LavenderBlush background color = additions by the White Publications Trustees or me.AliceBlue background color = additions by Joseph Bates or James White.
ALL superscripts for text references were added by these two men, but i didn't indicate that by changing the background color. I'm not positive that ALL the Bible quotes were added by these two men but i marked them so. If anyone knows, please email me.
This page has all 4 of Ellen White's correspondences found in A Word to the "Little Flock".
1. Letter from Mrs. White to Eli Curtis
2. To The Remnant Scattered Abroad. (The main "Little Flock" vision)
3. Letter to Joseph Bates
4. Mrs. White's Explanation (remarks regarding apparent 'discrepancies' written in 1883)
Topsham, April 21, 1847.
Dear Bro: In the Day-Dawn, Vol. 1, Numbers 10 and 11, you kindly invite me to address you a communication.
The only apology I have to offer for not writing before is, I have not had a clear duty to write till now. You will, I doubt not, excuse me for addressing you so publicly, at this time. I have been much interested in your writings in the Dawn, and Extra; and fully agree with you on some points, but on others we widely differ.
Your Extra is now on the stand before me; and I beg leave to state to you, and the scattered flock of God, what I have seen in vision relative to these things on which you have written. I fully agree with you, that there will be two literal resurrections, 1,000 years apart.
I also agree with you, that the new heavens, and the new earth, (Rev. 21:1, Isa. 65:17, 2Pet. 3:13) will not appear, till after the wicked dead are raised, and destroyed, at the end of the 1,000 years. I saw that Satan was "loosed out of his prison," at the end of the 1,000 years, just at the time the wicked dead were raised; and that Satan deceived them by making them believe that they could take the Holy City from the saints. The wicked all marched up around the "camp of the saints," with Satan at their head; and when they were ready to make an effort to take the City, the Almighty breathed from his high throne, on the City, a breath of devouring fire, which came down on them, and burnt them up, "root and branch."
And I saw, that as Christ is the vine, and his children the branches: so Satan is the "root", and his children are the "branches;" and at the final destruction of "Gog and Magog," the whole wicked host will be burnt up, "root and branch," and cease to exist. Then will appear the new heaven and the new earth. Then will the saints "build houses," and "plant vineyards." I saw, that all the righteous dead were raised by the voice of the Son of God, at the first resurrection; and all that were raised at the second resurrection, were burnt up, and ceased to exist.
You think, that those who worship before the saint's feet, (Rev. 3:9) will at last be saved. Here I must differ with you; for God shew me that this class were professed Adventists, who had fallen away, and "crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." And in the "hour of temptation," which is yet to come, to show out every one's true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the saint's feet.
You also think, that Michael stood up, and the time of trouble commenced, in the spring of 1844.
The Lord has shown me in vision, that Jesus rose up, and shut the door, and entered the Holy of Holies, at the 7th month 1844; but Michael's standing up (Dan. 12:1) to deliver his people, is in the future.
This will not take place, until Jesus has finished his priestly office in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and lays off his priestly attire, and puts on his most kingly robes, and crown, to ride forth on the cloudy chariot, to "thresh the heathen in anger," and deliver his people.
Then Jesus will have the sharp sickle in his hand, (Rev. 14:14) and then the saints will cry day and night to Jesus on the cloud, to thrust in his sharp sickle and reap.
This will be the time of Jacob's trouble, (Jer. 30:5-8) out of which, the saints will be delivered by the voice of God.
I believe the Sanctuary, to be cleansed at the end of the 2,300 days, is the New Jerusalem Temple, of which Christ is a minister. The Lord shew me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary; and that it was his will, that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star, Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint.
I pray that these lines may prove a blessing to you, and all the dear children who may read them.
E. G. White
As God has shown me in holy vision the travels of the Advent people to the Holy City, and the rich reward to be given those who wait the return of their Lord from the wedding, it may be my duty to give you a short sketch of what God has revealed to me. The dear saints have got many trials to pass through. But our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory - while we look not at the things which are seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. I have tried to bring back a good report, and a few grapes from the heavenly Canaan, for which many would stone me, as the congregation bade stone Caleb and Joshua for their report (Num. 14:10) . But I declare to you, my brethren and sisters in the Lord, it is a goodly land, and we are well able to go up and possess it.
While praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell on me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them - when a voice said to me, "Look again, and look a little higher." At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path,a cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were travelling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry.b This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters,c which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming.d The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake.e When God spake the time, he poured on us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God as Moses' did when he came down from Mount Sinai.f
By this time the 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious Star containing Jesus' new name.g At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us in prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and the wicked would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another's feet, and salute the holy brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshipped at our feet.h Soon our eyes were drawn to the East, for a small black cloud had appeared about half as large as a man's hand, which we all knew was the Sign of the Son of Man.i We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer, lighter, and brighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud.j The bottom appeared like fire, a rainbow was over it, around the cloud were ten thousand angels singing a most lovely song. And on it sat the Son of Man,k on his head were crowns,l his hair was white and curly and lay on his shoulders.m His feet had the appearance of fire,n in his right hand was a sharp sickle,o in his left a silver trumpet.p His eyes were as a flame of fire,q which searched his children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless? Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence,r when Jesus spoke. Those who have clean hands and a pure heart shall be able to stand, my grace is sufficient for you. At this, our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sung again while the cloud drew still nearer the earth. Then Jesus' silver trumpet sounded, as he descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire.s He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised his eyes and hands to heaven and cried out,t Awake! Awake! Awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise. Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, Hallelujah! as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.u We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought along the crowns and with his own right hand placed them on our heads.v He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory.w Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns. And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet.x Angels were all about us as we marched over the sea of glass to the gate of the City. Jesus raised his mighty glorious arm, laid hold of the gate and swung it back on its golden hinges, and said to us, You have washed your robes in my blood, stood stiffly for my truth, enter in.y We all marched in and felt we had a perfect right in the City. Here we saw the tree of life, and the throne of God. Out of the throne came a pure river of water, and on either side of the river was the tree of life.z On one side of the river was a trunk of a tree and a trunk on the other side of the river, both of pure transparent gold.
At first I thought I saw two trees. I looked again and saw they were united at the top in one tree. So it was the tree of life, on either side of the river of life; its branches bowed to the place where we stood; and the fruit was glorious, which looked like gold mixed with silver. We all went under the tree, and sat down to look at the glory of the place, when brothers Fitch and Stockman, who had preached the gospel of the kingdom, and whom God had laid in the grave to save them, came up to us and asked us what we had passed through while they were sleeping. We tried to call up our greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of gloryaa that surrounded us, that we could not speak them out,bb and we all cried out Hallelujah, heaven is cheap enough, and we touched our glorious harps and made heaven's arches ring. And as we were gazing at the glories of the place our eyes were attracted upwards to something that had the appearance of silver. I asked Jesus to let me see what was within there. In a moment we were winging our way upward, and entering in; here we saw good old father Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Daniel, and many like them. And I saw a vail with a heavy fringe of silver and gold, as a border on the bottom; it was very beautiful. I asked Jesus what was within the vail. He raised it with his own right arm, and bade me take heed. I saw there a glorious ark, overlaid with pure gold, and it had a glorious border, resembling Jesus' crowns; and on it were two bright angels - their wings were spread over the ark as they sat on each end, with their faces turned towards each other and looking downward.cc In the ark, beneath where the angels' wings were spread, was a golden pot of Manna, of a yellowish cast; and I saw a rod, which Jesus said was Aaron's; I saw it bud, blossom and bear fruit.dd And I saw two long golden rods, on which hung silver wires, and on the wires most glorious grapes; one cluster was more than a man here could carry. And I saw Jesus step up and take of the manna, almonds, grapes and pomegranates, and bear them down to the city, and place them on the supper table. I stepped up to see how much was taken away, and there was just as much left; and we shouted Hallelujah - Amen. We all descended from this place down into the city, and with Jesus at our head we all descended from the city down to this earth, on a great and mighty mountain, which could not bear Jesus up, and it parted asunder, and there was a mighty plain.ee Then we looked up and saw the great city, with twelve foundations, twelve gates, three on each side, and an angel at each gate, and all cried out, "the city, the great city, it's coming, it's coming down from God, out of heaven;"ff and it came and settled on the place where we stood. Then we began to look at the glorious things outside of the city. There I saw most glorious houses, that had the appearance of silver, supported by four pillars, set with pearls, most glorious to behold, which were to be inhabited by the saints;gg in them was a golden shelf; I saw many of the saints go into the houses, take off their glittering crowns and lay them on the shelf, then go out into the field by the houses to do something with the earth;hh not as we have to do with the earth here; no, no. A glorious light shone all about their heads, and they were continually shouting and offering praises to God.
And I saw another field full of all kinds of flowers, and as I plucked them, I cried out, well they will never fade. Next I saw a field of tall grass, most glorious to behold; it was living green, and had a reflection of silver and gold, as it waved proudly to the glory of King Jesus. Then we entered a field full of all kinds of beasts - the lion, the lamb, the leopard and the wolf, altogether in perfect union;ii we passed through the midst of them, and they followed on peaceably after. Then we entered a wood, not like the dark woods we have here, no, no; but light, and all over glorious; the branches of the trees waved to and fro, and we all cried out, "we will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in this woods."jj We passed through the woods, for we were on our way to Mount Zion. As we were travelling along, we met a company who were also gazing at the glories of the place. I noticed red as a border on their garments; their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted them, I asked Jesus who they were? He said they were martyrs that had been slain for him. With them was an innumerable company of little ones; they had a hem of red on their garments also.kk Mount Zion was just before us, and on the Mount sat a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lillies,ll and I saw the little ones climb, or if they chose, use their little wings and fly to the top of the mountains, and pluck the never fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place; the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate, and the fig tree bowed down with the weight of its timely figs, that made the place look all over glorious.mm And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised his lovely voice and said, only the 144,000 enter this place, and we shouted Hallelujah.
Well, bless the Lord, dear brethren and sisters, it is an extra meeting for those who have the seal of the living God.nn This temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls most glorious. The glorious things I saw there, I cannot describe to you. O, that I could talk in the language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the upper world; but, if faithful, you soon will know all about it. I saw there the tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold; after we had beheld the glory of the temple, we went out. Then Jesus left us, and went to the city; soon, we heard his lovely voice again, saying - "Come my people, you have come out of great tribulation, and done my will; suffered for me; come in to supper, for I will gird myself, and serve you."oo We shouted Hallelujah, glory, and entered into the city.
And I saw a table of pure silver, it was many miles in length, yet our eyes could extend over it. And I saw the fruit of the tree of life, the manna, almonds, figs, pomegranates, grapes, and many other kinds of fruit. We all reclined at the table. I asked Jesus to let me eat of the fruit. He said, not now. Those who eat of the fruit of this land, go back to earth no more. But in a little while, if faithful, you shall both eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the fountain; and he said, you must go back to the earth again, and relate to others, what I have revealed to you. Then an angel bore me gently down to this dark world. Sometimes I think I cannot stay here any longer, all things of earth look so dreary - I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land. O, that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away, and be at rest.
a Matt. 7:14, b Matt. 25:6, c Eze. 43:2, Joel, 3:16, Rev. 16:17, d Eze. 12:25, Mark, 13:32, e John 12:29, f Isa. 10:27, g Rev. 8:12, h Rev. 3:9, i Matt. 24:30, j Rev. 14:14, k Luke, 21:27, l Rev. 19:12, m Rev. 1:14, n Rev. 1:15, o Rev. 14:14, p 1Thess. 4:16, q Rev. 1:14, r Rev. 8:1, s 2Thess. 1:7-8, t John 5:25, u 1Thess. 4:17, v 2Esdras 2:43, w Rev. 15:2, Rev. 7:9, x Rev. 7:9, y Isa. 26:2, z Rev. 22:1-2, aa 2Cor. 4:17, bb Isa. 65:17, cc Ex. 25:18-20, Heb. 9:3-5, dd Num. 17:8, ee Zech. 14:4, ff Rev. 21:10-13, gg Isa. 65:21, hh Isa. 65:21, ii Isa. 11:6-9, jj Eze. 34:25, kk Jer. 31:15-17, Matt. 2:18, ll 2Esdras 2:19, mm Isa. 60:13, Isa. 41:19, nn Rev. 14:3, oo Luke, 12:37
Topsham, Maine April 7, 1847.
Dear Brother Bates: - Last Sabbath we met with the dear brethren and sisters here, who meet at Bro. Howland's.
We felt an unusual spirit of prayer. And as we prayed, the Holy Ghost fell upon us. We were very happy. Soon I was lost to earthly things, and was wrapped up in a vision of God's glory. I saw an angel swiftly flying to me. He quickly carried me from the earth to the Holy City. In the city I saw a temple, which I entered. I passed through a door before I came to the first vail. This vail was raised, and I passed into the Holy Place. Here I saw the Altar of Incense, the candlestick with seven lamps, and the table on which was the showbread, etc. After viewing the glory of the Holy, Jesus raised the second veil, and I passed into the Holy of Holies.a
In the Holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. On each end of the ark was a lovely Cherub, with their wings spread out over it. Their faces were turned towards each other, and they looked downwards.b Between the angels was a golden censor. Above the ark, where the angels stood, was an exceeding bright glory, that appeared like a throne where God dwelt.c Jesus stood by the ark. And as the saints' prayers came up to Jesus, the incense in the censor would smoke, and He offered up the prayers of the saints with the smoke of the incense to His Father.d In the ark, was the golden pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book.e Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God.f On one table was four, and on the other six. The four on the first table shone brighter than the other six. But the fourth (the Sabbath commandment,) shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God's holy name.g The holy Sabbath looked glorious - a halo of glory was all around it. I saw that the Sabbath was not nailed to the cross. If it was, the other nine commandments were; and we are at liberty to go forth and break them all, as well as to break the fourth. I saw that God had not changed the Sabbath, for He never changes.h But the Pope had changed it from the seventh to the first day of the week; for he was to change times and laws.i
And I saw that if God had changed the Sabbath, from the seventh to the first day, He would have changed the writing of the Sabbath commandment, written on the tables of stone, which are now in the ark, in the Most Holy Place of the Temple in heaven;j and it would read thus: The first day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. But I saw that it read the same as when written on the tables of stone by the finger of God, and delivered to Moses in Sinai, "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God."k I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question, to unite the hearts of God's dear waiting saints. And if one believed, and kept the Sabbath, and received the blessing attending it, and then gave it up, and broke the holy commandment, they would shut the gates of the Holy City against themselves, as sure as there was a God that rules in heaven above. I saw that God had children, who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They had not rejected the light on it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forthl and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the church, and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time, God's chosen, all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us. And I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land.m The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments down on them. They rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed.n
I saw all that "would not receive the mark of the Beast, and of his Image, in their foreheads or in their hands," could not buy or sell.o I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up;p and that it was the beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope's, and not God's Sabbath. And all we were required to do, was to give up God's Sabbath, and keep the Pope's, and then we should have the mark of the Beast, and of his Image.
In the time of trouble, we all fled from the cities and villages,q but were pursued by the wicked, who entered the houses of the saints with the sword. They raised the sword to kill us, but it broke, and fell, as powerless as a straw. Then we all cried day and night for deliverance, and the cry came up before God.r The sun came up, and the moon stood still.s The streams ceased to flow.t Dark heavy clouds came up, and clashed against each other.u But there was one clear place of settled glory, from whence came the voice of God like many waters, which shook the heavens, and the earth.v The sky opened and shut, and was in commotion.w The mountains shook like a reed in the wind, and cast out ragged rocks all around. The sea boiled like a pot, and cast out stones upon the land.x And as God spoke the day and hour of Jesus' coming,y and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people,z He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth!aa The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upwards, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah, and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder! It was awfully solemn. At the end of every sentence, the saints shouted, Glory! Hallelujah! Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God; and they shone with the glory as Moses' face did when he came down from Sinai. The wicked could not look on them, for the glory.bb And when the never ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God, in keeping His Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the Beast, and over his Image.
Then commenced the jubilee, when the land should rest. I saw the pious slave rise in triumph and victory, and shake off the chains that bound him, while his wicked master was in confusion, and knew not what to do; for the wicked could not understand the words of the voice of God.cc Soon appeared the great white cloud.dd It looked more lovely than ever before. On it sat the Son of Man.ee At first we did not see Jesus on the cloud, but as it drew near the earth, we could behold his lovely person. This cloud when it first appeared was the Sign of the Son of Man in heaven.ff The voice of the Son of God called forth the sleeping saints,gg clothed with a glorious immortality. The living saints were changed in a moment, and caught up with them in the cloudy chariot.hh It looked all over glorious as it rolled upwards. On either side of the chariot were wings, and beneath it wheels. And as the chariot rolled upwards, the wheels cried Holy, and the wings as they moved, cried Holy, and the retinue of Holy Angels around the cloud cried Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. And the saints in the cloud cried Glory, Hallelujah. And the cloudy chariot rolled upwards to the Holy City. Jesus threw open the gates of the Golden City, and led us in.ii Here we were made welcome, for we had kept the "Commandments of God," and had a "right to the tree of life."jj
From your sister in the blessed hope,
E. G. White.
My attention has recently been called to a sixteen-page pamphlet published by ---------- of Marion, Iowa, entitled Comparison of the Early Writings of Mrs. White With Later Publications. The writer states that portions of my earlier visions, as first printed, have been suppressed in the work recently published under the title Early Writings of Mrs. E. G. White, and he conjectures as a reason for such suppression that these passages teach doctrines now repudiated by us as a people.
He also charges us with willful deception in representing Early Writings as a complete republication of my earliest views, with only verbal changes from the original work.
Before I notice separately the passages which are said to have been omitted, it is proper that several facts be stated. When my earliest views were first published in pamphlet form, (A Word to the "Little Flock") the edition was small, and was soon sold. This was in a few years followed by a larger book, The Christian Experience and Views of Mrs. E. G. White, printed in 1851, and containing much additional matter.
In our frequent change of location in the earlier history of the publishing work, and then in almost incessant travel as I have labored from Maine to Texas, from Michigan to California - and I have crossed the plains no less than seventeen times - I lost all trace of the first published works.* When it was decided to publish Early Writings at Oakland, last fall, we were obliged to send to Michigan to borrow a copy of Experience and Views. And in doing this we supposed that we had obtained an exact copy of the earliest visions as first published. This we reprinted, as stated in preface to Early Writings, with only verbal changes from the original work.
And here I will pause to state that any of our people having in their possession a copy of any or all of my first views, as published prior to 1851, will do me a great favor if they will send them to me without delay. I promise to return the same as soon as a copy can be produced.
So far from desiring to withold anything that I have ever published, I would feel great satisfaction in giving to the public every line of my writings that has ever been printed.....
The first quotation mentioned by ---------- is from a pamphlet of twenty-four pages published in 1847, entitled A Word to the "Little Flock". Here are the lines omitted in Experience and Views: "It was just as impossible for them (those that gave up their faith in the '44 movement) to get on the path again and go to the city as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another."
I will give the context, that the full force of the expressions may be clearly seen: "While praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell on me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them - when a voice said to me, "Look again, and look a little higher." At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were travelling to the city, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry. This light shone all along the path, and give light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising His glorious right arm, and from His arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah. Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below."
Now follows the passage said to be in the original work, but not found in Experience and Views or in Early Writings: "It was just as impossible for them (those that gave up their faith in the '44 movement) to get on the path again and go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path one after another."
It is claimed that these expressions prove the shut door doctrine, and that this is the reason of their omission, in later editions. But in fact they teach only that which has been and is still held by us as a people, as I shall show.
For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold in common with the Advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given me. It was the light given me of God that corrected our error, and enabled us to see the true position.
There was a shut door in Noah's day. There was at that time a withdrawal of the Spirit of God from the sinful race that perished in the waters of the flood. God Himself gave the shut door message to Noah: "My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
There was a shut door in the days of Abraham. Mercy ceased to plead with the inhabitants of Sodom, and all but Lot with his wife and two daughters, were consumed by the fire sent down from heaven.
There was a shut door in Christ's day. The Son of God declared to the unbelieving Jews of that generation, "Your house is left unto you desolate."
Looking down the stream of time to the last days, the same infinite power proclaimed through John: "These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth."
"I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angel's messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them.
Those who did not see the light, had not the guilt of its rejection. It was only the class who had despised the light from heaven that the Spirit of God could not reach. And this class included, as I have stated, both those who refused to accept the message when it was presented to them, and also those who, having received it, afterward renounced their faith. These might have a form of godliness, and profess to be followers of Christ, but having no living connection with God, they would be taken captive by the delusions of Satan. These two classes are brought to view in the vision, --- those who declared the light which they followed, a delusion, and the wicked of the world who, having rejected the light, had been rejected of God. No reference is made to those who had not seen the light, and therefore were not guilty of its rejection.
In order to prove that I believed and taught the shut door doctrine, Mr. ---------- gives a quotation from the Review of June 11, 1861, signed by nine of our prominent members. The quotation reads as follows: "Our views of the work before us were then mostly vague and indefinite, some still retaining the idea adopted by the body of Advent believers in 1844 with William Miller at their head, that our work for 'the world' was finished and that the message was confined to those of the original Advent faith. So firmly was this believed, that one of our number was nearly refused the message, the individual presenting it having doubts of the possibility of his salvation because he was not in 'the '44 movement'".
To this I need only to add that in the same meeting in which it was urged that the message could not be given to this brother (J. H. Waggoner) , a testimony was given me through vision to encourage him to hope in God and to give his heart fully to Jesus, which he did then and there.
In another passage from the book A Word to the "Little Flock", I speak of scenes upon the earth, and state that I there saw holy men of old: "Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Daniel, and many like them." Because I speak of having seen these men, our opponents conjecture that I then believed in the immortality of the soul, and that having since changed my views upon this point I found it necessary to suppress that passage. They are as near the truth here as in other conjectures.
In the year 1844, I accepted the doctrine we now hold, concerning the nonimmortality of the soul as may be seen by reference to Life Sketches pp. 170,171 (1880 edition. See also 1915 ed., p. 49; Testimonies Vol. 1 pp. 39,40) , and I have never, by voice or pen, advocated any other. Had we suppressed this passage on account of its teaching the immortality of the soul, we would have found it necessary to suppress other passages.
In relating my first vision, page 13 of Early Writings (1882 ed.; present ed., p. 17) , I speak of having seen brethren who had but a short time previous fallen asleep in Jesus, and on page 14 (present ed., p. 18) I state that I was shown a great company who had suffered martyrdom for their faith.
The immortality of the soul is no more taught in the 'suppressed' passage than in the two last cited.
The fact in the case is, that in these visions I was carried forward to the time when the resurrected saints shall be gathered into the kingdom of God. In the same manner the Judgment, the second coming of Christ, the establishment of the saints upon the new earth have been presented before me. Does anyone suppose that these scenes have yet transpired? My adversaries show the spirit by which they are actuated in thus accusing me of deception on the strength of a mere 'conjecture.'
In this quotation are also found the words: "I saw two long golden rods, on which hung silver wires, and on the wires most glorious grapes."
My opponents ridicule "that weak and childish expression of glorious grapes growing on silver wires, and these wires attached to golden rods."
What motive impelled the writer of the above to misstate my words? I do not state that grapes were growing on silver wires. That which I beheld is described as it appeared to me. It is not to be supposed that grapes were attached to silver wires or golden rods, but that such was the appearance presented. Similar expressions are daily employed by every person in ordinary conversation. When we speak of golden fruit, we are not understood as declaring that the fruit is composed of that precious metal, but simply that it has the appearance of gold. The same rule applied to my words removes all excuse for misapprehension.
Another 'suppression' reads as follows: "Well, bless the Lord, dear brethren and sisters, it is an extra meeting for those who have the seal of the living God."
There is nothing in this that we do not still hold. Reference to our published works will show our belief that the living righteous will receive the seal of God prior to the close of probation. Also that these will enjoy special honors, in the kingdom of God.
The following passage is said to be omitted from the vision related on pages 25-28 (pp. 32-35, present ed.) of Early Writings: "And if one believed, and kept the Sabbath, and received the blessing attending it, and then gave it up, and broke the holy commandment, they would shut the gates of the Holy City against themselves, as sure as there was a God that rules in heaven above."
"Those who have clearly seen and fully accepted the truth upon the fourth commandment and have received the blessing attending obedience, but have since renounced their faith, and dared to violate the law of God, will find if they persist in this path of disobedience, the gates of the city of God closed against them...."
There are two other passages said to be found in my first book, but not given in my later writings. Concerning these I shall only say, when I can obtain a book containing them, so that I can be assured of the correctness of the quotations and can see for myself their connection, I shall be prepared to speak understandingly in regard to them.
From the beginning of my work, I have been pursued by hatred, reproach, and falsehood. Base imputations and slanderous reports have been greedily gathered up and widely circulated by the rebellious, the formalist, and the fanatic. There are ministers of the so-called orthodox churches traveling from place to place to war against Seventh-day Adventists and they make Mrs. White their textbook. The scoffers of the last days are led on by those ministers professing to be God's watchmen.
The unbelieving world, the ministers of the fallen churches, and the First-day Adventists are all united in the work of assailing Mrs. White. This warfare has been kept up for nearly forty years, but I have not felt at liberty even to notice their vile speeches, reproaches, and insinuations. And I would not now depart from this custom, were it not that some honest souls may be misled by the enemies of the truth who are so exultantly declaring me a deceiver. In the hope of helping the minds of the honest, I make the statements that I do."
Ellen G. White MS 4, 1883.
* Day-Star, January 24 and March 14, 1846. Broadsides, April 6, 1846, and April 7, 1847, and A Word to the "Little Flock."