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The Ellen G. White Writings

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    Descriptions of the Future State and Events

    Some of Ellen White’s earliest visions deal with the future state and future events. Subsequently some of her visions dealt with the same themes. In these visions Ellen White seemed to be transported, and she viewed the rewards and activities of the redeemed. As she writes of her first vision she describes a path on which the Advent people were traveling to the Holy City, with a bright light behind the travelers to keep them from stumbling. Then follows a description of the second advent of Christ; the ascension to the New Jerusalem with its sea of glass, the river of life, the tree of life by its banks; and crowns and harps given to the redeemed. Whereas, in the city she speaks of meeting Brethren Fitch and Stockman under a tree and of conversing with them of the events that had occurred since they were called to rest in the grave just before the disappointment of 1844.EGWW 147.4

    In this presentation there is intermingled the symbolic and the real. The pathway and the bright light were symbolic; were the crowns and harps real? Brethren Stockman and Fitch were real. Was the tree real, under which Ellen White, carried forward in vision, was conversing with them? She writes of the sea of glass and the river of life. Were these real or symbolic, or was one real and the other symbolic?EGWW 148.1

    Milton S. Terry, in his Biblical Hermeneutics, comes to our relief:EGWW 148.2

    It is an old and oft-repeated hermeneutical principle that words should be understood in their literal sense unless such literal interpretation involves a contradiction or absurdity.—Biblical Hermeneutics, ch. 10, p. 247.EGWW 148.3

    This position taken toward the Bible and her writings seems well sustained by several E. G. White allusions and statements that will be presented shortly.EGWW 148.4

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