Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)


Testimonies for the Church, Volume 7

While Ellen White was on the precarious winter trip to New York just at the close of 1901, Marian Davis was busy at Elmshaven drawing materials together for consideration for the proposed new Testimony volume. In a brief note to her, W. C. White, in the East, wrote on December 20: 5BIO 177.1

I am much pleased with the work you are doing on Testimony No. 35, and I can only say, go forward with good courage. Give the matter room to be well and clearly presented. 5BIO 177.2

There is a movement on foot for the establishment of many more sanitariums; this will make it important for us to bring out in the next Testimony very fully what Mother has written on the erection and management of sanitariums.—18 WCW, p. 174. 5BIO 177.3

Quietly through the next few months the work progressed. Writing to Dr. and Mrs. Kress in late April, Ellen White reported: 5BIO 177.4

At times my brain is so intensely active that it seems impossible for me to write the ideas as fast as they come to me.... I have four workers at work for me, besides my son.... I have much to place in their hands.—Letter 68, 1902. 5BIO 177.5

As the work progressed on Testimony No. 35, articles on soul winning—the theme ever uppermost in Ellen White's mind—took the lead. There were appeals for lay families to move to new territories and, as they engaged in making a livelihood, let their light shine. There were the needs of the great cities; the church should delay no longer in its thrust in a strong work in soul-winning activity. Articles on family worship and married life needed to be written. 5BIO 177.6

The manuscript for the section on sanitarium work encompassed the whole world field in its appeals and included instruction on starting medical institutions, their location, and their operation. It also came to grips with a declining of the spiritual experience of personnel in the church's older medical institutions. 5BIO 177.7

With health-food manufacturing burgeoning and with the starting and operation of vegetarian restaurants, a section of the new book was appropriately given to this rapidly developing phase of the work. 5BIO 178.1

Problems in the publishing institutions abounded, and there was need for counsels dealing with situations from “the object of our publications” to “commercial work,” with the devastating effects of some of the demoralizing literature published; from the making of translations to “avoiding debt” and the threat of consolidation. 5BIO 178.2

Volume 7 of the Testimonies was to bring to the attention of all believers the importance of the much-neglected work—the work for blacks—in the Southern part of the United States. In a series of five articles published in the Review and Herald late in 1895, Ellen White had made an earnest appeal for a strong work in the South. Now having traveled through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee in 1901, and visiting Tennessee again in early 1902, she devoted a section to the Southern field in which she brought to the church the fact that “the proclamation that freed the slaves in the Southern States opened doors through which Christian workers should have entered to tell the story of the love of God.”—Testimonies for the Church 7:222. She called for “a hundred workers where now there is but one” (Ibid., 7:224). 5BIO 178.3

The closing section of the manuscript presented many lines of practical counsel to workers of the church in various capacities, and closed with an appeal for a “workers’ fund,” which materialized in 1911 as the “sustentation fund.” Through August and early September intensive work was done on the manuscripts, not only for volume seven, but also for Education. Ellen White informed her friends that they had not been forgotten, but she was just too busy to correspond with them (Letters 133 and 141, 1902). W. C. White told of spending ten days reading manuscripts and selecting matter for Testimony No. 35. He was to leave with his mother on September 8 to attend the Los Angeles camp meeting, and he spoke of their desire “to get this work so far along that one person remaining” at Elmshaven could “see it through the press” (20 WCW, p. 390). 5BIO 178.4

She was delighted to see Willie working so hard on her books, and she wrote to Elder Daniells on September 5: 5BIO 179.1

For the first time since returning to this country, Willie has taken hold of my book work in earnest. All our helpers are doing excellent work in this line. The preparation of the book Education and Testimony for the Church No. 35 has held me close at home for several weeks.—Letter 138, 1902. 5BIO 179.2

In mid-December Testimonies for the Church, volume 7, came from the press, and W. C. White, when he received a copy in Battle Creek, commented: 5BIO 179.3

It is indeed a fine book. The matter is precious. Its arrangement is good, the paper and printing are fair, and the binding is excellent. I'm sure our people will be glad to get it, and that it will be studied very diligently.—WCW to C. C. Crisler, Maggie Hare, and M. A. Davis, December 17, 1902.—20 WCW, p. 605. 5BIO 179.4