she worked scolded her for everything and she was sad all the time. Her mistress was not willing she should leave her but she felt so full of sorrow she could not stay. She found a place where the work was much harder but everything was pleasant. Her heart was light all the time, because she was not fretted at and scolded. This seems to be a woman of good judgment. She came back from America with the purpose of taking care of her father; but if the work had not been as hard she would have remained longer. The dresses to wash and the ruffles and white shirts to do up in warm weather, with all the rest of the work for a family of seven, was hard for her. 3MR 387.3

We had an invitation to take dinner with a merchant's wife. He does not keep the Sabbath. She is fully with us in the faith. Her name is Ekman. They have a large, commodious house but built on the same plan as all houses are here, of logs. After the logs have settled they then board them up on the outside and have a very respectable-looking building. We were taken first into a room where we laid off our outer garments; then she gave me her arm and waiting upon me, taking me into a large dining hall which was very nicely and thoroughly furnished. Here I was seated on a sofa, and the next thing in order was the dinner. 3MR 388.1

A round table stood in the center of the room, with bread, butter, cheese, and cold sliced meat. We all stood around this table while Elder Matteson asked a blessing in Swedish. We then took bread and butter—if we eat the articles—and either stood and walked about and ate, or sat in chairs or sofas, of which there were several. Before these sofas and chairs were small tables covered with linen cloths. Next came the plates of plum soup and meat soup. The first soup was made of prunes, raisins, apples, and I know not how many kinds [of fruit]. These [plates of soup] were placed on the small tables. After this dish was brought wild meat and fish prepared in a very nice manner. After this was the dessert, of cooked peeled pears with cream. Then all stand and ask a silent blessing; then each guest shakes hands with the host and hostess and thanks them for the dinner, and the ceremony is ended. 3MR 388.2

The lady of the house gave me her arm and conducted me into a room precisely like the one we first entered. Here we conversed through an interpreter. Elder Matteson read and explained the Scriptures. We had a season of prayer. Now a table is placed before us with hot water and cream and white biscuit and two kinds of cakes. The custom is to have tea or coffee, but they knew it was not our practice to take either tea or coffee. We only drank the hot drink out of their tiny China cups. We had no occasion to eat anything. We bade them farewell. 3MR 389.1

They took the horse and carriage and drove to where we had made our home, and the parting with these dear friends was more ceremonious than our arrival. Thus it is in Sweden.—Manuscript 26, 1885, 9, 10, 13-19. (Diary, October 15 to 30, 1885, first Visit to Sweden.) 3MR 389.2

Orebro, Sweden, June 25, 1886—It is a holiday. The citizens close their business and make the most of this season marking midsummer. All is festivity. Sunday schools march by our residence with teachers at the head of different sections, and all seems to be animation and gladness. 3MR 389.3

But there is a sadness with it all. Bottles of beer and stronger drinks are continually passing and we see well-dressed young men staggering in the streets, and men of gray hairs reeling the drunkard's reel. These things make my heart ache. I ask, “Can nothing be done in this beautiful city?” One of the most common commodities of merchandise in carts-large wagonloads—is kegs of beer and bottles full of their beer. What can be expected of a people who thus indulge perverted appetite and confuse the brain? If they could be educated to keep the mind clear and the nerves steady and to use their money to give bread to their families, and, those who are wealthy, to bless the poor, what a different state of things would exist! 3MR 390.1

I spoke at four in the afternoon to a house filled with interested hearers. The Lord gave me much freedom, and many wept. Here all my talks have to go through the lips of the interpreter and I see many weeping. I am encouraging every church to be educating and training workers that companies may be thoroughly organized. As the ablest men are set to work earnestly they will improve in capabilities. By using their present knowledge, they are becoming qualified to present the Bible truth in its true importance.—Manuscript 65, 1886, 9, 10. (Diary June 15 to July 1, 1886, second Visit to Sweden.) 3MR 390.2

Stockholm, Sweden, Friday, June 24, 1887—Yesterday hired a carriage and rode two hours about the city. We saw considerable of Stockholm. There are three hundred thousand inhabitants. The buildings in this city are more after the American manner of building in our large cities. 3MR 390.3

Meeting commenced in the tent at ten a.m. with about sixty attendance. Brethren Olsen and Matteson spoke yesterday forenoon. Brother Matteson spoke in the evening to a congregation of about three hundred. The best attention was given and all were much pleased with the result of the meeting. It is the first tent that has been pitched in Sweden. We pray that this may prove a success. Everything is favorable now for a good attendance. Oh, that the seed of truth may be planted in the hearts of many who have never even heard that there is such a people as Seventh-day Adventists! 3MR 391.1

There is a morning meeting. About sixty were present. Brother Olsen preached in forenoon to well-filled tent. Brother Ings gave a Bible reading. He had a large attendance. At five o'clock I spoke to a tent crowded full. Every seat was occupied and a wall of people was about the tent. All were orderly and listened with apparent interest. Many found seats on the platform. Many were standing under the tent and around the tent. I had freedom in speaking to the people from Titus 2:11-14. Elder Matteson interpreted for me. I think I have not seen as an average a more intelligent, noble-looking company than was before me, both men and women. 3MR 391.2

Brother Matteson spoke in the evening. This was a success. The people flock to the tent. It is to them a new and singular meetinghouse. At this time there are large assemblies of ministers to attend conferences, both Baptist and Lutherans, and we hope the truth will be carried to other places. 3MR 391.3

This day is kept as a holiday in a similar manner that Americans celebrate the Fourth of July. It is always observed in Sweden in midsummer. Now the days are the longest—sun rises about three and sets at half past nine o'clock. 3MR 391.4

Stockholm, Sabbath, June 25, 1887—I went to the early morning meeting and spoke from John 13:34, 35. We had a precious season. Many excellent testimonies were borne and all seemed to feel deeply. Many tears were shed, showing that hearts were softened. One brother lives quite a distance from here. He lives on the borders of Denmark. He has lived in America; received the truth in Indianapolis and has come back to Sweden to labor with his countrymen. He is a very plain, unlearned man. He has not buried his talent but used it to the very best of his ability, and he has worked in a silent way until he has been the means of bringing eighteen to the truth. He is sincere and humble and the Lord blesses him. 3MR 392.1

Elder Olsen preached to a tent full in the forenoon. Elder Ings gave a Bible reading in the afternoon to a tent crowded to its uttermost capacity, and there was deep interest expressed in the subject. 3MR 392.2

At five o'clock I again spoke to about four hundred people. Men of the first class of society were present and honorable women not a few. I spoke upon Christ's coming: 2 Peter 3:10-14. The best of order was preserved in the tent, which was crowded, and outside the tent, which was walled in with people. I had solemn feelings as I treated on this subject, and I never saw better interest manifested. Many were in tears. Oh, that the truth would find lodgement in the hearts of the hearers! The truth is certainly coming before a better class of people. If the attention can only be drawn to these great subjects many will see the consistency of our faith. It was necessary that I keep my voice up in even tones and preserve distinct utterances to reach the people. Quite a number understood English. 3MR 392.3

We had up to this time had exceptional good weather. The people who returned to their homes had ample time to get within shelter when suddenly there was a gale—the rain fell, the wind blew the falling rain like sheets of water through the streets. There were many who had been on an excursion wet through, but the tent stood. We had fears that the gale was too much for it. Brother Johnson preached in the evening.... 3MR 393.1

Stockholm, Sweden, Monday, June 28, 1887—I arose early and attended morning meeting. I spoke to about forty assembled and with much freedom. I remained after meeting to bid all farewell. Shook hands with them with the thought that we should never meet again until we meet around the throne of God. Our sisters manifested much Christian sympathy and love. 3MR 393.2

We had another little parting scene. All the colporteurs and workers assembled in the house of Brother Matteson and we had a formal parting meeting. Each one said a few words of their appreciation of the meeting. They had read the books of Sister White and wanted so much to see her, and as they had listened to her testimony they had accepted the message brought to them and had been greatly benefited and much blessed of the Lord. I responded in a short talk through Brother Matteson as my interpreter. We left Stockholm about six o'clock p.m. At the depot we had the third parting scene and the cars bore us away from Sweden. We were favored with the best of accommodations and slept quite well during the night.—Manuscript 35, 1887, 1-5. (Diary, June 23 to 28, 1887. Third Visit to Sweden.) 3MR 393.3

Orebro, Sweden, June 24, 1886—We left Basel June 15 and came to Hamburg in company with Sarah and Christine Dahl. W. C. W. preceded us. He started the morning of the fourteenth in company with Elders Whitney and Conradi. These visited Leipsic on business, and were quite successful. We met W. C. on the evening of the sixteenth. We took the boat at Kiel at midnight. We were accommodated with a stateroom, and had an opportunity to sleep from two o'clock until five o'clock. After the boat arrived we had to go through the preliminaries of the customhouse. That over, we made our way to the waiting room, placed our numerous satchels and bundles together, and took some refreshments—hot milk and bread. We then took up our baggage and stepped into the cars. 3MR 393.4

Upon examination, one satchel was missing. W. C. W. rushed back to the boat and to the waiting room, but it was not found. We thought we would have to stop over for a train, which was bad for us as it would bring us into Orebro on the Sabbath. There we stood with our luggage piled on the platform, undecided what to do. It came happily into our mind that the satchel must have been taken by mistake, and was on the very train we intended to take. In a moment or two all our luggage was again placed into the car which was occupied by two gentlemen. One talked imperfect English, and we were glad that he could speak as well, as Christine had left us the night before for Norway. This gentleman helped us much in every way he could, as we were making every arrangement to secure the missing satchel. 3MR 394.1

After we had gone on our way, at the first station out, a gentleman was seen swinging the missing satchel from the car window. The cars tarried a few moments, and we met the gentleman and his party, who were Americans taking a trip through Europe. The gentleman said the daughter had discovered that the satchel was not theirs. They were as pleased to get rid of it as we were to receive it. He said he had such a stack of baggage that they did not discover the satchel at once. 3MR 394.2

We arrived at Copenhagen at eleven o'clock, and hired a hack to take us directly to the boat, which was to leave in half an hour. So we made close connections. The boat landed us at Malmo. We had no trouble here to make ourselves understood, as there stands a man dressed in uniform with a broad silver-looking sash across his chest, passing under the right arm, which signifies his office. Here those of all languages may make themselves understood. 3MR 395.1

We took our lunch and then stepped on the cars and were favored with a compartment to ourselves. We had been riding two nights and nearly two days, and there was some sleeping done, although the seats were very hard. They were not spring seats, but cushion. They have no regular sleeping-cars attached to the trains as in America. We were told that we would have to change at midnight, but all of a sudden the door of our compartment was thrown open and a dignified official bristling with regimentals talked away in Swedish, which we could not understand but one word, and that was s-t-r-a-e-k-s, which meant “immediately.” we were half asleep, but we grasped satchels, blankets, and bundles, and stood in sleepy surprise on the platform. Everything in a pile; but it did not turn out as bad as we expected. We were appointed to another compartment in another car on the same train, and made to understand that this would save us the disagreeable changing at midnight, so we found they had made a special arrangement in our favor. 3MR 395.2

At two in the morning it was daylight. The sun arose at three. At four a.m. we were again aroused by “straeks, straeks.” We learned that we must leave immediately. Again we grasped our scattered belongings, hurried from the car, and stood on the platform waiting further orders. We were shown into another compartment on the train. Here we rode one hour and then changed again, waiting one hour at the depot. Then stepped on board the train, and arrived at Orebro at ten minutes after seven. 3MR 396.1

We found no one waiting for us. One Swedish coachman seemed determined to take our satchels right out of our hands, but we held to them valiantly. Although he talked eloquently in Swedish, we knew not a word he said. We found a place to leave our baggage, and walked about one mile to the place where we had made it our home when we were here in the fall. We were pleased to meet our brethren Olsen and Oyen here, and they felt outgeneraled in their calculations. They thought we could not possibly come until noon. They had been at every train the day before expecting to meet us, and they said they gave the coachman special directions to bring us to the house, and this explained the earnest persistency of the man who wanted to take our satchels. We had been riding three nights and two days, and were very weary. 3MR 396.2

We found excellent accommodations. Three furnished rooms were prepared for us that had been occupied by girls attending school but who had gone home on vacation. We were very pleasantly situated with kitchen and two good rooms, to do our own cooking. We have a girl to do our housework under Sarah's directions and with her help. 3MR 396.3

I have now spoken six times. Sabbath we had a good meeting, and I had freedom in speaking. Sunday at six o'clock the hall which holds four hundred people was densely packed. I could scarcely press my way through to get to the stand. It was thought that more than a hundred had to go away because they could not get in. I had much freedom in speaking. The crowd listened with the greatest attention, and I hope and pray that they will take heed to the word spoken. I have spoken four times in the morning meeting, and from the testimonies borne in the morning meetings which Brother Matteson has interpreted to us, they appreciate the words spoken as much as in America. 3MR 396.4

I spoke yesterday in the business meeting about thirty minutes. I tried to impress upon them the necessity of their broadening their ideas and enlarging their plans. There is very much that needs to be done in educating and in molding the work in these kingdoms. 3MR 397.1

This is quite an old place and the inhabitants are of the most intelligent class of people. The country around here is a good farming community, and this seems to be an enterprising place. There are twelve thousand inhabitants. They have here a rapidly running river from which are taken many fish. There are most beautiful parks, roads nicely laid out, and seats to accommodate all classes. It is the practice of W. C. W. and myself to walk in the parks about nine o'clock. The sun sets about half after nine, and at half past ten we can write by daylight. It is now midsummer. Yesterday there were seen standards beautifully decorated and all kinds of trees and branches of trees, flowers, and shrubs borne by our window in preparation for the morrow, which is a holiday. This midsummer day they observe day and night in the groves with entertainments and amusements and decorations, as the Fourth of July is celebrated in America. No business is done today. 3MR 397.2

Well, our meetings are going forward well. There are advancements being made. I spoke to them yesterday in regard to there being regular organized efforts to carry forward the work more thoroughly and taking advantage of all the ability possible to push it. There has been a great want of well-organized efforts. Elder Matteson has worked hard both in writing and speaking. He has a great deal to do in translating and to keep the papers going. He has not physical force to do all that is required. He is a feeble man, and as he is so weak in physical strength, he dreads to take the responsibility to introduce anything new and seek to bring the people up to it. 3MR 398.1

I set before them how we had done the work in America. And I could not see but that they would have to work in the same manner in these kingdoms as we had worked in America. The cry is constantly urged that this people must have a different kind of labor than in America, but I told them that human nature was the same, and the hearts would be reached with the same kind of labor put forth in much the same manner as we had worked in America. 3MR 398.2

I could not see but that systematic benevolence must be enjoined upon the people here as well as in America, even if their donations were small. The Lord would bless them in conscientiously doing what they could. God has revealed in His word His appointed way that His work should be carried forward. Those who have small talents must do according to their ability, but everyone must feel that they have a part to act to sustain the work. They must organize tract societies and act as though they expected the Lord to do something for them. The Israelites had to obey the command, “Go forward,” when the Red Sea barred their way; and when they did advance, their feet were in the very waters when the Lord opened the path before them. We want to exercise much more faith than we have hitherto done.—Letter 2, 1886, pp. 1-6. (To “Dear Children Edson and Emma White,” June 24, 1886.) 3MR 398.3

Orebro, Sweden, June 28, 1886—I will write you a little day by day as things transpire. We have received a letter from Edson. I was glad to hear from you. I sent you a letter from Basel about two or three weeks since and another from this place last Friday so I will not try to answer directly your last letter which was most gratefully received. 3MR 399.1

Our ten-days meeting is in the past and although everything was not done we would be pleased to have seen accomplished in future plans, a decided advancement has been made, and still we urge them, “Go forward.” There have been young men preparing to go out as colporteurs, canvassers, and to engage in the ministry, and the Lord has blessed in the meetings. 3MR 399.2

I spoke last—yesterday—at six p.m. to a hall full to overflowing. I spoke from Revelation 20:11-15. We had a very solemn meeting and there seemed to be much feeling—some weeping. It was my last discourse. I have now done what I could and the Lord will do that which I cannot possibly do—water the seed that has been sown. But speaking through a translator loses—taxes me—but when you read the reports they come to you about as they are spoken. Good is done and many testimonies are borne stating the impressions that have been made so that I know my labor has not been in vain in the Lord. 3MR 399.3

I have spoken now eleven times, given five discourses since June 18.—Letter 100, 1886, p. 1. (To “Dear Children,” June 28, 1886.) 3MR 399.4

Released February 1968.