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The Visions of Mrs. E.G. White

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    OBJECTION 4. — THE SHUT DOOR

    We now come to the teachings of the visions themselves. And it is proper here to remark that very much is reported purporting to be the testimony of the visions, for which they are not at all responsible. As a story in circulation never loses anything it its passage from one to another, but frequently comes out a very different thing from what it was when it started, so sentences spoken in vision, passing from one to another without being committed to writing, have not always been accurately reproduced by memories to which they have been entrusted, and so have come to assume a very different complexion from that which they at first wore. Our only proper course here, therefore, is to confine ourselves to what has been published under sister White’s own supervision, and by her authority, and what appears in manuscript over her own signature in her own handwriting.VEGW 20.1

    With these remarks we come to the question of the shut door, over which there has perhaps been a greater ado than over any other doctrine which the visions are supposed to teach. What, then, is meant by the shut door? Opponents of the visions say that it means the close of probation, and the end of salvation for sinners. The visions do not so teach. This is a definition of their own; and the amusement they find in attacking it is wholly gratuitous. Reduced to a syllogism, their objection stands thus: 1. The visions teach that the door of mercy was shut in 1844, and that there has been no salvation for sinners, and hence no genuine conversions since that time. 2. But there have been multitudes of genuine conversions since then. 3. Therefore the visions are false. We answer, the visions say nothing about the door of mercy; and they teach that a door was opened, as well as one shut, in 1844, as we shall see when we come to look at their testimony. Those who endeavor to show that the visions teach as above, bring in first the testimony of men, some of whom may perhaps have entertained the strong view above presented. To this we have only to say that such testimony has nothing to do with the case in hand. Our inquiry is, not what men have believed, however strongly they may have believed the visions, but, what the visions themselves have taught. And if it could be shown that men have believed and taught the shut door in its extremest sense, so much the better for the visions, if it should finally appear that they have not so taught. It would thus be very evident that their testimony is not in the least influenced by the views of their friends.VEGW 20.2

    But before we come to their teaching, let us look for a moment at a few Bible facts on this subject. The expression, “shut door,” is derived from the parable of Matthew 25:1-13, in which Advent experience is illustrated by the incidents of an Eastern marriage. There is the going forth of the virgins to meet the bridegroom, the tarrying, the slumbering and sleeping, the cry at midnight, the rising of the virgins, the entering in to the marriage, of those that are ready, the shutting of the door, and the subsequent return of the foolish virgins, applying for admittance. Not to enter into an explanation of this parable, it must be evident to all, that, as applied to the history of the church under the proclamation of the advent, that point of time, and that event, corresponding to the shutting of the door in the parable, must be reached before the Saviour appears in the clouds of heaven to take his people to the marriage supper of the Lamb. For after the Lord has come, and taken his people to himself, and destroyed the wicked, no such thing can for a moment be supposed as the foolish virgins coming and seeking admittance. We must then have the shut door of the parable somewhere before the advent, and as that is all the shut door that is referred to by the visions, we now inquire, What event is illustrated by that portion of the parable? and what bearing has it upon the condition of the church and world? Our position, for which reasons can be given in full whenever occasion may require, is briefly this: Our Lord performs his ministry, as priest for the human race, in the sanctuary in Heaven. That work consists of two divisions: first, a ministration during the greater part of this dispensation in the first apartment of the sanctuary, or holy place, and second, a special work for a very short period in the second apartment, or most holy place. See works on the Sanctuary. During all his priestly work he is associated with his Father on the throne of universal dominion. Zechariah 6:12, 13; Ephesians 1:20-22; Revelation 3:21. At the close of his priestly work he delivers up this kingdom to God, and takes his own throne, “the throne of his father David,” and reigns over the kingdom of his saints, being himself subordinate only to God, the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. This reception of his own throne by the Saviour, is the marriage of the Lamb, it being received with the metropolis of his kingdom, the New Jerusalem, which is called “the mother of us all,” and the “bride the Lamb’s wife.” Galatians 4:26; Revelation 21:9, 10. This event, which constitutes the marriage, takes place at the close of his priestly work in the most holy place; Daniel 7:l3, l4; hence when he entered into that apartment to finish up his work as priest, it could be said of him that he had gone in to the marriage. When he goes in to the marriage, his saints are not personally with him; for they are not taken to Heaven till the time comes to participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb, which is, of course, subsequent to the marriage. Luke 12:35-37; Revelation 19:9. In the parable, it was when the bridegroom went in to the marriage that the door was shut. Christ changed his ministry from the holy to the most holy place, which was his going in to the marriage, at the close of the 2300 days, in the autumn of 1844. In what respect did this answer to the shutting of the door in the parable? In the typical sanctuary work of the former dispensation, when the high priest went into the most holy place on the day of atonement, the door of the holy place or first apartment was closed; and the door into the most holy, of course, opened. So in the sanctuary above. When the work in the most holy commenced, in 1844, the work in the outer apartment ceased. A new era, so to speak, was reached in the ministry of our Lord, involving a change in his relation to the world, nearly as great as that which took place when he entered upon his work in the first apartment of the heavenly temple. A great testing truth, proclaimed among men, signalized upon earth the time of this change in the work in Heaven. Thousands upon thousands rejected this truth, and decided their cases for everlasting destruction; but those who had not thus shut up for themselves the way to life sustained the same relation to God as before; they might still approach to him through Christ, only they must now seek their Lord where he was to be found, and come to God through him in his new position.VEGW 21.1

    We ask the especial attention of the reader to the principle involved in the argument at this point. It is this: A knowledge of Christ’s position and work is necessary to the enjoyment of the benefits of his mediation. We cannot come to Christ for pardon and salvation, unless we understand that he has made these provisions for us. Not to understand his position and work, is of course to be deprived of his presence. When he ascended and commenced his ministration before God in behalf of mankind, it was necessary that the world should be apprised of that fact. Why? Because here was the only way to life. There was none other name under heaven,given among men, whereby they could be saved. The door was shut by the way of types and animal offerings, and the door was opened by the way of a crucified Redeemer, then pleading in Heaven. But a general idea of his work was then sufficient to enable men to approach unto God by him. They might not understand the particulars of the sanctuary in Heaven, and just how he ministered as the antitype of the earthly priesthood; but the great fact was recognized that he was there before God, as an intercessor for us, and that was sufficient. But when he changed his position to the most holy place of the sanctuary, to perform the last division of his ministry as our great high priest, that knowledge of his work which had up to that point been sufficient, was no longer sufficient. The suppliant for the Lord’s grace must follow him in his change of position, and come to him where he now pleads, before the ark of God’s testament in the most holy place. When the apostles were sent forth to proclaim the great fact that Christ had passed into the Heavens, there to appear in the presence of God as an intercessor for us, that fact must be received and believed by the people, or they could have no interest in him. So when he changes his ministry, and the light upon it is sent forth, it is equally important that this additional fact be also recognized, that this truth be likewise received and acted upon. A knowledge of this change is further shown to be essential to the people, because the time during which he occupies this position is one of special solemnity, requiring special duties. Look at the type. When the high priest was in the most holy place, all Israel must know it, and must be gathered around the sanctuary, their minds being fixed upon his word, and they meanwhile afflicting their souls, that they might receive the benefits of the atonement, and not be cut off from the congregation of Israel. How much more necessary, in this great antitypical day of atonement, which is the living substance of which the former was but a shadow, that we understand the position and work of our great High Priest, and know the special duties required at our hand during this time. In the type, who were accepted on the day of atonement? Those who, in sympathy with their priest in his work of atonement, were afflicting their souls. Who can find salvation now? Those who go to the Saviour where he is, and view him by faith in the most holy place, finishing his ministry before the ark of the testament in Heaven. This is the door now open for salvation. But no man can understand this change without definite knowledge of the subject of the sanctuary, and the relation of type and antitype. Hence the insufficiency of former views upon this subject, and the need of the special message, the third of Revelation 14, which is based upon this special sanctuary work, and which is now being proclaimed in the ears of the people. Now they may reject this truth of the Saviour’s special work in Heaven, as the light and proclamation goes forth upon it, and seek the Saviour as they have before sought him, with no other ideas of his position and ministry than those which they entertained while he was in the first apartment; but will it avail them? They cannot find him there. That door is shut.VEGW 24.1

    But it may be inquired, What is the condition of those true Christians who have not yet become acquainted with this truth? Answer: The same as was that of Cornelius before Peter made known to him that remission of sins was to be had by believing in Jesus Christ. And should such be cut down by death before having an opportunity to learn the truth, they would of course be judged according to the light they had; for the third angel’s message is, like all other truth, progressive, and people cannot be tested by it till they become, or have an opportunity to become, acquainted with it. But they who make a deliberate and final rejection of the truth, bring upon themselves blindness of mind and hardness of heart, and shut up their only way to everlasting life. If this is not so, where is the importance of ever proclaiming a new truth, or the necessity of ever receiving it.VEGW 26.1

    There must be some place for the application of such scriptures as Hosea 5:6: “They shall go with their flocks and with their herds, to seek the Lord, but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them;” and at what time and to what people can this apply better than to the nominally Christian world, who, while having opportunity to learn the truth, have yet, since the Lord withdrew himself to the second apartment of the sanctuary in 1844, been seeking him where he is not to be found. There must be some importance attached to the message of the second angel, announcing that Babylon is fallen. That portion of the religious world so designated there met with a moral fall; and what can this mean but that God withdrew himself and his Spirit in a measure from them, because they rejected his truth, and refused to follow in its advancing light. He no longer acknowledges them, as a body, for his people. And on what ground shall we account for the rapid declension of piety and morality which is to take place in the last days, evil men and seducers waxing worse, except it be that the world has departed from God, and that his Spirit is being withdrawn from the earth?VEGW 27.1

    Now what are the representations of the visions in relation to this time? Do they teach a more exclusive shut door than Scripture facts and testimonies which we have presented? In their teachings we find such expressions as these: “I saw that Jesus finished his mediation in the holy place in 1844.” “He has gone into the most holy, where the faith of Israel now reaches.” “His Spirit and sympathy are now withdrawn from the world, and our sympathy should be with him.” “The wicked could not be benefited by our prayers now.” “The wicked world whom God had rejected.” “It seemed that the whole world was taken in the snare; that there could not be one left,” (referring to Spiritualism.) “The time for their salvation is past.”VEGW 27.2

    These few expressions are all, or at least are the very strongest, in relation to what is called the shut door, that are claimed to have been given through any vision, either published or unpublished. Let us now inquire into their import. Let it be remembered that the question is, Do they teach that probation ceased in 1844, and that consequently there could be no true conversions after that time.VEGW 28.1

    1. Christ’s mediation in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary ceased in 1844, and his mediation in the most holy commenced. This must be so, or our views of the sanctuary subject are all wrong; than which there is not a plainer doctrine in all the Bible. But probation does not cease with the cessation of Christ’s work in the holy place; for Christ is an advocate in the most holy place; as well as in the holy place; he pleads his blood in the second as well as in the first apartment of the sanctuary. See a conclusive argument on this point in Review, Vol.7, No.9. Pardon of sin may yet be found by those who will seek it upon the special conditions on which it is now based. This statement of the visions does not, therefore, assert the close of probation.VEGW 28.2

    2. Christ is now in the most holy place, where he makes a special atonement for Israel, and where the faith of Israel now reached. The objection based upon this statement we suppose to be something like this: That as Christ in the most holy place only atones for Israel, and the faith of those only who constitute Israel reaches there, his work can consequently have reference to none but those who were open Christians at the time when he entered therein. The originators of this objection, to make it good, should show that no person could join himself to Israel, and become a true member of that body while the atonement is being made. This they not only have not done, but cannot do. While, on the contrary, it is shown by the general principles laid down above, and especially by the article there referred to, that to assume such a relation is not impossible during that time. Thus another effort to show that the visions teach the absolute close of probation, is shown to be futile.VEGW 28.3

    3. The wicked world which God had rejected. It will be noticed that these expressions about the wicked are general. It is the wicked, the ungodly, the world, etc. They have reference to them as a whole, not as individuals. And they express simply the change of relation that took place between God and the world when the ministration of the sanctuary was changed from the holy to the most holy place. From the place where for 1800 years Christ had been found, he had now withdrawn. And when this change took place, was there any probability that the great mass, who had rejected light up to that point, would receive the advance truth, and seek God and the Saviour in this new relation? Not a particle. The light and truth moved on, and they were left behind. And if it is not to such circumstances as this that 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, has its application, then to what cases does it or can it ever apply? Yet it would be true of individual cases that they would seek the Lord and be saved. As exact parallel of this, we have the case of Babylon, mentioned in Revelation 14 and 18. It is said, especially in Revelation 18 that Babylon is fallen. This refers to people; for it is a fall into sin and corruption. Whenever this is fulfilled, Babylon as a whole has fallen, has become corrupt, and is guilty of outcrying sins reaching up to Heaven. Yet this is not true of every individual in her connection. For when it is true of Babylon as a whole, that she is fallen and sunk in sin, God’s people are still within her communion; and another voice is heard from Heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Verse 4.VEGW 29.1

    When Babylon falls, God’s Spirit and sympathy are of course withdrawn from them, as a whole; yet it lingers with his people who are in her midst, and they are called out. So when the general ministration for the whole world ceases, God’s Spirit and sympathy are withdrawn from them; but yet a final message of mercy, the third angel, is sent forth to give mankind a last warning, and gather out the few who may not be given over to hardness of heart, and may be willing to comply with the terms of the truth.VEGW 30.1

    We have another forcible illustration of this point, in the case of the Jewish people. There came a time, as every one must admit, when the Jews, as a nation, were rejected of God. Christ became to them a stone of stumbling. They rejected the truth, and God left them. But was every member of that nation given over of God? No. The way was still open for individuals to come to the Saviour and find mercy, and the apostles prayed and preached, and wrote, for their brethren, their kinsmen according to the flesh, that they might be saved. There was a shut door in Paul’s day, as well as in ours; not, of course, the shut door of the parable of the ten virgins, as that is given to illustrate the experience of the church in our day, not his. But there was a change of dispensation; and the old way of approaching to God which the Jews had had in the Levitical law, was closed up. They could no longer find even forgiveness in figure in that direction; and every individual of them must change his faith, and accept of the new truth then given, or he could not be saved. The first house of Israel, the Jews, stumbled at the doctrine of the first advent of the Saviour. The second house of Israel, Christians, have stumbled at the doctrine of the second advent, and have thus brought themselves into similar condemnation. This is the occasion of Babylon’s fall. And when the call is made, Come out of her my people, those who reject that message, though not now partakers of her sins, thereby become such, and receive of her plagues. So we look upon the world, the mass of them being hopeless rejectors of the truth, but yet a few honest hearts remaining, for whose benefit the proclamation of the truth goes forth. This is not a subject over which to cavil. It is a thought of the most fearful solemnity that the great decisive day is so near, the way of salvation so straight, and so few now remaining who can be made to see it.VEGW 30.2

    4. The whole world taken in the snare. This is spoken in relation to Spiritualism, as will be seen by the connection in which the expression occurs, on pp.5-10 of the Supplement to Experience and Views. That any one should bring this forward to show that the visions teach that the destiny of every individual is decided, is simply astonishing. In that view, the whole career of Spiritualism is taken in at a glance. Our minds are carried right forward to the time when Satan will have power to bring up before us the appearance of our dead friends; a period yet future. Then why does any one apply it to the present time? Because in no other way could it serve his purpose. But there is no ground for such a conclusion. A paragraph on page 7 shows most conclusively that it applies to the future. Speaking of the saints at the time when it seemed that there were none left who were not taken in the snare of Spiritualism, it says: “This little company looked careworn, as though they had passed through severe trial and conflicts. And it appeared as if the sun had just appeared from behind the cloud and shone upon their countenances, and caused them to look triumphant, as though their victories were nearly won.” This is a point not yet reached; and when we do reach it, we shall see Spiritualism bearing the sway here represented, in which it will seem that the whole world, with the exception of the little remnant church, are taken in its embrace. That Spiritualism is now fast taking the very position here assigned it, and drawing the whole world into its snare, is beginning to be evident; but no one dreamed of its ever assuming even its present proportions when that vision was given.VEGW 31.1

    The progressive work, and the almost universal sway which Spiritualism is finally to bear, is set forth in Revelation 16:13, 14, where it is represented as coming forth from the mouths of the dragon, beast, and false prophet, and going to the kings of the earth and the whole world. Before it can thus go forth, it must win its way to authority and power, a work which it is now fast accomplishing.VEGW 32.1

    5. The time for their salvation is past. This expression occurs in the following paragraph, found on page 27 of Experience and Views: “I saw that the mysterious signs and wonders and false reformations would increase and spread. The reformations that were shown me, were not reformation from error to truth. My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past.” Whose salvation? Mark well, the scene of the vision is one of the false revivals of these last days. There are two classes of persons involved therein; namely, sinners, or non-professors, and the revivalists. Now which of these classes constituted the leading subject of the view? If we can ascertain this we can tell which class is referred to in the declaration, “The time for their salvation is past.” The only reasonable construction that can be put upon the language, as well as the preceding testimony of the vision itself, shows as plainly as need be shown, that the false revivalists are the ones referred to, not sinners. See first paragraph of page 26: “I saw that Satan was working through agents in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers who have rejected the truth and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned.” These ministers are the ones referred to who are carrying on the false revivals brought to view. She was bade to look to see if there was on their part, the travail for souls as used to be. She could not see it. Why? Because they, the ministers, had rejected the truth, and had been given over to believe a lie; the time for their salvation was past; and they could not feel that deep and genuine concern for souls that would be felt by those who stood in the counsel of God, and through whom he was working to bring sinners to himself. This plainly shows that the false revivalists, and not sinners in general, are the subject of that declaration.VEGW 33.1

    Again, it makes the language inconsistent to apply it to sinners. For if it means that there is no travail of soul for sinners in these revivals, because there was no salvation for sinners, it follows inevitably that if there had been salvation for sinners, there would have been travail of soul for them, on the part of those who were carrying on these false revivals. But these persons were ministers who were given over to strong delusions for rejecting the truth; and there would be no reason at all in supposing that such ones would have real travail of soul for sinners, however much hope of salvation those sinners might have. It cannot therefore refer to sinners in general, but only to a particular class of rejected professors. Thus a little honest inquiry frees the subject from all difficulty.VEGW 34.1

    But it is still insisted that grammar will not allow of any other construction; that the pronoun their must refer to sinners. Then let us take an instance from the Bible. In 2 Samuel 24:1, we read: “And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go number Israel and Judah.” In 1 Chronicles 21:1, the very same circumstances is given in the following language: “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” Now says the infidel, here is a contradiction in the Bible; for it is plainly said here in Chronicles that Satan moved David to number Israel; but in Samuel it is said that the Lord did it; for the pronoun he refers to the Lord right before it. Well, so far as grammatical construction is concerned, it does refer to it, even more directly than the pronoun “their” refers to “sinners” in the quotation given from the visions. And with the same unreasonable and dogged pertinacity, our opponents are bound to insist that the pronoun he in 2 Samuel 24, refers to the Lord before it, that grammar won’t admit of any other construction, etc., which they manifest in relation to the language of the vision. This, we say, they must do, to be consistent. But in this case what are they doing? Openly taking their stand with the infidel and proving a contradiction in the Bible. This is the way infidels attack the Bible; and this is the way our opponents attack the visions. Their arguments rest on the same basis, and run exactly parallel to each other. But both are mistaken; for the context in both cases demands a different understanding from that which the evil-disposed insist is involved in the construction of the language. In 2 Samuel 24, we refer the pronoun “he” to an antecedent understood, namely, Satan, because the parallel passage in 1Chron. plainly requires this. So in the vision, we refer the pronoun “their” to the movers in these false revivals, because the whole intent and scope of the language which precedes it, requires this understanding of the passage. And let our opponents say no more about grammar, unless they are prepared to go with the infidel on 2 Samuel 24:1.VEGW 34.2

    We may further add that this vision was fully explained in the Supplement to Experience and Views, p.4. where it is stated that the expression, “The time for their salvation is past,” has reference to those who were carrying on the false revivals, who were given over to strong delusion, and who consequently did not have travail of soul for sinners as formerly. And besides all this, this whole subject was explained in Review, Vol.19, No.8.VEGW 36.1

    Of all these things, those who have risen up in fierce array against the visions, were not, and are not, ignorant. Yet with a blindness that in unaccountable, or a degree of dishonesty that is unpardonable, they make the unqualified assertion that the visions here teach that since 1844, there has been no salvation for sinners! They here teach no such thing, and those who assert it will be subjects of the pity or censure of the unprejudiced reader, accordingly as their course is to be attributed to a lack of mental ability to understand the language, or a detestable disposition which would willfully pervert it. 1This language will not seem any too severe, when it is stated that at the Marion (Iowa) meeting, in the summer of 1865, as we are informed upon the best authority, this whole subject was explained to Messrs. Snook and Brinkerhoff, and they admitted that their objections were removed, and professed themselves entirely satisfied.VEGW 36.2

    That what this vision represents is true of a class of individuals, we have no doubt. We believe there are thousands upon thousands throughout the land, whose day of grace is closed, and for whom there remains only a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. Unless some such change as this did take place in 1844, our application of the second message of Revelation 14, is entirely wrong. And that there was some sudden decline in the moral condition of the masses, would seem to be equally proved by the fact that in less than a score of years from that time, Spiritualism, openly scouting the Bible and blaspheming God, had made its millions of converts to a system composed of the silliest trash, and reeking with the most disgusting licentiousness, that has ever disgraced our fallen humanity.VEGW 36.3

    We have seen that what is said in the visions of the apostate and rejected state of the world, is expressed in general terms, referring to it as a whole, and not to individual cases. But during the same time that these expressions apply to the world, the visions do speak of individual cases; and in these instances they show conclusively that probation has not absolutely ceased. See, for instance, Experience and Views, p. 19: “Then I saw that Jesus would not leave the most holy place until every case was decided for salvation or destruction.” Apply this to whatever class we will, it shows that the time during which Christ is in the most holy place, is a time of decision of character; and that consequently all characters were not decided when he entered therein. And, should any one say that that referred only to those who were Christians at the time when he entered into that apartment, then it would at once appear that the cases even of such were not finally decided, or, in other words, that there was danger of their falling away. But so long as saints can fall away, sinners can be converted; for, when probation ceases, and the cases of all are decided, and there can be no more conversions among sinners, then there can be no more apostasies among saints. When it is said, Let him that is filthy, be filthy still, it is also said, Let him that is holy, be holy still.VEGW 37.1

    Again, on pp. 24 and 25, of Experience and Views, we have a vision of the open and shut door. This plainly sets forth the fact, that when the door closed, the door into the most holy place was opened, and since that time, the commandments have been shining out to God’s people, and they are being tested on the Sabbath question. Now compare this with the claim that all cases were decided when Christ entered the most holy place in 1844. Since then the Sabbath has been a test to God’s people. What is the object of a test? How can you test a person whose case is already decided? Testing a man whose character is fixed, and who is consequently beyond the necessity or reach of tests! This is as bad as the conscious-state-of-the-dead theory, which has millions of the saints in Heaven for long ages before the Judgment takes place to decide whether they are worthy of that place or not! A point so plain as this could not have been overlooked by any one who had examined the visions with any care and attention. This shows that their opponents have never candidly studied them to learn what they did teach; but in their eagerness to break down their testimony, they have been ready to rank themselves among the unenviable characters whom Jude describes, and speak evil of the things which they know not.VEGW 38.1

    So far therefore as individual cases are concerned, the visions do positively teach that there are some, how many we of course know not, whose probation has not yet ceased, but who are yet to be converted to God, or sealed to destruction. It is for us, therefore, to herald abroad to the fullest extent we are able, the final note of mercy and warning, praying God in his providence to guide the good seed of truth to the few honest hearts that remain, wherever they are, that the remnants may be brought out who will be prepared to meet the King of kings at his appearing and kingdom. But for the world, the wicked in general, we cannot pray. Our prayers could neither reach nor benefit them. Their hearts are hopelessly closed against the reception of truth, by which alone people can be sanctified and saved. And though we should pray for them till the Saviour appeared, their adamantine casing of prejudice would not be broken, nor their ears open to the slightest word of truth, nor their hearts weaned from the gross idols of pleasure and sin upon which they are set.VEGW 38.2

    We have now examined all the expressions which are brought forward to show that the visions teach the close of probation in 1844, with the exception of one which we shall examine in connection with objection eight. We have shown that they teach no such doctrine as our opponents accuse them of teaching.VEGW 39.1

    And right here we wish to nail to the wall, a falsehood which is very glibly circulated about us in reference to the subject under consideration. And we may as well advertise the reader now, as at any future time, that this is a commodity in which our opponents deal to a greater or less extent according to their degree of hatred against the visions. The more intensely they hate them, the more deliberately and unscrupulously they will misrepresent them and their advocates. The particular statement we take occasion here to deny is the following: “Ellen’s visions once taught the shut-door theory. If they are right now, were they not correct then? But she and her party now discard the very theory that was once taught in her visions. This is a fact.” If the reverend (?) gentleman who penned this paragraph, had made his last sentence read, This is a lie, instead of This is a fact, he would have uttered the exact truth, instead of a lie. We deny the whole statement. We discard nothing that the visions have ever taught from beginning to end, from first to last. Whenever we give up any, we shall give up all; so let this point be once for all distinctly understood.VEGW 39.2

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