Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 193

undertaking, would sustain him, urged him forward to become the defender of Protestantism.

“Like a dying man he set his house in order,” and bade a solemn farewell to the States, which he was never to see again. With his little force he landed on the shores of Germany on the 24th of June, 1630, exactly a hundred years from the day when the Augsburg Confession had been presented to Charles V. The emperor Ferdinand heard with contemptuous indifference of the coming of Gustavus. The proud courtiers of Vienna “looked in the State Almanac to see where the country of the little Gothic king was situated.” Even the Protestant princes failed to discern their deliverer in a guise so humble. They had hoped for assistance from some powerful nation, but what help could a petty kingdom like Sweden bring them? But the Lord delivereth neither by few nor by many. The armies of Ferdinand could not stand against the attacks of Gustavus. Victory after victory attended the Protestant arms. In the full tide of success, Gustavus fell; but his people, true to the purpose for which his blood was shed, continued the struggle, until a peace was won which delivered all Northern Europe from the papal yoke.

In the old Riddarholms church at Stockholm the body of Gustavus is entombed. The following inscription is placed near his resting-place: “He undertook difficult things; he loved piety; he conquered his enemies, extended his kingdom, exalted the Swedes, and delivered the oppressed; and he triumphed in death.”

Appearance of the Country

A large part of Sweden is lowland, yet it has mountains so high as to be covered with eternal snows. There are extensive forests of spruce and hemlock, and a great number of beautiful lakes. It is said that one-tenth of the entire area is covered with lakes. The larger of these have been connected by canals, so that small ships can cross the country, from Stockholm on the east coast to Gottenberg on the west. These numerous bodies of water serve to moderate the climate, which, from the position of the country, would naturally be very severe.

This country, though old, is sparsely settled. With an area more than fifteen times larger than that of Denmark, it has only two and a half times as many inhabitants. Outside the great cities the people are primitive in their habits. While they are characterized by general intelligence, they are slow to accept changes or to make improvements. The styles of living, the means of transportation and locomotion, the marriage and funeral customs, and the religious ceremonies, all show how old usages retain their power. Yet the inhabitants of Sweden are generally more willing to listen to new doctrines than are those of Norway or Denmark.

In the country and small towns the houses are nearly all built of logs, or of timbers about six inches square. They are ceiled on the inside, covered with cloth, and papered. After the logs have had a year or two to settle, the houses are boarded on the outside, and painted red. Nearly all the houses in Sweden are red. Many are thatched, and some are roofed with turf; a layer of birch bark is first used, and this is covered with sods; the grass grows on the turf, keeping it fresh and green, and flowers are sometimes planted in it. These houses are said to be warm and dry; they present a quaint and picturesque appearance.

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