EXPERIENCE AND VIEWS.
BY Ellen White
I. My Misfortune
the age of nine years an accident happened
to me which was to affect my whole life. In company with my twin
sister, and one of our schoolmates, I was crossing a common in the
city of Portland, Maine, when a girl about thirteen years old
followed us, threatening to strike us.
parents had taught me never to contend with any one, but if we
were in danger of being injured, to hasten away and return home.
We were doing this, running towards home, but the girl was
following us with a stone in her hand. I turned to see how far she
was behind me, and as I turned, the stone hit me on my nose. I
fell senseless. When I revived, I found myself in a merchant's
store, the blood streaming from my nose, my garments covered with
blood, and a large stream of blood on the floor.
A kind stranger offered to take me home in his
carriage. I knew not how weak I was, and told him I should greatly
soil his carriage with blood,
and that I could walk home. Those present
were not aware that I was so seriously injured. I had walked but a
few rods when I grew dizzy and faint. My twin sister and my
schoolmate carried me home.
have no recollection of anything for some time after the accident.
My mother says that I noticed nothing, but lay in a stupid state
for three weeks. No one thought I would live except my mother. For
some reason she felt that I would not die. A kind neighbor, who
had interested herself much in my behalf, at one time thought me
to be dying, and wished to purchase a robe for me. Mother said to
her, "Not yet;" for something told her that I would not
As I aroused to consciousness, it seemed to me
that I had been asleep. I was not aware of the accident, and knew
not the cause of my sickness. Friends often visited my parents,
and looked upon me with pity, and advised them to prosecute the
parents of the child who had, as they said, ruined me. But mother
was for peace. She said that if it could bring me back health and
natural looks again, then there would be something gained, but as
it was, she would only make herself enemies by following their
As I began to gain a little strength, my curiosity
was aroused by hearing those who came to see me, say, "What a
pity! I should not know her," &c. I asked for a
as I looked into it, I was shocked at the change
in my appearance. Every feature of my face seemed changed. The
sight was more than I could bear.
bone of my nose proved to be broken. The idea of carrying my
misfortune through life was insupportable. I could see no pleasure
in my life. I did not wish to live, and I dared not die, for I was
was a long time before I gained much strength.
Physicians thought that a silver wire could be put in my nose to
hold it in shape, but said that it would be of little use; that I
had lost so much blood my recovery was doubtful; that if I should
get better, I could not live long. I was reduced almost to a
At this time I began to pray to the Lord to prepare
me to die. When Christian friends visited the family, they would
ask my mother if she had talked with me about dying. This I
overheard which aroused me. I desired to be a Christian, and
prayed for the forgiveness of my sins as well as I could, and felt
peace of mind. Especially at one time, I loved every one, and felt
an interest that all should have their sins forgiven and love
I well remember one night in winter when the
snow was upon the ground, the heavens were lighted up, the sky
looked red and angry, and seemed to open and shut. The snow looked
like blood. The neighbors were much frightened. Mother took me out
of bed in her arms, and
carried me to the window. I was happy. I
thought Jesus was coming, and I longed to see him. My heart was
full. I clapped my hands for joy, and thought my sufferings were
ended. But I was disappointed. The next morning the sun arose as
usual, and the singular appearance of the heavens had disappeared.
It was some time before I became strong. As
I was able to unite in play with my young friends, I was forced to
learn this bitter lesson, that looks make a difference in the
feelings of many. At the time of my misfortune my father was
absent in Georgia. When he returned, he spoke to my brother and
sisters, and inquired for me. I was pointed out by my mother; but
my father did not know me. It was hard to make him believe that I
was his Ellen. This cut me to the heart; yet I tried to put on an
appearance of cheerfulness, when my heart ached.
times I was made to deeply feel my misfortune. With wounded pride,
mortified at myself, I have found a lonely spot to think over the
trials I was doomed to bear daily. My life was often miserable,
for my feelings were keenly sensitive. I could not, like my twin
sister, weep out my feelings. My heart seemed so heavy, and ached
as though it would break, yet I could not shed a tear. I often
thought that if I could weep out my feelings, then I should find
relief. Others would pity and sympathize with me, and that weight, like
a stone upon my heart, would be gone.
vain and empty the pleasures of earth looked to me. How changeable
the friendship of my young companions. A pretty face, dress, or
good looks, are thought much of. But let misfortune take some of
these away, and the friendship is broken.
But I began to turn to my Saviour where I
found comfort. I sought the Lord earnestly, and received
consolation. I believed that Jesus did love even me. For two years
I could not breathe through my nose. My health was so poor that I
could attend school but little. It was almost impossible for me to
study, and retain what I learned.
The same girl who was the cause of my misfortune,
was appointed by our teacher as a monitor to assist me in writing,
and to aid me in getting my lessons. She always seemed sorry for
what she had done, and I was careful not to remind her of the
great injury she had done me. She was tender and patient with me,
and much of her time seemed sad and thoughtful, as she saw me
laboring to get an education.
hand trembled so that I made no progress in writing, and could get
no further than the first examples, which are called coarse-hand.
As I labored to bend my mind to my studies, the letters of my book
would run together, large drops of perspiration would stand upon
my brow, and I would become dizzy and
faint. I had a bad cough, which prevented me
from attending school steadily.
teacher thought it would be too much for me to study, unless my
health should be better, and advised me to leave school.