Larger font
Smaller font

Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Ellen White's Continued Ministry as God's Messenger

    Through all of this Ellen White continued her ministry, writing incessantly, and preaching on weekends. She could not allow the many interruptions to deter her in her writing. Insofar as they could arrange it, others assisted in caring for the home and cooking the meals, but many times this burden fell on her, in addition to writing. The story of one such day is told in her diary for Tuesday, January 28:2BIO 225.4

    Brother Corliss helped me prepare breakfast. Everything we touched was frozen. All things in our cellar were frozen. We prepared frozen turnips and potatoes. After prayer, Brother Corliss went into the woods near Thomas Wilson's to get wood. James, accompanied by Brother Andrews, went to Orleans, expecting to return to dinner.2BIO 225.5

    I baked eight pans of gems, swept rooms, washed dishes, helped Willie put snow in boiler, which requires many tubsful. We have no well water or cistern. Arranged my clothes press [closet]. Felt weary; rested a few minutes. Got dinner for Willie and me. Just as we got through, my husband and Brother Andrews drove up. Had had no dinner. I started cooking again. Soon got them something to eat. Nearly all day has thus been spent—not a line written. I feel sad about this. Am exceedingly weary. My head is tired.—Manuscript 12, 1868.2BIO 225.6

    But most days she was able to do some writing, and some days, a great deal. The comprehensive vision given to her in Rochester in 1865 had set before her the lives and experience of scores of individuals and families. She did not remember at any one time all that, or who, had been shown her. But as she visited churches on the eastern tour in late 1867, and then in northern Michigan in the early months of 1868, and looked into the faces of those she met, their cases flashed clearly on her mind and were the basis for the messages she bore orally or in writing. Thus it was when she was at Bushnell in July, 1867, mentioned in chapter 13. She had written of this phenomenon earlier in her statement published in 1860:2BIO 226.1

    After I come out of vision I do not at once remember all that I have seen, and the matter is not so clear before me until I write, then the scene rises before me as was presented in vision, and I can write with freedom.2BIO 226.2

    Sometimes the things which I have seen are hid from me after I come out of vision, and I cannot call them to mind until I am brought before a company where the vision applies, then the things which I have seen come to my mind with force. I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing a vision, as in having the vision. It is impossible for me to call up things which have been shown me unless the Lord brings them before me at the time that He is pleased to have me relate or write them.—Spiritual Gifts, 2:292, 293.2BIO 226.3

    Frequently, after Ellen had presented orally to individuals what had been shown to her, the ones addressed would request her to write out for them what she had been shown. They wished to be able to refer to it as they attempted to bring their lives into line with God's will. James White wrote of this a few weeks after their return to Greenville from the eastern tour.2BIO 226.4

    We wished to say to those friends who have requested Mrs. White to write out personal testimonies, that in this branch of her labor she has about two months’ work on hand.—The Review and Herald, March 3, 1868.2BIO 226.5

    He added:2BIO 227.1

    On our eastern tour she improved all her spare time in writing such testimonies. She even wrote many of them in meeting while others were preaching and speaking.—Ibid.

    Now that they were back at their Greenville home, she kept very close to this writing. Her husband gave some interesting insights:2BIO 227.2

    Since her return she has injured her health and strength in confining herself too closely to this work. She usually writes from twenty to forty pages each day. And yet she has two months’ work of this kind before her. Our postage bill is about $2.00 per week. Postage stamps are current [can be used] in Greenville, and we never feel hard when those who receive testimonies send a quantity.2BIO 227.3

    As Mrs. White wishes to retain a copy of these testimonies, she has in many cases had the double task of making two copies. But for the future this double labor must be avoided, by the return of her first copy after those who receive it have taken one, or by employing some one or ones to make a second copy before the first one is sent off.—Ibid.2BIO 227.4

    Mrs. Strong gave her some help in copying testimonies in Greenville, and J. N. Andrews and employees at the Review office also assisted. Concerning the Christmas Day vision in 1865, at Rochester, James White declared that she had written “several thousands of pages” based upon it (Ibid., June 16, 1868). As she and her husband were able to get into the field in 1867 and in early 1868, she met many for whom light had been given her in that vision. This was so in connection with the three-week-long trip they made in February, 1868, with Andrews, visiting communities as far east of Greenville as Tuscola (Ibid., March 10, 1868) and Tittabawassee (Ibid., February 18, 1868).2BIO 227.5

    This was largely new territory for the proclamation of the third angel's message. Our people are all “young in the truth,” wrote Ellen White of them, “but wholehearted, noble, enterprising, interested to hear” (Letter 4, 1868). They had much to gain in experience and much to learn. Her diary written on this trip contains numerous references to writing personal testimonies and to delivering such orally in personal contacts and in some of the meetings held. The entry reporting Sabbath, February 29, activities yields a typical picture.2BIO 227.6

    Attended meeting at Tuscola. My husband spoke in the morning. Only in the Lord should believers marry. In the afternoon, I spoke upon the tongue being an unruly member. I spoke two hours, then stepped into Brother Palmer's. Ate a graham biscuit and a couple of apples and hastened back to the meeting. [Knowing she was to speak in the afternoon, she had skipped dinner, choosing not to eat before an important speaking engagement.] A conference meeting was in session.2BIO 228.1

    I arose and spoke one hour to individuals. I had testimony for reproving individual wrongs. We had an interesting, exciting time. Brother Fisher was encouraged and comforted. He had been passing through a terrible struggle, giving up tobacco, intoxicating drinks, and hurtful indulgences. He was very poor and high, proud spirited. He had made a great effort to overcome.... Some felt exceedingly bad because I brought out these cases before others. I was sorry to see this spirit.—Manuscript 13, 1868.2BIO 228.2

    She wrote more in detail in a letter to Edson, noting that she spoke to several, relating testimony I had for them. Spoke one hour, comforting some, reproving others, but the testimony was more especially to impress upon those particularly in fault through the sin of hasty speaking, jesting, joking, and laughing. All this was wrong and detrimental to their growth in grace.2BIO 228.3

    Some felt exceedingly tried, especially Sister Doude. She came to see me in the morning, accompanied by her husband. She was crying and said to me, “You have killed me, you have killed me clean off. You have killed me.” Said I, “That is just what I hoped the message I bore would do.”2BIO 228.4

    I found their greatest difficulty was that the testimony was given before others and that if I had sent it to them alone, it would have been received all right. Pride was hurt, pride was wounded terribly. We talked a while, and they both cooled down wonderfully and said they felt differently.2BIO 228.5

    Brother Doude accused me of violating Scripture by not telling the fault between them and me alone. We told him this scripture did not touch the case. There was no trespass here against me. That the case before us was one of them that had been mentioned by the apostles, those who sin, reprove before all that others may fear.—Letter 6, 1868.2BIO 229.1

    “We did not lighten the burden,” she noted in her diary, “for all this development only showed how much she needed the reproof.”—Manuscript 13, 1868.2BIO 229.2

    The Testimony pamphlets that every few months came from the press put into permanent form the counsel and instruction of a practical nature that would benefit the church. Such was the case with Number 14, advertised in the Review and Herald of April 7 (Testimonies for the Church, 1:630-712). Number 15 followed in less than two months. In the meantime the General Conference session was held in Battle Creek, beginning May 12.2BIO 229.3

    Larger font
    Smaller font