As James began to publish, Ellen was given advance warning that although Satan would try to hinder, they must continue, and struggle for the victory. What took place in rather quick succession came as no surprise but showed that the great adversary would do all in his power to block the spread of truth:
- One-year-old Edson was afflicted to the point of death.
- Ellen was tempted to think that God had left her or the child would have been healed when they first asked God to heal him.
- Clarissa Bonfoey was overcome by depression.
- James was prostrated by cholera, and lay helpless on his sickbed until they sought God with special anointing.
- James and Ellen were thrown out of a wagon in which they were traveling, but were saved from injury by angels of God.
The Whites believed that these attempts to destroy them showed how important was their work in publishing the Advent Review. Ellen was shown that "it was as necessary for the paper to be published as for messengers to go," and "that the paper would go where messengers could not go" (letter 28, 1850).