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Life Sketches of Ellen G. White

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    Chapter 43—Restoration of Health

    In April, 1882, the California Conference opened a school in Healdsburg, which was soon incorporated as the Healdsburg College. Desiring to be near this institution, Mrs. White purchased a home on the outskirts of the town, and made this her residence for several years.LS 261.1

    One year after her husband's death, she was at this new home, and friends remarked about how well she appeared, and spoke of her active labors.LS 261.2

    August 22 she went to Oakland to welcome from the East Elder Uriah Smith, Elder and Mrs. Wm. Ings, and Prof. C. C. Ramsey and family. Three days later, at the home of her son, W. C. White, she had a severe chill, followed with fever, and notwithstanding thorough treatments by Mrs. Dr. C. F. Young, and faithful nursing by Mrs. Ings and Mary Chinnock, the malarial chills continued till September 10. Although very weak, she desired to be taken to the St. Helena Sanitarium, believing that the superior climate of the mountains would be favorable to her recovery.LS 261.3

    September 15 the journey was made in a wheel chair, which was lifted into the baggage car at the station. After a few days of treatment at the Sanitarium, without any apparent benefit, she pleaded to be taken to her home in Healdsburg. A bed was arranged in a spring wagon, and, accompanied by her son and Mrs. Ings, she accomplished the wearisome journey of thirty-five miles.LS 261.4

    The annual camp meeting of the California Conference was to be held at Healdsburg October 6-16.LS 261.5

    At this meeting important decisions were to be made regarding the work of the Healdsburg College. Would our people rally to its support, and make liberal gifts for the building of the students’ home? or would the work of the school be crippled for lack of proper facilities?LS 262.1

    Mrs. White greatly desired health and vigor, that she might attend the meeting and bear her testimony; but the outlook was discouraging. She had a bad cough, and her left lung was very sore. She was weak, and without energy or courage. Nevertheless she said, “Prepare me a place at the meeting, for I shall attend if possible.” She expressed the hope that when she got on the camp ground there would be some reviving influence.LS 262.2

    Sabbath forenoon she was very feeble, hardly able to leave her bed. But at noon she said: “Prepare me a place in the large tent where I can hear the speaker. Possibly the sound of the speaker's voice will prove a blessing to me. I am hoping for something to bring new life.”LS 262.3

    A sofa was arranged for her near the speaker's stand, with its back toward the congregation. Elder Waggoner spoke on the rise and early work of the message, and its progress up to 1882. There was a large congregation, and several of the business men of Healdsburg were present. When Elder Waggoner had finished speaking, Mrs. White said, “Help me onto my feet.” Sister Ings and her son lifted her up, and she was led to the desk. Laying hold of the pulpit with both hands, she began, in a feeble way, to tell the people that this might be the last time they would hear her voice at camp meeting. After she had spoken a few sentences, there was a change in her voice and attitude. She felt a thrill of healing power. Her voice strengthened, and her sentences came clear and full. As she proceeded with her address, her strength was manifest. She stood firmly, and did not need to hold onto the desk for support.LS 262.4

    The large congregation witnessed the healing. All noticed the change in her voice, and many observed the change in her countenance. They saw the sudden transition from a deathlike paleness to the flush of health, as the natural color was seen, first in her neck, then in the lower part of the face, and then in the forehead. One of the business men of Healdsburg exclaimed, “A miracle is being wrought in sight of this whole congregation!” After the meeting she testified to inquiring friends that the Lord had healed her. With the healing came strength and courage to labor, and during the remainder of the meeting she spoke five times.LS 263.1

    In The Signs of the Times, October 26, 1882, the editor, Elder J. H. Waggoner, relating this experience, said:LS 263.2

    “At the close of the discourse [Sabbath afternoon], ... she arose and began to address the people. Her voice and appearance changed, and she spoke for some time with clearness and energy. She then invited those who wished to make a start in the service of God, and those who were far backslidden, to come forward, and a goodly number answered the call....LS 263.3

    “After the first attempt of Sister White to speak, as noticed above, her restoration was complete.”LS 263.4

    Regarding the miracle wrought in her behalf, Mrs. White herself testified in the Signs of November 2, 1882:LS 263.5

    “For two months my pen has been resting; but I am deeply grateful that I am now able to resume my writing. The Lord has given me an additional evidence of His mercy and loving-kindness by again restoring me to health. By my recent illness I was brought very near to the grave; but the prayers of the Lord's people availed in my behalf.LS 263.6

    “About two weeks before our camp meeting the disease from which I had been suffering was checked, yet I gained little strength. As the time for the meeting drew near, it seemed impossible that I could take any part in it.... I prayed much over the matter, but still remained very feeble.... In my suffering condition I could only fall helpless into the arms of my Redeemer, and there rest.LS 264.1

    “When the first Sabbath of the meeting came, I felt that I must be upon the camp ground, for I might there meet the divine Healer. In the afternoon I lay upon a lounge under the large tent, while Elder Waggoner addressed the people, presenting the signs that show the day of God very near. At the close of his discourse, I decided to rise to my feet, hoping that if I thus ventured out by faith, doing all in my power, God would help me to say a few words to the people. As I began to speak, the power of God came upon me, and my strength was instantly restored.LS 264.2

    “I had hoped that my feebleness might gradually pass away, but had looked for no immediate change. The instantaneous work wrought for me was unexpected. It cannot be attributed to imagination. The people saw me in my feebleness, and many remarked that to all appearance I was a candidate for the grave. Nearly all present marked the change which took place in me while I was addressing them. They stated that my countenance changed, and the deathlike paleness gave place to a healthy color.LS 264.3

    “I testify to all who read these words, that the Lord has healed me. Divine power has wrought a great work for me, whereof I am glad. I was able to labor every day during the meeting, and several times spoke more than one hour and a half. My whole system was imbued with new strength and vigor. A new tide of emotions, a new and elevated faith, took possession of my soul.LS 264.4

    “During my sickness I learned some precious lessons,—learned to trust where I cannot see; while unable to do anything, to rest quietly, calmly, in the arms of Jesus. We do not exercise faith as we should. We are afraid to venture upon the word of God. In the hour of trial, we should strengthen our souls with the assurance that God's promises can never fail. Whatever He has spoken, will be done....LS 265.1

    “Before my sickness, I thought that I had faith in the promises of God; yet I find myself surprised at the great change wrought in me, so far exceeding my expectations. I am unworthy of this manifestation of the love of God. I have reason to praise God more earnestly, to walk in greater humility before Him, and to love Him more fervently than ever before. I am placed under renewed obligation to give to the Lord all that there is of me. I must shed upon others the blessed radiance which He has permitted to shine upon me.LS 265.2

    “I do not now expect to be lifted above all infirmities and tribulations, and to have an unruffled sea on the journey heavenward. I expect trials, losses, disappointments, and bereavements; but I have the Saviour's promise, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ We must not count it a strange thing if we are assaulted by the enemy of all righteousness. Christ has promised to be a present help in every time of need; but He has not told us that we shall be exempt from trials. On the contrary, He has plainly informed us that we shall have tribulation. To be tried and tested is a part of our moral discipline. Here we may learn the most valuable lessons, and obtain the most precious graces, if we will draw near to God, and endure all in His strength.LS 265.3

    “My sickness has taught me my own weakness, and my Saviour's patience and love, and His power to save. When passing sleepless nights, I have found hope and comfort in considering the forbearance and tenderness of Jesus toward His weak, erring disciples, and remembering that He is still the same,—unchangeable in mercy, compassion, and love. He sees our weakness, He knows how we lack faith and courage; yet He does not cast us off. He is pitiful and of tender compassion toward us.LS 266.1

    “I may fall at my post before the Lord shall come; but when all that are in their graves shall come forth, I shall, if faithful, see Jesus, and be made like Him. Oh, what joy unspeakable, to see Him whom we love,—to see Him in His glory who so loved us that He gave Himself for us,—to behold those hands once pierced for our redemption, stretched out to us in blessing and welcome! What will it matter though we toil and suffer here, if we may only attain to the resurrection of life! We will patiently wait till our time of trial ends, and then we shall raise the glad shout of victory.”LS 266.2

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