Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5), Page 148

Chapter 11—The Battle Creek Sanitarium Fire

Had the word that came over the telegraph wires and reached Elmshaven Tuesday morning, February 18, 1902, carried the word that the Review and Herald Publishing House had been destroyed by fire, Ellen White would not have been surprised. Five months earlier she had written to its managers a message that was read to the board:

I have been almost afraid to open the Review, fearing to see that God has cleansed the publishing house by fire.—Letter 138, 1901; Testimonies for the Church 8:91).

But the message that came that rainy morning was that the two main Sanitarium buildings in Battle Creek had just burned to the ground. The first report of the disaster W. C. White refused to believe. But the second report bore evidence of authenticity, and in a letter he explained his feelings: “I join with all our people in mourning at this great loss to us as a people, and to the world” (18 WCW, p. 425).

Ellen White reached for her pen and somewhat in agony noted:

I would at this time speak words of wisdom, but what can I say? We are afflicted with those whose life interests are bound up in this institution. Let us pray that this calamity shall work together for good to those who must feel it very deeply. We can indeed weep with those who weep.—Manuscript 76, 1903.

She was one who could weep. It was the message given to her by God on Christmas Day thirty-six years earlier that led to the

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