"By their fruit shall ye know them."
In my experience as a minister, I have found that the more individuals believed the visions, the more they had to talk about Sr. White, "and how they ought to dress" and how "do you understand this vision or that." Thus Jesus and the Bible come in secondary. Again they lower the standard of truth, the Bible, for if they do not agree with the word of God it must be bent to suit said vision. And if it can't then be harmonized, the infidel course is then pursued: that the Bible has more contradictions than the visions.—Said Elders Wm. S. Ingraham and R. F. Andrews, at Marion Iowa, in January 1886: "We can find twice as many contradictions in the Bible as in the visions." Said Elder Sanborn at the same time, "I can find ten times as many contradictions in the Bible as in the visions." Said Elder M. E. Cornell when talking at Marion of entering into discussion with Elder McConnel, disciple Minister on the Visions, "If I enter into the discussion (as he was reluctant to do) I will knock his Bible to pieces." A work of a celebrated spiritualist, A. J. Davis, showing contradictions in the Bible has been carried around as an aid to sustain the contradictions in the visions, by showing up contradictions in the Bible. What is the tendency, reader? We leave you to judge.
If a man rejects the visions he cuts off his hope of Eternal Life. Said Elder Ingraham to Elder Brinkerhoff at Marion, Iowa, "If you fight against the visions seeing the light you have upon this subject, you can't get into the Kingdom." On the records of the Seventh-day Advent Church at Lisbon you will find the following "Resolved, that we make the written visions of Sr. White a test of fellowship." Said the Saviour, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." I am satisfied that the Saviour will make this promise good and that too without us heeding the visions.
We are charged with going to our enemies to obtain evidence, and the false impression thrown out that what we obtain, are mere reports. We have obtained visions and pamphlets of their opponents which were published by Elders White and Bates. And why of them? Because they took good care to preserve them as relics of the things in the past, and we could not get them at the Review office, for long ere this they have been banished and forbidden to return on account of their teachings. We are willing to test their validity. But where do ministers of Seventh day Adventists get their objections to the Bible. Hear Elder Andrews of Illinois. " I got my objections from an infidel in Illinois and he said he could give me a list of objections half a mile long." "Straws show which way the wind blows."
Her visions bring no new light to us, she speaks nothing real that is new. Bible prophets speak of things beyond human foresight and human wisdom. She speaks, in the main, of matters known to herself and every body else. The difference between her prophecies and those of Daniel and John is that theirs point forward, but hers backwards. As in the following, "these righteous men just before the destruction of the temple, removed the sacred ark, containing the tables of stone, and with mourning and sadness secreted it in a cave. That sacred ark is hid yet."—Sp. Gifts, Vol. 4, p. 115. Is not this a wonderful revelation? Why did she not tell us where the cave is that we might find the ark? Ah, there is a good reason,—she did not know. The Apocrypha where she learned this did not tell her.
That she can only divine of matters with which she is acquainted is evident also from the following:
"Other nations are intently watching this nation, for what purpose I was not informed." Test. No. 7, P.21Why was she not informed? Because the statesmen of the day could not tell. . Again,
"He rose in rebellion against it and like some others who have been reproved took the position that persons had prejudiced my mind against his family—when the vision pointed out the same faults in his family, which I had repeatedly seen for ten years."—Test. No. 6, P. 21She can prophesy and tell us how tall Adam and Eve were, what a noble being the devil once was, what a high forehead he has, what a beautiful creature with wings the serpent was that beguiled Eve: that animal food is not the best food for man: that the reason why visions are not more frequent, is because they are not appreciated: that God chose her husband to lead out in the message: that it was the duty of the brethren to cut loose from their property and sacrifice for the cause: that God had in wisdom raised her husband above want, that he might not be crippled by the sense of dependence and want. But she could not foresee the terrible rebellion in our government, nor that slavery would be abolished, nor when peace would be made, and that her visions would be rejected by many good brethren. But, after these things have happened she can see them all.
In view of the foregoing, I conclude that these visions are an addition to the word of God, and well would it have been for these having charge of them to have heeded the following scripture. "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee and thou be found a liar."—Prov. 30, 6.
Mahomet says, "Say O ye who have received the scriptures, ye are not grounded on anything, until ye observe the law and gospel, and that which has been sent down unto you from the Lord."—Koran, P. 127. The faith of the Romanist embraces the Bible and tradition. The Shaker must have Ann Lee's visions, and the Mormon must have the Book of Mormon, and the Seventh Day Adventist must have the visions of E. G. White, besides the Bible as his rule of faith.—What a serious thing to be led by any leader save Jesus, and to receive any rule of faith besides God's word; Oh, that all would be honest and cut loose and throw off every human fetter. The Bible contains all the light we need. It brings to view every duty that God requires of us, in order to our salvation. He who does God's will as revealed therein is a child of God, and a brother or sister of Jesus, and will enter in through the gates into the City. May God bless you, reader, and if you believe in these vain and false visions, help you to be honest and to have a faith strong enough to embrace his word alone as your only rule of faith and life, and may you so live that you may be saved.