Preface to Facsimile Edition
Volumes III and IV of Spiritual Gifts were both issued in 1864, to complete this four-volume series. Except for the last half of Volume IV, these two small works are devoted to a record of the history of mankind from creation to the days of Solomon, the first detailed writing by Mrs. White on this subject.
Following the historical account, there is in Volume IV an extended article entitled “Health,” in which Mrs. White first presents a comprehensive statement of the momentous health reform vision of June 6, 1863. In this the author passes rapidly from one phase of the great health question to another, laying down the basic principles which form the groundwork of Spirit of prophecy health teaching.
Volume IV is closed by a grouping of “Testimony” articles selected by Mrs. White from the originally printed pamphlet Testimonies for the Church, Nos. 1 to 10. Her reasons for reprinting the articles in this form she stated at the opening of this last section following page 156.
Being here reproduced photographically, the pages carry with them, or course, such typographical errors as occurred in the first printing. One outstanding case of this kind will be noted in Volume KKK, page 301, in line 4 of the last paragraph, where, through a printer’s error, a comma and the word “and” were inadvertently omitted, creation a seeming historical discrepancy in an incidental reference, which has given some careless readers, who wholly ignored the plain teaching of the earlier chapters, an opportunity to declare that the book teaches that the tower of Babel antedated the flood. This typographical error was soon discovered and was correct in the next printing of the matter in 1870 in Spirit of Prophecy, Volume I. As corrected in this second printing, the sentence in questions, referring to the sacrificial system established at the gate of Eden, reads: “This system was corrupted before the flood, and by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God and engaged in the building of the tower of Babel.”
Mention should also be made of the relationship of Spiritual Gifts, Volumes III and IV, to the current editions of the E. G. White books. The later and much fuller Spirit of prophecy writings on early Bible history and on health have been widely distributed not only to the Seventh-day Adventist Church but to the general public in Patriarchs and Prophets (189) and Ministry of Healing (1905). In these later books the subjects treated so tersely in the initial accounts as given for the church in Spiritual Gifts, have been greatly amplified as many repeated visions opened before the author more detailed information.
However, as the reading groups greatly broadened to include many who were not acquainted with the source of her information, the author, in keeping with her responsibility, omitted in these later works intended now for the general reader, a few points dealt with in the little volumes that were penned for the church alone. An instance of this is the statement that Adam as created was “more than twice as tall as men now living upon the earth.” (Volume III, p. 34.) This statement is of interest and in full harmony with the declaration of Gen. 6:4 that “there were giants in the earth in those days.” Being, however, so specific in its detail, the author, to avoid unnecessarily prejudicing the reader not informed with regard to her call and work, dropped out of the later account this point no vital to a reception of the general statement of truth presented.
In this facsimile edition of Spiritual Gifts, Volumes III and IV are bound in one book, as was often the case the first printing, and the original cover stamp reproduced to make this facsimile volume an exact copy of the much treasured original issue.
Trustees of the
Ellen G. White Publications
Volume III. Important Facts of Faith, in Connection with the History of Holy Men of Old. Ellen G. White. Steam Press of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association. Battle Creek, Mich.: 1864.
Volume IV. Important Facts of Faith: Laws of Health and Testimonies Nos. 1-10. Ellen G. White. Steam Press of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association. Battle Creek, Mich.: 1864.