Going to the Review office, after a long absence from Battle Creek, James White found unoccupied both the Review editor's room and that of the editor of the Health Reformer. The latter was ill at home."Our hands are full of business that has been waiting our return," James wrote, "and editing our periodicals" (ibid., Nov. 15, 1870). Warren Bacheller, connected with the Review office since he was a teenager, was, with some assistance from traveling James White, keeping the Review going, but as for the Health Reformer, it stood not only waiting, but seemingly dying. James White, never reticent to get involved in time of special need, took the paper under his wing. He saw that if it was to survive, changes must be made quickly. Without formal authorization he took over, pulling things together for the already-late November issue. He furnished an editorial for this and succeeding issues, and Ellen White helped meet the emergency by furnishing an article for each of four monthly issues. These articles followed his editorials.
James had three objectives in view for the magazine: "First, to raise the interest of the journal; second, to increase its circulation; third, to establish a strict pay-in-advance system" (HR, April 1871).