At a meeting of the members of the Ministerial Association Advisory Council, held in Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 22, 1924, it was – “Voted, That Elder Daniells be asked to arrange for a compilation of the writings of Mrs. E. G. White on the subject of justification by Faith.”
With the co-operation of my associates in the office of the Ministerial Association, I undertook the task designated.
In harmony with the primary purpose of providing a “compilation of the writings of Mrs. E. G. White on the subject,” exhaustive research was made through all the writings of the Spirit of prophecy as held in must by us as a people, in bound volumes and also in printed articles appearing in the files of our denominational papers, covering a period of twenty-five years from 1887 to 1912. So vast was the field of study opened up, so marvellous and illuminating the hidden gems of truth which came to light, that 1 became amazed and awed at the solemn obligation resting upon me, of rescuing these gems from their obscurity, and placing them, in a cluster of brilliancy and beauty, where they would win rightful recognition and acceptance in the glorious finishing of the work entrusted to the remnant church.
Seeking advice and counsel from my colleagues, I sent out advance sections of the manuscript for careful reading and suggestion. The response from fellow labourers in all sections of the North American field has been of a most encouraging and appreciative nature, and urgency in completing the work has been emphasised. A suggestion made by a number of fellow ministers has led to the preparation of a chapter on the subject of righteousness by faith from the Bible standpoint as an introduction to the compilation from the writings of the Spirit of prophecy. This, it is believed, will give Scriptural authority and permanence to the theme which is of such vital importance to God's people at this time.
The word of God clearly portrays the way of righteousness by faith; the writings of the Spirit of prophecy greatly amplify and elucidate the subject. In our blindness and dullness of heart, we have wandered far out of the way, and for many years have been failing to appropriate this sublime truth. But all the while our great Leader has been calling His people to come into line on this great fundamental of the gospel, – receiving by faith the imputed righteousness of Christ for sins that are past, and the imparted righteousness of Christ for revealing the divine nature in human flesh.
In order to make this compilation of the greatest value, it seemed necessary to do more than merely bring together a long series of miscellaneous, detached statements. Appropriate arrangement and combination were necessary, and the chronological order was important; also, the circumstances and issues concerning which particular statements were made, should be rightly understood. Unless these considerations were recognised, the compilation might prove confusing and wearisome.
A careful, connected study of the writings of the Spirit of prophecy regarding the subject of righteousness by faith, has led to the settled conviction that the instruction given presents two aspects: primarily, the great, amazing fact that by faith in the Son of God, sinners may receive the righteousness of God; and secondarily, the purpose and providence of God in sending the specific message of receiving the righteousness of God by faith to His people assembled in General Conference in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the year 1888. This latter aspect cannot be disregarded by Seventh-day Adventists without missing a most important lesson that the Lord designed to teach us. It is this conviction that has made it seem necessary to include in the compilation the instruction given concerning the experiences and developments connected with and following the Minneapolis Conference.
The major portion of our membership today has been raised up since these experiences came to us. They are unacquainted with them; but they need the message; also the lessons which those experiences were designed to teach. Hence the necessity of reproducing a portion, at least, of the instruction then given, and accompanying the same with a brief explanation of what took place.
Those who have full confidence in the gift of the Spirit of prophecy to the remnant church, will place great value upon the compilation of statements herein furnished. Only a few of them have ever been reproduced since they first appeared in the columns of the Review and Herald. The most of them dropped out of sight with the current number of the Review in which they appeared. In no other document have all of these been brought together in systematic and chronological form, as here presented. May these messages do their appointed work in the lives of all who read these pages. Wondrous is the blessing Heaven is waiting to bestow! A. G. D.