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


News of D. M. Canright's Final Defection

In March, Ellen White received word of D. M. Canright's final defection—and his request that his name be dropped from the church books in Otsego, Michigan. The action was taken by the church on the evening of February 17, at a meeting in which G. I. Butler, president of both the General Conference and the Michigan Conference, presided. In January Canright had taken the position that he would no longer be a Seventh-day Adventist and informed his longtime friend, Butler, of the decision. In the business meeting at which he was dismissed he made a clear-cut statement inscribed by the clerk in the records of the church. Canright made it plain 3BIO 360.6

that he had come to a point where he no longer believed that the Ten Commandments were binding upon Christians and had given up the law, the Sabbath, the messages, the sanctuary, our position upon [the] United States in prophecy, the testimonies, health reform, the ordinances of humility.

He also said that he did not believe the Papacy had changed the Sabbath. And though he did not directly state it, his language intimated that he would probably keep Sunday. He thinks that Seventh-day Adventists are too narrow in their ideas.—Church Clerk's Record, February 17, 1887, Otsego, Michigan, in Johnson, I Was Canright's Secretary, p. 82. 3BIO 361.1

He recognized that his best friends were among the Adventists and promised he would never oppose them. Mrs. Canright joined him in the apostasy. The steps Canright took in separating himself from the church came as no surprise to Ellen White, for shortly before this she had an impressive dream. In it she saw Canright desiring to leave a strong vessel sailing in rough waters to take his chances on a vessel with worm-eaten timbers, destined for destruction. She described this view in a letter of warning to him, now found in Testimonies, volume 5, pages 571-573. 3BIO 361.2

Within a few months he was preaching for the Baptists, and he soon became a very bitter enemy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He continued to oppose Adventists until his death in 1919. 3BIO 361.3