Mrs. White and her followers claim that she had the "spirit of prophecy" from December 1844, to the end of her life, August 1915, seventy-one years. During these long years she wrote over twenty volumes. All this time she claimed that the future was being revealed to her, and predicted what would happen. Here her claims can be examined and tested.
God's prophets foretold definite things to occur; named persons and cities, and told what would happen to each. Joseph foretold the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine (Genesis 41); Samuel told Saul that the kingdom would be taken from him and given to another (1 Samuel 15:28); Isaiah named Cyrus two hundred years before he was born (Isaiah 44:28); Jeremiah foretold the fall of Babylon (Jeremiah 51); Jesus warned of the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24). Scores of such cases could be given.
But where are the fulfilled predictions of Mrs. White during her seventy-one years of prophesying? What definite events did she foretell to occur at definite times and to definite cites? Where are these prophecies? At first she did venture to foretell a few things definitely, but they all failed .
After that she invariably put everything in general terms, not venturing to name definitely any persons or cities or places or time. She predicted different things all in general terms. Anyone could do that safely, without any prophetic gift. If she really had the spirit of prophecy, that should have been the outstanding feature of her books. Instead of this, her 'Testimonies' and other books are devoted almost wholly to personal matters , expositions of the Bible , and to practical subjects regarding Christian conduct and duty, the same as any intelligent religious teacher could write.
Once in her early work she did venture to predict the curse of God upon a definite person, Moses Hull. In 1862 he was about to give up his faith in Adventism. Mrs. White wrote him thus: "If you proceed in the way you have started, misery and woe are before you . God's hand will arrest you in a manner that will not suit you. His wrath will not slumber." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 430,431). Mr. Hull lived on many long years to a ripe old age , and nothing of the kind predicted happened . After this she threatened many, but always in general terms.
Predictions about the Civil War
The Civil War of 1861-65 placed Seventh-day Adventists in a trying position. They could not engage in war and keep the Sabbath. She says:
" January 4, 1862 , I was shown some things in regard to our nation." (Testimonies, Vol.1, p.253).
"It is all a bitter denunciation of Lincoln 's administration and his management of the war. Every move had been wrong, and only defeat was prophesied. Mr. Lincoln, in his need, asked the prayers of all Christians, and appointed days of fasting and prayer. Of these Mrs. White said: 'I saw that these national fasts were an insult to Jehovah. A national fast is proclaimed! Oh, what an insult to Jehovah'!" (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p.257).
That was the way she sympathized with Mr. Lincoln and the nation in the hour of need. Again, Mrs. White said:
" This nation will yet be humbled into the dust . When England does declare war , all nations will have an interest of their own to serve, and there will be general war." (Ibid, p.259).
It never came. Here, again, her prophecy was a complete failure. Our nation was not humbled into the dust. England did not declare war.
Mrs. White interpreted the Civil War as a sign of the end of the world , just as Adventists had interpreted the European war. She says:
"The scenes of earth's history are fast closing." (Ibid, p.260).
Under the heading, 'The Rebellion,' she says:
"The one all-important inquiry which should now engross the mind of everyone is, Am I prepared for the day of God? Time will last a little longer ." (p.363).
Since then two generations have gone. Mrs. White, Elder White, and all who then preached and heard that warning, are laid away. hey needed no such warning, for they did not live to see that day, as she then predicted. Failure, failure, failure is marked by ineradicable letters against all her predictions.
During those dark days of the Civil War , Mrs. White privately warned our married people not to have any more children . Time was so short, and the seven last plagues were so soon to fall, that children born then would be liable to perish. But children born since then are now grandparents!
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