Ellen G. White Statements Relating to Geology and Earth Sciences

Statements, 1880-1889

Scientists Are at Sea When They Try to Separate Nature From the Power of God—When scientists seek to separate the works of nature from the immediate and constant manifestation of Divine power, they are at sea without a compass... Skeptics may multiply doubts, scoffers may rail; but the true Christian calmly reposes in God, being assured that He is, and that He is a rewarder of all who diligently seek Him.—The Signs of the Times, November 11, 1880. EGWSRGES 29.5

Problems of Infinity Not Solvable Apart from Revelation—The finite mind, strong in its desire to satisfy curiosity, and solve the problems of infinity, neglects to follow the plain course indicated by the revealed will of God, and pries into the secrets hidden since the foundation of the world. Man builds his theories, loses the simplicity of true faith, becomes too self-important to believe the declarations of the Lord, and hedges himself in with his own conceit.—The Signs of the Times, April 14, 1881, p. 7. EGWSRGES 30.1

The Danger of Extolling Human Reason Over RevelationAnother sin of the mind is that of extolling and deifying human reason to the neglect of divine revelation. Here, too, we must “gird up the loins of the mind.” We are living in an age when the minds of men are ever on the stretch for something new. Rightly directed, and kept within proper limits, this desire is commendable. God has given us in His created works enough to excite thought and stimulate investigation. He does not desire men to be less acute, less inquiring, or less intelligent. But with all our aspirations, and in all our researches, we should remember that arrogance is not greatness, nor is conceit knowledge. Human pride is an evidence, not of strength, but of weakness. It reveals not wisdom, but folly. To exalt reason unduly is to abase it. To place the human in rivalry with the Divine, is to make it contemptible.—The Signs of the Times, April 13, 1882. EGWSRGES 30.2

Unenlightened by Revelation the Most Profound Mind Becomes Bewildered in Its Investigation of the Creator’s Works—Those who have no vital connection with God are swayed this way and that, ever grasping the opinions of learned men who sit in judgment upon God and His works and ways. Weak, finite minds weigh God’s Word with men’s balances. The wisdom of these so-called great men is foolishness with God. They are blinded by the god of this world. Those only who are willing to be accounted fools in the eyes of these very worldly-wise men, will have the wisdom which is divine. God will not dwell with those who reject His truth, for all who disregard truth, disregard its Author.... EGWSRGES 30.3

How can those who are destitute of divine enlightenment have correct ideas of God’s plans and ways? They either deny Him altogether and ignore His existence, or they circumscribe His power by their own finite, world-wise views and opinions. EGWSRGES 30.4

That which I have seen of eternal things, and that which I have seen of the weakness of men, as God has presented the matter before me, has deeply impressed my mind and influenced my life and character. I see nothing wherein man should be exalted or praised or glorified. I see no reason why the opinions of learned men and the so-called great men should be trusted in and exalted. Those who are connected with the infinite God are the only ones who make a proper use of their knowledge or of the talent entrusted to them by the omniscient Creator. No man can ever truly excel in knowledge and influence unless he is connected with the God of wisdom and power. EGWSRGES 30.5

The real evidence of a living God is not merely in theory; it is in the conviction which God has written in our hearts, illuminated and explained by His words. It is the living power in His created works seen by a sanctified eye. The precious faith inspired of God gives strength and nobility of character. The natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. All the philosophies of human nature have led to confusion and shame when God has not been recognized as all in all.... EGWSRGES 30.6

The most profound intellects of the world, when not enlightened by God’s Word, become bewildered and lost while trying to investigate the matters of science and revelation. The Creator and His works are beyond finite comprehension, and men conclude that because they cannot explain the works and ways of God from natural causes, the Bible history is not reliable. Many are so intent upon excluding God from the exercise of [His] sovereign will and power in the established order of the universe that they demean man, the noblest of His creatures. The theories and speculations of philosophy would make us believe that man has come by slow degrees, not merely from a savage state, but from the very lowest form of the brute creation. They destroy man’s dignity because they will not admit God’s miraculous power. EGWSRGES 31.1

God has illuminated human intellects and poured a flood of light on the world through discoveries in art and science. But those who view these from a merely human standpoint will most assuredly come to wrong conclusions. The thorns of error, skepticism, and infidelity are disguised by being covered with the garments of philosophy and science. Satan has devised this ingenious manner of winning souls away from the living God, away from the truth and religion. He exalts nature above nature’s Creator. EGWSRGES 31.2

The only safety for the people now is to feel the importance of combining religious culture with general education, that we may escape the curse of unsanctified knowledge. Every effort should be made in the education of youth to impress their minds with the loveliness and power of the truth as it is in Jesus. When the veil shall be removed which separates time from eternity, then will come to many minds the clear perception of the policy of human wisdom in comparison with the sure word of prophecy. All true education leads to harmony with, and obedience to, God. When that which has seemed incomprehensible is seen in the light shining from the throne of God, it will fill the soul with the greatest astonishment that it has never before seen and comprehended. EGWSRGES 31.3

Christ and the Father are continually working through the laws of nature. Those who dwell on the laws of matter and the laws of nature, in following their own limited, finite understanding, lose sight of (if they do not deny) the continual and direct agency of God. Many express themselves in a manner which would convey the idea that nature is distinct from the God of nature, having in and of itself its own limits and its own powers wherewith to work. There is with many a marked distinction between natural and supernatural. The natural is ascribed to ordinary causes, unconnected with the interference of God. Vital power is attributed to matter, and nature is made a deity. Matter is supposed to be placed in certain relations and left to act from fixed laws with which God Himself cannot interfere; that nature is endowed with certain properties and placed subject to laws, and left to itself to obey these laws and perform the work originally commanded. This is false science; there is nothing in the Word of God to sustain it. God does not annul His laws, but He is continually working through them, using them as His instruments. They are not self-working. EGWSRGES 31.4

God is perpetually at work in nature. She is His servant, directed as He pleases. Nature in her work testifies of the intelligent presence and active agency of a Being who moves in all His works according to His will. It is not by an original power inherent in nature that year by year the earth produces its bounties and the world keeps up its continual march around the sun. The hand of infinite power is perpetually at work guiding this planet. It is God’s power momentarily exercised that keeps it in position in its rotations. The God of heaven is constantly at work. It is by His power that vegetation is caused to flourish, that every leaf appears and every flower blooms. It is not as the result of a mechanism, that, once set in motion, continues its work, that the pulse beats and breath follows breath—in God we live and move and have our being. Every breath, every throb of the heart, is the continual evidence of the power of an ever-present God. EGWSRGES 31.5

It is God that maketh the sun to rise in the heavens. He openeth the windows of heaven and giveth rain. He maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains. “He giveth snow like wool: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes” (Psalm 147:16). “When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures” (Jeremiah 10:13). Although the Lord has ceased His work in creating, He is constantly employed in upholding and using as His servants the things which He has made. Said Christ, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). EGWSRGES 32.1

Men of the greatest intellect cannot understand the mysteries of Jehovah as revealed in nature. Divine inspiration asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked, supposing that we could answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God, and to make men know that their wisdom is limited; that in the common things of daily life there are mysteries past the comprehension of finite minds; that the judgment and purposes of God are past finding out, His wisdom unsearchable. If He reveals Himself to man, it is by shrouding Himself in the thick cloud of mystery. God’s purpose is to conceal more of Himself than He makes known to man. Could men fully understand the ways and works of God, they would not then believe Him to be the infinite One. He is not to be comprehended by man in His wisdom, and reasons, and purposes. “His ways [are] past finding out” (Romans 11:33). His love can never be explained upon natural principles. If this could be done, we would not feel that we could trust Him with the interests of our souls. EGWSRGES 32.2

Skeptics refuse to believe, because with their finite minds they cannot comprehend the infinite power by which God reveals Himself to men. Even the mechanism of the human body cannot be fully understood; it presents mysteries that baffle the most intelligent. Yet, because human science cannot in its research explain the ways and works of the Creator, men will doubt the existence of God and ascribe infinite power to nature. God’s existence, His character, His law, are facts that all the reasoning of men of the highest attainments cannot controvert. They deny the claims of God, and neglect the interest of their souls because they cannot understand His ways and works. Yet God is ever seeking to instruct finite men that they may exercise faith in Him and trust themselves wholly in His hands. Every drop of rain or flake of snow, every spire of grass, every leaf and flower and shrub, testifies of God. These little things, so common around us, teach the lesson that nothing is beneath the notice of the infinite God, nothing too small for His attention. EGWSRGES 32.3

God is to be acknowledged more from what He does not reveal of Himself than from that which is open to our limited comprehension. If men could comprehend the unsearchable wisdom of God, and could explain that which He has done or can do, they would no longer give Him reverence, or fear His power. In divine revelation God has given to men mysteries that are incomprehensible, to command their faith. This must be so. If the ways and works of God could be explained by finite minds, He would not stand as supreme. Men may be ever searching, ever inquiring, ever learning, and yet there is an infinity beyond. The light is shining, ever shining with increasing brightness upon our pathway, if we but walk in its divine rays. But there is no darkness so dense, so impenetrable, as that which follows the rejection of heaven’s light, through whatever source it may come. EGWSRGES 32.4

Can men comprehend God? No. They may speculate in regard to His way and works, but only as finite beings can. The question is asked by the Lord through His prophet: [Isaiah 40:12-18, 21-31 quoted.]—Ms. 4, 1882. EGWSRGES 33.1

Finite Minds Not to Test the Bible by Their Standard—To many, scientific research has become a curse; their finite minds are so weak that they lose their balance. They cannot harmonize their views of science with Scripture statements and they think that the Bible is to be tested by their standard of “science falsely so called.” Thus they err from the faith and are seduced by the devil. Men have endeavored to be wiser than their Creator; human philosophy has attempted to search out and explain mysteries which will never be revealed through eternal ages. If men would but search and understand what God has made known of Himself and His purposes, they would obtain such a view of the glory, majesty, and power of Jehovah, that they would realize their own littleness, and would be content with that which has been revealed for themselves and their children.—The Signs of the Times, April 2, 1885. EGWSRGES 33.2

Where Human Annals Cast No Light—There is history of inestimable value and absorbing interest [in the Word of God]. The light of revelation shines undimmed into the distant past where human annals cast not a ray of light.—The Review and Herald, September 22, 1885. EGWSRGES 33.3

God Will Never Remove All Occasion for Doubt—None need be left in uncertainty and doubt. There is always sufficient evidence upon which to base an intelligent faith. But God will never remove from any man all occasion for doubts. Those who love to dwell in the atmosphere of doubt and questioning, unbelief can have the unenviable privilege. He who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things that he cannot make plain to his finite understanding, will be left to the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and skepticism, and will make shipwreck of faith.—The Signs of the Times, December 30, 1886. EGWSRGES 33.4

Mysteries That the Deepest Philosophy Cannot Explain—There are men who proudly boast that they believe only what they can understand. But the folly of their vaunted wisdom is apparent to every thoughtful mind. There are mysteries in human life, and in the manifestations of God’s power in the works of nature—mysteries which the deepest philosophy, the most extensive research, is powerless to explain.—The Signs of the Times, November 23, 1888. EGWSRGES 33.5