Selected Messages Book 2


Chapter 30—Ellen G. White's Use of Remedial Agencies

[Ellen G. White speaks repeatedly of simple remedies. She tells us specifically what she means when she thus speaks, naming pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, and trust in divine power. See pages 287-291 and The Ministry of Healing, 127. In addition to these, Mrs. White on a few occasions, in her personal correspondence, made reference to certain simple medications she knew and used; any such remedy was usually mentioned in a single instance only. She also refers in her correspondence to a few rare emergency situations that led her to employ remedies she would not use except in a crisis. 2SM 292.1

In evaluating these references to certain medications, four points should be observed by the reader: 2SM 292.2

1. The following pages list the significant statements in which Mrs. White mentions specific medications of a simple character, insofar as such statements were known at the time this compilation was made. 2SM 292.3

2. A very few pages are required to place these statements in print, some eleven pages as compared with the more than 2,000 pages devoted to the comprehensive presentation of the health counsels as found in the E.G. White books. 2SM 292.4

3. For fifty years Mrs. White wrote extensively, for publication, on the subject of health and the care of the sick. But it is an interesting and significant fact that, except for the brief mention of the “lump of figs” for Hezekiah's boils, and a fleeting allusion to the ineffectual use of “simple herbs” in the illness of one of her sons (see Spiritual Gifts, Volume II, p. 104), she made no reference to the medicinal use of herbs or to other specific simple medications in any of her published statements. To say the least, this fact does not permit the conclusion that the use of herbs is of prime importance in the whole health program that she set forth in such completeness. 2SM 292.5

4. Mrs. White nowhere states, in discussing such simple medications, that other and more effective medications might not later be found. 2SM 293.1

Owing to impressions held by some that Mrs. White's writings not only endorse herbs but feature them as the principal means for dealing with disease, and that there is a great abundance of unpublished material on this point, the White trustees believe that the minds of Seventh-day Adventists will be helped and the record best be kept clear by printing the statements that follow. In all fairness, the reader should not attach to these statements greater significance than did the author, who, in her published works, placed before the general public the broad principles to be followed in the treatment of the sick.—Compilers.] 2SM 293.2