Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


Ellen G. White: Volume 2—The Progressive Years: 1862-1876


An Explanation the Author Would Like to Have You Read

The foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church had been quite well established by the early 1860s, the time with which this volume opens. The doctrinal structure was well formed, each major point having been dug from the Word of God and its certainty attested to by the Spirit of God. The battle for church organization had been fought and largely won. 2BIO 9.1

A journal, the Review and Herald, was serving as the organ of communication and, in a sense, as a pastor throughout the ranks of the Sabbathkeeping Adventists. A publishing house in Michigan was in operation, supplying literature for the church and its outreach. The time had come for notable advances. 2BIO 9.2

The health reform vision of June 6, 1863, within days of the official organization of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, opened up new vistas for a people preparing to meet the Lord. The vision of Christmas day, 1865, led the church into institutional medical work. 2BIO 9.3

With the rapidly growing church suffering a shortage of evangelistic and administrative personnel, the need for a denominational school was keenly felt, so a college was established in Battle Creek. 2BIO 9.4

As the years passed, the third angel's message reached out to the West Coast, and developments in California led to a call for a church-sponsored journal, a publishing house, and a medical institution in the west. At the same time, the work of the church was getting a foothold in Europe, and J. N. Andrews was dispatched across the Atlantic to foster the developing work on another continent. These were indeed “progressive years,” and in these advancements James and Ellen White stood at the forefront—James, an apostle and organizer; and Ellen, a prophet, messenger of the Lord. Theirs was a closely united ministry from which the church benefited greatly. 2BIO 9.5

Camp meetings were introduced and soon became a dominating feature in binding the churches and church members together. This made it possible for the handful of ministers who were preaching the word to be free to engage in aggressive evangelism. During this period Ellen White, partly by force of circumstances and partly impelled by the Spirit of God, developed into an articulate, moving, and much-sought-after public speaker. Her ministry served not only the members of the church but the general public in popular temperance drives with their mass meetings. 2BIO 10.1

These were years of prolific writing, marked by the issuance of several small volumes and seventeen numbered Testimony pamphlets. These currently fill the last half of volume 1 of Testimonies for the Church, as well as volumes 2 and 3, a total of nearly 1,650 pages. 2BIO 10.2

Ellen and James became aggressive advocates of good health. In this they were guided by the visions, but obtained a practical knowledge in health lines through the study of the work of others dedicated to reforms. They moved away from the traditional, largely futile, medical procedures of the times. 2BIO 10.3

With the coming of marked success in the work of James and Ellen White, Satan attacked both of them, not only through illness but in the discouragement created by disloyalty. However, faith and earnest efforts brought ultimate victory, and before the narrative of this volume closes, James White is seen as a strong leader, establishing a publishing house in California and starting the weekly journal Signs of the Times. At the same time he continued to give support and guidance to the longer-standing enterprises in Michigan. These were indeed the progressive years, yet years perhaps not so well known as some earlier or later in the life of Ellen G. White. 2BIO 10.4

That the account this volume offers of God's guidance through years good and not so good may reinforce the structure of confidence of every reader is the sincere wish of the author. 2BIO 10.5

Arthur L. White