Ellen G. White and Her Critics


How Widespread Was the Theory?

We can better understand why James White made only one statement of his position on this theory, when we read the brief report entitled “Oswego [N.Y.] Conference.” A paragraph that tells of the “principal subjects presented,” says: EGWC 265.8

“The subject of the seven-years time was not mentioned. In fact, we know of no one in this State, or in the west, who teaches it. Some may suppose from our remarks in [Review and Herald] No. 2 [August 19, 1851, quoted above], that the seven-years time is held by quite a large portion of the brethren; but it is not so. The view has been mostly confined to the state of Vermont, and we learn by Bro. Holt that most of the brethren there have given it up.”—The Review and Herald, September 16, 1851, p. 32. EGWC 265.9

These are the only references to the theory that we have found in the Review and Herald. How different the whole picture looks in the light of these two quotations. The critics of Mrs. White have dogmatically declared that she and her husband accepted Bates’s view on time, and have gone on from that to make sweeping statements to the effect that the whole company of early Seventh-day Adventists were thus deluded. It was imperative that such a picture be painted of Adventists in general, and Mrs. White in particular, in order to give plausibility to the charge of suppression that is next brought against her. But the picture stands revealed as a caricature of early Seventh-day Adventists in general, and as absolutely false of James and Ellen White in particular. EGWC 266.1