Ellen G. White Writings

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The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1, Page 767

Ms 10, 1859

[Circa 1859],1

The entire manuscript is very close in wording to the corresponding portions of Ellen White's first major autobiography published in 1860, Spiritual Gifts: My Christian Experience, Views and Labors in Connection With the Rise and Progress of the Third Angel's Message. This suggests that the manuscript is a partial draft of that book. Ellen White announced her intention to write an extended autobiographical account already in March 1858, so this manuscript probably dates from the period 1858-1860.

See: Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts [vol. 2], pp. 49-52; Ellen G. White, in Review, Mar. 25, 1858, p. 152; Arthur L. White, “Spiritual Gifts, Volume II,” Ministry, December 1944, pp. 10-12.

n.p.

Early Experiences in Meeting Fanaticism.

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts [vol. 2], pp. 46-50.

Meeting fanaticism in New Hampshire and Maine during 1845.

[We2

“About this time I was shown that it was my duty to visit our people in New Hampshire. My constant and faithful companion at this time was Sister Louisa Foss. … We were also accompanied by Elder Files and his wife, … Brother Ralph Haskins and Elder White.”

See: James White and Ellen G. White, Life Sketches (1880), p. 202.

visited Claremont (New Hampshire), and] inquired for Adventists. We were told that there were two parties, one holding fast their past advent experience, the other had denied it.3

Within some months of the passing of October 22, 1844, most Adventists had come to deny that the October date had any prophetic significance or that the “seventh month movement,” which led up to it, was ordained of God in any special sense. Ellen White's visions, however, supported the minority Adventist position, championed by Joseph Turner and Apollos Hale, that October 22 represented a fulfillment of prophecy, i.e., they were “holding fast their advent experience.” For a brief survey of divisions among Adventists in 1845, see George R. Knight, Millennial Fever and the End of the World, pp. 236-242.

We stated that we wished to find those who had not denied their past experience, and were directed to Elders B—t [Bennett] and B—s [Billings]4

Identities: In the original handwritten draft of this manuscript Ellen White did not provide the full names of these two elders, giving only the first and last letters of their surnames. The same format appears in Spiritual Gifts [vol. 2], her earliest full autobiographical account published in 1860. However, in an edited and amplified version of her experiences first published in 1880 (Life Sketches), the names of the two elders appear in full as “Elders Bennett and Bellings.” Variant spellings, “Bennet” and “Billings,” are found in Ellen White's later (1904) memories of these events. The exact identity of the two men is difficult to establish since there were several Millerite Adventists with similar names associated with Claremont, New Hampshire, about the time of Ellen White's visit. Thus, Millerite papers from the mid-1840s feature, among others, “Leonard F. Billings,” “A. M. Billings,” “John Billings,” “J. G. Bennet,” and “J. G. Bennett,” all said to come from Claremont. There may be some grounds for holding that Ellen White was referring to J. G. Bennett and A. M. Billings, since the Advent Herald in 1844 reported that they preached together as a team: “Bro. J. G. Bennet, of Claremont, N. H … is associated with Bro. A. M. Billings … [who] are now holding Conferences and Camp-meetings continually.”

See: Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts [vol. 2], pp. 46-48; James White and Ellen G. White, Life Sketches (1880), pp. 206-208; Ellen G. White, Ms 46, 1904 (May 18); Leonard F. Billings, “Letter from Bro. L. F. Billings,” May 6, 1846, p. 103; John Billings, “Letter from Bro. J. Billings,” Advent Herald, Mar. 25, 1846, p. 55; Leonard F. Billings, “Letter from Bro. L. F. Billings,” May 6, 1846, p. 103. On the teamwork of J. G. Bennett and A. M. Billings, see J. V. Himes, “Conference at East Randolph, Vt.,” Advent Herald and Signs of the Times Reporter, July 24, 1844, p. 199; “L. F. Billings Writes,” idem, July 31, 1844, p. 204; “The Saints of God Will Hold a Conference … ,” idem, Aug 7, 1844, p. 8.

whom they said believed as we did. They

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