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

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MR No. 168—Ellen G. White Visit to Nimes, France, October 16-31, 1886

[Note: Ellen G. White visited Nimes, France, in 1886 from Friday, October 15 to Monday, November 1. While there she spoke twelve times to the believers and other interested persons. Elder D. T. Bourdeau translated for her. The White Estate has in its records her diary jottings from day to day during this visit and ten of her twelve sermons presented there.] 3MR 61.1

Friday, October 15, 1886—Arrived at Nimes about six o'clock. Found Brethren Bourdeau and Comte and Badaut waiting for us. We took a tram which bore us to the home of Brother Bourdeau. Mounted two flights of stairs and found him in very comfortable but humble quarters. Those who depend upon hired homes in these large cities cannot always find places that are such as they would choose. They must accommodate themselves to the situation and be content in the name of the Lord. 3MR 61.2

Nimes, October 16, 1886—It is Sabbath. Brother Ings spoke in the early morning meeting, also in the afternoon upon the restoration of the Sabbath. All seemed to be pleased with his talk. I spoke in the forenoon and evening. In the afternoon there was a social meeting and sixteen intelligent testimonies were borne by those who had embraced the Sabbath. All were much pleased to listen to these testimonies which were interpreted to us. These witnesses for God were indeed to reflect light in this wicked city. 3MR 61.3

Nimes, Sunday, October 17, 1886—We walked out. The stores were most of them open, as on any other day, the market just as active as on any day of the week. The noisy clamor, the exchange of produce, the buying and selling, were like the Temple courts in the days of Christ—as if Sunday to them had no sacredness. We visited a building called the square house. There was a large portico or piazza sustained by many pillars. Within were relics and ancient inscriptions upon them. This building was erected before Christ, built by Augustus Caesar for his sons. It is very ancient in appearance. It was covered up with rubbish in the destruction of buildings in Nimes, but was unearthed and stands just where it stood before Christ. 3MR 61.4

Nimes, October 17, 1886—Sunday afternoon Brother Ings spoke. There was quite a number present, and I had freedom in speaking in the evening. Mr. Gilly, the Evangelical minister, and preceptor of a school as well as an asylum for orphans and fallen women, was present and I was introduced to him. He reminds me of Dr. Lewis in size and features and deportment. Elder Bourdeau is very feeble and he needs much strength for the labor he has to perform. 3MR 62.1

Nimes, October 18, 1886—Raining today. Wrote many pages. In the afternoon Sister Ings, Patience Bourdeau, and I went to the stores to make purchases. I bought shoes and dress. The stores are in narrow, crooked streets. 3MR 62.2

Nimes, October 21, 1886—I spoke in the afternoon with much freedom. Then after [my] speaking, Mr. Gilly, conducted us to an old castle up a steep ascent. We went up the winding stone stairs and had an extensive view from the tower of the surrounding country. Olive trees were growing in profusion everywhere. I thought while so high up from the earth, of Satan's taking Christ upon the pinnacle of the Temple and presenting before Him the whole world in its glory in a moment and tempting Him by offering it to Him as a bribe if He would worship him. We had a pleasant association with Mr. Gilly. 3MR 62.3

Nimes, Friday, October 22, 1886—It was pleasant and we enjoyed a good warm bath at the bathing house. In the afternoon we enjoyed a long walk. I spoke in the evening. 3MR 62.4

Nimes, October 23, 1886—I spoke in the afternoon, then had a social meeting. Intelligent testimonies were borne. 3MR 63.1

Nimes, October 27, 1886—Accompanied by Brother Bourdeau's family we took the cars for Aigues-Mortes, situated by the Mediterranean Sea. 3MR 63.2

Nimes, Thursday, October 28, 1886—Mr. Gilly took dinner with us at Brother Bourdeau's table and we had some interesting conversation. 3MR 63.3

Nimes, Friday, October 29, 1886—We visited the large establishment for the orphan children and for fallen women. 3MR 63.4

Nimes, Sabbath, October 30, 1886—Brother Ings spoke in the forenoon. I spoke in the afternoon. An Evangelical minister associated with Mr. Gilly in the work came into meeting after I had finished my remarks. He was accompanied by the directors and his wife. They called upon us in Brother Bourdeau's hired house and we had a very pleasant interview. I spoke in the evening and the minister and the preceptress and the minister's wife and about fifty of his students came out to the meeting. We hope this acquaintance may be in the providence of God a blessing to them and to us. 3MR 63.5

These are especially festive days with the Catholics. We hear them all times of night calling upon their dead friends to come and visit them. They believe that the dead come from their graves and communicate with them and they declare that they see them and talk with them, and all through the night there is carousing and singing and loud voices going through the streets, calling upon the dead to appear. Oh, what ignorance and heathen superstition! I saw the most extravagant display of wreaths, beautiful bouquets, and flowers arranged in the form of a cross. These were taken to the graveyards and in honor of the dead placed upon their graves. I learn that they believe the dead respond and reveal themselves. This is Spiritualism. 3MR 63.6

Nimes, Sunday, October 31, 1886—I spoke in the afternoon to a well-filled hall. 3MR 64.1

November 1, 1886—Monday morning at half past eight we left Nimes and journeyed six hours and a half on the road toward Turan.—Manuscript 70, 1886, 3-6. (First Visit to France, Diary, October 14 to November 2, 1886.) 3MR 64.2

Two have embraced the Sabbath since we came. One is a man who will be of real value. He decided today to obey the truth. The work moves slowly, but the church is being formed and will, we hope, reflect light in this place. They had an excellent social meeting Sabbath afternoon. Sixteen spoke and Minister Cruze remained through it all and seemed to enjoy it. Now if my coming here has done no more it has, through becoming acquainted with these men, spiked their guns so they will not make a raid on me. They profess to esteem me highly. 3MR 64.3

Brother Ings had done great good here in instructing the people. They have enjoyed listening to him for they say he makes everything so clear and easy to be understood. He has been very active in working. He has employed his time fully and is much liked. We are of good courage. We leave here tomorrow morning.—Letter 108a, 1886, p. 2. (To W. C. White (?), Oct., 1886. Fragment of Letters.) 3MR 64.4

Personal Labor With Apprentice Watchmaker at Nimes—When laboring in Nimes, France, we made it our work to save souls. There was a young man who had become discouraged through the temptations of Satan and through some mistakes of our brethren who did not understand how to deal with the minds of the youth. He gave up the Sabbath and engaged to work in a manufacturing establishment to perfect his trade in watchmaking. He is a very promising young man. My watch needed repairing, which brought us together. 3MR 64.5

I was introduced to him, and as soon as I looked upon his countenance I knew that he was the one whom the Lord had presented before me in vision. The whole circumstance came distinctly before me.... He attended the meeting when he thought I would speak, and would sit with his eyes riveted on me through the entire discourse, which was translated into French by Brother Bourdeau. I felt a duty to labor for this young man. I talked two hours with him and urged upon him the peril of his situation. I told him because his brethren had made a mistake, that was no reason that he should grieve the heart of Christ, who had loved him so much that He had died to redeem him.... 3MR 65.1

I told him I knew the history of his life and his errors (which were the simple errors of youth indiscretion), which were not of a character that should have been treated with so great severity. I then entreated him with tears to turn square about, to leave the service of Satan and of sin, for he had become a thorough backslider, and return like the prodigal to his Father's house, his Father's service. He was in good business learning his trade. If he kept the Sabbath he would lose his position.... A few months more would finish his apprenticeship, and then he would have a good trade. But I urged an immediate decision. 3MR 65.2

We prayed with him most earnestly, and I told him that I dared not have him cross the threshold of the door until he would before God and angels and those present say, “I will from this day be a Christian.” How my heart rejoiced when he said this. He slept none that night. He said as soon as he made the promise he seemed to be in a new channel. His thoughts seemed purified, his purposes changed, and the responsibility that he had taken seemed so solemn that he could not sleep. The next day he notified his employer that he could work for him no longer. He slept but little for three nights. He was happy, so thankful that the Lord had evidenced to him His pardon and His love.—Letter 59, 1886, pp. 1-3. (To Sister Hubbel Smith, December 20, 1886.) 3MR 65.3