The Gospel Herald -- Promoting the fundamentals of the 1888 message.

 

The Doctrine of the Everlasting Covenant in the
Writings of Ellet J. Waggoner

For example, how is it that Dan Jones speaks of the theological subjects as being of no consequence when Ellen White was claiming that the message that Waggoner and Jones were presenting was the "third angel's message in verity?"67 True, she had been very strong on the unchristlike spirit but that does not explain a statement like this, written in 1896,

An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, (the moral law a schoolmaster) lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord's message through Brethren Waggoner and Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.68

The description that Dan Jones has given, even with its confession and re-consecration, fails to show that the subjects of the law in Galatians and the covenants were not important. Neither the personal relations between the brethren and the messengers, nor the theological material discussed was not properly resolved or explained. Dan Jones's assessment does not match with the overwhelming statements Mrs. White gives in support of Waggoner's theological presentation such as the one excerpt above.69 When Ellen White and Elder Waggoner said they did not care about the doctrinal points and were only interested in a Christian spirit, they very well could have had other concerns in mind.

In the letter she sent to Uriah Smith concerning his futile attempts to prove Waggoner wrong on the covenants, Ellen White compared his actions, and those of like persuasion, to the Jews of Christ's day. This comparison was extensively used to portray the opposition to the message of righteousness by faith. The specific characteristics that she saw in common between the Jews and the opposition were numerous. She named a critical and unforgiving spirit;70 an intent upon a legal religion;71 despising the messengers of God;72 wresting words, falsely interpreting presentations;73 and exhibiting the same hatred that Cain had for Abel.74 Note that this comparison of Cain's hatred is also used to describe the spirit of the Jews in crucifying Christ.75 An interesting study for the future would be the complete comparison of the spirit of opposition to the Minneapolis message and pharisaism; however, for the present, it is extremely important to point out that Ellen White regarded pharisaism as being human nature.76 Any judgment of those men who had opposed the message is emphatically misplaced and very wrong. The real issue in all of this is that pharisaism is only another name for sinful human nature. The actions and spirit exhibited against Waggoner and Jones were a revelation of what is in the heart of every man. What Ellen White sought to impress upon that meeting in Battle Creek was to direct all to the realization that they were convinced they were following Christ and doing His will, when they were not. Their minds were so agitated to defend their position, that the only way to reach their hearts would be to neutralize their mind set and create an atmosphere where they could see their true condition.

Ellen White wrote  

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Waggoner's View of the Covenants