Manuscript Releases, vol. 2 [Nos. 97-161]


A Meeting Which Marked Progress; Last European Council Attended by Ellen G. White Moss, Norway, 1887

[Excerpts from the E. G. White Diary.]

About 12:00 a.m. [Thursday, June 9, 1887] we reached our destination [Moss, Norway], a very beautiful spot. The tents were pitched in a pine grove. A house was rented for persons from a distance who could not safely stay on the ground. There the several rooms made many of us comfortable. We are located in a house built on a rise of ground overlooking the water. The scenery is fine. Everything is comfortable for us and we expect to enjoy our stay here very much.... 2MR 130.2

This is the first camp meeting that has ever been held in Europe and it has made quite a stir about here. We hope this meeting will make such an impression upon minds that we will be able to hold camp meetings after this, not only in Norway but in Sweden and Denmark. This will bring the truth more directly before a class of minds we could not reach by any ordinary means. 2MR 131.1

Moss, Norway, [Friday] June 10, 1887—Arose at 4:00 a.m. After a season of prayer, commenced my writing. It is a pleasant day—some cloudy and not very warm. Rested quite well from 10:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. Could not sleep more. The sun has been shining brightly for half an hour. We met our friends from America and are glad to see them once more. Many are coming in to the meeting.... 2MR 131.2

Moss, Norway, [Sabbath] June 11, 1887—Passed a restless night. Great weakness seems to be upon me. By request I spoke to the Sabbath school, interpreted by Brother Olsen. It is pleasant to see so goodly a number represented in the Sabbath school. All the children look bright and interested. Brother Matteson preached in the forenoon to a good audience. 2MR 131.3

My appointment was at half past two. I tried to speak right to the point, and then invited those who desired to give themselves fully to the Lord, those who were backslidden, and those who desired to seek the Lord for the first time. The large tent was full and it was difficult to secure seats, to vacate the front seats to accommodate those who came forward. A large number presented themselves. Opportunity was given for them to express their feelings and good testimonies were borne with weeping. A season of prayer followed. This was followed by meetings in the tents and children's meetings, which were good. 2MR 131.4

Moss, Norway, [Sunday] June 12, 1887—It is another beautiful day. The attendance at camp from outsiders was good. The tent was crowded within and without. Elder Waggoner spoke upon the law and gospel. There was much interest manifested in the discourse. Elder Matteson interpreted. 2MR 132.1

In the afternoon at half past two I spoke to the crowded tent within and the mass of people without the tent, upon the ascension and second advent of Christ. I felt deeply while speaking. Although so large a number were standing who could not obtain seats, yet there was no noise or confusion, but respectful listening to the words spoken. I never saw a more intelligent-looking audience in America at any of our tent meetings. 2MR 132.2

The Lord gave me strength to speak in the power and demonstration of the Spirit. Elder Matteson said he was never more greatly blessed than when he was interpreting me that afternoon. Many unbelievers in the congregation were affected to tears. 2MR 132.3

Elder Matteson spoke at 5:00 p.m. and the congregation was full—larger than in any part of the day. The priest in Moss had put an article in the paper making statements in regard to our faith as a people and ridiculing our doctrines. He misstated us. Elder Matteson reviewed these articles with good result. There was a discourse in the evening by one of our American brethren. Thus closed the most important day of our meeting. 2MR 132.4

Moss, Norway, [Monday] June 13, 1887—We are blessed with another beautiful day. It is warmer today than it has been. We learn all were much interested and pleased with the meeting Sunday. The testimony is that the blessing of the Lord rested upon the encampment from early morning until night. It is a marvel with the people who attend this meeting that there is so nice order observed on the ground. And the outsiders are astonished that our meetings are free from everything like noisy demonstrations and fierce excitement which characterize so many meetings called revival meetings. 2MR 132.5

We can but pronounce this meeting a marked success. The news of it will be carried everywhere in these kingdoms—to Sweden, Norway, and Denmark—and will open the way for camp meetings in other places. Many came to these meetings with great fear and trembling. They thought it must be at great risk to live in tents, but when they saw the arrangements—stoves in the tents if it should be cold and rainy—they had naught to fear. They were so charmed with the beautiful, fragrant grove and the neat, comfortably furnished tents that they said if they had only known it was like this they would have prepared to occupy a tent themselves. The terror and dread of camp meeting is all removed and the way opened for camp meeting in these regions. 2MR 133.1

The day was devoted mostly to business meetings. Elder Haskell preached in the afternoon. Advancements were made over any previous meetings that had been held in any of these kingdoms. Our brethren in Norway have not hitherto fully accepted the tithing system and some have opposed this feature in our work as not required of them. But when it was shown to be the Bible plan, ordained of God from the first, that He had a church as far back as the days of Noah and Abraham, and that it was a duty enjoined upon believers in all ages of the world as God's means to carry forward His work upon the earth, and to impress man that God was the giver of all his blessings and required them to return to Him in tithes and offerings a portion of His bestowed gifts, they saw this in a new light, and there was a unity in voting for the resolution not to be negligent in this, God's requirement. No man, it was stated, obliged another to pay tithes. God did not make it a matter of compulsion any more than He compelled men to keep the Sabbath. It was God's Sabbath, His holy time, and to be sacredly regarded by man. But man must obey from a willing heart, both to observe His Sabbath and not to rob God in employing sacred time for his own use or to employ the portion in tithes and offerings which the Lord has claimed to be rendered to Him. 2MR 133.2

Moss, Norway, [Tuesday] June 14, 1887—We have another beautiful day. The sun is shining at three o'clock full into my windows. Sister Ings goes today, in company with others, to Christiania, to return this evening. I am feeling more natural today than I have done for four weeks. I praise the Lord for these tokens of God. Our camp meeting people are now leaving for their homes, and business and the council commences today. Brother Sands Lane came yesterday morning. 2MR 134.1

I went into the Council [Fifth European Council, held June 14-21] this morning at 9:00 a.m. and listened to the testimonies borne in reference to the colporteuring and canvassing work. Elder Matteson related a wonderful experience in his school the past winter in educating colporteurs to give Bible readings. Brethren Conradi, Henriksen, Olsen, and Lane gave some items of experience in the work. I bore my testimony last, and the Lord blessed me in speaking to encourage faith and confidence in God. The Spirit and power of the Lord rested upon me as I tried to present to the people the goodness of the Lord to me and the grace and power of God bestowed upon me in giving me strength to bear my testimony in the places we had visited since leaving Basel. My heart was broken before the Lord in view of the strength, the presence of the Lord, that had been granted me. In the afternoon I spoke again in regard to the work, its magnitude, and the reasons we had to believe the Lord would go before us and put His Spirit and power upon us in large measure, if we would walk humbly before Him, and depend wholly upon Him, and give His holy name the glory for all that was done. 2MR 134.2

Moss, Norway, [Wednesday] June 15, 1887—Again we are favored of God with a bright, beautiful morning. The birds are caroling their songs of praise to their Creator and our hearts are filled with praise and love to God for His great goodness and mercy to the children of men. Yesterday Sister Ings was in Christiania all day. I was looking for her return at night and the boat did not arrive till half past ten o'clock. I did not sleep until about midnight. 2MR 135.1

I went into the council and was deeply interested. I had great freedom in speaking in regard to the possibility of doing a much larger work than we have hitherto done, and I tried to set before our brethren how much greater work could have been done if our brethren had taken greater pains, even at large expense, to educate the licentiates before they were sent into the field for labor. They were allowed to go and try their gift. They did not go with experienced workmen who could help them and educate them, but went out alone, and they did not all preserve close, studious habits. They did not grow, and were not taxing their powers to become able men in the Scriptures. They had obtained a knowledge of some subjects, could preach a few discourses, but if asked to speak on any subject in prophecy would respond that they could not speak on that subject, they had not dwelt upon it. 2MR 135.2

Now, such speakers cannot gain full proof of their ministry. They are deficient. Had they not been allowed to go into the field until they had some fitness for the work, then they would have been where they could grow and have some courage, but they were inexperienced as to the best methods of labor and had very little success in bringing souls into the truth. The conference became discouraged in paying out funds while there was scarcely anything to show that had been accomplished, and this cutting down on the wages discouraged some who, with a proper amount of labor bestowed upon them, might have become good workers. They were discouraged and left the field to engage in other work. These meetings are of special interest and will be a blessing to all who attend them. Important matters are brought in and canvassed and we believe much good is being accomplished. 2MR 135.3

Moss, Norway, [Thursday] June 16, 1887—This morning I rise at four. Rested well during the night. The birds are singing. There is some appearance of rain but the weather is mild, and I feel grateful to God that He still preserves my strength. I am desirous to live close to Jesus and make Him my Counselor and my support and my all and in all. 2MR 136.1

We had an important matter to consider in our council this day. It was that of preparing men by thorough training for the ministry before giving them license. They have been permitted to try their gift when they had not proper preparation, either in school education or in Bible knowledge, to warrant their going into the work, for they needed a great work done for them. First, every licentiate should be critically examined in his knowledge of the Scriptures before being sent into the field to teach others. This has not been done, and a very unsuccessful work has been done by many and they could bring in no report of success. This discouraged themselves and also disheartened the conference so that their time and labor was, they deemed, unworthy of much wages; and this discouraged them still more, and discouraged many from giving themselves to the work who, with the proper painstaking, thorough instruction and training, might have made thorough workmen and able ministers. I spoke also of carefulness in regard to dress of those coming from America and going back to America.... 2MR 136.2

Moss, Norway, [Friday] June 17, 1887—I arise early at three o'clock. The sun is shining brightly in at my windows today. We part with our brethren from the British Mission and from those who are on their way to Africa to become missionaries to that distant field. Attended morning meeting. Spoke a short time upon the advisability of Brother Starr's coming to Europe. Visited the owner of the grounds, Mr. Erikson, and his family. Had but a short time to remain but it was a pleasant interview. He kindly and generously proposed to let the governess of his children, who was an adopted daughter, take his horse and carriage and drive us over the island to see the important points of interest. We then returned and bade our brethren missionaries goodbye, thinking we might never meet again in this world those going to the distant field of Africa. May God go with them is our earnest prayer.... 2MR 137.1

Sabbath Morning, June 18, 1887—Elder Matteson preached in the forenoon. I spoke in the afternoon from Galatians 6:7, 8. We had a solemn meeting. Called them forward for prayers and had a solemn, earnest seeking of the Lord. Then many excellent testimonies were borne with deep feeling. 2MR 137.2

After the meeting I had an interview with Brother Ottosen. Brother Matteson and Olsen accompanied him. Before we had got through talking, Sister Olsen said the lady that owned the house wished to speak with me. She had walked from the city, where she is keeping a hotel, and thought I was to speak at five o'clock. She was much disappointed. We had a very pleasant interview. I gave her Life of Christ in Danish. She asked me to pray for her that she might see the light and all the truth.... 2MR 137.3

Moss, Norway, [Sunday] June 19, 1887—I arise at four o'clock and have the evidence that I have been giving my lungs polluted air to breathe through the night.... After taking our breakfast, Sister Ings and I walked out to the encampment. Found a retired spot and then spread out our fur and wrote an important letter of ten pages to the missionaries going to Africa. 2MR 138.1

Elder Haskell spoke in the forenoon. I spoke in the afternoon upon temperance to an interested congregation.... 2MR 138.2

Christiania, Norway, [Monday] June 20, 1887—We left Moss yesterday morning. Carriages took us to the cars and we were three hours coming to this place. I lay down and slept some, but a great weariness is upon me. Carriages took us to Brother O. A. Olsen's and we had a good, convenient chance to rest. I was able to sit up but little, for I seemed to be nearly completely exhausted. I have no appetite. 2MR 138.3

We parted from Willie, Elder Conradi, Elder Whitney, Elder Haskell, and Elder Waggoner about nine o'clock. They took the train to divide for different routes. Brother Haskell goes to England. The rest of the party to Stuttgart, Germany, and to visit other German places. Brother O. A. Olsen, Brother Ings, his wife and I go to Stockholm, Sweden.—Manuscript 34, 1887, 1-9. (“Third Visit to Norway,” Diary, June 9-22, 1887.) 2MR 138.4

Tuesday, June 29, 1887—We took the steamer Princess Elizabeth at 10:00 p.m. to cross the Channel to England. It was a large boat.... 2MR 138.5

We had a pleasant voyage. We were not seasick at all. About six o'clock we changed from boat to cars, and then we took our dry lunch. We arrived at London about eight o'clock. Took hack three miles across the city and were obliged to wait one hour. About nine o'clock we stepped on board the third- class car for Kettering, on the fast train which brought us to Kettering at half past eleven o'clock. Brother Dorland was waiting for us and he took us to his home where we were welcomed by Sister Dorland. 2MR 138.6

Kettering, England, June 30, 1887—We slept but little the past night. Suffered with heat. We have fair weather in England this time of the year. I arose at four. Have been awake since three o'clock. Engaged in writing. Corrected several morning talks given in Basel. We learned here that the party who left Christiania—Elder Waggoner, W. C. White, Elder Whitney, Elder Haskell—were all very sick. They had a very rough passage on the Baltic Sea.... We walked out and did some purchasing in the city in the great market place. Purchased shoes.... 2MR 139.1

Kettering, England, July 2, 1887—Sabbath morning. It is a very warm morning. I have not been able to sleep since half past three. I engaged in writing. I feel deeply the need of special help from God in seeking to win souls to Jesus Christ. “Without Me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing.” How weak we are in our own finite strength. We want to work for the Master. I want to please Jesus, who has loved me, who has died for me. There is an unutterable longing of soul for the sweet, constant peace of Christ. I want Jesus in my thoughts continually. 2MR 139.2

At ten o'clock the carriage came to take us to the place of meeting. It is a good-sized hall. Its walls are iron and the hot sun resting upon it made it seem like an oven. We had about fifty assembled. I spoke to them from Hebrews 12:1-4. Although the heat was very great, the Lord gave me much freedom in speaking. At twelve the carriage was at the door, and we returned to our home with deep and earnest yearning of heart for the dear people whom we had addressed. We knew that many must have a true conversion to God or they would not be able to keep the truth or to withstand temptation. 2MR 139.3

At 3:00 p.m. we again spoke to the church in Kettering from Matthew 22:11-14. This was a most solemn subject and the Lord impressed my heart with the terrible fate of the ones who, when Jesus shall come to examine His guests, He shall find without the wedding garment on. I think many were impressed. After the discourse there was a social meeting and many testimonies borne, but I felt that souls were in peril. Souls were undecided, and I urged that those who were not fully on the Lord's side should make decisions that day—should break the chains of the powers of Satan and be wholly the Lord's. I gave opportunity for these to come forward. 2MR 140.1

Quite a little number came forward. Among them were two very interesting cases—a man and his wife, still quite young. He was a master workman and overseer of hands who were engaged in building. He was intemperate—often drunk for days together. He had a good, noble-looking countenance, but this was his great weakness—he had formed the habit of intemperance and the demon of appetite controlled him, and his moral power seemed too feeble to overcome this appetite. His wife was a proud, worldly-loving woman. Both were convinced of the truth but neither knew what experimental religion was. 2MR 140.2

These souls I know needed Jesus, needed Him just then to help them, else they would never have strength to overcome the world and the perverted appetite, and to walk the path of humble obedience. We had a praying season for these souls and then invited them to speak freely, and this would give them strength. We know that the Lord had been chastising them to bring them near to Him. Two lovely children had recently sickened and died, which was a terrible blow to them and softened their hearts and awakened in them a desire to be different from what they were. Both bore testimony, and with much simplicity and deep feeling told their determination, and we must leave them in the hands of God for Him to lead, for Him to guide. He will do this if they will only submit themselves to Him as to a faithful Creator. Oh, what a terrible curse is intemperance. 2MR 140.3

Kettering, England, July 3, 1887—Arose at quarter before five and find we have another warm day. Willie left for London at 9:00 a.m. 2MR 141.1

I spoke to the church and to outsiders Sunday afternoon at five o'clock. The hall was good-sized but without proper ventilation, very uncomfortable and warm. Had some freedom in speaking. Quite a number of unbelievers were present.... 2MR 141.2

London, July 4, 1887—We left Kettering about 9:00 a.m. Reached London in about two hours. We again met our brethren and sisters who were soon to leave for South Africa. We took the train for Holloway. It is a pretty village in the suburbs of London.... We called at the house occupied by our sisters who were giving Bible readings and trying to get access to the higher classes. We found them well situated and doing what they can in fitting up for the work. We called on Sister Marsh, who has kept the Sabbath quite a number of years. Her husband is a warden in the prison. They live close by the prison. It looked sad, indeed, to see the large number of prisoners taking their half hour of exercise within the glowering prison walls, guarded at every step with officers. We had a little meeting with our friends going to South Africa, and some plain talk about how the work should be commenced and carried forward in their new field. We had a praying season and the Spirit of the Lord came into our midst. We knew it was our parting meeting. 2MR 141.3

London, July 5, 1887—We went into the city to do some trading. Then took a carriage and went to the boat to see our brethren and sisters off for Africa. We could not refrain our tears as we parted with them.... 2MR 141.4

London, July 7, 1887—Continued in the hotel writing important matter. Did some trading. Had a long talk with Elder Haskell upon many important matters connected with the work. 2MR 142.1

July 8, 1887—Left London in company with Brother and Sister Ings for Southampton, on fast train. I lay down most of the way and slept some. We were about two hours and a half reaching Southampton. We met Sister Phipson and took dinner with her. She lives in a good-sized, hired apartment and her mother lives with her.... Elder Haskell came on a later train. He spoke Friday evening in the hall hired for meetings. 2MR 142.2

Southampton, England, July 9, 1887—I spoke to the little church on Sabbath afternoon. It was very warm. Had some freedom in speaking. We had a social meeting. 2MR 142.3

Southampton, England, July 10, 1887—Elder Haskell spoke in forenoon. Not many outsiders present. In the afternoon had a much larger number out. I spoke to the people at 5:00 p.m. “Let not your heart be troubled,” etc. The Lord helped me to speak, else I could not have done so.... The people listened with attention. One lady came and spoke to me requesting an interview with me, for which a time was set.—Manuscript 36, 1887, 1, 2, 4-6. (“Third Visit to England,” Diary, June 29-July 10, 1887.) 2MR 142.4

[The body of dietetic counsels is found in Counsels on Diet and Foods. The portion for which release is sought gives the European setting.—A. L. White.] 2MR 142.5