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

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    Writing for the Press

    In harmony with the vision, James White took up not a scythe but a pen. It required faith, as he later recalled:1BIO 164.3

    We sat down to prepare the matter for that little sheet, and wrote every word of it, our entire library comprising a three-shilling pocket Bible, Cruden's Condensed Concordance, and Walker's old dictionary, minus one of its covers. [We were] destitute of means; our hope of success was in God.—The Review and Herald, June 17, 1880.1BIO 164.4

    Ellen was close by his side. She recalled: “When he came to some difficult passage we would call upon the Lord to give us the true meaning of His word.”—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880), 260. While preparing copy for the new publication, James White sought out a printer in Middletown, one who would print an eight-page paper for a total stranger and wait for his pay until the prospective readers would send the editor donations to cover printing costs. On the third floor of a brick building in the heart of Middletown, James found such a man—Charles Pelton—and walked back to Rocky Hill to finish preparing copy. Its subject matter would be the Sabbath truth. He decided to name the paper The Present Truth, and introduced his first-page editorial with words quoted from 2 Peter 1:12:1BIO 164.5

    “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the Present Truth.”1BIO 165.1

    It was the Sabbath truth that burned in James White's heart, and his writing related to various aspects of the integrity and importance of the seventh-day Sabbath. He had in mind quite a wide spectrum of articles that would be printed at first in eight-page sheets issued and sent out semimonthly. Then he would bind them in pamphlets of more permanent nature (The Present Truth, July, 1849). Printing in installments would make it possible to begin getting the truth out before he had time and means to complete all he wished to publish. The readers would be Adventists—those who had been through the first and second angels’ messages—and it would carry to them the Sabbath truth of the third angel's message. Back and forth between Rocky Hill and Middletown, James White trudged the eight miles, limping at each step, first with copy and then with proofs. When the sheets were finally printed he borrowed Albert Belden's buggy to transport the thousand copies of the precious document to the Belden home.1BIO 165.2

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