Ellen G. White and Her Critics


Correct Statement in Preface

The critics declare that the publishers’ preface to Sketches From the Life of Paul is deceitful, in view of her borrowings, because it says: “The writer of this book, having received especial help from the Spirit of God, is able to throw light upon the teachings of Paul and their application to our own time, as no other authors are prepared to do.” But the Englishwoman in South Africa would evidently agree with the publishers. The preface further declares: EGWC 466.1

“The historical narrative is traced down in a clear and connected manner.... Besides this, from his [Paul’s] labors and sufferings, and from the instruction which he gave to the churches under his care, practical moral lessons are drawn for the church of to-day. This is the distinctive feature of the book, and is that which makes it particularly valuable.”—Page iii. EGWC 466.2

We think the Englishwoman would fully agree that these “moral lessons” were “the distinctive feature of the book.” EGWC 466.3

How could the publishers have stated the matter more correctly! EGWC 467.1

And so we come to the end of this most plausible charge of plagiarism with these evident conclusions before us: During her long life Mrs. White wrote many thousands of pages of manuscripts, which became articles and books. Of all this vast amount of matter only an insignificant part is borrowed from other authors. And the borrowed part is most certainly not central to the spiritual theme that distinguishes her writing. Thus if the little that she borrowed were deleted, it would scarcely affect the total of the writings, but much more importantly, it would not affect the quality and the force of the message that is contained in her writings. She borrowed the little she did with no attempt to deceive and for reasons which she clearly stated. The lawsuit threat is a groundless rumor, refuted by every available documentary fact. Need more be said! EGWC 467.2