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    AT REST

    The death of Elder James White, the founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and President of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, and until recently of the Battle Creek College, the Sanitarium, and the other denominational institutions located here, occurred on Saturday afternoon last, in this city. The announcement took our community by surprise. For, although the deceased had been for some years past in evidently declining health, — the result of his multiplied and extraordinary labors, — and within the past few days it had been known that he was obliged by renewed illness to forego some of his appointments abroad, yet there was no general expectation that he was near the termination of his earthly career, and, accordingly, the news of his death fell with startling effect upon our citizens, and will, of course, be received with equal surprise by his extensive acquaintance throughout the country, and especially by the members of that now widely-extended religious communion of which, on this continent as well as in Europe, he was the recognized leader and acknowledged head.IMJW 11.1

    The prominence which Elder White has enjoyed in our city and State for more than a quarter of a century, and the wide influence which he has exerted in the field of religious thought and action, lend a special interest to the prominent points of his most busy and useful life, and we shall, therefore, present them to our readers.IMJW 12.1

    Elder James White, like most of the apostles of religious opinion in our country, was a native of New England. He first saw light in the town of Palmyra, in the State of Maine, on the 4th of August, 1821, so that on Thursday last — two days before his death — he had reached his sixtieth birthday. He was of genuine Puritan stock, being a lineal descendant of one of the Plymouth colonists whose names are immortalized as the band who brought to our shores the germ of American institutions in the Mayflower.IMJW 12.2

    William White and his wife were members of this first Pilgrim colony, and their son, Peregrine, born just prior to the landing, was the first white child born in New England. From his son John, in direct line, John White, the father of the subject of this notice, traced his ancestry, and possessed, as a memento of the lineage, the silver knee buckles, worn by the stern pilgrim who in 1620 crossed the ocean in the Mayflower for conscience’ sake. This memento is now in the possession of Prof. John White of Harvard University, a nephew of Elder James White, the deceased. Elder White’s father, John White, spent the last twelve years of his life in this city, and died here some ten years ago, at the ripe age of 86 years. His mother also, who was the grand-daughter of the Rev. Dr. Shepard, an eminent Baptist divine of New England, died in this city, aged 82 years, a few months previous to the death of her husband. They were both buried in Oak Hill cemetery, where the resting-place of their remains is appropriately marked by marble slabs.IMJW 12.3

    In his early years, physical debility, and especially weakness of eyesight, prevented him from availing himself of educational advantages; but at the age of sixteen, his health becoming better, he began to make up the loss, and at nineteen entered the Academy at St. Albans, Me., where he prepared himself for teaching a district school, — a task which he performed by studying eighteen hours out of the twenty-four. Attending school again at Reedfield, Me., and again engaging in teaching with marked success, he reached the period of his conversion to the doctrines of the Adventist faith, and the commencement of his public ministry in their behalf, in 1842, having previously at the age of fifteen been baptized and united with the Christian church.IMJW 13.1

    When he commenced his labors in the Adventist ministry he was twenty-one years of age, and he threw himself into the work with the ardor and persistence that were so characteristic of him in his later years. Under the pressure of constant labor, and by exposure consequent upon fulfilling widely-extended appointments, his health became much impaired, but the results of his exertion were seen in numerous conversions to the doctrines which he so zealously preached.IMJW 13.2

    In 1846 he was united in marriage to Ellen G. Harmon, whom he met in his labors at Portland, Me., she being at the time an earnest laborer for the Adventist faith, both in public and in teachingIMJW 13.3

    “from house to house.” Sympathy in their faith and in their work, as well as congeniality of temperament, made a happy union which has enabled them to co-operate with wonderful success in building up the communion to which they have devoted themselves with such remarkable energy and zeal. From their marriage onward to the termination of Elder White’s life and ministry by his death as here noted, their labors have been conspicuously united, and their lives have been intertwined almost as if they had been one in reality as well as by the mystic tie of wedlock. Their biographies, so far as their public work is Concerned, form a whole, each individual life being a counterpart and complement of the other. Their labors at first largely consisted in attending Conferences of the people of their faith throughout New England, and in establishing, and in various places confirming, churches by their preaching and counsel. But to this work was soon added another important instrumentality, that of publishing; and accordingly, in 1849, Elder White began the publication of a small periodical at Middletown, Ct., entitled, The Present Truth, walking a distance of eight miles to and from the office of publication to his home, then at Rocky Hill. Mrs. White in her sketches speaks of the first number as follows: “When Mr. White brought the first number from the printing office, we all bowed around it, asking the Lord, with humble hearts and many tears, to let his blessing rest upon the feeble efforts of his servant. He then directed the papers to all he thought would read them, and carried them to the post-office in a carpet-bag. Every number was taken from Middletown to Rocky Hill, and always before preparing them for the post-office they were spread before the Lord, and earnest prayers, mingled with tears, were offered to God that his blessing would attend the silent messenger.” Thus from this small beginning has grown the publishing establishment of the denomination, whose periodicals and books in various languages are now scattered broadcast throughout the world. Soon afterward, at Paris, Me., Elder White commenced the publication of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, it being virtually a continuation of the former, but with the name which is still retained to designate the leading weekly of the denomination. The Review and Herald was afterward published at Saratoga, N. Y., whence subsequently, in 1852, it was removed by its publisher, to Rochester, in the same State, and in 1855, to this city, which was selected by Elder White and his associates as the headquarters of the denominational publications, and of the various denominational enterprises. At this time the leader of the cause was over $2,000 in debt, his health was very poor, orders for books and tracts were few, and it was a period of darkness and peculiar discouragement for himself and family. But the clouds were soon lifted. With courageous energy he devoted himself to the work before him. With remarkable perseverance and unflagging industry, with keen business foresight, and more than all, by a deep religious enthusiasm and zeal, he inaugurated the various enterprises of the denomination in our city, which have developed results far beyond the expectations of our citizens at the time, or even those of the most sanguine adherents of the new faith. The publication office issues over 25,000 copies of weekly periodicals, and over fifty million pages of books, pamphlets, and miscellaneous publications annually, to make no mention of the large publishing house of the denomination established at Oakland, Cal., and the office at Basle, Switzerland.IMJW 14.1

    Together with this feature of the work inaugurated by Elder White for the promulgation of the tenets of his faith, should be mentioned other institutions which are largely indebted to him for their first conception and subsequent encouragement. Prominent among these is the Sanitarium, which has become one of the foremost health establishments in the entire country, and is daily increasing in patronage, and constantly strengthening its hold upon the public favor, both at home and abroad. Elder White regarded the preservation of health a religious duty, and considered health reform as an essential feature of the faith as promulgated by him. He also regarded education as the handmaid of religion, and Battle Creek College is the outgrowth of his idea on that point. It already takes its place as a leading educational institution in our State. In close connection with this is the Educational Society for the diffusion of knowledge, and more especially for the preparation of young men for the ministry. Also the denominational Book Fund, which is intended to disseminate intelligence not only in our own country, but among the various nations of Europe, — all of these interests, which have now risen to enterprises of great magnitude, may be credited to him as their founder.IMJW 16.1

    For the last twenty-six years of his life, his home has been in this city. His duties have often called him elsewhere, but Battle Creek has with pride and satisfaction claimed him as a citizen, and has long since learned to reckon him among the foremost men of the community. To him the city owes no small share of its population, as well as its reputation for enterprise and business prosperity. His death is universally regarded as the departure of a real leader from our midst, one born to organize and to command, and to leave an impress upon the age in which he lived. His death will be widely and deeply mourned. Distant communities where his voice of admonition and warning, as well as of consolation and encouragement, has been heard, will unite in honoring his memory, and in expressing their tributes of affection and esteem; but in no place will his death be more sincerely regretted, or his remembrance more fondly cherished, than in this city, which was the chief theatre of his labor, and the center from which his large and beneficent influence has been extended.IMJW 16.2

    As many of our readers will be desirous to learn the particulars of the last illness and death of Elder White, we here present the record relating thereto, kindly furnished by Dr. J. H. Kellogg, Medical Superintendent of the Sanitarium, who attended him:—IMJW 17.1

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