Ellen G. White and Her Critics


Other Sources Than Mrs. White

In May, 1847, James White made this brief reference to the 1846 vision: EGWC 93.1

“At our conference in Topsham, Maine, last Nov., Ellen had a vision of the handy works of God. She was guided to the planets, Jupiter, Saturn, and I think one more. After she came out of vision, she could give a clear description of their Moons, etc. It is well known, that she knew nothing of astronomy, and could not answer one question in relation to the planets, before she had this vision.”—A Word to the “Little Flock,” p. 22. EGWC 93.2

On January 27, 1891, Mrs. M. C. Truesdail (nee Stowell), who, as a girl of about sixteen, was present when the vision was given, wrote a letter of reminiscences in which she included this statement: EGWC 93.3

“Sister White was in very feeble health, and while prayers were offered in her behalf, the Spirit of God rested upon us. We soon noticed that she was insensible to earthly things. This was her first view of the planetary world. After counting aloud the moons of Jupiter, and soon after those of Saturn, she gave a beautiful description of the rings of the latter. She then said, ‘The inhabitants are a tall, majestic people, so unlike the inhabitants of earth. Sin has never entered here.’ It was evident from Brother Bates’s smiling face that his past doubts in regard to the source of her visions were fast leaving him. We all knew that Captain Bates was a great lover of astronomy, as he would often locate many of the heavenly bodies for our instruction. When Sister White replied to his questions, after the vision, saying that she had never studied or otherwise received knowledge in this direction, he was filled with joy and happiness. He praised God, and expressed his belief that this vision concerning the planets was given that he might never again doubt.”—Quoted by J. N. Loughborough in Rise and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists, p. 127. (The Great Second Advent Movement, pp. 260, 261.) EGWC 93.4

In 1892, J. N. Loughborough, a Seventh-day Adventist minister, published Rise and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists. In it he wrote out an account of this Topsham vision. He undoubtedly based this account on conversations held with Joseph Bates years before. * In 1905 he revised and enlarged the book, which was then published under the title The Great Second Advent Movement. In this revised work he retells the story of the vision, with the change of only a word. The critic quotes the account from this later edition. EGWC 93.5