Letter to Ellen G. White by A. T. Jones
By A. T. Jones (1850-1923)
(This letter was never answered)
- Battle Creek, Mich., April 26,1909
- Mrs. E.G. White,
- Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.
Dear Sister White:
In April 1906 you sent out a communication dated March 30th, 1906 in which are the following words:
"Recently in the visions of the night I stood in a large company of people. There were present Dr. Kellogg, Elders Jones, Tenny and Taylor, Dr. Paulson, Elder Sadler, Judge Arthur and many of their associates. I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and to make plain that which seems to be intricate.
"Let those who are troubled now place upon paper a statement of the difficulties that perplex their minds, and let us see if we cannot throw some light upon the matter that will relieve their perplexities. . . . .Let it all be written out, and submitted to those who desire to remove the perplexities.
"I ask that the leaders in the medical work at Battle Creek, and those who have been associated with them in gathering together criticisms and objections to the testimonies that I have borne, shall open to me the things that they have been opening to others. They should certainly do this, if they are to be loyal to the directions God has given. . . I am now charged to request those who are in difficulty in regard to Sister White's work to let their questions appear now, before the great day of judgment comes, when every work shall be made to appear with the motive underlying it, when the secrets of all hearts shall be made known, and every thought, word, and deed shall be tested by the Judge of the whole world, and each one will receive sentence according as his works have been. I present this before you all."
That appeal presents the solemn consideration of "loyalty to the directions God has given" and "the great day of judgment," as considerations requiring that the men named should write to you: and it is upon that consideration alone that I do write this to you. For when in view of' loyalty to God and the great day of judgment, you call upon me to write upon these things, I do not want to appear in the Judgment as disloyal to God through having failed to do what ought to have been done by me. Therefore again, I say, it is upon this consideration alone that I now write this to you. For there has come to my attention now a matter which, in view of' "the great day of Judgment" which you have cited, ought to be brought to your consideration: and which in justice to other people, ought to be corrected and counteracted. Therefore I write this in the interests of justice and truth, and also somewhat to speak on God's behalf."
And first of all it is proper for me to state why I have not written before:
1. 1 never received from you, nor in any way by your instructions, any copy of that communication.
2. It was a long time before I obtained a copy. And only then did I get a copy from a brother who had never received any copy from you, although he was named in it; and he had obtained his copy from yet another brother to whom you had sent a copy though he was not named in it.
3. Before I obtained a copy of it, the word came to me that you had called on certain ones, and me amongst them, to write out what difficulties might be perplexing their minds concerning your writings, in order that you might explain, etc., and thus it was only that special point that came to my attention: But upon that consideration I would not write, and never would have written: and this is for the reason that such a proposition in itself surrenders at once the whole ground of the claim in behalf of your writings as the word of God, or as given by inspiration of God. For if the writings were really the word of God -
a. They need no explanation.
b. If the writings to be explained were not the word of God, then I would not want any explanation of them; for I would not care any more for them than for any other writings that were not the word of' God.
Further I knew that the things that could be written, you simply could not explain; and that any explanation would be worse than no explanation. And the event has fully justified this view. For when in honest response to your call, Brother Sadler and Brother Paulson wrote to you in all sincerity their difficulties, in a communication dated June 3rd, 1906, you wrote the following words:
"Sabbath night, a week ago, after I had been prayerfully studying over those things, I had a vision, in which I was speaking before a large company, where many questions were asked concerning my work and writings.
" I was directed by a messenger from heaven not to take the burden of picking up and answering all the sayings and doubts that are being put into many minds.
When Brother Sadler had his letter to you all written and ready to send, he read it to me before he sent it. And then I said to him, "My Brother, you will never get an answer to that. Any answer would be worse than no answer." And just so it turned out. To this day Brother Sadler has received no answer to his letter: though in acknowledging the receipt of his letter you promised that you would answer. This promise you made it, a letter dated June14, 1906, in the following words:
"As soon as I can I will clear up, if possible, the misunderstanding regarding the work God has given me to do."
To Brother Paulson's letter you did make somewhat of an attempt at an answer on just one point, and this most largely by quoting from "Great Controversy" and from the printed Testimonies, matter with which he was already familiar.
That as relates to Sadler and Paulson: but it is even worse as relates to Dr. Stewart: To Dr. Stewart there was sent a copy of your communication calling for a writing out of doubts, objections, etc., though he was not named in the communication. In response to that call Dr. Stewart wrote a letter to you presenting just what you called for. This letter he sent to you alone, in the confidence of a personal letter. At the same time he sent a letter to W.C. White, your son, in which he asked that an answer should be made to his letter, and that this answer might be received by him within thirty days.
The next thing that Dr. Stewart heard from his letter, it was in the hands of Elder A.G. Daniells in Takoma Park, Washington, who was then making public use of it to the effect that "Here is a manuscript of seventy-eight pages of objections to the testimonies," etc.; with no intimation that you had written or sent to the author of the manuscript and others a communication calling upon them to do just what he had done; but conveying the impression that the whole thing of the manuscript was, on the part of the author, only a wilful and voluntary attack upon the Testimonies. And that is the only kind of an answer to his letter that Dr. Stewart has ever seen or heard of. Neither from you nor from W.C. White has he ever received a word in answer to his letter.
Now Sister White, you wrote in the name of God, and appealed to men's Christian integrity, and in the presence of the judgment, that they should state to you their perplexities: "Let it, all be written out." And you put God under pledge for answer—"The Lord will help me to answer these objections." That communication was sent personally to Dr. Stewart. He accepted the communication as honestly intended, and wrote accordingly: then, in the presence of all that, can you think, or can you expect any Christian man to think, that the Judgment of God will justify or vindicate as fair, true, and Christian, the course that was pursued with Dr. Stewart's letter?
Now in the presence of the Judgment, it is only fair that I should believe and recognize the probabilities are that you never saw Dr. Stewart's letter, and never even had a chance to see it, for your sake it is only fair to suppose that the probabilities are altogether that W.C. White received the letter and read it, and then without ever giving you a chance to see it, posted it off to Elder Daniells at Washington.
That in fairness to you may be considered the probability. Nevertheless the question still recurs: Will the Judgment vindicate as fair, true and Christian such treatment of a man in the name of God?
And will the Judgment vindicate as fair, true and Christian, the public use of Dr. Stewart's letter to you, with the impression that it was a wilful attack upon you and your writings, while concealing the fact made perfectly plain in Dr. Stewart's letter itself, that it was only and altogether in response to the call that you had made in the name of the Lord, which call itself was copied in the very letter of Dr. Stewart's that was being used? And then the public use of his letter has so advertised it that there was such a call for it that another man published it, then again Dr. Stewart was charged with attacking the Testimonies and warring on you. Will the Judgment of God vindicate as the righteousness of God such dealings as that? Can anybody who knows God or has any respect for Him, believe of Him that He would sanction any such procedure as all this?
Thus the whole case as your communication calling for the writing out of doubts and perplexities concerning your writings, as that case has been worked out, requires that we shall think of God things that are impossible.
Now please let me say a word on Gods behalf: In your communication of May 30th, 1906, calling upon certain men by name to place upon paper the statement of the difficulties that perplexed their minds, you wrote the following words:
"In the visions of the night ----- I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the Testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and to make plain that which seems intricate .... Let it all be written out.
After having received in answer to that call what some brethren had honestly written, you wrote under date of June 3rd, 1906 the following words: "I had a vision in which I was speaking before a large company, where many questions were asked concerning my work and writings. I was directed by a messenger from heaven not to take the burden of picking up and answering all the sayings and doubts that are being put into many minds."
Both of these communications profess to be as from God. As representing God, therefore, they present the impossible situation as to God, in truth, that God asked certain men by name that they put in writing a statement of all their difficulties, etc., with the promise of an answer, and then, after He got the statement, refused to answer.
I repeat, therefore, that as to God in truth, and to any mind that has ever received the revelation of God, that presents an impossible situation. For no person that knows God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, can ever believe it possible of God that He would call men personally by name to Him, only that they should receive a slap in the face, or to be condemned.
Didn’t the Lord know what responses could be made to that call? Didn't He know what response might be made? Yea, didn't He know what responses would be made? Accordingly didn't He know before these statements were written, that there was to be no answer? And He knowing all that, then can anybody except sensible Christian men ever to believe of God that He would deliberately resort to an unworthy trick of mere child's play with sober, well-meaning, manly men, believers, in His own Son?
Let us set these two statements of yours side by side:
"Recently in the visions of the night I stood in a large company of people .. I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the Testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and to make plain that which seems intricate... Let it all be written out and submitted to those who desire to remove the Perplexities."
"I had a vision in which I was speaking before a large company where many questions were asked concerning my works and writings. I was directed by a messenger from heaven not to take the burden of picking up and answering all the sayings and doubts that are being put into many minds."
Sister White, can you or anybody else believe it possible for any person who knows God or has respect for him to accept both these statements as coming from God? Can you or anybody else expect that Christian men will believe of God that He will act like that, or that He will treat men in any such way as that?
Can you or anybody else expect that Christian men will accept any view of inspiration that involves the holy, just and good God in any such a slim and unworthy trick as that? Are we to believe of God that he is such an underling and so irresponsible of Himself, that He can be pledged to a thing that utterly fails? That He can be pledged and under pledged? That when under pledge He can be whiffled about, as the workings out, of this case show, so that His pledge shall be worse than nothing? And all this in order to be loyal to the Testimonies?"
Why, Sister White, to believe that and such as that, of God, the God of the Bible, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, would be nothing short of the utmost limit of irreverence.
Again: In those letters you were asked these questions:
1. "Do you approve of sending personal testimonies which the Lord has given to men, broadcast to other people?"
2. "Is it not a Bible rule that when we have any criticism of a brother, it shall be presented to him personally, then afterwards to two or three, and then if he rejects it, to the church?"
These are vital questions.
It is the truth that copies of the Testimonies to individuals are sent to the officials of the denomination, at the same time, or even before, they are sent to the individuals to whom they pertain.
It is the truth that Testimonies to individuals are sent to others than the ones most concerned, and are made public use of, and are even used in print and published everywhere, without their ever having been received, or seen or heard of, by the individual or the ones named in the Testimonies.
When Brother Tenney was cast out of the church, there was read and used against him, as a basis and authority for casting him out, passages from a Testimony that he never saw and that he never knew anything about until it was used against him in that meeting.
In the controversy over the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Testimonies that the Sanitarium Board never saw or heard of, have not only been published and used against them; but have been printed and spread broadcast, before the Sanitarium people ever know were such communications in existence.
Also myself: I have received letters from different, parts of the country stating that in the camp meetings Testimonies concerning me have been read, or quoted from, or referred to; but Testimonies that I had never seen.
That is exactly the case of your communication of February 4, 1907, to Bro. Russell Hart in which I am twice mentioned by name, saying that I would "work in every way possible to get possession" of the Tabernacle. That was used by men (not by Brother Hart) as a "Testimony" to denounce and decry me, and yet I never saw it, nor knew of any of its contents till February 20, 1909)—more than two years after it was written.
Now does anybody expect me or anybody else to believe that in the Judgment I or any other man will be condemned, or held in any wise accountable, for something we never knew and never had a chance to know: that we will be held accountable for disregarding Testimonies that we never saw or even heard of?
In the Bible the Lord has directed that when a brother trespasses or is overtaken in a fault he is to be gained and restored: not condemned and denounced: and that in seeking to gain and restore him first of all he is to be told his fault: "between thee and him alone." If that fails, then he is to be told a second time in the presence of "one or two more." These two steps must be taken before it shall be told even to the congregation of which he is a member. And when it is told to the congregation of which he is a member, then that congregation is to seek to gain him. And only when all these efforts have failed to gain and restore him—only then is it to be known before the public.
This is the word of the Lord directing us how we are to do toward the one that is overtaken in a fault, or who has trespassed. But in the use of your Testimonies this order has been reversed and even disregarded altogether. A man's fault is published to the world in print, or told to everybody but himself. And he is condemned and denounced, without the thing having been told him at all, much less told to him in Christian kindness a second or a third time.
And this way is taken by you in the Testimonies and their use as the way of the Lord: and all are expected to conform to it or else be counted in rebellion against God, apostates from the truth, and be excluded from heaven because of such rebellion and apostasy.
This again presents an impossible situation as to God. For it makes it appear that God goes directly contrary to His own word: that while calling and requiring us to be followers of Him strictly according to His word in the Bible, yet in the Testimonies and their use He, Himself, is made to set us the example of going directly contrary to the way that He requires us to go in His word in the Bible.
I repeat that this is impossible as to God. For it is impossible for God to go thus contrary to His own word. And it makes it impossible for us to be followers of God while He requires us to go one way and He goes the opposite way. And in the Judgment I would far rather risk the consequences of following strictly Gods word in the Bible in telling to a brother his fault "between thee and him alone," and then telling it to him a second time in the presence of "one or two more", and then telling it to the congregation of which he is a member, with the purpose to gain and restore him, than to risk the consequences of the Testimonies and their use in telling the faults of a brother not to "him alone" at all, but telling it to everybody but him, and in publishing it to the world, and this be the first that he knows of it.
But there is more that should be said of that communication of February 4, 1907, to Brother Russell Hart in which I am twice named.
September 7, 1907, this communication was copied with the usual filing marks "Sept. 7, 1907-8 . . . H. 38 07." It is only fair to suppose that at least seven of these indicated "-8- " copies were sent to as many different persons and places, and that they have been diligently used to publish and emphasize what is said in the communication concerning me. Yet I never saw it till February 20, 1909; more than two years after it was written. I saw it then only because a brother told me that Brother Hart had a copy, and that others had a copy and were using it. Then when I met Brother Hart I said to him that I had heard that he had a copy of a Testimony in which I was personally mentioned; but that I had never seen it nor known that it was in existence and that I thought it only fair that I should have a chance to see it. He thought so too and let me take it. The passages that mention me are the following:
"I must act in accordance with the light that the Lord has given me; and I say to you that Brother A.T. Jones and Dr. Kellogg will make every effort possible to get possession of the Tabernacle, in order that they may present their doctrines. We must not allow that house to be used for the promulgation of error. The Tabernacle was built by the Seventh-day Adventist people. It is their property and their loyal representatives should control it. On this question I will stand firm, and if you and others will take a decided stand with us, you will be doing that which God requires of you at this time.
"We must make sure the control of the Tabernacle; for powerful testimonies are to be borne in it in favor of the truth. This is the word of the Lord to you and others. Elder A.T. Jones will work in every way possible to get possession of this house, and if he can do so, he will present in it theories that should never be heard. I know whereof I speak in this matter, and if you had believed the warnings that have been given, you would have moved understandingly."
Now in all kindness, with no feeling of resentment whatever, but with perfect good humor I say to you, Sister White, and to everybody; and I say it solemnly before God to be met in the Judgment as the truth: that those statements concerning me are not true. They were not true when they were written, they have never been true at any moment since they were written, and they will never come true in any sense whatever. I not only never did "all" that I possibly could, to get possession of the Tabernacle, I never thought on it, nor thought of it. This I know in the same way that I know that I am alive, or that I am here this moment writing this to you.
It cannot be said that the communication prevented me from doing what is there said that I would do: for I did not know that the writing was in existence, for more than two years after it was written; nor until after the Tabernacle had passed into the sure possession that "safe-guarded" it against all possibility that I could ever have gotten it.
And all this time of a year and a half or more after it was copied while the communication was being used far and wide to warn the people of my great wickedness, apostasy, and antagonism, there was I going quietly along totally ignorant of any such thing being in existence, and at the same time as innocent of what it charged as was any child in the world.
Yet in that communication you say: "I know whereof I speak." In respectful reply, and in all kindness, I say: Sister White, you did not know whereof you spoke; for there is not a vestige of truth in it; and neither you nor anybody else can know what is not so. And while I cannot absolutely know of another, as I know of myself, yet I do firmly believe that what is said of Dr. Kellogg is just as completely untrue, as I know to be untrue what is said of me.
Further there stand the words; "In accordance with the light the Lord has given me ... I say to you that Elder A.T. Jones and Dr. Kellogg will make every effort possible to get possession of the Tabernacle."
There stand the words: "This is the word of the Lord to you and to others. Elder A.T. Jones will work in every possible way to get possession of this house."
Sister White, the simple truth is that that is not light at all for it is not true at all. And the Lord never gave it to you, for the Lord does not give nor tell what is not true. This is not "the word of the Lord" at all; for it never was true: and I know that the Lord never says what is not true. Besides, if that were truly from the Lord, it would have been given to me first of all, instead of to everybody but me, and never at all to me. Do you suppose that I am going to believe that the Lord disregards His own word and takes a course directly contrary to that laid down for us to take that we may "follow in His steps?" That is impossible.
The Lord knows perfectly well that I never made any effort at all; that I never worked in any way at all; and that I never thought at all to get possession of the Tabernacle. And the Lord knows perfectly well that I and Dr. Kellogg never acted together, nor spoke together, nor thought together, to any such purpose as getting possession of the Tabernacle.
Yet, Sister White, none of that, nor all of it, has done any harm whatever to me. In it you have not injured me at all. Those who have read that to the people to expose me and to warn the people against me, have done no harm at all to me. This because it is not true: and what is not true can't harm me. But all of this has harmed other people for they believed it, and so have been deceived. And since it has been publicly used; and since the only effect of it could be to deceive; then it will be perfectly proper that I should tell publicly what I have here told, to relieve as far as possible those deceived ones from that deception.
Also Sister White, you may remember that this is not the first time that I have been placed by you under the necessity of telling you that what you had said was not at all true. The other time was in July 1903 in your home at, "Elmshaven" when you had called me at the Sanitarium to come down to your house. You began very positively to talk to me. When I had listened with some surprise for a considerable length of time you may remember that I halted you and, looking straight into your eyes, said: "Sister White, there is not a particle of truth in what you are saying." Upon this you instantly dropped that strain and turned the conversation to another subject.
You may remember that I called your attention to this fact at your house at "Elmshaven" July 31, 1908. And I say to you now what I said then: The Judgment will confirm the truth of that occurrence as I have stated it. The Judgment will confirm also the truth of what I have said on what you have stated in that communication of February 4, 1907.
At Berrien Springs, Michigan, in the time of the Lake Union Conference in 1904, speaking of the book "Living Temple," you said publicly to the congregation in the assembly hall:
"I never read the book; but Willie sat down by my side and read to me some of the most objectionable passages. And I said to him, 'Willie, that is just what was back there in New England,' etc., ect.,"
Now, Sister White, I said then, and I say now, and I shall say forever, that I have not a particle of confidence in Willie's inspiration to select and read to you "the most objectionable passages" of that book, or any other writing, as a basis for your denouncing the book or writing a Testimony on the subject. I know that John Huss and Jerome were burned at the stake, and Wickliffe and Luther were pursued and persecuted to their graves, solely upon "some of the most objectionable passages" of their writings selected and read by opposing and prejudiced people.
I know that Willie presented to me some of these "most objectionable passages" of his selection. And I know that the objectionable meaning which he put into the passages to make them "objectionable passages" was directly contrary to the meaning that stands in plain passages in the plain printed words.
There has been published a communication from you in which I am reproved for what I did at the Lake Union Conference in Berrien Springs, Michigan in 1904. Since in view of the Judgment you have called upon we to write, it is proper that I should state the facts and the history of that matter.
In the six months preceding the Conference at Berrien Springs, in the Union Conferences that had been held from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back again, Elder W.W. Prescott had given addresses in which he set forth his views of "Pantheism" and some other things.
In 1902 there had been printed a leaflet sermon of mine on "The Revelation of God." I had been informed that in his addresses in these Union Conferences, Brother Prescott had taken a single sentence from this sermon of mine and had read that single sentence in with passages from books that he said were "Pantheistic" (and books not one of which I ever saw) in such a way as to make it appear that I was teaching " Pantheism" equally with those others. This information I made no use of in any way. But as I was to be at the Lake Union Conference, I made up my mind that if Brother Prescott should take up that thing there, I would answer him on it, and I went to Berrien Springs with the material in my possession with which to answer him if he should take that thing up there.
On Friday morning in the midst of that Conference session, you gave to your son W. C. White Testimony to take to Brother Prescott, in which Brother Prescott was instructed not to take up in that meeting the discussion of this question of "Pantheism," etc., that it was not good to make prominent before the people these erroneous things even for the purpose of exposing or refuting them. But instead of this to dwell only upon the truth, etc. Though you gave this testimony to W.C. White on Friday morning to deliver to Brother Prescott, Brother White kept it in his possession and did not deliver it. And on the same Friday evening Brother Prescott did enter upon the discussion of that very subject as he had in the other Union Conferences. I took notes of his sermon for the purpose of replying to him.
That same Friday morning you had sent to Elder Daniells the Testimony addressed to him and Elder Prescott, in which they were instructed to stretch out their hands to Dr. Kellogg as Christ was doing. A copy of that Testimony came into my hands on Sabbath forenoon. But I was surprised to find the whole days passing with no token whatever of their stretching out their hands to Dr. Kellogg or their taking any other move in the direction indicated by the Testimony. That Testimony said that the same words were to be given to the others at that meeting, for them to carry to those who were not at the meeting. But after the Testimony had been received by Brother Daniells, days had passed without the Testimony having been made known.
Under these circumstances of this Testimony and Brother Prescott's sermon, I concluded that it would be proper to make known the Testimony as well as my answer to Brother Prescott's sermon of Friday night. But even then I waited a whole day and a night, in which time I prayed earnestly to God for guidance as to whether or not I should really do it. And late in the night before I did it; the last thing that I did was to pray concerning that and to say to the Lord in prayer that I had no personal choice in the matter; that indications were that I ought to do it; but if He should in any way show me otherwise I would not do it. And then I said to the Lord that on the next morning when the early morning meeting should be opened if anything should occur to occupy the time of the meeting I would take that as evidence that I should not say anything; but that if when the meeting should be opened nothing should occur to occupy the time, that I should take that as an indication that the way was opened for me. The next morning Elder Daniells opened the meeting and then said, "Brethren the meeting is yours" and sat down in the audience. Everything was quiet. Nobody said anything nor did anything; there was no sign of anybody's doing anything; until I arose and stepped to the front and did what I did. And what I did that day did undoubtedly stop, in those meetings at least, Brother Prescott's discussion of that question of "Pantheism," etc.
Now, Sister White, when it was of such importance that the discussion of that subject should be stopped; and when the Lord so wanted it stopped; that He would have you write a Testimony to stop it; and when you sent that Testimony by W.C. White on Friday morning, in ample time to have stopped it; and when it was not stopped just because Brother White chose not to deliver that Testimony; then was not my action that did stop it, directly in line with that Testimony? And was not my action that did stop it, the fulfillment of the purpose of the Lord? in sending the Testimony to stop it? but which failed because W.C. White did not deliver the Testimony?
When it was the will of the Lord, expressed in the Testimony, that that discussion should be stopped, then in the Judgment will I be reproved for having done what did stop it? And will W.C. White at the same time be justified in withholding from Brother Prescott the Testimony that would have stopped it?
If Brother White had delivered that Testimony at any time on Friday, it is safe to say, and I believe, that Brother Prescott would not have spoken at all on the subject. If he had not spoken on the subject, I should not have had a word to say on the subject. Then when what I did was only because of what he did, and when what he did was because of Brother White's not delivering the Testimony that would have prevented it all, then in the Judgment will I be condemned for doing just what the Lord wanted done? but which could not be done in the Lord’s first chosen way, because of W.C. White's intentional withholding of the Lord's message that would have done it?
Knowing all this, Sister White, can you wonder that I have never felt at all sorry what I did? And have never been ready to confess that I was wrong in doing what I did that day in the Lake Union Conference at Berrien Springs?
In the former part of this letter I said that to this day Brother Sadler has never received from you any answer to his letter. This is the truth. In your letter to Dr. Paulson June 14, 1906, you did say: "Now I must respond to the letters received from you, Elder Sadler, and others." But in truth and in fact you did not respond to Brother Sadler's letter; not to a single thing written in it—unless it be in these words:
"To some of the questions you have asked, I am not to answer yes or no. I must not make any statements that can be misconstrued."
This can be verified by anyone who will read the two letters.
Yet one of the questions asked by both Doctors Paulson and Sadler, while not worded exactly the same by both, was in effect this:
"Is everything that you speak and write inspired of God and to be received as the word of God?"
Under all the circumstances this is one of the most important questions that could be asked of you. Yet the only thing from you that can even be construed into an answer to it, is the words: "I am not to answer yes or no. I must not make statements that can be misconstrued."
Sister White, do you intend that to be your answer to that question? If it is claimed that your letter to Dr. Paulson, June 14, 1906, is an answer to his and Dr. Sadler's letters, then that will have to be held as your answer to that question. But if you were to answer "Yes" how could it be misconstrued if it were true?
If you were to answer "No" How could that be misconstrued if it were true?
Sister White, plain yes or no simply never can be misconstrued if it be true.
Then since to the question, "Is everything that you speak or write inspired of God and to be received as the word of God?" you are not to answer yes or no because either, statement "can be misconstrued," then it plainly follows that—
- "Yes," would not be true because some things that you speak and write are not inspired of God and are not to be received as the word of God, and it would be a misconstruction to say that they are.
- "No", would not be true; because some things that you speak and write are inspired of God and are to be received as the word of God, and it would be a misconstruction to say that they are not. Upon analysis, therefore, of the only words that you have given that can even be construed into an answer to that question, it stands as the inevitable and unescapable consequence that the one straight and true answer to that question is the simple and easy word "no."
Yet that is exactly what I hold. It is the truth.
And, Sister White, do not you know full well that this is the plain truth?
But more than this: In the Judgment, in the presence of which you called me by name to write- in the Judgment, Sister White, your plea that if you should answer truly in the word "No", it would "be misconstrued," and some would "take advantage of the answer," will not be sufficient. In the Judgment nothing will stand but the truth. You have been standing as one who is a mouthpiece for God. As such it is your place to tell the truth, and bear witness unto the truth. You have nothing whatever to do with what people make of the truth that you have to tell.
It is your place to tell the truth. In the Judgment it will be the part of those people and not you to answer for whatever misconstruction or wrong use they make of the truth.
And whatever the wrong use that a few perverse minded people might make of the truth, will not in the Judgment prove a sufficient counterbalance to the willing if not known deception of thousands upon thousands of innocent, confiding, and honest-minded people, the Judgment will certainly settle. But meantime it is an issue that is certainly and justly open to Very serious question and doubt in Christian minds. And upon that issue now, Sister White, I assure you that I would far prefer to see you write the plain and simple truth in that plain and simple word "No" which I have reason to believe that you well know is the truth, than to see you longer risking the awful decision of the Judgment upon the alternative and the consequences of your refusal to write the pure truth in that simple word "No", which is the unescapable consequence of your refusal to say either yes or no, because either could be misconstrued.
And what a world of relief would be given to a deplorable situation by your writing the truth, that I am sure you must know is the truth in that word "No".
Infinite good and no possible harm could alone come of it. It is true that many people would be disappointed and others would be considerably perplexed. But is it not far better that they should be allowed to awake to that disappointment and perplexity now, while there is time to get their true bearings, than to awake to it all when it will be forever too late? Then everything would stand only in the truth; and would be received and known only in and by "the Spirit of truth."
Therefore, even yet, before it shall be for you too late, will you not, Sister White, write that truth in that word "No" to that honest, pertinent, and very important question?"
Now, Sister White, I bring this letter to a close. In view of your communication calling upon me by name to write a "statement of difficulties," etc., those things that I have here written have seemed to me of sufficient importance for me to state to you. Other items might be mentioned but I have no disposition at all to heap up matters.
Also, Sister White, allow me to assure you that I am not opposing you, and have not opposed you, and do not intend to oppose you. When in view of "the great day of Judgment" and by my "loyalty to the directions God has given," you call upon me to write to you on these matters, it cannot fairly be counted as opposing you when in answer, to that call I wrote what I have written.
I respect you as a sister in Christ and in the truth of God. I honor you for the truth you have told and that you have written and maintained all these years. I do not deny that you have divine enlightenment. I do not deny that you have the Spirit of prophecy. But I do deny that everything that you have ever written is of the divine inspiration of the Spirit of Prophecy. I do deny that you are infallible, and I do deny that everything you have written is the infallible word of God. And, indeed, you in reality deny all this yourself in your refusal to say either Yes or No to the plain question, because either word could be misconstrued or taken unfair advantage of. Then, why cannot I be allowed to agree with you in this and follow the directions of the Scriptures to "prove all things and hold fast that which is good."
Another thing: Please Sister White, do not blame Dr. Kellogg or anybody else for anything that I have here written. Please do not connect Dr. Kellogg or anybody else in any way with this that I have written. Not a soul in the world knows that I have written it, but the stenographer who has taken it down and written it out. Not a soul knows that I have sent this copy to you; and nobody but the stenographer and myself knows that it is in existence.
But will this copy that I send to you ever reach you? Will you ever have a chance to read it? Or will my letter be treated as was Dr. Stewart's and the next thing I hear from it, it will be in the hands of Bro. Daniells, or someone else, exhibited before an audience as so many "passages of objections to the Testimonies?"
Will this letter reach you so that you will have a chance to read it yourself, or will Willie sit down by your side and read to you "some of the most objectionable passages?"
However this may be, it will not affect me personally. In view of the Judgment you called upon me to write: Because of that, and in view of the Judgment, I have written. And there I personally leave it. Whatever others may do in view of the Judgment or not, just as they choose; for there only will they have to answer, and not to me.
And now wishing you only all blessing and all good from the Lord in all things always, and only all of Romans 15:13 forever, I remain,
(Signed) Alonzo T. Jones.