The Review and Herald

414/1902

September 27, 1887

Closing Labors in Switzerland
Visit to Zurich

EGW

Zurich is where Zwingle labored most earnestly with signal success during the Reformation. It was our privilege to make a short visit to this place on the 12th of May. Eld. Wilbur Whitney and my son had important business to transact in the city, and we wished also to consult on the general wants of the cause with Brn. Conradi and Ertzenberger, who had been laboring here a few weeks. And so we took this opportunity to view a part of this historical city. On leaving the cars, we visited the cathedral built by the Catholics, but now occupied by the Reform Church. One part of this church was built about three hundred years after Christ. The chapels in those days were built small, without seats, the congregation standing. At a later date a cathedral was erected on much larger dimensions. This portion of the building is nine hundred years old. The seats are narrow and ill contrived, as if to produce discomfort to the occupants. The building is roomy, and has alcoves, just as it was constructed by the Catholics for their officiating priests and officers in the Church. RH September 27, 1887, par. 1

In this building Zwingle used to preach. The pulpit is the same that he occupied, but its position in the building is changed. There is a pipe organ, and we were informed that services are now held in this building. This cathedral was built by Charlemagne. We then visited a chapel, before which stands a life-size monument of Zwingle. He has on his surplice, reaching to his feet. One hand holds the Bible, while the other rests upon the hilt of his sword. We entered the building, a part of which is now used as a library. Here were relics of antiquity,—ancient books in Latin, Greek, and every language on the globe, etc. We saw the veritable Bible Zwingle used in his opening the gospel to the people. This Bible was in Latin. We saw letters written by the pen of the great reformer, and one written by the queen of England to him. RH September 27, 1887, par. 2

These things were of special interest to us. We then dined with the family of Bro. Ertzenberger, who was the first one sent from Switzerland to America to become acquainted with the English language, and to obtain a better knowledge of missionary work, that he might return to Switzerland and impart light to those who were in the darkness of error. We had pleasant weather in the afternoon, and improved it, having a ride on Zurich Lake, in a row-boat. The lake where we were was narrow, the scenery grand on both sides. It is thirty-six miles in length. The water was smooth, and we had a fine view. We could get some little idea of the extent of Lake Zurich by the many cantons situated on its borders. This is a beautiful body of water, with swelling banks, covered with terraced vineyards and pine forests, from amid which hamlets and white villas gleam out, giving variety and beauty to the scenery, while in the far-off distance the glaciers are visible, their icy peaks seeming to touch the very heavens, blending with the blue sky and the golden clouds. On the right the region is walled in with craggy ramparts of the Alps. The mountains stand back from the shore, which permits the light to fall freely upon the bosom of the lake, and on the ample sweep of its lovely and fertile banks, giving a charm to the picture that the pen of the artist cannot possibly describe. RH September 27, 1887, par. 3

The neighboring Lake of Zug is in marked contrast to Zurich Lake. Its placid waters and slumbering shore seem perpetually wrapped in the shadows of the grand old mountains. The cloudy heavens told us a storm was approaching. Our boat was turned about, and we reached the shore and hurried to a street car, when the rain came splashing down, pelting against the windows of the car, and making the surface of the lake look as if there were jewels dropping upon it. We were obliged to leave the car, and in the pelting rain ran as fast as we could a short distance, when we reached Bro. Ertzenberger's home. Here we met Bro. Perk, a Russian brother who was imprisoned in Russia with Bro. Conradi. We conversed with him through an interpreter. We had a season of prayer with our friends, and left for the depot. RH September 27, 1887, par. 4

At Chaux-de-Fonds

We reached Basel at half-past nine P.M. In consultation that night, it was thought best for me to visit Chaux-de-Fonds, and spend Sabbath and Sunday with the church there. The next day, in company with Bro. Buel Whitney and his wife, we left Basel at 10 A. M. We were seven hours on the journey. We stopped one hour at Bienne, to see the lot there upon which our brethren designed to build them a chapel. We called on a sister who had been very sick for several weeks, said farewell, returned to the depot, and were again seated in the cars. RH September 27, 1887, par. 5

Our iron horse was tugging and blowing, urging its way up the steep ascent. We began to feel a chilliness in the atmosphere as we ascended among the mountains, when, lo! we entered a snow-storm. It was raining in the valleys, but here the landscape was white with snow. The atmosphere we breathed seemed like ice upon my throat and lungs. I found that wraps did not exclude this chilliness. We saw massive, giant rocks stretching up, up, up, where the tops could scarcely be seen. We saw wonderful cataracts pouring down their perpetual streams, wearing channels in the rocks. The powerful streams were beating against the projecting boulders in their descent, which sent out widespread spray, white as milk. We always loved to view these wonderful works of God's infinite power. We also looked far down a mountain ravine, hundreds of feet, to where a noisy stream was rushing and beating against the rocks, while the battlements of the same material rose hundreds of feet on either side. It was grand, awfully grand. The green-colored waters far, far below us in this narrow, deep gorge, were rushing and roaring as if mad. RH September 27, 1887, par. 6

On Sabbath, I spoke to the church in Chaux-de Fonds about one hour. The Spirit of the Lord was in our midst. The only hall the church could obtain in which to hold meetings, was like a private room. And if the windows were opened to obtain air, the atmosphere was loaded with the fumes of liquor casks and wine barrels; for directly across the narrow street was a manufactory of liquors. And the noise of hammering and pounding and clatter would not permit one to hear. The room was so packed that it was impossible to kneel down, so all stood while prayer was offered. RH September 27, 1887, par. 7

It is impossible for me to express the inconvenience experienced in worshiping God in such a place. Here were more than sixty persons assembled in a place so small that they could not find room to kneel, and the impossibility of securing proper ventilation made the atmosphere anything but healthful. I felt compelled twice, as I was speaking, to change the exercise, and have all arise and engage in singing; for a sleepy lethargy seemed to be upon the people, who were compelled to work hard during the week. The windows were thrown open as often as practicable, but the strong fumes of fermented wine were most offensive to the senses of those who were temperate. I spoke again on Sabbath, and then there was a social meeting. RH September 27, 1887, par. 8

Every building here that is appropriate, is converted into a dancing hall or place of amusement. These can be obtained for every purpose but that of preaching the gospel. We assembled together on this occasion to devise means whereby we could change somewhat the unfavorable condition of things. For this little, inconvenient, disagreeable place, our brethren pay seventy five dollars per year. This is what we met everywhere in Europe. If a conference or a meeting is held in any of the cities, those who hire houses are not at liberty to entertain their friends; for the landlord can turn them out of their lodgings. Our brethren are felt wholly at the mercy of those from whom they rent buildings. We decided that the cause of God demanded that a building be erected which should contain a chapel and tenement houses. This is customary in this city, with Baptists, Presbyterians, and other denominations, so that this would not be thought a strange or objectionable feature if Seventh-day Adventists should work on the same plan. There can be some tenements, at least, under the control of Sabbath-keepers, and a house of worship, respectable and plain, but convenient, where Sabbath-keepers may worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. RH September 27, 1887, par. 9

Sunday we addressed the people again. Our meeting lasted over three hours, because the plans and designs for building the new chapel were fully discussed. We went to see the land chosen upon which to erect the church building. A small lot had been purchased, but this gave those who should purchase the adjoining lot the privilege to build close against the walls of the chapel, and thus shut out the very light and sunshine which they so much needed. We advised that the adjoining lot, also, be purchased, which situates them on a corner lot, and where no building can be erected anywhere near them. RH September 27, 1887, par. 10

I was too weary to sleep that night, and the report of cannons which reverberated among the mountains, sounded as though the massive battlements of rock near us were crashing to pieces. This kept up till near morning, making sleep for me an impossibility. As we were to leave in the early morning, we arose at three o'clock. We walked one mile to the depot, I feeling that I was doing my last work for Switzerland. We had laid the case of the building of the church before the people, and given them the advice, “Let us arise and build”—let all be united to do their very utmost, offering their supplications to God for wisdom, and exerting themselves in faith to make changes in the situation, and endeavoring to the utmost of their ability to press against difficulties and discouragements, while listening to the voice of their Leader, “Go forward.” For the Lord always helps those who help themselves. The Lord is acquainted with all the circumstances, and will work for those who do their very best. If they can raise a certain amount themselves, they can hire all the rest that is necessary from the bank, at a low rate and on long time. This we think they will succeed in doing. RH September 27, 1887, par. 11

There are worthy souls embracing the truth in Chaux-de-Fonds, in Bienne, and in Lausanne. All are similarly situated as far as places for worship are concerned. Meeting houses must be built, and in these missionary fields the work must go and will go with power, if the believers will do their duty; suitable places of worship will be secured under their own control. RH September 27, 1887, par. 12

The next Sabbath I spoke for the last time in Basel, and in the afternoon I labored for individual members of the church. The next day I was unable to sit up, and could not eat; but an appointment had been made for me at Zurich, a large hall had been hired, notices had gone out, and not liking to disappoint them I took the cars in a rainstorm, accompanied by W.C. White and Sr. Sarah McEnterfer. RH September 27, 1887, par. 13

Second Visit to Zurich

We rode three hours on the cars, when we arrived at our destination. We found three hundred and sixty people assembled in the hall, apparently of the best class of society, and, as is frequently the case, the Lord strengthened me. I forgot my infirmities. Bro. Conradi interpreted for me. As soon as I sat down, I became ill again, and took a hack and returned to Bro. Ertzenberger's home. I returned to Basel next morning, where I suffered from a severe attack of malaria, having a slow fever, which made me quite weak and nervous. But Tuesday, at 9 o'clock P.M., again, in company with Sr. Ings, I stepped on board the cars to attend previous appointments. RH September 27, 1887, par. 14

Voh Winkel, Prussia

Some of the churches were to come together for a general meeting in Voh Winkel, Prussia. The outlook was rather dark, as I was unable to eat, was weak, and had trembling nerves. We rode all night upon the hard seats, not an easy bed. Bro. Conradi joined us before we reached the place, and as Sr. Ings also speaks German, we had no trouble in this line. We found the churches in need of help, as they were in difficulty. The Lord gave me a testimony for them, and after speaking to them on Sabbath, I advised, as is our custom, a social meeting. Bro. Conradi said they had never had a social meeting in this place, and, with the exception of two or three who had visited Basel, knew not what a social meeting was. They usually assembled and prayed together, when they had no minister, and then parted for their homes. I advised that there be a move made then and there, and the result was, we had an excellent social meeting, and the Spirit of the Lord was certainly in our midst. RH September 27, 1887, par. 15

I spoke three times in this place, with much freedom. Bro. Conradi labored most earnestly day and far into the night, and a much better state of things was inaugurated. The people in this place were weavers of silk handkerchiefs. One fine-looking man was a weaver of brocade silk, which sells for eight dollars per yard. He can weave only three fourths of a yard per day, and obtains one dollar and a half per yard. This is a very fine, beautiful fabric, requiring skill and experience to execute the work. RH September 27, 1887, par. 16

I was much pleased with the opportunity to visit this place and become acquainted with our German brethren. I felt sorry that they had had so little labor from experienced brethren. There were quite a number who attended the meeting who were not of our faith. Some of these were in sympathy with us, and convinced of the Sabbath, but their position as business men was a hindrance to their accepting the truth. The Sabbath is a great cross. Those who lift it here in Europe know generally how hard it is. To lose their employment, is to them a great dread: there are so many who cannot obtain work, and who go hungry and almost destitute of clothing. When one is turned out of a position, there are many who stand ready to step into his place. Therefore it requires stern faith and firm principle to place the feet upon the platform of truth. It means to lift and carry a heavy cross, following in the footsteps of Jesus, the world's Redeemer. RH September 27, 1887, par. 17

While we were assembled together in this humble place of worship, I felt indeed the peace of Christ. I felt that Jesus and angels were present; and the testimonies given were of a character that bore evidence that the truth was appreciated; and I felt sure that these souls who loved God and were honoring him by obeying his commandments, would be loved and honored of God. They had enlisted in the army of the Lord; but false maxims, evil customs, worldly inducements, and social influences will be temptations they all must meet, for Satan will assuredly leave no means untried to turn every soul away from the light. Satan is opposed to any soul's reaching the high standard of righteousness, and opposed to one's bending his footsteps in the path where Christ leads the way. And when any soul shall press his way up against the current of the world, Satan will seek, by every means in his power, to make the way as trying and as painful as possible. RH September 27, 1887, par. 18

In consideration that all who embrace the truth, Bible truth, will be tempted, will be opposed by the world, by Satan, and by his host, these little companies who have had the moral courage to come out from the world and be separate, should be often visited and strengthened in the most holy faith. And it should be their earnest, constant effort to preserve the unity of the faith; to cherish love and affection for each other as children of God. I thought if even two or three were united in the truth as it is in Jesus, what good they might do! What precious promises are given to them! Where two or three are agreed together as touching anything they shall ask in the name of Jesus, it shall be done for them. These souls, then, if of one heart, of one mind, of one purpose, will see of the salvation of God, and will be blessed. RH September 27, 1887, par. 19

Here was quite a large company assembled, nearly all of whom bore their testimony, and seemed to feel all that they said. My heart was made glad in the Lord to see so many who were indeed lights in the world. Let these little companies who seldom have preaching cling more firmly to Jesus. Let them settle this point first of all, that they are willing to walk in the narrow, cross-bearing path where Jesus has traveled before them. Then let them appropriate to themselves God's promises of divine guidance. “He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally: and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” RH September 27, 1887, par. 20

With these precious promises, we need not be discouraged. God is not ignorant of the trials and the temptations of any one of his dear children. And if they cherish love and peace and harmony in their midst, how pleasing is this to Jesus! He prayed to his Father that his disciples might be one as he was one with the Father. Now if every one, whatever may be the surroundings, whatever the circumstances, will labor to answer the prayer of Christ in their feelings, and their words, and their actions toward each other, then they will be cooperating with the Lord Jesus in his work, and all heaven will rejoice. What great good a very few may do if they are wholly united in Christ! The Holy Spirit will make impressions upon their hearts and lives, and they will reflect the light and blessing given to them upon all who are connected with them. Thus they are channels of light to the world. RH September 27, 1887, par. 21

Let each individual member of the church feel that he is responsible in a large measure for the strength and prosperity of the church. While you do to the very utmost of your ability, God will as surely do his part, giving you divine enlightenment. God will work, and you must work to the same end to accomplish the same purpose, as faithful soldiers of an army work in harmony with the plans and purposes of their officers. Our will must be surrendered to the will of God. These churches that are small may be living, healthy, strong churches. RH September 27, 1887, par. 22

I shall never forget this little company and the pleasant associations we have had with them in the worship of God. I should have been pleased to speak to these precious souls directly, but I am thankful that I had the privilege of speaking to them through an interpreter. A Paul may plant, an Apollos may water, but God gives the increase. My prayer is that the Lord may make this meeting one of great blessing to the church. RH September 27, 1887, par. 23