Other Testimonies Regarding the Shut Door

Edited Brother Anderson

Part of the Otis Nichols Letter, April 20, 1846

Her message was always attended with the Holy Ghost, and wherever it was received as from the Lord it broke down and melted their hearts like little children, fed, comforted, strengthened the weak, and encouraged them to hold on to the faith, and the seventh month movement; and that our work was done for the nominal church and the world, and what remained to be done was for the household of faith.

Source: Otis Nichols to William Miller, April 20, 1846 (DF 105). Arthur White, The Early Years, vol. 1, pp. 75-76.

Testimony of Adventist Minister Isaac Wellcome

I was often in meeting with Ellen G. Harmon and James White in 1844 and '45. I several times caught her while falling to the floor, --at times when she swooned away for a vision. I have heard her relate her visions of these dates. Several were published on sheets, to the effect that all were lost who did not endorse the '44 move, that Christ had left the throne of mercy, and all were sealed that ever would be, and no others could repent. She and James taught this one or two years. Recently, in her published visions, called "Testimony," her visions differ widely, and directly contradict flatly her former ones.

Source: Miles Grant, An Examination of Mrs. Ellen White's Visions, (Boston: Advent Christian Publication Society, 1877).

Testimony of John Megquier

We well know the course of Ellen G. White, the visionist, while in the State of Maine. About the first visions that she had were at my house in Poland. She said God had told her in vision that the door of mercy had closed, and there was no more chance for the world, and she would tell who had got spots on their garments; and those spots were got on by questioning her visions, whether they were of the Lord or not. Then she would tell them what to do, or what duty to perform, to get into favor with God again. Then God would show her, through a vision, who was lost, and who was saved in different parts of the State, according as they received or rejected her visions. She could put herself under their influence, just the same as any mesmeric person would.

Source: Miles Grant, An Examination of Mrs. Ellen White's Visions, (Boston: Advent Christian Publication Society, 1877).

Testimony of Lucinda Burdick

I became acquainted with James White and Ellen Harmon (now Mrs. White) early in 1845. At the time of my first acquaintance with them they were in a wild fanaticism, --used to sit on the floor instead of chairs, and creep around the floor like little children.  Such freaks were considered a mark of humility.  They were not married, but traveling together.  Ellen was having what was called visions: said God had shown her in vision that Jesus Christ arose on the tenth day of the seventh month, 1844, and shut the door of mercy; had left forever the mediatorial throne; the whole world was doomed and lost, and there never could be another sinner saved.  She very soon pretended to see that Saturday must be kept as the Sabbath.  Her visions were something new, and there seemed to be first no decided opposition to them in the different churches where they traveled.  They caused a great deal of discussion and excitement, and all seemed disposed to investigate.  But, after a little while, her visions began to conflict one with the other.  It was ascertained by myself and others who saw her in vision, that she could throw herself into vision when she chose (this she confessed), but that James White could control them, and bring her out when he pleased.

There were also many failures.  She pretended God showed her things which did not come to pass.  At one time she saw that the Lord would come the second time in June 18.

There were also many failures.  She pretended God showed her things which did not come to pass.  At one time she saw that the Lord would come the second time in June 1845.  The prophecy was discussed in all the churches, and in a little "shut-door paper" published in Portland, Me.   During the summer, after June passed, I heard a friend ask her how she accounted for the vision?  She replied that "they told her in the language of Canaan, and she did not understand the language; that it was the next September that the Lord was coming, and the second growth of grass instead of the first in June."  September passed, and many more have passed since, and we have not seen the Lord yet.  It soon became evident to all candid persons, that many things must have been "told her in the language of Canaan," or some other which she did not understand, as there were repeated failures.  I could mention many which I knew of myself.

...If these visions which she now has are of God, the first were; and if the first were of God, the door of mercy was closed in 1844, and woe to the poor sinners this side of there.  We know that God does not lie; and some of them did lie, to my certain knowledge.  God does not contradict himself, and her visions have contradicted each other.  I have been told that they deny on this coast that she ever saw the door of mercy closed; but there are thousands of living witnesses who know that a blacker lie could not be invented, and I am one of the number.

Source: Miles Grant, An Examination of Mrs. Ellen White's Visions, (Boston: Advent Christian Publication Society, 1877).

Testimony of H.E. Carver

...it was admitted to me in the presence of Elders White and Loughborough, Sister White and my wife, that at the time of her first vision, and for several months afterwards, she was a believer in the shut door doctrine. And, having been a believer in the same doctrine at the same time, I can testify that the main idea embraced in the shut door doctrine was that probation for the world, or sinners, was ended. ... She was confessedly a believer in the shut door view at the time of her first vision. Did that vision correct her erroneous views? It did not, for she entertained that view at least for "several months afterwards," according to Bro. White's statement to me, and it was the faith of the body for a much longer period, according to their publications. ... If its tendancy was to correct that error, why was not the result accomplished by the vision, for it is an extablished fact, that that error was still entertained by Sister White, for several months, and by the body much longer, and even then it was only removed by the stern logic of events. Instead of its tendency to correct that error, it must have had the opposite tendency, for Sister White and the body must have understood it as teaching the end of probation, else, as honest people, they could not have held on to that view. ...the portion of that vision that tended to confirm that error has been stricken out of the republished work, demonstrating that the language of the vision itself taught that extreme view.

Source: H.E. Carver, "The Visions - Objection Answers Examined", Hope of Israel vol. 1, no.4, July 10, 1866, p. 29.

Testimony of Albert Johnson

Those Adventists who soon after 1844 became leaders in the Seventh Day movement, persisted in teaching the shut-door theory for several years at least, as cannot be truthfully denied, for the writer has at hand an original copy of the Advent Review, also a tract by Eld. James White and another by Joseph Bates, all bearing date of 1850 and all advocating the shut-door claim. The latter tract after setting forth both views says (near the end) : "The 'Present Truth' then is the Sabbath and shut-door." These men, with the aid of Miss Ellen G. Harmon, who later was Mrs. White, were the chief leaders in this Seventh Day division and ensuing movement. But it was from the start a faction and a schism, and not representative of the Advent cause in general, either Millennial or Christian, nor of those therein who adhered to the name Christian. A single page sheet bearing the name of James White and date of 1853, and which is said to have been tipped into all hitherto unsold copies of the 1850 Review, states that "the testimonies in the first part of the Review, were published, more to show what had been the faith of the Advent body than to present a system of truth," and it is further twice claimed that said portion of the Review, and the letters of Wm. Miller as reprinted were a free statement, of the feelings and views of the Advent body and brethren generally—at that time—that is following 1844. By a shrewd process of omission, combination and the use of large capitals for special emphasis, not used in the original publications, and by associating with and following these selections with fanciful interpretations of Scripture, an entirely erroneous impression is given as to the views of the chief early leaders, and the general body of the Adventists as then known. This was plainly set forth after this manner to carry the impression that the Advent body generally endorsed or went into the shut-door and Sabbath movement, which representation WAS AND EVER HAS BEEN UNTRUE.

As giving facts in the case we cite in addition to previous evidence, the testimony of Eld. I. C. Wellcome, a man of faithful, honorable record and of sterling character, who was himself an eye-witness of these movements: "The Advent Herald and its faithful and able ally, the Morning Watch, edited by Prof. N. N. Whiting, took a most decided stand against such fanciful and unscriptural teachings, and did all they could to stem the current which was sweeping over the Advent churches," and we may add, they held the fort. Again he says: "We have seen it stated in a book by Eld. White 'that Adventists were agreed that the door was shut.' This is a specious statement. Some Adventists were agreed thus, but the great mass were never agreed to believe it, . . . for as soon as that day passed without bringing the Lord the mass of, believers concluded it an error, which they had believed for truth. They at once began to plan and prosecute the work of the Gospel, and to show those who had fallen into these strange views (as fast as they met them) that they were errors."

Eld. J. Marsh, editor of the Voice of Truth, a paper which "struck out on a course independent of the general work of the Adventists," was for a time favorable to the shut-door view, but soon committed his paper against it. Joseph Turner and Eld. J. B. Cook who strongly advocated it for a season, soon, abandoned it. This theory, the Seventh Day Sabbath, the special views of its advocates regarding prophecy (such as the third angel's message, the United States in prophecy) and their elaborate system of legalism, WERE NEVER HELD by the American Millennial or the Christian Adventists.

Source: Rev. Albert Johnson, Advent Christian History: A Concise Narrative of the Origin and Progress, Doctrine and Work of This Body of Believers (Boston: Advent Christian Publication Society, 1918), 196-197.

Category: Shut Door
Please SHARE this using the social media icons below