Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 220

It is hard to realize that in Christiania we are as far north as the southern point of Greenland and Alaska. The winters here are not severe. But the days at this season are very short. The sun rises as late as half past nine, and sets about three. In summer, of course, the days are correspondingly long. At mid-summer it is so light all night that one can see to read print. Children are often playing in the streets till midnight. At the North Cape the sun does not set from May 15 to July 29.

Norway has about two million inhabitants; the people are remarkable for their independent, liberty-loving spirit. For many centuries this country belonged to Denmark; but about seventy years ago the Norwegians cast off the Danish rule, and united themselves with Sweden. They have their own legislative body, which is called the Storthing. The king is required to be of the Lutheran religion, and he must live four months of every year in Norway.

The Norwegians are generally a well-educated, intelligent, law-abiding people. Honesty and cleanliness are cardinal virtues among them. They are simple and kind-hearted, and hospitable to strangers.

Return to Switzerland

On the 16th of November we left Christiania, on our return to Switzerland. William had parted from us a few days before, going by the way of the North Sea to England, and thence to America, to attend the General Conference. We had seen the necessities of the cause in the different European fields, and were impressed with the great need of means and laborers; and as we neared the time for General Conference, he felt that it was his duty to attend; that he could best serve the cause by presenting in person the wants of these mission fields, and assisting to arrange some business matters for the mission publishing-houses. When the matter of his going was first mentioned, I could not consent; but prayerful consideration convinced me that God had put this into his mind, and I would not bid him stay. Accordingly he left us at Christiania, and Bro. H. W. Kellogg accompanied our party on the return to Basle.

On our ride from Christiania to Gottenburg, Sweden, the wild mountain scenery in some places reminded us of Colorado. But neither the height of the mountains nor the grandeur of the landscape equals that of Colorado. We passed through extensive pine forests; but the trees do not grow to a large size; they are small, and set close together. The soil is rocky and sterile. We occasionally saw evidences of wealth and prosperity, but most of the dwellings are small and poor. It is only by constant industry and frugality that the people here obtain a livelihood.

This day we were favored with a sight of the most glorious sunset it was ever my privilege to behold. Language is inadequate to picture its beauty. The last beams of the setting sun, silver and gold, purple, amber, and crimson, shed their glories athwart the sky, growing brighter and brighter, rising higher and higher in the heavens, until it seemed that the gates of the city of God had been left ajar, and gleams of the inner glory were flashing through. For two hours the wondrous splendor continued to light up the cold northern sky,—a picture painted by the great Master-Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens. Like the smile of God it seemed, above all earthly homes, above

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