By J. L. McElhany
Ellen G. White and Her Critics is, as every reader will readily discover, a book of outstanding and unusual character. It has been written with a special group of readers in mind. Since the death of Mrs. E. G. White, in 1915, the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has practically quadrupled, and the number of workers has increased by more than ten thousand.
Most of these have had no personal acquaintance with Mrs. White. Some of our older workers and members still cherish the personal contacts they had with her. It was my personal privilege to grow to manhood and enter the ministry during the years she was still actively laboring. As a youth I often listened to her public addresses, and later as a worker was often present at camp meetings, workers' meetings, and general gatherings where she was present and took part. I also conversed with her personally. These experiences, coupled with my study of her writings through the years, have built into my mind and soul a profound conviction that God had called her to exercise the prophetic gift in the remnant church. She was a godly woman. She lived a consistent Christian life which was a living exemplification of the principles she taught and that were revealed to and through her.
It is fitting indeed that the thousands of our workers who never had the personal privilege or opportunity of knowing Mrs. White should have access to the information presented in this volume. To provide them with this information is a service due them. It is not necessary or fitting that Mrs. White's critics should alone occupy the field of discussion.
Elder Nichol has had wide approval of leaders and workers in undertaking the preparation of this book. By writing it he has
rendered all our ministers, workers, and members an outstanding service. His well-known ability to gather facts and present them in logical and convincing form makes of this work a valuable addition to our denominational literature. It will prove to be a source book for our workers, enabling them to meet the charges of the critics. The author was urged to make this volume large and complete enough to cover the field under discussion. A smaller volume would hardly suffice.
In all ages there have been those who assumed the role of Sanballat and Tobiah, who are set forth as outstanding examples of that class of men who by their criticisms and obstructionist tactics have sought to hinder the work of God. The whole effort of such men has been to tear down the cause of God and hinder and oppose those who sought to carry it forward. But truth is positive and even aggressive. Truth does not surrender the field to its enemies. Those who proclaim the truth must also be its defenders. To do otherwise would be cowardly.
In the present instance it is of the utmost importance that the factual evidence regarding the life and labors of Mrs. E. G. White be supplied to all who will be benefited by such information. There are thousands of our workers and tens of thousands of our members who will heartily welcome the help this work will bring to them. It has been with all these in mind that our church leaders have urged that this volume be published. The history of God's work in all ages reveals the interesting and consoling fact that He uses devoted men to resist and overthrow the efforts of detractors and critics. The critics today who unite their efforts in attempting to destroy the work of Mrs. White will as surely fail in their designs as have the critics of the Bible. Her work will continue to bear fruit in the saving of souls for the kingdom of God and in the exaltation of our Lord Jesus, whom she loved and faithfully served.
May the blessing of God rest upon Elder Nichol's valued
contribution in the defense of the Spirit of prophecy as manifested in this
church body through the ministry of Ellen G. White.