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


Forgiven and Accepted

Finally, as he pondered these matters he went to the barn, feeling that all he could do was to submit himself to God and “fall into the hands of Christ” and in agony plead his case with God. He declared: 2BIO 428.1

It was then that I had a view of how terrible was the sin of those who profess to believe that God speaks to them through vision, yet from heedlessness receive no lasting impression when reproved, but go on as before, making no changes in those things wherein they are reproved. I felt that such a course was a fearful insult to the Holy Ghost, and that I was in a degree guilty of this sin.— Ibid., 9. 2BIO 428.2

White described the very meaningful and personal experience he had had, of forgiveness and acceptance with God: 2BIO 428.3

I have been able to make the full surrender of all to God, and as I have confessed my sins to God and those with me, and united with them in prayer for pardon, and restoration to peace of mind, faith, hope, and physical strength and health, the Spirit of God has come upon us in a wonderful degree. At one time, while we were knelt in prayer [in the Loughborough home in Santa Rosa], and Mrs. White took my arm and bade me rise and go free, as I arose, the Holy Ghost came upon us in such a measure that we both fell to the floor. 2BIO 428.4

I now feel sure that God has forgiven my sins, so far as I have seen them, and confessed them in the spirit of true repentance. My sins do not longer separate me from God. And as I have made a determined effort to draw nigh to God, He has come very nigh to me. That terrible weight of discouragement and gloom that has been upon me much of the time for the past two years is gone from me, and hope, courage, peace, and joy have taken its place.— Ibid. 2BIO 429.1

Our seasons of prayer in Brother Loughborough's family, but especially when Mrs. White and I pray by ourselves, are very precious. Sometimes the Holy Spirit fills the place, and we are made to feel the presence of God as we have not witnessed for a long time.... We see a great work to be done, and we believe that God will raise us up to bear some part in it.— Ibid., 11, 12. 2BIO 429.2

The Lord did raise him up, and he was again engaged in important positions in the cause of God. The insights into his own experience marked by the shortcomings he mentioned led him to think of his fellow ministers, some no less guilty of the neglect of the light God had given, and then of the church members generally. He was led to reach out beyond his own experience. In the closing pages of the little pamphlet, he gave full meaning to the title he had chosen, “A Solemn Appeal to the Ministry and the People.” He hoped to warn others to take care as to how they related to the visions and the testimonies. 2BIO 429.3

This recital provides helpful insights into some phases of James White's life and work. He confessed to his “love of labor while seeing so much to do” (Ibid., 8), but he easily forgot the effects on his body and mind of four paralytic strokes. How well this described his repeated experiences of zeal and overwork, followed by depression and suspicion of those about him. Soon after this confession he started publishing the Signs of the Times, with the attendant problems and pressures—and history repeated itself in discouragement, despondency, and gloom. 2BIO 429.4

Ellen White, writing to W. H. Littlejohn in November, 1874, in reference to her husband's experience stated: 2BIO 429.5

It is the crowding in of so many things, one upon another, that taxes the mind and brings on sleeplessness and indigestion, and then the way looks blue and discouraging.—Letter 61, 1874. 2BIO 430.1