HOW A DOUBTER DISCOVERED THAT ELLEN WHITE WROTE HER OWN BOOKS
M. L. Andreasen Speaks about Ellen White
M.L Andreasen's experience
is clearly astounding. He was personally given the opportunity to
carefully examine Ellen Whites writings at Elmshaven. Fully believing
that someone else had written them, he was hoping to clearly prove this
once and for all. But, instead, he discovered, to his complete
astonishment, that she had written them all herself!
M.L Andreasen's experience is clearly astounding. He was personally given the opportunity to carefully examine Ellen Whites writings at Elmshaven. Fully believing that someone else had written them, he was hoping to clearly prove this once and for all. But, instead, he discovered, to his complete astonishment, that she had written them all herself!
But first, we will provide you with a brief biography of this earlier leader in our church:
Milian Lauritz Andreasen (1876-1962) was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He immigrated first to Canada and thence to the United States where, as a young man, he was converted to Adventism. Possessing a powerful mind and a liking for hard work, Andreasen was ordained to the ministry in 1902 and quickly rose to positions of leadership. After serving as president of the Greater New York Conference (1909-1910), he became president of Hutchinson Theological Seminary (1910-1918) in Minnesota. (Until its closure in 1928, Hutchinson trained Danish- and Norwegian-language workers.)
In 1918, Andreasen became dean of Union College (1918-1922), followed by deanship of Washington Missionary (now Columbia Union) College (1922-1924). Two years later, he was called to the presidency of the Minnesota Conference (1924-1931); then he became president of Union College (1931-1938). From 1941 to 1950, he was a field secretary of the General Conference; from 1938 to 1949, he also taught at our Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
M.L. Andreasen wrote many articles and more than 13 books (including The Sanctuary Service, The Epistle to the Hebrews, A Faith to Live By, What Can a Man Believe? and Saints and Sinners).
Throughout the 1940s, Andreasen was considered our leading doctrinal expert. He was considered a special authority in the study of the Sanctuary message.
In the autumn of 1956, Elder Andreasen (by that time retired) read Donald Barnhouse's "bombshell" article in Eternity magazine. For the first time, he had learned of the doctrinal crisis which confronted our denomination.
He began protesting vigorously about the change in our doctrines which was taking place during the 1954-1956 Evangelical Conferences. Unfortunately, our leaders in the General Conference strongly desired to please Walter Martin, Donald Barnhouse, and Evangelical church leaders in order to gain acceptance by modern Protestantism.
Andreasen's protests were primarily made through a series of letters written to Elder Reuben Figuhr, president of the General Conference. These letters were later compiled in a book, Letters to the Churches. Andreasen's death, in 1962, was prematurely hastened by his sorrow over our doctrinal sellout. He died of a bleeding ulcer. Andreasen, our leading doctrinal writer in the 1940s, well-understood the consequences of what had happened.
In response to his protests, Andreasen's ministerial credentials were taken, even his denominational pension! For the remainder of his life, he was banned from speaking in any of our churches or meetings. (For a rather complete account of that entire crisis, we refer you to our book, The Evangelical Conferences and their Aftermath.)
EXCERPTS FROM ANDREASEN'S DIARY
Here are several excerpts from the private diary of M.L. Andreasen, about his varied contacts with the Spirit of Prophecy and Ellen White. The passages are quoted from the book, Without Fear or Favor: The Life of M.L. Andreasen, by Virginia Steinweg.
M.L. Andreasen became an Adventist in 1894 at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Then he discovered the writings of Ellen White:
"I found the books most instructive and helpful in every way, but I had my doubts that they had been written by a person with as little education as Mrs. White was said to possess. But despite this doubt, I set great store by them . . As I read those books during the week, and heard them read in church on Sabbath, I early got a somewhat comprehensive view of her writings and, I had to confess, it was good stuff. But, of course, I was also sure that she had not written the books she had been given credit for."Without Fear or Favor, p. 35.
In 1896, M.L. Andreasen moved to College View, Nebraska, and stayed at the newly founded Union College for a time. While there, he discovered that many leading men were upset because they could not control either Ellen White or her testimonies:
"With the establishment of Union College and also the Nebraska Sanitarium at College View, the place became a kind of center for various activities, and a convenient location for ministers to have their meetings and councils. It was only a matter of eight years since the famous 1888 Conference in Minneapolis, and the conference was frequently the subject of discussion.
"Old Elder J.H. Morrison, father of Prof. H.A. Morrison, lived in Lincoln. He had taken a prominent role in the discussions at Minneapolis and had written a book on the subject . .
"It was largely through the kindness of old Brother Morrison that I was permitted to attend the discussions. Of course, I was there to listen and not to talk. And I did not talk. But I learned much. In fact, it was a wonderful school. I only wish that I had notes.
"In retrospect, I doubt that the meetings I attended, when the older ministers met, were the best for a young convert hardly an Adventist yet. I would call it rather strong meat. They paid little attention to me, but plunged right into a subject of which I knew nothing. But I soon caught on, and was astonished at the freedom with which they discussed personalities. Most of the older men who had known Elder White were not endeared to him, it appeared. In their opinion, he was too strong-headed to work well with others.
"Sister Whites position was not an easy one. As the wife of the president of the denomination, she gave support to him in his work. But at times word would come from the Lord that made it necessary for her to bear messages of reproof to him.
"This was at times the case when it became her duty to counsel others. While many to whom testimonies were written accepted them with gratitude, others turned against her. No wonder that she said that if she had her choice of having a vision or dying, she would choose the grave . .
"A few of the leaders were waiting for the day when there would be a change in the way the church was run. They thought that at the Minneapolis meeting such a change might be made.
"I have heard many versions of what took place at Minneapolis. Someday, if I ever get time, I would like to tell the story as I heard it recounted at the meetings held in College View by the men who were the leaders in opposition to Sister White. They did not consider the message of Jones and Waggoner to be the real issue. The real issue, according to my informers, was whether Sister White was to be permitted to overrule the men who carried the responsibility of the work. It was an attempt to overthrow the position of the Spirit of Prophecy. And it seemed the men in opposition carried the day. Eventually she left for Australia, where she stayed nine years. It was there that a plan of organization which called for union conferences was tried that received her blessing, and that in 1901 was implemented on the General Conference level. As interpreted by some, the Minneapolis conference was a revolt against Sister White. If that is so, it throws some light on the omega apostasy."Without Fear or Favor, pp. 42-44.
In 1898, M.L. Andreasen went to work in a children's home near Omaha, started by Luther Warren, who was an earnest believer in the Spirit of Prophecy.
"Several things happened at this children's home that were certainly a help to me. I had not had a Christian upbringing, nor had I become very well grounded in the Adventist faith. My chief source of learning of the teachings of the church was the discussions in College View, which often dealt with the 1888 controversy and the characters of the men who had had part in the events of the Adventist Church in the past. From time to time, all the prominent leaders came under the judgment of the participants in the discussions, who did not spare. There was general acceptance of Sister White as a noble and good woman, but some expressed the opinion that her husband at times attempted to influence her. That she was so influenced she stoutly denied. When Elder White at last died, the leading brethren at the time felt that Sister White would be easy to handle. But in this they found they were mistaken. She stood her ground and was not easily moved.
"The Bible states that some should be received, but not to doubtful disputations (Romans 14:1). I had been exposed to doubtful disputations, and when some of the great men were mentioned, I was influenced by what I had heard. I needed a new education, and Elder Warren helped me to it."Ibid., pages 46-47.
In May 1909, M.L. Andreasen was one of 199 delegates to the last General Conference Session that Ellen White ever attended. It was held on the campus of Washington Missionary (now Columbia Union) College. He heard her speak eight times (page 67).
During the 1909-1910 school year, Annie Andreasen (M.L.s wife) took the children to South Lancaster, so they could attend church school. At the time, M.L. was president of the Greater New York Conference and there was no church school anywhere in the area. So M.L. rented a room in Manhattan, near his office (pages 71-72).
Since he had wanted to visit Ellen White, M.L. recognized that now, while his family was away, was his opportunity to do it.
"My personal contact with Mrs. E.G. White was confined to the latter years of her life. I had read her writings and to some extent studied them from the time of my baptism as a young man in 1894, and had met her personally on several occasions.
"It was not until 1909, however, that I began serious consideration of what the Testimonies meant to the remnant church. I was at that time president of the Greater New York Conference and had read with interest the various messages concerning the work that should be done in the larger cities of the land. I was perplexed that apparently little had been done to comply with the instruction given. Elder E.E. Franks had been holding meetings in Carnegie Hall with good results. Elders S.N. Haskell, Luther Warren, G.B. Starr, Dr. Kress, and Professor Prescott had visited and worked in New York City. Mrs. White herself had visited the city, and it was felt that little more could be done at that time.
"This brought me to an extended consideration of the messages sent and how they had been accepted and acted upon. Some of them seemed to have fallen in good ground, while others apparently had been considered good advice but not of compelling importance, and consequently had been neglected or forgotten.
"This study led me to a review of such evidence as was available to me bearing on the question of the origin of the writings of Mrs. E.G. White. Hitherto I had accepted the testimonies of others without any critical appraisal or profound conviction one way or the other. Now, however, I felt I had come to a point in life when I must make definite decisions for myself. This became the more necessary as I was shortly called to head the newly established seminary in Hutchinson, Minnesota [where Scandinavian workers were trained], and would have to deal with young men about to enter the ministry. For their sakes, I decided that I must know for myself and not depend upon any secondary authorities, however good they might appear to be.
"This led me to consider a journey to St. Helena, California, where Mrs. White resided at that time. I wished to have firsthand knowledge as far as it was obtainable. I did not wish to be deceived, nor did I wish to deceive others.
"Consequently, in due time I arrived in St. Helena and was cordially received by Mrs. White. I stated my reason for coming, which was to obtain permission to examine her writings in manuscript before anyone had done any editorial work on them. I had brought with me many quotations from her writings that were of outstanding interest, either for their theological import or their beauty of expression.
"In my own mind, I was convinced that Sister White had never written them as they appeared in print. She might have written something like them, but I was sure that no one with the limited education Sister White had could ever produce such exquisitely worded statements or such pronouncements on difficult theological problems. They must have been produced by a well-trained individual, conversant not only with theological niceties but also with beautiful English.
"I was given ready and free access to the vault where the manuscripts were kept, and I immediately began work.
"I was overwhelmed with the mass of material placed at my disposal. It did not seem possible for one individual to produce such a quantity of matter in a lifetime, most of which was handwritten. I had imagined that Sister White dictated most of her writings, for she had helpers. Now I found that while she might at times dictate, most of her writings were produced by her own pen. It was these writings in which I was interested and that I examined. I spent days at this work; and, being a reasonably rapid reader, and with the assistance of the office staff, I accomplished my task.
"When I was done, I was both amazed and perplexed. Here I saw before my eyes that which I believed could not be done. I verified the quotations I had brought with me. I saw in her own handwriting the statements that I was sure she had not writtencould not have written. Especially was I struck with the now-familiar quotation in the Desire of Ages, page 530: In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. This statement at that time was revolutionary and compelled a complete revision of my former view, and that of the denomination, on the deity of Christ.
"I had examined many of the manuscripts in the vault with the exception of the family letters. Though the son, W.C. White, doubted that I would get permission to read them, Sister White readily gave me access. And so I read them. Here were the letters written by the parents to the children and the children to the parents, by James to Ellen and Ellen to James. Ellen's letters might begin with Dear James or Dear Husband, followed by some remark or statement of a purely personal character, and then she would launch into an extended recital of some religious topic with appropriate admonition and counsel. If the few introductory remarks were left out, the complete letter could be printed on the editorial page of the Review today. No name need be appended, and many readers would immediately recognize the origin of the composition.
"The same distinct phraseology, the same style and intensity of desire for a greater knowledge of God, marked her writings although at the time the letters were not considered as material for publication.
"When I was ready to leave St. Helena, Sister White presented me with several of her books, inscribed on the flyleaf with her own name and also a small printed wish for the Lords blessing. The only book I have left with her name in it is the Desire of Ages. I also took with me some of her unprinted writings that she graciously gave me. A few of these were handwritten, but mostly they were typewritten copies of communications she had sent out, some of them had corrections in her own hand.
"When I knew her, Sister White was an aged woman, but in full possession of her faculties. She was gracious, considerate, and kind, a true mother in Israel. I visited her once early in the morning, but at whatever hour I came, she was already at work. There were some who claimed that she was already in her dotage [unable to think properly]. She must have heard this, for one morning she gave me eight pages to read of what she had written that morning. After I had read it, she smiled at me and said in a playful voice, That's pretty good, isn't it, for an old woman in her dotage! and then she laughed. The first time I heard Sister White laugh I was shocked, for I did not think that a person in her position should laugh. But laugh she did at times, a sweet, quiet, girlish laugh altogether appropriate. She was good company and not at all the stern, demanding, and commanding personality I had pictured her to be. She was a mother in Israel, and I came to love her.
"When I finally bade her farewell, it was with the profound conviction that I had been face to face with a manifestation and a work that I could account for only on the ground of divine guidance. I was convinced that her work was of God, that her writings were produced under the guidance of God, and that she had a message both for the world and the people of God.
"In writing this, I am not attempting to prove anything. I am merely giving my testimony of that which I know. And that testimony is clear and unequivocal. I believe that the writings of Sister White are true messages of God for this church and that no one can ignore and disobey them except at great, infinitely great, loss."Without Fear or Favor, pp. 74-78.
M.L. Andreasen had one more occasion to be close to Ellen White. It was shortly after her death. Three simple funeral services were held. One was at Elmshaven. The second was at Richmond, California, during a camp meeting. And the last and largest was at the Battle Creek, Michigan, Tabernacle on July 24, 1915. Virginia Steinweg describes what happened:
"Not everyone who had had the opportunity to know both Ellen White and her writings profited by the acquaintance. A certain minister who knew Sister White to be an unassuming, modest, kind-hearted, noble woman and who had been in their [the White] family time and time again, sometimes weeks at a time (D.M. Canright, "A Plain Talk to the Murmurers," Review, April 26, 1877), published a book entitled Seventh-day Adventism Renounced seven years before M.L. became an Adventist. In his book, the author utterly reversed his assessment of Ellen Whites character and work.
"The fourth (and last) time D.M. Canright had been reconciled to the church before his final departure, he had admitted about himself, The real trouble lies close to home, in a proud, unconverted heart, a lack of real humility, and the unwillingness to submit to Gods way of finding the truth " (Canright, "To Those in Doubting Castle," Review, February 10, 1885). When Brethren Butler, White, Andrews, Haskell, or others have said something that wounded my feelings, I have let that destroy my confidence in the truth (Canright, "Items of Experience," Review, December 2, 1884).
"M.L. Andreasen had never met this man whose writings have been a discouragement to many seekers for truth during the years. Their paths crossed under unusual circumstances.
"On July 16, 1915, Ellen White went to her rest in her Elmshaven home, where M.L. had visited her a few years before. The funeral was held in Battle Creek. M.L. was present.
"He saw the sanitariums palms, ferns, and lilies that covered the platform of the great tabernacle where James and Ellen White had spoken so many times. He admired the symbolic floral pieces representing a broken wheel, a broken column, and an open Bible with the words, Behold, I come quickly and My reward is with Me (Life Sketches, pp. 462-463).
"M.L. was seated near the bier, as he had been chosen to be one of the guards of honor who were to serve two at a time, one at the head, the other at the foot. Besides M.L., there were L.H. Christian from Chicago, C.S. Longacre from the General Conference Religious Liberty Department, and pastors from Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, and Chicago, completing the six (ibid., p. 463).
"For two hours more than 4,000 persons had been filing by, taking a last look, paying their last respects (ibid). M.L. had especially noticed two aged brothers, one an Adventist, the other not. Both had appeared to be deeply moved. When M.L.s turn came to take his position on guard, he noticed that the two brothers were still standing back at their pew. Suddenly one of them turned to the other and whispered something. Then the two men made their way to the aisle and again joined the throng that was still moving toward the front. When they arrived, the old former Adventist leader rested his hand upon the side of the casket and, with tears rolling down his cheeks, said brokenly, There is a noble Christian woman gone (W.A. Spicer, The Spirit of Prophecy in the Advent Movement, p. 127).
"D.M. Canright had once again spoken truly. M.L. heard him. Eight years later, when president of Union College, Andreasen wrote:
" I was one of the guards of honor when the body of Mrs. E.G. White lay in state in the tabernacle in Battle Creek, Michigan, and was on duty at the time Mr. Canright approached the casket. I heard the above words uttered by D.M. Canright, and testify to their correctness (quoted in W.H. Branson, Reply to Canright, p. 288)."
The above passage is from Virginia Steinweg, Without Fear or Favor, pp. 89-91.
EXCERPTS FROM ANDREASEN'S SERMON
Recently, an old tape was found in England and transcribed. The message consisted of a sermon given by Elder M. L. Andreasen at an Ohio camp meeting in 1955. This information you are going to read below is an invaluable heritage; we are thankful for the opportunity to share it with you. It closely parallels the diary notes you have just read.
It is somewhat of a rambling sermon; so only the heart of it is reprinted here.
This was not a carefully prepared sermon, but rather an impromptu collection of earlier experiences in Andreasen's life. It was given a year before he learned about, and began protesting, the doctrinal sellout during the Evangelical Conferences. (See our book, The Evangelical Conferences and their Aftermath.)
"This service this morning will be a little different from the ordinary service for the eleven o'clock hour. I have been asked to speak on the subject of the Spirit of Prophecy; more particularly, my personal experiences with Sister White. There are not many remaining who have known and been with Mrs. White, and its thought best that this hour be used for that purpose.
"When I became an Adventist [in 1894], Id heard about Sister White, but I was given no special instruction, I simply accepted belief of the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, as I did many other things, without going thoroughly into the subject. I gave up the eating of unclean things, and the drinking of that which is not good, and just let it go at that.
"Then came the time , when I prepared to teach. There I came face to face with a question that I knew I had to settle, because if I were to teach children and young people, I must know for myself. Not merely by hearsay, not merely by reading, but by personal experience, if that were possible. I was attending at that time the Chicago University; not at that time normally noted for its orthodoxy or its religion. But I took there a course in the Life of Christ.
"Desire of Ages had just come out  and I used that book as complimentary reading. And I had opportunity there to go thoroughly into the reading, the teaching of that book.
"So day by day I would read Desire of Ages, as my additional reading, and compared it with what I learned in class. And I found, to my astonishment, that many of the perplexing questions that even higher critics have to deal with were solved in Desire of Ages.
"I became more and more interested in it; and at last it came to a kind of climax. What shall I do? What is my position? What ought it to be?
"And so, several years later, believing in direct action, I set out to find Sister White and have a talk with her. So I did. [Andreasen visited Ellen White at Elmshaven in 1909.]
"I was a very young man [about 33 years old at the time] and when I knocked on the door I hardly knew what to say. I did about what a student did much later in Union College, when he came to my office and said, Here I am.
"Sister White received me very kindly. I suppose she sized me up and wondered what I was after. I said, I'd like to have the privilege of admission to the vault, where all her writings were. I said, I have read all your books and I want to see how you wrote them, before anybody got ahold of them, and made corrections, and omissions and paraphrases [changed phrases]. She looked at me and said, You may have the privilege.
"And so, I went to work. I stayed there three months and worked almost night and day. I read what was in the vault, a tremendous lot of work. I was perplexed when I saw the volume of it. If I had not seen it for myself Id have said, No one, however long he has lived, could ever write that much. But there it was.
"So I read the Great Controversy, written by her own hand. I thought that she dictated her writings to someone else. But that was only rarely done. Most of it was written by herself, in her own handwriting. Then it was given to the stenographers. Then they copied it on 8 x 11 paper, double spaced, sometimes triple spaced. Then it was brought back to her for correction.
"Sometimes her helpers would themselves make small corrections, spelling, punctuation or grammar, but then they would sign their name to the item and bring it to her for approval or rejection.
"I had brought with me a great many quotations that I had found as I read Desire of Ages very critically. I wanted to see how those statements were made originally, before they were printed and before anybody got ahold of them.
"So I repeat, I knew that Sister White had never written Desire of Ages. She couldn't. Of that I was sure.
"Earlier, in the university, I had waded through Browning, and I said to myself, If I had Browning in the class Id send him home to learn how to write. Now, in class, I was given the work of finding immortal lines in Desire of Ages, as I had done in Shakespeare. I don't believe I put that quite right, because that was not the work that was given me, its the work that I took, as I took down immortal lines in Shakespeare. But I had found more immortal lines in Desire of Ages than I did in Shakespeare!
"And I was astonished; and I knew Sister White had never written it. And, with that in mind, I came out to see her. What did she write? What did she write before it was fixed up, as we say, by those who make corrections, proof-readers, her work!
"I had brought with me all of her many statements regarding theology, because as I knew that Sister White could never have written Desire of Ages, with that beautiful language, because she didn't have the education. She couldn't! So also I knew she never could have written that book, with the theology in that book, unless she had had a very broad education, theological. And she hadn't. So I knew. I had brought with me my statements; and, as I compared them, reading out in the original in her own handwriting; every one of those statements I found written by her own hand, just as they were printed in the book! That was an astonishment to me.
"I well remember when I first discovered in Desire of Ages that tremendous statement, that in Christ is life, original, unborrowed, and underived. That changed my theology and the theology of the denomination. As I read it [the book] again and again, I had earlier found more statements that I knew that she had not written, but there they were in her handwriting.
"When I was done with my work, after three months, and I had a confidence in a job well done, I was convinced that those writings could be explained on no other ground than that of Divine Guidance. Those writings were written under the direction of God.
"Sister White herself was a very pleasant personality. I used to sit with her in the morning, early, six, five and once four; and she was up writing. Shed sit in her rocking chair, with arms and a board across those arms; and there shed write. I don't know why she accepted me, but I was apparently welcome.
"I sat there trying to find out all about her; and, I suppose, she was reading me while I was trying to read her. We had a good time together.
"She told me that her writings were produced under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; but that, later on, as she would reread a passage, she would learn still more about its deeper meaning. She said, I study it, same as you do.
"Later I read what the Bible says about [what] prophet Peter says that they themselves have to study their own writings, to see what, or what manner of time the Spirit of God which was in them, did signify.
"And that is how she wrote. I repeat: Every one of those unusual statements I had brought with me to Elmshaven, I found to be authenticated in her own handwriting.
"We discussed many things. I remember the first time I came in and saw her office, I found it to be very antiquated. No up-to-date office furniture. And I said to myself, If I ever get enough courage, Ill tell her what I think about her furniture.
"Well the time came one morning, when she asked me, Do you think I'm extravagant?
"I said, No, I don't.
"Well there was a sister in here yesterday; and, when she saw me sitting in this rocking chair, she accused me of extravagance. Now I bought that second hand. I paid eight dollars for it.
"Sister White, herself, was very companionable, a Mother in Israel. I learned many things, many things. She gave me full clearance.
"There was one place where Willie [William C. White], the son, would not let me in. And as usual when you may not do a certain thing, that's the thing you want to do. And so I went to Sister White. I knew what was in there; it was the documents, the family documents that nobody ought to read but the family. I had no business to do it. If Id have had a little more sense, I wouldn't have asked to do it. I went there. Sister White says, You may read it.
"So I went to Willie; and he gave a famous reply, I don't doubt your word, but I don't believe it.
"So we went, both of us, to Sister White. And I said, Willie wont let me in. And we discussed it and she gave permission. And so I went, perhaps I shouldn't have, but I'm glad I did. There I saw in her own handwriting, her letters from the time she was fourteen years old, to her relatives, her friends. Letters were long in those days, ten twelve, fifteen, eighteen pages. I suppose they didn't write every day.
"And she would give just a few words of a personal nature. She might say, Yesterday, I went down to see the dentist. I didn't know they had dentists in those days. Or she might say, I went down and I bought eight yards of calico and I'm going to make myself a dress. All the rest of [what was in] those letters you could put on the front page of the Review today. You wouldn't need to add any name to it; and every older Adventist at least would say, That's Sister White. It was a sermon. Those were the kind of letters. And many things there that should not be revealed, but all of the same kind. And I was again profoundly impressed by the fact; a young girl, not writing for publication, not writing that a man fifty or more years later would read it, but just the ordinary letters, the same Spirit as in all her writings.
"My speech today is really a testimony. It is not a sermon. I am just witnessing, giving my testimony.
"I went away perplexed and satisfied, because I had seen that which could not be written by her, and yet it was. I had found no end of statements concerning theology, that are most profound, written by a woman of a limited education; that I was convinced, as I said, that though I did not understand all, here God had been at work.
"Many years later, I was asked to teach at our Theological Seminary . I said Id be glad to, if I may have the privilege once more of going through the [E.G. White] vault [by that time located in the basement of the General Conference, next door to the Seminary]. I got that privilege. Three summers I worked, with competent help. Again I read all, and rather critically. I could read reasonably rapid which, by the way, all of you and all ministers particularly might do well to learn; to read rapidly without loosing the context and be able to remember.
"So I read, and I think critically, as far as I could; and when I was done, I was again profoundly impressed, and now finally [I concluded] that here was that which man had not written; here was God-indicted writings.
"Do I then worship Sister White? Oh, no,
"Do I put her on a pedestal? No.
"But only at the peril of my soul may I reject those writings or neglect them[the books] that God has given to guide us.
"I have in my possession more than twenty-thousand statements on theology, not in our books, but in the Spirit of Prophecy articles, and I wouldn't let them go for a good deal.
"And I had found in my own study of health, again and again, oftentimes I would struggle with a problem. And then Ill take, perchance sometimes, some page of Sister White; and there it is. There is what I struggled weeks and months to get; there it is.
"The testimonies have a strange influence on me and on you. You read them; and you go away saying, Lord, I have to be a better man or Ill never see the Kingdom, unless I repent of this that and the other thing. That's the aim, that's the purpose, that's the results of reading the testimonies. They draw you to the Bible; they magnify God, magnify the Bible.
"Are there not in the testimonies many things that are hard to understand? To that Id answer Yes. As I said when I came to the Seminary, I will not be deceived and I will not deceive. Ill go as far as my mind can go and Ill know the truth.
"Yes, there are things hard to understand. There are some things in the Bible I struggled with for a good many years, I wish they weren't there. But they're there. Throw them out? No, no. Wait, wait. You'll find statements that you may not understand. But later on.
"In the school, one student came to me and said, I found a contradiction. Sister White says both that God is Judge and that God is not Judge. God is not judge, Christ is judge, and here God is judge.
"You'll find part of that in the chapter of the Great Controversy, where you'll find the Father sitting in judgment and presiding in the judgment. He is the Judge and Christ is the Advocate. You will find later on in the same book, that God is not Judge. What do you do about that? Just leave it until you get light.
"What light may you get? You can find, or you'll find generally, that you may believe that and believe the other also. Even though it seems to be contradictory; but light will come.
"Now the Father IS Judge, in the Investigative Judgment [while Jesus is still priest]. Christ is Judge, in the Day of Judgment, a thousand years [the Executive Judgment] after the millennium, when He is no longer priest. They are both true, both statements.
"We need to read what has been written about good eating, about good living, and live up to it!
"What has been written, you'd better read that carefully, because every statement holds true today. There may be a balancing statement. Get that there; but do not neglect or reject that which has been written for our learning.
"As we near the harbor, we need a pilot; thus she speaks of her work. I feel like giving a solemn warning to our people on the neglect of those writings that God has given us! How shall we escape, I speak from the Bible now; how shall we escape if we neglect, not reject, not if we reject, but we neglect. And how shall we escape? Id like to apply that also to these writings. How shall we escape? Well have to give an account.
"I advise you to get a compartment in your brain, where you can put questions that you may not fully understand. Don't disbelieve them necessarily. But wait a bit; and it may be, after a year or two, that solution will come and you will thank God for it.
"How shall we escape if we neglect? I thank God for the privilege of being a Seventh-day Adventist. Its a wonderful thing. But friends, if we neglect the very means God has given us, how shall we escape?
"And so today, shall we not renew our faith and allegiance to that banner, The commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus?
"And that takes in the whole thing. That takes in the writings that have been given us for this time. So again I magnify Gods name. Wonderful, wonderful. God is bringing out a people, a people that know the future as no people have ever known it. We know whets coming. We know the persecutions. We know the trials that are coming. For, in the last days, perilous times shall come. Shall we fear then?
"Gird on the armor, stand like a rock, and God will yet see His people through!"