Ellen G. White: The Later Elmshaven Years: 1905-1915 (vol. 6)


Chapter 25—1911—A Year of Concentrated Book Preparation

There is no extant word from Ellen White, or even her son William, that marked the beginning of the new year as 1911 dawned. Her eighty-third birthday on November 26—a few weeks before—makes a better milestone for marking the passing of another year. She was glad it came on Sabbath, for she wrote in her diary, “This gives me a most excellent opportunity to reflect upon the goodness and mercies of God to spare my life so many years to engage heartily in the work which He has given me to do.”—Manuscript 60, 1910. The fall weather had been pleasant, and on this Sabbath she wrote to Edson in words of gratitude: 6BIO 338.1

I am more thankful than I can express for the uplifting of the Spirit of the Lord, and for the strength that He gives me. Recently I spoke at the Pacific Union College and in the Sanitarium chapel. On both occasions I had much freedom. 6BIO 338.2

And then she quickly added: 6BIO 338.3

But I dare not spend too much strength in public speaking, because I am trying to complete the manuscript for my unfinished book on Old Testament history. I have recently been able to do some important writing. May the Lord give me His grace, and enable me to understand the work He would have me carry forward in His name.—Letter 136, 1910.

On this, her birthday, no pessimism was evidenced as she viewed the church on its march toward a victorious reward. After quoting Zechariah 2, beginning with the words “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord” (verse 10), and carrying through most of chapter 3, she commented: 6BIO 338.4

Nothing in this world is so dear to God as His church. With jealous care He guards those who seek Him. Nothing so offends God as for the servants of Satan to strive to rob His people of their rights. The Lord has not forsaken His people. Satan points to the mistakes that they have made, and tries to make them believe that thus they have separated themselves from God. Evil angels seek in every way to discourage those who are striving for victory over sin. They hold up before them their past unworthiness, and represent their case as hopeless. 6BIO 339.1

But we have an all-powerful Redeemer. Christ came from heaven in the guise of humanity to live the principles of righteousness in this world. He was endowed with power to minister to all who would accept Him as their Redeemer, to succor the repentant ones who were convinced of the sinfulness of sin.— Ibid. 6BIO 339.2

Ellen White understood so well the issues and the bountiful provisions for salvation that there was no place in her mind for discouragement. 6BIO 339.3

But she needed to get on with her writing, to fill out the books tracing the controversy between Christ and Satan—yet she needed one on Old Testament history and one on the early church and the apostles. Both were in preparation as December gave way to January. When, however, the staff at Elmshaven late in 1910 learned that the Sabbath school lessons for 1911 were to be on the early Christian church, the New Testament history took precedence. It was contemplated that materials in preparation, released week by week in Review and Herald articles, would serve as lesson helps. 6BIO 339.4

But it was with somewhat divided attention that this new work was entered upon, for the final work on the new edition of The Great Controversy was still the first priority at Elmshaven and Pacific Press. The completion of this volume drew heavily on the time and talents of two members of the staff. 6BIO 339.5