Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»

Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 188

tribute to Denmark for the privilege of passing. About thirty years ago, however, our government strongly protested against this demand, and other governments uniting with it, Denmark was forced to give up this source of revenue, to which, indeed, she had no just claim.

Hardly a town or hamlet that we have passed on our journey since leaving Basle but has an interesting history connected with the Reformation. Malmo was one of the first cities of Denmark—to which it then belonged—to fully receive the gospel. In 1527 the first Protestant sermon was preached in a meadow outside the walls. Those who had listened to the gospel of God's glorious grace desired to express their feelings in songs of praise, but there existed nothing in the Danish language suitable to be used on such occasions. In the Romish church the people were silent worshipers; the only songs were the chants and canticles of the priests in an unknown tongue. But such worship could not satisfy an intelligent faith. A translation of the songs of David into the Danish language, soon after published, was everywhere received with great joy. They soon displaced the ballads which had been sung till then. They were heard in the castles of the nobles, and were used in the assemblies of the Protestants, and they may be said to have opened the gates of Malmo to the gospel.

“Louder songs re-echoed day by day round the walls of Malmo, as the number of worshipers increased. Soon the gates were opened, and the congregation marched in, to the dismay of the Romanists, not in serge and sackcloth, not with gloomy looks and downcast heads, as if they had been leading in a religion of penance and gloom, but with beaming faces, and voices thrilling with joy. The churches were opened to the preachers; the praises uttered outside the walls were now heard within the city. It seemed as if Malmo rejoiced because salvation was come to it. Mass was abolished, and in 1529 the Protestant religion was almost universally professed by the inhabitants.” A theological college was established here, from which many able teachers went out to spread the doctrines of the Reformation.

A night's journey by rail from Malmo brings us to Stockholm. Here we have a church of ninety members, the result of Eld. Matteson's labors and some colporter work. This church seemed to prize very highly the privileges afforded by the meetings. Their hall, which had seats for some over two hundred, was crowded every evening. Every foot of standing room was occupied. I spoke to them on the Sabbath and at three evening meetings. Our brethren and sisters gave earnest attention, and all were prompt to respond.

There is in Stockholm much more interest in religion than in Copenhagen. The churches are better attended, and there is a more general interest to investigate the prophecies, and the doctrines of Scripture. The Scandinavians, and in fact nearly all European worshipers, manifest much more reverence than is seen among Americans. As soon as they enter the place of worship, they bow their heads and offer silent prayer.

An Easy Religion Popular

We are told that the people of these countries will be pleased with our discourses if we dwell on the love of Jesus. Of this they never tire, but we are in danger of losing our congregations if we dwell on the sterner questions of duty and the law of God. There is a spurious experience prevailing everywhere.

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»