Truth and the Camden vision of 1851

By Robert K. Sanders


Ellen G. White (EGW) tells us by vision that God's spirit has been withdrawn from the wicked world (shut door) and we are not to pray for the wicked as they cannot be benefited by our prayers. EGW held the "shut door" as late as 1851. Did Jesus ever teach not to pray for sinners?

The Camden vision–1851

By Ellen G. White

Camden, N. Y. June 29, 1851 "The Lord shewed that he had, in answer to prayer, removed his frown from this band, and that they could have the smiles of Jesus, if they would live very humble, and walk carefully before the Lord, and know that in every step that they took that God was guiding them, and the band would be strong and would be a terror to their enemies; and the band must press together. Then I saw Bro. Wing and Bro. Hyatt—that the enemy had been trying to destroy them—that they were praying for light upon a few texts of Scripture, and the more they prayed the darker they grew, and the enemy was shutting down a network of darkness over them; and just about as they were getting entirely shut in, they were delivered—the net was broken, and they escaped. I saw the true light on these texts &c. I saw that this rebuke was given by Jesus to the Pharisees and Jews, who were filled with self-righteousness, and would only speak to or greet those who were just as full of self-righteousness and hypocrisy as they themselves were; and they entirely neglect and pass by those who did not make quite as much, and who did not receive greeting in the market as they did. I saw that it did not in any way apply to this time—that we are now living in. Then I saw that Jesus prayed for his enemies; but that should not cause us or lead us to pray for the wicked world, whom God had rejected—when he prayed for his enemies, there was hope for them, and they could be benefitted and saved by his prayers, and also after he was a mediator in the outer apartment for the whole world; but now his spirit and sympathy were withdrawn from the world; and our sympathy must be with Jesus, and must be withdrawn from the ungodly. I saw that God loved his people—and in answer to prayers, would send rain upon the just and the unjust—I saw that now, in this time, that he watered the earth and caused the sun to shine for the saints and the wicked by our prayers, by our Father sending rain upon the unjust, while he sent it upon the just. I saw that the wicked could not be benefitted by our prayers now—and although he sent it upon the unjust, yet their day was coming. Then I saw that scripture did not mean the wicked whom God had rejected that we must love, but he meant our neighbors in the household, and did not extend beyond the household; yet I saw that we should not do the wicked around us any injustice; —But, our neighbors whom we were to love, were those who loved god and were serving him."

(Signed) E. G. White.
Copied by R. R. Chaplin


What to notice

  1. E. G. White is instructing the band not to pray for the "wicked world whom God had rejected." "Because Jesus prayed for his enemies" E. G. White counsels us not to pray for the wicked world, whom God had rejected. God has not rejected this world, in fact Jesus died to save it. If we understand this correctly she is saying, "do not follow Jesus’ example of praying for his enemies, but follow my vision and do not pray for them as they cannot be benefited by our prayers." This was one of her precious rays of light to contradict Jesus’ example. Matt 5:44 (NIV) "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
  2. Ellen tells us, (Jesus’) "spirit and sympathy were withdrawn from the world; and our sympathy must be withdrawn from the ungodly." Where in the Bible does it tell us that God has withdrawn his spirit from the world and that we should withdraw our sympathy from the ungodly? Did probation for the world end in June 29, 1851 when Ellen wrote this?
  3. "I saw that the wicked could not be benefitted by our prayers now." If you believe this statement then it is useless to pray for our non-Christian relatives and friends. Do you really believe that Ellen received light from the throne of God when she blatantly contradicts Him? The Bible says: Rom 5:10 (NIV) "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

    Was it possible that from 1844 till the Camden Vision of 1851 that there was no hope for the wicked, then after 1851 there was hope for the wicked and we could start praying for them again? What nonsense! Are we to believe what Ellen was telling us came from the throne of God, who does not change?
  4. "I saw that scripture did not mean the wicked whom God had rejected that we must love." This vision must have really put a smile on Satan’s face as he saw this deluded woman and her little flock rejecting God’s Word by not praying for the ungodly and not taking the Gospel of salvation to them. After 1844 the White’s, Bates, and other leaders splintered off of the main Millerite body, and thought that the door of mercy was closed for the world and that they could not be saved. They then devoted their energies trying to win the Millerites back to their "shut door" theory. After 1851 the Whites’ opened the door and started preaching to the world.

    After the 1844 fiasco William Miller denounced his calculations as an error and said that nothing happened to fulfilled prophecy in 1844. He and his group started preaching the Gospel to the world, both he and his followers were condemned by E. G. White as having a false reformation because they would not accept Ellen G. White's "shut door for the world" doctrine.
  5. Ellen used the term "I saw" ten times in the Camden vision. She was attempting to impresses her readers that she was in holy vision. There was no truth in this vision, making her a false prophet.


White Estate responds to the Camden vision

The White Estate sent me a document on the Camden Vision. It is identified as, Ms 1a 1851. They do not have an original copy of the Camden Vision. They point out that Uriah Smith considered it authentic as he used it in his defense of E. G. White’s visions in his book, The Visions of Mrs. E. G. White, 1868 p. 28.

I have the original book by Smith with his Camden quotes. Ellen White must have thought that his defense of her vision was accurate since James and Ellen sold many copies of Smith’s book at camp meeting. If Uriah Smith was in error, why didn't Ellen correct him? Back in 1868 Ellen was defending her visions as being true by way of Smith’s book. Adventists always compare E.G. White to the Bible prophets. But I ask, what Bible prophets ever sold their visions? What Bible prophet re-interpreted their visions?

Robert K. Sanders, Founder and Editor of Truth or Fables, 1997–2012
Life Assurance Ministries assumed ownership of Truth or Fables in 2012
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