The 1911 Edition of "The Great Controversy"
An Explanation of the Involvements
of the 1911 Revision
The Great Controversy in its enlarged form was published in the early summer of 1888. Ellen G. White had furnished identical printing plates to both the Review and Herald and the Pacific Press. After the establishment of the Southern Publishing Association, they too were supplied with plates. All houses printed from these until 1907 when it became necessary to patch some of the badly worn plates. Some re-illustrating was done at that time. A few years later it was seen that the worn-out printing plates must be replaced with new ones and that the type for the book must be reset. As explained by Mrs. White on page 12, it was this that led her to plan a slight revision of the book. It was but natural that any change in the text of an E. G. White book long in circulation would call for a discussion of inspiration and its bearing upon the book in question. The statements comprising this document supply the information given at the time the new edition of The Great Controversy appeared in 1911.--Arthur L. White.]
A Statement of Approval by Ellen G. White
"Yesterday and again this morning I have read the letter written by W. C. White to our General Missionary agents, and his letter to the members of our Publications Committee, regarding the new edition of The Great Controversy.
And now I wish to say to you that what he has written regarding my wishes, and decisions, and instruction relative to this work is a true and correct statement."
(Signed) Ellen G. White--Letter 57, 1911. (Written at St. Helena, California, July 27, 1911.)
The Great Controversy
(A statement made by W. C. White before the General Conference Council, October 30, 1911)
Addressing the council, Elder W. C. White said:
"It is with pleasure that I present to you a statement regarding the latest English edition of The Great Controversy.
"About two years ago we were told that the electrotype plates for this book, in use at the Pacific Press, the Review and Herald, and the International Tract Society (London), were so worn that the book must be reset and new plates made. This work has been done at the Pacific Press. Four sets of plates were made--one for each of our offices in Washington, Mountain View, Nashville, and Watford.
"In a letter sent to the managers of our publishing houses, I wrote as follows, on July 24, 1911: [This same letter was addressed to "Our General Missionary Agents."]
"`After taking counsel with ministers, canvassers, and other friends of the book, we thought best to reset the text so that the new edition would correspond as nearly as possible with the old. And although we could not use exactly the same type, the matter runs nearly page for page. Every chapter in the new edition begins and ends on the same pages as does the corresponding chapter in the old edition.
"`The most noticeable change in the new edition is the improvement in the illustrations. Each of the 42 chapters, together with the Preface, Introduction, Contents, and list of illustrations, has a beautiful pictorial heading; and ten new full-page illustrations have been introduced, to take the place of those which were least attractive.
"`The 13 Appendix notes of the old edition, occupying 13 pages, have been replaced by 31 notes occupying 12 pages. These are nearly all reference notes, intended to help the studious reader in finding historical proofs of the statements made in the book.'
"`The Biographical Notes have been omitted, and the general index has been enlarged from 12 to 22 pages, thus greatly facilitating the finding of desired passages.
"`In the body of the book, the most noticeable improvement is the introduction of historical references. In the old edition, over 700 biblical references were given, but in only a few instances were there any historical references to the authorities quoted or referred to. In the new edition the reader will find more than 400 references to 88 authors and authorities.
"`When we presented to Mother the request of some of our canvassers, that there should be given in the new edition not only scripture references, but also references to the historians quoted, she instructed us to hunt up and insert the historical references. She also instructed us to verify the quotations, and to correct any inaccuracies found; and where quotations were made from passages that were rendered differently by different translators, to use that translation which was found to be most correct and authentic.
"`The finding of the various passages quoted from historians has been a laborious task, and the verification of the passages quoted has led to some changes in the wording of the text. This is especially noticeable in the quotations from the History of the Reformation, by J. Merle D'Aubigne. It was found that there were six or more English translations, American and British, which varied much in wording, although almost identical in thought; and in the old edition of The Great Controversy three of these had been used, according to the clearness and beauty of the language. But we learned that only one of these many translations had the approval of the author; that is the one used by the American Tract Society in its later editions.
Therefore, the quotations from D'Aubigne in this edition of The Great Controversy have been made to conform in the main to this approved translation.
"`In a few instances, new quotations from historians, preachers, and present-day writers, have been used in the place of the old, because they are more forceful, or because we have been unable to find the old ones. In each case where there has been such a change, Mother has given faithful attention to the proposed substitution, and has approved of the change.
"`You will find that changes of this character have been made on pages 273, 277, 306-308, 334, 335, 387, 547, 580, and 581.
"`There are still some score or more quotations in the book whose authority we have so far been unable to trace. Fortunately, these relate to matters regarding which there is not a probability of there being any serious contention.
"`In spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, changes have been made to bring this book into uniformity of style with the other volumes of this series.
"`In eight or ten places, time references have been changed because of the lapse of time since the book was first published.
"`In several places, forms of expression have been changed to avoid giving unnecessary offense. An example of this will be found in the change of the word "Romish" to "Roman" or "Roman Catholic." In two places the phrase "divinity of Christ" is changed to "deity of Christ." And the words "religious toleration" have been changed to "religious liberty."
"`The statements made on pages 285-287, regarding the action of the Assembly in its blasphemous decrees against religion and the Bible, have been so worded as to show that the Assembly set aside, and afterward restored, not only the Bible, but also God and His worship.
"`In the new edition, the rise of the papacy in 538, and its fall in 1798, are spoken of as its "supremacy" and "downfall," instead of its "establishment" and "abolition," as in the old edition.
"`In each of these places the more accurate form of expression has been duly considered and approved by the author of the book.
"`On pages 50, 563, 564, 580, 581, and in a few other places where there were statements regarding the papacy which are strongly disputed by Roman Catholics, and which are difficult to prove from accessible histories, the wording in the new edition has been so changed that the statement falls easily within the range of evidence that is readily obtainable.
"`Regarding these and similar passages which might stir up bitter and unprofitable controversies, Mother has often said, "What I have written regarding the arrogance and the assumptions of the papacy, is true. Much historical evidence regarding these matters has been designedly destroyed; nevertheless, that the book may be of the greatest benefit to Catholics and others, and that needless controversies may be avoided, it is better to have all statements regarding the assumptions of the pope and the claims of the papacy stated so moderately as to be easily and clearly proved from accepted histories that are within the reach of our ministers and students."
"`If you hear reports that some of the work done on this latest edition was done contrary to Mother's wish, or without her knowledge, you can be sure that such reports are false, and unworthy of consideration.'"
Passages from the old and the new editions were read and compared to illustrate the statement read from the speaker's letter of July 24. Then Brother White said:
"Since the printing of this new edition, Mother has taken great pleasure in looking over and rereading the book. Day after day, as I visited her in the morning, she spoke of it, saying that she enjoyed reading it again, and that she was glad that the work we have done to make this edition as perfect as possible, was completed while she was living and could direct in what was done.
"Mother has never claimed to be authority on history. The things which she has written out are descriptions of flashlight pictures and other representations given her regarding the actions of men, with views of past, present, and future history in its revelation of this work. In connection with the writing out of these views, she has made use of good and clear historical statements to help make plain to the reader the things which she is endeavoring to present. When I was a mere boy, I heard her read D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation to my father. She read to him a large part, if not the whole, of the five volumes. She has read other histories of the Reformation. This has helped her to locate and describe many of the events and the movements presented to her in vision. This is somewhat similar to the way in which the study of the Bible helps her to locate and describe the many figurative representations given to her regarding the development of the great controversy in our day between truth and error.
"Mother has never laid claim to verbal inspiration (see Introduction to The Great Controversy, pp. 11 and 12), and I do not find that my father, or Elder Bates, Andrews, Smith or Waggoner put forth this claim. If there were verbal inspiration in writing her manuscripts, why should there be on her part the work of addition or adaptation? It is a fact that Mother often takes one of her manuscripts and goes over it thoughtfully, making additions that develop the thought still further."
"The first edition of this book was published in California in 1884. When Spirit of Prophecy, Volume III, was printed, there was some matter left over. A portion of this was printed in pamphlet form, and circulated; and it was expected that Mother would proceed immediately to add to this matter and bring out Volume IV. Before Father's death he had advertised the book Spirit of Prophecy, Volume IV.
"When Mother brought out Volume IV, she and those who had to do with its publication had in mind the fulfillment of Father's plan. We also had in mind that it was written for the Adventist people of the United States. Therefore, with much difficulty the matter was compressed so as to bring this volume into about the same size as the other volumes of the series.
"Later on, when it was found that book could be sold to all people, the publishers took the plates and printed an edition on larger paper. Illustrations were inserted, and an experiment [was] made in selling it as a subscription book at $1.50.
"In 1885 Mother and I were sent to Europe, and there the question came up regarding its translation into German, French, Danish, and Swedish. As Mother considered this proposition, she decided to make additions to the matter.
"Mother's contact with European people had brought to her mind scores of things that had been presented to her in vision during past years, some of them two or three times, and other scenes many times. Her seeing of historic places and her contact with the people refreshed her memory with reference to these things, and so she desired to add much material to the book. This was done, and the manuscripts were prepared for translation.
"After our return to America, a new edition was brought out much enlarged. In this edition some of the matter used in the first English edition was left out. The reason for these changes was found in the fact that the new edition was intended for world-wide circulation.
"In her public ministry, Mother has shown an ability to select from the storehouse of truth matter that is well adapted to the needs of the congregation before her; and she has always thought that in the selection of matter for publication in her books the best judgment should be shown in selecting that which is best suited to the needs of those who will read the book.
"Therefore, when the new edition of The Great Controversy was brought out in 1888, there were left out about 20 pages of matter--four or five pages in a place--which were very instructive to the Adventists of America, but which were not appropriate for readers in other parts of the world.
"Much of the research for historical statements used in the new European and American editions of The Great Controversy was done in Basel, where we had access to Elder Andrews's large library, and where the translators had access to the university libraries.
"When we came to go over this matter for the purpose of giving historical references, there were some quotations which we could not find. In some cases there were found other statements making the same point, from other historians. These were in books accessible in many public libraries. When we brought to Mother's attention a quotation that we could not find, and showed her that there was another quotation that we had found, which made the same point, she said, `Use the one you can give reference to, so that the reader of the book, if he wishes to go to the source and find it, can do so.' In that way some historical data have been substituted.
"Now, with reference to the statement that the people at Washington, or the General Conference Committee men, have been doing this or that, right or wrong, in connection with this book, it is important that you should have a clear statement of facts regarding the matter.
"Our brethren at Washington and at Mountain View have done only that which we requested them to do. As stated in the beginning, we took counsel with the men of the Publishing Department, with State canvassing agents, and with members of the publishing committees, not only in Washington, but in California, and I asked them to kindly call our attention to any passages that needed to be considered in connection with the resetting of the book.
"When it was pointed out that some of the historical data were questioned and challenged, we asked them to give us a written statement that would help us in our research. They did as we requested and nothing more. All decisions as to what should be changed, and what should be printed word-for-word as in the old edition, were made in Mother's office, by persons in her employ and working under her direction. Therefore, there is no occasion for anyone to say a word against the General Conference Committee men or the literary men at Washington, or against the book, because of anything done by the brethren in Washington or elsewhere in connection with this work.
"We are very thankful to our brethren in Washington, and to many others, for kind and faithful painstaking labors in looking up those passages that were likely to be challenged by the Catholics and other critics. We are also profoundly thankful to our brethren in England and on the Continent, and also to brethren in Boston, New York, and Chicago, for helping to find in the great libraries, and verify, those quotations that were difficult to locate. They have done this work at our request, and to help us in what we thought ought to be done. The uses made of the results of this research, are seen in the historical references at the foot of the page and in the Appendix.
"The Appendix in the old book, as you remember, was partly explanatory, partly argumentative, and partly apologetic; but such notes seemed to us to be no longer necessary, and the 31 notes in the new edition are chiefly references to historical statements showing the correctness of the statements made in the book. We felt that it would be of value to the studious reader to have these definite references to the statements of well-known historians."--W. C. White, July 24, 1911.
Copy of a Letter Written by Elder W. C. White
(Written from Sanitarium, California, July 25, 1911, to the members of the Publication Committee.)
"Dear Brethren: In the accompanying letter to our State Missionary Agents, I have made a brief statement about the changes that appear in the new edition of The Great Controversy.
A study of these changes may lead some to ask the question, "Has Sister White the authority and right to make changes in her published writings, either by addition, or by omission, or by any change whatever in the forms of expression, the manner of description, or the plan of the argument?"
The simple statement of some facts regarding the writing of her books, and the enlargement and development of the story of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, may of itself constitute an answer to this question.
It is generally admitted that in Sister White's discourses, spoken to the people, she uses great freedom and wisdom in the selection of proofs and illustrations, to make plain and forcible her presentation of the truths revealed to her in vision. Also, that she selects such facts and arguments as are adapted to the audience to whom she is speaking. This is essential to the attainment of the best results from her discourses.
And she has always felt and taught that it was her duty to use the same wisdom in the selection of matter for her books that she does in the selection of matter for her discourses.
When Mother was writing Great Controversy, Volume IV, in 1882-1884, she was instructed regarding the general plan of the book. It was revealed to her that she should present an outline of the controversy between Christ and Satan as it developed in the first centuries of the Christian era, and in the great Reformation of the sixteenth century, in such a way as to prepare the mind of the reader to understand clearly the controversy as it is going on in our day.
While Mother was writing this book, many of the scenes were presented to her over and over again in visions of the night. The vision of the deliverance of God's people, as given in Chapter XL, was repeated three times; and on two occasions, once at her home in Healdsburg and once at the St. Helena Sanitarium, members of her family, sleeping in nearby rooms, were awakened from sleep by her clear, musical cry, "They come! They come!" (See page 636.)
Several times we thought that the manuscript of the book was all ready for the printer, and then a vision of some important feature of the controversy would be repeated, and Mother would again write upon the subject, bringing out the description more fully and clearly. Thus the publishing was delayed, and the book grew in size.
Mother regarded this new book as an expansion of the subject as first published in Spiritual Gifts, Volume I (1858), and now found in Early Writings, pages 210-295.
And notwithstanding the divine instruction regarding the plan of the book, which has made it so useful to the general public, Mother felt that it was addressed chiefly to the Adventist people of the United States. Later, in preparing it for a wider circulation, she omitted a few portions that had appeared in the earlier edition. Examples of these may be found in the chapter entitled, "The Snares of Satan," pages 518-530. Let us trace the history of this chapter.
In the book Spiritual Gifts, Volume I, first published in 1858, and now constituting the latter part of the book Early Writings, there are 42 articles. Number 32 of these, entitled "Covetousness," has four paragraphs, covering three pages in the latter book, dealing chiefly with the following topics:
1. Satan instructs his angels to lay snares for the Adventist people.
2. Sleeping church they can hold.
3. The hated Sabbathkeepers are taking away Satan's subjects.
4. Go make the possessors of lands and money drunk with cares.
5. Lead them to love and idolize the world.
6. Keep all the means possible within our [Satan's] ranks.
7. Disturb their meetings, and cause confusion.
8. Destroy love for one another.
9. Discourage and dishearten their ministers.
10. Put in them a grudging disposition, and lead them to give sparingly.
11. Satan leads all to indulge their besetting sins.
12. He exults over the folly of those who enter his snares.
13. The experience of Judas an example.
14. Christ dishonored by the mean acts of Christians.
15. God displeased with selfishness.
16. Every opportunity should be improved to do good to one another.
In this article, ten of the above sixteen subjects are dealt with in the first paragraph of 37 lines.
In the 1884 edition of The Great Controversy, Volume IV, this same subject, or a portion of it, is treated under the heading, "Snares of Satan," and fills fourteen pages.
The first two topics are dealt with in the first paragraph of ten lines. The third topic, relating to the Sabbathkeepers taking away Satan's subjects and his hatred of them, is enlarged upon to occupy five paragraphs.
Topics 4-6 are expanded to three paragraphs, occupying a page.
Topic 7, regarding Satan's effort to bring distraction into the meetings of God's people, is enlarged upon to fill four paragraphs, making nearly two pages.
Topic 8 occupies nearly a page.
Then new topics are introduced relating mostly to false doctrines, that Satan strives to introduce among God's people. These fill eight pages, to the close of the chapter.
The treatment of this chapter, in which Mother enlarges upon the subjects that are very briefly stated in her earlier writings, is an illustration of her manner of dealing with many of the subjects revealed to her in vision.
In her first visions the lives of the patriarchs, the mission and teachings of Christ and His apostles, and the controversy as carried forward by the church of Christ from the ascension to our day, were at first presented to her in outline, and were written out in brief, comprehensive articles as we find them in Early Writings.
In later years one group of subjects after another was shown her in vision repeatedly, and each time the revelation brought out more clearly the details of the whole, or of some features of the subject.
Consequently, Mother has written and published her views on the various phases of the great controversy several times, and each time more fully.
That which was published regarding the fall of Satan, the fall of man, and the plan of salvation, in Early Writings occupied eight pages. The same subjects as published in Patriarchs and Prophets occupied 30 larger pages.
That which was published in 1858 about the life of Christ, as found in Early Writings, occupied 40 pages. The same as published in 1878 fills over 600 pages of Spirit of Prophecy, Volumes II and III. And as now published in The Desire of the Ages, and in Christ's Object Lessons, it fills more than a thousand pages.
In The Great Controversy, Volume IV, published in 1885, in the chapter "Snares of Satan," there are three pages or more of matter that was not used in the later editions, which were prepared to be sold to the multitudes by our canvassers. It is most excellent and interesting reading for Sabbathkeepers, as it points out the work that Satan will do in persuading popular ministers and church members to elevate the Sunday sabbath, and to persecute Sabbathkeepers.
It was not left out because it was less true in 1888 than in 1885, but because Mother thought it was not wisdom to say these things to the multitudes to whom the book would be sold in future years.
With reference to this, and to other passages in her writings which have been omitted in later editions, she has often said, "These statements are true, and they are useful to our people; but to the general public, for whom this book is now being prepared, they are out of place. Christ said, even to His disciples, `I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.' And Christ taught His disciples to be `wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.' Therefore, as it is probable that more souls will be won to Christ by the book without this passage than with it, let it be omitted."
Regarding changes in forms of expression, Mother has often said: "Essential truths must be plainly told; but so far as possible they should be told in language that will win, rather than offend."
Regarding passages that are likely to be the occasion of bitter and unprofitable controversies on the part of Roman Catholics and others, Mother has said: "All that is said in The Great Controversy regarding the claims of the pope and the papacy is true. Much historical evidence regarding these matters has been designedly destroyed; nevertheless, that the book may be of the great benefit to Catholics and others, and that needless controversies may be avoided, it is better to have all statements regarding the assumptions of the pope and the claims of the papacy stated so moderately as to be easily and clearly proved from accepted histories that are within the reach of our ministers and students."
In harmony with this, Mother has fully approved of each of the following changes:
Page 50. Old Edition: "More than this, the pope has arrogated the very titles of Deity. He styles himself `Lord God the Pope,' assumes infallibility, and demands that all men pay him homage. Thus the same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage."
New Edition: "More than this, the pope has been given the very titles of Deity. He has been styled `Lord God the Pope,' and has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men. The same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage."
(At the close of this passage in the new edition, reading "Lord God the Pope," the reader is referred at the foot of the page to an Appendix note, where he learns where to find these identical words in the Latin origin, in an authorized gloss on the Roman Canon Law.)
Page 234. (Referring to the Jesuits) Old Edition: "Cut off from every earthly tie and human interest, etc."
New Edition: "Cut off from earthly ties and human interests, etc."
Page 235. Old Edition: "But under this blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were concealed."
New Edition: But under this blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were often concealed."
Page 567. Old Edition: "The Church's claim to the right to pardon, causes the Romanist to feel at liberty to sin, etc."
New Edition: "The Church's claim to the right to pardon, leads the Romanist to feel at liberty to sin, etc."
Page 266. Old Edition: "The 1260 years of papal supremacy began with the establishment of the papacy in A.D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798."
New Edition: "The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798."
Page 439. Old Edition: "This period, as stated in preceding chapters, began with the establishment of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798. At that time, when the papacy was abolished and the pope made captive by the French army, the papal power received its deadly wound, and the prediction was fulfilled, `He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity.'"
New Edition: "This period, as stated in preceding chapters, began with the supremacy of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798. At that time, the pope was made captive by the French army, the papal power received its deadly wound, and the prediction was fulfilled, `He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity.'"
Page 579. Old Edition: "The infliction of the deadly wound points to the abolition of the papacy in 1798."
New Edition: "The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798."
Pages 580, 581. Old Edition: "Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let history testify of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. Romanism openly puts forth the claim that the pope `can pronounce sentences and judgments in contradiction to the right of nations, to the law of God and man.'
"And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. the principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principle of the Romish Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in the past centuries. Let the principle once be established in the United States, that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by the secular laws; and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured."
New Edition: "History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations, and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: `I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my Lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity.' This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power to the Roman pontiff that `it is lawful for him to depose emperors,' and that `he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers.'
"And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States, that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured."--W. C. White Letter, July 25, 1911.
Ellen G. White's Statement Regarding the 1911 Edition of
The Great Controversy
"A few days ago I received a copy of the new edition of the book The Great Controversy, recently printed at Mountain View, and also a similar copy printed at Washington. The book pleases me. I have spent many hours looking through its pages, and I see that the publishing houses have done good work.
The book The Great Controversy I appreciate above silver or gold, and I greatly desire that it shall come before the people. While writing the manuscript of The Great Controversy, I was often conscious of the presence of the angels of God. And many times the scenes about which I was writing were presented to me anew in visions of the night, so that they were fresh and vivid in my mind.
Recently it was necessary for this book to be reset, because the electrotype plates were badly worn. It has cost me much to have this done, but I do not complain; for whatever the cost may be, I regard this new edition with great satisfaction.
Yesterday I read what W. C. White has recently written to canvassing agents and responsible men at our publishing houses regarding this latest edition of The Great Controversy, and I think he has presented the matter correctly and well.
When I learned that The Great Controversy must be reset, I determined that we would have everything closely examined, to see if the truths it contained were stated in the very best manner, to convince those not of our faith that the Lord had guided and sustained me in the writing of its pages.
As a result of the thorough examination by our most experienced workers, some changing in the wording has been proposed. These changes I have carefully examined and approved. I am thankful that my life has been spared, and that I have strength and clearness of mind for this and other literary work.
While preparing the book on the The Acts of the Apostles, the Lord has kept my mind in perfect peace. This book will soon be ready for publication. When this book is ready for publication, if the Lord sees fit to let me rest, I shall say Amen, and Amen. If the Lord spares my life, I will continue to write, and to bear my testimony in the congregation of the people, as the Lord shall give me strength and guidance.
There is now a great work of soul-saving to be accomplished in the home field. There should be a general awakening on the part of the people, and fresh efforts made to get the light of present truth before the world. In cities and villages and towns, in every possible way, let the light shine forth. Missionaries are needed everywhere, and hundreds of workers from our ranks should be carrying the light of truth to those who know it not. The messengers of truth must be wide awake. The Lord says to them, "Let light go forth in warnings and in opening and explaining the scriptures to the people."
Day by day golden opportunities are opening for our publications to go forth as silent messengers of truth. Let men and women be selected for the canvassing work--not from the floating, careless element, but from those who carry a burden for the extension of the knowledge of truth. Keen foresight and consecrated ability are needed at this time. Let those be selected for the canvassing work who are adapted to this line of work. Let not these feel that they must work hard to obtain a license to preach. The Lord is calling for efficient laborers in many lines of service. If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting before the people the publications that will explain to them the Word of God.
Parents should consider that their children are constantly beset by temptation. They would receive strength to resist temptation if they would study with deep searching of heart the books containing the light of truth for this time. Parents, do not encourage your children to read literature that will be no help to them spiritually. Do not encourage them to read the story of the life of Christ in the form of a novel. We need to make solid, earnest preparation for the great day of God.
God calls for missionary work to be done in our homes. Years have passed into eternity leaving undone the work of conversion that should have been accomplished in our families. Many of our youth are not being fitted for the work that needs to be done. They are to let the light of truth shine forth in their lives.--Letter 56, 1911. (To F. M. Wilcox, July 25, 1911, from Sanitarium, California)."
Ellen G. White Estate
Washington, D. C.
March, 1962. Retyped March, 1989.