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


The Acts of the Apostles

For many years E. G. White articles had been furnished regularly to the Review and Herald, as well as Signs of the Times and Youth's Instructor. Selecting and assembling the E. G. White materials for these articles from sermons, general manuscripts, and other similar sources was the responsibility of Maggie Hare (now Mrs. Bree), an assistant of long experience in Ellen White's work. With emphasis to be given to New Testament history, Maggie was instructed to make an exhaustive study of the E. G. White sources to provide articles to parallel the 1911 Sabbath school lessons. Then the plan was that Clarence Crisler, as soon as the work on The Great Controversy was completed, would assemble materials on the life of Paul. He would take the 1883 E. G. White book Sketches From the Life of Paul as the foundation of this work. This book had been long out of print; Ellen White had been looking forward to the time when she could expand its presentation. Now Crisler would draw from this as well as from other E. G. White sources of the past twenty-five or more years. 6BIO 340.1

Because Maggie, hard at work on the experiences of the early Christian church, became ill, the work was delayed; the deadline for copy for the January 5 issue of the Review, the time when the new series was to begin, was missed (WCW to F. M. Wilcox, January 17, 1911). But four weeks later the Review and Herald carried two articles in time to parallel current Sabbath school lessons. 6BIO 340.2

Ellen White was much involved in the task, going over the materials as they were assembled, doing some editing and writing to fill in gaps. All of this was done with an eye on the full manuscript for the forthcoming book to be known as The Acts of the Apostles. On February 15 she wrote: 6BIO 340.3

I am thankful that I can remain at home for a time, where I can be close to my helpers.... I have been very fully employed in the preparation of matter for the “Life of Paul.” We are trying to bring out scriptural evidences of truth, and these, we believe, will be appreciated by our people.—Letter 4, 1911. 6BIO 340.4

The work of article preparation and shaping up of chapters for the book manuscript proceeded well, as Ellen White devoted much of her writing ability to this task. April was consumed in a trip to Loma Linda, but in May she was back working on Acts (WCW to J. H. Behrens, May 21, 1911). On June 6, she reported that since her long trip in 1909 she had “written but few letters,” and stated, “What strength I have is mostly given to the completion of my book on the work of the apostles.”—Letter 30, 1911. 6BIO 340.5

On July 25, in writing to F. M. Wilcox, editor of the Review and Herald, she said: 6BIO 341.1

While preparing the book on the Acts of the Apostles, the Lord has kept my mind in perfect peace. This book will soon be ready for publication. When this book is ready for publication, if the Lord sees fit to let me rest, I shall say Amen, and Amen. 6BIO 341.2

If the Lord spares my life, I will continue to write, and to bear my testimony in the congregation of the people, as the Lord shall give me strength and guidance.—Letter 56, 1911. 6BIO 341.3

Her Review articles continued to appear in step with the Sabbath school lessons, but in mid-August they began to take on the form of finished book chapters, which indeed they were. Up to this point, most of the material in the articles went into The Acts of the Apostles chapters with some editing, some deletions, and some rearrangement of words. Through the rest of the year the articles and the book ran word for word. 6BIO 341.4

On August 4, Ellen White reported in a letter to Edson: 6BIO 341.5

My workers are busy completing the work to be done on the new book, The Acts of the Apostles. This we expect to close up very shortly.... My workers are continually bringing in chapters for me to read; and I lay aside my other work to do this.... This morning I have already read several chapters on the life of Paul.—Letter 60, 1911.

Four weeks later she again mentioned the book, this time in a letter to Elder Haskell: 6BIO 341.6

My work on the book The Acts of the Apostles is nearly completed.—Letter 64, 1911. 6BIO 341.7

It was a joyous day and one filled with satisfaction when Ellen White could write as she did on October 6 to Elder and Mrs. Haskell: 6BIO 341.8

My book The Acts of the Apostles has gone to the press. Soon it will be printed and ready for circulation. 6BIO 341.9

I feel more thankful than I can express for the interest my workers have taken in the preparation of this book, that its truths might be presented in the clear and simple language which the Lord has charged me never to depart from in any of my writings.—Letter 80, 1911. 6BIO 342.1

The Acts of the Apostles was off the press and ready for sale in late November. 6BIO 342.2