Ellen G. WhiteProphet?
ELDER H. F. BROWN'S
My name is Henry F. Brown and I decided to write out my reminiscences from a long life in connection with Mrs. Ellen White and her literature. Today is the 5th of December, 1984.
I've been a member of the Adventist church since I was 12 years old, born in 1892, making me at this time 92 years old. I was baptized at a camp meeting in southern California, Los Angeles. Although Mrs. E. G. White was present I knew nothing at al' of her as I had not been instructed regarding her. She was not then so important as she is now at the present tune. I heard her speak once, but I remember nothing at all about her introduction. I've been a minister of the Adventist church since 1919, just 60 years ago. I served in the church during all the time since then.
I was sent down as a boy into Mexico to sell books. We carted them Colporteurs then and I didn't know one word of Spanish. They handed me a typewritten page of paper and the book, and I pasted the description upside-down in the book and tried to read it to the people, which of course I couldn't do very well. They would take it out of my hands and read it and turn to the next page and read that and the last page said "In two weeks I would bring you this book, and the cost, and believe it -miracles of miracles- they would sign their names on there and I would deliver the book, but I couldn't say a word to them that they would understand.
Before I became a Seventh-day-Adventist, when I was twelve years of age when I finished the eighth grade and my father, being an immigrant, had almost no education in English. I think he had been in school for about three weeks and I considered myself educated, comparing myself to my father, but the Adventists said, "No no, you must get an education and be a missionary." So I went to school and spent four years in the academy as they called the high-school and then went down to Mexico as a Colporteur.
My brother had been sent to Spain to begin the same type of work over in Spain as he had learned Spanish already. He wanted me to come to Spain and work with him there and develop into something useful. On my way to Spain, while in New York, I decided I'd go down to Washington which I considered to be, as we consider Palestine today the Holy Land. Down there a school was in operation called the Foreign Mission Seminary and the students said, "No you mustn't go to Spain, who are you going to marry over there?" I was a boy of about 18 at the tune and I told them I had never thought of that. They took me to and she said, "Henry, if you were my son I would tell you to stay here at the school and find you a sweetheart and then go to Spain and she could come later." This I did. I spent four years there and graduated from the Washington Missionary College in 1919. It was there that I realized that I had the opportunity of my life.
The General Conference men lived in Tacoma Park where the college was and they would come and speak to us in Assembly meetings and also in our classes. They would become very close friends of ours and I chatted with them about problems. Now remember I knew nothing at all about religion, or about the Bible and all I knew about it I was being taught by a good professor whom I greatly loved, Elder C. S. Sorensen. The matters that I learned was what they wanted me to learn and I discovered, to my sorrow later on, that I knew very very little about the Adventists themselves.
One time they called together all the book-men who were selling books around the United States and as much as I had been down in Mexico I considered myself one of them. I went there and they were discussing the matter of the revision of the book "Daniel and Revelation." Uriah Smith, the author of the book was an Aryan and in this book he had stated that Christ was a created being, or had emanated in some way from the Father, and this was not good Protestant belief. - Elder W. A. Spicer was present at that meeting and he got up, after they had discussed the problem a long while, and said, "Gentlemen, either you change this book and make this straight with the Bible or I Walk no more with you." It was an astounding ~ statement because he was one of the leaders, the second in charge of our General Conference. Of course they changed the book and the new book doesn't say that at all.
There in that school, those four years, I met most of the leaders of the Denomination - men who are looked upon today as the beginners, the Pioneers of our church. I met every one, with the exception of two or three of the older ones who had passed away before I came upon the scene of action
There was Elder S. N. Haskell; there was John Loughborough and all of those wonderful men. It was my opportunity to learn from them their understanding of Biblical truth and converse with them afterward about it. I was about 18 years of age with no background whatsoever of the Denomination, nothing at all of its history. I was in complete darkness. There was only occasionally that I would find problems that I wanted them to elucidate to me.
As I would talk with these men, great light was lit into my poor darkened little soul. For instance, he had been holding a series of lectures to us on the terrible cost of salvation for man. It meant that very God had to yield himself as a ransom. I think this is the belief by all Protestants today. He tells the story that the angels went to the Father to plead that they might die for the human race rather than have Jesus die and that God had said to them, "No, if we would save man, God must die in his stead," and that is a Biblical truth.
But there appeared in one of the Adventist magazines at the time a statement by Mrs. White in which she said, "When Christ was crucified it was His human nature that died. Deity did not sink and die, that would have been impossible." —Letter #250 1904 (Review and Herald 1882 article "The Upward Look.')
I took this down to Elder Louohborough. I didn't know at the time that he was in the uncertain state he could not accept inks. White as a prophetess, which we will Bring in later. I said, "Elder, you say that God was to be sacrificed, but here Mrs. White says a human body was all that was required. Is it true that all the world was saved through the death of a human body, or was it a God that died?"
I can see the sadness on the face of the elder man in which he shook his head sadly and says, "Henry, that should never have been printed. They printed it a long time ago and I insisted that it not be printed again. Now I see they have done it again."
Again, there was the opportunity of speaking to others. One time while I was selling magazines on the streets of Washington, at the time it was very cold in the winter. Well there was a little restaurant, and I used to go there and for a dime I could get a dish of baked beans and get warmed up.
In one of these meetings I saw one of Mrs. E. G. White's sons, Edson,, and another man from Southern Publishing Association. Of course they didn't know me, but I knew them for I had seen them in meetings. I went up to them and told them, "Gentlemen, while you are enjoying your lunch, would you care to have one of these wonderful magazines to look over?" They had a dish of pork and beans and coffee that they were drinking Vegetarianism at that time was one of the doctrines that Adventists held to very closely, and they looked at me utterly unashamed and endeavored to get me to sell their magazine published in the Southern Publishing Association and not the magazine that I was selling, which was then published by the Review and Herald and edited by W. W. Prescott.
Then, again, I was in a book store with Elder Maxwell, a very wonderful man and I greatly appreciated, he was considerably older than I and we were looking over some books in the second-hand book store. He pulled down from the shelf a book entitled, "Evening Scenes in The Bible." by Dr., I 11 give the name later. ((Daniel March He says, "This book is a book from which Mrs. White has secured many of her most beautiful pages in some of her books." I was amazed and stunned. I didn't dare buy that in front of him to let him know I was reading it, but later on I purchased it. Later on I found that Walter Rea had copied quite a number of quotations from that book.
There was another time when an amazing thing happened to me. I was traveling with Elder J. J. Nethery, then vice-president of the General Conference. We were talking about these things, and about the difficulties s in understanding Mrs. White and applying these statements to our own life and he said, "Henry, the greatest blessing that could happen to this Seventh-day Adventist Church would be to have a fire in the vaults of Mrs. E. G. White and burn up all of that material." Again, I was amazed that one of the leaders who was supposed to sustain and speak out on Mrs. White and her work, and here he was speaking in this manner.
At a camp meeting some tune about that time (I was now a worker in the Southwestern Union Conference) and was attending a camp meeting in New Mexico. W. H. Branson was president of the Adventist work in North America and he was giving a series of sermons at this camp meeting. In one of them he quoted (he was telling the same thing that Elder Prescott had been talking on - that it required the death of God to save man). At the close of his sermon I went up to him and said, "Elder Branson, I see you don't believe in the Spirit of Prophecy."
He was a man that wasn't accustomed to be accosted at all and he looked at me and said, "What do you mean by that?"
I said, "Well, Sister White said," and I had the statement in my hands that I just read, that Deity did not die at all, but it was His human body that died. I said, "You have been telling just the opposite."
He said, "Do you believe that?"
I said, "I didn't come to be questioned about my belief, it's you that I am disturbed about."
He said, "Well, do you believe that?"
I said, "ho, I don't believe that."
"Well," he said, "neither do I." He says, "Forget it."
Then, in my study through these years, I would finds things that disproved greatly. For instance; I found in the book of Jeremiah 23:30 this.
"I am against the people who steal from one another words supposedly from me. I am against those who prophecy false dreams." This is taken from the NIV version.
Mrs. White is the only person that I know that had that weakness. I don't suppose there is anyone in this world that has done as much borrowing and plagiarizing than Mrs. White. She is the only pretended prophet in history that gathered from others a vast library of purloined material.
In my work as a minister I had no other purpose than to preach orthodox Seventh-day Adventist. I had no doubt whatsoever that what Adventists taught was Biblical. I was sent down to Honduras, I had married and graduated from college and I was sent out as an "educated" man. I was to make Adventists of Roman Catholics. When asked to go to Honduras I said, "Oh no, I want to get some education." I wanted to go to the university. Elder W. A. Spicer said, 'You're not going to the university, you're going to go to the mission field."
"But Elder," I said, "I don't know enough about Adventism to go to the mission field."
He says, "You'll learn quickly." He certainly knew the truth, I learned plenty.
As fast as I could I purchased Sister White's books and I read them very carefully and underscored the problems that I could not grasp - using the same Scripture for two different things or quoting it out of place. For instance, the matter of character - she says very strongly in a number of places that we are here in this world preparing a character to admit us into the world of God.
Then, in other places, I would find for instance in Zechariah 3 she pointed out that Jesus accepted no make believe or no part in forming a character, that we had to remove the old character and put on His new garment, etc. I could not understand how we could perform a character ourselves, which is outlined so clearly in her books, then have her discuss this, staking that He provided everything necessary, as the parable of the king of the supper, to his people.
So the years passed by. I read and studied and later became a teacher in our secondary schools and there bright students would ask questions that I was not able to answer. I was taught that some of the Adventists were the "Remnant" church. We had the last message and that all others, if they did not have it, they were in danger of receiving the Mark of the Beast.
Then I met missionaries in the various mission fields. They had general meetings in which all Protestants were invited. I met these fine people and found them cultured and delightful people. It was impossible for me to think that they had, or were in danger, of the Mark of the Beast. I would meet some who wanted to defend their church and wondered why I had come into the field where they already were.
They quoted Brother Canright I had heard the name Canright, but it seemed to me that he was an extremely wicked man, leaving the Adventist church and opposing Mrs. White. It wasn't till years later that I read his book and that book brought me to the very part where I had to make some decision.
These questions that were so difficult to understand, I found them by the scores. Not being able to answer them myself, I would go to the Conference President, or the ministers, the older men with whom I was working, and I would ask for an explanation for those things. They would shake their finger at me, "Henry, be careful. Don't ever question Mrs. White. You can't be a minister if you do that."
So I found myself finding the difficulties, unable to answer them. My students would ask me, "Why is it that these things are in the Spirit of Prophecy when they are contrary to the Bible?" I would do the best I Could - would bite my tongue and get out of the problem in the easiest way possible.
They would ask me, for instance, why - the Adventist Denomination was formed in the United States and all the signs of the coming of Christ were American signs the darkening of the sun, the falling of the stars, and all of those things and Great controversy, which later was translated into Spanish (that I was using) was translated just as it was in English. All of the words was Sister White and the authority she would quote were all American quotes. These bright young men who were later ministers, they would say, "Why is it. If this message is for the world, and Mrs. White was a prophet for the world, why do we have all these things just from North America?" I had no answer to give.
So I would put these down on a sheet of paper and put them in my file until my file was plugged with these difficulties. I knew of no way at all of answering them.
One time I found one of Canright's books on the life of Mrs. White. I said, "Now, Ill get something." I borrowed that book and read it one nigh, read it all night and found some of the difficulties that had been proven time after tune by later authorities. I came to the decision, "What is this thing? Why haven't we been told. Why wasn't I told, why didn't my teacher in whom I was so confident had loved us; why didn't he tell us the truth?" But he didn't say a word about these things.
Well, I was graduated in 1916 and years later, many years later, there appeared in the magazine Spectrum of a convention that was held in 1919 just three years after I was graduated and sent down to Honduras as a missionary. There was my Bible teacher along with others who were confessing to the fact that there were things in the Spirit of Prophecy that they couldn't explain to their students. I was astounded again. Here these men why hadn't they told me the truth? Why didn't they tell me? My dear teacher hadn't said one word to me, didn't know until about 16 years after 1888 (1919). When I was a student at his feet, he hadn't said one word about the crucial meeting that, frankly, almost split the denomination.
There were Elder A. G. Daniells and Elder W. W. Prescott and W. A. Spicer and the leaders of our work. They were confessing they couldn't understand why Sister White would say one thing and the Bible the other. I had to go on, didn't dare speak to anyone.
I was sent to Europe and there I found that mostly the ministers of Germany and France did not hold Mrs. White to be what we were taught to accept her. I felt that I was sent there to straighten them out. I remember speaking one day in the church in Pans. The people were wonderful people and how they smiled when I introduced my subject. I was going to talk on Mrs. White. My translator was a young graduate who spoke English very acceptably. He was translating for me and I tried to show them how that Mrs. White was a prophet. It so happened that Mrs. White had been in Europe, in Switzerland, for about two years back in the 80's. So they knew something about her and she wasn't too well accepted at all.
I determined that I would read the five books Patriarchs and Prophets clear on through Great Controversy. I read them and I tried to picture her as a prophetess of God. Years later Dr. McAdams discovered that she copied from other sources, copied their mistakes along with it showing she didn't recognize they were mistakes.
But as I realized the problem before Me - I was a young minister nearing 40 and I was the father of two children and a wife and there I was. I went to defend that which could not be defended and worried about the problems. Recognizing my impossibility, the thought came to me that the easiest way out would be suicide. I drew back at the tenor of the thing. How could I leave my children? How could I bung shame upon my Denomination? So I decided to go along to continue with my study, keeping up all those pages of contradictions and I now have some 200 of them, and the contradictions with the Bible itself. I finally reached the age of retirement;
Now that I had retired, I was determined to destroy all of that material and say nothing at all about it and to just enter the kingdom with my burden without discussing it, which was the conclusion that W. W. Prescott - he wrote a letter to Elder.
Willie White in which he says "I cannot make myself agree with these things so I determined that I would just keep still about it and get along the best I can till the end would come."
Well, this article that had been hidden for 50 years -1919 someone dug out and it appeared in the magazine Spectrum and I read that, to my consternation. Those men that I had infinite confidence in, they were confessing that they could not make Mrs. White equal to the Bible. It just was impossible. They didn't know how to answer their students.
I wrote out a letter to the Editor, never thinking that they would publish it. I thanked them for the wonderful light that I was not it was my privilege to visit him and spend a large part of a day in talking with him.
I opened my heart to him and showed him that there was no possibility of getting our leaders to consider these things. He stated that - they promised me this, that, and the other. I said, "Don't count on those promises."
We've gotten rid of some of the finest men that this Denomination ever had. Uriah Smith himself, while he did not believe the Denomination, he did in thought. He never accepted Mrs. White as Biblical prophet and he did not accept the Christhood of Jesus being equal with God. He held that to the day of his death.
There was Ballanger, a wonderful man, a man regarding whom Professor Prescott said "no one has ever answered his difficulties." There was Canright himself. No one really answered his difficulties. These men were all lost to us. Also the name of Fletcher of Australia. Again, students said "that man is nearer to the understanding of the Bible than Adventists are." But these men were all excluded from the word.
The effect of the discussion regarding Ford was such that scores of our young ministers left the Denomination and went off into other churches, etc.
Then Walter Rea came on with his letter of enlightenment, that is questionable in some things, but he is presenting facts. This is substantiated by the fact that Dr. Robert Olson published in the Review and Herald some weeks back the fact that the Denomination now accepts the fact that more than 50% and some say almost 100%, of Great Controversy was not of her own thoughts, it was borrowed from other sources. The pitiful part of it was that she had said, and the thing that disturbed me so much through the years, that she refused to read Milton's Paradise Lost until she had published her Great Controversy, when we can find almost exact quotations from his book.
So I would converse with Dr. Froom and Francis Nichol, and talk their feelings. They would not step out beyond what the Adventist church published.
There was one that greatly impressed me. That was Dr. Charles Stewart, doctor at the sanitarium at Battle Creek. I went to see him one day. He set aside everything and talked with me about a little book that he had written called The Blue Book, - now not available. I had read it and he told me that he was a very sincere believer in Sr.. White and that she had invited anybody who had difficulty with her work to tell her about it - point it out to her and she would clarify it. He did that, along with some of the other doctors, till it became a little pamphlet. He presented it to her and she said she had gotten a vision from God telling her not to waste her time trying to answer those questions, and those questions never were answered.
I did not have a personal conversation with Dr. Kellogg, but I used to hear him lecture in the Sanitarium and I read his meeting with two of the ministers of the Battle Creek Sanitarium church in which they were to find out whether he was really desirous to continue as a Adventist member. The interview occupies about seven hours time and composed quite a book. It is certainly revealing and it presents scores of difficulties that are inexplicable.
For instance, when she was in Australia they wanted to build a sanitarium. There was only one place to get money in those days and that was from the Battle Creek Sanitarium as Dr. Kellogg was most successful with his work. But he didn't feel that the organizational papers on the Sanitarium permitted using the money by the Sanitarium in other countries. She, from some source, received a report that he was planning on building a sanitarium in Chicago. She writes to him, he explains it there in his interview, that she had seen it in vision - building that he had already built in Chicago. In fact he never built one and never had plans to do it.
When she returned from Australia she asked to visit that building, the sanitarium in Chicago. "Why," the brother said, "There is no such thing.
"Yes, yes, I have seen it God showed it to me, etc." And she accused him of building it, but there was no building ever put up there at all. Those things bothered me tremendously. Elder Conradi, the leader of our work in Europe, had done more than any other man to spread the beliefs of Adventism
his case was pitiful also. The same difficulty, Mrs. White in her method of writing "God revealed" material. Finally he joined the Seventh-day Baptist Church and left our work entirely.
One time, while in Battle Creek, I went to see Frank Belden. He was a very old man. His daughter was middle-aged. She was very kind to me but said that her father was too old and he became so wrought up with discussing these things. He was a nephew of Mrs. White. He considered himself mistreated by the brothers of the General Conference and by his relations, and he left us entirely.
There was no attempt of our leaders to bring one back. For instance; Elder Ballanger,, with the tenderest of emotions, begged Sr. White, wrote her a letter, "Point out my difficulty. Show me where I am wrong. Help me. You once considered me a faithful brother and now you won't talk to me." She utterly ignored his plea and refused to have anything to do with him.
In later years, being down in Riverside, California we learned that his daughter was still alive, a lady in her 80's. We went to visit her, a very pleasant lady, and she told us how, when they dropped him from the work, there wasn't a cent of remuneration, just left to themselves and how they wept and wondered how they would get along. He was a godly Christian until his death.
On meeting Elder Ballanger's daughter, Mrs. White, I told her what an honor it was to meet "Sister White." And her face showed embarrassment in having the same name as Sr.. White.
But meeting with W. C. White was disappointing. I spoke about having found one of Canright's books which I read all night and was just about convinced that it was all wrong. I was a man of 35 or more. A meeting was to be held at that time the Fall Council Meeting, and I said, "Elder White I have found a book here written by Elder. Canright and I can't understand it Here it speaks about the book that Mrs. White wrote Sketches From the Life of Paul and that you were having some difficulty there. Something spoken of regarding a lawsuit with the original publishers, etc."
Elder White took the book from my hand and said, "Well, Brother Brown, I never heard of such a thing." And there he was right in the matter, he was the principal party and he tells me that he never heard of that lawsuit. I never could accept that falsehood from this man. I'm still waiting to get that book that I lent to him back in 1919.
(Chuckle) At the time of my baptism I accepted vegetarianism That was part of the doctrine of Adventists. But my father used to - his greatest food for his numerous family was bologna sausage. Oh how I loved that. We had hired two tents; mother and the girls were in one and we boys were in the other and the furniture was made from orange boxes.
I was to be baptized the next day and that Friday evening we slept on our mattresses of straw. I was thinking -bidding farewell to the world, I could not eat any more sausages. That night, after my brothers were asleep, I reached over to that cupboard made of orange boxes and got a sausage, it must have been about 10" long and 1-2" in diameter. I remember that I ate a whole one and a half, went to sleep beautifully and was baptized, sausages and all the next morning.
I have learned through conversation with many people many things that do not appear in her literature. For instance; one time I spoke at camp meeting in Walla Walla and referred to the self-denying life that the Whites had lived. At the close an elderly gentleman, big strong fellow, came to me and said he knew the Whites very personally in their younger years. He said that James was apparently a very over-sexed man and Mrs. White is not too very friendly on the discussion of marriage. He told me some of their difficulties. The effects that are now being, discovered add a lot more to that.
With W. C. White (actually Arthur) he says in the earlier books that he had found a great many difficulties in his grandmother's books but that he solved most of problems. At one time he was talking to a group at camp meeting time and I listened to him. He quoted the story of a woman whom Sr.. White reproved for feeding her children eggs and milk, and things of that nature. "Now," he said, "there is no difficulty in that That wasn't meant for you. Sr.. White says" and he read a statement.
All her written material must be read with the understanding of the conditions in which it was written and that, if you had known that this woman had some children that were oversexed, etc., you would understand why Mrs. White had written as she did.
At the close of his sermon I went to him and said, "Arthur, you got yourself in difficulty. All of these books that I have gotten - of quotations from Mrs. White suppose that you had a book telling all the conditions when each of those statements was written, you'd have a pile of books that would reach to the moon." He thought a little bit and he said, "I guess you're right on that." You can't understand Mrs. White's books unless you are going to read them as (she said) they should be read.
I never had known Elder Albion Ballanger. I wouldn't have spoken to him had I known him because he was pictured to us as a very, very wicked man. But his brother, E. E. Ballanger was the Educational Supt. in southern California when I was a boy in church school and I met him. He seemed to be a fine gentleman. He defended the truth that his brother had received from the denomination.
I mention the name of Belden. Belden had a lawsuit against the brethren in the General Conference. That took place while I was in school. We knew about it and whispered about it but that was in southern Florida. But the trouble was a family affair and was certainly an unhappy one.
It was a privilege to travel with Elder. A. G. Daniells.
I was down in the Buenos Areas, Argentina when Elder and Mrs. Ballanger came down to make a tour of the field. I was sent from our headquarters in Buenos Areas to Monte to meet them as the boat came in, and to take them to a hotel. Well, I was a vegetarian, have been a vegetarian a long while "all my life" and I brought them to the hotel, which wasn't the finest at all, but clean and n ice I told them that a big bishop was coming to visit the country and could they give me the best room they have. They promised that they would. When they came I met them at the port, and I took them in a taxi to the hotel. The gentleman was standing in his very best tunic and greeting and escorting to his quarters, which were very acceptable.
Then we went down to the table and everything was fine. The manager of the hotel had dressed up as one of the table brothers and was serving them himself and was very proper about it. I translated from the menu, the vegetarian dishes, and was shocked when, after I had told the gentleman that we were vegetarians and he knew that I was after I had pointed out those vegetarian dishes, Elder Daniells said, in a disturbed voice, "Don't they serve meat in this hotel?" It was my embarrassing duty to translate that to the man to whom I had said he was the head Bishop and that we were vegetarians. He got his meat all right, but I never went back to that hotel after that. I was too ashamed to stand for Adventist faith.
One time I was in a worker's meeting and they were discussing a subject that didn't interest me so much, so I had taken with me my book Paradise Lost and patriarchs and Prophets. I sat in the room of the workers and they not suspecting what I was reading _ paid no attention, I read there and marked out and later copied the portions where she got the very subject matter, before and after sin had broken out; the terrible sadness that accrued in heaven. The Bible says nothing what happened, but Milton states that a conference was held and they decided what to do with Satan. Mrs. White quotes that very thing while the Bible says nothing at all regarding any conference held. I found several pages of material that had been used in that way.
One subject that hurt me most was the way Mrs. White dealt with Marion Davis and her fellow-workers. Especially, since reading this story that Mrs. Gregg has written, I to the seminary in St. Helena I found the grave and leaned over and prayed that God would bless this worker in all these difficulties. And I said, "Lord, what would I give if I could only have an hour in which to talk to Marion Davis about those self-sacrificing experiences she had with Mrs. White."
I wrote to two out-of-state, asking to read the original letters of Marion Davis which recalled from Sr.. White several answers in which Sr.. White would only indicate it was a matter of conscience, of which the girl died because she had done things that she felt God wouldn't forgive her. She, of course, was the main scribe that prepared the Desire of Ages and this was sent out to all the people telling them it was inspired material when she knew that she had gotten much of the material from other books. Elder Starr, - I believe it was - says that she told him she was whipped the fact of copying all of this material, Turning It in as material from God.
Dr. Veltman was asked by the General Conference to make a complete study of this subject. I called him up over to phone and had quite a talk with him, asking;, him if he wouldn't get me the copies of Marion Davis' letters which called forth these answers from Sr.. White. He assured me that he would, that he had complete access to all of the vault. But later on I reamed that they had refused him, as they had refused me, to have access to those letters, saying I would not use them properly.
I was very interested in Brinsmead and the illuminating work he was carrying on when he first came from Australia. He was following a perfection doctrine and he had plenty of material from Mrs. White, who is very strong on perfection. He came down into Santa Cruz where I lived at the tune and had camp meeting up in the hills.
I went to hear him. He was talking on the revival he was expecting from this message of perfectionism. At the close of the meeting I went to him and told him I was an Adventist preacher and I would like to talk to him about some of this— -. He was very kind about it and we sat down for an hour or two. I showed him from Sr.. White the contrary things - that we have no hope at all. Works did not afford us any hope at
all, etc., that he be willing to leave that and take Mrs. White's other side. Of course he didn't do it. Years later I met him at a meeting in Riverside and recall he was then preaching Adventism and I recalled our meeting and he said he had gotten "new light."
With Dr. Walter Rea I have very friendly relations. I had known him as a student in Lodi and he had remembered me through the years. I had given all the material I had that he cared for. In his latest meeting with me he said, "We have won a victory. I know of nothing more to do because I have proven and they admit that Mrs. White was a plagiarist and that she copied great portions of material and that there is nothing more for me to do."
The subject that has influenced me more than anything else has been the sanctuary. I read the Bible on this -all that has ever been written on it. She does not claim too much for herself, but those who studied the Book came to these conclusions.
The most pitiful thing, the thing that is anti-Christ, against the Gospel, is the fact that she tells in Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets that, although Jesus forgives the sin, He does not remove them from our record. He has them all there and we meet them all again in the day of judgment, when the Bible is filled with promises of God that He gives us absolute cleanliness. He told the men in His day, "I forgive your sins." And told that woman taken in adultery, "I have forgiven you. Go, and sin no more." We are shown time after time that his forgiveness is absolute. The Bible has a dozen or more times said that the sins are blotted our, they are forgotten, ';I will remember them no more." Yet Mrs. White insists that all these sins are all on the record for the day of judgment.
So all through the long years of my Adventist experience I was faced with the fact that my sins were not forgiven; that although He said they were forgiven, they weren't forgiven, and that they would all have to be met again. This, of course, would be impossible because according to the day of atonement the two goats were taken; one was sacrificed and his blood taken into the sanctuary; the other, the sins were brought out figuratively and placed over his head and he was taken out into the desert Sr.. White explains that this was all fulfilled
Satan. That when Jesus comes and resurrects us all, we are taken to heaven - our sins are placed upon Satan and for a 1000 years he would be in the desert
The strange thing, he is not atoning for but bearing the responsibility of sins that are not yet entirely forgiven of us because it would take a long tune for us to have these all forgiven. The following subjects are quoted from Mrs. White:
Spirit of Prophecy Vol. 4 pg. 315 - 1884 edition - "The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. Forty years has this work been in progress. Soon, none know how soon, it will pass to the cases of the living."
PP 357 "The blood of Christ was not to cancel sin, it would stand on the record in the sanctuary until the final atonement."
To me, interpreting that in our language today, "Our sins are not forgiven, when God says He does forgive them."
These things left me in great difficulty.. In fact, Sr.. White says, and this disturbed me for many years in my life Col 155 "Those who accept the Savior, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they were saved. This was misleading. Those who accept Christ and in their first confidence say, 'I am saved' are in danger of trusting to themselves."
In that case, in our Sabbath School and church services, we are singing falsehood. We sing songs that say "Saved, Saved, Saved to the Uttermost." Singers like it. These are the songs that Methodism found, that are coming into our work. Then Sr.. White says we must not use these because it isn't so.
She says herself, regarding the Holy Spirit, ' I may be lost at last, and more so the world may be lost, but the dear Lord has a remnant people that will be saved and go through to the kingdom and it will remain with each one of us as individuals whether or not we will be one of that number." Arthur White's The Human Interest Story.
My chief difficulty through all the years with Mrs. White was her many contradictions. Contradictions written as plainly as could be made in English. For instance here is one ' Three times He (Christ) was shut up by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came from the Father, His condition was calm and free from all perplexities." Spiritual Gifts Vol. 1 pg. 22 and on.
My Bible tells me that "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son." And here we have the picture where Jesus - going in three different times to convince that hard-hearted brutal God to let him go and save humans. These things disturbed me terrible.
And things like this: She says "We should shun debt as we shun leprosy." 6 T 217.
"Let them guard themselves as with a fence of barbed wire against the inclination to go into debt. Let them say firmly, 'Henceforth we will advance no faster than the Lord will indicate and the means at hand should allow. Even though a good work has to wait for awhile."'—7 T 236
Here is where she says just the opposite: TM 217 "We must push forward the work, not waiting to see the funds in the treasury before we undertake it."
9T 271 "To make no move that calls for investment of money means until the money is now at hand should not always be considered a wise plan."
Having sat on many committee meetings wishing to push forward some program and to be told by the treasury, "we have no money. Sr.. White says shun debt as leprosy," then to read some of these things - - -. Many times I've seen a poor :treasurer squirm, not knowing how to get out of it.
Historical Sketches pg. 292, "The work must not stop for want of means."
Another subject that troubled me terrible was the matter of the atonement. Sr.. White writes on both sides of the subject. She pictures God, who looks down on the death of Christ on the cross and says He is satisfied, He is pleased, justice is satisfied. But I have some 6 or more quotations in which she says that the atonement was terminated on the cross when He said "it is finished" that made the atonement finished. Then in 2 John 2:2 "He made propitiation for all sins, not of ours only, but for those of all the world." All sins have been atoned for.
Yet there are scores and scores of statements in which she says as follows: "Now our great high priest is making the atonement for us. We should seek to become perfect in Christ." GC 623. Atonement is not really made until 1844 and thereafter.
Review and Herald Sept. 24, 1901 "Christ padded the cross between heaven and earth and when the Father beheld the sacrifice which was done He bowed before it in recognition of its perfection. 'It is enough' He said, 'the atonement is complete."'
Again, she says regarding the man who wrestled with Jacob. He went out one night and there he was suddenly grasped by what he took to be a bandit. He struggled with him all night and she says in one book, "not a word was spoken." But in another book she says, he knew it was an angel. The angel kept throwing his sins before him and he says "but I have confessed those sins.' That went on all night."
I wrote to Elder Arthur White in 1934 and asked him to give me an explanation to that. His letter stated that he would ask the brethren and he would tell me later. 1934 was quite a while back - I'm still waiting for that letter.
Another statement is definitely plain. She tells us that Christ was the second Adam and that she pictures - (sound suddenly goes away and I don't have that special bock) My Life Today pa 23.
She says, "He took Adam's nature, not in his sinless state, but after 4000 years of degeneracy and sin." Two absolutely contrary statements. My question was, "If God was inspiring her, didn't he remember what she had said before, even though she didn't? Surely both things couldn't be right.. Then, was it inspired at all by God.
Here was a point; in the SDA Commentary, Vol. 1 pg 1084, Ellen White says, "As soon as there was sin there was a Saviors.. Christ knew that He would have to suffer, yet He became man's substitute."
Then again she would say that as soon as sin entered, they had a meeting and the kingdom of grace was organized. Another completely contrary statement.
One of the very worst is, she says that Jesus never had any of the passions of the human race. In 2 T she said He had all the passions of the human body. Imagine that. Having and not having. How could that possible be?
One of the worst statements I think is found in Sketches From the Life of Paul page 68, Mrs. White says, '"This yoke was not the law of the 10 commandments as those who oppose the binding claim of the law assert"
But in the book Special Messages she tells us very distinctly that it was the law of the 10 commandments. It was all the law, making it utterly impossible to agree with the portion already quoted.
Very interesting case of contradiction is in Prophets and Kings page 567, she speaks about the Samaritans. She says, "A mixed race that had sprung up through the inter-marriage with the heathen colonists from the provinces of Assyria with a remnant of the 10 tribes,, which had been left in Samaria and Galilee."
Well, the Samaritans had nothing whatsoever to do with the Jews see 2 Kings 17:24, 32-33. They were people who had been brought over by the Persian kings as a temptation and difficulty for the people.
A terrible thing is this one, "It is the Holy Spirit that convinces of sin and expels it from the soul by the consent of the human agent." A Day With God 127.
But here in Our High Calling "It is the Spirit that Convinces of sin and, with the consent of the human being, expels the Holy Spirit from the heart" Very plain, but again we are told that the expulsion of the Holy Spirit is an act of the soul itself. "The noble powers of the mind are embued with strength to break away from the bondage of sin." 1 T 704. Diametrically opposed statements.
These are the things that troubled me so terribly during those long times I want to close with a question that you may ask, do I consider myself a Seventh-day Adventist? I want to assure you that I do. I have no difficulty whatsoever with the majority of the Seventh-day Adventist teachings. The only thing that troubled me during my long life are the matter of Mrs. White's portentous of being a prophet, and her interpretation of the Sanctuary and its place in the Christian epoch; the matter of 1844; and the use of the verse - a day for a year. Those things I cannot fit into a Bible explanation. Those things I can not hold. I have read most of her writings and meeting statements in them which my soul abhors.
For instance in Hebrew 1:1,2 she says, (she quotes the verses that says - in ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets, but in these latter days He spoke through His Son.)
But she takes the verse and she says, "In these latter days He speaks clearly by the Testimony of the Spirit"." 5 T 661. She has rubbed out the name of Jesus and puts her Testimonies in their place. That, to me, seems to be blasphemy. I can't believe it'
She makes it very plain. She tells me '`Those who reject the messages of God's servant reject not only the Son, but also the Father." In other words, she is placing herself with the Trinity. If I reject her writings, although her writings are opposed to one another and contrary to the Bible, I am rejecting the voice not only of the Son of God, but of the Father.
Again she says, ';"When God sends His messages of warning, they are turned from the words and say 'I don't believe it' What means has God left to call the deluded soul back to repentance?" Early Writings 230
She places herself in the place of God again. This is in the Early Elmshaven Years (one of Arthur White's books) page 31. She makes plain that her writings are to serve the church to the end of tune. Suppose that time should last another thousand years? Listen, "Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak and their work will go forward as long as time shall last" 1 Sel. Messages 33. Page 57 she says these messages are to be immortalized. I could not accept that at ale
I consider myself an Adventist My spiritual life is greatly deepened by rejecting these things and clinging only to the Bible. I find that I have none of the uncertainties that I had before. I have a wonderful time with His Book, spending hours and days reading it and I am a Seventh-day Adventist.. I believe that it's a mistake to leave the church. Jesus Christ was a member of the Jewish Church, and ~ am a member of it Yet they killed Hun, they spat on Him, they mistreated him, etc., and though Adventists do the same, I still will be an Adventist
I'll close here.
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