Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


James White's Funeral

On Sabbath afternoon, August 13, some 2,500 Seventh-day Adventists and Battle Creek townspeople assembled in the Tabernacle for the funeral of James White. Even though very ill, Ellen attended. She recounted: 3BIO 174.1

We then went in hacks to the Tabernacle, and I was carried in a chair while the mourners followed. I was laid upon a sofa prepared with pillows. I was carefully watched by the doctor.—Ibid. 3BIO 174.2

The funeral address presented by Uriah Smith was appropriate. In it he eulogized the deceased and spoke of his activities in connection with the origin and rise of the Seventh-day Adventist Church: 3BIO 174.3

Before us, shrouded for the tomb, lies the man with whom it had its very beginning. Taking hold of this work while as yet it had neither form nor substance, under the leadings of what he regarded as the clearest indications of Divine Providence, he bore it in his arms heroically forward, making ways where none appeared, removing obstacles calculated to arrest its progress, defending it from enemies without and within, devising means for the development of strength, until it has reached its present growth, and stands today in its highest attainment of vitality. 3BIO 174.4

With every advance movement, with every new enterprise connected with this work, with all its outreachings to occupy new territory, and with the employment of new agencies to accomplish desired ends, his name has been connected, and his efforts have been inseparably interwoven.—In Memoriam, p. 23. 3BIO 174.5

Smith enumerated in some detail, giving illustrations, predominating traits, and characteristics of the man with whom he had worked intimately for so many years: 3BIO 174.6

We first notice that in times of confusion and excitement he was always calm and cool.... 3BIO 174.7

Secondly, he was a man never given to fanaticism.... 3BIO 174.8

Thirdly, he was endued with remarkable acuteness of perception to determine the most judicious moves to be made.... 3BIO 174.9

Fourthly, he was a man who would never yield to discouragements. The word “fail” was not in his vocabulary.... 3BIO 175.1

Fifthly, he was a man who would look forward to the future wants of his work, and make provision for them. He foresaw that certain elements of stability must be wrought into the work, which could be secured only through organization.... 3BIO 175.2

Sixthly, he was a man of strong personal friendships, and of a remarkably generous nature. To have a regard for the interest of others, and to see that their circumstances were rendered as favorable as possible, was a part of his nature.—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 29-31. 3BIO 175.3