Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists

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Orebro

On our way to Christiania, we spent two days in Orebro, where there is a small company of Sabbath-keepers. This place is situated in the central part of Sweden, in the midst of a fruitful valley, beyond which, in the distant west, the blue mountains are visible. It has upwards of twelve thousand inhabitants, and is one of the oldest cities in Sweden, having probably been a city for a thousand years. HS 199.4

We arrived in Orebro in a rainstorm, and as there were no carriages at the station, we were obliged to walk more than half a mile in the rain to the house of Sister Jacobson. I had been ill, unable to take sufficient food to sustain my strength, and this effort affected my heart, causing a sharp pain that alarmed me. But an appointment was out for me to speak that evening, and as the friends obtained a team to take us to the place of meeting, I filled the appointment. HS 200.1

We were much disappointed to see what meager arrangements had been made to bring the truth before the people of this large city. The meetinghall consisted of a suite of chambers in the second story of a private dwelling. As in many private houses in Sweden, the entrance was at the rear of the building. The principal room would accommodate about fifty persons, and the two smaller ones, opening one into the other from this, would seat twenty each. All were furnished with board benches, without backs. We had two evening meetings. At the first I spoke from the words, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me;” and at the second, upon the work of preparation to meet our Saviour, my text being, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” The rooms were crowded to their utmost capacity. The Lord helped me to speak, and hearts were reached, I know, by the starting tears, and the look of interest on many faces. I will do my part faithfully in bringing the light before the people. If my brethren neglect their duty, the responsibility will be theirs, not mine. HS 200.2

In Orebro, as well as in Copenhagen, I am convinced that we might have had a good hearing if our brethren had secured a suitable hall to accommodate the people. But they did not expect much, and therefore did not receive much. We cannot expect people to come out to hear unpopular truth when the meetings are advertised to be held in a basement, or in a small hall that will seat only a hundred persons. The character and importance of our work are judged by the efforts made to bring it before the public. When these efforts are so limited, the impression is given that the message we present is not worthy of notice. Thus by their lack of faith our laborers sometimes make the work very hard for themselves. HS 200.3

While we were here, this matter was presented to me in a dream. The question was asked one of our laborers, “How far would a light send its rays if it were placed under a bushel?” “No farther than the compass of the bushel,” was the answer. “How far would it shine if put under a bed?” “It would not illuminate the room,” replied the one addressed; “it would be too low and too obscure.” “Then,” said the questioner, “place your light on a candlestick, and it will give light to all that are in the house. Your ideas need to be enlarged and elevated. The people have lost an opportunity to obtain light that God desired them to have.” When the Lord sends his people help, they should show that they value it. Those who stand at the head of the work in these countries should be careful that they do not give it a narrow mould. As they treat the work, so will be the impression made upon the minds of those who are left to carry it forward in their absence. Brethren, we need less of self, and more of Jesus. We should seize upon every God-given privilege and opportunity, and by example as well as words show the sacredness and importance of the message of warning which God sends to the world. HS 200.4