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


Let No One Call Attention to their Errors

There are twelve pages in the letter to Littlejohn. In words that may well be pondered, the messenger of the Lord wrote: 4BIO 134.6

You were not in the early experience of the people of whom you have written, and who have been laid to rest from their labors. You have given but a partial view, for you have not presented the fact that the power of God worked in connection with their labors, even though they made some mistakes. 4BIO 134.7

You have made prominent before the world the errors of the brethren, but have not represented the fact that God worked to correct those errors, and to set the objectionable matters right. You have arrayed the errors of the early apostles, the errors of those who were precious in the eyes of the Lord in the days of Christ. 4BIO 135.1

In presenting the extreme positions that have been taken by the messengers of God, do you think that confidence will be inspired in the work of God for this time? Let God by inspiration trace the errors of His people for their instruction and admonition, but let not finite lips or pens dwell upon those features of the experience of God's people that will have a tendency to confuse and cloud the mind. Let no one call attention to the errors of those whose general work has been accepted of God.—Ibid. 4BIO 135.2

Before closing the solemn testimony, Ellen White penned these thought-provoking words: 4BIO 135.3

God will charge those who unwisely expose the mistakes of their brethren with sin of far greater magnitude than He will charge the one who makes a misstep. Criticism and condemnation of the brethren are counted as criticism and condemnation of Christ.—Ibid. 4BIO 135.4

In a seventeen-page general letter addressed to “Dear Brethren in the Seventh-day Adventist Faith,” she declared, “I have been acquainted with everything that has arisen in connection with the work that has borne the appearance of fanaticism.” When the Reformers and pioneers saw their mistakes, they “opened their minds and hearts to receive the light that was sent of God, and He forgave the mistakes they made, and through His great mercy cast their mistakes and errors into the depths of the sea.” She asked, “Now since God has thus covered their errors, who will presume to uncover them, and to present them to the world?”—Manuscript 27, 1894. 4BIO 135.5

Some argue that in the Word of God the sins and mistakes of various Bible characters are presented to all who may read, and does this not provide a pattern for today? The question finds its answer in a paragraph in the same letter, written four days after the testimony was penned to Littlejohn: 4BIO 135.6

From the light which God has been pleased to give me, the work of calling up the mistakes and errors of sleeping saints, and resurrecting the errors which they have committed (except under the special direction of God), is not a work that God can accept.—Ibid. 4BIO 136.1

After presenting the experience brought to view in the Littlejohn articles, Ellen White presented the episode of Joshua and the angel as set forth in Zechariah 3, [Note: She had presented this subject earlier in Testimonies for the Church, 5:467-476. Again, a decade later, she gave a chapter to it in Prophets and Kings, 582-592.] quoting extensively. 4BIO 136.2