Failed Predictions about People
"If you proceed in the way you have started, misery and woe are before you. God's hand will arrest you in a manner that will not suit you. His wrath will not slumber." Testimonies, Vol. 1, pp. 430-431.This never happened. Despite Mrs. White's warnings, Hull did "proceed the way he had started" and left the Adventist church. However, according to D.M. Canright, "Mr. Hull lived on many long years to a ripe old age, and nothing of the kind predicted happened." (Life of E.G. White, chap. 15) Besides raising questions about her prophetic abilities, this incident raises some important questions about her understanding of God. What kind of a God does Ellen White portray? Does God need to frighten people with wrath in order to keep them in His church? Does God need to resort to scare tactics in order to force people to stay in His church against their own will?
In his book Three Important Questions for Seventh-Day Adventists to Consider (1876), former Adventist minister Charles Lee recalls an experience he had with Ellen White. The editor of the Swedish edition of Advent Herald, Mr. C. Carlstedt, had become seriously ill with Typhoid fever. Charles Lee, James and Ellen White, Uriah Smith and another man went to visit Mr. Carlstedt:
"We all knelt in prayer for the sick man; and Mrs. W. praised the Lord because he was 'present with his restoring power, to raise Carlstedt, whose sickness,' she said, was 'not unto death, but to the glory of the Son of God.' To me it was darkness and death; and it was an evidence to my soul that if she was right before God, then I had never known any thing about the Spirit of God. Either of us was entirely deceived.
"On our way back Mrs. W. said to me that the Lord was there with his restoring power, and she was confident that he would be restored to health again. I told her I did not realize it, and that it was darkness to me. She did not speak to me again that evening. As I parted from them, I went direct to Chicago, to continue my meetings. A few days after I came to Chicago, Mrs. W. sent me a written testimony; and in that she says she knew that I was under the influence of devils. The next day I received a dispatch that Mr. C. was dead. I read and re-read the testimony, and said to myself, 'If she could see 3 years ago that Satan should take possession of my soul and body because I would not give myself entirely up to be led by her and her husband, why could she not see that Mr. C. would die a few days before he did, as her attention was called directly to his case? And if she saw my then pitiable condition so long before, why did she not warn me before Satan got me entirely under his influence?'"