Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Exposing Errors and Weaknesses of God's Workmen

In early June as Ellen White was beginning to write for the American mail a member of her family said to her, “Have you read Elder Littlejohn's articles contained in the two issues of the last papers we have received?” 4BIO 133.4

She had not, but she did. They carried the title “Danger in Adopting Extreme Views,” and portrayed some of the weaknesses and mistakes of the apostles, the Reformers, and the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ellen White, either by vision or experience or both, was so closely linked with these noble and fearless men who had been in God's service that to touch them pierced her heart. 4BIO 133.5

She recounted her experience: 4BIO 133.6

That night, in agony of distress both of soul and body, I groaned in spirit; I feared I should not live. I have had some experience of what is meant when it was recorded of Christ that “being in ... agony he prayed.” Certainly I was helpless. Not one I knew could give me a word to bring relief.

All the next day my feelings were so intense that I could not write; all the next day I could not do anything. Certainly in my case these articles did not lift up the hands that hang down, or strengthen the feeble knees. The second night was one of sorrow and unspeakable grief. I felt crushed as a cart beneath the sheaves. 4BIO 134.1

I prayed at half-past twelve o'clock at night, “O God, bring not Thine heritage unto reproach. Suffer not the world who hate Thy law to reproach God by reproaching His people who are seeking to present His truth to the world.” ... 4BIO 134.2

I could take in the situation, I knew what would be the sure results, for I have had the movements of the world presented before me, and was aware of the advantage that men would take of unwise statements. All these things forced themselves upon my mind as I considered the points presented in the articles to which I have referred.—Manuscript 27, 1894. 4BIO 134.3

She wrote to Littlejohn on June 3: 4BIO 134.4

Elder Littlejohn, you have undertaken to point out the defects of Reformers and pioneers in the cause of God. No one should trace the lines which you have done. You have made public the errors and defects of the people of God, and in so doing have dishonored God and Jesus Christ. I would not for my right arm have given to the world that which you have written. You have not been conscious of what would be the influence of your work....

The Lord did not call upon you to present these things to the public as a correct history of our people. Your work will make it necessary for us to put forth labor to show why these brethren took the extreme position that they did, and call up the circumstances that vindicate those upon whom your articles have laid suspicion and reproach.—Letter 48, 1894. 4BIO 134.5