John Nevins Andrews,




Pioneer Theologian,

Defender of the Sabbath,

First Overseas Worker

     John Nevins Andrews was born in Poland, Maine, July 22, 1829, and was reared in the State of his birth. He did not enjoy the blessings of a higher education, but was a self-made man. As such he was well educated. He was the type of individual who loves study and could gather information and develop himself independently. Through his own efforts in this way he gained a working knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. These subjects he pursued with the motive of understanding the Scriptures and gaining a fuller knowledge of God's purpose for man as revealed in His book.  

     Although he was only a boy of fifteen at the time of the 1844 movement, he had a deep spiritual experience, looked earnestly for the coming of the Lord in October, 1844, and passed through the refining fiery ordeal of disappointment and persecution at that time. During the period of uncertainty following the great disappointment he came in contact with the little group which was preaching the third angel's message. As a result, he took his stand with Joseph Bates and Mr. and Mrs. White publicly in a meeting at Paris, Maine, September 14, 1849, and accordingly became one of the quartet of outstanding early founders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement. (See Origin and Progress, M. E. Olsen, p. 749)   

     The first number of the Review and Herald, a semimonthly, published in 1850, stated that the responsibility for the paper rested on a publishing committee, which consisted of Joseph Bates, S. W. Rhodes, J. N. Andrews, and James White. Although he was only twenty-one years of age, this earnest youth held an important place at this incipient period of the denominational development, and became a shining example of what consecrated young people can do, once their whole heart is in God's truth. At twenty-one he became one of the leading writers for the Review. His article in the May number of 1851 occupied five full pages, and is believed to be the first detailed exposition of the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, interpreting the two-horned beast as the United States.  

     This youthful warrior in gleaming armor became one of the leading champions for the Sabbath keeping Adventists, and ably defended the cause in a series of articles, entitled, "Review of O. R. L. Crosier," on the Sabbath and the law. These articles appeared February 3 and 17, 1852.  

     This manuscript was written while Mr. Andrews was traveling. He was staying at the home of Cyrenius Smith at Jackson, Michigan, and often his voice was heard in subdued tones far into the night, pleading with the Lord for light wherewith to meet the objections of Mr. Crosier; and when light came, praise and thanksgiving ascended to God. On one such occasion these words were heard: "O Lord, guide me in using this light. O Lord, help me to smite this once," and similar words. (See Rise and Progress, J. N. Loughborough, p. 165)  

    Letter after letter from readers appeared in the Review during the following weeks of 1852, expressing appreciation and praise for his excellent defense of the truth.  

     The next few years were spent in traveling from place to place seeking out those who were ready to listen to an unpopular message from the mouth of a youth. The long journeys, accompanied as they were by tiresome riding with few conveniences and amid the greatest hardships, were destined soon to undermine the health of the frail worker. A letter written by Hiram, Edson in 1851, during a journey through New York and Pennsylvania with Mr. Andrews, gives the twentieth-century reader some idea of the difficulties which these brethren encountered:  

     "A portion of our journey was through a country that was new. The roads were new and rough, over cradle knolls, stumps, and rough log ways, slough holes, and trees fallen across our pathway. Much of our route was through deep valleys, and deep and narrow ravines, with almost perpendicular banks, so that fallen trees reaching across the ravine from bank to bank, were many feet above our heads as we drove through beneath them. Then again we were climbing the mountains and high hills of the Alleghenies.  

     "But being guided by the good hand of our God, we found a goodly number of the Lord's scattered but chosen ones, here and there, upon the mountains and high hills, famishing for the bread of life, to whom was given a 'portion of meat in due season.'"  

     During this six weeks' tour of six hundred miles, a strip of territory from the Great Lakes to the Allegheny Mountains was covered.   

     Winter and summer he traveled and wrote. One worker, writing during the winter, spoke of the deep snows and arctic blasts which beat through the raiment of the none too heavily clad itinerant. In the morning the man of God awoke with his beard covered with frost and ice as the result of the moisture of his breath congealing in the unheated spare room or cold cabin. And yet in spite of the hardships, in a letter written October 27, 1851, he said:   

     "In the midst of tribulation and affliction my soul is joyful in God. I was never more deeply impressed with the importance of the work with which we are engaged, than at the present time. My heart is bound up in it, and in a work so sacred I would cheerfully spend and be spent. Souls are perishing, who may now be reached, the time for labor is short, the night in which no man can work is at hand. Shall we not, then, while the day lasts, do what we can, so that by any means we may save some?  

     "I spent the first Sabbath after leaving you, with the brethren in Oswego. Found them strong in God, and well established in the present truth. Several who have not been with them heretofore, have recently united with them in keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.  

     "In Cleveland, Ohio, I found a few who are willing to manifest their love to God by keeping His commandments. I regret to say, however, that by a cunningly devised fable, some others are making void the seventh commandment. Those, however, who make void the fourth commandment by a similar fable, are not well prepared to rebuke such iniquity.   

     "In Norwalk and Milan, we had a season of considerable interest. Some things which had hindered the work of God were removed, and several who were halting between two opinions, took a decided stand for the truth. May the blessing of God rest upon His people in that place. . . .   

     "I shall leave in a short time for Indiana. I hope to go with the blessing of God resting upon me, and labor with Him in His cause. Adieu."  

     In the autumn of 1852 Mr. Andrews held a series of meetings at Rochester, New York. At one of these meetings, J. N. Loughborough, a minister of the Sunday keeping Adventists, came with an array of Bible texts in hand to refute the Sabbath keeper's argument. To Mr. Loughborough's great surprise the youthful speaker answered every objection from the word of God even before it was presented. As a result of this and the following meetings, Mr. Loughborough cast in his lot with the Sabbatarians.   

     The exhaustive journeys and incessant work actually did use up the young soldier of the cross; and in the editorial of the issue of the Review and Herald dated February 20, 1855, James White made an eloquent appeal for the support of the young man who was later to become the first Seventh-day Adventist missionary overseas:  

     "We cannot close our remarks without introducing the case of Brother J. N. Andrews, who has been more or less connected with the Review office. But few persons have any idea of his sacrifices, and present discouragement. For the last four years he has given himself exclusively to preaching and writing. His love and zeal for the truth, and for the salvation of souls, has been such that he has toiled on, day and night, with little regard for health, till several times he has been brought so low that we could have but little hope of his recovery. He is penniless and feeble (though attention to his situation, with proper hours of study and exercise, is improving his health). He now thinks of returning to Maine in a few weeks, to labor with his hands, hoping to regain his health and sustain himself. His father is one of the poor of this world, and quite infirm, and his only brother a cripple judge of our feelings to see a dear brother, a fellow laborer, with whom we have toiled side by side for years, placed in his situation.  

     "We appeal to the Lord's stewards in our brother's behalf. He should have a steady boarding place, where he can be surrounded with all those means necessary to the recovery of health. He should have (and must have to be useful) a suitable library. To you who know his able defense of the truth, and have been benefited by his writings, we appeal for help. The attention of those in the morning of life, who enjoy the blessing of health, we especially call to the situation of our dear brother. He has toiled so incessantly for your salvation that he is broken down at the age of twenty-five. It must be a pleasure to you to sacrifice something to help one who has so cheerfully labored for you. His sacrifices have been great. Relatives have offered to give him a collegiate education free, or place him in a situation to acquire wealth; but these he refused, to follow in the despised path of Bible truth. Brother Andrews is ever opposed to our speaking in his behalf, but we have felt called upon to introduce his situation in this manner, though it be without his knowledge. And here we would say, that from money sent in to relieve the office, $50 shall be given to Brother Andrews. Let others give as the Lord hath prospered them, and it shall be acknowledged in the Review."  

     About this time James White invited some of the advent believers living in the East to move to Iowa, secure homes cheaply, and bring the third angel's message to that new State. Among the first of these were Edward Andrews and his wife., the father and mother of J. N. Andrews, who left Maine and settled in the northeast corner of the State in the autumn of 1855. Mr. Andrews, broken in health, came with his parents to help hew a home from the virgin wilderness.  

     He spent that winter clerking in his uncle's store at Waukon, and in the spring the elder Andrews secured a quarter section of fertile Iowa land about three miles south of the village, where they were joined by their former neighbors of Maine, the Stevens family. They purchased tools, implements, oxen, and other farming necessities, and built log houses and barns. They evidently gave a good report of the land, for during the summer other families followed, until by autumn the company numbered about thirty. Among these were families which were later to shine brilliantly in denominational leadership. There were in the group two future presidents of the General Conference, J. N. Andrews and George I. Butler; J. N. Loughborough, the first worker on the West Coast of the United States and also the first worker in Great Britain; and the future wives of Mr. Andrews and Uriah Smith. 

     In the autumn of 1856 Mr. Andrews married Miss Angeline S. Stevens, whose parents, as has been stated, had also moved from Paris, Maine, and. settled in Iowa near the parental home of Mr. Andrews. About this time, apparently this man of God became somewhat discouraged and downcast. Poverty stricken and in poor health, he became possessed of a spirit of half warmness which seemed to have settled on the members of the little Adventist colony in that new land. 

     For the time being these brethren, surrounded by the large group of settlers who had been lured to the West by the prospect of wealth and personal gain, were led to partake of the same spirit. Glowing pictures were painted by real-estate boomers. They saw people all around them growing rich, and joined with the pioneers who were exerting every effort to subdue the tough prairie sod and wrest a competence from the rich soil. Hardships and long hours of labor crowded out the spiritual things. Then, too, J. N. Loughborough and J. N. Andrews had borne the heat of the battle and had been forced to retire from the lines for lack of support. Murmuring and dissatisfaction with the cause grew until when Mr. and Mrs. White visited them they were not at all anxious to see their visitors. 

    Mr. and Mrs. White, having sensed the situation, during the month of December traveled through the winter snows, enduring many hardships, to present the Laodicean message to the little group at Waukon, Iowa. The result of their visit was evident immediately in renewed consecration and efforts to get into the field once more. Mr. Loughborough at once went into the field and Mr. Andrews confessed his past discouragement and expressed his interest in the people in the region; and in April, 1857, he wrote to Mr. White, stating that his health was much improved and that he thought his throat would bear his speaking several times a week. He was determined to give the message to those in the region near at hand. 

     During this month he contributed an article for the Review, calling upon God's people to cleanse themselves from the tobacco habit. Taking his text from 1 Corinthians 3:16-18, he exhorted his brethren to cast tobacco, an active poison, out of their bodies, and cleanse themselves from the filthy habit. 

     In February, 1858, he attended a conference at Round Grove, Illinois. J. H. Waggoner, in reporting this meeting, speaks of having met Mr. Andrews for the first time, and states that all partook of his feelings when on this occasion he thanked God as he heard Mr. Andrews vindicate the truths of the third angel's message in a clear and convincing manner, and express his determination to devote his time thereafter to the work. 

     However, this wish to give his entire time to the work was not realized until the following summer, when, after the General Conference held in June, 1869, he went with Mr. Loughborough to assist in the Michigan tent effort. 

     In the meantime, however, he was a participant in an important meeting of the Battle Creek church, to consider the question of an adequate support for the ministry. This meeting was held January 16, 1859. A committee of Brethren Andrews, Frisbie, and White was appointed to give further study to the subject and to prepare an address on the subject of "Systematic Benevolence," to be published in the Review. In the plan there outlined, each brother between eighteen and sixty was encouraged to lay aside from five to twenty cents each week, and each sister from two to ten cents. It was further recommended that property owners lay aside from one to five cents a week, on each one hundred dollars' worth of their possessions. This plan of systematic benevolence, nicknamed "Sister Betsy," was in time developed into the tithing system, revolutionizing the manner of supporting the ministry.  

     In the discussion over the problem of organizing the believers into churches and conferences, J. N. Andrews heartily advocated the movement for organization. He was a delegate from New York and was chairman of the committee which drew up the constitution of the General Conference. 

     On August 29, 1864, J. N. Andrews left Battle Creek for Washington, D.C., to attempt to secure for Seventh-day Adventists, recognition from the War Department as conscientious objectors, and to ask for them assignment to noncombatant service in hospitals and elsewhere, in order that they might not be compelled to take human life. He was kindly received by Abraham Lincoln's government and his request was granted. This move, the first of its kind by Seventh-day Adventists, set a precedent which has become part of the Adventist belief. 

     The attention of the leaders of the church (with the exception of Joseph Bates) was drawn to the importance of the subject of health reform through their own experience. Neither Mr. White nor his wife had enjoyed robust health for years. Mr. Andrews likewise was severely handicapped. Continued overwork and hardship occasioned by long rides in the cold and rain, loss of sleep, and continuous and arduous service in the pulpit, had brought these servants of God to the very verge of the open grave. As a result of Mr. White's physical condition, Mr. and Mrs. White late in 1865 visited Doctor Jackson's health institute at Dansville, New York. This water-cure institution not only brought relief, but gave instruction to the patients who daily gathered for lectures in the drawing room. About this time Mr. Andrews was suffering from a combination of disorders which made life a burden to him. He was suffering from dyspepsia, sleeplessness, nervous prostration, and chronic catarrh. His condition was such that he was obliged to give up brain work and labor in the open air. He adopted correct health principles, discarding the use of flesh foods, condiments, and other unhealthful items of diet, and upon obeying other natural hygienic laws he soon was able to return to the ministry and also to resume his literary work. (See Origin and Progress, pp. 260, 261) 

     As early as 1864, as the importance of reforms in the manner of living was seen by the ministers, Mr. Andrews began to advocate healthful living through the columns of the Review. Other ministers advocated the same thing. When instruction came to this people through revelation to Mrs. White that Seventh-day Adventists should establish a health institution of their own, there was a hearty response, and the first Adventist health institution, known as the Western Health Reform Institute, was opened in Battle Creek, September 5, 1866. 

     On May 14, 1867, Mr. Andrews was elected president of the General Conference and filled the office one term, which at that time was one year. The first Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting was held at Wright, Michigan, opening September 1, 1868. One of the leading lights at this meeting was J. N. Andrews, whose scholarly sermons were delivered with great freedom. His pointed messages were filled with tenderness and sympathy.  

     The Adventist camp meeting of the sixties was very different from a camp meeting of today. This first meeting was typical of the times. It was held in a grove of maples. The place of assembly was an open spot with the ministers' stand at one end. The seats for this open-air assembly were constructed of slabs nailed on logs or simply of logs smoothed off on one side. In case of rain a smaller area covered by canvas was used for the general assembly. At night the camp was lighted by means of a number of wood fires on elevated boxes filled with earth. Bread wagons drove to the camp from the neighboring town, but the campers did their cooking by campfires. The dwelling tents were furnished by the occupants and were large or small according to the number to be accommodated. They were usually large, for the abode was made to serve a church. The sides were made of rough boards and the ends and roof were made of cotton cloth. The tent was divided by means of curtains into two rooms with a hallway between. The men of the church slept on one side and the women on the other. (See Origin and Progress, p. 275 ff.) 

     The next few years following this first camp meeting, Mr. Andrews spent in a faithful ministry, making long journeys from place to place in winter and journeying from camp meeting to camp meeting in the summer months. 

     During the decade of the sixties he produced his best lasting literary work, History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week. This book was the result of painstaking historical research, and although nearly three quarters of a century have elapsed since its writing, the revised edition remains a standard publication among Seventh-day Adventists today. 

     In 1872 his wife died, leaving her husband with two adolescent children, Charles and Mary. 

     Mr. Andrews was a member of the committee which organized the Educational Society of the Seventh-day Adventists and founded Battle Creek College, our first denominational school.  

     In the sixties, the providence of God opened the way for our work to enter Europe. Michael B. Czechowski, a Polish Catholic immigrant to America, came into contact with the Seventh-day Adventists at a tent effort at Findlay, Ohio. He had been educated for the priesthood, but in reaching out for greater light, had severed his connection with the church. After accepting the message, he preached for a time in New York. Anxious to take the message of the Sabbath and the soon coming of Christ back to his European friends, and not waiting for support from his Sabbath keeping brethren, he solicited funds from friendly First-day Adventists and returned to take up labor in the Piedmont valleys among the Waldensians. He entered Switzerland, and in addition to publishing a paper, called the Everlasting Gospel, he published tracts in both German and French. Becoming discouraged, he left his converts, went to Rumania, and began the same work there. Before long, letters from the believers in Switzerland began arriving at the denominational headquarters. The believers were invited to send a representative to America. In response they sent a young man named James Erzenberger, who stayed a year and a third, and returned to Europe in 1870. These events awakened the Adventists to their responsibility to the world. Prior to this time the burden of beginning the work in America had blinded them to the true meaning of the gospel charge, "Go you into all the world." 

     Taking cognizance of this wider call of God, the General Conference session of 1874, on August 15, voted that Mr. Andrews go to Europe in answer to the providential openings there. This step was a momentous and revolutionary one. The selection of Mr. Andrews was a tribute to the scholarly worker, for it is needless to say that the members of the General Conference were anxious to select a strong man for this first overseas mission effort on the part of Seventh-day Adventists. 

     At a later time when there was some lack of unity, Mrs. White, in a testimony to the Swiss brethren, said:  

     "Calls came to us from Europe for help. We sent you the ablest man in our ranks, but you have not appreciated the sacrifice we made in thus doing. We needed Elder Andrews here. But we thought his great caution, his experience, his God-fearing dignity in the desk, would be just what you needed. We hoped you would accept his counsel and aid him in every possible way while he was a stranger in a strange country. But he has had to make his way himself, while you have stood by to question and cast doubts in reference to his suggestions and plans, when you were unprepared to take hold yourselves and move the cause of truth onward." 

     P. Z. Kinne, of Middletown, New York, who was well acquainted with Mr. Andrews, said that at one time it was reported that Mr. Andrews could repeat the Bible from memory. Mr. Loughborough, hearing of it, accosted him one day: "John, I hear you can repeat the whole Bible; is that so?" He answered, "So far as the New Testament is concerned, if it was obliterated, I could reproduce it word for word; but I would not say as much of the Old Testament." This was confirmed by Mr. Andrews' son. 

     Exactly one month after his appointment, J. N. Andrews sailed from Boston. Arriving in Switzerland, he organized the work and became in effect the first president of the European Division.  

     Few can realize the task before him when he faced his work as the first Seventh-day Adventist worker sent overseas. The idea of the denomination's having a representative thousands of miles away was entirely new. The General Conference Committee, far removed from the problems in a distant field, could not understand the difficult circumstances under which Mr. Andrews labored. Furthermore, precedents had to be set. Mr. Andrews was a pioneer, establishing precedents and struggling to formulate policies and methods of work. This, together with natural prejudices of any people for a foreigner, caused the distrust mentioned above and made his work very heavy. 

     Whereas today the Mission Board feels it unwise to send a man over thirty into a field where he will be obliged to learn a new language, Mr. Andrews was forty-four, and faced the stupendous task of mastering the French language. It was necessary for him to learn to speak it fluently as well as to write and read it. The French people are very particular about the way their language is spoken. They are readily offended by the foreigner who overlooks the nicety of tone and nasal pronunciations. An older person has great difficulty in mastering this language. In spite of this, however, by prayerful, persistent study amid physical affliction, Mr. Andrews gained such a command of the language that in 1882 he testified that he could address an audience in the French just about as freely as in his own mother tongue. 

     During his first year in this strange land the most prominent place on his daily program was reserved for the study of French. A little later he added Italian and German, for not only were these three languages spoken in Switzerland, but the mastery of them was necessary to the forwarding of the message in the other countries of Europe. Soon a large correspondence with scattered interested ones claimed his attention. Then came the work of instructing the believers more fully and organizing them into a church and a tract society. Finally he prepared tracts which were published in the French language. At the end of the first year there were seventy-five known Sabbath keeping Adventists in Europe. 

     On a stormy winter day, January 8, 1876, the first worker from America arrived to stand by the side of the pioneer worker, who had labored without any of his fellow countrymen for over a year. This worker was D. T. Bourdeau. He brought courage and a tangible evidence of sympathy from America. The same year the General Conference voted to raise $10,000 for a European publishing house. Mr. Andrews established this institution at Basel, Switzerland, and in July the same year began the publication of Les Signes des Temps (The Signs of the Times). He personally edited this paper until his death.

     A large portion of his time was spent in adapting this journal to the needs of the people, and to making it a permanent, successful medium of the message in Europe. 

     Early in September, 1878, Mr. Andrews received a cablegram from the brethren in America directing him to attend the General Conference to be held at Battle Creek in October. He left Europe, taking with him his daughter, Mary, who was suffering from consumption. He had hopes that the Battle Creek Sanitarium would be able to arrest the disease. With untiring faithfulness and loving paternal hope he watched by her side day by day, only to lose the battle, for she passed away in November. The loss of this seventeen-year-old child, the hope of his life, was almost too much for the bereft father, who had pinned his fondest hopes on this daughter who had learned the language and was developing into what he felt sure would be a great help to him. In his trials following this bereavement, he spoke to Mr. Kinne in his sorrow: "I seem to be having hold upon God with a numb hand." 

     At this time Mrs. White wrote a beautiful letter of consolation, an extract from which is herewith given: 

     "In my last vision, I saw you. Your head was inclined toward the earth, and you were following in tears your beloved Mary to her last dwelling place in this world. Then I saw the Lord looking upon you full of love and compassion. I saw the coming of Him who is to give life to our mortal bodies, and your wife and children came out of their graves clad in immortal splendor." 

     Fearing for his health, Mr. and Mrs. White persuaded him to stay in America over the winter. He attended the General Conference in April and preached the dedicatory sermon at the Battle Creek Tabernacle. He sailed for Europe in May, but had to stop in England to rest before going farther. He arrived in Basel, August 11, after an absence of nearly a year. From this time on it seemed the source of his vitality was sapped. His physical powers gradually declined. Yet his mental powers seemed unimpaired and he became wrapped up in the silent ministry of the printed page. In spite of other duties and of ill-health he produced a large quantity of literature. During the seven years from 1876 to 1883 he wrote over 480 articles, or an average of five or six a month. 

     Elder Andrews for some years had been threatened with tuberculosis of the lungs. The damp climate of Europe evidently hastened the development of this most dreaded scourge of the nineteenth century, commonly called "the white plague." In the winter of 1875 he wrote that although the temperature was mild, they had had, with few and brief intervals of sunshine, three months of fog. He added that some of the time the fog had been dense. He testified that he had suffered more with chilliness in that damp atmosphere of moderate cold than in the more severe climate of America.  

     Ever a student, Elder Andrews described his visit to the Strasbourg cathedral in an article in the Review. He described the clock on that wonderful cathedral thus: "At noon the figure of death walks out in front of the dial and strikes the hour. Then a door opens and the twelve apostles in a stately procession with Peter at the head and John next, walk out and pass in front of Christ. Each apostle in passing the Savior turns and bows to Him in a reverent manner, and the Savior lifts His hands as in the act of blessing them. But what made a deeper impression upon my mind than anything of this was the solemn reminder of Peter's denial of Christ. At the left hand of the clock and somewhat higher than the place of the apostles is perched a cock. The appearance of Peter is the signal for this cock to flap his wings, lift his head, and curve his neck, and crow with a loud, shrill voice; all of which was a very perfect imitation of nature. This was done three times while the procession of the apostles walked slowly in front of Christ. There was a large crowd of the people of Strasbourg to witness this sight, which shows that though of everyday occurrence, it does not lose its interest to them." 

     The work of publishing a paper was conducted with the greatest difficulty. In 1876 our subject wrote:  

     "I do riot know that there are more than half a dozen printing presses in this city that are large enough to print our paper. Of these I have had to try four. Our third number is the poorest specimen of printing that we have had. Yet on no number have I bestowed so great pains. I stood over the power press all day and had to stop it at least fifty times. Now we are able to print in the same office where our type is set, and this will save much trouble to us. I do not like to write of such matters, but I know that our friends wish to know what we are doing."  

     In July, 1880, the Review stated that Mr. Andrews was reported quite feeble and it was feared that consumption would soon terminate his important labors. The situation was so critical that July 24, 1880, was appointed as a day of prayer for his recovery. Following this Mr. Andrews felt better and expressed the conviction that God would restore his health, although he was feeble and his cough was bad at times. He was invited to go to America, but declined, for he felt the trip would prove fatal. That autumn he spent a number of weeks in England in company with Mr. Loughborough. The best physicians in England prescribed that he get away from the fogs of the British Isles, and he returned to Switzerland. 

     Mr. Andrews saw so much to be done and the work opening up so rapidly in Europe that he longed to live that he might work for a while longer in God's vineyard. In March, 1881, he wrote: 

     "I regret that I cannot speak more favorably with respect to my health. I am struggling with that deadly malady, consumption, and my situation is quite serious. The difficulty is now confined to my lungs. Other things which in the case of consumptive persons are generally unfavorable are in my case all favorable. But the grasp of death is upon my lungs, and unless this can be unloosed, my lungs must be consumed. This lung difficulty renders me so feeble that I am obliged to keep my bed, and I do all my writing by dictation; but many days I can write only three or four sentences a day, and some days I cannot even write a word. The article which I lately sent to the Review ... required, because of my feebleness, the labor of ten days."  

     The brethren in America were not forgetful of their fellow worker in God's cause, and they showed their love by sending him provisions such as dried fruit and other edibles which added greatly to his comfort. Feeling that Brother Andrews should have encouragement and fellowship in his hour of tribulation as death faced him, the president of the General Conference urged J. N. Loughborough to go to Switzerland and bring cheer to his old colaborer. Upon Mr. Loughborough's arrival it was decided to appoint a day of fasting and prayer for Mr. Andrews. Shortly afterward, word came from the General Conference that the brethren in America had already appointed such a day to be observed by the believers over the whole world. At three o'clock on that day Mr. Loughborough anointed his fellow worker with oil, and petitions were offered by the various brethren as they stood about the bed of their beloved leader. Prayers were offered in French and English and some in both languages. He felt better following this effort on his behalf, had a better appetite, and the next day took quite a walk in the open air. 

     In the latter part of the year 1882 the General Conference sent S. N. Haskell to visit Mr. Andrews, to help him with his work and to encourage him. On seeing the need of larger quarters for the growing work and the increasing institutional family, Mr. Haskell rented a new building twice the size of the place then occupied, and since his sick colaborer would have shrunk from the task of moving, he tactfully had the task performed while the two friends were absent on a pleasant trip together. 

     One year later, in February, 1883, Mr. Andrews wrote:  

     "Our missionary work in Central Europe was never so interesting as at the present time. We bestow much labor and care upon the preparation of our journal.... I have still to contend with serious difficulty in my lungs, and I am conscious that I may be suddenly taken away. I have been able to work during the past three years by what seems to me a constant miracle. Every month, whatever may be my condition of feebleness, the Spirit of God comes upon me, and enables me to perform much work on Les Signes des Temps. . . . The shadow of death has rested heavily upon me this winter, but it has seemed to me, for several weeks past, that God has been turning the shadow of death into morning." 

     He continued to write and read proof in bed in spite of every one's entreaties that he spare his strength. A few quotations from Jean Vuilleumier's diary tell the story of the last half year of Elder Andrews' life: 

     "APRIL 25. He [Elder Andrews] was saying to us the other day, 'You see me now in my natural condition. I have no strength left. If God did not raise me up from month to month as you would raise a man lying on his back, I could not do anything. When I have written my articles, I am left prostrated as you see me. Then I cry to God, who sends His angel to strengthen me until my articles are written. But I do not know whether He will do this any longer. Doctor Kellogg tells me that from a human standpoint, I have nothing but death to expect. As far as I am, personally concerned, the future never seemed darker.'" 

     The next entry showed the heroic efforts of the man who wanted so badly to live in order to carry on his beloved work: 

     "MAY 6. During the past week, Elder Andrews has written only a page, and that with great difficulty. Each day, though extremely weak, he has asked for his paper and ink, and has tried to write. At night he had written only a few lines. But he does not want to give up. Every morning he dresses and comes into the dining room, his German Bible under his arm. His tall, slender form drops on a chair. But he scarcely cats anything. 'If I could only eat,' he says, 'I think. I could write, but it won't go down.' Then he will lean his forehead on the table, and sometimes tears will flow down his hollow cheeks. 

     "Last night I went in to see him. He was lying down. His eyes were moist. He began to speak about his work, and added: 'If God does not give me strength to write for this number, I shall take it as a sign I must die. The reason why I would be sorry to die now is that I have in those boxes a large quantity of manuscripts which I would like to finish. I would like for instance-[Here follows a long list of articles he wanted to write.] If I die, all this will be lost, for those who shall come after me will not know of their existence. But it may be better for me to lie down, and I must pray God continually to help me to be resigned to His holy will!'" 

     At the time of Dr. J. H. Kellogg's visit in the spring of 1883 on his way back to America from Vienna, where he had been doing postgraduate study, he could do nothing for the sick man. The doctor was so struck with the intensity of Mr. Andrews' interest in his work. However, and the broad plans he was laying, that he wrote a pathetic appeal to America urging that everything in the power of the General Conference should be done to save the life of this man of God. 

     In response to this appeal the General Conference sent a number of workers to aid the dying missionary. Mr. Andrews' aged mother and B. L. Whitney, a special friend of his, were thus sent to be with the solitary and worn-out worker. Nothing more could have been done by way of earthly comfort in his trying hour. Mr. Whitney reported that when they arrived, the last of July, the patient was wasted almost to a skeleton, was able to take only a few steps with great effort, and could sit up only a little while during the day. Yet though the prospect of death was very near, he clung to his work and to life for the sake of his work. 

     Upon the arrival of his mother he seemed to revive, and spent largely of his strength to instill into the company of newcomers his own enthusiasm for his work. Many prayers for his restoration ascended, and at first he seemed to be getting better, but soon the reaction set in. His strength gradually failed until his pen refused to respond. From one week to another, publication was delayed in the hope that he might be able to write for the August number of his beloved paper. 

     In this number he welcomed the arrival of Mr. Whitney, his successor, and added: "This number of Les Signes has been delayed by reason of the grave illness of the editor, who has been suffering seriously with lung disease for the last four years. It seems now certain that he will soon be obliged to leave the entire management of Les Signes des Temps to other hands."  

     The humility and consecration of this man of God is seen in this extract from a letter written on his fifty-fourth birthday, July 22, 1883: 

     "Today I enter my fifty-fifth year. My life seems wholly filled with faults. I pray that I may be thoroughly cleansed in the blood of Christ." 

     Face to face with the last great enemy of mankind, the sick man now entered a terrible mental struggle followed by one of physical pain. He found comfort during this time by proclaiming aloud the sufficiency of the Christian religion. Relief came, and with it perfect peace and entire submission. All anxiety about his work and all sorrow over his unfinished task disappeared. He said he felt as if lie were being carried down a deep and surging stream while his feet rested on a solid rock beneath. "The storms have abated;" he said, "I am nearing land. God is good, God is infinitely good, infinitely good, infinitely good." 

     Jean Vuilleumier's diary pictures the heroic struggle of those last few weeks of Mr. Andrews' life: 

     "SEPTEMBER 5. Elder Andrews keeps failing. He speaks about his funeral. He has a great desire to labor on, but if God has otherwise decided, he wishes to die at an early date, 'if I can be ready.'  

     "SEPTEMBER 7. A marked change is noticeable in Elder Andrews. His present state shows the power of the grace of God.... He has laid all his burdens on the Lord. All the cares and anxieties of the mission, which were resting upon him, he has entrusted to Elder Whitney's hands. He is calm and quiet. He feels the burden no more. Today . . . lie touchingly said, 'I have reached a point which I compare with a vessel nearing port. It is no longer in mid ocean, open to the fury of the storms. The cliffs of the shore keep off the winds, the sea has become quiet, the waves vanish, the calm appears.'"  

     Thus day by day he grew weaker until on the morning of the twenty-first of October he said that he wished he might die that day. The leading brethren were called in for the last time to pray for the recovery of their fellow worker. Late that afternoon these workers gathered around the bedside to petition God in behalf of the sick man who lay motionless, only whispering now and then to his mother, who stood by the side of her dying boy. When the brethren arose from their knees, "the sun was setting in the cloudless west, its golden rays filling the room, while the aged lady was quietly fanning the face of her dying son. It was a scene of solemn stillness. Heaven seemed near. Presently Albert Vuilleumier, who was standing at the foot of the bed, took out his eyeglasses, and, looking intently at the tranquil face, exclaimed, 'Why, he is dead!' So he was. He had passed away so peacefully that not one among the bystanders had noticed it."  

     During the last two weeks of his life he had completed his business arrangements, and only about three hours before his death he took satisfaction in assigning to the mission $500 of his estate which had not previously been arranged. He died October 21, 1883, and was buried near the work he loved so much at Basel. 

     The same spirit of self-abnegation which actuated him during his whole life is seen in his anticipation of death, when, months before his decease. he solemnly charged the Review that no words of eulogy appear in the paper. 

     The last years of his life had been peculiarly burdened with sorrow and with the struggle for life itself. The death of his father, his only brother, his wife, and his only daughter brought sorrow to his life. His mother, who went to Europe with Mr. Whitney, was a comfort to her son in his dying hour. He left one son, Charles Andrews, who labored for years in the Review and Herald plant. His son, Dr. J. N. Andrews, in turn, was the first missionary to the Tibetans, serving in that isolated field a decade and a half.

1938 END, FOME 333