Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1), Page 211

Chapter 14—(1851) Mixed Experiences in “The Gathering Time”

When James White began to publish the Present Truth in 1849 the reading audience he addressed was limited to those who had been in the first and second angels’ messages. It was this same group he addressed in 1850 in the five numbers of the Advent Review. To a large degree it was this same group that he hoped to reach through the Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. The title indicates this.

In the earlier two journals he did not hesitate to publish Ellen White's communications and references to the “visions.” Volume 1 of the Review and Herald, however, coming out in early 1851, was being issued at the opening of “the gathering time”—a time that James White recognized as offering a door “open almost everywhere to present the truth,” a time when, as he said. “many are prepared to read the publications who have formerly had no interest to investigate.”—The Review and Herald, August 19, 1851.

The marked change now appearing in the attitudes of the general public presented a challenge in setting forth truths that would win, and not be cut off through prejudice. James White cautiously refrained from publishing the visions in the thirteen issues of volume 1 of the combined journal issued at Paris, Maine. Nor did he make direct reference to the special experience of Ellen White. In the issue of April 21, 1851, he did introduce an article he titled “The Gifts of the Gospel Church.” He opened his remarks by quoting Ephesians 4:11-14, in which the apostle Paul names the gifts: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. In a comprehensive presentation that filled nearly two pages, James defended the proposition of the gift of prophecy in the church, but he did not mention Ellen White. By mid-June, 1851, the growing number of church members were calling for the visions in published form. This led him to plan for the issuance of Extras of the Review just for the believers. He explained this in the first, and only, issue of an Extra. It carried the date of July 21, 1851, and was published between volume 1 of the Review, which closed with the June 9 issue, and volume 2, which opened August 5. The Whites were residing temporarily at the Jesse Thompson home near Ballston Spa, New York, only a few miles from Saratoga Springs.

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