While preparing for the installation of the J.N. Andrews sculpture in April 1998, Paul Hamel, professor emeritus, did some research regarding the historic journey of J.N. Andrews and his children to Switzerland. He retrieved a letter from J.N. Andrews, written on September 15, printed in the Advent Review and Herald of the Sabbath, September 22, 1874, which, in part, says, "Within a few hours, if Providence permit, myself and children and Prof. Vuilleumier will embark from this port (Boston) on the Cunard steamship Atlas, for Liverpool... And now, as we set forth, we commit ourselves to the merciful protection of God, and we especially ask the prayers of the people of God that his (sic) blessing may attend us in this sacred work. I hope to meet Eld. W.M. Jones in London, and perhaps to meet a few other Sabbath-keepers in some other parts of England. We shall then make our way directly to Switzerland. My address will be till further notice Neuchatel, Switzerland."
The words in bold/italic are so timeless and moving, the Alumni Association proposed that we use those words as a benediction at the sculpture unveiling and at each commencement service, and other Andrews University occasions, instituting this blessing as a tradition for Andrews University.
The benediction has been used effectively as a stand-alone prayer, or included as part of someone’s prayer. Most often the congregation is invited to repeat the words together with the person delivering the benediction.