Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


Pressing On

We toiled on in Rochester through much perplexity and discouragement. The cholera visited the city, and while it raged, all night long the carriages bearing the dead were heard rumbling through the streets to Mount Hope Cemetery. This disease did not cut down merely the low, but took victims from every class of society. The most skillful physicians were laid low, and borne to Mount Hope. As we passed through the streets in Rochester, at almost every corner we would meet wagons with plain pine coffins in which to put the dead. LS 143.3

Our little Edson was attacked, and we carried him to the great Physician. I took him in my arms, and in the name of Jesus rebuked the disease. He felt relief at once, and as a sister commenced praying for the Lord to heal him, the little fellow of three years looked up in astonishment, and said, “They need not pray any more, for the Lord has healed me.” He was very weak, but the disease made no further progress. Yet he gained no strength. Our faith was still to be tried. For three days he ate nothing. LS 144.1

We had appointments out for two months, reaching from Rochester, N. Y., to Bangor, Maine; and this journey we were to perform with our covered carriage and our good horse Charlie, given to us by brethren in Vermont. We hardly dared to leave the child in so critical a state, but decided to go unless there was a change for the worse. In two days we must commence our journey in order to reach our first appointment. We presented the case before the Lord, taking it as an evidence that if the child had appetite to eat we would venture. The first day there was no change for the better. He could not take the least food. The next day about noon he called for broth, and it nourished him. LS 144.2

We began our journey that afternoon. About four o'clock I took my sick child upon a pillow, and we rode twenty miles. He seemed very nervous that night. He could not sleep, and I held him in my arms nearly the whole night. LS 144.3

The next morning we consulted together as to whether to return to Rochester or go on. The family who had entertained us said that if we went on, we would bury the child on the road; and to all appearance it would be so. But I dared not go back to Rochester. We believed the affliction of the child was the work of Satan, to hinder us from traveling; and we dared not yield to him. I said to my husband: “If we go back, I shall expect the child to die. He can but die if we go forward. Let us proceed on our journey, trusting in the Lord.” LS 144.4

We had before us a journey of about one hundred miles, to perform in two days, yet we believed that the Lord would work for us in this time of extremity. I was much exhausted, and feared I should fall asleep and let the child fall from my arms; so I laid him upon my lap, and tied him to my waist, and we both slept that day over much of the distance. The child revived and continued to gain strength the whole journey, and we brought him home quite rugged. LS 145.1

The Lord greatly blessed us on our journey to Vermont. My husband had much care and labor. At the different conferences he did most of the preaching, sold books, and labored to extend the circulation of the paper. When one conference was over, we would hasten to the next. At noon we would feed the horse by the roadside, and eat our lunch. Then my husband, laying his writing paper on the cover of our dinner box or on the top of his hat, would write articles for the Review and Instructor. LS 145.2