Originally entitled: "James White Challenges Those Who Read Mrs. White's Writings"
On May 23 of 1871 Elder James White began a five part series in the “Advent Review and Herald of the Sabbath” entitled "Mutual Obligation." It is amazing how what he wrote back then applies to us today in the church.
In the June 13 issue of the article Brother White talks about the gift of prophecy and more specifically the writings of "Mrs. W." as he calls her. Once again we see how sound they were on the pillars of our faith. Notice how he addresses trinitarianism in the context of Sister White's writings.
For more than twenty years has the Spirit of God been appealing to our people through Mrs. W. on the subjects of order, organization, neatness, cleanliness, liberality, activity, and unity, and, thank God, the good fruits are now being seen. Without this gift, we are more exposed to scisms than other bodies. With this gift, received and heeded, we are enjoying unity of faith and that efficient action which unity gives, such as is not enjoyed by any other body. We have nothing in ourselves to boast of. By the grace of God we are what we are. And as we value unity, prosperity, and the favor of God, we choose to accept and honor the gift God has bestowed, although unsanctified human wisdom may frown…
When men can show that the manifestation of the spirit of prophecy among us is unscriptural, and that Mrs. W.'s writings and her oral appeals to the people are calculated to lead the people from God, from the Bible, from Christ, from the Holy Spirit, from the keeping of the commandments of God, from the duties set forth in the teachings of Christ and the apostles, and from the simplicity and purity of the Christian life; then, and not till then, will they have a reasonable excuse for their persistent opposition of the work, and their persecution of the person through whom God speaks to his people.
When the opposition can find in all her writings one unchaste word, one sentence that lowers the character of God, of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, or the standard of Christian holiness, or that leads from the sacred Scriptures as a rule of faith and duty, then it will be time to warn the people against them. Until they can meet the subject fairly, their sneers are hardly worth noticing, as it is both difficult and unpleasant to review and answer a sneer.
We invite all to compare the testimonies of the Holy Spirit through Mrs. W., with the word of God. And in this we do not invite you to compare them with your creed. That is quite another thing. The trinitarian may compare them with his creed, and because they do not agree with it, condemn them. The observer of Sunday, or the man who holds eternal torment an important truth, and the minister that sprinkles infants, may each condemn the testimonies' of Mrs. W. because they do not agree with their peculiar views. And a hundred more, each holding different views, may come to the same conclusion. But their genuineness can never be tested in this way.
It is interesting to note that his “Mutual Obligation” articles began around the same time as his “Western Tour” narrative. We were blessed to read in another blog an encounter he and Sister White had on that tour with a missionary from China. If you missed it click the title “Which Railroad Did James and Ellen White Ride?”
I find a reason to praise our Heavenly Father as we get another glimpse of our past history. An often repeated quote comes to mind. "In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history."
Thank you Heavenly Father for revealing how you have led us, and Your teaching in the past. Our prayer is that we never forget.