Waggoner, Ellet Joseph (1855-1916)

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WaggonerEJPhysician, minister, teacher, editor, and writer. Waggoner was son of J. H. Waggoner. In the late 1870s he trained at Battle Creek College, then took medical training, and joined the staff of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Later moving to California, he worked at St. Helena as a physician, then turned to editorial work. He had a unique conversion experience in 1882, seeing Christ crucified for him personally, leading him to devote his life to revealing this to others. In 1883 he became an editor at The Signs of the Times, and the next year became associated with A. T. Jones there. Their development of the theme of righteousness by faith in relation to the law led them into conflict with the church leaders in Battle Creek, reaching a crisis at the Minneapolis 1888 General Conference Session.

Ellen White’s strong endorsement of the message was clear. “When Brother Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapolis, it was the first clear teaching on this subject from any human lips I had heard, excepting the conversations between myself and my husband…. And when another presented it, every fiber of my heart said, Amen” {1888 Messages of Ellen G. White, page 348}. She spoke in many settings over the next three years with both Waggoner and Jones, sharing the gospel message, and working to raise the spiritual life of the church. The year 1891 that saw Ellen White sent to Australia also saw Waggoner sent to England, both being the results of work to remove them from Battle Creek.

Waggoner edited the Present Truth while in England. In 1898 Ellen White wrote him that she and her son considered “Present Truth the best paper published by our people” (Manuscript Releases, Volume 17, Page 217). Toward the end of this decade he partnered with W. W. Prescott in the work in England. They shared many views that came from the Minneapolis era, but in their humanness carried them at times too far. Ellen White reflected in 1903 that both men had promoted “extreme views of sanctification” at the 1901 General Conference Session (Manuscript Releases, Volume 10, Page 87).

Prescott saw his error and moved away from such concepts, while Waggoner with these ideas moved closer to Kellogg’s views. Ellen White attempted to help direct his feet away from this path. In 1903 she attempted to arrange for him to join the new school at Berrien Springs, telling Magan and Sutherland, “I know that just now he is in special danger… of accepting incorrect views of God, as set forth in the new book, ‘Living Temple’. Take him into the school at Berrien Springs…. I believe that he will recover his former clearness and power” (Spaulding and Magan Collection, Page 328). But like Jones he went to work with Kellogg at Battle Creek, leaving church employment in 1904, and church membership in 1905 over his divorce. While active in religious things at Battle Creek to the end of his life, his usefulness to the church was never recovered.


The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald Articles (1884-1903)

The American Sabbath Union and Human Rights

American Sentinel Articles (1886-1899)

Baptism: Its Significance

The Blair Educational Amendment

The Blair Sunday-Rest Bill

The Bible Echo and Australasian Signs of the Times Articles (1887-1906)

Bible Readings for the Home Circle [Portion] (1899)

Bible Studies on the Book of Romans

Can We Keep the Sabbath?

Christ and His Righteousness

The “Christian” Demand for War

Civil Government and the Decalogue

Civil Sunday Holiday

The Cross of Christ

The Everlasting Covenant

Fathers of the Catholic Church

Foreknowledge and Foreordination

The Full Assurance of Faith

General Conference Bulletin Articles (1889-1903)

The Glad Tidings

The Gospel in Creation

The Gospel in the Book of Galatians: A Review

The Home Missionary Articles (1890-1894)

The Honor Due to God

How to Get Knowledge

Lessons on Faith

Letter and Spirit

The Literal Week

Living by Faith

The Medical Missionary Articles (1897-1909)

The Missionary Magazine Articles (1898-1902)

National Reform Success Means Religious Persecution

The Power of Forgiveness

The Present Truth [UK] Articles (1887-1904)

Prophetic Lights

The Rest That Remains for the People of God

Rev. W. F. Crafts Against the Editors of the American Sentinel

The Sabbath-School Worker (1890)

Salvation in Jesus Christ

The Signs of the Times Articles (1879-1902)

Sunday: The Origin of its Observance in the Christian Church

The Sure Foundation and the Keys of the Kingdom

Three Sabbaths

Studies in the Book of Hebrews

Waggoner on John

Waggoner on Romans

“What Think Ye of Christ?”

Why We Oppose Religious Legislation

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