A Word to the Little Flock

April 1847

The intense urgency that had motivated both Ellen and James to spread the news of Christ's second coming before the disappointment in 1844 now was intensified by the impact of the visions and the assurance that came with the revelation of God's gentle guiding of His faithful believers. But how could they get this wonderful news across to the widely separated, somewhat bewildered people? Without funds, backing from any source, or experience, James White plunged ahead.

April 1847 marked James White's first major publishing accomplishmentóthe issuance of a 24-page pamphlet that he titled A Word to the "Little Flock." The type was small and the margins narrow, yielding a page with twice the normal content of a book page of today.

Very clearly A Word to the "Little Flock" represented the joint ministry of both James and Ellen White. James had written several articles for publication in Crosier's short-lived Day-Dawn, but by the time they were ready, that paper had ceased publication. So after talking with the Howlands and some others, he decided to present the materials in pamphlet form. In his opening paragraph he explained: "I wish to call the attention of the ëlittle flock' to those things which will very soon take place on this earth" (WLF, p. 1).

The pamphlet was Bible-based with copious Scripture references and quotations. It seems clear that the visions given to Ellen helped James sort things out and clarify the order of events. It will be remembered that in 1845 a move toward time setting had been averted when Ellen was shown that before Christ would come, "the saints must pass through the ëtime of Jacob's trouble,' which was future" (ibid., p. 22).

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