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When Ellen Gould Harmon was in her early teens, no one would have predicted that eventually she would become one of the world’s premier women public speakers. Yet, under the blessing of God, this frail teenager developed into a remarkably gifted and popular pulpiteer. It is estimated that during the seventy years of her prophetic ministry (1844-1915) she delivered at least 10,000 sermons and public addresses, on three continents. She spoke at Sabbath morning church services, camp meetings, ministerial councils, revivals, General Conference sessions, college chapel exercises, temperance rallies, conventions, church dedications, and wherever else there was need for public labor.
The range of Ellen White’s interests, both in writing and in speaking, was as wide as human experience. The 465 Ellen White discourses analyzed by Horace J. Shaw in his doctoral dissertation (The Speaking of Ellen White, Michigan State University, 1959) reveal that she addressed topics such as health and temperance; issues affecting the ministerial, medical, educational, and publishing work of the church; and, especially, subjects encouraging Christian faith and living. In her public messages, as in her articles and books, Ellen White uplifted Jesus Christ with unparalleled conviction and skill. Christ was the center of her life and the focus of her preaching.
All the messages reproduced in this volume were delivered in public and stenographically reported, or were prepared with that purpose in view. Many of Ellen White’s sermons may be found in the Review and Herald and Signs of the Times, but nearly all of those included in this series have been drawn from previously unpublished manuscripts, as they appear in our files. So, although there were no tape recorders in Ellen White’s day, a person may get the true “feel” of Ellen White as a speaker by reading this book.