Manuscript Releases, vol. 10 [Nos. 771-850]


Crisis in Shifting from Review Editor to City Evangelism

While at the General Conference session of 1909, Ellen White was carrying a heavy burden for the spiritual experience and growth of men in leading positions, and particularly Elder Prescott, the editor of the Review and Herald. She wrote on June 3, first in general terms and then more specifically: 10MR 335.1

The Lord is not pleased with the spiritual advancement that Elder Prescott has made. He is not where the Lord would have him be. He would be the recipient of much greater spiritual strength if he were much of the time out in the field seeking to lead souls to the light of truth. 10MR 335.2

Brother Prescott, your ministerial ability is needed in the work that God requires shall be done in our cities.... I am instructed to say to you that you are needed in the fields that are opening for evangelistic work. When you make the Lord your trust, and give to the people the message of truth, wonderful reformations will be seen. (Manuscript 41, 1909.) 10MR 335.3

It is clearly evident that Ellen White's message had a double thrust, Elder Prescott's spiritual welfare, and then the demands of city evangelism. It was somewhat in a similar way, in an effort to save Elder A. T. Jones, a member of the General Conference Committee who was under Dr. Kellogg's influence, Ellen White, in early 1905, urged that he be called away from Battle Creek to evangelism in the city of Washington. In working to save others, he would be saved. 10MR 335.4

A few days after the close of the General Conference session, Ellen White, meeting with the General Conference Committee, urged that Elder Prescott should not remain in Washington to do a work another man could do. “He can stand before the people,” she declared, “and give the reasons of our faith in an acceptable manner. I know this, because I have been associated with him [in Australia] in labor.” (Manuscript 53, 1909.) 10MR 335.5

His gift is not to be used longer as it is now; for if he continues to labor here, his health and strength will be used up. But if he will go out into the public ministry, strength will come to him. (Ibid.) 10MR 335.6

Elder G. A. Irwin, General Conference vice-president, asked: 10MR 336.1

In all that you have said concerning the work of Elder Prescott, do you mean that he is to continue as editor of the paper, and also to go out and preach in the cities occasionally?

Ellen White's answer sent a shiver through the committee. It was firm and spoken under conviction and based on light God had given her. 10MR 336.2

No, no. He must give himself up to the work of the ministry. His strength should not be divided. He is to give himself to the evangelistic work. (Manuscript 53, 1909.) 10MR 336.3

A few days later she wrote to her son Edson: 10MR 336.4

Some did not take willingly to the idea of losing Brother Prescott, but I spoke plainly to them. (Letter 98, 1909.)