The Review and Herald


September 15, 1885

Notes of Travel

From California to England


July 13, in company with my son, W. C. White, and a party of ten, we left California on our long contemplated journey to Europe. For months I had looked forward to this journey with anything but pleasure. To travel across the continent in the heat of summer and in my condition of health, seemed almost presumptuous. Since attending the round of camp-meetings in 1884, I had suffered great mental weariness and physical debility. For months at a time I had been able to write but very little. As the appointed time for starting drew near, my faith was severely tested. I so much desired some one of experience upon whom I could rely for counsel and encouragement. My courage was gone, and I longed for human help, one who had a firm hold from above, and whose faith would stimulate mine. By day and by night my prayers ascended to heaven that I might know the will of God, and have perfect submission to it. Still my way was not made clear; I had no special evidence that I was in the path of duty, or that my prayers had been heard. RH September 15, 1885, par. 1

About this time my son, W. C. W., visited Healdsburg, and his words were full of courage and faith. He bade me look to the past, when, under the most forbidding circumstances, I had moved out in faith according to the best light I had, and the Lord had strengthened and supported. I did so, and decided to act on the judgment of the General Conference, and start on the journey, trusting in God. My trunk was packed, and I returned with him to Oakland. Here I was invited to speak to the church Sabbath afternoon. I hesitated; but these words came to me with power, “My grace is sufficient for you.” The struggle was hard, but I consented. I then felt that I must seek God most earnestly. I knew that he was able to deliver in a manner that I could not discern. In thus trusting, my fears were removed, but not my weakness. I rode to the church and entered the desk, believing that the Lord would help. While speaking I felt that the everlasting arms were about me, imparting physical strength and mental clearness to speak the word with power. The love and blessing of God filled my heart, and from that hour I began to gather strength and courage. The next Monday I had no hesitancy in stepping on board the cars en route for Michigan. RH September 15, 1885, par. 2

I here learned over again the lesson I have had to learn so many times, that I must lean wholly upon God, whatever my perplexity. He will never leave nor forsake those who commit their ways unto him. We must not depend on human strength or wisdom, but make him our counselor and guide in all things. RH September 15, 1885, par. 3

Although I had prayed for months that the Lord would make my path so plain that I would know that I was making no mistake, still I was obliged to say that God hangs a mist before my eyes. But when I had taken my seat on the cars, the assurance came that I was moving in accordance with the will of God. Friends had come to the depot to see us off. It was a place of great confusion, and I had not been able to bear anything of the kind for months. But it did not trouble me now. The sweet peace that God alone can give was imparted to me, and like a wearied child, I found rest in Jesus. RH September 15, 1885, par. 4

At Fresno, Cal., we were happily surprised to receive a visit from Bro. M. J. Church and his son, who came into the car laden with an abundant supply of peaches, grapes, and melons. The grapes were of the choicest varieties, and the peaches were large yellow ones, some of which measured ten inches around. This supply, so timely, was a blessing to us all the way to Michigan. We enjoyed a pleasant but short visit with these brethren, and then were again on our way. RH September 15, 1885, par. 5

The weather the first part of our journey was exceedingly oppressive. At one place the thermometer stood at 125 degrees in the shade. In Southern California and Arizona the wind was as hot as though it came from a furnace. This was what I had dreaded; but to my great surprise I was not exhausted with the heat. As usual, we carried with us our own lunch baskets, and ate two meals a day regularly. These meals consisted of fruits and bread, without tea or stimulant of any kind. The blessing of the Lord continued to rest upon me, and I grew stronger every day. RH September 15, 1885, par. 6

By special arrangement with the railroad company we had the promise of a car to ourselves from Mojave. This we had, with the exception of three gentleman passengers. The change at this place was made with very little difficulty. The car we were to occupy was drawn up beside the one we were in, and our goods were quickly and easily transferred. We were well accommodated, and felt grateful for the privilege of being where we could erect the altar of prayer and have religious service on the Sabbath. From time to time some of the train men would drop in and listen. My attention was attracted one day to a young man who did not seem to know what to do with himself during the service. At one time he would seem ready to cry, and at another would manifest great pleasure. He afterward stated to Bro. Lunt that it was the first prayer he had heard for five years, yet in the home of his youth prayer was offered by his parents every day. RH September 15, 1885, par. 7

I am convinced that we lose much by forgetting Jesus when we travel on the cars or on the boats. Those who are Christians will confess Christ in their choice conversation, in their sobriety, in their Christ-like deportment. There will be temptations to let our thoughts and words flow in the same channel in which those of worldlings flow. But it should be kept in mind that “in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.” We cannot while upon the cars enter our closets and there be alone with God; but we can gird up the loins of our minds, and uplift our hearts to God in silent prayer for grace to keep the mind stayed upon him, and he will surely hear us. RH September 15, 1885, par. 8

Whenever our cars stopped long enough, Bro. Lunt would improve the time by doing missionary work near the station. At one place he obtained a subscription for the Review from a man who had been at the Sanitarium at Battle Creek, and was acquainted with the arguments on the Sabbath. He was head machinist in one of the railroad shops, and received a large salary. “But,” said he, “what good will money do me if earned at the expense of my soul?” He was anxious to find work where he could keep the Sabbath and have religious society and the privilege of attending meetings. RH September 15, 1885, par. 9

We reached Kansas City Sunday, where we found a chair car in waiting for our party. The change here was easily made, and the next day we reached Chicago. Here we were met by Brn. A. R. Henry and W. C. Gage, who accompanied us to Battle Creek. We can truly say that the journey across the plains was accomplished with as little inconvenience and weariness as we have ever experienced in the twenty-five times that we have passed over the road. The Lord blessed us, and we feel it a privilege to give him all the glory. At Battle Creek I was pleased to meet my dear children, Edson and Emma White, and in their home we found quiet and rest. RH September 15, 1885, par. 10

We spent one Sabbath with the church there. I spoke in the forenoon and in the afternoon attended the social meeting. It was a precious privilege for me to bear my testimony, and listen to the testimonies of the brethren and sisters. The Lord seemed very near, and his presence is always life, and health, and peace. The thought would arise, We shall never all meet here again, but shall we meet around the great white throne? Who of this large congregation will be missing in the paradise of God, and who will be among the conquerors, and sing the song of triumph in that home of eternal bliss? RH September 15, 1885, par. 11

Sunday evening I spoke to a large number of the patients at the Sanitarium. I tried to present before them the high claims that God has upon us individually, and the importance of having all our desires, our appetites and passions, under the control of intelligent reason. The new addition to the Sanitarium makes it a large, commodious building, and it is already well filled with patients. Everything seems to be planned with reference to the health and convenience of those who go there for rest and treatment. Their tables are spread with an abundance of good, plain, nourishing food, and I could but feel that if any were dissatisfied with it, their taste must be very much perverted. RH September 15, 1885, par. 12

Tuesday night we were in meeting till a late hour, seeking to present before the workers there the great good that might be accomplished if they were connected with God. The Lord designs that the Sanitarium should be a means of great good. Regular religious meetings are held there, also a thoroughly organized Sabbath-school. All are invited to attend these services, and as the result many souls are brought to a knowledge of the truth. RH September 15, 1885, par. 13

I feel it to be my duty to here caution my brethren against receiving reports that they may hear against the Sanitarium. We have been upon the ground, and we believe that those who act a leading part there are trying to work from a Christian stand-point. Those who complain have but little knowledge of the cares and perplexities that the real workers bear, and ofttimes are ignorant of the efforts that are being made for their welfare. If complainers would pray more, and fret and murmur less, we believe that they would improve not only their spiritual condition but also their physical health. This institution is one of God's instrumentalities, and we would warn our brethren to be cautious how they say one word to lessen its influence. It is easy to take a surface view of matters, and to slightly misrepresent the work and the workers. Much harm is often thus done. “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.” Here not only the one who makes the complaint is condemned, but the ones who take up this reproach, who cherish it, and repeat it. If reports come to you against the Sanitarium, do not receive them till you have positive evidence that they are true. RH September 15, 1885, par. 14

Wednesday noon, July 29, we resumed our Eastward journey. At the request of friends, we stopped over a few hours at Rome, N. Y., where we had a profitable visit with Brn. Miles and Brown, and Bro. Whitney and family. We were pleased to see the arrangements that have been made here for doing missionary work. A small but neat and well arranged building has been erected, the lower floor of which is used for mission work and a reading room. The basement contains a small job press, while the upper floor is fitted up for a school. It is not expected that this school will require a large amount of means to carry it forward, but it is to meet a present necessity, to educate missionary workers, and to prepare the children to enter the Academy at South Lancaster. Everything has been done with thoroughness and neatness, and yet I saw no evidence of extravagance. The brethren in New York are abundantly able to sustain this mission nobly, and we feel sure that none who have the cause of God at heart will feel that the plans made to bring the light to those in darkness are too ample or too expensive. Those things which concern our eternal interest are of infinite importance, and should be exalted above every temporal interest. May the God of wisdom guide the ministers and workers in this important field, and may every member of the church feel that the work is his, and do all that he can to sustain it. RH September 15, 1885, par. 15

We left Rome about ten o'clock at night, expecting to take a sleeper; but on account of some train having missed connection we were not able to do so, and were obliged to change cars twice during the night. Our next stopping-place was at Worcester, Mass., where Eld, Canright was holding tent-meetings. We reached this place about half past eight, and found an appointment out for me to speak that night. I was weary, but the Lord gave me strength to address the people. The next day was Sabbath and about eighty were present. Some of these were keeping the Sabbath for the first time. Sunday evening the tent was well filled, and the people listened with the most respectful attention. Quite a number in this place are fully established in the truth. The work moves slowly in the large cities, for it has great opposition to encounter. RH September 15, 1885, par. 16

Monday, August 3, we went by private conveyance to South Lancaster. This ride of seventeen miles was a rest to me, as were also the few days spent in the quiet home of Sr. Harris, although most of my time while there was spent in completing important writings that I was anxious to leave with the brethren before sailing. Thursday I again visited Worcester, held a meeting with the missionary workers there, and then returned to Lancaster. RH September 15, 1885, par. 17

A short ride on the morning of the seventh, brought us to Boston. The steamer on which we had secured our passage did not leave the dock till Sabbath morning; but we were allowed to go on board with our baggage Friday evening. Although we had secured tickets at quite a low price, we were accommodated with very pleasant, roomy state-rooms, well furnished and well located. As we commenced the Sabbath with prayer the Lord seemed very near, and his peace and blessing came into our hearts. The day was one of rest and quiet. RH September 15, 1885, par. 18

The weather the first part of the journey was quite pleasant, and we spent much of the time on deck; but the fourth day out was very rough, and we felt best in our berths. The last part of the way we had a great deal of fog, which caused us to run slow, and made the journey somewhat monotonous. Although the ocean was so rough for several days that the port-holes had to be closed, I suffered less from seasickness than I had anticipated. The arrangements for ventilation were excellent. RH September 15, 1885, par. 19

I cannot speak too highly of the steamer Cephalonia, which was our home for nearly eleven days. The captain and all the officials were kind and accommodating. The cooking was more sensible, the food more palatable, than will usually be found on board boats. The bread, both white and graham, was excellent, and fruits, vegetables, and nuts were served liberally; while those who enjoyed meat could have it prepared in almost every shape. The motion of the boat was not so great but that I was enabled to write over one hundred pages of important matter during the passage. RH September 15, 1885, par. 20

The evening of the 13th we arrived at Liverpool. Here we were met by Brn. Drew, Wilcox, and O'Niel, and taken to the comfortable home of Bro. Drew. After a season of thanksgiving to God for his preserving care during the journey, we retired to rest. The next morning, accompanied by Bro. Wilcox, we took the cars for Grimsby, the headquarters of our publishing work in England. We went at once to the mission house, or office of the Present Truth. Here we met our old friends, Bro. and Sr. Mason, from Woodland, Cal., Eld. Lane and wife, and Sr. Jennie Thayer. With these dear American friends we feel quite at home, and expect to tarry a few days. RH September 15, 1885, par. 21

I look back on my journey with surprise and with feelings of gratitude for the strength I have received. Since leaving California I have traveled over seven thousand miles, written over two hundred pages, and spoken thirteen times; and my health is much better now than when I started. To the Lord be all the praise. It is no longer a question with me whether I am in the path of duty. Europe is a vast missionary field, and there is a great work yet to be done. RH September 15, 1885, par. 22

Gt. Grimsby, Eng.