A Word To The Reader
The presentation of books carrying the name of Ellen G. White on the title page, yet appearing decades after the death of the author, calls for a word of explanation. It will bring assurance to the reader to know that selected messages and other spirit of prophecy works that have appeared since the author's death in 1915 are published in harmony with the express provisions of Mrs. E. G. White's will. At the time of her death the messenger of the Lord left as an enduring treasure to the church an assemblage of more than 100,000 pages of material consisting of her current books, 4,500 articles in denominational periodicals, scores of tracts, pamphlets, out-of-print books, and her manuscripts, diaries, and letters.
A matter of great concern to Mrs. White during the last few years of her life was that of the future use and ever-widening publication of the prophetic messages entrusted to her. On February 9, 1912, in her last will and testament, she made definite provision for the continuing care of her literary works. Five men were chosen by her to serve for life as members of a self-perpetuating board of trustees responsible for the care of her writings.
For this important task, Mrs. White chose leading men of the denomination who were carrying large burdens in church administration. Those named by her to serve as trustees were: Arthur G. Daniells, then president of the general conference; Francis M. Wilcox, then editor of the Review and Herald; Charles H. Jones, for many years manager of the Pacific Press; Clarence C. Crisler, one of her secretaries, who came to her employment from the General Conference, and who, after her death, was sent to the far east to serve as division secretary; and William C. White, her son, who, after the death of elder James White in 1881, traveled constantly with his mother and assisted her in the publishing of her writings, and in other ways.
Mrs. White's instruction to this board provided authorization for the continued publication of her books, for the ever-widening distribution of these volumes in other languages, and for "the printing of compilations from my manuscripts."
It was her expectation that as the church grew and faced new needs and entered upon new crises there would be a demand for compilations of her writings presenting various lines of instruction gathered from her manuscripts, pamphlets, and periodical articles.
Since Mrs. White's death the library of books from her pen has been enlarged to include the following works issued in this sequence:
Fundamentals Of Christian Education (1923)
Counsels On Health (1923)
Testimonies To Ministers And Gospel Workers (1923)
Christian Service (1925)
Messages To Young People (1930)
Medical Ministry (1933)
Counsels On Diet And Foods (1938)
Counsels On Sabbath School Work (1938)
Counsels On Stewardship (1940)
Counsels To Writers And Editors (1946)
The Story Of Redemption (1947)
Welfare Ministry (1952)
The Adventist Home (1952)
My Life Today (1952)
The Colporteur Ministry (1953)
Child Guidance (1954)
Sons And Daughters Of God (1955)
In addition to these books a supplement of Ellen G. White materials has been assembled for each of the seven volumes of the Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary.
Selected Messages is a unique type of compilation, in that it seeks to gather together and make permanently available not only valuable periodical articles and manuscript statements but also certain priceless old pamphlets and tracts now out of print. Included among the counsels here presented are her statements on inspiration written in the mid-and-late 1880's, her observations on the "two laws" penned at about the turn of the century, the pamphlet, "should christians be members of secret societies?" Published in 1893, messages of comfort to those in affliction or facing death, and a sizable group of periodical articles dealing at length with key doctrinal points. Certain of these materials have been brought to the attention of the church through reprints of Mrs. White's articles in our journals and in leaflets, and in some cases through quotations in the books of other authors dealing with the spirit of prophecy, but these sources cannot be included in the index to the writings of Ellen G. White.
Selected Messages, books 1 and 2, include items that have been published in notebook leaflets, formerly known as "elmshaven" leaflets. These miscellaneous leaflets treating many subjects have been highly valued. Not a few of the documents from which these were drawn, however, were through subsequent years embodied in such books as Medical Ministry, Evangelism, and the Adventist Home, and in other cases paralleling statements appear in these books of more recent issue. Those portions that still have a unique place in presenting counsel and instruction have been included in Selected Messages. Hence it will not be necessary longer to keep the notebook leaflets in print. The issuance of these volumes also makes possible the presentation of small groups of choice materials not published before, but which will be greatly appreciated.
The several sections in these volumes are quite unrelated. An introductory statement will be found at the opening of each section, giving the background of the items that appear. Here and there through the text, notes of explanation will be found. These are not inserted for the purpose of interpreting the counsel, but to call attention to circumstances and special situations that may have a bearing on the points presented.
This work, Selected Messages, has been compiled in the offices of the Ellen G. White publications under the direction of the Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Publications and by its staff. Introductory statements are signed by this board, and explanatory notes, approved by the trustees, are signed "compilers."
Selected Messages is included in the new index to the writings of Ellen G. White. That these volumes published so many years after Mrs. White's death may bring to the church in permanent form instruction that will be of service in the accomplishment of our God-assigned task, is the sincere prayer and desire of the publishers and
The Board of Trustees of the
Ellen G. White Publications