How could all this come from a person who wasn’t college-trained or who had not even completed a basic formal education? It would be difficult to say that Ellen’s remarkable literary production was merely a product of human invention. Indeed, her contemporaries, knowing her background and minimal education, also knew that more than human wisdom was responsible for her commanding eloquence in print or in public speaking..
What did Ellen say about her writing? As always, she gave the glory to God: “The Lord has said, ‘Write out the things which I shall give you.’ And I commenced when very young to do this work. My hand that was feeble and trembling because of infirmities became steady as soon as I took the pen in my hand, and since those first writings I have been able to write. God has given me the ability to write. . . . The right hand scarcely ever has a disagreeable sensation. It never wearies. It seldom ever trembles.”
Like those who wrote the Bible, Ellen drew her words from within the literary, historical, social, and religious context of her time. Moreover, her extensive reading and travel experiences added to the weight and wealth of her thought.
Contemporary issues also determined the emphasis and frequency about what she wrote. For example, she saw profound implications for understanding last-day events as she noted politico-religious activity in her time, yet was able to write in such a way as to give far-future readers substantial understanding in their spiritual lives.
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