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    DEFENSE OF SISTER WHITE

    In connection with the labors of her husband, Sr. White has done very efficient service to the cause of truth. None have devoted themselves more unreservedly to the work, nor better exemplified the true spirit of the gospel in their lives, than she. And, as might be expected from the words of the Saviour and his apostles, none have been more wantonly assailed by the tongue of slander. See John 15:18-21; 16:1-3; 17:14; Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12; etc. Satan well knows that their reputation is the capital of the servants of God. They may be devoted to their work, and have education and ability; but all these are at once rendered nugatory, so far as their work is concerned, if their reputation is blasted. While this is true of all who labor in the gospel, it is especially so if the laborer is a female. False ideas in society make crimes committed by women more criminal than if committed by men; therefore, they are doubly guilty who take advantage of this circumstance to injure the reputation of an innocent woman; and still more so if that woman is a laborer in the cause of God. He who numbers the hairs of the heads of his servants (Matthew 10:30; Luke 21:18), and who says to his people: “He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2:8), marks every idle word and every evil speech (Matthew 5:11, 12; 12:36); and he will reward it in the day of judgment. So far as it is a personal matter, we are content to refer all to the decisions of that day. But when these things hedge up the way of useful labor, and turn away the ears of the people from the truth by which they may be saved, we feel a responsibility in the matter, considering it a part of the work of vindicating that truth to vindicate those who proclaim it.DJWW 99.1

    Suffer us here to refer to the public labors of Sr. White. She has stood before congregations of hundreds and of thousands, in each of the New England States, in the Central States of the North, and in all the Western States, as far as Iowa and Minnesota; and many thousands can attest the power with which she has presented the claims of the word of God, and set forth the sufferings of our Saviour and the value and efficacy of his blood, and enforced the purity of the Christian life. Scoffers have been silenced, believers comforted, and ministers of the gospel confessed themselves instructed by her ministrations. And, as with her speaking, so with her writings. The most exalted consecration, the deepest piety, the purest morality, are uniformly taught in her writings, with such a fervency of spirit and strength and power of expression as can be found in the works of no other writer of the day. If, then, she were such a person as her enemies represent her to be — if her life were not in accordance with her teachings, that fact would prove her to be a hypocrite of no ordinary cast. Let us, then, turn from her public labors to her private life to inquire on this point.DJWW 100.1

    We will go to her home, and there behold her as a wife and mother, as a daily companion of those residing there, or of the many who are welcome visitors there. If she is such a deceiver as her enemies assert, they who behold her daily life, who are brought into constant contact with her influence as a wife, a mother, and the joint head of an extensive household, must have the best opportunities of judging and of detecting the deception. And not only her personal friends are there, but very frequently we find those at their table and their fireside who come as watchers, with their fears and jealousy all aroused, and who will be able to expose any wrong that may be found there. Let all these testify if they find evil in her daily walk. We have seen the fearful and the skeptical engage in conversation with Sr. White; and as she spoke of her own experience, of the self-denial and sufferings of Christ, of the dangers and perils of the last days, of the duties of Christian life and the purity of Christian character, the falling tear evinced that prejudice was giving way to conviction, and they have afterward confessed that she gave evidence of a depth of Christian experience and a maturity of judgment in spiritual things, such as they had never before known in any person. How many, in times of trial and danger, have received counsel that has prepared them to withstand the tempter’s wiles — how many, in trouble and deep distress of mind, have received consolation and encouragement from her words of sympathy and instruction, Heaven only knows. But with the facts in the case we are well acquainted. “We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen;” and if “ye receive not our testimony,” but choose instead that of those who do not know, and whose prejudices prevent their knowing that which all may know, you must answer for your choice to the Searcher of all hearts.DJWW 101.1

    “But,” say the objectors, “we have heard reports coming direct from those who have been acquainted with her from her childhood; and these reports come to us from ministers and other good men in whom we have the greatest confidence; therefore we cannot doubt them.”DJWW 101.2

    But, let us inquire, have you ever traced these reports to their origin — have you proved that those who spread these reports are “good men,” worthy of your confidence? Or, have you suffered yourselves to become parties to the circulation of evil reports, of the truthfulness or falsity of which you know nothing? This is a serious matter, not only affecting the reputation of a professed follower of Christ, but also your own standing before Him who has forbidden you to take up an evil report against your neighbor, and who has uttered a fearful threat against him who “loveth,” as well as him who “maketh a lie.”DJWW 102.1

    We have endeavored to trace these reports to their source, and shall now give the result of our labor. Many are aware that a public call has been made for evidence on this subject from any who knew of any evil or immorality on the part of Sr. White. No one has responded to the call. But we have not rested content with this; we have taken all possible pains to ascertain if any of these reports were true. In this you must confess that we have acted honorably, and as those who are willing to come to the light — as those who have no desire to fellowship or screen iniquity. But this is not the case with the slanderers of Sr. White. They have not come forward like men who have confidence in the correctness of their own course, to make good their strong assertions; nor have they manifested the Christian principle to acknowledge their errors, nor yet even to cease from their secret works of darkness. The Lord judge between them and us.DJWW 102.2

    While we examine these reports, or inquire into their origin, we would call your attention to two points: (1) They are of such a nature that they could be easily proved, if they were true. (2) They are so vile and slanderous that, if not true, they betray the deepest depravity on the part of the originators. And to these we might add that they who have a disposition to circulate such base slanders, are not of a class to hesitate to fasten them on the accused if they only had any ground to work upon. And if we cannot, by calling or searching, find any proof of these reports, we shall safely conclude that they who have originated and they who circulate them are possessed of a spirit of malice and falsehood, such as we hope we may never find again with any class of professors of religion.DJWW 102.3

    When Eld. Cornell lectured at Addison, Vt., in the summer of 1869, he found that a report had been put in circulation by the wife of Rev. P. B. Morgan, that Sr. White, before her marriage, was the mother of two children, one of whom she named Jesus. The use made of this vile slander makes it necessary to publicly notice it. In the Advent Review for Dec. 7, 1869, appeared the following call:DJWW 103.1

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