Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 245

Chapter 16—The General Conference Session Of 1888


Ellen White had not been able to attend the General Conference session of 1886, because she was still in Europe, just concluding her third visit to Torre Pellice in Italy. But she was aware of the interest in the book of Galatians that was being taken by some of the leading brethren.

“That conference [1886],” she wrote to G. I. Butler, “was presented to me in the night season” (Letter 21, 1888).

Records are meager, but the matter of the law in Galatians was discussed by a group of leading workers at the time of the General Conference session in Battle Creek in 1886 (Selected Messages 3:167). In her letter to Butler she said:

My guide then had many things to say which left an indelible impression upon my mind. His words were solemn and earnest....

He stretched out his arms toward Dr. Waggoner and to you, Elder Butler, and said in substance as follows: “Neither have all the light upon the law; neither position is perfect” (Letter 21, 1888).

In another account of this experience she told of how, while in Europe, she was shown what took place in Battle Creek at the 1886 General Conference session:

Two years ago Jesus was grieved and bruised in the person of His saints. The rebuke of God is upon everything of the character of harshness, of disrespect, and the want of sympathetic love in brother toward brother (Manuscript 21, 1888).

In Galatians 3:19, the apostle Paul wrote of the “added law,” and in verse 24 of the “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.” Among Seventh-day Adventists for two years there had been controversy over which law he meant.

This was not a new subject of interest to Seventh-day Adventists. J. H. Waggoner, in his book The Law of God: An Examination of the Testimony of Both Testaments, published at the Review office in 1854, took the position that the “added law” of verse 19 and the “schoolmaster” of verse 24 was the moral and

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