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


Chapter 17—(1883) Immersed in Book Production

It was early summer in 1882 before Ellen White had recovered sufficiently from the shock of James White's death to settle down to a consistent program of book production. When she did, weighing heavily on her mind was volume 4 of the Spirit of Prophecy series—The Great Controversy, dealing with the post-Christian era from the destruction of Jerusalem to the new earth. But first there was the writing dealing with current issues, primarily those relating to Battle Creek. She was living in her home on the little farm on West Dry Creek Road just out of Healdsburg. At first she felt she could give only half of each day to literary work, spending the other half-day in sewing and chores about the place. 3BIO 206.1

In early August, Testimony No. 31 came from the press. It was a 244-page volume available in either paper or cloth binding but with a larger sized page than heretofore—approximately the Testimony size so well known by Seventh-day Adventists. Its serious messages had an impressive impact on the church, particularly the seven chapters that filled the first eighty-nine pages, dealing with the Battle Creek problem and education in general in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These carried the titles “Camp Meeting Address,” “Our College,” “Parental Training,” “Important Testimony,” “The Testimonies Slighted,”“Workers in Our College,” and “Jealousy and Faultfinding Condemned.” 3BIO 206.2

Currently these chapters fill the first one hundred pages of Testimonies for the Church, volume 5. 3BIO 206.3

S. N. Haskell declared Testimony No. 31 to be “the most solemn one that has been published” (The Review and Herald, October 24, 1882). Early in the Ohio camp meeting a copy arrived and frequently the entire camp was called together to hear portions read; the hearers were deeply affected (The Signs of the Times, September 7, 1882). G. I. Butler, the president of the General Conference, wrote of it, “Never before has so important a testimony been given to us.... It is filled with the choicest matter and the most stirring truths. Never were our dangers set before us as a people more clearly.”—The Review and Herald, August 22, 1882. Reported Sanborn, a minister, “How thankful I feel that the Lord has not left us in our darkness and backslidings, but in mercy calls us to hear His special counsel.” (Ibid., September 19, 1882). 3BIO 207.1