Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 222

change to our compartment in the car, and the gentle, gliding motion of the train. We lay down upon the seats, and cared only to enjoy the luxury of rest. We were sleeping soundly when at three in the morning the cars stopped, and the guard informed us that we had reached the borders of Germany, and must all pass through the custom-house. It was bitterly cold, and Bro. Kellogg went to the officers and asked permission for the ladies to remain in the car, stating that one of them was ill, and must not be disturbed. But no, nothing would avail; sick or well, we must all appear for inspection. Two officials came to the car door, and the other ladies of the party at once started to leave the car, but they had only stepped on the platform when the officers said, “That is enough; you can go back.” But they were not fully satisfied about the reputed sick woman. As I lay covered with shawls and blankets, they evidently suspected that I might be a bundle of dry goods which our party were trying to smuggle into Germany. As the officers again came to the door, flashing the bright light of their lanterns into the compartment, I quickly sat up and said, “Here I am, gentlemen, please look, and see that I am a living woman.” I do not know whether they understood my words, but they burst into a hearty laugh, said in German, “All right,” and left us to compose ourselves to sleep again if we could after this untimely interruption.


When we left Basle, we went to Hamburg by the way of Frankfort, down the right bank of the Rhine. In returning, we came up the left bank of the river, passing through Cologne, Bingen, and Mayence.

About 8 p.m. we reached Cologne, or “Koln,” as the Germans spell it and pronounce it. Here we spent the night. Our hotel was but a short distance from the celebrated cathedral, and we had a good view of it by moonlight. This is said to be the most magnificent Gothic edifice in the world. It is built, as cathedrals usually are, in the form of a cross, is 444 feet long, and has two towers each 512 feet high, the loftiest in Europe. The building is covered with turrets and statuary, and presents a most imposing appearance. It was more than six hundred years in building, and the names of the first architects have long since been forgotten. In 1848 was celebrated the six-hundredth anniversary of the laying of the corner-stone. The cathedral was completed in 1880, at an estimated cost of $10,000,000.

Cologne is one of the oldest cities of Northern Europe. It is said that a colony was planted here by the mother of Nero in 51 A.D., and even this occupied the site of a still more ancient city. Many ruins of this early period are still in existence. The old streets are exceedingly narrow, and there are no sidewalks, or scarcely any. A few years ago there was one street in which a man standing in the center and extending both arms at the same time could touch the buildings on each side. But most of the narrowest streets have now been swept away.

This city possesses an interest for us far greater than that excited by its grand cathedral. Hither came Tyndale from Hamburg, to complete the printing of the New Testament, hoping to find here better opportunities for sending the work, when finished, to England. He had not, however, proceeded far in his labors, when his secret was betrayed, and he escaped from the

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