Medical Ministry


Preface to the Second Edition

Historical Background of the Ellen G. White Writings on Health

The continuing demand for the Ellen G. White books calls for frequent reprinting, and occasionally for new editions also. This volume, issued initially in 1932, is now making its appearance in a second edition. Although the type face and size of page have been altered to bring it into conformity with the popular Christian Home Library size, the text is unchanged and the paging is in keeping with the former printing. Thus the new edition remains consistent with references in the Comprehensive Index to the Writings of Ellen G. White. MM vii.1

Medical Ministry was the first Ellen G. White book, compiled largely from unpublished sources, to be issued posthumously. Mrs. White's instructions to her appointed Board of Trustees served as a guide in this work. In her authorization to the board, she provided “for the printing of compilations from my manuscripts.” She recognized that in the communications addressed to individuals and to institutions through the years, there were counsels which would be of service to the cause generally. MM vii.2

Medical Ministry has taken its place with other books by the same author, and additional works on the subject of health have followed. Since this is but one link in a chain of books devoted to this important subject, it seems appropriate to review the history of the several Ellen G. White productions, both past and current, which deal with health principles and medical work. This will aid the reader in identifying various publications in print and out of print in this vital field. MM vii.3

Cautions were given to Ellen White in 1848 concerning the use of tobacco, tea, and coffee, and in 1854 light was imparted on the importance of cleanliness and the use of foods not highly refined or too rich. However, not until 1863 did she receive the first comprehensive vision concerning health reform. Of this she wrote, “It was at the house of Bro. A. Hilliard, at Otsego, Mich., June 6, 1863, that the great subject of health reform was opened before me in vision.”—The Review and Herald, October 8, 1867. In subsequent visions many details concerning this subject were presented to her, and these visions constituted the basis for the more detailed writing relative to health and the conduct of the health work of the church. MM vii.4