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D. M. Canright

Discussion in 'Traditional Adventists' started by Cliff2, Nov 8, 2005.

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  1. Cliff2

    Cliff2 Well-Known Member

    On another Forum that I am a member of, although not an SDA Forum it is Christian.

    There has been much talk on there concerning Adventist belieefs and doctrines and the Issue of EGW came up.

    One person there came up with quotes from Canright to condem EGW.

    We hear so much about Canright I thought it was worth doing a search on him and came up with this quotes that is from the link below.


    Those Interested Who Disapproved.—One of Mrs. White's most severe and unrelenting critics was D. M. Can right, one-time preacher for the Seventh-day Adventist people. Look at Canright's attitude toward Mrs. White from three angles: first, as a Seventh-day Adventist; second, as an opposer of the messages; finally as an old man, too proud to admit a mistake, too weak to take his stand for the truth.

    We wish, therefore, to give you the story of D. M. Canright, and show how he came to disagree with the Spirit of prophecy and with the Advent Movement. D. M. Canright was a very capable man. He had remarkable talents. He was a very fine speaker. He was a keen debater. He was one who could bring fear and trembling into any opponent; and then he began to think himself to be very good, an expert in his field, too good for such a small denomination. Now, friends, it is dangerous for a man to think highly of himself and of his qualifications and ability, for sometimes it turns his head and causes him to feel a bit superior. We call it an inflated ego.

    D. M. Canright's failure was due to the fact that he thought himself too big and too good for such a little denomination. And when the brethren did not accept him according to his own estimate of himself, he turned against the denomination and began to write against this people.

    But let us first go back to the time when D. M. Canright was an interested friend of the movement,


    and read a few words from his pen. In 1885, just two years before he left the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he wrote in the Review and Herald for all to read the following words concerning Ellen G. White's books:

    “While I have carefully read the first, second, and third volumes of ‘Spirit of Prophecy,’ heaven has seemed very near to me. If the Spirit of God does not speak to us in these writings, then I should despair of ever discerning it. Oh, how precious the dear Saviour looks! How infinitely valuable the salvation of one soul! How hateful and inexcusable sin appears! God is good, and the sweetest thing on this earth is to love and serve Him.”—Jan. 6, 1885, p. 16.

    “I have read many books, but never one which has interested me so intensely and impressed me so profoundly as Vol. IV. of ‘The Great Controversy,’ by Sr. White. Perhaps it may be partly because I see things differently; but I am sure that is not wholly the reason. The historical part is good, but that which was of the most intense interest to me, was the last part, beginning with the ‘Origin of Evil.’ The ideas concerning the nature and attributes of God, the character of Christ, and the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven, carry with them their own proof of inspiration. They moved the depths of my soul as nothing else ever did. I feel that I have a new and higher conception of the goodness and forbearance of God, the awful wickedness of Satan, and the tender love of Christ. I wish everybody could read it whether of our people or not. Get it, brethren, and read it carefully.”—Ibid., p. 9.

    In 1877, ten years before he finally turned his back on the Adventist Church and Ellen G. White, he wrote:


    “As to the Christian character of Sr. White, I beg leave to say that I think I know something about it. I have been acquainted with Sr. White for eighteen years, more than half the history of our people. I have been in their family time and again, sometimes weeks at a time. They have been in our house and family many times. I have traveled with them almost everywhere; have been with them in private and in public, in meeting and out of meeting, and have had the very best chances to know something of the life, character, and spirit of Bro. and Sr. White. As a minister, I have had to deal with all kinds of persons, and all kinds of character, till I think I can judge something of what a person is, at least after years of intimate acquaintance.

    “I know Sr. White to be an unassuming, modest, kindhearted, noble woman. These traits in her character are not simply put on and cultivated, but they spring gracefully and easily from her natural disposition. She is not self-conceited, self-righteous, and self-important, as fanatics always are. I have frequently come in contact with fanatical persons, and I have always found them to be full of pretentions, full of pride, ready to give their opinion, boastful of their holiness, etc. But I have ever found Sr. White the reverse of all this. Any one, the poorest and the humblest, can go to her freely for advice and comfort without being repulsed. She is ever looking after the needy, the destitute, and the suffering, providing for them, and pleading their cause. I have never formed an acquaintance with any persons who so constantly have the fear of God before them.”—The Review and Herald, April 26, 1877, p. 132.

    It is strange how quickly the mental machinery of some people can go into reverse. We believe D. M. Canright to have been an honest man and to have meant what he said, at least when he was saying it.


    Either he told the truth or he told lies. Now read some words written some time later by the same man and judge for yourself which Canright was telling the truth:

    “I have been well acquainted with Mrs. White for nearly thirty years; have been in her family for weeks at a time, and she has often been in my family. I am familiar with all her work and all her books. I am satisfied that the whole thing is a delusion. Her visions have been a constant source of quarrels and divisions among themselves. Many of their ablest men, and thousands of others, have left them on this account. There is a strong antivision party now….

    “Mrs. White's trances are simply the result of disease and religious excitement—hysteria. At the age of nine she received a blow upon her head which broke her nose and nearly killed her. It shattered her nervous system beyond recovery, and affected her mind to melancholy and even to insanity. She was weakly, sickly, often fainted, and did not expect to live. In this condition she was carried away with the Millerite fanaticism, and went into trances with others. All this she tells herself, in Spiritual Gifts, Volume II, pages 7-48….

    “What harm does she do? Much every way. She teaches a false doctrine, writes a new Bible, leads her people to be narrow, clannish, and bigoted, to oppose the work of all other churches and needed Sunday and temperance laws. She has divided families, broken up churches, driven some to infidelity and others into despair. It leads her advocates to deceive. Being afraid that it will hurt them if it is known in what light they really hold her visions, they deny that it is a matter of importance with them. This is false and deceptive, for they hold her visions to be as sacred as the Bible. To defend her mistakes and errors, both she and her


    apologists have to deny the plainest facts and resort to untruthful statements. Fear of her authority compels many to profess faith in her when they have none, and thus become hypocrites.”—D. M. Canright, “No. 4, Mrs. White and Her Visions,” in Adventism Refuted in a Nutshell (1889), pp. 2-7.

    Many years went by, and D. M. Canright became the pastor emeritus of the Berean Baptist church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1919 he published a book, Life of Mrs. E. G. White, in which he took one full page to make clear his “present standing”:

    “Since I withdrew from the Adventists, over thirty years ago, they have continued to report that I have regretted leaving them, have tried to get back again, have repudiated my book which I wrote and have confessed that I am now a lost man. There has never been a word of truth in any of these reports. I expect them to report that I recanted on my deathbed. All this is done to hinder the influence of my books. I now reaffirm all that I have written in my books and tracts against that doctrine.

    “Several Adventist ministers have rendered valuable aid in preparing these pages. Once they were believers in Mrs. White's divine inspiration, but plain facts finally compelled them to renounce faith in her dreams.”—Page 15.

    We come now to the question, Did D. M. Canright ever show any signs of regret for his own course of action? Did he ever indicate that he was sorry for the active and open warfare he conducted against Ellen G. White? In his book published in 1919 he declared that he had not. But in 1915 when Mrs. White rested in her casket in Battle Creek, after the funeral


    service was ended the people passed quietly by to pay a final tribute to a great, noble, but humble servant of God, and D. M. Canright was among them. He and his brother passed by once, and then came by a second time. He rested his hand upon the side of the casket, and with warm tears trickling down his cheeks, he said, “‘There is a noble Christian woman gone.’”—W. A. Spicer, The Spirit of Prophecy in the Advent Movement, p. 127.

    This statement is the closest we have to anything that might indicate a regret. No, he never relented; he never recanted from his strong opposition. His chief antagonism was against Ellen G. White. But his nephew, at a Lynwood, California, camp meeting in June, 1953, gave a very interesting side light into D. M. Canright's own thinking during the years after he left the church.

    This nephew, who at one time had lived in D. M. Canright's home, and at whose home D. M. Canright used to visit, was able to give firsthand information, which is passed on to you because of the interest it has in connection with this story. At one time a Methodist minister wanted to challenge a Seventh-day Adventist minister to debate regarding the Sabbath. He thought if he could only get to D. M. Canright, he certainly could get the material he needed, and then he would squash that Adventist minister with D. M. Canright's own thunder.

    So he went to D. M. Canright's home and said,


    “I have a debate coming up with a Seventh-day Adventist minister on the question of the Sabbath. I thought you would certainly be the man to give me all the material I need to squash him. Now here I am. I can spend three days!” D. M. Canright, in the presence of his nephew, told the Methodist minister, “Brother, I advise you not to debate with the Adventists on the Sabbath. They have all the facts on their side of the question!” It did not take him three days to tell that man that he had better be careful in a debate on the Sabbath. No, it does not take three days to give anyone the facts of church history regarding the Sabbath or Sunday.

    D. M. Canright, we are informed, frequently expressed the thought that Adventists were right in their general doctrines and teachings of the church. He disagreed primarily on the question of visions, revelations, and the relation of Ellen G. White to the church and the Bible.
  2. HoneyDew

    HoneyDew Guest

    Interesting article, to be sure, although I could have done without the editorializing. I don't think I need someone to point out personal flaws of another in order to get me to see the error of their position. Regardless, it is very interesting.
    I know for sure that I have moved away from shuddering with whatever it is that I shudder with, when I regard the writings of Sis White. Over the years, as I have matured in my outlook, I have gotten great inspiration from reading her writings. I think we would have been cool with each other. My pastor once gave a wonderful sermon on the "Little Old Woman from Maine." Not sure of the exact title, but it was something similar and definitely not condescending in any way. In fact, it was a thanksgiving for her and her work.
  3. StormyOne

    StormyOne Senior Veteran

    Canright.... that's definitely a flashback to old school... don't hear mention of him too much nowadays...
  4. Cliff2

    Cliff2 Well-Known Member


    This site seems to be a place you can look to see what is the truth about difficult statements that have been attributed to EGW and how they are answered.

    I am puting here the forward to give all an idea what is in the book.

    "By J. L. McElhany

    Ellen G. White and Her Critics is, as every reader will readily discover, a book of outstanding and unusual character. It has been written with a special group of readers in mind. Since the death of Mrs. E. G. White, in 1915, the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has practically quadrupled, and the number of workers has increased by more than ten thousand.

    Most of these have had no personal acquaintance with Mrs. White. Some of our older workers and members still cherish the personal contacts they had with her. It was my personal privilege to grow to manhood and enter the ministry during the years she was still actively laboring. As a youth I often listened to her public addresses, and later as a worker was often present at camp meetings, workers' meetings, and general gatherings where she was present and took part. I also conversed with her personally. These experiences, coupled with my study of her writings through the years, have built into my mind and soul a profound conviction that God had called her to exercise the prophetic gift in the remnant church. She was a godly woman. She lived a consistent Christian life which was a living exemplification of the principles she taught and that were revealed to and through her.

    It is fitting indeed that the thousands of our workers who never had the personal privilege or opportunity of knowing Mrs. White should have access to the information presented in this volume. To provide them with this information is a service due them. It is not necessary or fitting that Mrs. White's critics should alone occupy the field of discussion.

    Elder Nichol has had wide approval of leaders and workers in undertaking the preparation of this book. By writing it he has


    rendered all our ministers, workers, and members an outstanding service. His well-known ability to gather facts and present them in logical and convincing form makes of this work a valuable addition to our denominational literature. It will prove to be a source book for our workers, enabling them to meet the charges of the critics. The author was urged to make this volume large and complete enough to cover the field under discussion. A smaller volume would hardly suffice.

    In all ages there have been those who assumed the role of Sanballat and Tobiah, who are set forth as outstanding examples of that class of men who by their criticisms and obstructionist tactics have sought to hinder the work of God. The whole effort of such men has been to tear down the cause of God and hinder and oppose those who sought to carry it forward. But truth is positive and even aggressive. Truth does not surrender the field to its enemies. Those who proclaim the truth must also be its defenders. To do otherwise would be cowardly.

    In the present instance it is of the utmost importance that the factual evidence regarding the life and labors of Mrs. E. G. White be supplied to all who will be benefited by such information. There are thousands of our workers and tens of thousands of our members who will heartily welcome the help this work will bring to them. It has been with all these in mind that our church leaders have urged that this volume be published. The history of God's work in all ages reveals the interesting and consoling fact that He uses devoted men to resist and overthrow the efforts of detractors and critics. The critics today who unite their efforts in attempting to destroy the work of Mrs. White will as surely fail in their designs as have the critics of the Bible. Her work will continue to bear fruit in the saving of souls for the kingdom of God and in the exaltation of our Lord Jesus, whom she loved and faithfully served. May the blessing of God rest upon Elder Nichol's valued contribution in the defense of the Spirit of prophecy as manifested in this church body through the ministry of Ellen G. White."
  5. moicherie

    moicherie True Brit

    I look forward to reading others respones. But does it matter what Mr Canright said since he is dead an can't take part in the debate - lol
  6. Cliff2

    Cliff2 Well-Known Member

    The reason I have put this info here is that there are so many including a few SDA's who use the same arguements that Canright used back then.

    Nothing new has been shown, it is all material that has been there and used over and over again.

    For many sincere Adventists it is very disturbing to see EGW attacked in a false way. many times we do not have an answer. Here they are for everyone to use as they see fit.

    Most of the EGW sites on the internet are anti-EGW sites. Many times they have been set up by ex-SDA's.

    I can assure everyone here there is no hidden agenda, look at all my posts and the number of times I use SOP is very small. I can't even remember the last time I quoted on here from SOP.

    It does not mean I do not support her, I do but think we should be able to come out in public and use the Bible and the Bible only to support our doctrines.

    As far as I can see that is what happens here, that is the way EGW would have it happen.
  7. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran

    In the intrest of fairness

    Here is D.M. Canwrights side of the story

  8. OntheDL

    OntheDL Guest

    Yeah, Canwrights' gift became his downfall. He was a great speaker. But he'd use it to win arguments not souls. A tortured soul that he was, repented 3 times and was received back to the church. Until finally he left and went to work for the Baptist church for the rest of his life. And we find him mourning at the EGW's funeral.

    Much of Des Ford's arguments were regurgitated from Canwright. And almost every anti-EGW publication quotes from Canwright.
  9. Cliff2

    Cliff2 Well-Known Member

    You are so right, they have held him as as some type of saviour to the SDA Church when he died a very sad man.
  10. Dathen

    Dathen Well-Known Member

    Other Religion
    Never heard of him, but he didn't sound too good!!!!
  11. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran


    this statement is blatently false.
    let me ask you how many of you have actually read canwright's book or claims. I bet most of you have not. Most sda's just repeat what they are told. I have read canwrights testiomony and it is not that of a "tortured" soul. It is of a sincere man who just did not believe. He was honest with himself about what he saw and as he understood it. He did not repent 3 times he just stopped preaching, he never left the chruch never renounced until 1887, other like Uriah smith, G.I. butler, J.N. andrews, Louhbourgh, all had doubhts at times and left the work, but not the denomination. they did the "honorable" thing and stopped preaching. d.M.C. did the same. It was not until he openly left the chruch over the Righteousness by faith Issue, because he saw what looked like a shift in the theology of EGW, and yes it was. That he said I quit the whole thing. He was not the only one that doubhted EGW's gift. Uriah Smith did the same.
    As far as the the gift of debat goes , the SDA chruch leaders did not have any problem with using the gift. If it was such a problem and they were concerned with the man soul, why would they keep using his gift that would lead him to destruction??? that seems to be propaganda made up by the sda chruch. I think in this case the SDA chruch screwed up.
  12. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran

    here is the link" http://www.ellenwhite.org/canright/case.htm
    The Case of D.M. Canright by Norman Douty


    Mr. Canright was in Seventh-day Adventism for 28 years, rose to prominence therein, and then left it (in 1887). He subsequently wrote several books and pamphlets that have proved very damaging to the cause he had formerly espoused. Elder D. A. Delafield, Associate Secretary of the Ellen G. White Publications, told me on July 15, 1962, that Canright has been the most potent adversary Adventism has had during the past eight decades.
    Ever since Canright left them, the Adventists have been doing all in their power to undermine his testimony against their movement. It is true, he was carried to his grave over forty years ago, but since some of his writings continue to be published, his critics keep active. I have recently been told by some Adventists that their church plans to prepare a ‘Life of Canright." The object, naturally enough, will be to discredit him so thoroughly, that none will ever again venture to quote him as a witness against Adventism.
    During Canright’s lifetime, this discreditation was perpetrated by a small percentage of Adventists. He declared in 1915: "Thegreat majority of my former brethren have been very friendly to me and treated me kindly. A few, a very few, have done otherwise." (SDAR, p. 9.) However, some of these few were very influential. They included Mrs. White who sent him two reproving "testimonies"; G. I. Butler, then President of the General Conference, who wrote against him in the Grand Rapids papers and in the Review and Herald Extra of 1887; and Uriah Smith, editor of that periodical, who contributed to the same Extra.
    After Canright’s death, when there arose a generation of Adventists who were not personally acquainted with him, the attack on him became more general. Other Presidents of the General Conference — W. A. Spicer, J. L. McElhany and R.R. Figuhr—followed Butler in attacking him. (W. H. Branson wrote his In Defense of the Faith, a Reply to Canright some years before becoming President.) In the same way, other editors of the Review and Herald—F. M. Wilcox (1911-44) and F. D. Nichol (1944)—followed Smith in writing against him.
    Nichol’s volume on Ellen G. White and her Critics was authorized by the General Conference itself. Another periodical, The Ministry, in a series of articles criticizing Martin’s book on Adventism, contained an article partly on Canright, prepared by the Field Secretary of the General Conference, H. W. Lowe. In 1933, Mrs. White’s son, W. C. White, put out his disparaging Documents relating to the Experiences and Utterances of D. M. Canright. (I received my copy through her grandson, Arthur L. White.) When it is added that every book published against Canright was approved by the Church’s Book Committee before being printed by its publishing concerns, was advertised in its catalogs, and sold in its Book and Bible Houses, there can be no doubt that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as such, has been responsible for the false witness against Canright.
    No casuistry [fallacious reasoning], seeking to distinguish between the Adventist Church and certain individuals in it, can possibly avail. While it is true that many have not actively participated in this evil, yet some, possessing knowledge of it, have tacitly acquiesced it, and so, in measure, partake of its guilt. Indeed, any member who should protest against the Church’s falsehoods about Canright, would be deemed disloyal to it. The entire movement-- represented, as we have just seen, by Mrs. White, her son and grandson; the General Conference, with its Presidents and other officers; its Editors, and their Periodicals; the Book Committee, Publishing Houses and Book Stores--is involved. It is the Seventh-day Adventist Church that has borne false witness against D. M. Canright.
    Since Canright’s death a number of articles have been published in his defense, but they have been rather limited in scope. In view of all the relevant facts, it seems that the time is long overdue for a thoroughgoing account of him to be written, so that everyone may see for himself that his testimony deserves serious consideration.
    I know it is said by some that Canright’s productions are antiquated. His quotations concerning some areas of Adventist theology are considered outdated because current SDA publications do not propagate certain views common in his day. But this is true only of official publications: there is an increasing volume of other SDA literature that affirms the so-called obsolete doctrines. Moreover, these doctrines were taught by Mrs. White, whom all Adventist parties still confess to have been inspired. Since Canright’s quotations of Adventist theology were, in every instance, representative of the views of Mrs. White, they are no more antiquated now than they were when he made them.

    The reader may wish to know how I came to write this book. The facts are these: on June 18, 1960, in correspondence with a prominent Seventh-day Adventist (one of the authors of Seventh-day Adventists answer Questions on Doctrine), I mentioned that I had prepared a manuscript on Adventism, but I made no allusion to Canright. On June 22nd, I received a reply which contained this paragraph:
    "I am wondering whether you have a real acquaintance with the teachings of Adventists. It would make it possible for you to evaluate them. Walter Martin based quite a few of his strictures upon the statements of D. M. Canright, an apostate Adventist minister who three times left us, was ordained by the Baptists, cast out by them...each time he came back to us he repudiated his former attacks, but finally went out for good, I think, to all concerned. The man considered himself a lost soul who had turned from God and right. I have affidavits from his secretary and from others that he often said, ‘I’m a lost man, I’m a lost man!’ He was like the desperado that wanted to bring down all he could before his own life was taken. That is pretty poor caliber of testimony on which to base an antagonism."​
    On July 16, 1960, I answered the letter and referred to the above charges in these paragraphs:
    "Your several items derogatory of D. M. Canright naturally lead me to ask for substantiation. I would also like to know if the affidavits mentioned--on the part of his secretary and others--relate to Mr. C. before or after he left Seventh-day Adventism. Do they issue from persons inside or outside Seventh-day Adventism, or perhaps from both? I have begun my own inquiry concerning him, seeing he lived and preached only 65 miles from East Lansing.​
    "Before I commit myself regarding Mr. Canright, I desire to procure all possible information. Meantime, I will say this: that whereas no sensible man would be inclined to accept the testimony of a duly discredited witness, yet it would not be the part of wisdom to pay absolutely no attention to it. Indeed, such a course could be really dangerous. It was so in the old story of ‘Wolf! Wolf !’ The crier had proved himself to be unreliable, and yet he spoke the truth--when the wolf actually came. So, I submit that the question is not that of Mr. Canright’s caliber, but of his testimony (which needs to be carefully examined by itself)."​
    Sometime later, I received the following answer: "I think I do not care to discuss further D. M. Canright. If you wish to lean upon that kind of evidence, I have nothing further to say." (The reader will observe that I had said nothing about leaning on Canright’s testimony without first investigating it.)
    It was this unprovoked assault on Canright that prompted me to begin the inquiry mentioned above. In pursuing it, I have traveled thousands of miles, written hundreds of letters, visited scores of people, and searched dozens of institutions for information--newspaper establishments, libraries, and various city, township, county and state offices. I have also made it my business to procure, and to survey carefully, everything I could find that has been written against Canright.
    Having now accumulated a mass of information concerning Canright--such as no other, to my knowledge, possesses--I consider it a sacred duty to share it with the public, especially because it serves to demonstrate the character of the Adventist movement. Before I begin, however, I wish to make a few things plain:
    1. I make no use whatever of rumor or hearsay; when I refer to false assertions, I refer either to statements which Adventists have made in conversation with me (or in letters to me), or to materials emanating from them which are in my possession (including photostats).
    2. I do not necessarily subscribe to all of Canright’s views, but any minor dissent from them involves no reflection on either his sincerity or his ability as a teacher of God’s Word.
    3. I bear no ill will toward the person of any Adventist. However, this will not prevent me from speaking plainly of those who are manifestly guilty of evading, suppressing or distorting facts. In such cases, I shall only consider my duty to God and to His people.
  13. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran

    this does not sound like a tourtued soul.
    Here is the link http://www.ellenwhite.org/canright/egw16.htm The Life of Ellen White by D.M. Canright


    Mrs. E.G. White, the prophetess, leader, and chief founder of the Seventh-day Adventists Church, claimed to be divinely inspired by God the same as were the prophets of the Bible. Defining her position, she says: "In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days he speaks to them by the testimonies of his Spirit" ("Testimonies for the Church," Vol. IV., p. 148; Vol. V., p. 661; No. 88, p. 189) that is, by her through her writings.
    Every line she wrote, whether in articles, letters, testimonies or books, she claimed was dictated to her by the Holy Ghost, and hence must be infallible.
    Her people accept and defend these claims strongly. Her writings are read in their churches, taught in their schools, and preached by their ministers the same as the Holy Scriptures. Their church stands or falls with her claims. This they freely admit. She stands related to her people the same as Mohammed to the Mohammedans, Joseph Smith to the Mormons, Ann Lee to the Shakers, and Mrs. Eddy to the Christian Scientists.
    Hence these high claims are a subject for fair investigation, to which her followers, who have freely criticized other claimants to divine inspiration, can not reasonably object. They have published several books bearing on her life and work, in which they have gathered together and construed everything possible in her favor. From reading these books one would never know that she ever made a mistake, plagiarized, practiced deception, or wrote alleged inspired writings which had to be suppressed. In narrating the lives of inspired men God does not thus cover up their failures and pass by their mistakes and shortcomings.
    The public, therefore, has a right to know the other side of the life of Mrs. White.
    The writer is perhaps better qualified to give the facts regarding that phase of her life than any other person living, as he united with her people almost at their beginning, now nearly sixty years ago, when they numbered only about five thousand. He has all the writings of Mrs. White in those early days. Some of the most damaging of these have been suppressed. Neither the public nor their own people, except a few officials, know of these old "revelation." His intimate association with Mrs. White gave him an opportunity to know and observe her as no one without such association could possibly have.

    Why I Once Believed Mrs. White Inspired

    I once accepted Mrs. White's claim to inspiration for the same reason that most of her followers do. I first accepted the Sabbath, and then other points of the faith, until I came to believe it all.
    Once among and of them, I found all stating in strong terms that Mrs. White was inspired of God. I supposed they knew, and so took their word for it; and that is what all the others do as they come in, deny it as they may.
    I soon found that her revelations were so connected with the whole history and belief of her church that I could not consistently separate them any more than a person could be a Mormon and not believe in Joseph Smith, or a Christian Scientist and not believe in Mrs. Eddy.
    I believed the other doctrines so firmly that I swallowed the visions with the rest, and that it is what all do.
    When I began to have suspicions about the visions I found the pressure so strong that I feared to express them, or even to admit them to myself. All said such doubts were of the devil and would lead to a rejection of the truth and then to ruin. So I dared not entertain them nor investigate the matter; and this is the way it is with others.
    I saw that all who expressed any doubts about the visions were immediately branded as "rebels," as "in the dark," "led by Satan," "infidels," etc.
    Having no faith in any other doctrine or people, I did not know what to do nor where to go. So I tried to believe the visions and go along just as thousands of them do when really they are in doubt about them all the time. This leads them to practice deception, and pretend publicly to believe what inwardly they do not believe, or at best what they doubt. See Uriah Smith's case in the chapter dealing with his view.
    Over forty years ago, in my early ministry and while yet a firm believer in all the Seventh-day Adventist doctrines, I wrote a strong defense of Mrs. White. During all the years since, nothing so forcible has been produced by any of her defenders. This is proved by the fact that it has been copied by them in her defense, but omitting my name. Also in their writings against me they quote this as contradicting what I now say. I do not blame them; but my answer is this: "A wise man changes his mind seldom, a fool never."
    At the time I wrote that defense of Mrs. White, forty years ago, I had never seen a copy of her early visions contained in "A Word to the Little Flock," 1847, and in Present Truth, 1849 and 1850; nor Elder Bates' pamphlets at the same date. They had been so effectively suppressed that I did not know they ever existed. These contain the most damaging evidence against her inspiration. All these came into my hands later. As the years went by, other evidences kept gradually accumulating, until I was compelled to change my mind.
    During his early years in Parliament, Mr. Gladstone, the great statesman of England, made speeches strongly defending the side to which he belonged. Later he changed his views and joined the opposing side. Then a member of his old party arose and read one of Mr. Gladstone's speeches strongly condemning the views he now advocated. At the close all eyes were on Mr. Gladstone. What could he say? He arose slowly and said: "That was a long while ago, and many things have happened since." That was all. The House cheered him lustily. He had effectually answered his opponent. My answer to the Adventists is the same: "That was a long while ago, and many things have happened since."
    The facts presented in this book give some of the reasons why I gave up faith in Mrs. White's claim to inspiration. The facts are indisputable; the conclusions based on them must, therefore, in the very nature of the case, be inevitable.
    In performing this task, the writer, knowing the frailties of human nature, has used as mild language and shown as much charity as the facts in the case would permit. But, knowing the errors and deceptions which have been connected with Mrs. White and her work, he has felt it a duty which he owed to the Christian world to state the facts.

    The Author.
    My Present Standing

    Since I withdrew from the Adventists, over thirty years ago, they have continued to report that I have regretted leaving them, have tried to get back again, have repudiated my book which I wrote and have confessed that I am now a lost man. There has never been a word of truth in any of these reports. I expect them to report that I recanted on my deathbed. All this is done to hinder the influence of my books. I now reaffirm all that I have written in my books and tracts against that doctrine.
    Several Adventist ministers have rendered valuable aid in preparing these pages. Once they were believers in Mrs. White's divine inspiration, but plain facts finally compelled them to renounce faith in her dreams.
    D.M. Canright,

    Pastor Emeritus of the Berean Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, Mich.
    Imposture shrinks from light,

    And dreads the curious eye;

    But sacred truths the test invite,

    They bid us search and try.

    O may we still maintain

    A meek, inquiring mind,

    Assured we shall not search in vain,

    But hidden treasures find.

    With understanding blessed,

    Created to be free,

    Our faith on man we dare not rest,

    We trust alone in Thee.

  14. OntheDL

    OntheDL Guest

    You are seriously confused. First of all, why are you reading from an anti-adventist site?

    Canwright was a person who renounced sabbath. So did he find out the truth or he apostasized? There is no change of doctrine in the righteousness by faith. Do you understand what our stand on this is?

    Have you read the story from Canwright's secretary?

    The way to catch a cold is to hang around people who have one.
  15. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran

    I have read canwright secetary finshed it 2 weeks ago., sda propaganda. There is no evidence canwright ever had a sectary now that we was ever in battle creek. he was in charge of the family farm in OStego, MI, There are gaping holes in the testimony

    If you actually read First hand statment by the people involved you would know what the issues are. If you don't get both sides of the story you are being brainwashed.
    As far as the Righteousness by faith, there was a change of emphsis, 1888 remember that. EGW said " we preach the law till we were dryier then the hill of Gilboah". I just finshed reading W.W. Prescott "forgotten giant of Adventism Second Generation" on page 82, the author states that "Uirah Smith opposed the Rightousness by faith issue not be cause he was against the teaching, but because he remembered EGW opposing it in 1856, when J.H. Waggoner opposed it. For ellen Whites part she said she did not remember the details of the Vision"

    ellen G. white and uriah smith both support the claim made by D.m. canwright that there was a change that took place. D.M. Canwritght statement that he left over the issue of the Law in Galations, the basis of the Rightousness by faith issue at Minneapolis.

    Canwrights own statment,if you would actuall read them, tell how he had doubhts in the testimony's of EGW as far back the late 1860's and earily 1870's and how he brought them up to G.I butler. The charge that he left do to pride and desire for glory is has not been proven.
  16. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran

    Canwright in his own words

    My experience shows the power which error can have over a person. I am amazed that I was held there so long, after my better judgment was convinced that it was an error. I propose to tell the simple facts, just as they were.

    I was born in Kinderhook, Michigan, Sept. 22, 1840. I was converted among the Methodists under the labors of Rev. Hazzard, and baptized by him in 1858. I soon heard Elder and Mrs. White. He preached on the Sabbath, and I thought he proved that the seventh day was still binding.

    As I wanted to do right I began keeping Saturday, but I did not expect to believe any more of their doctrine. Of course I attended their meetings on Saturday and worked on Sunday. This separated me from other Christians, and threw me wholly with the Adventists. I soon learned from them that other churches were Babylon; that Seventh-day Adventists were the one true people of God. They believed in Mr. Miller's work of 1844, in the visions of Mrs. White, the sleep of the dead, feet washing, etc. At first these things staggered me; but the Adventists explained everything so plausibly and so smoothed them over that I began to see things as they did and in time came to believe the whole system. Persuaded that time was short, I gave up going to school, dropped the study of all else, devoured their books, and studied my Bible day and night to sustain these new views. I was now an enthusiastic believer, and longed to convert everybody I met. I had not a doubt that it was true.

    In May, 1864, I was licensed to preach. Soon began with Elder Van Horn at Ithaca, Michigan. We had good success; raised up three companies that year. In 1865 worked in Tuscola county, and had excellent success. Was ordained by Elder White that year. As I now began to see more of Elder White and wife, and the work at headquarters, I learned that there was much trouble with him. I saw that he ruled everything, and that all greatly feared him. I saw that he was often cross and unreasonable. This troubled me a little, but not seriously. In 1866 I was sent to Maine with J. N. Andrews. This was a big thing for me. I threw myself into the work with enthusiasm, and was very happy. Elder Andrews was radical in the faith, and I partook of his spirit. We had excellent success.

    I returned to Battle Creek in 1867. At this time there was great trouble with Elder White, and many church meetings were held to investigate the matter. It was clear that he was wrong, but Mrs. White in her Testimonies sustained him and blamed the church. Andrews and a few proposed to stand up for the right and take the consequences. My sympathies were with them; but others feared, and finally all wilted and confessed that they had been blinded by Satan. This was signed by the ministers, and adopted by the church. (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 612.) This shook my faith a good deal, and I began to question Mrs. White's inspiration. I saw that her revelations always favored Elder White and herself. Any who questioned their course soon received a revelation denouncing him with the wrath of God.

    I dared not open my mind to a soul. I was only a youth, and had little experience. Older and stronger men had broken down and confessed. What could I do? I said nothing, but felt terribly. Shortly I was back in the field. Busy with my work, preaching our doctrine, and surrounded with men who firmly believed it, I soon got over my doubts.

    In 1868 I went to Massachusetts. Being away from the troubles at headquarters, I got on finely. But in May, 1869, I was in Battle Creek for a month. Things were in bad shape. Elder White was in trouble with most the leading men, and they with him. He was the real cause of it, but Mrs. White sustained him and that settled it. They were God's chosen leaders, and not to be meddled with. I felt sad. I was working hard to get men into "the truth"; to persuade them that this was a people free from the faults of the other churches; then to see such a state of things among the leaders disheartened me greatly. So far, I had had no trouble with any one, and Elder White had been cordial to me. But I saw that if I ever came to be of any prominence in the work I should have to expect the same treatment from him that all the others got.

    I had been so thoroughly drilled in Adventist doctrine that I firmly believed it was what the Bible taught. To give up the SDA faith, I thought, was to give up the Bible. Hence I swallowed my doubts and went on. That year I went to Iowa to work, where I remained four years, laboring with Elder Butler, who later became the General Conference president. We had good success and raised up several churches. I finally opened my mind to Elder Butler, and told him my fears. I knew these things troubled him as well as myself, for we often spoke of them. He helped me some, and again I gathered courage and went on, feeling better. Still, I came to see more and more that somehow the thing did not work as it ought. Wherever Elder White and wife went they were always in trouble with the brethren, and the best ones, too. I came to dread having them come where I was, for I knew there would be trouble with someone or something and it never failed of so being. I saw church after church split up by them, the best brethren discouraged and maddened and driven off, while I was compelled to apologise for them continually. For years about this time, the main business at our big meetings was to listen to the complaints of Elder White against his brethren. Not a leading man escaped: Andrews, Waggoner, Smith, Loughborough, Amadon, Cornell, Aldrich, and a host of others had to take their turn at being broken on the wheel. For hours at a time, and times without number, I sat in meetings and heard Elder White and wife denounce these men, till I felt there was little manhood left in them. It violated my ideas of right and justice, and stirred my indignation. Yet whatever vote was asked by Elder White, we voted it unanimously, I with the rest. Then I would go out alone and hate myself for my cowardice, and despise my brethren for their weakness.

    Elder and Mrs. White ran and ruled everything. Not a nomination to office, not a resolution, not an item of business was ever acted upon till all had been submitted to Elder White for his approval. Till years later, we never saw an opposition vote on any question, for no one dared. The will of Elder White settled everything. If any one dared to oppose anything, however humbly, Elder White or wife quickly squelched him.

    These, with other things, threw me into doubt and tempted me to quit the work. I saw able ministers and valuable men leave us because they would not stand such treatment. I envied the faith and confidence of brethren who went on ignorant of all this, supposing that Battle Creek was a little heaven on earth, when in fact it was as near purgatory as anything I could imagine.

    In 1872 I went to Minnesota, where I had good success. By this time I had written much, and so was well known to our people. In July, 1873, my wife and I went to Colorado with Elder White and wife, to spend time in the mountains. I soon found things unpleasant living in the family. Now my turn had come to catch it, but instead of knuckling under, as most the others had, I told the Elder my mind freely. That brought us into an open rupture. Mrs. White heard it all, but said nothing. In a few days she had a long written testimony for my wife and me. It justified her husband in everything, and placed us as rebels against God, with no hope of heaven except by a full surrender to them. My wife and I read it many times with tears and prayers; but could see no way to reconcile it with truth. It contained many statements we knew were false. We saw that it was dictated by a spirit of retaliation, a determination to break our wills. For awhile we were in great perplexity, but still my confidence in much of the doctrine and my fear of going wrong held me; but for weeks I was miserable, not knowing what to do. I preached awhile in Colorado and then went to California, where I worked with my hands for three months, trying to settle what to do. Elder Butler, Smith, White and others wrote to us, and tried to reconcile us to the work. Not knowing what else to do, I finally decided to forget my objections, and go along as before. So we confessed to Elder White all we could, and he generously forgave us! But from that time on my faith in the inspiration of Mrs. White was weak. Elder White was very friendly to me again after that.

    Now the Adventists say that I left them five times, and this is one of the five. This is untrue. I simply stopped preaching for a few weeks, but did not withdraw from the church or renounce the faith. If this is leaving them, then most their leading men have left them, for they all have had their periods of trial when they left the work awhile. About 1856, J. N. Andrews and J. N. Loughborough left the work and went into business at Waukon, Iowa. Elder Butler, for many years the General Conference President, got into trial with his brethren, and practically out of the work. He was a humble good man, with a strong sense of fairness. Elder White became jealous of him. Later Mrs. White turned against him and required a servile submission which he would not make. Said when he could not be an Adventist and a man, he would be a man. He went to Florida to work a small farm. Uriah Smith also had his seasons of doubts, when he engaged in secular employments.

    In 1874 Elder White arranged a debate between Miles Grant of Boston and one of our ministers. Though Elder White and wife, Elder Cornell and Elder Loughborough were there, they selected myself to defend our side, which I did for about a week. I mention this to show the confidence they had in me, though I had been in so great a trial but a few months before.

    More to Come
  17. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran

    The rest of the story

    In 1875 we returned to Michigan. Elder Butler was now out with Elder White, who took every opportunity to snub him; but I was in high favor, was sent to the state meetings in Vermont, Kansas, Ohio, and Indiana. With Elder Smith, was sent as delegate to the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference. In 1876 I was sent to Minnesota, then to Texas, and through the southern states, to look after our interests there. Each year greater responsibilities were laid upon me. That year I raised up a church at Rome, N.Y., and labored over the State. Went with Elder White and wife to Indiana and Illinois, and was sent to Kansas to hold a debate, and to Missouri for the same purpose. This same year I was elected to the General Conference Committee of three, with Elders White and Haskell, and continued on it for two years. It is the denomination's highest official authority.

    In 1877 I went to New England, where I raised up two churches. I spent 1878 working in Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, and Ohio. In the fall I was elected president of the Ohio Conference. In 1879 I labored in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. At the general conference at Battle Creek in the fall, things were in a bad shape. Elder White was cross, and Mrs. White bore down heavily on several ministers. Harshness, fault-finding and trials were the order of the day. I felt that there was little of the spirit of Christ. I got away as quickly as possible. I saw more and more that instead of meekness, gentleness and love among brethren, the result of our work was a spirit of oppression, criticism, and dissension. For the next whole year these feelings grew upon me, till I began to fear we were doing more harm than good. My work called me among old churches where I could see the fruit of it. Churches that had once been large and flourishing were in a quarrel, or cold and dead. I lost heart to raise up more churches to go the same way. One day I would decide to quit them entirely, and the next day I would resolve to go on and do the best I could. I never suffered more mental anguish in my life. I labored that year in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

    In the fall of 1880 I resolved to leave and go with some other church. I was president of the Ohio Conference, and our annual meeting was at Clyde, Ohio. Elder and Mrs. White were there. My mind was made up to leave them as soon as the meeting was over. Against my protest they reelected me president. Mrs. White urged it. Though her special claim is to reveal hidden wrongs in the church, she said I was just the man for the job. I was all right so far as she knew. The next week I resigned, and wrote Elder White that I would go with them no longer. Mrs. White then sent me a written revelation, denouncing me as a child of hell and one of the wickedest of men, though two weeks earlier she thought me fit to be president of a conference!
    For three months I taught elocution. I knew not what to do. I talked with ministers of other churches, but they did not seem to know how to help me. I could settle on nothing. Finally I met my present wife, who was an Adventist. Then I had a long talk with Elder Butler, Elder White, Mrs. White and others, and was persuaded that things were not as I had imagined. They said I was led by Satan, and would go to ruin. The influence of old friends, associations, habits and long cultivated ideas came up and were too strong for my better judgment. I yielded, and resolved again to live and die with them.

    Early in 1881 I went with Elder White to New York. By this time he had lost the leadership of the people. Butler and Haskell had taken his place, hence he was hostile to them, working against them, and planning to get them out and get back in. He wished me to work with him against them, saying that we would then be on the General Conference Committee together. He had good grounds to oppose Haskell, who was a crafty underhanded man. Elder White wrote me: "February 11, 1881: I wish Elder Haskell were an open, frank man, so I need not watch him." Again: "May 24, 1881: Elders Butler and Haskell have had an influence over her [Mrs. White] that I hope to see broken. It has nearly ruined her." I could give much more to show how little confidence the church leaders had in each other.
    I wrote Elder White that I could not unite with him nor work with him. July 13, 1881, he wrote me: "I have repeatedly abused you, and if you go to destruction, where many, to say the least, are willing you should go, I should ever feel that I had taken a part in your destruction. * * * I do not see how any man can labor with me." Soon after this he died. I have no doubt that Elder White persuaded himself that he was called of God to be a leader. He had some excellent qualities, and meant to be a Christian. But his desire to rule and run everything, together with an irritable temper, kept him always in trouble with someone. No one could work with him for long in peace. Elder Butler said his death was providential to save the body from a rupture. Mrs. White was so offended at this remark that for a long while she would not even talk with Butler, although he was officially the head of the church. All these things helped me to see that I was being led by selfish ambitious people, who were poor examples of religious reformers.

    That year I labored in Canada, Vermont, Maine, New England and Michigan, and was elected to the State Executive Committee of Michigan. But I was unhappy; I could not get over my doubts; I had no heart in the work. Several leading ministers in the State felt about the same. I then decided to drop out of the ministry and go to farming. This I did for two years, but retained my membership with the church and worked right along with them. But I was in purgatory the whole time, trying to believe what I could not. Yet I wasn't settled on any other church, and feared I might go wrong, and so stood still. In the fall of 1884, Elder Butler, my old friend, made a great effort to get me reconciled and back at work again. He wrote me several times, finally telegraphed me and paid my fare to a camp meeting. Here I met old friends and associations, tried to see things as favorably as possible, heard explanations, etc., till at last I yielded again. I was sick of an undecided position. I thought I could do some good here anyway; all my friends were here, I believed much of the doctrine still, and feared if I left them I might go to ruin. I resolved to swallow my doubts, believe the whole thing, and stay with them for better or for worse. So I made a strong confession, of which I was ashamed before it was cold.

    Was I satisfied? No. In my heart I was ashamed of myself, but tried to feel that it was not so. Soon I felt better, because I had decided. Gradually my faith came back, till I again really felt strong in the whole doctrine, and had no idea I should ever leave it again. I was sent to attend large meetings in Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, Iowa, and New England; assisted in revival meetings in Battle Creek; was appointed with Elder Butler to instruct the ministers on how to labor for souls; conducted a similar course in the Academy at South Lancaster, Massachusetts; was at the state meetings in New York, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. In the spring of 1886 was appointed to lecture to the theology class in Battle Creek College, and Associate Editor of the Sickle.

    By my appeal, an effort was made to bring our ministers to some plan of study in which they were deficient. I was on the committee to arrange this. I selected the studies, and framed the questions by which they were to be examined. I was then furnished a shorthand reporter, and in the summer was sent to ten states; namely, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Michigan, to attend state conferences, examine ministers, report meetings, etc., and this I did. In our conflict with the Disciples at Des Moines, Iowa, it was agreed that each side should select a representative and hold a debate on the Sabbath question. They selected Professor Dungan of Drake University; our people selected me. I made every effort to be ready, and that preparation did much to convince me of the unsoundness of some of our positions. That fall, a division occurred between our leading men over the law in Galatians. One party held it was the ceremonial law, the other the moral law: a square contradiction. After a long and heated discussion the conference closed, each party as confident as before. Nor was this the only disagreement over doctrine. This with other things brought up my old feelings of doubt, and decided me that it was time for me to examine for myself, and not be led by persons who could not agree among themselves.

    I then used every minute I could to examine the evidence on the Sabbath, the law, the sanctuary and the visions, till I knew they were untrue. Then I laid the matter before the leading men at Battle Creek, resigned the positions I held, and asked to leave the church. This was the first and only time I ever withdrew; nor during my twenty-eight years with them had any charge ever been made against me. As soon as I took my stand, a great burden rolled off. I felt like a new man. At last I was free.

    My doubts of it did not come to me all at once and clearly. The evidence accumulated year by year, till at last it overbalanced the doctrine, and then I abandoned it.

    Adventists say that because I left them for the Baptists I am an apostate. If to change one's opinion and join another church makes a person an apostate, then half their members are apostates for they have come to the Adventists from other churches. Again, they praise the book Fifty Years in Rome, by a former Catholic. His high standing and long experience in that church they say make his book invaluable. But they say that my own high standing and long experience with them only proves that I am a hypocrite.

    Suppose I had been an office-seeking man, caring more for place and position than for truth and conscience, what would I have done? I would have gone right along, pretending to be firm in the faith. But instead, time and again I went to the leading men, and told them my doubts. Let candid men judge of my motives.
    The day I left them I held the following positions: Was their teacher of theology in the college at Battle Creek; was associate editor of the Gospel Sickle; was writing the lessons for all their Sabbath Schools; had charge of eighteen churches in Michigan; was member of the Executive Committee of the Michigan State Sabbath School Association; was chairman of the International Sabbath School Association; was on nine committees . . .
    I was getting higher pay than ever, the leading men were my warm personal friends. Had I desired office, or better position, all I had to do was to go right along and positions would come to me faster than I could fill them. But if I left them, where could I go? What could I do? How even make a living? I took this all in, and it required all the courage and faith in God I could muster to take the risk.

    It cost me a terrible struggle and a great sacrifice, for in doing it I had to leave my life-long friends, the whole work of my life, the means of my support, every position I held. I had to begin life anew, among strangers, uncertain where to go or what to do. No one who has not tried it can begin to realize the struggle it requires.
    Anyone of fairness can see that if my motive was self-interest I would have stayed. Yet, as soon as I did leave them, though I went out quietly and peaceably, and even spoke favorably of them, they immediately attributed to me all sorts of evil motives and ambitious designs.
  18. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran

    The way to fight disease is to undersand the sickness and apply a crue.
  19. Dasdream

    Dasdream Noone's perfect, so why are we judging each other

    That is great haha

    I have never heard of him either, but his way of thinking has been seen everywhere. I've defended Ellen till i was blue in the face. Don't think we would have gotten along to well lol
  20. icedragon101

    icedragon101 Senior Veteran

    did any one read the posts? intresting to her the other side of the story.
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