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The Ellen G. White Writings

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    The General Counsels

    The fields of her discourse and writing were broad and diverse.EGWW 142.2

    There were the messages of admonition, correction, and encouragement. These often opened with such expressions as:EGWW 142.3

    In the view given me in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown that the subject of taking usury should be considered by Sabbathkeepers.—Testimonies for the Church 1:534.EGWW 142.4

    November 5, 1862, I was shown the condition of Brother Hull. He was in an alarming state.—Testimonies for the Church 1:426.EGWW 142.5

    June 5, 1863, I was shown that Satan is ever at work to dishearten and lead astray ministers whom God has chosen to preach the truth. The most effectual way in which he can work is through home influences, through unconsecrated companions.—Testimonies for the Church 1:449.EGWW 142.6

    I was shown that Sabbathkeepers as a people labor too hard without allowing themselves change or periods of rest.—Testimonies for the Church 1:514.EGWW 142.7

    In the vision given me in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown that our Sabbathkeeping people have been negligent in acting upon the light which God has given in regard to health reform.—Testimonies for the Church 1:485.EGWW 142.8

    “To Our Brethren in Positions of Responsibility” she wrote:EGWW 142.9

    God has given me a message for the men who are carrying responsibilities in Washington and other centers of the work. This is a time when the work of God should be conducted with the greatest wisdom, unselfishness, and the strictest integrity by every conference.—Letter 32, 1908.EGWW 142.10

    To Brother George W. Reaser she wrote:EGWW 142.11

    I am instructed to say to you.—Letter 34, 1908.EGWW 143.1

    To Elder J. S. Washburn she wrote:EGWW 143.2

    Dear Brother: Some time ago I had light that you should become acquainted with the work that is being done by the large educational institutions for the colored people in Nashville.—Letter 48a, 1908.EGWW 143.3

    Messages of this character constitute a large part of the Testimonies for the Church and testimony letters in the E. G. White manuscript files. The message is straightforward; the words were carefully chosen to convey the messages to those concerned. No special interpretation was needed. The hermeneutical principle here involved was that she gave the message of God to those concerned in the language they could understand.EGWW 143.4

    Concerning such communications she declared:EGWW 143.5

    You might say that this communication was only a letter. Yes, it was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God, to bring before your minds things that had been shown me. In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me.—Testimonies for the Church 5:67.EGWW 143.6

    I shall write just as God bids me write. What I have written, I have written. Every word is truth. I am to give to the people of God the warnings given me.—Letter 95, 1905.EGWW 143.7

    But she was ever aware of the problem of how to write so as to be understood. She was also aware that some would misconstrue her words in spite of every effort to avoid misunderstanding. Thus she wrote:EGWW 143.8

    There are many who interpret that which I write in the light of their own preconceived opinions. You know what this means. A division in understanding, and diverse opinions, is the sure result. How to write in a way to be understood by those to whom I address important matter, is a problem I cannot solve....EGWW 143.9

    Owing to the influence of mind upon mind, those who misunderstand can lead others to misunderstand, by the interpretation they place upon the subjects from my pen. One understands them as he thinks they should be, in accordance with his ideas. Another puts his construction upon the written matter, and confusion is the sure result.—Letter 96, 1899.EGWW 143.10

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