-TI- Life Sketches of Ellen G. White
-CT- Traveling the Narrow Way
Traveling the Narrow Way
While at the Battle Creek in August, 1868, I dreamed
of being with a large body of people. A portion of
this assembly started out prepared to journey. We
had heavily loaded wagons. As we journeyed, the
road seemed to ascend. On one side of this road was a
deep precipice; on the other was a high, smooth, white
wall, like the hard finish upon plastered rooms.
As we journeyed on, the road grew narrower and
steeper. In some places it seemed so very narrow that
we concluded that we could no longer travel with the
loaded wagons. We then loosed them from the horses,
took a portion of the luggage from the wagons and
placed it upon the horses, and journeyed on horseback.
As we progressed, the path still continued to grow
narrow. We were obliged to press close to the wall,
to save ourselves from falling off the narrow road
down the steep precipice. As we did this, the luggage
on the horses pressed against the wall, and caused us
to sway toward the precipice. We feared that we
should fall, and be dashed in pieces on the rocks.
We then cut the luggage from the horses, and it fell
over the precipice. We continued on horseback,
greatly fearing, as we came to the narrower places in
the road, that we should lose our balance, and fall.
At such times, a hand seemed to take the bridle, and
guide us over the perilous way.
As the path grew more narrow, we decided that we
could no longer go with safety on horseback, and we
left the horses and went on foot, in single file, one
following in the footsteps of another. At this point
small cords were let down from the top of the pure
white wall; these we eagerly grasped, to aid us in
keeping our balance upon the path. As we traveled,
the cord moved along with us. The path finally became
so narrow that we concluded that we could travel more
safely without our shoes; so we slipped them from
our feet, and went on some distance without them.
Soon it was decided that we could travel more safely
without our stockings; these were removed, and we
journeyed on with bare feet.
We then thought of those who had not accustomed
themselves to privations and hardships. Where were
such now? They were not in the company. At every
change, some were left behind, and those only
remained who had accustomed themselves to endure
hardships. The privations of the way only made
these more eager to press on to the end.
Our danger of falling from the pathway increased.
We pressed close to the white wall, yet could not place
our feet fully upon the path, for it was too narrow.
We then suspended nearly our whole weight upon the
cords, exclaiming: "We have hold from above! We
have hold from above!" The same words were uttered
by all the company in the narrow pathway. As we
heard the sounds of mirth and revelry that seemed
to come from the abyss below, we shuddered. We
heard the profane oath, the vulgar jest, and low, vile
songs. We heard the war song and the dance song.
We heard instrumental music, and loud laughter,
mingled with cursing and cries of anguish and bitter
wailing, and were more anxious than ever to keep
upon the narrow, difficult pathway. Much of the time
we were compelled to suspend our whole weight upon
the cords, which increased in size as we progressed.
I noticed that the beautiful white wall was stained
with blood. It caused a feeling of regret to see the
wall thus stained. This feeling, however, lasted but
for a moment, as I soon thought that it was all as
it should be. Those who are following after will
know that others have passed the narrow, difficult way
before them, and will conclude that if others were
able to pursue their onward course, they can do the
same. And as the blood shall be pressed from their
aching feet, they will not faint with discouragement;
but, seeing the blood upon the wall, they will know
that others have endured the same pain.
At length we came to a large chasm, at which our
path ended. There was nothing now to guide the
feet, nothing upon which to rest them. Our whole
reliance must be upon the cords, which had increased
in size, until they were as large as our bodies. Here
we were for a time thrown into perplexity and
distress. We inquired in fearful whispers, "To what
is the cord attached?" My husband was just before
me. Large drops of sweat were falling from his
brow, the veins in his neck and temples were increased
to double their usual size, and suppressed, agonizing
groans came from his lips. The sweat was dropping
from my face, and I felt such anguish as I had never
felt before. A fearful struggle was before us. Should
we fail here, all the difficulties of our journey had
been experienced for naught.
Before us, on the other side of the chasm, was a
beautiful field of green grass, about six inches high.
I could not see the sun, but bright, soft beams of light,
resembling fine gold and silver, were resting upon this
field. Nothing I had seen upon earth could compare
in beauty and glory with this field. But could we
succeed in reaching it? was the anxious inquiry.
Should the cord break, we must perish.
Again, in whispered anguish, the words were
breathed, "What holds the cord?" For a moment we
hesitated to venture. Then we exclaimed: "Our only
hope is to trust wholly to the cord. It has been our
dependence all the difficult way. It will not fail us
now." Still we were hesitating and distressed. The
words were then spoken: "Elohim holds the cord. We
need not fear." These words were repeated by those
behind us, accompanied with: "He will not fail us
now. He has brought us thus far in safety."
My husband then swung himself over the fearful
abyss into the beautiful field beyond. I immediately
followed. And oh, what a sense of relief and
gratitude to Elohim we felt! I heard voices raised in triumphant
praise to Elohim. I was happy, perfectly happy.