The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


Lt 14, 1850

September 1, 1850, Port Byron, New York 1EGWLM 232.3

Letter to
Prudence M. Bates.1
1EGWLM 232.4

Portions of this letter are published in Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, pp. 351, 352; vol. 8, pp. 221, 222.

Account of Satan's efforts to hinder publication of The Advent Review together with an impressive dream of judgment and deliverance. 1EGWLM 232.5

Dear Sister Bates:

We received your letter dated August 26, last night. We were very glad to hear from you. We have been waiting some time to hear from you. We have not received your letter in answer to mine.2 Perhaps you sent it to Centerport [New York]; if you did, it went to another Centerport about 70 miles [112 kilometers] from here.3 There is no post office where we live. Our post office address is Port Byron, one half mile [.8 kilometers] from this place. Did you send it in my name at Port Byron; if you did, it is now in the office and we can get it on the morrow. Please write us if you sent it to Centerport and we will send there for it. 1EGWLM 232.6

We are all quite well here now. Praise the Lord. We are free. We have had a victorious time here this morn. Satan thought to have got some victory over us, but he has been driven back by faith in God. 1EGWLM 233.1

Sister Clarissa Bonfoey [Clarissa M. Bonfoey]4 was oppressed by the enemy. Her body was afflicted. Our united prayers went up to God and healing power came down. Brother Edson [Hiram Edson]5 (who has been with us 8 days) laid hands upon her in the name of the Lord, and she was made whole and gave glory to God with a loud voice. The enemy has tried hard to take some of our lives here of late. One after another of us has been afflicted almost unto death. Had it not have been for the balm in Gilead and the Physician there, we must have perished. 1EGWLM 233.2

The Lord shewed me some weeks before we came to this place, that we must gird on the whole armor, for we were to have a great conflict with the enemy while we were getting out the paper,6 for he knew the paper would hurt his cause and would be the means of strengthening the things that remain and would cause souls that were undecided to take a decided stand for God and His truth. Satan meant to hinder the work of the paper by causing sickness and distress in our company, but we laid hold of the sure promises of God. We anointed with oil in the name of the Lord and prayed over the sick and they were healed.7 1EGWLM 233.3

Oh, what battles we have had to fight with the enemy since we commenced to get out the paper. We have had to pray, pray, pray, and have faith, faith, faith, and that is all the way we have been enabled to live. I know you will rejoice with me when I tell you we have the perfect entire victory over the powers of darkness. We triumphed in God today for we have just had a rich full draught from the well of Bethlehem. 1EGWLM 234.1

I will now write you a dream which I had about one week ago.8 I dreamed of being with Bro. Rhodes [Samuel W. Rhodes]9 and James [James Springer White] in a wagon. We were to pass a bridge covered with water. While passing it, I was much frightened, for the water came into the body of the wagon. I had my babe in my arms. I came near letting him fall into the water through fright. Brother Rhodes assured me a number of times that there was no danger and that we must necessarily pass through that water that covered the bridge. After we had passed over the bridge through the water, my eyes were fixed upon something in the air that looked very strange to me. I saw angels marching through the air. They had light mantles on their shoulders that reached to their feet. And they were singing in solemn clear voices, For the great day of His wrath has come and who shall be able to stand. Their voices rung all through the air. 1EGWLM 234.2

Brother Rhodes began to shout with a loud voice, “And shall I see Him whom my soul loveth?” James was counting the angels, and I stood trembling with fear lest I should not be able to stand. My mind ran back to my past life. I could see in it many wrongs and I could see no way that I could be saved. Just then Satan came where I was and said to me, “You are now my property. You are lost and you will go with me to the dark regions.” 1EGWLM 234.3

My feelings I cannot describe to you. I was filled with anguish unutterable. I knew that Jesus was all my joy and to be separated from Him was more than I could endure. And at the same time, I felt unworthy to be with the lovely Jesus. While I was thus in awful perplexity, one of the angels that was marching through the air, came where I was and said to Satan, “She is not your property. She has been redeemed unto God by the precious blood of Jesus. She is the purchase of His blood and He will save her.” Then the enemy fled and my heart was filled to overflowing with thankfulness and praise to God. I saw the saints, that their garments would change and they would receive the mantle and their faces would light up as they would meet the angels in the air. 1EGWLM 234.4

I looked around and saw some sleeping. Oh, how I felt as I saw some who now profess to be with us asleep as I saw them. I said, “Poor souls. They have heard of Jesus’ coming and that the day of His wrath was very soon to come, but as time went on a little longer than they expected it would, they have lost their interest. Stupidity has crept over them and now they slumber never to awake again. They ought to have watched and then they would have seen the angels.” This dream has made a great impression on my mind. I hope it will cause me to double my diligence and to make my calling and election sure. 1EGWLM 234.5

If ever there was need of watching, it is now. Satan's host is arrayed against us and we must have the whole armor buckled tight about us or the darts of the enemy will hit us. Above all, we must take the shield of faith whereby we shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the enemy. Satan has great power and we must have living, abiding faith in God or the powers of darkness will get the ascendency over us and Satan will triumph. We will be free and we must be free in order to glorify God. 1EGWLM 235.1

Picture: Joseph Bates and his wife, Prudence. Joseph Bates photo courtesy of the Center for Adventist Research.