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Essays by Ellen G. White

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Essays by Ellen G. White

For many Adventists, Ellen White's counsel seems current rather than historical. This is somewhat of an illusion. But, her ideas remain relevant to the church. This thread is for the examining of her ideas as expressed in articles she had published in her lifetime.

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The Fair Flowers of Promise (1902)

As we look at a beautiful garden, with its opening buds, let us remember that this is an expression of our Father’s love. As we note the varied tints of the flowers and inhale their delicate fragrance, let us think of the words, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” God has given us the flowers to teach us lessons of trust. “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” If the great Master Artist makes perfect and lovely that which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, will he not care much more for the beings purchased by the blood of his only begotten Son? (YI January 23, 1902, par. 1)

We are pilgrims and strangers on this earth, looking for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. The path in which we travel is narrow, and calls for self-denial and self-sacrifice. We meet with trial and conflict. But God has not left us to travel without help. Our pathway to the heavenly Canaan is bordered with the fair flowers of promise. They blossom all along the way, sending forth their rich fragrance, like the flowers in the gardens of this earth. (YI January 23, 1902, par. 2)

To blot the promises of God from the word would be like blotting the sun from the sky. There would then be nothing to gladden our experience. God has placed the promises in his word to lead us to have faith in him. In these promises he draws back the veil from eternity, giving us a glimpse of the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory which awaits the overcomer. Let us, then, rest in God. Let us praise him for giving us such a glorious revelation of his purposes. (YI January 23, 1902, par. 3)

All along our pathway, God places the flowers of promise to brighten our journey. But many refuse to gather these flowers, choosing instead the thorns and thistles. At every step they weep and mourn, when they might rejoice in the Lord because he has made the road to heaven so pleasant. (YI January 23, 1902, par. 4)

As we look at the promises of God, we find comfort and hope and joy; for they speak to us the words of the Infinite One. Properly to appreciate these precious promises, we should study them carefully, examining them in detail. How much joy we might bring into life, how much goodness into the character, if we would but make these promises our own! As we journey in the upward way, let us talk of the blessings strewn along the path. As we think of the mansions Christ is preparing for us, we forget the petty annoyances which we meet day by day. We seem to breathe the atmosphere of the heavenly country to which we are journeying, and we are soothed and comforted. (YI January 23, 1902, par. 5)

Do not think to find happiness in selfish amusement. The flowers thus gathered soon wither and die. True happiness is found only in the Master’s service. In him who is the Light of the world we shall find comfort and hope. Our happiness comes not from what is around us, but from what is within us; not from what we have, but from what we are. (YI January 23, 1902, par. 6)

It is our privilege to sing the songs of Zion now, to turn our eyes to the light, to bring hope into our own hearts and into the hearts of others. God wants us to gather his promises, that we may be strengthened and refreshed. Let us take our eyes from the curse, and fix them on the grace so abundantly provided for us. God is dishonored when we fret and worry. Thus we show that we are not trusting in him, but in ourselves. (YI January 23, 1902, par. 7)

This life will have much brightness for us if we will gather the flowers and leave the briers alone. Comfort, encouragement, and support have been provided for every circumstance and condition of life. No temptation comes to us that Christ has not withstood, no trial that he has not borne. He knows each one of us by name. When a burden is placed on us, he stands by, to lift the heaviest weight. He has given us precious promises to lighten every burden. He assures us that his grace is sufficient. Today we have his help. Tomorrow we may be placed in new circumstances of trial, but the promise stands fast, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” (YI January 23, 1902, par. 8)

Let us rejoice in the love of God. Let us praise him who has made us such royal promises. Let these promises keep our hearts in perfect peace. Let us honor God by weaving more of Jesus and heaven into our lives. Jesus lives. His hand is guiding us. This present life is not the summer but the winter of the Christian, nevertheless he may constantly enjoy the sunbeams of Christ’s righteousness. He may have in his heart the peace “which passeth all understanding,” even the peace which Christ gives. (YI January 23, 1902, par. 9)

Mrs. E. G. White, The Youths Instructor, January 23, 1902

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I would say that Ellen White's writings are timeless as they address the condition of the human heart and explain God's love and His attempts to reach out to us. Human nature hasn't changed in the last 100+ years and neither has God.

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The Church has been blessed by Ellen White's ministry.

1. It is fortunate that her faith in Jesus developed and deepened as she grew into her senior years.

2. We are blessed with the writings of this inspired leader who points to Jesus and His Word for strength and who denounces servitude to anyone other than Him.

3. Her counsel helps one to stay Bible-focused; cross referenced; and aware of one's personal forgiveness and acceptance with God in Christ.

4. Her visionary outreach helps the church to move forward in its collective calling.

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  • 1 month later...

A Messenger

Sanitarium, Cal.,

May 26, 1906.

Last night, in vision, I was standing before an assembly of our people, bearing a decided testimony regarding present truth and present duty. After the discourse, many gathered about me, asking questions. They desired so many explanations about this point and that point and another point, that I said, “One at a time, if you please, lest you confuse me.” (SpM 480.1)

And then I appealed to them saying: “For years you have had many evidences that the Lord has given me a work to do. These evidences could scarcely have been greater than they are. Will you brush away all these evidences as a cobweb, at the suggestion of a man’s unbelief? That which makes my heart ache is the fact that many who are now perplexed and tempted are those who had abundance of evidence, and opportunity to consider and pray and understand; and yet they do not discern the nature of the sophistries that are presented to influence them to reject the warnings God has given to save them from the delusions of these last days.” (SpM 480.2)

Some have stumbled over the fact that I said I did not claim to be a prophet; and they have asked, “Why is this?” (SpM 481.1)

I have had no claims to make, only that I am instructed that I am the Lord’s messenger; that he called me in my youth to be his messenger, to receive his word, and to give a clear and decided message in the name of the Lord Jesus. (SpM 481.2)

Early in my youth I was asked several times, Are you a prophet? I have ever responded, I am the Lord’s messenger. I know that many have called me a prophet, but I have made no claim to this title. My Saviour declared me to be his messenger. “Your work,” he instructed me, “is to bear my word. Strange things will arise, and in your youth I set you apart to bear the message to the erring ones, to carry the word before unbelievers, and with pen and voice to reprove from the Word actions that are not right. Exhort from the Word. I will make my Word open to you. It shall not be as a strange language. In the true eloquence of simplicity, with voice and pen, the messages that I give shall be heard from one who has never learned in the schools. My Spirit and my power shall be with you. (SpM 481.3)

“Be not afraid of man, for my shield shall protect you. It is not you that speaketh; it is the Lord that giveth the messages of warning and reproof. Never deviate from the truth under any circumstances. Give the light I shall give you. The messages for these last days shall be written in books, and shall stand immortalized, to testify against those who have once rejoiced in the light, but who have been led to give it up because of the seductive influences of evil.” (SpM 481.4)

Why have I not claimed to be a prophet?—Because in these days many who boldly claim that they are prophets, are a reproach to the cause of Christ; and because my work includes much more than the word “prophet” signifies. (SpM 481.5)

When this work was first given me, I begged the Lord to lay the burden on some one else. The work was so large and broad and deep that I feared I could not do it. But by his Holy Spirit the Lord has enabled me to perform the work which he gave me to do. (SpM 481.6)

God has made plain to me the various ways in which he would use me to carry forward a special work. Visions have been given me, with the promise, “If you deliver the messages faithfully and endure to the end, you shall eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the river of life.” (SpM 481.7)

The Lord gave me great light on health reform. In connection with my husband, I was to be a medical missionary worker. I was to act an example to the church by taking the sick to my home and caring for them. This I have done, giving the women and children vigorous treatment. I was also to speak on the subject of Christian temperance, as the Lord’s appointed messenger. I engaged heartily in this work, and spoke to large assemblies on temperance in its broadest and truest sense. (SpM 481.8)

I was instructed that I must ever urge upon those who profess to believe the truth, the necessity of practising the truth. This means sanctification, and sanctification means the culture and training of every capability for the Lord’s service. (SpM 482.1)

I was charged not to neglect or pass by those who were being wronged. I was especially charged to protect against any arbitrary or overbearing action toward the ministers of the gospel by those having official authority. Disagreeable though the duty may be, I am to reprove the oppressor, and plead for justice. I am to present the necessity of maintaining justice and equity in all our institutions. (SpM 482.2)

If I see those in positions of trust neglecting aged ministers, I am to present the matter to those whose duty it is to care for them. Ministers who have faithfully done their work are not to be forgotten or neglected when they have become feeble in health. Our conferences are not to disregard the needs of those who have borne the burdens of the work. It was after John had grown old in the service of the Lord that he was exiled to Patmos. And on that lonely isle he received more communications from heaven than he had received during the rest of his lifetime. (SpM 482.3)

After my marriage I was instructed that I must show a special interest in motherless and fatherless children, taking some under my own charge for a time, and then finding homes for them. Thus I would be giving others an example of what they could do. (SpM 482.4)

Although called to travel often, and having much writing to do, I have taken children of three and five years of age, and have cared for them, educated them, and trained them for responsible positions. I have taken into my home from time to time boys from ten to sixteen years of age, giving them motherly care and a training for service. I have felt it my duty to bring before our people that work for which those in every church should feel a responsibility. (SpM 482.5)

While in Australia I carried on this same line of work, taking into my home orphan children, who were in danger of being exposed to temptations that might cause the loss of their souls. (SpM 482.6)

In Australia we also worked as Christian medical missionaries. At times I made my home in Cooranbong an asylum for the sick and afflicted. My secretary, who had received a training in the Battle Creek Sanitarium, stood by my side, and did the work of a missionary nurse. No charge was made for her services, and we won the confidence of the people by the interest that we manifested in the sick and suffering. After a time the Health Retreat at Cooranbong was built, and then we were relieved of this burden. (SpM 482.7)

To claim to be a prophetess is something that I have never done. If others call me by that name, I have no controversy with them. But my work has covered so many lines that I can not call myself other than a messenger, sent to bear a message from the Lord to his people, and to take up work in any line that he points out. (SpM 482.8)

When I was last in Battle Creek, I said before a large congregation that I did not claim to be a prophetess. Twice I referred to this matter, intending each time to make the statement, “I do not claim to be a prophetess.” If I spoke otherwise then this, let all now understand that what I had in mind to say was that I do not claim the title of prophet or prophetess. (SpM 483.1)

I understand that some were anxious to know if Mrs. White still held the same views as she did years ago when they had heard her speak in the Sanitarium grove, in the Tabernacle, and at the campmeetings held in the suburbs of Battle Creek. I assured them that the message she bears today is the same that she has borne during the sixty years of her public ministry. She has the same service to do for the Master that was laid upon her in her girlhood. She receives lessons from the same Instructor. The directions given her are, “Make known to others what I have revealed to you. Write out the messages that I give you, that the people may have them.” This is what she has endeavored to do. (SpM 483.2)

I have written many books, and they have been given a wide circulation. Of myself I could not have brought out the truth in these books, but the Lord has given me the help of his Holy Spirit. These books, giving the instruction that the Lord has given me during the past sixty years, contain light from heaven, and will bear the test of investigation. (SpM 483.3)

At the age of seventy-eight I am still toiling. We are all in the hands of the Lord. I trust in him; for I know that he will never leave nor forsake those who put their trust in him. I have committed myself to his keeping. (SpM 483.4)

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” (SpM 483.5)

Ellen G. White

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