For decades Ellen traveled and wrote; wrote and traveled. Many incidents occurred during these years that we do not have space to tell you about.
But here are several:
The small craft was tossed about like a cork on the large waves. It was the summer of 1845 and Ellen had gone with some friends in a small sailboat to speak to people on West Island, off the coast of Maine..
But without warning a storm came up that threatened to destroy the small craft. Rain fell in torrents, and as the lightning flashed, howling winds ripped the sails. The waves were so large that the little boat would nearly capsize as it slid down into the troughs between them. About the time that the rudder broke loose and was lost, those on board realized that they were in grave danger of running onto the rocks along the island. And then the darkness came. It had only been a few months since her first vision and Ellen had faithfully shared the messages with others. Now, as she knelt in the boat and asked God to save them, she saw an angel standing by her side. She recognized him as the one who had appeared to her several times in vision. Never was she to forget the words he spoke to her that night: "Sooner would every drop of water in the ocean be dried up than for you to perish, for your work has only begun."
Immediately.. she called out to her companions, "You need not be afraid! Angels are all around us. We are perfectly safe. The storm cannot hurt us!"
And it didn't. Although the frail craft continued to rise and fall on the waves, none feared any more. Soon the captain cried, "The anchor holds!" Then, through the darkness, they saw a glimmer of light from a house on the island. Although all were in bed for the night, one child heard their cries and alerted the rest. Soon the father rowed out and brought them safely into shore and the warm house.
During the winter of 1849-1850, James and Ellen held meetings in Oswego, New York. A young man attending the meetings, named Hiram Patch, was uncertain what to do. Although he and his fiancée were convicted that Ellen's messages were right, yet the county treasurer declared them to be full of error —and the treasurer, seemed like such a good man,—for he preached in the big church and right then was holding revival meetings in town.
Hiram and his girl friend were sincerely puzzled, and one evening as they attended a meeting of the White's, Ellen was taken into vision. Coming out of it, she turned to Hiram Patch and said, "Wait a month, and you will know for yourself the character of these persons" (speaking of the county treasurer and his associates).
Within two weeks the county treasurer became very ill while praying in a meeting and was taken home where he remained in bed. The local constable and the sheriff were appointed to manage his office till he recovered. But while checking the account books, they found a shortage of $1,000. They decided that, surely, the treasurer had somehow taken the money home by accident, and they would go to his home and ask him. But then the thought came that they should be cautious in doing it. So it was arranged that the constable would hide himself in a shed near the back door, while the sheriff knocked on the front door. Almost immediately the back door opened and a woman ran out, with a sack in her hand. Going quickly to a snow bank, she dug a hole, put in the sack, and then covered it over.
Inside, the sheriff asked the treasurer about the missing money. Raising his hand to heaven, the sick man cried, "I call God to witness that I know nothing about the money." Then his wife entered the room, and raising her hand upward said, "God is my witness that we do not have the money, nor do we know anything about it." Just then the constable walked in carrying the sack. "I saw you rush from the house with this sack and bury it, —and it is marked '$1,000' "
The news quickly traveled around town, and people were better able to make wise decisions. Including Hiram Patch and his fiancée.
It was in Michigan, and James and Ellen were traveling by carriage to Vergennes, where they were to hold meetings. But the driver, though knowing the route well, became confused and lost his way. For several hours they drove through the woods, following faint wheel tracks, as they tried to find their way out. At the same time they looked for a cabin where they could obtain directions.
Then they saw small log cabin in a tiny clearing. The folk there were kindly and heartily welcomed them. Before leaving, they visited with the family and Ellen gave them a copy of one of her books.
For years they wondered why they became lost that hot afternoon. Twenty-two years later Ellen learned the reason why. After speaking in a meeting, a woman came up to her and reminded her of the log cabin they had visited so many years before. "You talked to us about Jesus, how to come to Christ, and what heaven would be like. And you left that Book with us. We read it and loaned it to all the neighbors, and now most of us in that entire area have accepted Christ and His Bible truths." God leads you when you arrive on time; He leads when you lose the way. Make the most of every opportunity to tell others about Him.
While traveling by steamer one day, a terrible storm arose; so fierce that all on board feared they would die before arriving at port. Ellen tried to encourage them, but they were so distraught that but few would listen. Ignoring her; many knelt and prayed to God to save them. One woman cried in fear, "0 God, if You will save us from death, I will serve You forever!"
A few hours later, the storm subsided and the steamer pulled safely into dock. As the passengers stepped off the boat, Ellen heard a woman mockingly callout, "Glory to God! I'm glad to step on land again!" Turning, she saw that it was the same woman who but a few hours earlier had pled with God and Promised to serve Him forever if He would but save her life that day looking earnestly into the woman's face, Ellen said, "Go back a few hours and remember your vows.” With a sneer, the woman walked away.
It was summer in Jackson, Michigan, and the White's were about to leave for Wisconsin where they were to speak. Other friends were headed for New York. Kneeling and praying that all would be protected, the White's then boarded an evening train, where they entered a sleeping-car coach and sat down. But Ellen immediately exclaimed, "James, I can't stay in this car! I must get out of here!" So they carried their parcels to the next car. As they settled themselves, Ellen sensed that all was well now. The train began moving and their journey was begun.
But they had only gone about three miles when the coaches began to jerk violently. Then their coach stopped moving. Opening a window, they looked out. Coaches were thrown about everywhere; upended, turned over. All was in confusion.
James picked up his wife and carried her across a swampy piece of land to a wagon road, and from thence they walked to a farmhouse. Alerted, the farmer saddled a horse and rode to Jackson for help."
Visiting the scene of the accident the next day, this is what they learned: A large ox had laid down on the track and the train, hitting it, was thrown off the rails. The cars behind it had so much momentum that they piled up on top of it and were thrown all about. The coach that James and Ellen were in was the last coach. Walking to it, they found that it alone was undamaged and on the track. Separated from the wrecked cars, it stood alone about a hundred feet from the one in front of it. When the accident took place, this coach at the end had become uncoupled from the others and then slowed to a halt without crashing into those in front of it.
The brakeman was asked, but could not explain it. "It is a complete mystery how that car became detached from the cars ahead," he said. The big bolt that linked the two cars together had been lifted out when the accident struck, and now it lay on top of the front tongue of the car as if someone had placed it there.
It was midnight and Ellen stood looking out the window into the darkness. All were concerned that the rain stop before, it melt the snow. The meetings in Round Grove, Illinois, were concluded and now, they must go in a sleigh west, across the Mississippi River, to Waukon, Iowa. It seemed best to cancel the two-hundred-mile midwinter trip. But Ellen had been shown in vision that she must go there, for the people there needed help..
As daybreak neared, the snow began to fall again, making possible the trip by sleigh. After many adventures, they finally reached the Mississippi River and stopped for the night. But about 4 a.m. they heard rain beginning to fall. Immediately they arose and prepared to head off. The river must be crossed before the rain had melted the ice. The horses broke through the snow crust at almost every step. Approaching the river, decayed ice was to be seen. Others, passing by, said, "Stay off the river! I wouldn't try it for all the money in the world." Another added: "They say one team broke through the ice and the driver nearly lost his life."
Pulling away, they headed on down to the riverbank. Standing up in his sleigh, Mr. Hart asked, "Is it on to Iowa, or back to Illinois? We have come to the Red Sea. Shall we cross?"
Without hesitation, Ellen replied, "Go forward, trusting in Israel's God." She was convicted that they must go forward.
As the sleigh moved steadily across the broad Mississippi, the ice held beneath them. Ascending the opposite bank, men who had been watching their approach, cheered. They had expected every moment to see the team break through and go under. The party in the sleigh praised God. Moving forward at His bidding, they were safe. Wherever God leads His children, it is safe to go forward.
On another occasion, a retired sea captain, Joseph Bates, was riding with James and Ellen in a carriage behind a partly broken colt. James knew he could handle the horse even though it was not fully trained to the harness. (The young horse had a reputation of being vicious, and shortly before had caused a serious accident.)
White kept the horse on a taut rein and gave his attention to driving, when, suddenly, as Ellen was speaking to them about a Bible subject, she was taken into vision. The moment she shouted "Glory," the horse stopped, dropped his head, and stood perfectly still.
Stepping down off the wagon from the front, Ellen put her hand on the colt's haunches as she lowered herself to the ground.
Thoroughly frightened, Captain Bates cried out, "That colt will kick her to death!" To this, James replied, "The Lord has the colt in charge now; I don't wish to interfere." normally, the half-wild colt would have kicked furiously the instant anything touched his flanks. But now he stood as gentle as an old horse.
Climbing a six foot embankment, she walked back and forth along a grassy spot, describing aloud the beauties of the new earth. Then, with her eyes still directed upward, she walked down the embankment, over to the horse, put her hand on his rump again, climbed into the wagon and sat down. Immediately she came out of vision, and suddenly the horse raised his head, and without any command from the driver, started up and quietly began pulling the wagon along.
While Ellen had been out of the wagon and up on the embankment, James decided to test the colt. First he touched it lightly with a whip, and then several that were still harder. But the horse did not give any hint of noticing it. At any other time, he would have responded with a vicious kick. Softly, Captain Bates said, "This is a solemn place."
And so the years passed, and the frail girl that was supposed to die before spring, traveled across North America for over half a century, plus over ten years spent in foreign lands.
Always helping, encouraging, pointing men and women to heaven and to their God; Ellen White did the work of a prophet.
And nowhere is this to be seen more clearly than in her writings.