Ellen G. White and Her Critics


Chapter 16—Time Setting—The Seven-Year Theory

Charge: Mrs. E. G. White and her husband, James White, were led by Joseph Bates to believe that the time of Christ’s work in the most holy place in heaven would be seven years (from the autumn of 1844 to the autumn of 1851) and that the Advent would occur on the latter date. Mrs. White made repeated statements which revealed that she believed this. A few months before this seven years ended, Elder White and wife became convinced that this theory had to be given up. When they gave up this time view they decided at the same time to give up the view that there was no more mercy for sinners. EGWC 253.1

This charge has a twofold objective: (1) to prove Mrs. White a false prophet, for Christ did not come in 1851; (2) to provide a foundation for the further charge that, after the seven-year period, she suppressed certain of her earliest writings. EGWC 253.2

Three arguments are presented to prove that Mrs. White and her husband believed the end would come in 1851: EGWC 253.3

1. That Joseph Bates, in an 1850 pamphlet, predicted that Christ would come again in 1851. EGWC 253.4

2. That Bates was very influential, and the Whites were unknown, poverty-stricken, and beholden to him. EGWC 253.5

3. That Mrs. White made certain statements that clearly supported Bates’s view. EGWC 253.6