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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists

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    The Swiss Conference and the European Council

    One week after we reached Basle the Swiss Conference began. This continued from September 10-14, and was followed by the European Council, which lasted until the 28th. The Conference was quite generally attended by our Swiss brethren, and by representatives from Germany, France, Italy, and Roumania. There were nearly two hundred brethren and sisters assembled; and a more intelligent, noble-looking company is seldom seen.HS 172.2

    As I looked over this congregation of dear friends, so ardent and cheerful in the truth, and so anxious to catch every ray of additional light, my reflections were indeed solemn. I thought, These have been highly favored in receiving a knowledge of the present truth. They have accepted it in the face of opposition and ridicule, and often at the expense of worldly prosperity. How earnest should they be to help and encourage one another! They are the members of Christ's body, and we are members one of another. The Day-star has risen in their hearts; the rays of the Sun of Righteousness have shone upon their minds. Happy people indeed who are thus highly favored! Truly, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”HS 172.3

    The meetings increased in interest from the first. The congregation was divided into three parts, those speaking German, French, and English, each company occupying a different part of the hall. Two interpreters followed the speaker. If the sermon or testimony was given in English, it was translated into French and German. If given in French, it was translated into German and English, and into French and English if given in German. This way of speaking was rather embarrassing at first; but this soon wore away, and to me it has proved far less taxing than I anticipated.HS 173.1

    Sabbath and Sunday were precious seasons. The Lord especially blessed in speaking Sunday afternoon. At the close of the discourse an invitation was given for all who desired to be Christians, and all who felt that they had not a living connection with God, to come forward, that we might unite our prayers with theirs for the pardon of sin, and for grace to resist temptation. This was a new experience for many, but they did not hesitate. It seemed that the entire congregation were on their feet, and the best they could do was to be seated, and all seek the Lord together. Here was an entire congregation manifesting their determination to put away sin, and to engage most earnestly in the work of seeking God. After prayer, one hundred and fifteen testimonies were borne. Many of these showed a genuine experience in the things of God.HS 173.2

    At the close of the Conference, many of our Swiss brethren were obliged to return to their homes; but some remained to the close of the Council, although it continued one week longer than was expected. The Council was attended by laborers from England, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, and Roumania. Besides the regular business meetings each day, there were held two Bible readings, a class for the benefit of canvassers and colporteurs, and one for those who wished to learn English. There were also several ministers’ meetings, besides the sermons and regular morning meetings for social worship. I felt urged by the Spirit of God throughout the meetings to impress upon all the importance of cultivating love and unity. I tried to present the danger of building up separate interests between different nationalities.HS 173.3

    If we have the truth, the work in these countries must enlarge. New fields will be continually opening, and the church must extend her efforts by entering these fields. The message must go, notwithstanding the hard times. We must make special efforts in this direction now, while the angels are holding the four winds. Soon the time to labor will be past. Who does not want to have a part in this closing work? All can do something. Those who cannot give themselves can give of their means, and all can pray not only that the Lord will raise up laborers, but that the treasury may be supplied with the necessary funds to extend the work. Pray, brethren, pray earnestly, that the hearts of some who are doing very little, and of others who have as yet done nothing, may be opened, and that the means that God has intrusted to them may be used to his glory. The work begun in weakness will be carried on to a glorious termination. The truth must go to all nations, tongues, and peoples, and that speedily.HS 173.4

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