Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, Page 3

The Times of Volume Three

In 1872, when the first testimony of volume 3 was written, the entire denominational effort of Seventh-day Adventists was in the United States, and largely concentrated in the central and Northeastern States. There were eighty-six ordained and licensed ministers preaching the message and supervising the work. We owned and operated one publishing house and one small medical institution, both at Battle Creek, Michigan. For a quarter of a century God had led His people as rapidly as they could advance intelligently and in unison, first into a clear understanding of the doctrines taught in the word, then into a sense of their responsibility to publish the message, then to organization of the church, and then to better ways of living. But there were new experiences and great opportunities for advance before the church. The counsels of volume 3 pave the way for these.

Through the preceding twenty-five critical years, elder James White had been the leader of the new cause. He had started the publishing work, labored tirelessly for church organization, built up the medical work, and had stood at the head in both administrative and editorial lines. He had pioneered the way. With his keen business foresight and his entire devotion to the growing church, he was recognized as the leader. This being the case, it was but natural that others should fail to see that they should step in and assume responsibility in the various enterprises of the growing denomination. This volume opens with a discussion of this problem and with an appeal for burden bearers to shoulder the work at the headquarters, relieving James White, who was breaking under the load. Again and again, through the volume, reference is made to the expanding work, the enlarging responsibilities, and the need of younger men to take hold and bear the burdens. The hazards of looking to one man as the great leader were clearly enunciated.

The experiences of this period are akin to that of the eagle

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