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


Chapter 18—(1883) The Spirit of Prophecy Challenged

Spending a weekend in Ukiah, fifty miles north of Healdsburg, in early December, 1882, Ellen White learned of a “storm of calumny and reviling” that troubled the new little company of believers there. She wrote: 3BIO 220.1

Our hearts are made glad as we see this little center of converts to the truth advancing step by step, growing stronger amid opposition. They are becoming better acquainted with the suffering part of religion. Our Saviour instructed His disciples that they should be despised for His name's sake. “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”—Manuscript 5, 1882. 3BIO 220.2

In part this opposition was because of the maintaining by Seventh-day Adventists that the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy is present in the church. “Everything has been said about me that could be,” she commented (Letter 24, 1882). 3BIO 220.3

Usually a firsthand acquaintance with Ellen White sufficed to counter many of the objections raised against her. At Ukiah, arrangements were made for her to speak to the townspeople in the courthouse in the evening after the Sabbath and again Sunday night. “The courthouse was crowded,” she reported (Ibid.). As she wrote of the experience she declared: 3BIO 220.4

Our work is to sow the seed, not knowing which shall prosper, this or that. Our work is not to meet and contradict the variety of false statements men will make about me and my work. These men, professing to be messengers of God, publish and preach that which is most agreeable to their own natures; they pour out from unsanctified hearts and lips the basest falsehoods, that have no foundation in truth. 3BIO 220.5

Why don't you meet them? Why don't you resort to the law? says one. This is not my work. I ask, Did Jesus do this when He was on earth? He had to meet just such things. He was abused and insulted. He was reviled, but He reviled not again. He was pursued with falsehood and with calumny. He passed on, doing His work with fidelity whether meeting censure or praise.—Manuscript 5, 1882. 3BIO 221.1

The activities of Ellen White in California through the winter, spring, and summer of 1883 were described by the editor of the Signs of the Times, J. H. Waggoner: 3BIO 221.2

Although Sister White has been some time in California she has kept so steadily at writing at her home in Healdsburg that we have seen her very seldom, and the church has not been often favored with her personal labors. Indeed, her writing has so engrossed her time and attention that she has done comparatively little traveling and speaking in this State since the camp meeting [at Hanford, May 10-16, 1881]. But we never saw a time when her labor was better appreciated here than the present.—The Signs of the Times, August 16, 1883. 3BIO 221.3