Ellen G. White and Her Critics


Her Mood as Death Approaches

Not long before she died she said to one who was talking with her: EGWC 49.2

“My courage is grounded in my Saviour. My work is nearly ended. Looking over the past, I do not feel the least mite of despondency or discouragement. I feel so grateful that the Lord has withheld me from despair and discouragement, and that I can still hold the banner. I know Him whom I love, and in whom my soul trusteth.... EGWC 49.3

“I have nothing to complain of. Let the Lord take His way and do His work with me, so that I am refined and purified; and that is all I desire. I know my work is done; it is of no use to say anything else. I shall rejoice, when my time comes, that I am permitted to lie down to rest in peace. I have no desire that my life shall be prolonged.”—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 443, 444. EGWC 49.4

In that quiet spirit of holy resignation she died on July 16, 1915, having lived nearly eighty-eight years. Her passing was mourned by a worldwide religious movement. What is perhaps more important in this present chapter, which seeks to discover what manner of woman she was, Mrs. White’s passing was mourned by neighbors and friends outside as well as within the church. For years afterward farmers’ wives and their children with whom she had visited informally referred to her as “the little old lady with white hair, who always spoke so lovingly of Jesus.” EGWC 49.5

This is a woefully inadequate picture that has been painted of a most unusual woman, but space limits have prevented the presentation of any more than a sample of the evidence that might be offered to show how unusual were her talents, how practical her Christianity, and how unselfish and rational her attitudes toward life. EGWC 49.6

In the light of this life sketch, brief though it is, one is tempted to dispose of the mental-malady charge here and now with one sentence in comment: If such mental illness as Mrs. White is supposed to have suffered from will produce a life of sacrificial service and ardor, of far mission planning, of counsel to holy living and high standards, of selfless love for the needy, and all the other Christian graces that radiated from her life, then we would say solemnly, God give us more mentally maladjusted people. EGWC 50.1

With these facts in mind let us go on to examine the evidence concerning Mrs. White’s physical state while in vision. EGWC 50.2