The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


Lt 11, 1853

December 3, 1853, n.p. 1EGWLM 390.1

Letter to
Brother Pierce.1
1EGWLM 390.2

Portions of this letter are published in Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Early Years, p. 404.

Multiple issues: unauthorized preachers; overcautious preachers; use of medicinal herbs; tobacco; defining “faith of Jesus”; prayer for the sick. 1EGWLM 390.3

Dear Brother Pierce:

I have tried to write the vision that I had at Stowe [Vermont],2 but have been very feeble, and after I wrote the vision3 found my nerves were so weak I could not answer your questions. By writing too steadily and getting very weary, and then taking cold, I have been suffering for nearly a week with nervous toothache and ague in the face. My pain increased every day until I was unable to do anything. My sufferings were great. Last night at family prayer we took hold of the arm of God and carried my case to the great Physician and pleaded and wrestled with Him until He applied the balm and my aching head was relieved and my tired nerves were quieted, and we had a rejoicing time. All were abundantly blessed and triumphed in God.4 1EGWLM 390.4

But this is not answering your letter. First you inquire, “What so dreadful is among Sabbathkeepers?” Will not the vision answer this question? I think it will. God's people coming right up to the judgment not ready, unprepared, and not setting a good example but standing in the way of sinners; and God showed me that there was something dreadful in this as well as other things that the vision points out. 1EGWLM 391.1

About some being too fast and some too slow, I saw that some have run into the field to labor before they were sent, and traveled extensively.5 I might mention individual cases. Brother Lothrop [Howard Lothrop]6 is one that was shown me. His influence has been bad in many places. He has thought too much of himself, when he had but little judgment.7 Towle [John R. Towle] and Eastman [Ezra Eastman]8 were others whom God had never sent, and who were only a curse to the cause. Others were shown me who felt in a hurry to go out and talk the truth to others who had not yet learned it themselves. 1EGWLM 391.2

Every individual case I saw is not now clear to my mind. But I saw that Brethren Baker [Joseph Baker],9 Everts [Elon Everts], and Butler [Ezra Pitt Butler]10 were too cautious, moved too slowly. There was not that kind, courteous feeling cherished by some of the brethren that there ought to be. There is too much severity used when it is not timely or when the mind is not prepared for it. Some reprove unwisely and others are too backward, and let things go on that God is displeased with, and not rebuke or reprove them. I did see that Brother Hart11 had pressed the abstinence of herbs in case of sickness too far. I saw that it was right to use herbs that are beneficial for the use of man, but the poisonous herbs—tobacco, etc.—it was not right to use, because it was injuring and breaking down the constitution, weakening the system, ruining the nerves, and clogging and destroying the mind and reasoning powers which God has given us to serve Him with, that with the mind we may serve the law of God and adore and honor our Creator. I saw that others had erred in the same way, but the particular individuals I did not see or cannot recollect of seeing.12 1EGWLM 392.1

Again you inquire what the faith of Jesus is. I have seen that the brethren and sisters have not understood the faith of Jesus in its true light. They have taught that it is healing the sick, etc. It is not healing the sick, merely, but it is all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.13 “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” I saw that it was the whole New Testament which relates to Jesus. 1EGWLM 392.2

It is impossible for me to write out all that I have seen about the elders of the church in reference to visions. I know not that I have anything special about it. 1EGWLM 393.1

You inquire if we should pray for none that are sick except those in the third angel's message, or pray for all that shall make application, etc. James 5[:14, 15] is our rule to follow. “Is any sick among you? Let them call,” etc. It is those that are among us. God has shown me those who keep God's commandments [are] to have nothing to do in praying for the sick of those who are daily trampling them underfoot, unless it is in some special case where souls are convicted of the truth and are decided to move out upon it. The partition wall between commandment keepers and those who trample them underfoot should be kept up.14 1EGWLM 393.2

Your next question: The elders referred to in James [5:14] are not merely those who have been ordained, but aged persons, those also who have experience and judgment in the things of God—those whose lives are circumspect and who … [Remainder missing.] 1EGWLM 393.3