Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)


Chapter 6—(1845-1846) Sustained in a Continued Ministry

As Ellen Harmon continued her work at the bidding of the Lord, she was ever confronted with new perplexities. There were some who attributed her visions to mesmerism: 1BIO 90.1

About this time I was subjected to a severe trial. If the Spirit of God rested upon a brother or sister in meeting, and they glorified God by praising Him, some raised the cry of mesmerism. And if it pleased the Lord to give me a vision in meeting, some would say that it was excitement and mesmerism. 1BIO 90.2

Grieved and desponding, I often went alone to some retired place to pour out my soul before Him who invites the weary and heavy laden to come and find rest. As my faith claimed the promises, Jesus seemed very near. The sweet light of heaven shone around me, I seemed to be encircled by the arms of Jesus, and there have I been taken off in vision. Then I would relate what God had revealed to me alone, where no earthly influence could affect me, but was grieved and astonished to hear some intimate that those who lived nearest to God were most liable to be deceived by Satan.—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880), 219. 1BIO 90.3

It is little wonder that in the face of all the suggestions and accusations that were made that she was at times led to question her own experience. She wrote: 1BIO 90.4

All these things weighed heavily upon my spirits, and in the confusion I was sometimes tempted to doubt my own experience. While at family prayers one morning, the power of God began to rest upon me, and the thought rushed into my mind that it was mesmerism, and I resisted it. Immediately I was struck dumb, and for a few moments was lost to everything around me. I then saw my sin in doubting the power of God, and that for so doing I was struck dumb, and that my tongue would be loosed in less than twenty-four hours. 1BIO 90.5

A card was held up before me, on which were written in letters of gold the chapter and verse of fifty texts of Scripture. [References are listed.] After I came out of vision, I beckoned for the slate, and wrote upon it that I was dumb, also what I had seen, and that I wished the large Bible. 1BIO 91.1

I took the Bible and readily turned to all the texts that I had seen upon the card. I was unable to speak all day. Early the next morning my soul was filled with joy, and my tongue was loosed to shout the high praises of God. After that I dared not doubt or for a moment resist the power of God, however others might think of me.—Early Writings, 22, 23. 1BIO 91.2