Ellen G. White

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This article is about Ellen White's biography. For the discussion of her prophetic gift,see Inspiration of Ellen White.

Ellen Gould White
Egw1899info.jpg

James and Ellen White
Born November 26, 1827
Flag of the United States Gorham, Maine
Died July 16,1915 (age 87)
Flag of the United States Elmshaven (Saint Helena), California
Spouse James White

Ellen Gould White (née Harmon) (November 26, 1827July 16,1915) born to Robert and Eunice Harmon, was an American Christian leader whose prophetic ministry was instrumental in founding the Sabbatarian Adventist movement that led to the rise of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Supporters of Ellen G. White regard her as a modern-day prophet, usually expressed in the language that she exhibited the spiritual gift of prophecy as outlined in the New Testament. Adventists do not consider this to conflict with the Reformation principle Sola Scriptura ("by scripture alone"), because the Bible is believed to be superior to her writings. Her restorationist writings showcase the hand of God in Seventh-day Adventist history. This cosmic conflict, referred to as the "great controversy theme", is foundational to the development of Seventh-day Adventist theology. Her involvement with other Sabbatarian Adventist leaders such as Joseph Bates and her husband James White would create a nucleus of believers around which a core group of shared beliefs would emerge. Ellen White believed that at the close of earth's history Jesus Christ would return to this earth to gather His people and take them to heaven.

White was a controversial figure even within her own lifetime. She claimed to have received a vision soon after the Millerite Great Disappointment. In the context of many other visionaries, she was known for her conviction and fervent faith. White is the most translated female non-fiction author in the history of literature as well as the most translated American non-fiction author of either gender.<ref name="estatebio">Arthur L. White (August, 2000). Ellen G. White: A Brief Biography. Ellen G. White Estate.</ref> Her writings covered topics of theology, evangelism, Christian lifestyle, education and health (she also advocated vegetarianism). She was a leader who emphasized education and health and promoted establishment of schools and medical centers. During her lifetime she wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books; but today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. Some of her more popular books include, Steps to Christ, The Desire of Ages, and The Great Controversy. Adventists believe she experienced over 2,000 visions.

Adherents to the Seventh-day Adventist Church originating from the "Millerite" movement, including Ellen White's teachings, currently number nearly 15 million in membership<ref name="CouncilStats">Template:Cite conference</ref> with an estimated twenty five million in attendance worldwide.<ref>Template:Cite press release</ref>

Contents

Early life, family, and religious experiences

Part of a Series on
Seventh-day Adventism
James and Ellen White

History
Christianity · Protestantism
Anabaptists · Restorationism
Pietism · Millerites
Great Disappointment

People
Ellen G. White
Joseph Bates · Uriah Smith
John Nevins Andrews· James Springer White

Distinctive teachings
Sabbath · Conditional Immortality
Historicism · Premillennialism
Investigative judgment · Remnant
Three Angels' Messages
Eschatology

Other Adventists
Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement
Shepherd's Rod
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At age 9 on her way home from school, Ellen Harmon was seriously injured when she was struck in the nose by a rock thrown by a schoolmate. Severely traumatized, she remained unconscious for three weeks. She later recovered but the injury prevented her from being able to continue her education. The two or three years of education she had received was quite typical for an American girl during the 1830s.<ref>Ellen G. White (1860). Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2. Steam Press of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association. </ref>

It was during this ordeal that Ellen Harmon had her first "conversion experience" She would later write, "This misfortune, which for a time seemed so bitter and was so hard to bear, has proved to be a blessing in disguise. The cruel blow which blighted the joys of earth, was the means of turning my eyes to heaven. I might never had known Jesus, had not the sorrow that clouded my early years led me to seek comfort in him." (Review and Herald, Nov. 25, 1884, par.2)

In 1840, at age 12, her family became involved with the Millerite movement. Attending William Miller lectures Ellen began to feel that she was guilty of sin, and she was filled with terror about being eternally lost. She describes herself as spending nights in tears and prayer, and being in this condition for several months. Historian Merlin Burt points to a three-step conversion process. She was baptized by John Hobart in Casco Bay in Portland, Maine, and eagerly awaited for Jesus to come again. After her conversion, in her later years, she referred to this as the happiest time of her life. Her family's involvement with Millerism caused the Methodist church they attended to disfellowship all of them.<ref>Merlin D. Burt (1998). Ellen G. Harmon's Three Step Conversion Between 1836 and 1843 and the Harmon Family Methodist Experience.. Term paper, Andrews University. </ref>

Some individuals have expressed curiosity regarding her racial ancestry, suggesting that her darker complexion could point to some African-American heritage (in particular, Adventist author Roger L. Dudley) . The Ellen G. White Estate commissioned a professional genealogist to research her ancestry, who concluded that she was of Anglo-Saxon origin.<ref>http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/genealogy.html</ref> See her ancestral chart (JPG).

Early ministry

Adventists believe Ellen White received her first vision in December 1844, shortly after the Great Disappointment in October that year. She stated that she was with five other women in the home of Mrs. Haines in Portland, Maine. Her first vision was a depiction of the Adventist people following Jesus, marching to the city (Heaven). Upon receiving the vision, White prayed all day that God would not make her share it.<ref>"Young Adventist Pioneers". </ref> This vision was taken by those around her as an encouraging sign after the devastation of the Great Disappointment. She was encouraged both in subsequent visions and by fellow church members to more broadly share her message, which she did through public speaking, articles in religious periodicals, and eventually early broadsides and pamphlets.<ref>Ellen G. White (1922). Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, pg. 57-61.. Review and Herald. </ref>

Ellen White described the vision experience as involving a bright light which would surround her. In these visions she would be in the presence of Jesus or angels, who would show her events (historical and future) and places (on earth, in heaven, or other planets), or give her information. She described the end of her visions as involving a return to the darkness of the earth.

The transcriptions of White's visions generally contain theology, prophecy, or personal counsels to individuals or to Adventist leaders. One of the best examples of her personal counsels is found in a 9-volume series of books entitled Testimonies for the Church, that contains edited testimonies published for the general edification of the church. The spoken and written versions of her visions played a significant part in establishing and shaping the organizational structure of the emerging Sabbatarian Adventist Church. Her visions and writings continue to be used by church leaders in developing the church's policies and for devotional reading.

On March 14, 1858, in Lovett's Grove, Ohio, White received a vision while attending a funeral service. On that day James White wrote that "God manifested His power in a wonderful manner" adding that "several had decided to keep the Lord's Sabbath and go with the people of God." In writing about the vision, she stated that she received practical instruction for church members, and more significantly, a cosmic sweep of the conflict "between Christ and His angels, and Satan and his angels." Ellen White would expand upon this great controversy theme which would eventually culminate in the Conflict of the Ages series.<ref>Ellen G. White (1858). Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, pg. 266-272.. James White. </ref>

Middle life

From 1861 to 1881 Ellen White's prophetic ministry became increasingly recognized among Sabbatarian Adventists. Her frequent articles in the Review and Herald (now the Adventist Review) and other church publications were a unifying influence to the beginning church. She supported her husband in the church's need for formal organization. The result was the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1863. During the 1860s and 1870s the Whites participated in the founding of the denomination's first medical institution (1866) and school (1874). Her husband James White died in 1881.

Later ministry

After 1882 Ellen White was assisted by a close circle of friends and associates. She employed a number of literary assistants who would help her in preparing her writings for publications. She also carried on an extensive correspondence with church leaders. She then traveled to Europe on her first international trip. Upon her return she promoted E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones, young ministers, in preparation for a more Christ-centered theology for the church. When church leaders resisted her counsel on various matters, she was sent to Australia as a missionary.

Final years of ministry and death

EGW In Memoriam.jpg

Ellen White returned to the United States in 1900, settling in Elmshaven, California. At first she thought her stay would be temporary and she called for church re-organization at the pivotal 1901 General Conference Session. During her later years she wrote extensively for church publications and wrote her final books, including a new edition with historical revisions expounding the title, The Great Controversy (1911). During her final years she would travel less frequently as she concentrated upon writing her last works for the church. Ellen White died July 16, 1915, at her home in Elmshaven, which is now an Adventist Historical Site.

Major teachings

Health reform

Ellen White expounded greatly on the subject of health and nutrition, as well as healthy eating and a balanced diet. At the behest of Ellen White, the Seventh-day Adventist Church first established the innovative Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1866, to care for the sick as well as to disseminate health instruction.<ref>"Adventist Health," Company Histories, FundingUniverse.[1]</ref> Over the years, other Adventist sanitariums were established around the country. These sanitariums evolved into hospitals, forming the backbone of the Adventists' medical network and, in 1972, forming the Adventist Health System.

White's idea of health reform included vegetarianism. This was in a day and age where "meat and two vegetables" was the standard meal for a typical North American. Her health message inspired a health food revolution starting with Dr. John Harvey Kellogg in his creation of Corn Flakes. The Sanitarium Health Food Company as it is now known was also started by this health principle. It is also based on her health principles that Dr. Kellogg differed from his brother's views on the sugar content of their Corn Flake breakfast cereal. The latter started Kellogg Company.

Her views are expressed in the writings Healthful Living (1897, 1898) and The Health Food Ministry (1970) and The Ministry of Healing (1905).

Education

White's idea of creating a Christian educational system and its importance in society is detailed in her writings Christian Education (1893, 1894) and Education (1903).

Theology

Arthur Patrick believes that White was evangelical, in that she had high regard for the Bible, saw the cross as central, supported righteousness by faith, believed in Christian activism, and sought to restore New Testament Christianity.<ref>Arthur Patrick, "An Adventist and an Evangelical in Australia? The Case of Ellen White In The 1890s." in Lucas: An Evangelical History Review No. 12, December 1991</ref>

Major writings

Some of her most well known known books are:<ref>List consists of titles in Selection of Ellen G. White's® Best-Known Books</ref>

Conflict of the Ages series

During her lifetime she wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles, 40 books, and experienced over 2000 visions, Adventists believe. Today over 100 titles are available in English, including compilations from her 50,000 manuscript pages.

Book links are to the official Ellen White website, and also available as E-books.

Historic legacy

Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.

Main article: Ellen G. White Estate

The Ellen G. White Estate, Inc., was formed as a result of Ellen G. White's will. It consists of a self-perpetuating board. The Estate continues to exist and has a modest staff that includes a secretary (now known as the director), several associates, and a support staff. The main headquarters is at the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Branch Offices are located at Andrews University, Loma Linda University, and Oakwood College. There are 15 additional research centers located throughout the 13 remaining divisions of the world church. The mission of the White Estate is to circulate Ellen White's writings, translate them, and provide resources for helping to better understand her life and ministry. At the Toronto General Conference Session (2000) the world church expanded the mission of the White Estate to include a responsibility for promoting Adventist history for the entire denomination.

Adventist historic sites

Several of Ellen G. White's homes are historic sites. The first home that she and her husband owned is now part of the Historic Adventist Village in Battle Creek, Michigan.<ref>Adventist Heritage Site</ref> Her other homes are privately owned with the exception of her home in Cooranbong, Australia, which she named "Sunnyside," and her last home in Saint Helena, California, which she named "Elmshaven"<ref>Elmshaven website</ref>. These latter two homes are owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the "Elmshaven" home is also a National Historic Landmark.

Biography

The most comprehensive biography of Ellen G. White is an extensive six-volume work called "Ellen G. White: A Biography" written by her grandson, Arthur L. White ). A critical work is Ronald L. Numbers' analysis of Ellen G. White's health reform teachings in the context of other nineteenth-century health reformers "Ellen G. White: Prophetess of Health," rev. ed. (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee, 1992). Thousands of articles and books have been written about various aspects of Ellen G. White's life and ministry. A large number of these can be found in the libraries at Loma Linda University and Andrews University, the two primary Seventh-day Adventist institutions with major research collections about Adventism. An "Encyclopedia of Ellen G. White" is being produced by two faculty at Andrews University: Jerry Moon, chair of the church history department, and Denis Fortin,dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. The Encyclopedia is due out in 2007/2008 and will be published by the Review and Herald. It will contain contributions by dozens of scholars and an attempt is made to cover every aspect of her life.

For a listing of most of these books, periodical articles, theses, and dissertations see Gary Shearer's Index to Bibliographies on SDA and Millerite History under "White" (updated periodically): http://library.puc.edu/heritage/bib-index.shtml

Debate regarding the prophetic value of her writings

Most Adventists believe her writings are inspired and continue to have relevance for the church today. Some believe that her writings have devotional value only. Seventh-day Adventists began to discuss her writings at the 1919 Bible Conference, soon after her death. During the 1920s the church adopted a Fundamentalist stance toward inspiration. Because of criticism from the evangelical community, in the 1940s and 1950s church leaders such as LeRoy Edwin Froom and Roy Allan Anderson attempted to help evangelicals understand Seventh-day Adventists better by engaging in extended dialogue that resulted in the publication of Questions on Doctrine (1956) that explained Adventist beliefs in evangelical language.

Adventist statement of belief about the Spirit of Prophecy

Ellen White's writings are sometimes referred to as the Spirit of Prophecy by Adventists. The term is dually applied to the Holy Spirit which inspired her writings.

Early Sabbatarian Adventists, many of whom had come out of the Christian Connexion, were anti-creedal. As early as 1872 Adventists produced a statement of Adventist beliefs. This list was refined during the 1890s and formally included in the SDA Yearbook in 1931. In 1980 a statement of 27 Fundamental Beliefs was adopted, which was added to in 2005 to the current list of fundamental beliefs. Ellen G. White is referenced in the fundamental belief on spiritual gifts. This doctrinal statement says:

"One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28,29; Acts 2:14-21; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 12:17; Template:Bibleverse-nb.)"<ref>http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/</ref>

Ellen G. White's writings are considered divinely inspired but not on a par with the Bible. Seventh-day Adventists believe that her writings are subject to the Bible's authority.

Criticisms

See also: Criticism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Soon after Ellen Harmon's first vision in 1845 doubts were cast as to the reliability and authenticity of her visions. While there would be numerous critics during her lifetime, the most prominent critic was D.M. Canright. His criticisms are summarized in his 1919 book, Life of Mrs. E.G. White, Seventh-day Adventist Prophet: Her False Claims Refuted. The criticisms found in this book synthesize those of all previous critics and is the basic text for critics of Ellen G. White. Some of the most prominent criticisms include:

  • Mental Illness: Critics argue that Ellen White's childhood injury caused traumatic brain injury, was cataleptic and hysterical and some neurologists have commented that this may have caused partial complex seizures and hallucinations. They suggest that her visions were actually hallucinations and delusions during non-motor seizures which that led her to believe that she had visions of God.<ref>Gregory Holmes and Delbert Hodder(1981).Ellen G.White and the Seventh Day Adventist Church:Visions or Partial Complex Seizures?Journal of Neurology,31(4):160-161.</ref><ref>E.L.Altshuler(2002).Did Ezekiel have temporal lobe epilepsy.Archinves of General Psychiatry,.</ref><ref>A. W. Beard. (1963). The schizophrenia-like psychosis of epilepsy: Physical aspects. The Journal of Psychiatry, 109:113-129.</ref><ref>R.Dewhust and A. Beard. (2003). Sudden religions conversions in temporal lobe epilepsy.Epilepsy and Behavior. 4(1):78-87.</ref><ref>B. K. Puri.(2001). SPECT neuroimaging in schizophrenia with religious delusions.International Journal of Psychophysiology, 40(2):143-148</ref><ref>J.Wuerfel.(2004) Religion is associated with hippocampal but not amygdala volumes in patients with refractory epilepsy.Journal of Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, and Neurosurgery, 75(4):640-642.</ref>
  • Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Professor Gregory Holmes of Dartmouth Medical School has noted that many of the self-described changes in Ellen White's behavior, including changes in facial expression, frequent episodes of staring upward, unawareness of her environment, as well as episodes of Automatism, all point to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy as a possible explanation for her high degree of religiosity and belief that she was receiving messages from God. He also points out that the fact that Ms. White's visions followed her head injury is more than coincidental, since the bones behind the eyes are weak and the brain tissue behind the eyes (Temporal Lobes) is particularly susceptible to injury. These textbook symptoms have Holmes conclude that there can be only one diagnosis for Ellen White's condition - Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.<ref>http://www.ellenwhite.org/headinjury.htm</ref>
  • Plagiarism: Many critics have also accused Ellen White of plagiarism. One such was Walter Rea, who argued against the "original" nature of her supposed revelations in his The White Lie. An examination of the plagiarism charges with a specific focus on White's teachings on health reform can be found in Ronald Numbers' Ellen White: Prophetess of Health (originally published in 1976).<ref>Ronald Numbers (1992). Prophetess of Health: Ellen G. White and the Origins of Seventh-Day Adventist Health Reform. University of Tennessee Press. </ref> In this text Numbers argues that her understanding of health reform was simply plagiarized from other health reformers and therefore did not come from divine revelation.
  • Failed prophecy: <ref>Prophecy Blunders of Ellen G. White</ref>Ellen G. White is believed to have made a number of failed prophecies.
  • Denial of the Trinity: Some critics, as well as some non-Trinitarian Adventists, have asserted that Ellen White denied the Trinity. Orthodox Adventists, for their part, credit her with bringing the Seventh-day Adventist church into a progressive awareness of the Trinity during the 1890s. Some critics assert that her descriptions of the Godhead are Tritheistic. The anti-trinitarian teaching was common among the early Adventists, including White's husband James, Joseph Bates, Uriah Smith, J. N. Loughborough and J. H. Waggoner.<ref>Part 1: Historical Overview.</ref>

Responses to criticism

Seventh-day Adventists have long responded to critics with arguments and assertions of their own. Typical responses to these criticisms include:

  • Mental illness: Seventh-day Adventists reject the charge that Ellen White suffered mental illness or that she had seizures. There are several main lines of argument Adventists use to respond to this charge:

1. They point out that there is nothing on record of Ellen White ever having a seizure or showing signs of mental illness. They assert instead that these charges were trumped up by critics many years after her first vision as a way of dicrediting her. 2. The same charges have been made against Biblical prophets.<ref>Did Ezekiel have temporal lobe epilepsy?Archives of General Psychiatry,.</ref><ref>A. W. Beard. (1963).</ref> 3. Many times Ellen White had visions in the company of large groups of people. These visions were sometimes accompanied by unusual physical phenomena that all were able to witness. One such story relates how on several occasions witnesses recorded her holding a large family Bible for extended periods of time (in one case 20-25 minutes) at arms length just above her head while quoting Scriptural passages out loud; she would trace the verses in the Bible with her free hand as she spoke the words, and was apparently unaware of other people in the room. During such incidents, Adventists claim, several skeptics attempted to pull her arm down, as well as double-check the verses she was speaking aloud against the verses she traced with her finger. The story concludes that these unbelievers could not pull her arm down, and the verses were verbatim quotations from the Bible. 4. Adventist also point to "the overall ministry of her life" as evidence of her inspiration.

A Roman Catholic lawyer, Vincent L. Ramik, undertook a study of Ellen G. White's writings during the early 1980s, and concluded that they were "conclusively unplagiaristic."<ref>http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/ramik.html Also appears in Review article</ref>

Adventists have also pointed out that Biblical authors used sources to write their Scripture. (George Rice (1983). Luke, A Plagiarist?, Pacific Press Publishing Association.)

  • Failed prophecy: Adventists state that some prophecy, including Bible prophecy, can be conditional. Some, for instance, have suggested that a passage in "Testimonies" which refers to the destruction of buildings at the end of time, refers to the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001. However, the Ellen G. White Estate has rejected this interpretation. Recently a number of apologetic books have been published by the church arguing for the validity of her prophetic gift. Two examples include Don McMahon's book examining the accuracy of Ellen White's medical statements and Graeme Bradford's book Prophets are Human. However, Deuteronomy 18:21 - 22 clearly states that if a prophet presumes to speak on behalf of God, and the prophecy does not come to pass, then the prophecy is not of God. Taking this to its logical conclusion, however, the prophet Jonah was also a false prophet, as his prediction of the destruction of Nineveh did not occur due to the Ninevites' repentance.

Jerusalem Never to Be Rebuilt?

Ellen G. White wrote in 1851 that "old Jerusalem never would be built up." [1] By itself, the statement looks unsustainable. But when the setting is reconstructed, we find Mrs. White counseling the growing Adventist group that both time-setting [2] and the "age-to-come" notion [3] were incompatible with Biblical truth. She emphasized that the Old Testament prophecies regarding the establishment of a Jewish kingdom in Palestine were conditional on obedience and forfeited by disobedience. Unfulfilled prophecies would be fulfilled to "true Israel" as unfolded in the New Testament text.

Thus the popular movement of the 1840s and 1850s to promote a Zionist state in Palestine was not a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and not a quest in which Adventists should become involved. Her warnings and instruction were designed to turn the interest away from Palestine and toward the work God had opened up before them.

In a September 1850 vision she saw that it was a "great error" to believe that "it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes; for those who think that they are yet to go to Jerusalem will have their minds there, and their means will be withheld from the cause of present truth to get themselves and others there." [4]

Less than a year later, August 1851, she wrote with greater emphasis "that Old Jerusalem never would be built up; and that Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord into these things now, in the gathering time, to keep them from throwing their whole interest into the present work of the Lord, and to cause them to neglect the necessary preparation for the day of the Lord." [5]

How did Ellen White's readers understand this statement? That there was no light in the popular "age-to-come" teaching, that there is no Biblical significance in the Jews' returning to Palestine, that Jerusalem will never be rebuilt in a future millennial period. She was not talking about a possible political rebuilding of Jerusalem but of a prophetically significant rebuilding of Old Jerusalem. To continue to think that way, she emphasized, was to sink further into Satan's deceptions and away from present duty.

For further study of this topic, see Julia Neuffer, "The Gathering of Israel," in the Reference Library.

England to Declare War During the U.S. Civil War?

Did Ellen G. White predict that England would declare war against the United States? Here is the context of her comment:

"England is studying whether it is best to take advantage of the present weak condition of our nation, and venture to make war upon her. She is weighing the matter, and trying to sound other nations. She fears, if she should commence war abroad, that she would be weak at home, and that other nations would take advantage of her weakness. Other nations are making quiet yet active preparations for war, and are hoping that England will make war with our nation, for then they would improve the opportunity to be revenged on her for the advantage she has taken of them in the past, and the injustice done them. A portion of the Queen's subjects are waiting a favorable opportunity to break their yoke; but if England thinks it will pay, she will not hesitate a moment to improve her opportunities to exercise her power, and humble our nation. When England does declare war, all nations will have an interest of their own to serve, and there will be general war, general confusion" (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 259).

Note the conditional character of these statements: "She fears, if she should commence war abroad, that she would be weak at home." "But if England thinks it will pay." Then follows the sentence: "When England does declare war. . . ." It is evident that Mrs. White is here using the word "when" as a synonym for "if," which is good English. In fact, if we do not thus understand the word "when" in this connection, we have an unusual situation--a series of problematical "ifs" is followed by a simple statement that England is going to declare war. Thus Mrs. White's last sentence would make pointless her preceding sentences.

A similar use of the word "when" is found on the preceding page in her work: "When our nation observes the fast which God has chosen, then will He accept their prayers as far as the war is concerned." No one will argue that the word "when" in this connection introduces a simple statement concerning a future fact that will undebatably happen.

An inspired parallel to this "if" and "when" construction is found in Jeremiah 42:10-19. The prophet speaks to Israel about abiding in Palestine rather than going down into Egypt:

   "If ye will still abide in this land. . . ." Verse 10.
   "But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land. . . ." Verse 13.
   "If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt. . . ." Verse 15.
   "When ye shall enter into Egypt . . . ." Verse 18.

It is evident that the phrase "when ye shall enter into Egypt" is synonymous with "if ye shall enter into Egypt."

With the clause "when England does declare war," understood as synonymous with "if England does declare war," the statement changes from a prediction to a statement of mere possibility, but a possibility, however, whose full potentialities many might not realize.

[Adapted from Francis D. Nichol, Ellen G. White and Her Critics, pp. 122, 123.]

See also

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