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church, and join in the exercises and pray to the images. On declining to do this, they were flogged; but they remained true. Some months after this, the Russian laborer baptized three other sailors belonging to the navy, who, with tears in their eyes, said, "If the Lord permits, we will follow these faithful brethren."
A meeting was held in the autumn of 1908 in Alexandrovsk, a city of 30,000. After securing the permission of the governor, services were opened in the largest hall in the city. Four hundred attended the first meeting, and 800 the last. Among those in attendance were four Russian priests and a Greek Catholic missionary. When the third night came, the priests could no longer keep their seats. They arose and wished to speak; but permission was not granted them, because our brethren were not allowed by the official regulations to depart from their program. The priests then jumped upon the seats and shouted, and so did those in the audience who sided with them. Our own people left the hall, followed by the priests, who promised to tell the people what they had to say in the church the following Sunday morning.
When the conference closed, the whole congregation rose and expressed heartfelt gratitude for the privilege of listening to such soul-stirring truths. Then they added, "Will you now leave us as sheep without a shepherd?"
At this meeting our first Russian native minister was ordained. He received his preparation for the work in the school at Friedensau. He there learned the German language, and became thoroughly acquainted with the principles of present truth. Then he returned to Russia, and labored in various parts as a Bible worker and licentiate, having the previous year raised up a good church at Sevastopol.
More recent developments in Russia are dealt with in a later chapter.
SOMETIME in the seventies J. N. Loughborough was conducting a series of tent-meetings in northern California. Among the persons who attended was a man by the name of William Hunt, who came in from a near-by mining camp. He manifested some interest in the doctrines taught, and on going away was liberally supplied with tracts and pamphlets. Years afterward a request came from this man, then in the diamond fields of South Africa, for a further supply of Adventist literature. He reported himself as keeping the Sabbath, and he received from the denominational publishing house papers and tracts in considerable quantities, which he passed on to persons who were willing to read them. Among those who received this literature was a Mr. Van Druten, who became deeply interested.
Meanwhile, the Spirit of God was also working upon other minds. Peter W. B. Wessels, a member of a large Boer family, had had an experience in trusting divine power for physical healing; and when he saw the binding claims of the Bible Sabbath, he promptly obeyed the Word. His attention was called to the matter by a friend who, referring to some remarks of Mr. Wessels to the effect that healing by faith is a Bible doctrine
and should be observed in the church, replied, "If you want to follow the Bible strictly, why do you not keep the Bible Sabbath?" Mr. Wessels at once applied himself to a careful study of what the Bible teaches in regard to the Sabbath; and as the result of his investigations, he began to observe the seventh day. A short time after he had thus taken his stand for
Bible truth, he made the acquaintance of Mr. Van Druten, and was surprised to hear from him of the existence in the United States of a denomination that observed the Bible Sabbath.
The parents of Peter Wessels were then living at Wellington, not far from Cape Town. He wrote to them of his convictions, and cited the texts of Scripture that had convinced him. They applied themselves in turn to the study of their Bibles, and in due time were convinced and accepted the Bible Sabbath. Other members of the family and some not of the family followed their example. There was now a little company of believers in South Africa, and they began to plead
earnestly for a minister, Mr. Van Druten sending £50 to the headquarters at Battle Creek, Mich., to pay traveling expenses.
In response to this call, Elders D. A. Robinson and C. L. Boyd, with their wives, and George Burleigh and R. S. Anthony, colporteurs, were sent to Africa, arriving in Cape Town in July, 1887. Somewhat later the staff of workers was further increased by the arrival of I. J. Hankins, A. Druillard, and A. T. Robinson, with their wives. Elder Robinson had general charge of the work for some years.
THE SANITARIUM, PLUMSTEAD, SOUTH AFRICA
In 1892 the Cape Conference was organized, with headquarters at Cape Town. Two periodicals, The South African Sentinel and The South African Missionary, began to be published. A suitable building was erected at Claremont, a suburb of Cape Town; and a training school was put in operation, with Prof. E. B. Miller, of Battle Creek College, as principal. A privately owned sanitarium was also erected at Claremont. At Plumstead, another suburb of Cape Town, an orphanage was founded, the buildings being subsequently enlarged and transformed into a sanitarium. At Kimberley, a great industrial center, a workingmen's home was opened as a philanthropic enterprise, and conducted during the Boer War, and later was made into the Kimberley Treatment-Rooms.