Collection of Letters Regarding Ellen White

Various authors and dates


Myself and wife embraced the Advent faith in ’42 ’43, and passed through our experience with the Advent body up to the passing of the time; but could believe nothing less of our experience, than that it was of God. Our next move was to believe that the door of mercy was shut against all who did not believe in the Advent proclamation. The next step was "The Commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ." And by degrees the ‘testimony of Jesus Christ’ became the Visions of Ellen G. White, or the Visions of Ellen G. White became ‘the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ We fully endorsed the ‘Visions’ as being of God; and, apparently, all things moved on safely until I received a paper called the ‘Messenger of Truth.’ At first I felt much hurt at the thought of daring to question Ellen’s visions being of God, but thought they would shine all the brighter for scouring them with an investigation. So at it I went, comparing the ‘Visions’ with the unerring ‘word,’ and with facts. And to my great astonishment, the visions of that much loved Sister White were ‘found wanting.’

I then confessed my errors, and wrote my confession to Bro. & Sr. White, requesting them to publish it. But they refused to do so, but have added error to error, and have not ceased to publish and brand me as wide as their circulation extends, as a bad and dangerous man. And yet they have not been willing to grant me a trial of any kind. Yet I never felt any unkindness towards them; for I always loved the name of the Advent people. And if they have erred, I can forgive them and still love them. But their organization I have no sympathy with.

E.W. Waters
Hubardsville, N.Y.
(Hope of Israel, Nov. 16, 1864, vol. 1 no. 22)

LETTERS 2a and 2b (W. Phelps)

Now let me here give a little of my experience among the Advent people. I was a believer in the soon coming of the Lord, in 1843. But having emigrated from the East, and settled in the West, where there were not many believers in the doctrine of the Advent in 1843, I escaped the fanaticism through which the Adventists passed in the East, for which I feel thankful. In the Fall of 1851 I identified myself with the people called the ‘Review Adventists,’ and remained with them until something less than two years ago, altho’ I knew they held, and taught some views which did not harmonize with the Bible. Yet they adhered strictly to the commandments of God, which I loved; and thought them to be the nearest right of any people I could find. They professed to have the gifts of the Spirit among them, which I have ever been a believer in. But I have long since found that all the gifts of the Spirit which they have among them, are the Visions of Ellen G. White; and them I have investigated with candor, in hope to become settled in the belief that the ‘Visions’ were a revelation from God. But the more I investigated them, and compared them with the Bible, the less confidence I have had in them; and I have become perfectly satisfied that God has nothing to do with them and I believe the time will come when the candid will know it. But notwithstanding my want of confidence in the ‘Visions,’ perhaps I should have been with that people yet, had it not been for their making faith in the ‘Visions’ a test of Christian fellowship; and the organization which they, as a people have gone into, which I could not believe was right, for the Bible does not teach it, but it is a doctrine of human origin.

W. Phelps
(Hope of Israel, Oct. 28, 1863, vol. 1, no. 4, p. 1)

Now I ask in candor: Who that was an adventist in 1844 does not know that when the time passed, it then became the faith of the great mass of adventists that probation was over, that the Salvation of sinners was past; and some held the same view as late as 1852; and that vision on the shut door was in harmony with that view.

W. Phelps
(Hope of Israel, Aug. 21, 1866 vol. 1, no. 7, p. 55)


In regard to the visions of E.G. White, we never could believe they were from God. We often tried to feel right about them, and tried to reconcile them with the word, but never could. We have been judged, condemned and rejected by those that we expected better things from on account of it.

George and Jane Stults
(Hope of Israel, Jul. 10, 1866)


I utterly reject Mrs. E. G. White's claims that 'in these days God speaks to men by the testimonies of His Spirit' through Mrs. White.

I also regret Seventh-day Adventists' views of the atonement. I dare not believe that the blood of Christ had no real efficacy until 1844. I have found by observation that the views of the sanctuary placing the atonement of Christ at 1844 takes from the people their confidence in the perfection of the most glorious gospel of full salvation, made perfect by the offering of the blood of Jesus Christ once and for all.

[You] yourselves know also that a minister in your connection would not be tolerated as such if he should express his unbelief in the plenary inspiration in every word of Mrs. White's writings.

The same is true of the doctrine of discrimination between meats and drinks--commonly termed amongst us 'Health Reform.' The rigid rules of diet as a test in religious standing, and further, in being made a final test for heaven, are a very decided article of faith. Members have been turned out of the churches on account of their unbelief in these, in the sanctuary question, and other lines of creed.

Elder S. McCullagh resignation letter,
March 23, 1897
(Ellen G. White: The Australian Years 1891-1900, vol. 4, p. 280.)


Dear Bro. Brinkerhoff:

I deem it proper to inform the brethren and sisters through your paper, that I have been investigating lately the visions of E.G. White; also, our theory of the Messages and two-horned beast, and find them entirely false. ...

I have endured many severe trials and persecutions since you left; principally in consequence of rejecting some miserable absurdities. Those vision-bound bigoted sectarians have turned a cold shoulder toward me, and think I cannot escape the plagues. Why? Because I cannot endorse the visions. O, why have I been duped and imposed upon so long a time in this enlightened land.

Give me the Bible for my creed...

Hannah E. Russell
Mackford, Green Lake Co., Wis.
(Hope of Israel, Mar. 12, 1867)


We do not have the visions of E.G.W. to contend with here; but I am glad some of our brethren and sisters are beginning to have the scales fall off from their eyes. At the time I read the "Experience and Views" of E.G.W. in 1848, I compared them with the word of God, and said that she was one of the agents of Satan chosen to deceive if it were possible, the very elect. ...

Now, brethren, let us try the spirits, and see what manner of spirit we are of, and may the Lord lead us into all truth.

J. Millard
Horse Creek, Barton Co., Missouri
(Hope of Israel, Sep. 10, 1867)


I wish to convey some thoughts to those of like precious faith scattered abroad... And what has called out these thoughts, are the visions of Ellen White, embodied in a pamphlet of sixty-four pages, setting forth her views and christian experience, and which the advocates of the Jweish Sabbath seem peculiarly zealous in circulating among the brethren who are looking for the Lod. The author affirms that she is carried away by the Spirit of God in vision, and sees future as well as past and present events, and thn in the closing lines of the book says, that it is designed for the sincere only, and not for those who would ridicule the things of the Spirit of God. Well, truly, I would not for my life, ridicule the revelation of God, bestowed upon man by the power of the Holy Ghost, but really, I do feel to ridicle, and not only so, but to expose the monstrous and wicked absurdities which the book contains. I will refer to one of the many absurdities in the work:

I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus’ countenance and admired his lovely person. The Father's person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered him. I asked Jesus if his Father had a form like himself. He said he had, but I could not behold it, for said he, if you should once behold the glory of his person you would cease to exist.
(A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen White, p. 43)

On the same page, about the twenty-fifth line from the top, she says:

And I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the Holy of Holies, within the vail, and did sit.

Here is a positive contradiction, and the reader must conclude that either her visionary guide was one of the lying spirits of these times, or that Mrs. Ellen White did cease to exist at the time she saw the vision.

But this is not the most glaring inconsistency, for she further remarks in the same vision:

And I saw a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, and angels were all around it as it came where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the Holiest where the Father sat.

Thus the throne of the Father and Son in the holy place was vacated, and the door of the outer sanctuary was shut, as she or they affirm. But what now? Why, she sees Satan by the throne that the Father had left, trying to carry on the work of God! She saw also a company bowed before that throne, praying to the Father, Saying give us thy spirit, not knowing that he had retired. Then Satan would breath upon them an unholy influence, thus answering their prayers! Satan's object, she ways, was to keep them decieved. O what a blasphemous vision! The Devil in the New Jerusalem! No wonder the sanctuary there, as they teach, needs cleansing! I never could see before what there was in God's holy city to be made clean. Now I see! But hold a moment, let us hear what the Holy Ghost teacheth:

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life (Revelation 21:27).

Here then, she has got old Diabolus, the greatest liar in the universe, and the father of liars, into the New Jerusalem, answering the prayers of the saints! And Seventh day preachers and believers are paying out their money for such visionary trash, and circulating them to make converts?

This vision is sufficient to stamp the rest as fabulous. It is adding to God's word, and to such as believe and circulate this pamphlet, I would advise them to read Revelation 22:18-19.

A.N. Seymore
Published in Advent Harbinger and Bible Advocate vol. 4, no. 41, March 26, 1853, p. 323

Category: Pioneer Letters
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