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


150 Attend the Institute

The Biblical institute opened on Tuesday evening, December 15, according to plan, with about 150 in attendance, and the promise of “abundant success.” James White gave the Sabbath morning address on the nineteenth, employing a “large, painted chart of the ‘Way of Life,’ showing the harmony of the two Testaments, and pointing out the presence of Christ in all the Bible, and that His work is not confined to the present dispensation” (Ibid., December 22, 1874). The presentation was well received, and the chart was reduced to a steel engraving that in the years to come had wide distribution. [The concept of such a pictorial design was that of M. G. Kellogg. Over a period of several years the pictorial representation was improved. Copies in color are available from the Ellen G. White Estate.] J. H. Waggoner reported on the Sabbath afternoon meeting: 2BIO 457.3

Sister White made one of her most powerful appeals, directed especially to the ministers and those who expect to engage in the ministry, but applicable to all. At the close, there was a call made to come forward for prayers, but it was in vain to carry out the design of giving place to those who desired to seek a closer walk with God. The whole house was moved. It was a solemn time.—Ibid., December 22, 1874 2BIO 457.4

One of the men attending from Ohio, O. T. Noble, gave a report, in which he stated: 2BIO 458.1

The first thing I will speak of is how we were received. A committee previously chosen held themselves in readiness to wait upon every newcomer and conduct him to a home with some one of the families composing the Battle Creek church; and judging from my own experience and what I have heard from others, we feel justified in saying that we fare sumptuously.... So far, the lectures have been conducted by Brethren J. White and U. Smith. The able and patient manner in which they handle the subjects, and answer the many curious, ingenious, and intricate questions submitted to them in writing, and orally, will certainly give them a large place in our confidence and in our hearts. 2BIO 458.2

The time devoted to lectures, including that used in asking and answering questions, is from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M., from 2:00 to 4:00, and 6:00 to 8:00 P.M., giving us plenty to do. 2BIO 458.3

I cannot close this article without a few words about the preaching, all of which thus far has been done by Brother and Sister White. I wish to say that whatever opinion people may form by reading, I venture the assertion that no fine-minded person can listen to either of them and not feel assured that God is with them. Sister White's style and language is altogether solemn and impressive, and sways a congregation beyond description, and in a direction always heavenward. Brother White's language, manner, and style are inspiring, and well calculated to lift us up.—Ibid., January 8, 1875 2BIO 458.4

The experiment of calling the ministers together for intensive Bible study was eminently successful, and it initiated a program that continued for several years. 2BIO 458.5