The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


Ms 2, 1856

[Circa May 27, 1856],1 n.p. 1EGWLM 486.1

Testimony for David Arnold,2 Alexander Ross,3 and others. 1EGWLM 486.2

Previously unpublished. 1EGWLM 486.3

David Arnold's discursive, formal preaching and extreme position on the visions of Ellen White. Need for sensitivity in dealing with the mistakes of Alexander Ross. Call for experience of “free and full salvation” in the congregations of Arnold and Ross. 1EGWLM 486.4

I saw in vision concerning Brethren Arnold [David Arnold], and Ross [Alexander Ross], and others. 1EGWLM 487.1

I saw that there was a wrong. There were difficulties in Oswego County [New York]. I saw that Brother Arnold had not understood what manner of spirit he was of, and he came to the conference4 with another spirit. It was not the Spirit of Jesus. I saw that since he was ordained, set apart by the brethren,5 he has taken an exalted position that God had never assigned him, a position that it was impossible for him to rightly fill to the glory of God. Exaltation and self-esteem has led astray and perverted his judgment, and a deathly influence, instead of a saving influence, has been the consequence. I saw that this influence had injured Brother Ross.6 1EGWLM 487.2

I saw that Brother Arnold had reasoned away and made of none effect what God had shown in vision in regard to Brother Ross.7 Brother Arnold has not seen as God seeth in regard to Brother Ross. I saw that Brother Ross's dreams and impressions had not been from the true Source.8 He has been, and still is, exalted, and has a large share of self-esteem. This will too surely prove his ruin unless it is seen and there is a breaking down before God. 1EGWLM 487.3

I saw that Brother Ross and Brother Arnold have built themselves up upon Brother Rhodes's [Samuel W. Rhodes]9 past errors or what they think are his wrongs. They have both pushed and crowded Brother Rhodes, when God had been healing the past wrongs and errors in judgment that he has made formerly, and God has been fitting him up to work for Him in His cause.10 1EGWLM 487.4

I saw that it was a weakness with Brother Arnold, his reasoning as much as he does. There is no religion or Jesus in it. It destroys the life of religion and encourages a formality that discourages and disheartens the people of God, and destroys the interest of meetings. This reasoning has grieved away God's Spirit, for I saw that God hates this reasoning that he has indulged in. I saw that this reasoning has mystified and fogged up the plainest facts and made them to be another thing. It has affected others; souls have felt with cringing its influence. 1EGWLM 488.1

I saw that the case of Brother Ross must be handled carefully, yet decidedly and with firmness. Possessing the Spirit of Jesus, show him his true state. I saw that humble confessions from him were due his brethren who have been oppressed by him.11 1EGWLM 488.2

I saw that in considering the wrongs of Brother Ross there had been feelings that were not free from self on his brethren's part. A feeling would rise in their hearts unlike the humble Pattern. However wrong Brother Ross may have been, his brethren could not be justified in having a single feeling or using a single word that was wrong. 1EGWLM 488.3

Many of those in union with Brother Ross know but little of the things of God. I saw that a great work must be done for Brother Ross, and not only for him but for many in that section of country. Free and full salvation from God is scarcely felt; daily communion with God and consecration to Him is a rare thing. Said the angel, “Oh, how far from the bleeding side of Jesus! When at His feet strife and contention cease.” 1EGWLM 488.4

I saw that Brother Arnold's course had affected many. Amanda12 has been drinking down the same spirit, the same feelings and ideas, and she is in danger of being led astray and discouraged and perplexed. I saw that Sister Arnold did not possess that feeling and spirit that God approbates; an humble spirit she does not possess. She has had too much of a complaining spirit. She talks more than is for her own spiritual good or the spiritual good of others or for the glory of God. 1EGWLM 488.5

I saw that Brethren Hart and Arnold had been too exacting about the matter of the note James published in the paper.13 These two have made nearly all the difficulty about this matter. Others would have had but little trouble had not these brethren stirred it up. I saw that God had especially guided His servants in their judgment and counsel concerning Brother Arnold's case, and then in addition set to His seal that it was right by the descent of His Holy Spirit in answer to the united, earnest cries of His children. I saw that there were one or two that did not see or feel the case of Brother Arnold as it stood in the sight of God, but these had not the right judgment. 1EGWLM 488.6