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


A Significant Testimony

At two o'clock Monday morning, March 30, Ellen White was aroused to write, as she said, “those things which force themselves upon my mind.” She penned these words: 4BIO 278.5

Dear Brother and Sister McCullagh,

I have been glad to receive encouraging letters from you. I am anxious that in every respect both of you shall meet the approval of God.... The Lord has given you talents for His service, and He longs to see you reveal Him to others. You have an influence with people; your speaking is acceptable to them. But you need to give more time and more earnest study to the Bible.—Letter 67, 1896. 4BIO 278.6

After writing in this vein for a time, she turned to health reform and the influence ministers exert, and then to the McCullagh home. She called for a change to be made in their experience and in the experience of their daughter. “Your daughter,” she wrote, “has not had proper training; she has not been brought up with the careful restraint that God requires.” She admonished, “In the home and in the world the love of God must occupy the first place. God must be enthroned in each heart.” She called for Elder McCullagh to set his own home in order. In stark words she declared, “If this is not done, you will be more trammeled by the wrong influence felt there than by any other power that can be brought against you.” Near the close she wrote: 4BIO 278.7

Think me not your enemy because I tell you the truth; let not the words I have written discourage you, but let them restore, strengthen, and uphold you. I respect and love you both, and for this reason, I entreat you to heed the message God has given me for you. Do not lightly esteem the voice of the Holy Spirit. God wants you to have liberty in Him, and by placing yourself in His hands, you may abound in every good work, and represent Him to the world. In much love.—Ibid. 4BIO 279.1

At the time of writing, Ellen White did not put this message in their hands, even though the McCullaghs were at Cooranbong. Either she felt the time had not come or she did not have a suitable opportunity. On July 28 she mailed the testimony to them in Adelaide. Her hope that it might be received wholeheartedly was not fulfilled. The reproof, though spoken kindly, roiled their hearts, and during the Adelaide camp meeting held in October, Fannie Bolton freely sowed seeds of falsehood, questioning, and doubt about Ellen White's work, which bore a dire harvest. The accumulation led Elder McCullagh on March 23, 1897, to turn from the message and in bitterness tender his resignation as a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 4BIO 279.2

This sparked a line of action: an immediate and hurried trip by Daniells and Colcord from Melbourne to Adelaide to meet with and attempt to save the two ministers, McCullagh and Hawkins, and the church. Calls were made for S. N. Haskell, now at Cooranbong, and G. B. Starr in Queensland to go to Adelaide also, and to expect to spend some time there. Of course, there were communications from Ellen G. White to the parties concerned and to the church. 4BIO 279.3

Daniells and Colcord found that McCullagh and Hawkins had brought the tent meetings at Adelaide to a close, but the tent was still standing. Announcements were out that the two ministers would be speaking in the Knights Templars’ hall on Sunday evening. The church members were confused. As Haskell and Starr took up work in the city, they found, as Daniells did, that the prime point at issue was Ellen G. White and her messages. Following closely was the advocacy of a holiness experience and the calling in question of the sanctuary truth. 4BIO 280.1