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Autobiographical Sketch of Ellen G. White

from EGW Estate
First home built by James White on Wood Street,
Battle Creek, Mich., 1857.—White Estate.

Removal to Michigan

In 1855 the brethren in Michigan opened the way for the publishing work to be removed to Battle Creek. At that time my husband was owing between two and three thousand dollars; and all he had, besides a small lot of books, was accounts for books, and some of these were doubtful. The cause had apparently come to a standstill. Orders for publications were very few and small. My husband's health was very poor. He was troubled with cough and soreness of lungs, and his nervous system was prostrated. We feared that he would die while still in debt.

Comforting Assurances

Those were days of sadness. I looked upon my three little boys, soon, as I feared, to be left fatherless, and thoughts like these forced themselves upon me: My husband will die of overwork in the cause of present truth; and who realizes what he has suffered? Who knows the burdens he has for years borne, the extreme care which has crushed his spirits and ruined his health, bringing him to an untimely grave, leaving his family destitute and dependent? I often asked myself the question: Does God have no care for these things? Does He pass them by unnoticed? I was comforted to know that there is One who judgeth righteously, and that every sacrifice, every self-denial, and every pang of anguish endured for His sake, is faithfully chronicled in heaven, and will bring its reward. The day of the Lord will declare and bring to light things that are not yet made manifest.

I was shown that God designed to raise my husband up gradually; that we must exercise strong faith, for in every effort we should be fiercely buffeted by Satan; that we must look away from outward appearances, and believe. Three times a day we went alone before God, and engaged in earnest prayer for the recovery of his health. The Lord graciously heard our earnest cries, and my husband began to recover. I cannot better state my feelings at this time than they are expressed in the following extracts from a letter I wrote to Sister Howland:

"I feel thankful that I can now have my children with me, under my own watchcare. [When returning from an Eastern tour to their Rochester home, in the fall of 1853, Elder and Mrs. White brought with them their eldest child, Henry, who for five years had been tenderly cared for by Brother and Sister Howland.] For weeks I have felt a hungering and thirsting for salvation, and we have enjoyed almost uninterrupted communion with God. Why do we stay away from the fountain, when we can come and drink? Why do we die for bread, when there is a storehouse full? It is rich and free. O my soul, feast upon it, and daily drink in heavenly joys! I will not hold my peace. The praise of God is in my heart and upon my lips. We can rejoice in the fullness of our Saviour's love. We can feast upon His excellent glory. My soul testifies to this. My gloom has been dispersed by this precious light, and I can never forget it. Lord, help me to keep it in lively remembrance. Awake, all the energies of my soul! Awake, and adore thy Redeemer for His wondrous love!

"Our enemies may triumph. They may speak bitter words, and their tongue frame slander, deceit, and falsehood; yet will we not be moved. We know in whom we have believed. We have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. A reckoning day is coming, when all will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. It is true the world is dark. Opposition may wax strong. The trifler and the scorner may grow bold in their iniquity. Yet for all this we will not be moved, but lean upon the arm of the Mighty One for strength."

from EGW Estate
Review and Herald Publishing building,
Battle Creek, Mich.—White Estate.

Captivity Turned

From the time we moved to Battle Creek, the Lord began to turn our captivity. We found sympathizing friends in Michigan, who were ready to share our burdens and supply our wants. Old, tried friends in central New York and New England, especially in Vermont, sympathized with us in our afflictions, and were ready to assist us in time of distress. At the conference at Battle Creek in November, 1856, God wrought for us. New life was given to the cause, and success attended the labors of our preachers.

The publications were called for, and proved to be just what the cause demanded. The Messenger of Truth* soon went down, and the discordant spirits who had spoken through it were scattered. My husband was enabled to pay all his debts. His cough ceased, the pain and soreness left his lungs and throat, and he was gradually restored to health, so that he could preach three times on the Sabbath and on first-day with ease. This wonderful work in his restoration was of God, and He should have all the glory.

(Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, pp. 151-155)

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