The Four Review Editorials

December 1853

Through December James White joined Ellen White's voice through four Review editorials. Under the same title, "Gospel Order," he came to grips with the matter in a practical way. In the first editorial he pointed out the confusion that exists when gospel order is overlooked. The result is "perfect Babylon." Was having a creed the answer? "What is the real condition of the churches with all their creeds to aid them?"

He then presented his basic position:

We go for order and strict discipline in the church of Christ. And while we reject all human creeds, or platforms, which have failed to effect the order set forth in the gospel, we take the Bible, the perfect rule of faith and practice, given by inspiration of God. This shall be our platform on which to stand, our creed and discipline (RH, Dec. 13, 1853).

In the second editorial James White made it clear that he saw a large task ahead in arriving at and preserving "gospel order in the church," but he declared that it "must be and will be accomplished." {WV 74.12}
In the third editorial he dealt with the "calling, qualifications, and the duties of a gospel minister." He asserted that "the united action of the church relative to those who take the watchcare of the flock would have a powerful influence to unite the church in love" (ibid., Dec. 20, 1853).

The fourth editorial brought out the responsibilities of the individual church members in giving support in both prayers and finances.

The series closed with the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 12:1-18, setting forth God's ideal for His people. Ellen and James White had sown the seedóit would take time to mature. What was written tended to restrain a tendency to disunion in the ranks of the believers. Another factor, something not enjoyed by the other churches, was the guiding and restraining influence of the visions, which the believers accepted as having authority. The interplay of Bible instruction and the Spirit of Prophecy messages come into full view as church organization was consummated a few years later.

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