Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 227

as his Spirit began to impress my heart, and I tried in feebleness to obey its promptings, I received increased strength, and my desire to do good also increased. I have ever found plenty of work to do, and I have also learned that in Christ alone there is rest, peace, or happiness. In God is our only help. I have tried all these years not to build my hopes on this world, but to lay up a treasure above.

For several days before we started on our journey the weather had been foggy and rainy, and we feared that the clouds would hang as a vail over the scenery through which we were to pass. But the mist and fog soon disappeared, and the sun came out bright and pleasant.

Swiss Scenery

Although the Swiss Republic contains twenty-two cantons, or States, and has a population of three million of people, it is not a large country, being only about half the size of the State of Maine. Besides this, it is estimated that two-thirds of its surface consists of lakes, rivers, and uninhabitable heights. Hence it will be seen that its rich valleys and habitable mountain sections support a dense population.

The course of our journey led through the wild and magnificent scenery of Lake Lucerne, or, as it is sometimes called, “Lake of the Four Forest Cantons,” because it is bounded by four cantons, whose forest-clad mountains in many places rise abruptly from the water's edge. This beautiful lake, with its swans and flocks of half-tamed birds, we passed at our right.

Besides being noted for its scenery, this lake is intimately associated with those historical traditions connected with William Tell, the so-called liberator of Switzerland from the Austrian yoke. In the pleasant little town of Altorf, a colossal statue of Tell has been erected on the very spot, it is said, whence he aimed at the apple placed on the head of his own son by command of the tyrant Gessler; while one hundred and fifty paces distant stands a fountain erected on the supposed site of the lime-tree by which Tell's child stood while awaiting his father's arrow.

Several centuries ago, parts of Switzerland were often visited by earthquakes. They have since entirely ceased; but floods, avalanches, snowstorms, and land-slides still threaten the inhabitants with frequent dangers. We passed through one scene of desolation caused by a land-slip in the summer of 1806. The season had been very rainy, and one afternoon about five o'clock a strata composed of flint rocks, limestone, and other soft formations, upwards of one mile in length, one thousand feet in breadth, and one hundred feet in thickness, was precipitated from a height of three thousand feet into the valley below, burying four villages, with four hundred and fifty-seven of the inhabitants. The scene of this catastrophe was between the celebrated Rossberg and Rigi mountains. From the top of the Rossberg to a point nearly half way up the Rigi the surface of the earth was converted into a rocky chaos. Time has covered these fragments of rock with moss and other vegetation, but the track of the slide can still be distinctly traced.

The glaciers of Switzerland are the reservoirs which feed some of the largest rivers of Western Europe. The Rhine and the Rhone both have their source in Switzerland, not many miles apart. Flowing in different directions, the Rhine empties its waters into the North Sea, the Rhone into the Mediterranean.

Our course over the Alps lay through the great St. Gotthard pass. The road

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