On November 18, 1848,
Ellen White was shown in vision that her husband, James, should start a little
paper. Like "streams of light," it would eventually go "clear round the world."
That was quite a challenge considering he had no money, and there were fewer
than 200 Sabbath keepers.
The next year, 1849, despite
such unpromising conditions, James White determined to begin publishing that
little paper. To raise money, he decided to find work such as farm labor, which
he had done successfully in the recent past. But in vision Mrs. White was shown
that he was not to do this now. Rather, "he must write, write, write, and walk
out by faith" (Life Sketches, 1880 ed., p. 260). James began to write,
and soon he had the articles for the first issue of The Present Truth.
What he didn't have was the money.
While he was still preparing
the copy, James White walked about eight miles (13 km) to Middletown,
Connecticut, to find a printer. He presented his case to Charles H. Pelton,
asking if Pelton would be willing to print the paper and be paid when funds
came in. Pelton agreed, and in July of 1849 the first issue of The Present
Truth came from the press. Its subject was the Sabbath, and James White
invited its readers to support the paper with their funds. A thousand copies
were printed. (Click here for a larger picture of it
[87Kb]; this may take some time to load.)
The Whites and the few other
Advent believers in that region gathered around the copies and prayed that God
would "let His blessing rest upon the feeble effort of His servant" (ibid.)
They addressed the papers to people they thought might be interested and sent
Two more issues followed in
August, and by the time another issue had been published in early September,
Mr. Pelton wrote a receipt to James White for $64.50, "being in payment in full
of all demands to this date." The Lord had rewarded their faith. (Click here to see the handwritten receipt.)
publishing eleven issues of The Present Truth, and five issues, plus two
"extras" of The Advent Review in 1849 and 1850, James White decided to
combine the two publications. He named his new publication the Second Advent
Review and Sabbath Herald. Both its name and place of publication have
changed several times since the Review and Herald, now the Adventist Review, was first
printed in Paris, Maine. The paper now circles the globe both in printed and
electronic form. And the publishing work which had such a humble beginning now
encompasses 56 publishing houses around the globe, printing and distributing
Bible-based literature in more than 300 languages. The "streams of light" have
indeed gone "clear round the world" (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p.
Images from the church record
books where the Harmons had their membership in Portland, Maine, before
being excluded because of their Millerite views.
Ellen White's articles and letters were first written in large
blank diary/journals. This is an image of a page
from one of those journals.
A fascinating account by Otis
Nichols, an eyewitness of some early experiences of Ellen Harmon, before
her marriage to James White. Besides a transcript of Nichols's account,
graphical images of the pages of his handwritten manuscript are also available
for viewing here.
White's Paper The Present Truth. On
November 18, 1848, Ellen White was shown in vision that her husband, James,
should start a little paper. Like "streams of light," it would eventually
go "clear round the world."