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  • Submitted: Sep 08 2012 01:02 PM
  • Last Updated: Sep 08 2012 09:33 PM
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  • Author: D.M. Canright
  • e-Sword Version: 10.x
  • Suggest New Tag:: Adventism, Biography

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Download Canright, D. M. - Life of Ellen G. White: Her Claims Refuted (1919) 1.0

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Unorthodox Modern (1800-Today)

D.M. Canright

e-Sword Version:

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Adventism, Biography

The Life of Ellen G. White: Her Claims Refuted

This book was written in 1919 by DM Canright, a very high-ranking member of the Seventh-Day Adventist religion.  It contains a history of Ellen G. White, her lies, her desire for money, her false prophecies, her plagiarism, and many other things that proved her to be a false teacher.

If you want to know the truth about what Ellen G. White was and what she taught, this is the book to read.  Mr. Canright was a close friend and associate of the Whites for 20 years before leaving their group.  He was even hand-picked by Mr. White to debate other religious groups.  All this to say, Mr. Canright can be considered an authority on the topics which are covered in this book.

About the e-Sword Edition

The text of this book is found many places online (including here).  Thanks to the original person who scanned, proofread, and formatted it for websites.  No changes were made to the online editions except to tooltip the verses.

This is being made available in .topx and .refx formats.

About the Author (from Wikipedia)

For 20 years, Canright labored as a minister and evangelist for the Seventh-day Adventist Church across the United States. He was also a notable contributor to the Adventist periodical, the Review and Herald (now the Adventist Review). During a vacation in Colorado with James and Ellen White in 1873, Canright and his wife had a falling out with them. Canright and James White reconciled later that year. At the 1876 General Conference Session he was 1 of 3 men elected to the General Conference Executive Committee, the most prestigious committee in the denomination. In 1878, Canright was elected President of the Sabbath School Association of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. From his high position in the church, he began to eye the highest office of all, that of the presidency of the denomination.

Canright was frequently called upon by Elder James White, and other leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to debate ministers of other denominations, generally on the question of the seventh-day Sabbath:

"In 1874 Elder White had arranged to have a big debate held at Napa City, Calif., between Elder Miles Grant, of Boston, Mass., and one of our ministers." (Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, by D.M. Canright, 1914).

In the 1880s, Canright gradually became disillusioned with what he considered autocratic behavior on the parts of Elder and Mrs. White. In 1880, he retired briefly from the ministry and journeyed through the Midwest, as an elocution teacher and lecturer. After a year of itinerant living, he returned to Battle Creek, Michigan, where he reconciled himself with Elder and Mrs. White.

In 1881, back as a Seventh-day Adventist minister, Canright remarried, and continued his life as a traveling evangelist for another year. Then, in 1882, he retired from the ministry and bought a farm in Otsego, Michigan. Once again, he began to have doubts about the White family, particularly about Ellen White's purported "gift of prophecy". He wavered repeatedly, several times emerging from his early retirement to hold meetings and preach. Throughout the early 1880s, his relations with Mrs. White remained amicable.

Then, quite abruptly, in 1887, Canright and his wife, Lucy Canright, left the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was a decision he had been mulling over for a year. In severing his relations with his home church, the Otsego Seventh-day Adventist Church, Canright stated the following, as recorded by the church clerk:[indent=1]

"That he had come to a point where he no longer believed that the Ten Commandments were binding upon Christians and had given up the Law, the Sabbath, the Messages, the Sanctuary, our position upon [the] U.S. in prophecy, the Testimonies, health reform, the ordinances of humility. He also said that he did not believe that the Papacy had changed the Sabbath. And though he did not directly state it, his language intimated that he would probably keep Sunday.

"He thinks that Seventh-day Adventists are too narrow in their ideas, and that in quoting so much as they do from the Old Testament are going back into the moonlight rather than experiencing the sunlight of the gospel of Christ. He thought we were exalting the law above Christ. Also has no faith in the missionary work as conducted by our people, feels as if it is not the way God designed to do the work.

"He still claimed to believe that the coming of Christ was near, making the same application of Daniel 2 and 7 and Matthew 24 that he always had, but did not believe that there was to be any special message preceding Christ’s second coming in the sense in which Seventh-day Adventists teach." —Church clerk’s record, February 17, 1887, Otsego, Michigan Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Having left the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Dudley and his family briefly considered joining the Methodist Church, but finally settled upon the Baptist Church. On March 5, 1887, he, his wife and their daughter Veva (Genevieve) were accepted into the Otsego Baptist Church. On the 17th he was given a license to preach, and 2 days later, was ordained and made the Church's salaried pastor. He remained in this position until 1889.

In September 1890, Dudley and his family left Otsego, moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, he became Pastor Emeritus of the Berean Baptist Church, an office he held for only a year. During his time as pastor of these churches, he occupied himself in writing his 413-page critique, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, which was published in 1889. In 1915, he and his brother Jasper attended the funeral of Ellen G. White, during which he reportedly exclaimed, "There is a noble Christian woman gone!"

In March 1916, Canright accompanied an old Adventist friend, J.H. Morrison, to a church workers' meeting in Battle Creek. Afterward, they went to Morrison's house. Following that visit, Canright walked to the local Baptist church, where he had a key to the basement. Unaware that extensive remodeling had taken place, and arriving at the church after dark, Canright fell through an open hole into the basement, broke his leg, and remained there for two days. He was taken to the local hospital, and then to the Battle Creek Sanitarium, where his leg was amputated. He spent the last 3 years of his life with his daughter Genevieve, who had converted to Christian Science. Canright died in May 1919. Two months later, his final book, The Life of Mrs. E.G. White, was published. In it he criticised White heavily and maintained among others
  • that the early doctrines held in 1844 and up to 1851 failed utterly
  • some cases where her prophesies were wrong and then suppressed afterwards
  • that she rebuked and controlled peoples' conduct, purportedly by spiritual knowledge, but factually by informings that often attacked an innocent part
  • that she plagiarized lots of her purportedly God inspired texts from other authors and had to revise one of her books at an expense of $3000

false pictures of SDA Church

The author was one of the highest-ranking members in the SDA church.  It's safe to assume he knew what he was talking about regarding what the SDA beleive.

The issue with Canright with the SDA theology is the question of the covenants.  Canright used a dictionary definition of the covenant as a contract between two parties. As such the "old" covenant was thought to be an agreement between God and the people of Israel, and that this "old" covenant terminated at the first coming of Christ. That is, that dispensation ceased and the "new" covenant began and thus a new dispensation. 

Dispensationalism lumps the 10 commandments in the agreement between God and Israel and when that dispensation is over, then one is no longer under the law.  At its heart, Adventism (SDA) is not dispensationalism, though many of those in the SDA church at the time of Canright and to this day do have a dispensational view of the covenants.  The covenants were hotly debated in the time of Canright who left the SDA church in 1887.  In 1888, a pivotal conference was held in Minneapolis, Minn where the issue of the covenants and righteousness by faith was discussed.  Two presenter, EJ Waggoner and AT Jones presented the view that the covenants were not dispensations in time, but really ran concurrently from Eden to restoration.

Waggoner taugh that God's new or everlasting covenant was the glad tidings of the everlasting gospel.  It contained two chief benefits to meet the needs of the sinner.  There is forgiveness of sins and divine aid for overcoming sin through God's righteousness by means of the Spirit of Christ.  Justification by faith and sanctification was the fulfillment of the new covenant.

For Waggoner, the new covenant was all about the promise of God to be received by faith alone.  This was God's plan for saving mankind ever since Adam fell into sin.  God renewed the same covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  All of the patriarchs believed God's promise and He accounted them righteous by faith.  The plan of salvation in the new covenant was the same for sinners in any age from Eden to the second coming.  The new covenant between God and Abraham was all about how the conditions of God's law might be met.  Believing in Christ, Abraham fulfilled the only condition for salvation.  Christ was his righteousness.  Such faith founded upon the love of God for sinners, was laways manifested inself in genuine obedience.  Christ in the life was the living law in the heart.

The old covenant was formally instituted at Sinai with Israel.  It too, was all about meeting the conditions of the 10 commandments.  However God's intention at Sinai was to renew with the descendants of Abraham the same covenant which He had made with their faithful father.  Had they believed as did Abraham, they too would have experienced the blessings of divine pardon and aid.  Unfortunately they did not sense their sinfulness or need and announced their decision to obey everything God placed before them.  Their promise then became the old covenant.  This priniciple of the old covenant had always existed since the start of sin for anyone who approached God with the attitude of pride and self-reliance.

EJ Waggoner's view of the two covenants was they they were two dispensations descriptive of the human condition of the heart in relationship to God.  Both the old and new covenants ran on parallel tracks down through the history of time.  The sinner's belief or unbelief determined which track he was on in life.  Waggoner's view of the covenants dispensations was not bound by time barriers.

Waggoner's view of the law in Galatians was related to his model of the covenants.  Waggoner was a staunch defender of the perpetuity of the law for all time and eternity.  However the law without Christ was the old covenant.  The law with Christ was the new covenant.  Christ was offered to israel at Mount Sinai.  Through unbelief they rejected Him.  And without Christ, the law was a curse to anyone seeking to obey it.  The fault was with the sinner.  Human promises are worthless when it came to obeying the 10 commandments.  

So Canright, with his dispensational view of the covenants being divided in time, the natural conclusion was tha the 10 commandments where no longer binding.  This presents an interesting quesiton as to what law God would write on our hearts and minds, Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews 10:16.  

In summary, The 1888 view of the covenants presented to the SDA church by Jones and Waggoner views the old covenants as sinner's promises, which they cannot keep, and the new covenant as God's promises which received by faith cannot fail.

Waggoner's view of the covenants and the law can be found here:

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