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


Plans for the Signs for 1877

As plans were being formulated in late 1876 for the next volume of the Signs, James White wrote an editorial introducing the “new volume.” He explained its various special features, penning these lines describing his intentions in regard to one department in the paper: 3BIO 55.3

The “Home Circle” will be a department of great importance to every family. Here will be found lessons of self-control, mutual forbearance and love, respect for parents, the power of kindness toward children, and the great moral and religious lessons of life, which should bless every household. These articles for the family circle, embracing parents as well as children, are not hastily snatched from our exchanges for this year. They have been selected by the watchful, critical eye of a mother, during the twenty years she has been leading her own children to manhood, and by her hand pasted in huge scrapbooks from which they are now taken.—The Signs of the Times, December 28, 1876. 3BIO 55.4

The issues of the Signs from week to week in the months of 1877 testify to Ellen White's faithful work in literary lines, but not altogether as projected by her husband. On an average, a little more than three out of four issues of the paper carried articles from her pen, primarily materials drawn from her writing on the life of Christ, which was a continuing work with her through much of 1877. With few exceptions each issue carried the “Home Circle,” with materials selected by Ellen White. The promised articles continuing the story of Ellen White's life did not get prepared, hence did not appear. 3BIO 55.5

James and Ellen White found themselves more worn than they had at first thought, and they were not able to get on with their literary work as rapidly as they had planned. They worked away in Oakland, traveling little and speaking rarely. They did attend the California State Quarterly Meeting in Oakland, Sabbath and Sunday, January 6 and 7. J. N. Loughborough, president of the California Conference, reported: 3BIO 56.1

Sister White gave two searching and powerful, practical discourses, and Brother White favored us with good wholesome counsel and many words of good cheer in our business sessions.—Ibid., January 11, 1877. 3BIO 56.2